ADVANCED REVIEW: ‘Snow White with the Red Hair,’ Volume 12

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Snow White with the Red Hair Volume 12 - But Why Tho?

One of the largest events in Clarines happens in Snow White with the Red Hair Volume 12: the coronation of Crown Prince Izana, Zen’s older brother. The fantasy shojo manga from Sorata Akiduki tells the story of Shirayuki and her journey to become a court herbalist. She discovers friends she grows to care for deeply and falls in love with the kingdom’s second prince. Snow White with the Red Hair Volume 12 is published in English by VIZ Media, under their Shojo Beat imprint. It is translated by Caleb Cook, edited by Karla Clark, and features touch-up art and lettering by Brandon Bovia.

Zen and Izana’s relationship was highlighted in the last volume, but it completely takes center stage in the first half of Volume 12. Their mother has returned to the palace to officially make her son king, and due to the ceremony traditions, Zen is the one who will be crowning Izana. Akiduki does a phenomenal job creating emotion and intimacy around the large, regal ceremony. It focuses less on the politics and showiness of crowning a ruler of the kingdom and more on what it means between the two brothers and their relationship.

As much as Zen gripes, the last few installments have made it clear that he does respect his brother. Izana comes off harsh, but he truly cares for Zen and sees his potential. Unlike Zen, he doesn’t wear his heart on his sleeve. Akiduki creates two absolutely wonderful moments between the two brothers where readers can see Izana’s front slip ever so slightly. One time, it is as subtle as a smile shared only between him and Zen.

Other characters who may not have been audience favorites return in Snow White with the Red Hair Volume 12. Prince Raj is in attendance for the coronation. Due to the title he bestowed on Shirayuki, she accompanies him throughout the ceremony. Readers will really see how much Raj has matured this volume, constantly being aware of Shirayuki’s consent, as well as Zen’s. Zen and Raj have developed a rather friendly banter, and it is lovely. Raj’s redemption doesn’t feel forced, as readers get to see him awkwardly struggle through it and work to be better.

Other lovely scenes are scattered throughout Snow White with the Red Hair Volume 12. A personal highlight is when the group of young adults is drinking. Since this is a shojo manga that doesn’t involve high school-age friends, it is fun to see them casually drink together (spoiler: drunk Zen is very adorable). Additionally, it shows how Zen finds security in his friends. This volume really illustrates his insecurities without them and how important they are. It makes his reaction to the plot twist in the back half that much more heart-wrenching.

As Akiduki points out in the side columns, there are many nighttime scenesAkiduki’s use of shading and tones create absolutely magical starry skies. Readers will see the level of work put into the multi-page spreads of stars about the young lovers. Additionally, another shout-out must be made to Bovia’s lettering. It was mentioned in my review of Volume 9, but Bovia does an excellent job matching fonts with the tone. Every single sound effect fits on the page seamlessly amidst the artwork. The sizing, shape, and even shading of sound effects will have the reader actually hearing the sounds as Obi jumps through the forest (and more).

Snow White with the Red Hair Volume 12 is a volume that balances a large-scale event with many moments of intimacy between characters. If readers are still on the fence about Izana, then it is likely that his role in this volume, and his scenes with Zen, will win them over.

Snow White with the Red Hair Volume 12 goes on sale March 2nd, 2021, wherever books are sold.

Snow White with the Red Hair, Volume 12
4.5

TL;DR

Snow White with the Red Hair Volume 12 is a volume that balances a large-scale event with many moments of intimacy between characters. If readers are still on the fence about Izana, then it is likely that his role in this volume, and his scenes with Zen, will win them over.