Artist: Akiduki (Akizuki) Sorata
Publisher: Hakusensh (Licensed in Taiwan/China)
6 Vol (Ongoing as of post)
Genres: Romance, Comedy, Fantasy, Drama
Plot: Shirayuki was born with extremely rare and beautiful red hair. When the Prince of her home country asks her to become his concubine, she decides to run away from her home. While making her escape through a forest, Shirayuki has an encounter with a boy named Zen, the Prince of a neighboring country. Shirayuki decides to join Zen in his country, in the pursuit of a better life, respect, and romance.
Impression: I have been sitting on this series for quite some time. I actually found it over a year ago and just recently did I start reading it again. I guess what I really should say is there hasn’t been many regular updates until recently.
This manga is more focused on the actual romance (gasp) than the comedy part. While it is still funny to read, it doesn’t quite have all the cheesy crap from romantic-comedies. There’s no Tsundere heroine to spend 9000 chapters trying to win over or a constant barrage of unrequited love. This leaves out most of the annoying stuff and just focuses on the the characters and their lives. However, some may have trouble understanding the series at first since a lot of stuff just kind of happens without any true introduction. The series does make a turn around and slowly adds the background as the series moves on. While I don’t consider this a bad thing, in fact I thought it was great, some may have trouble getting into the series.
This is an olden-age manga where there are princes, kings, and stuff like that. A time when travel was by Carriage and to get places could take months. This series makes good use of this and progresses the story slowly but still keeps it moving. There are times where months will just disappear while other times it may take chapters for just the day to end. This makes things a little more interesting since main events are focused on, rather than just random stuff found in typical romantic-comedies. I do not know why this series is labeled as a fantasy, other than the fact that it is set in a much older era. There are no mysterious magic to cast, abilities to use, or invading aliens from space. It is just straight up from an older-era that has been glorified.
Shirayuki is the character that has caught my attention for this series. A very cute, love the apple red hair, and serious character. She doesn’t have many things you would find in other manga, minus the ability to turn bright red when embarrassed. She will do what she believes she should do and doesn’t let the others stop her. This leads to some bad things happening but in the end she ends up with only minor wounds. She kind of reminds me of the stories of wood elves, coming from the forest. She is probably the reason why I actually enjoyed the series the most. I would really enjoy seeing an Anime of this series, just for the sake of seeing more Shirayuki.
As for Prince Zen, he is not quite the cookie-cutter hero of the story. Serious yet playful. He will go out of his way to protect those close to him and clear up any misunderstandings. He still, however, manages to get flustered around Shirayuki but will use his power as Prince to rescue her from danger. He has close bodyguards/friends that are very loyal to him and the people of his castle love him. He is a very good match for Shirayuki as the story progresses and they get pushed closer together. The only real thing stopping Shirayuki and Zen from being together is because Zen is part of the Royal family, he is a prince for a reason, and he gets pulled away by lots of things not to mention Shirayuki is not of Royal blood and not everyone is ready to accept them together.
Overall this is a great series. Please remember, this is a romance manga and not a romantic comedy. There is a little action now and then, but a lot of it is just interaction between characters. Just give it a shot, there is much to be had from this series. This series is not popular word-wide. It is, however, somewhat popular in Japan where volume sales can reach 75,000 for new volumes in the first week. Hopefully spreading the word will give it more attention. I would rate this series a 9/10 if asked.