Snow White with the Red Hair (赤髪の白雪姫) is a 2015 shōjo, romance, slice-of-life anime series that was produced by Studio Bones and directed by Masahiro Andō with two seasons and twenty-four total episodes. It became a marvellously surprising gem for me when I watched both seasons back in December. I desperately needed a happy distraction, something to make me feel an air of optimism as we shifted into the new year and this anime fulfilled all of that and more. Today, I want to share five reasons why y’all should watch this show if you haven’t picked it up yet.
The story follows a young herbalist named Shirayuki. She resides in the kingdom of Tanbarun and is relatively known for her beautifully flowing apple-red hair. When this unique quality catches the interest of the kingdom’s prince, he demands that she turn herself over to him as his concubine. Disenchanted by his loutish and entitled attitude, Shirayuki chops off her hair, leaving it behind in her humble shop as a gift for the prince. Then she flees to the neighbouring country, where she encounters a dashingly handsome young man and his two childhood chums.
05. Super Easy to Binge-Watch
This is one of the few romance anime that felt so effortless to binge-watch. I could sit down and see five or six episodes in a single sitting and never feel tired or exhausted afterwards. Between the animation style, the whimsical music, the fun characters, and the laid-back vibe of the storytelling, the series practically compels the watcher to keep going.
Most of the time I prefer to binge action-packed or suspenseful titles, but the narrative charm of watching two people build a bond slowly based on continued interactions, mutual respect and understanding, open communication, and the kindness of the people around them is positively inspiring and beautifully comforting. The desire to watch a happy ending occur for everyone becomes wondrously irresistible.
04. Smart Female Characters
There is very little to no fanservice in the anime, which doesn’t create any realm of awkwardness in enjoying the female presences of the series. The women are smart and endearing, if somewhat frightening (depending on the woman) and they all have unique talents that help to set them apart from one another. It felt so exciting to watch ladies being treated like equals to the men in their respective fields.
The chief herbal pharmacist of the royal court is a woman that is intuitive and brilliant, yet a bit spunky and mischievous. She’s always treated with the reverence that her position demands, and she’s never portrayed as being a prideful bitch because of her status. There’s no sense of entitlement to her persona. Another supporting female character is one who helps to train a special species of birds that hunt for unique oceanic rocks while also being used for long aerial communication. This young girl is awkward and cautious of new people but has a delightfully heartfelt love for animals that’s blissfully contagious.
03. Gorgeous Fairy Tale Scenery
One of the main aspects of Snow White with the Red Hair that I was utterly mesmerised with was the gorgeous scenery. The visual aesthetics of the anime almost instantly bolstered my mood from sad and mopey into something livelier and more joyous, enraptured by the fairy tale essence it exuded.
The sweeping landscapes full of vibrant colours is fantastically pleasing, as are the sparkling oceans lined with the beauty of small villages and an enchanting castle overlooking everything. White puffy clouds and green towering trees with filters of sunlight, the abundance of flowers that all the herbalists use in their treatments, the simple elegance of the castle’s interior. All these things work to enhance the cinematic scope of the settings.
02. Comforting Camaraderie
Earnest friendships are probably my biggest weakness when it comes to films and TV serials. The friendships that I had growing up ended up shaping me into the person that I am today and helped me survive the most challenging chapters of my life. So, whenever I see sincere bonds of companionship in the media I consume, it’s an instant shot of pleasure for me, as well as a dose of nostalgia for my mates.
Snow White with the Red Hair has the loveliest friendships. The rapport that Prince Zen has with the two people that’ve vowed to protect him is my favourite. You can tell they’ve spent many years together and undergone a variety of life experiences. The intimacy, honesty, and admiration shared between the trio is remarkable. The closeness that Shirayuki develops with Obi, a dude that eventually becomes her bodyguard of sorts, illustrates the splendour of sweet platonic connections. The way that Zen and his brother engage with one another shows us the royal hierarchy, but at its core is about a big brother helping his little sibling grow and come into his own in a world that can be difficult to navigate as one gets older. The variety of these kinships and the emotions they evoke are supremely excellent.
01. Fabulously Feel-Good
Even with all of these amazing traits, at the end of the day the number one reason to watch Snow White with the Red Hair is the fact that it is fabulously feel-good. Whether it’s the playful music, the interactions between the characters, the settings and scenery, or the slow-burn romance—it’s all beguilingly uplifting.
Shirayuki works really hard to become a court pharmacist and physician via her own hard work and dedication, using each setback as a lesson to learn and grow. This is something I relate to on a deeply personal level as an individual who’s embarking on quite a hard journey for the next few years, one that intimidates me and excites me to no avail. Seeing the optimism with which she tackles the obstacles and difficulties of accomplishing her goals is awesomely motivating and makes me want to apply the same level of enthusiasm in the pursuit of my own ambitions.
The romance that builds between Shirayuki and her love interest is based on open communication and honesty. They talk about their feelings and share a mutual appreciation and respect for each other. There aren’t petty misunderstandings stirring up a pot of unnecessary drama. They trust in one another and learn to both rely on their friendship as well as their own confidences as individuals. It’s such a genuine and healthy depiction of grounded romance and emotional intimacy.
The integrity with which Zen and his brother run their kingdom and the politics that encapsulate said kingdom, along with the people living in it, shows the respect they have for the people they’re charged with caring for, something that is definitely unheard of in the modern political climate. I also appreciate the nonviolent ways that they address corruption and oppression.
All of these things complement the wholesome feel-good ambiance that makes this anime a stellar series all around and contribute to reasons why y’all should definitely take the time to give it a proper watching.
Suffice to say, Snow White with the Red Hair is one of my favourite romance slice-of-life anime. It did everything that I needed it to do for me, and quite a bit more. It helped me forget about the tough stress of life. It gave me hope and motivation to keep on pursuing the things. It made me laugh and smile and helped me enjoy romance with every bit of my heart and soul, which is an astounding feat as I’m usually not a romance loving bloke. So, if you’re in the market for something to instil a bit of optimism and joy into your anime watching shenanigans, you should definitely give this a visit.