I like romance, theres no shame in that. But I like substance to my romance. I like depth, I like character, I like some realism, a little fantasy. And I want a story I can be proud of, something I don’t mind sharing because I know deep down it was good.
Snow White with the Red Hair is all of the above.
Now I’m going to begin this review comparing it to another anime/manga, specially Kamisama Kiss.
Why doesn’t Kamisama Kiss get it’s own review post? Because it absolutely does not meet the requirements I listed above. I’m not proud of it. And when I mentioned realism before, I wasn’t saying I disregard fantasy settings. I’m talking about realistic scenarios, realistic reactions, realistic conversations. And Kamisama Kiss fails on this.
My biggest issue with KK is the main character Nanami. To quickly sum up the story, she becomes the god of a local shrine, a fox spirit Tomoe tends to her, hijinks, love, etc. But my problem with Nanami is her character. Throughout the story, time and time again, she never sees her self worth, and constantly sacrifices herself for others, usually men. She constantly risks her life, because she deems hers less important.
And the worst part? The men eat this up. They love how self sacrificing she is, and they all fall in love with her for it. Which makes the moral of KK to be: forget yourself, everyone else matters more, and in doing so, everyone will love you.
It actually took me a while to recognize this. I was thinking about female characters that inspire me, and at first I looked to Nanami, since she had the love and affection of everyone she met. But her personality, her self worth, they’re non existent. She teaches us that low confidence is the key, which reminds me way too much of that One Direction song (You don’t know you’re beautiful).
And so having mentioned the issues I took with KK, I can now tell you my feelings about SWwtRH (you know, lets just go with SW).
I don’t want to tell the whole plot really, I’d love for you to watch and let it unfold for yourself. But to summarize, Shirayuki finds herself working as an herbalist apprentice for a neighboring kingdom and love blossoms between her and prince Zen.
I will first admit that any story involving herbalism automatically has my attention, as its a hobby of mine that I rarely see in anime. But what kept me watching, and overall made me fall in love with SW were the characters, the story, the relationships. Okay so I guess everything.
Yes there is some fantasy, Shirayuki finds herself kidnapped a few times, which does satisfy the romantic in me. But every time, Shirayuki steps up to the plate; figures out a way to escape or be helpful or tend to others, and the feminist in me loves that. She isn’t helpless, far from it. She’s knowledgeable and cunning, and willing to take risks.
And the love story? Oh man, its sweet, its satisfying, its realistic. Unlike KK, theres never issues of one character acting angry and not expressing their feelings. It’s slow and takes its time, but it’s never frustrating.
Snow White with the Red Hair is something I am so glad I watched, and I’m proud of it. I’m proud of the show for making Shirayuki her own woman, who without Zen is still her own person with a real personality. She’s someone I can look up to.
And being able to watch a show that also made me blush and giggle was pretty nice too.