Manga / Snow White with the Red Hair
aka: Akagami No Shirayukihime

Once upon a time, there was a girl with red hair. This hair color is so rare that it reaches the ears of the country's prince, and he takes her as his concubine. And so they lived Happily Ever After...

Just kidding.

A shoujo manga loosely based on the tale of Snow White and serialized in LaLaDX, Snow White With the Red Hair (Japanese: Akagami no Shirayukihime) follows Shirayuki, a young woman born with unique apple-red hair making a living as an herbalist. After catching word about her hair, the crown prince of her country, Prince Raji, gave orders for her to become his concubine. Finding this ridiculous, she tried to refuse, but her refusal was considered irrelevant. With nowhere else to go, Shirayuki cut her hair and fled to the neighboring country of Clarines. While travelling through the forest by the highway, she met a kind young man, Zen, and his two companions, Mitsuhide and Kiki. However, Raji soon tracked her down and sent a basket of apples which Zen ate before Shirayuki and quickly realized that they were poisoned. In order to obtain the antidote, Shirayuki met with Raji, but before she could accept his offer, Zen interrupted and used his status as the Second Prince of Clarines to stop Raji from abusing his own status. Noticing that Zen was still suffering from the effects of the poison, Shirayuki then made Raji give Zen the antidote. These events cause Zen, as well as Kiki and Mitsuhide (who are actually his aides), to befriend Shirayuki and prompt Zen to invite her to both Clarines and the palace. Not being one to ride on the coat-tails of others, Shirayuki decided to entre the palace using her own merit by attaining a position as a Court Pharmacist Apprentice.

However, being friends with a prince, regardless of his order in succession, is not at all simple, especially when you have no rank of your own. Because of this, as Zen and Shirayuki grow closer, the two and their friends (especially, Mitsuhide, Kiki, and Obi) are tied up in many conflicts relating to both their relationship and to the simple fact of being there. With the added involvement of Zen's older brother, Crown Prince Izana, various pharmacists and nobles, and others, the story soon branches out to trace the route of Shirayuki and Zen's relationship and activities.

Snow White with the Red Hair, ("Akagami no Shirayukihime" literally "Red-Haired Snow White"), also has a two-cour anime adaptation by Studio BONES which started airing as part of the Summer 2015 season.

Needs a Better Description.

Tropes associated with the series:

  • Acquired Poison Immunity: Zen's background as a prince becomes relevant when he mostly shakes off the effects of a poison in the first chapter showing us how tough he really can be. It does not come up that often in the story but he did take various poisons to build up a resistance to them starting at twelve, this does not mean he is protected against all poisons however.
  • Action Dress Rip: Shirayuki, on the boat during the Tanbarun arc.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The anime expands on scenes and adds a few sub-plots on its own.
  • Adaptation Distillation: At the same time the anime also has to cut out or alter certain things to fit with the format.
  • Adorably Precocious Child: Ryuu.
  • Aerith and Bob: Names such as Zen, Kiki, Raji, and Kihal (European or similar sounding names) exist alongside names of Japanese origin like Shirayuki, Umihebi, and Yatsufusa.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Izana.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Shirayuki's, most definitely. Poor girl was crying as she said it:
    Shirayuki: Zen, I like you. You are very important to me. I respect you, and I want to be helpful to you... I, also know, that I'm in love with you.
  • Arrow Gram: In the third chapter, Shirayuki gets a message this way warning her to turn back. Undeterred, she plucks it out of the wall and takes it with her to go find Zen.
  • Assassination Attempt: This is seen to happen to Zen twice in the series (as of chapter eighty-eight). First during a flashback of his childhood with Atori as an accomplice, and during the Serge arc at the hands of Touka Bergatt and the head and sons of the Tohz house.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: Izana's coronation in chapter fifty-one.
  • Batman Gambit: Prince Izana pulled one off in the past, building a castle between the territories of two feuding lords (Lido and Sui), setting them up for failure, and replacing them with their retainers.
  • Badass Pacifist: Shirayuki is a herbalist and although she has defended herself, has quite the backbone, not at all flinching when the Marquis has a blade pointed at her throat.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: Sakaki to Raji.
  • Beta Couple: Kiki and Mitsuhide: it seems to be more one-sided on Kiki's part, but there are signs he may reciprocate. Also, later in the manga we have Prince Izana and Haki, a noblewoman from Lyrias, and Shidan and Garack, in something of an inversion of Kiki and Mitsuhide's relationship.
  • Big Brother Instinct: When Lido rebels came after Zen in chapter sixteen, Izana started cutting them down without reservation.
  • Big Brother Worship: Zen has a mild form of this to his brother, stemming, in part, from his Batman Gambit.
  • Big Fancy House: The manor Mihaya uses in the second episode.
  • Bishōnen: This series takes this trope and runs with it — any male character who's around long enough will develop into this, if they aren't from the start. Special mention goes to Zen and Izana.
    • And then there's Kazuki, who is referred to as this In-Universe, although he's considered an androgynous example.
  • Bi the Way: It's a minor example, but Obi's acquaintance, Torou.
  • Blood-Splattered Innocents: Zen in the anime flashback. That poor boy.
  • Bodyguard Babes: It isn't emphasized, but Kiki is an attractive female retainer to the prince.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Obi has been slowly developing one for Shirayuki, sort of — he seems to have a case of I Want My Beloved to Be Happy, which, due to his fondness for both Shirayuki and Zen, has him rooting for them and holding back the further development of his own feelings.

  • Butt-Monkey: Poor Mitsuhide is always being picked on. And then there's Prince Raji, who absolutely no one takes seriously; even the narration refers to him as "the stupid prince," not that it isn't earned by his behaviour.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Half-a-glass of fermented Loka Nuts (alcohol) was enough to put Shirayuki down for hours, and when she woke up, she was still half-drunk. That said, other characters commented on the high strength of the beverage.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: This is part of why Raji is called a stupid prince, especially given some of his comments in chapter one. The other example, lampshaded more than once, is the Lyrias pharmacist Suzu: e.g. his self-introduction in chapter thirty-four.
    Suzu: There aren't many plants that can bloom in this cold environment. Rather than pharmaceutical plants, we have to raise plants to paint this snowy world. Getting rich is not just a dream. Hello, royal palace people.
    Yuzuri: He says things like that, but he's in the same line of work as you and Miss Shirayuki. He's a pharmacist and his name is Suzu.
    Suzu [as he crawls under the table]: I'm a bachelor. I'm here most of the time. It's nice to meet you.
  • Cool Big Sis: Shirayuki becomes something like this to Raji over the course of the Tanburn arc, and already acted like one towards Ryuu.
  • Cool Old Guy: Shirayuki's father, Mikaze, the leader of the Lions of the Mountains.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Clarines, Tanbarun, and the surrounding area at first seem to be a very nice and idyllic place to live in. Then you remember that the story started when a noble arbitrarily decided to force a commoner girl into being his concubine, and her reaction implied something like this was anything but uncommon. Several lines (particularly in episode two) also imply that slavery is not only practiced, but very abundant. The fact that commoners are banding together in a paramilitary force to protect themselves from criminals because they don't trust the government (The Lions of the mountain) is hardly a good sign either.
  • Daddy Had a Good Reason for Abandoning You: Shirayuki's father, Mikaze, left her in the care of her grandparents and told them to say that he was dead after his wife's death, because her hair colour stood-out too much for her own safety, which is more problematic for a group like the Lion's of the Mountains.
  • Damsel out of Distress: Shirayuki usually tries to get out of being in distress on her own with varying levels of success. Her first attempt with Raji was to flee the country, and the second was to use improvised paralyzing gas to put Mihaya down long enough to get out of the manor. They tracked her down afterwards. Her attempt to escape during the Tanbarun arc also lacked success, but the same went for her companion. Otherwise, she normally gets herself out of trouble on her own, and whenever she can't, she becomes a Defiant Captive.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Kiki, with an emphasis on the "Deadpan."
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Atori died in Zen's arms after Mitsuhide cut him down for trying to shoot him with an arrow.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Saori Hayami, Shirayuki's voice actress, also performs both opening theme songs of the anime adaptation.
  • Dude Magnet: Shirayuki draws the eye of most of the male cast, as well as the female cast, justified due to her hair color.
  • Fairy Tale Motifs: It's a story based on Snow White. Quite a few things should ring a bell here.
  • False Friend: Atori was this for Zen, as a child. He used his friendship to lure him into a trap by Lido rebels who lost everything due to Izana's Batman Gambit. Though it was suggested he was Becoming the Mask. Slightly subverted in that Zen never stopped considering him a friend.
  • First-Episode Spoiler: That helpful guy, Zen, is actually royalty.
  • First-Name Basis: Zen enforces this among his close associates.
  • Foreshadowing: Right before the Lyrias lockdown arc, Izana informs Zen that he will be taking a bride and that he's heading north for that purpose. It later turns out that Izana's future wife is Haki, a noblewoman of the Lyrias region. Readers who paid attention during this arc will notice they share a significant Held Gaze when the lockdown goes into effect.
  • Forged Message: Lord Haruka drafts a royal order to keep Shirayuki from entering the castle gates in the third episode. Too bad for him, she'd already entered by then.
  • The Gadfly: Obi deeply enjoys teasing Zen on a regular basis.
  • The Good King: Zen and Izana's mother is hinted to be this before handing the throne over to Izana, who is indicated to become this.
  • Heroes Want Redheads: Discussed in-series. Shirayuki's red hair is apparently so rare and exotic that she hides it in public to avoid attracting attention; she's already had to fend off kidnappers intent on selling her to a harem and a prince that wouldn't take no for an answer.
  • Hidden Purpose Test: The test to become apprentice court herbalists in episode four wasn't merely to maintain a small section of the garden, but to notice that one of the plants that looked like another had been improperly planted. Only Shirayuki and one other noticed and passed.
  • Important Haircut: In the first chapter, no less. Although it's not really important so much plot-wise as to define Shirayuki's character to the reader right off the bat.
  • Impoverished Patrician: Mihaya's family used to be nobility. Now he's resorted to kidnapping Shirayuki in order to get enough money to get out of poverty.
  • In-Name-Only: Zen fears becoming a Prince-In-Name-Only, so if he leaves the castle for too long he ends up overworking to compensate.
  • Intelligence Equals Isolation: People around the palace consider Ryuu creepy because of his high intelligence at a young age and his interest in poisonous plants, and tend to avoid him. Later, in part thanks to his friendship with Shirayuki, he gets a few friends and becomes less isolated. Ryuu is also not the most social of people to begin with, as an introvert who is awkward in conversation.
  • I Will Punish Your Friend for Your Failure: Or more like "I will punish you for your men," but because Zen wouldn't punish the soldiers at the fort for falling for the bandits' trap, his brother temporarily removed the fort from his jurisdiction. This hurt him while, at the same time, making the soldiers feel guilty, granted, Zen had a good reason for not punishing them.
  • King Incognito: Zen routinely sneaks out of the palace to see Clarines for himself. During the first Lyrias arc, Izana also decides to disguise himself in order to accompany Shirayuki (for various reasons), and decides to go as "Court Apprentice Pharmacist Luen," Hilarity Ensues.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Zen as a child, which made getting along with Mitsuhide difficult.
  • Look Behind You: Shirayuki tries this on Obi in the ninth episode. He points out that she's still drunk and Lord Haruka wouldn't be there so conveniently.
  • The Medic: Shirayuki is fairly knowledgeable about medicinal plants, and can competently provide medicinal treatment. She eventually becomes an apprentice pharmacist in Wistal Castle.
  • Never a Self-Made Woman: The story tries really hard to avoid this trope and stresses at every opportunity that Shirayuki didn't reach her position in Clarines' court because of Zen's goodwill, but of her own hard work and diligence, which is all true. However, the same thing cannot be said for her time in Tanbarun. In that arc, she is allowed to lodge for an entire week in the royal palace, triggers a royal expedition against local pirates and receives a prestigious honorary title all because Raji considers her his friend. It's not particularly problematic, since the focus is on the Clarines side of things and Tanbarun is rarely important outside of that arc. Also, her becoming close to Raji in the first place is due to her own efforts, further negating the effect of her connections in Tanbarun.
  • Nice Guy: Zen, and most of Zen's True Companions, though Obi verges into Jerk with a Heart of Gold at times. Shirayuki arguably verges into All-Loving Heroine territory.
  • Ninja: Obi.
  • No Social Skills: Ryuu is a prodigy who has trouble communicating with others.
  • Official Couple: Zen and Shirayuki.
  • Outlaw Town: The Mountain's Lions are outlaws living in a town in the mountains. It's an odd take as the only two members whose criminal origins are known are a former noble who chose to save his eventual wife from an Arranged Marriage to another noble she wanted no part in and a boy who is still a young teen and was briefly a pirate before the pirates sold him into slavery due to his looks. The Lions also go out of their way to fight far more villainous criminals and the only known case of their partaking in criminal activity was the previously mentioned teen kidnapping someone who he thought was in the same boat he had once been in without their leader's knowledge.
  • Plucky Girl: Shirayuki, shading into Action Girl when the occasion calls for it.
  • Psychological Projection: Part of the reason Shirayuki is kidnapped in the Tanburn arc is due to this. Having previously been bought and used as a decoration by nobles, like what Prince Raj initially had attempted with her in the beginning, Kazuki assumes she'd appreciate being taken as far away from nobles as possible. She doesn't.
  • Rebel Prince: Zen, with shades of The Wise Prince.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Both Izana and Zen definitely are this and in completely different ways. Their mother's actions aren't often mentioned, but it is hinted that this is due to a combination of her physical condition and handing the throne to Izana.
  • Scenery Porn: The anime is chockfull of this. Then again, it is Bones.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Discussed in-universe. Shirayuki's friendship with Zen means if she asks for something she's liable to get it, which is one reason she could enter the castle as she pleased without having an identification tag. But Shirayuki doesn't want him to pull strings for her, and he wouldn't respect her for it.
  • Servile Snarker: Sakaki.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: On of the reasons Shirayuki falls in love with Zen.
  • The Stoic: Kiki is this. Ryuu often falls into this as well. Sakaki can take all of Raj's antics in stride, also putting him in this group.
  • Taking Advantage of Generosity: Lord Haruka cites this in the third episode as the reason he wants Shirayuki to stop hanging around Zen, citing that as she has no social standing and is not making any effort under her own power. Zen knows her better.
  • Those Two Guys: The gatekeepers at the Clarines castle.
  • Trojan Horse: The bandits in the fifth episode have travelers give the guards at the fort wood that had been laced with something to make them ill when burned, allowing them to sneak in and steal the weapons in the armory.
  • Twice Shy: Shirayuki and Zen.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Raj. He gets somewhat better.
  • Warrior Prince: Although he's less skilled than his aides, Zen is no slouch on the battlefield and actively takes part in taking down criminals and the like. Izana is hinted to have elements of this in several flashbacks.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Lions of the Mountain. Members of the group chase down Shirayuki across country borders and break into Prince Raj's castle in Tanburn to kidnap her... with the intent to have her stay with them to reunite her with her father and keep her safe from corrupt nobles who might want to use her as a living decoration. This is all done of course completely without her consent on the matter, to say nothing of what other troubles the kidnapping leads to.
  • Wise Prince: Izana is definitely this, and Zen is developing into this.

Alternative Title(s): Akagami No Shirayukihime