If I recall, the last shoujo series I watched was Soredemo Sekai wa Utsukushii, and that was over a year ago. I usually prefer to read this genre from time to time as opposed to watching. My sister was so excited for Akagami no Shirayuki-hime, she influenced me to watch although she dropped it when she didn’t like the adaptation (she’s a fan of the manga). Nevertheless, I carried on.
The plot quite honestly might be boring for some people. In fact, the first few episodes was a bit dull for me, but I decided to keep watching. There wasn’t any concrete goal for the viewers to conclude although it’s ultimately that type of love story between a prince and a “normal” girl. It mainly showed how these two characters of two different social statuses go about their relationship, albeit it started as friendship to something more in the end. In the episodes, there were obstacles that could potentially prevent Shirayuki from being close to Zen, and we see how they deal with it along with how their relationship will progress and develop. What I liked about this is that it isn’t your typical “love at first sight” shoujo. It took until episode 10 for any real confirmation that one of them had romantic feelings for the other, even though there were hints throughout the show. On episode 11, it is where we’re shown that the love isn’t unrequited. Overall, I do think that the plot is weak, and nothing worth worrying about if you have decided to skip over the show. However, my enjoyment of the interactions between the characters made up for it. I’m also a sucker for realistic pacing of a romantic story so that was a plus for how it was written, but it is also for that reason that I think that it would have been better off left as a manga; it will almost feel like an unmemorable slice-of-life show for those not used to this kind of pacing, if it didn’t have an underlying objective.
The main two characters were quite entertaining, but the supporting character Obi was my favorite. He had a more obvious character development than any other characters in the series. Even though Zen had quite a change from his personality from when he was a kid to adolescence, I wouldn’t consider that real development for the plot itself. Nevertheless, I find the character interactions between Zen, Mitsuhide, Kiki, Obi, and Shirayuki very delightful. I do wish in the short 12 episodes, I was able to see how Kiki become one of Zen’s attendants. There isn’t much screen time for her, and she can be quite forgettable. Zen and Shirayuki is obviously canon, but I’m very much intrigued on Obi’s subtle interest with Shirayuki.
Focusing on the technical details, the art and animation is bearable but quite mediocre and not too impressive even though it’s a production by Bones. I don’t think it’s very surprising that it’s another one of those series whose opening and ending themes are much better than the episode itself. I did enjoy the ending song though, and I’m impressed with the VA cast. Not a fan of Izana’s VA although Ishida Akira does a good job in his other roles (mainly the mainstream shounen roles).
Personally, I am looking forward for the second season, but I’m already itching to read the manga instead because I want to see more interactions between Obi and Shirayuki. (I’m still a fan of the canon pairing, Zen and Shirayuki.) If you are contemplating to watch it, keep in mind there’s no “real” plot as it focuses on the development between characters, and that is plot. If you are into romance with slow development, I don’t think this show is a waste of time. It might be, if you are looking for other genres to compensate for the lack of excitement this show will bring. There’s minimal to no comedy, the action scenes aren’t really “action-y,” and really, the only good thing about it is the romance I suppose.
Sound/VA cast: 3.75/5