I watched Akagami no Shirayuki-hime and quite liked it

October 2, 2015

In my early views of the season I listed Akagami no Shirayuki-hime as 'not for me' after watching two episodes. Recently I decided to pick it up again, partly because this season leaves me bored during the week and partly because it kept getting praised on Twitter. I wound up quite liking it.

Part of the problem the show has is best exemplified by an Evirus tweet to me in reaction to my watching it:

@cks_anime How many kidnappings are you up to now?

If you saw only the first couple of episodes, what you'd expect from the rest of the show is the typical otome-game pattern where Shirayuki would keep getting kidnapped and then rescued by a succession of men who would wind up orbiting her and perhaps snarling at each other. This is not what happens at all. Instead the kidnappings in the first two episodes are the only instances. From episode 3 onward, Shirayuki pretty much handles her own problems. Nor is there any romantic tension; it's very clear that Shirayuki and Zen are a couple.

Shirayuki-hime is not your typical romance show, or indeed your typical show at all; I summarized it as 'charming'. Some people will dislike it, because it doesn't really have conflicts, tension, or dramatics over the romance. Basically all problems that come up are cleared away by the end of the episode (or at most the end of the next episode), and to enjoy the show you have to be able to enjoy watching Shirayuki relentlessly and charmingly clear away every obstacle in her way through optimism, hard work, and stubborn refusal to yield.

(I'm serious about that. Shirayuki bulldozes every single obstacle in her way over the course of the show, regardless of what it is. She may be very nice but absolutely no one who gets in her way has any chance of success.)

I found the whole thing just what I was in the mood for. Shirayuki and Zen both came across as far more mature and sure of themselves than the typical romance story protagonists, the romance progresses satisfactorily, and pretty much all the characters are nicely drawn (even if they're not deep or conflicted) and I enjoyed spending time with them. The show is not afraid to be a bit subtle with stuff. Mind you, there were things I didn't entirely like and I suspect that my enjoyment was increased by being able to batch-watch it.

There is going to be a second cour of Akagami no Shirayuki-hime and apparently it's going to avoid the curse of other romance shows and not introduce stupid artificial tension to prolong things. (I went on a Twitter rant about Marmalade Boy doing just that.)

On Twitter, see 1, 2, and 3. Also.

Written on 02 October 2015.
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Last modified: Fri Oct 2 19:40:46 2015
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