Snow White with the Red Hair Season 1 Series Review – I Love It

snow white with the red hair episode 10

Snow White With The Red Hair Overview:

In Snow White with the Red Hair, Shirayuki lives in the kingdom of Tanbarun as a herbalist until one day the Prince (having heard of her unusual hair colour) orders her to become his concubine. Rather than accepting that fate, she cuts off her hair (in a somehow perfectly straight line) and crosses the border into the Kingdom of Clarines. There her story really begins.

Snow White With The Red Hair Review:

Alright, I’m going to admit there will be some gushing in this review o fSnow White With The Red Hair. And no, I won’t argue that this is a ‘perfect’ anime or story but I am going to argue fairly passionately that this is storytelling done well.

Snow White with the Red Hair starts out very Disney. You’ve got your Princess character (though she is of low birth) and the Prince who wants her (although as a concubine so icky). She runs away and through the forest and comes across an empty house, though because she respects break and entry laws she sits outside and waits for the owner to return. We never do find out who actually owns the house, but a boy named Zen and his two attendants come by because they use the house and this is where the story really takes off.

Zen is actually the Prince of Clarines but it isn’t his princliness that get’s Shirayuki’s attention. It is hs general advice about finding her own fate and the two embark on one of the most interesting relationships I’ve probably encountered in romance focussed anime.

Snow White with the Red Hair

Ultimately, this is a love story between Shirayuki and Zen (two of the sweetest and yet well rounded romance anime couples I’ve ever encountered). Both of them have issues, particularly their tendencies to take on everything rather than ask for help, but they are both genuinely striving to improve themselves and to help others.

That said, they aren’t sickly sweet to the point of having no other personality. At times Zen is quite stubborn and childish, even having a temper tantrum after losing both a sparring match and a verbal argument with the first prince of Clarines, Izana. He’s also impulsive but has enough sense to heed the words of his attendants (most of the time).



Shirayuki is the strong female character done right. She doesn’t need to be a violent psychopath, she uses her words and steely determination to get through things and when all else fails she can accept the occasional rescue. Not that I have anything against female characters who fight, but I found it refreshing to have a female lead who could clearly be labelled strong entirely because of her personality. Anyway, I featured Shirayuki way back when I did my top 5 list of female red heads because she is an amazing character.

Even if the rest of the anime stank, the relationship between Zen and Shirayuki would be enough to sell this story. Fortunately, the rest of the anime is pretty good.

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Visually it does look Disney like. From the sweeping shots of the castle in Clarines, the forest sequences, to even the character designs to a point. It is a beautiful anime and has some quite bold colour choices for romance. I normally find romance anime to be a little washed out and faded looking (not all, but a lot), however Snow White goes for some fairly striking colours.

The red hair for Shirayuki is obvious, and the various flowers and herbs being used are quite distinct, but even Zen’s standard blue for clothing and eyes, the forest greens, Obi’s darker brown and greens all draw your attention to whatever the current focus of the scene is. The colours work well and distinguishing mood and characters and are just visually appealing.

The music will sweep you away. While it is all pretty standard fairy-tail fare, it is so perfectly chosen to the story that you can’t help but be moved by it. Even the ending carries such a feeling of hope and a sense of moving forward that you kind of just get drawn on to the next episode before you really think about it.

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The supporting cast are standout. Kiki and Mitsuhide as Zen’s attendants aren’t just there to be there or fill the background of scenes. They are rich and interesting characters in their own right (though you’ll have to watch season 2 for some more specific details about their relationship).

Kiki is a physically strong female, but she is also gentle, caring, occasionally sarcastic (particularly toward Mitsuhide), and proud. Her interactions with Zen, Izana, Mitsuhide, Obi and Shirayuki are always interesting and informative. She’s fairly laconic but her choice of words is quite deliberate  and the voice actress, Kaori Nazuka does an excellent job of conveying more meaning to the audience than just the words themselves. I haven’t watched the English dub but I really hope they managed to preserve Kiki’s character.

Mitsuhide at times comes off as a sound board for the other characters, but his is probably the most interesting relationship with Zen (other than Shirayuki) due to their history. This is hinted at several times early on and directly shown when it is revealed that Mitsuhide is the only one Zen really listens to once he’s made his mind up. Later in the series we get a flashback to Zen’s younger days which not only helps explain some of Zen’s emotional baggage but further elaborates on the relationship between Zen and Mitsuhide.

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Of course, my favourite character is Obi. He’s so funny and he’s a little bit darker than the other characters so regularly makes fun at their expense. He is also the outside of the group, having first tried to scare off Shirayuki before becoming one of Zen’s attendants. This gives him an outsiders perspective on the group and his insights are usually amusing. His fighting style is also pretty impressive, as is his general agility. Possibly my favourite moment from the series (outside of a Zen and Shirayuki scene) came from the scene where Obi was looking after the drunk Shirayuki.

I’d love to write more about the cast (the other herbalists, the first prince, the prince of Tanbarun, the various villains who show up throughout the series, the couple of nobles we meet) but in honesty it would take too long. Basically, the cast works brilliantly and while no one detracts from the central characters, they all have their moment to shine.

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Beyond that, the story itself is always interesting. Yes, this is a romance, but at the same time Shirayuki and Zen are both pursuing their own goals and the romance fits around that. There are episodes focussing on illness and Shirayuki working as a herbalist, episodes that deal with Zen’s childhood, episodes looking at the social status of the Prince and how he is seen by others, and all of this works really well to create a sense of moving forward and makes the moments where Zen and Shirayuki can have a quiet moment together and we see the progress of their relationship even sweeter.

I will say that I’m really glad there was a second season (season 3 where are you) and I will review that separately at some point.

Also, before I wrap this up I do need to add some criticisms.

  1. Why does Shirayuki’s hair not grow at all during the months after she moves to Clarines? Are they trying to suggest she’s cutting it off like that regularly because otherwise there’s no reason for it to still be that short.
  2. How did Shirayuki support herself after moving to Clarines before she passed the test to become a herbalist? She mentions once that she’s going to look for a job but when she finds out about the test she then studies for what seems like it must be weeks but doesn’t work. She has to be paying her rent somehow.

Yeah, they were petty criticisms but they bother me every time I watch this series through.

Anyway, I wouldn’t recommend  this anime to people who only like action or darker anime, but for everyone else, this is a must watch.


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James


Top 5: Romantic Anime (updated July 2021)

Top 5 Romantic Anime

Once again I’m dusting off the list for top 5 Romantic Anime. Will the anime already on the list manages to hold onto their position of have newcomers knocked them down. I last updated the list in 2019 and we had My Love Story, Recovery of an MMO Junkie, Bloom Into You, Snow White With The Red Hair on the list with Kimi ni Todoke taking the top spot.

I’m going to be honest, in the last two years I’ve watched a lot of romantic anime, both old and new, and the list is going to be shaken up a bit as some of my preferences have changed.

As always, I’d love to know what my readers think are the top 5 romantic anime so be sure to leave a comment below.

Please Note – There are spoilers below. You have been warned.

Romantic Anime Number 5: Recovery of an MMO Junkie

I honestly don’t know why this one spoke to me the way it did but I loved this story. Maybe it was the older characters. Maybe it was seeing them fumbling their way toward a relationship.

All I know is that I found Morioka and Sakurai’s relationship utterly charming in this sweet comedy about two fairly awkward human beings. Both on and offline these two are exactly who the other one needs and I really do hope they live happily ever after.

I wouldn’t mind more romantic anime like this that just kind of meandered about sweetly before giving us some smiles at the end.

Romantic Anime Number 4: Given

Given ended up being my favourite romantic anime from 2019 and honestly, it is definitely in fighting position for best of all time, though I feel there’s still quite a bit of story to go beyond what the first season of the anime gave us and the follow-up movie didn’t focus on the main couple.

Still, given I have the main characters hanging on my wall watching over me as I type away on my laptop I’m guessing this anime left a lasting impression.

It is a boy’s love anime but manages to avoid a lot of the usual tropes associated with the genre and instead plays out as a straight forward romance between two pretty awkward teenagers (who are both boys adding another layer of complexity to dealing with their emotions).

This one is sweet and the characters will charm you and the final song will blow you away.

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Romantic Anime Number 3: Akagami no Shirayuki

This one was one I fell instantly in love with. At it’s core it really is a fairy tale romance (hence the Snow White with the Red Hair) title but it is so much more. It has characters that feel fleshed out and real (even if they are all overly sweet at heart) and Shirayuki is perhaps my favourite female lead in any romance.

While Akagamie no Shirayuki has once again not made the top spot, Shirayuki is one of my favourite female leads in a romance ever, as she is confident and self-reliant but still falls in love and has to find the balance in herself.

Partnered with Zen (I still don’t get that name), this is a fantastic couple. Zen isn’t useless so that the girl can show her stuff. He is capable in his own right and has his own life aside from pursuing and saving the girl (though he certainly does do that as well). If you just want something sweet but do not want to see the simpering girl pining for the guy or being dependent on him, this is the romantic anime for you.



Romantic Anime Number 2: Kimi ni Todoke

This show almost defines love story. So Kazehaya and Sawako’s relationship moves incredibly slowly, but it remains the focus of the series even while we see Sawako develop her other relationships and the usual school events (sports carnivals and festivals) occur.

While the slow pace might frustrate some, it feels necessary given initially the large gap between the protagonists experiences and expectations. Besides, even Sawako’s friends agree that if she dated Kazehaya while still feeling indebted to him it wouldn’t really work out.

There is very little unexpected in this story, but the combination of characters and the way it is presented makes this a truly pleasurable watch. Well worth making it to the end of this romantic anime.

Romantic Anime Number 1: Fruits Basket Final Season

I understand that Fruits Basket is so much more than just a romantic anime and there’s a lot of other drama and character developments. That said, while watching The Final Season, while the emotional culmination of all the character journeys was great and finding out about the curse was awesome, the part that blew me away was Kyo and Tohru.

I can’t help it. Any scene with those two together was brilliant and The Final Season gave us so many great moments to choose from. Whether it was Kyo shyly giving Tohru a paper flower in the classroom, the hug through the washing, Kyo’s panicked reaction when… (well watch it) or the final, beautiful moment where the two finally came together…

Or was it when we had the epilogue that went literally forever and showed us the two still together all those years later?

I don’t know but I do know that for the right now Fruits Basket: The Final Season has emotionally blown any other romantic anime out of the water.

What are your favourite romantic anime or did I include yours on the list?


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James


Top 5 Obi Moments From Snow White With The Red Hair

Tuesday's Top 5
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Tuesday’s Top 5 this week features my favourite Obi moments from Snow White With The Red Hair after a conversation I had with Derek following my Up Close post on Zen Wisteria. There is no denying Obi has some scene stealing moments so narrowing it down to just 5 was really hard. Here we go, celebrating this great supporting character. As always, this list is made up of my choices but I’d love to know what you would choose so leave me a comment below.

What is your favourite Obi moment?

This week I’m giving an honourable mention to the following Obi Moment:

The scene where Zen has come back to the castle and Shirayuki, embarrassed and not sure how to face him wants to run. Obi originally stands between them but then he turns and tells Shirayuki to run away. After she does, Obi gives Zen the blunt prompt he needs to chase after her. It’s moments like these that make you realise how well Obi is looking out for these two.

Snow White With The Red Hair - Obi

Number 5:

Now I know a lot of people would place this moment higher, and it is a good moment, but for me it doesn’t stand out as much as some of Obi’s, however number 5 is when Obi takes care of Shirayuki when she gets drunk. It is fantastic seeing him joking around with her, trying to keep his distance while still keeping her safe, and mostly just trying to get to the bottom of what was really upsetting Shirayuki.

It is a really precious moment between the pair and it also leads to a fairly solid moment between Obi and Zen, so I can see why this would be a lot of people’s favourite Obi moment.

Snow White With The Red Hair - Obi looks after Shirayuki

Number 4:

I love seeing Obi in action, even if I do believe he should actually have broken his bones on multiple occasions after jumping off of walls or out of trees. He’s still cool to watch. There’s a fight early on in season two between Obi and Zen because Obi has decided he wants to accompany Shirayuki when she returns to Raj’s Kingdom.

The fight is fantastic and shows off both Zen and Obi in action while also making it clear that while Obi has affection for Shirayuki and wants to keep her safe, he knows he’s keeping her safe for Zen. It’s an Obi moment where he really stands up.

Snow White With The Red Hair - Obi and Zen Fight

Number 3:

Alright, this one just made me laugh out loud. Obi is still fairly new in his whole role in the castle and he’s accompanied Shirayuki to the tower by the lake for the test with the bird. The noble guy, having thrown the whistle off the tower thinks he has won and then Shirayuki just jumps in right after it. Obi’s expression as he sees the girl he’s meant to be protecting plummet past the window is pretty priceless. It also shows that while Obi is great in combat he also provides great comic relief in this anime without being too over the top.

Snow White With The Red Hair - Obi watches Shirayuki Fall

Number 2:

Now we get to the tricky ones where I really struggled to split one and two. That’s probably because they both come fairly close together but they are both independently important Obi moments. At number 2 I have Obi struggling with his feelings. He likes Shirayuki. That is really obvious. And while he remains playfully affectionate around her and maintains a distance knowing she’s with Zen, there’s definitely an internal struggle.

Seeing that coming to a head and seeing Obi trying to sort his feelings about Zen, about Shirayuki, about his life since joining Zen is fantastic and it is lovely to see a supporting character getting such a great amount of development. That said, I can totally see why some people ship Shirayuki and Obi, but I’m very much for Zen and Shirayuki with Obi continuing to support the both of them; I really like that dynamic.

Snow White With The Red Hair - Obi

Number 1:

I had to give number one to a combat scene. As much as Obi plays a variety of other roles, he is at his best in a fight and there’s a fight in season two where we see Obi unleashed. After Shirayuki is kidnapped Obi drops the playful persona he’s adopted while in the castle and he goes after her.

Of course it isn’t as easy as fetch the girl and instead we see Obi get caught up in a fight. It is over quickly but it is an awesome fight and I absolutely love Obi’s expression during the entire sequence. We almost never see him that serious and it was fantastic.

Snow White With The Red Hair - Obi goes to fight

And that’s my list this week but as I said, I’d love to know what your favourite moments are with Obi so please leave a comment below and let’s celebrate such an amazing character.


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James


Friday’s Feature: It’s In His Kiss

As much as I love my action, dystopian futures, horror stories, and generally violent adventures, deep down inside I have a soft spot for a well told romance story. This comes from an upbringing of watching family friendly romantic comedies with my mother on weekends while folding piles of washing or ironing or other incredibly boring chores but the laughs and sweet stories of all those girls finding their one true love definitely left an impact. Now, if I have a choice of romance or action, I’ll probably pick the action, but every now and then I’m just in the mood for something a little bit sweeter and then out come the romances.

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However, as I sought out anime romances, one thing became incredibly clear to me. There are very few romances that fall into a moderate category. Romances either present as beautiful stories of chaste characters who blush at the mere sight of one another or they present as stories with super aggressive characters who rapidly push the age rating and most people’s comfort zones. And while every now and then we’ll stumble across a story of characters who will actually just fall in love and be a couple, the more common scenario is watching twenty to forty episodes with a couple who have barely managed to hold hands.

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Yes, it is the third season after a 13 year gap, but Sousuke and Kaname finally confidently hold hands.

What this leaves us with, however, is a story that starts reading all sorts of things into fairly mundane actions. The ‘indirect’ kiss nonsense that comes up time and again is one particular example that really makes me roll my eyes. While admittedly, characters probably shouldn’t be drinking out of the same water bottle or sharing a straw or whatever (have these characters never considered glandular fever) the sheer fuss they put up about the possibility of an ‘indirect’ kiss is just insane sometimes. These characters literally melt into puddles of stammering and half the time end up dropping or knocking over the thing they were supposed to eat or drink.

Indirect Kiss.jpg

While this sequence is cute enough in one or two stories, by the time you see it play out again and again and again (don’t believe me, check out the TV Tropes page for indirect kisses and the anime examples) and it ultimately all just gets a bit silly.

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One of my favourite anime romances, Kimi ni Todoke, suffers from being one of those impossibly ridiculous stories. Sawako is a stammering mess of insecurities and doesn’t believe Kazehaya could ever have feelings for her. As a result, when it is first suggested she should date him she flat out states it is impossible. She doesn’t give him the gifts she makes him. She eventually can’t even meet his eyes. All and all, she does everything possible to make herself a cliche shoujo heroine and the type that under most circumstances would drive me half-way up the wall. I don’t know why she doesn’t because I do know that by the end of season one I wanted to slap her for not actually just kissing the guy at the shrine. Nope, you will have to wait until the end of season two before these two will actually kiss and even then, that is as far as their relationship is going. Thirty plus episodes and they finally manage a kiss. Two characters who have been in love with each other since nearly the beginning. To say the pace of that relationship progress was glacial would be being generous.

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Now not every anime romance is quite so insanely slow or chaste. Still, it is interesting how much emphasis is put on the notion of kissing your partner. In some ways it is kind of refreshing and it feels nice to know that the emotional connection between the characters is getting more emphasis then the number of times they can get the characters into the bedroom. Also nice to know that there is a focus on the narrative behind the romance rather than just showing us the characters making out. I appreciate both of these things. At the same time, like with everything else, when there isn’t a variety of relationships and relationship types being shown, it risks normalising some behaviours, marginalising some viewers, and ultimately not providing options so the argument if you don’t like it, don’t watch it, ceases to have weight.

Because a great many people want to watch romance and anime. They may not be after the super shoujo high school girl who blushes to the tips of her ears when a guy picks up her eraser, but they’d like to see a relationship unfold.

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Part of this was why I really enjoyed My Love Story. The protagonist was a male, rather then the girl, and the confession was over and done with four episodes in. The story was about them learning how to be in a relationship rather than getting to the relationship. That doesn’t mean they moved any faster given how long it took them to accomplish hand-holding and the protagonist kissed his best friend (with the aid of some cling wrap) long before he got around to trying to kiss his girlfriend but it still felt a bit different from so many other love stories.

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It was also why I was so puzzled by the number of people who tried to play down Yuri and Victor’s relationship in Yuri on Ice. The ones who claim it wasn’t a kiss and they aren’t engagement rings. Given how little physical connections characters in other ‘romance’ anime have, Yuri on Ice was outright explicit in showing off that relationship. Those two were hugging nearly from the beginning and if hungry stares are the staple of most relationships, just watch Yuri before he starts any one of his skates as he meets eyes with Victor. The average female protagonist has got nothing on that look across the ice and if it was being directed at her she’d probably claim she’d gotten pregnant on the spot.

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Admit it, you want him to be looking at you right now.

Although, the mis-information about pregnancy and sex that comes across in some anime is also a little bit alarming. I kind of get why it happens culturally but at the same time I don’t think girls claiming they’ll get pregnant from kissing a guy really helps get the right kind of information across to people. I’d suggest you not learn sex-ed from anime in the first place, but at the very least they should try to stamp out the more pervasive myths that get flung about.

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However, personal thoughts about romance aside, one thing anime does very well, is really makes those rare scenes, the kiss between the heroine and her hero, truly melting moments. Maybe it is the long wait for it, the build up, the anticipation. Maybe it is the sound tracks, the soft lighting, the sparkles. Whatever it is, one thing I know is that when a couple in anime finally get together and they finally lean in for that kiss, I know I’m usually on the edge of my seat and once or twice I’ve applauded.

Question:

Who was your favourite anime couple and what episode of their anime did they finally kiss in?


Thanks for reading.

Karandi James

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Top 5: Questions I’d Like To Ask While Watching Snow White with the Red Hair

Tuesday's Top 5

There’s a mouthful of a list name and I know I recently did my top 5 Zen and Shirayuki moments from season 1 after doing a rewatch of the show. However, while watching Snow White with the Red Hair I also came up with a lot of questions for the characters that I’d just love to ask so I finally decided to put them in a top 5 list.

Any question you want to ask of this show? Or is there another anime that’s just left you with a whole bunch of questions you would like answered?

So what are the top 5 questions I’d like to ask while watching Snow White With The Red Hair?

Please Note – There will be spoilers below.

Honourable mentions this week: Why is every sunset picturesque? Seriously, every single one. Secondly, where is the king of Clarines? Izana is a Prince and Zen is the second prince, but where is the King and why isn’t he having any say in the goings on in the palace?

Number 5: Why does Shirayuki’s hair never get any longer?

Question I'd like to ask while watching Snow What With The Red Hair - why doesn't your hair ever get longer?

I get that she cuts her hair in episode 1 (through the extremely silly method of tying it up, pulling it over her shoulder and then snipping it – does she know how uneven and lopsided that would make the cut) but after that her hair never grows an inch. I’m never entirely sure of the time frame for the events in this anime but realistically she should either have to keep trimming her hair to keep it that length or it should be growing back. Yet, nothing. Magic hair.

Number 4: Why is Obi never injured after jumping and or falling so far?

watching Snow White with the Red Hair - ask Obi.

Given this show fairly realistically limits the character actions to things humans are actually capable of, and injures them appropriately for even minor falls and scrapes, how does Obi not have multiple broken bones. Is it like he’s the only character who gets to apply standard anime physics to his actions? Because, more than once, he is either knocked off of or jumps off of a roof, castle wall, balcony, etc and he pretty much never sustains an injury from the landing. As much as I love Obi, a few times I just kind of wanted to see him at least sprain an ankle.



Number 3: What happens to the other apprentice herbalist?

Herbalist

When Shirayuki did the exam there were two apprentices taken on. Shrayuki got assigned to Ryu and the other one… Do we ever even see him again? Possibly he just works in another wing of the medical building but as far as I can tell we just literally never see him again. Why even have a second person pass the exam if they aren’t going to do anything in the story?

Number 2: How does Shirayuki pay for her room and board while in Clarines?

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Shirayuki arrives in Clarines and she’s boarding in a room. She says herself she needs to find work so that she can afford to eat and goes to the local herbalist. There she finds out about the exam and we know she then studies for that. In the meantime, what is her source of income? We only really see her going with Zen to various places and studying herbs. Is she working? If not, how is she eating?

Number 1: Why doesn’t Prince Izana understand how sleeves work?

Seriously, if Izana wants a cloak or a cape, why not just wear one?  I don’t think he ever wears his jacket as a jacket in the entire first season. The sleeves are just hanging off the side, completely ignored and useless. This is really impractical and fairly silly when you think about it. Okay, I got a little distracted by this particular choice in fashion by the first prince. But really, why?

Your turn. What questions would you like to ask of Snow White with the Red Hair, or any anime?


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James


Snow White with the Red Hair Season 1 Series Review – The Sweetest of Love Stories Begins

snow white with the red hair episode 10

Snow White With The Red Hair Overview:

In Snow White with the Red Hair, Shirayuki lives in the kingdom of Tanbarun as a herbalist until one day the Prince (having heard of her unusual hair colour) orders her to become his concubine. Rather than accepting that fate, she cuts off her hair (in a somehow perfectly straight line) and crosses the border into the Kingdom of Clarines.

There her story really begins and an adorable take on this fairy tale opens up to us all.

Click here for more anime reviews.

Snow White With The Red Hair Review:

Alright, I’m going to admit there will be some gushing in this review of Snow White with the Red Hair. And no, I won’t argue that this is a ‘perfect’ anime or story but I am going to argue fairly passionately that this is storytelling done well.

Snow White with the Red Hair starts out very Disney.

You’ve got your Princess character (though she is of low birth) and the Prince who wants her (although as a concubine so icky). She runs away and through the forest and comes across an empty house, though because she respects break and entry laws she sits outside and waits for the owner to return.

We never do find out who actually owns the house, but a boy named Zen and his two attendants come by because they use the house and this is where the story really takes off. Zen is actually the Prince of Clarines but it isn’t his princliness that get’s Shirayuki’s attention. It is his general advice about finding her own fate and the two embark on one of the most interesting relationships I’ve probably encountered in romance focussed anime.

Seriously, they are adorable and if you don’t believe me check out my picks for favourite Zen and Shirayuki moments (though you’ll probably appreciate them more if you’ve watched the anime and love the characters as much as I do).

Snow White With The Red Hair - the main cast

Ultimately, Snow White With The Red Hair is a love story between Shirayuki and Zen (two of the sweetest and yet well rounded romance anime couples I’ve ever encountered). Both of them have issues, particularly their tendencies to take on everything rather than ask for help, but they are both genuinely striving to improve themselves and to help others.

That said, they aren’t sickly sweet to the point of having no other personality.

At times Zen is quite stubborn and childish, even having a temper tantrum after losing both a sparring match and a verbal argument with the first prince of Clarines, Izana. He’s also impulsive but has enough sense to heed the words of his attendants (most of the time).



Shirayuki is the strong female character done right. She doesn’t need to be a violent psychopath, she uses her words and steely determination to get through things and when all else fails she can accept the occasional rescue. Not that I have anything against female characters who fight, but I found it refreshing to have a female lead who could clearly be labelled strong entirely because of her personality.

Anyway, I featured Shirayuki way back when I did my top 5 list of female red heads because she is an amazing character and she totally deserves recognition.

Even if the rest of Snow White With The Red Hair was somehow subpar, the relationship between Zen and Shirayuki would be enough to sell this story. Fortunately, the rest of the anime is actually pretty good.

Snow White With The Red Hair - prince Zen to the rescue.

Visually it does look Disney like.

From the sweeping shots of the castle in Clarines, the forest sequences, to even the character designs to a point. It is a beautiful anime and has some quite bold colour choices for romance. I normally find romance anime to be a little washed out and faded looking (not all, but a lot), however Snow White with the Red Hair goes for some fairly striking colours.

The red hair for Shirayuki is obvious, and the various flowers and herbs being used are quite distinct, but even Zen’s standard blue for clothing and eyes, the forest greens, Obi’s darker brown and greens all draw your attention to whatever the current focus of the scene is. The colours work well and distinguishing mood and characters and are just visually appealing.

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The music will sweep you away. While it is all pretty standard fairy-tail fare, it is so perfectly chosen to the story that you can’t help but be moved by it. Even the ending carries such a feeling of hope and a sense of moving forward that you kind of just get drawn on to the next episode before you really think about it.

Snow White With The Red hair

The supporting cast are standout. Kiki and Mitsuhide as Zen’s attendants aren’t just there to be there or fill the background of scenes. They are rich and interesting characters in their own right (though you’ll have to watch season 2 for some more specific details about their relationship).

Kiki is a physically strong female, but she is also gentle, caring, occasionally sarcastic (particularly toward Mitsuhide), and proud. Her interactions with Zen, Izana, Mitsuhide, Obi and Shirayuki are always interesting and informative. She’s fairly laconic but her choice of words is quite deliberate  and the voice actress, Kaori Nazuka does an excellent job of conveying more meaning to the audience than just the words themselves.

I haven’t watched the English dub of Snow White With The Red Hair but I really hope they managed to preserve Kiki’s character.

Mitsuhide at times comes off as a sound board for the other characters, but his is probably the most interesting relationship with Zen (other than Shirayuki) due to their history. This is hinted at several times early on and directly shown when it is revealed that Mitsuhide is the only one Zen really listens to once he’s made his mind up.

Later in the series we get a flashback to Zen’s younger days which not only helps explain some of Zen’s emotional baggage but further elaborates on the relationship between Zen and Mitsuhide.

Snow White With The Red Hair - Obi and Shirayuki

Of course, my favourite character in Snow White With The Red Hair is Obi. He’s so funny and he’s a little bit darker than the other characters so regularly makes fun at their expense. He is also the outside of the group, having first tried to scare off Shirayuki before becoming one of Zen’s attendants.

This gives him an outsiders perspective on the group and his insights are usually amusing. His fighting style is also pretty impressive, as is his general agility. Possibly my favourite moment from the series (outside of a Zen and Shirayuki scene) came from the scene where Obi was looking after the drunk Shirayuki.

I’d love to write more about the cast (the other herbalists, the first prince, the prince of Tanbarun, the various villains who show up throughout the series, the couple of nobles we meet) but in honesty it would take too long. Basically, the cast works brilliantly and while no one detracts from the central characters, they all have their moment to shine.

Snow White With The Red Hair

Beyond that, the story itself is always interesting. Yes, this is a romance, but at the same time Shirayuki and Zen are both pursuing their own goals and the romance fits around that.

There are episodes in Snow White With The Red Hair focussing on illness and Shirayuki working as a herbalist, episodes that deal with Zen’s childhood, episodes looking at the social status of the Prince and how he is seen by others, and all of this works really well to create a sense of moving forward and makes the moments where Zen and Shirayuki can have a quiet moment together and we see the progress of their relationship even sweeter.

I will say that I’m really glad there was a second season (season 3 where are you) and it does a great job of continuing this story and the relationships that have been established here.

Also, before I wrap this up I do need to add some criticisms just so it doesn’t feel like I was just having a gush about Snow White with The Red Hair without really looking objectively at it.

Why does Shirayuki’s hair not grow at all during the months after she moves to Clarines? Are they trying to suggest she’s cutting it off like that regularly because otherwise there’s no reason for it to still be that short.

How did Shirayuki support herself after moving to Clarines before she passed the test to become a herbalist? She mentions once that she’s going to look for a job but when she finds out about the test she then studies for what seems like it must be weeks but doesn’t work. She has to be paying her rent somehow.

Yeah, they were petty criticisms but they bother me every time I watch Snow White With The Red Hair through. Still, I did have some more questions after a few rewatches and it more shows me how much I love this anime given how silly they are.

Anyway, I wouldn’t recommend  this anime to people who only like action or darker anime, but for everyone else, this is a must watch.


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James


Top 5 Most Fun Anime Titles from Studio Bones

Tuesday's Top 5

I was a fair way into being an obsessed anime fan before I really started paying attention to which studio was responsible for an anime. However, Studio Bones was an exception to that rule.

Even early on in my anime watching days, I found time and time again when watching an anime that I thought it was amazing that it just happened to be from Studio Bones. So in recent years I have actively sought out anime from the studio and I’ve rarely been disappointed. Though since their obsession with the My Hero Academia franchise I’ve not found quite as many modern Bones titles that have really hit the mark.

My criteria for this list was fun. So there are some anime from Studio Bones that won’t be on the list that I am certain some of you will wonder what I was thinking. For instance you won’t find Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood on the list below because fun isn’t the first word I would use to describe that series. It’s awesome, don’t get me wrong, but this list is about fun.

As always, feel free to add your nominations in the comments. Eventually I will just have to do a best show list but I’m definitely avoiding that at the moment. Way too hard to make a decision about which is the best anime overall. But fun? That I can rank.

Please Note – There are spoilers below. You have been warned.

Fun Anime From Studio Bones No 5: Boku no Hero Academia

It was definitely the fun feeling that exploded from the early episodes of My Hero Academia that won me over. I wasn’t looking for a new anime or a show about superheroes and I really only intended to watch a couple of episodes, do a write up and move on. However, there is some great energy in this show and while the characters are serious, the show itself doesn’t take itself too seriously.

That said, I’m still kind of on break from continuing on with the most recent series of My Hero Academia feeling a bit of hero fatigue to be honest and diminishing returns on the fun to be found. Still, the first season is pretty brilliant and a very good time to watch and I’d wholly recommend it.

That said, Studio Bones spends a lot of time on My Hero Academia these days and I’ve definitely felt the absence of some of their more interesting titles getting follow ups or even just new and interesting properties appearing during the season. That isn’t to say they aren’t making other anime but just that I don’t jump in delight at a new Bones title the way I used to.

Fun Anime From Studio Bones No. 4: Akagami no Shirayuki-Hime

While this is a different kind of fun to My Hero Academia, as Studio Bones delivers a refreshing return to the childhood days of classic Disney.

Those who have followed my blog for a long time will know I love Snow White With the Red Hair and particularly love the main pair, Shirayuki and Zen. Though the supporting cast are pretty awesome having given us Obi, among others.

This anime isn’t a self-aware, tongue in cheek, sassy modern female takes on the clichés of the past, but it is a strong and very real female lead tackling the trials of being in a classic fairytale setting with dignity and it is just fun to watch. Although, fun in this case relates more to watching the budding romance than to any of the action in the series.



Fun Anime From Studio Bones No. 3: Ouran High School Host Club

This is a list about fun, so here they are. Ouran High School Host Club. Ready to entertain. While you can certainly argue that this isn’t the best anime around, it is fun to watch which a likeable cast, some obvious but amusing gags, and a generally light tone as the club goes about it’s business.

There are some genuine moments of human drama (and then there are all the times they just blow situations out of proportion) but mostly it’s great for a few laughs and a marathon watch.

It also brings us some great characters including an interesting female lead and one of my favourite sets of anime twins ever.

Fun Anime Title from Studio Bones No 2: Soul Eater

The choice between number 1 and 2 for this list was really hard.

Soul Eater is a near perfect blend of goofy, over the top violence, comedic moments and then serious action set pieces and drama. At times it moves at break neck pace through a series of set ups and punch lines and at others it finds ways to include visual humour or some really sharp satire in a more dramatic moment.

It’s one of my all time favourite anime from Studio Bones and in general. It also includes Maka, one of my favourite female characters ever. Yet, it still lost out in the ranks of most fun for two simple reasons. It’s run time as the middle of the series kind of drags before it finds its momentum again to lead to the climax is the first reason. The second is the climax itself. Wow, does this series need a do-over to fix that final battle.

Soul Eater, great fun but please let this story get a full reboot at some point. It totally deserves it.

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Fun Anime From Studio Bones No. 1: Noragami

It had to be Noragami.

I don’t think I have ever had this much fun while watching an anime through the first time. From the opening songs, to the crazy phantom designs, Yato’s everyday personality contrasted with his serious side, the other gods, the weapons, the sheer over the topness of everything, I just fell in love with the humour in this show.

Favourite moment is the episode where this guy jumps off a building and Yato shows up and they just have this normal conversation while falling to the ground. I get that it is entirely subjective, but this is an anime I happily recommend to people who don’t watch anime and they love it.

I love the energy, the characters, the pacing, and just how enjoyable it is to watch. The two seasons are each only 12 episodes and it doesn’t feel like they finished the story yet, so unlike Soul Eater it doesn’t have that crushing let down of an ending and it’s left us wanting more even while each season resolves at least one part of the character’s dilemmas.

Regardless, Noragami is definitely my number 1 anime for fun from Studio Bones or anyone else.

So, what would you have had on your list as the most fun title from studio bones?


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James