September 21, 2017

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Snow White with the Red Hair

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Snow White with the Red Hair is a romantic fantasy comic about a girl who has exceptionally beautiful red hair.The heroine’s name is Snow White ( Shirayuki in Japanese), but that is the only similarity between the fairytale Snow White and the comic which is an original story. The story takes place in a fictional kingdom called Tanbarun, a place reminiscent of the medieval era. The heroine is a pharmacist who specializes in herbal medicine. One day, due to the beauty of her hair, she was chosen to be the mistress of one of the kingdom’s princes. As she could not refuse, she fled the kingdom rather than be forced into a life of servitude. During her flight, she befriends the second prince of a neighboring kingdom and ends up working in his country.

The comic is fascinating in many ways. First, the personality of heroine, Shirayuki, is very interesting. She wants to be who she is, she did not want to live in a gilded cage with someone she didn’t love. Also, she is not the kind of heroine who is beautiful and fragile, spending all her time singing songs, waiting for  her knight in shining armor to come to the rescue. She is not needy or weak, but rather independent, trying to cultivate her sense of self by relying on her own strength and not depending on men to save her. Even though on her travels she meets a prince, she will remain true to who she is.

Another intriguing aspect of heroine’s personality is how she sees people for their intrinsic value rather than the title they hold. She treats people of all classes equally.

The illustrations are drawn with a very delicate and sensitive touch and are quite beautiful. The illustrations of the castles, clothing, accessories, and animals are gorgeous. The clothings are akin to those in the medieval era in Europe, but are simplified and look quite cute.

The comic has been published in the comic magazine, LaLa since 2011, and is ongoing. 14 volumes of graphic novels have been published. An anime adaptation of the comic aired between July and September of this year. The second series of the anime will air in January 2016.

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