Snow White with the Red Hair Graphic Novel Volume 4 cover image
Rated “T” for “Teen”
Tanbarun Kingdom, that is where a girl with beautiful hair that is as red as apples is born. When she grows into young womanhood, Shirayuki's red hair earns her the unwanted attention of Prince Raj of Tanbarun. Prince Zen Wisteria, the second prince of the neighboring Clarines Kingdom, rescues Shirayuki and brings her to Wistal, Clarines' capital. Zen moves her into Wistal Palace, where Shirayuki hones her skills as an herbalist, and thus, a love story begins.
As Snow White with the Red Hair, Vol. 4 (Chapters 13 to 17) opens, Shirayuki is held prisoner in a tower on Kokoku, an island in Clarines. The conniving Viscount Brecker is trying to stop her from assisting an island girl, Kihal, and her bird, Popo, from becoming a benefit to the kingdom. But can anyone really stop a plucky girl like Shirayuki?
This all leads to Prince Zen doing something lovely and shockingly romantic, so how will Shirayuki handle it? Also, the story travels back six years to when then 13-year-old Prince Zen first met his aide, then 17-year-old Mitsuhide Louen. Zen sees Mitsuhide as nothing more than a spy sent by his older brother, Prince Izana, but maybe Zen really needs an aide.
[This volume includes bonus manga pages.]
THE LOWDOWN: I missed the first volume of the Snow White with the Red Hair manga, but my VIZ Media representative sent me the second volume (as well as subsequent volumes). I did not have a difficult time figuring out the story dynamics of the series because of missing the first volume.
Snow White with the Red Hair Graphic Novel Volume 4 offers two nice surprises. First, the wrap up of the Kokoku Island story ended up being overshadowed by a romantic declaration and a kiss. This development seems to have changed the direction of the series; now, there is the potential for all kinds of romance-related melodrama. The second surprise was the flashback, which turned out to be important because creator Sorata Akiduki gives us insight into Zen and Mitsuhide's personalities, as well as into their relationship.
Caleb Cook's translation makes Akiduki's gently unfolding narrative an engaging read. Brandon Bovia's lettering adds that medievalist touch that the story and the graphics need. Yes, dear readers, it is obvious that Snow White with the Red Hair is growing on me.
I READS YOU RECOMMENDS: Fans of fantasy-themed shojo will want to try the Shojo Beat title, Snow White with the Red Hair.