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Why I don’t care about the romance in Akagami no Shirayuki-hime (but I do care about the shipping)

FLt1hvMZen and Shirayuki’s relationship is supposed to be the heart and soul of Akagami no Shirayuki-hime, but for some reason their interactions have always left me slightly cold. It’s a strange conundrum, because Akagami no Shirayuki-hime is everything I told myself I wanted out of a shojo romance: a story where the main characters actually communicate and are not douchebags/morons.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about the manga is how Sorata Akizuki goes out of her way to infuse those old fairytale tropes with a modern, egalitarian spirit. Zen might be a dashing prince who falls for a commoner, but instead of eloping with Shirayuki or turning her into a princess, the story is all about Shirayuki rising to Zen’s level of esteem through her hard work and merit.

On closer inspection, the egalitarian message clashes with the story’s setting. Monarchism and egalitarianism don’t mix well, after all. But of course, Akagami no Shirayuki-hime is not really making a point about social equality. It is simply trying to sell a fantasy about a kind prince from a utopian kingdom to a modern audience, for whom gender equality has become a romantic ideal.

This is the main reason why I don’t find the romance in Akagami no Shirayuki-hime interesting. It is the kind of story that sets out to reaffirm what the audience believes about romance instead of challenging our preconceptions. This is not to say that I think Akagami no Shirayuki-hime is a bad series, because it is exceptionally well-crafted comfort food. But it does mean that I enjoy it primarily for the relaxing atmosphere instead of its romantic moments. Every time Zen and Shirayuki display their enormous trust in each other, I think, “This would be great for a couple in real life, but as fiction it’s boring.”

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My Waifu/Husbando of Winter 2016

The season has only just started, but it’s never too early to pick out a favourite waifu and husbando.

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Froggy’s Top Anime of 2015

vlcsnap-2015-10-12-21h12m21s164Hello, everybody! It’s that time of the year again! Time for anime bloggers to write long posts and poop on each other’s tastes.

This year, it was surprisingly easy to throw together a top 5 anime list. You see, I only finished about 5 anime. As I will explain in tomorrow’s post, this has a lot to do with my shifting interests as a blogger. If you want opinions on the latest shows, there are plenty of other blogs and reviewing sites you can go to. Personally, I don’t think that I add much new to the discussion.

But oh well, this post is for anime, so here we go!

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Why I’m Hyped for Akagami no Shirayuki-hime Season 2

tumblr_static_tumblr_static_aslbuttxvooo8kwo4sks0gs8o_640Akagami no Shirayuki-hime was a really pleasant, easy-to-watch show, but only towards the end of the season did it start to feel like it was going somewhere. Let me explain.

The narrative progression of Akagami no Shirayuki-hime is a bit all over the place. There’s a charming story about how Shirayuki chooses to become a court herbalist, but once she succeeds in that goal, the plot ambles for a while. At some point, the story ends up being more about Zen and his past than it is about the titular heroine.

Towards the end of the first season, however, Zen and Shirayuki’s struggles start to come together. Their romance (and the underlying conflict around their class differences) serves as a way for them to share each other’s burdens. Shirayuki’s journey as a court herbalist is no longer just about proving what she can do for her own sake. She now has to prove herself in front of the entire kingdom.

Season 1 feels like the calm before the storm. Season 2 is when I expect things to get real.

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The Music of Rokka no Yuusha and Akagami no Shirayuki-hime

vlcsnap-2015-07-13-23h42m56s224Let’s talk about some Summer 2015 anime.

Rokka no Yuusha and Akagami no Shirayuki-hime are my two fantasy anime picks for this season. They’re set in very different fantasy worlds (the former appears to be inspired by the Mayan and Aztec civilisations, while the latter draws from European fairytales), but both convey a sense of wonderment and majesty that is difficult to encapsulate in words. Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the two series share the same soundtrack composer – Michiru Ooshima, one of the most talented ladies in the business.

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