Maybe this OVA should have been called “Back to the Future”…
While I haven’t read the manga of Snow White With the Red Hair, my understanding is that this OVA comes from farther along than the second season episodes we’re seeing. That’s interesting in a number of ways, not least of which that it kind of makes this special ep a spoiler. But less obviously, this OVA was indisputably much more similar in tone and style to much of the first cour than the second cour eps have been. I’m not sure what that signifies, but it gives Nandemonai Takaramono, Kono Page a certain pleasantly nostalgic feel.
This is Akagami no Shirayukihime at its most endearing, if not its most challenging. There are a lot of smiles, a ton of cute moments for several characters, and some definite big payoffs for the audience. Not only do Zen and Shirayuki hold hands, they kiss – and not only do they kiss, but the episodes also teases the potential fan-favorite pairing of Mitsuhide and Kiki (though only just).
Indeed, the only potential bit of edginess to this story of Zen and Shirayuki’s date to the picturesque port of Zoka is Obi. It’s he and Ryuu who end up accompanying Shirayuki to her meeting with Zen – both of them are in love with her of course, but only Obi is an actual threat. And his smiling japery whenever the subject comes up is tinged with something darker – he’s playing a dangerous game all the time, is Obi. I know he knows it, but it’s less clear whether Zen does (I suspect the answer is yes).
I wouldn’t say the current goings-on in the anime have made me question Shirayuki & Zen’s ultimate destiny to be a couple, but seeing where they end up a bit later on does take a bit of suspense out of the equation. Still, this is pretty much the face of Akagmi no Shirayukihme that made me fall for the show in the first place, so given its relative absence this season it’s awfully nice to get a nourishing dose of it here.