Wait – so Ryuu lives under a desk??
I think it could be argued that the most significant development of this episode of Akagami no Shirayukihime occurred in its very first moments. And not only that, moments that were technically a recap – except that it seems as if the gang at Funimation got a line wrong last week, assuming this week’s translation was correct. And it was a doozy – Prince Izana actually said “Try making me an ally.” Just one little word can make such a difference, can’t it? In light of that my puzzlement over what Izana said last week makes perfect sense, because he never actually said it.
That little whopper of a change certainly casts the perspective events of the final episode in a difference and much more uncertain light, but for now this penultimate effort is basically a homage to everything that makes Akagami no Shirayukihime such a wonderful series. At heart I think this is really a slice-of-life romance – or at the very least, that seems to be the mode in which it’s most comfortable. And it’s hard to imagine any show looking more comfortable than Snow White with the Red Hair looked this week.
The premise here was kind of goofy, actually. First Zen hurts his neck when a dusty rug falls on his head, then Mitsuhide gets hypnotized into a smooth-talking Casanova when he breaks a vial containing a “hypnotic” potion. These are the times when the fairy-tale stylistic leanings of Akagami really come into play to its benefit, because as far-fetched as that hypnotism bit was, it feels pretty natural. I’m not quite sure how all this ended up being Shirayuki’s final exam (more on that in a minute) when no one could possibly have predicted Mitsuhide was going to break that bottle, but what the hell – it was an excuse for the series to really turn on the charm.
And when it comes to charm, Akagami no Shirayukihime has few betters. I just adore all the stuff with the herbalist wing of the cast and plot. This ep had an overload of Ryuu kawaii moments (hiding his face in a book when the Chief called him out for his feelings for Shirayuki was maybe the best) – though I must say it’s a bit alarming that Ryuu sleeps on the floor under his desk. Seriously – does the Chief not think that’s a problem? Someone (Obi?) take that poor kid home and look after him, for crying out loud.
Generally speaking, the episode was Mitsuhide acting in a manner sure to embarrass him (if Obi has anything to say about it) once the spell wore off. But it all comes from love – basically the potion just made him that much more devoted to Zen (who knew that was possible?). There’s no question Mitsuhide is an ally of Zen and Shirayuki’s ship, because he wants more than anything for Zen to be happy. But convincing Izana remains the likely focus of the finale – especially now that Shirayuki was officially made a court herbalist already (an event that felt like it was moved to earlier in the timeline for the anime). I don’t imagine we’re going to get a firm conclusion next week, and since we’re not going to get another season either, I guess it’s time to start the obligatory migration to the manga…