Sunday, April 3, 2016

Snow White with Red Hair, Review!

Snow White with Red Hair is a two season anime that's... how should I put it? Really cute. It doesn't have an amazingly intense story, and it doesn't bring anything new to the table. However, it does give us a fun take on the Disney princess theme and gives us a highly successful take on classic shoujo tropes in a fantasy setting.

The story is about Shirayuki, a young woman living in the fantasy country of Tanbarun. Because the prince of her country is a jerk and wants to turn her into his concubine, she is forced to run away. I guess the prince had a thing for her red hair, which is noted to be an unusual hair color. During that time, she meets Zen, strange boy who is a little standoff-ish at first, but comes around quickly thanks to the "Shirayuki Effect." Through a series of circumstances, Shirayuki learns that Zen is actually the prince of Clarines. With Zen's help, Shirayuki leaves Tanbarun for Clarines and starts living in the castle with the prince.

I feel like I should mention this right off the bat - this anime, despite not possessing many of the typical tropes found in a shoujo, is still very typical of its genre. The reason being? Disney. This story is mired in what I call the "Disney princess cliche." You've got the strong and independent Shirayuki, who strives to follow her dreams and rarely requires help. Everyone she meets can't help but respect her by the end of their meeting. And despite not being royalty or from Clarines, she lives in the palace with Prince Zen, where much shipping between these two characters goes on. Now, some people might find this off-putting, but I actually enjoyed seeing an anime with a Disney twist. It was oddly refreshing for me.

Following on this theme, Snow White with Red Hair is a very character driven story. If you're looking for an intense plot filled with political intrigue and epic sword fights, then you should look somewhere else. This anime focuses mainly on developing its characters, revealing their backstory, and reveling in the way they all interact with each other. It's a nice, calm story with the occasional twist. Plus, Shirayuki and Zen are adorable. That said, they aren't the only characters. There are plenty of other characters who get developed to the point of being fully fleshed out. Mitsuhide and Kiki, Zen's retainers, are given plenty of time in the spotlight. They're loyalty to the prince and their strength is something to be admired. Obi, a bit of a rogue who ends up working for Zen, is an interesting character who has something of a smart mouth and a sharp wit. It's always interesting to see how he teases everybody else. I could go on about how fun the characters, but I think I'll end here so I don't gush.

One thing I liked about the series was that, while it does follow some typical shoujo plots, a number of them are subverted. Yes, there is a bit of character O likes character S who likes character Z, but it's not really a focus here. What's more, we pretty much know the pairing right off the bat. There's none of that "Oh, who should I choose! They're both so hot!" that we often get in the shoujo series. While this means that there are other cliche's, namely, Disney ones, I don't feel bothered by that like some people might. I believe I already mentioned this, but the use of Disney cliche's in an anime is kind of refreshing. Besides, I'm a sucker for a cute romance.

Artwork: 9/10
Animation: 9/10
Sound: 8/10
Characters: 9/10
Story: 6/10
Personal Enjoyment: 10/10
Total: 8.5/10