REVIEW: ‘Snow White with the Red Hair,’ Volume 14

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Snow White with the Red Hair Volume 14.

After a confession to Zen from Obi, he now appears at Lilias to assist Shirayuki and Ryu in Snow White with the Red Hair Volume 14. The fantasy shojo by Sorata Akiduki is published in English by VIZ Media, under their Shojo Beat imprint. Volume 14 is translated by Caleb Cook, with touch-up art and lettering by Brandon Bovia. It features design by Alice Lewis and is edited by Karla Clark. A popular anime adaptation from studio Bones aired in 2015.

The story follows herbalist Shiryuki after she befriends Prince Zen from the neighboring kingdom of Clarines. As she and Zen fall in love, the two also resolve to work alongside and support each other in their respective goals. Shirayuki is determined to study and become a court herbalist, while Zen is learning how to be a good prince. At their side are companions Mitsuhide, Kiki, and Obi. Now that Izana has been crowned King, Shirayuki must progress and earn her spot. She goes to work in Lilias with Ryu for two years, resolving with Zen that they will both grow while apart.

Snow White with the Red Hair Volume 14 further expands on Shirayuki and Obi’s goals after Obi’s confession to Zen in the last volume. Again, Sorata Akiduki excels in writing characters that truly love and respect each other. Obi confesses his feelings about Shirayuki to Zen not because he wants to declare himself a rival, but because he also loves Zen. His honesty was out of respect in response to Zen asking Obi to essentially spend two years side by side with Shirayuki. The fact that Akiduki so deftly dodged/subverted a standard love triangle dynamic is fantastic. Obi’s declaration to Shirayuki is equally respectful. He first asks for her feelings and goals and then vows to support her and Zen and see them through.  The love between all three is wonderful to watch; the whole group really. Zen, Kiki, and Mitsuhide miss both Shirayuki and Obi, and with the exception of a few jokes at Obi’s expense, truly miss them equally.

After that, Snow White with the Red Hair Volume 14 focuses on Shirayuki and Ryu working their first big job with the assistance of Obi. Akiduki’s detailed artwork translates well to the snowy environment of Lilias, with everyone in their winter wear. It is always difficult to tell what is “slow” and what is “exciting” in this series, as it will vary per reader. Many will love just breathing with the characters in their day-to-day lives. Once again Bovia’s lettering work is stellar. His attention to detail pairs seamlessly with Akiduki’s. Truly, if one didn’t know the manga was being localized, a reader would think Akiduki and her team drew all the English sound effects in themselves.

Snow White with the Red Hair Volume 14 ties up Obi’s confession in a lovely bow that tactfully dodges a predictable love triangle and instead portrays love and friendship between a group of people who respect each other. Emotional consent and everyone’s individual career aspirations are valued, and that is what continues to make this series an absolute joy to follow.

Snow White with the Red Hair Volume 14 is available now wherever books are sold.

Snow White with the Red Hair Volume 14
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TL;DR

Snow White with the Red Hair Volume 14 ties up Obi’s confession in a lovely bow that tactfully dodges a predictable love triangle and instead portrays love and friendship between a group of people who respect each other. Emotional consent and everyone’s individual career aspirations are valued, and that is what continues to make this series an absolute joy to follow.