Sunday, November 15, 2015

Akagami no Shirayukihime

Akagami no Shirayukihime is basically a love story anime series which is adapted from a manga.  It occurs in a time and land where commoners live in various kingdoms which are ruled by Princes.   The story follows a particular girl named Shirayuki and a Prince named Zen.   Shirayuki is a girl with a gift for plants and healing, whose dream is to become an herbalist.  She seems to be the only person in her land with bright red hair, so she comes to the notice of the Prince of her kingdom, Raj, who decides to make her his concubine.  

Shirayuki cuts her hair short and runs away.  While fleeing she comes across Zen, an adventurous Prince of the neighboring kingdom.  Zen is accompanied by two people who are both his guardians/retainers and his friends, Kiki and Mitsuhide.  Raj sends poisoned apples to Shirayuki, thinking that she'll have to come to him for the antidote.  Zen is poisoned by one of the apples instead of Sihirayuki, and she goes to recover the antidote.  She and Zen manage to successfully get hold of the antidote from Raj and cure Zen, and Shirayuki decides to accompany Zen-tachi back to their kingdom to pursue her future.

In Zen’s kingdom, Shirayuki works to pass the herbalist entrance exam and become a court herbalist.  She succeeds in this and becomes friends with another young court herbalist named Ryuu.  She enjoys her training as an herbalist, her life in the castle, and her friendship with Zen, but she has an uphill battle for acceptance by others in the Court, including Zen’s older brother, the ruling Prince, Izana.   Being a commoner, most of the Court discourages her friendship with Zen.

The story here in this short anime series is basically a slice-of-court-life story.  Various obstacles are encountered and surmounted, by both Zen and Shirayuki.   For example a man named Obi is hired to frighten Shirayuki away from Zen, and instead he becomes Zen’s retainer and Shirayuki’s guard.   On another occasion, Shirayuki goes with Zen-tachi to another town and discovers that the outbreak of disease in the guards in the castle there is not accidental but is being caused deliberately.  She successfully figures out the disease and cause while she’s treating the sick soldiers and then finds a cure for them.   Several story arcs demonstrate her herbalist skills.
Both Shirayuki and Zen mature and learn during the series, and as the series goes along they finally realize they love each other.  The series ends without really exploring how that will work between the Prince and commoner, but it ends with them happily continuing on their daily lives, knowing they love each other.  Another season is planned so perhaps they’ll go into this more.

I enjoyed this series even though it was really predictable.  The anime style is nice and the character interactions are fun enough to watch to keep me watching.  There’s no seriously deep meaning or conflicts or tragedy, just a nice handling of everyday difficulties by some mostly likable characters.  I imagine I’ll watch the second season if they have one.   

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