Because there’s no such thing as a nice older brother when you’re a prince.
We leave behind the short interlude about Obi (which revealed very little about his past other than the fact that he did bad things), and move back to life at the castle. Shirayuki gets some new pharmacist duds and is assigned a mission to travel up north with Ryuu in order to investigate the lack of correspondence they’ve had with other pharmacists in the region. Meanwhile, Zen and his older brother Izana have a heart to heart in which Zen reaffirms his intentions to marry Shirayuki. Izana then drops the bomb that he’s planning on getting married soon, but even more surprising, he wants Zen to consider him as an ally. The next day, Izana sets off for the north at dawn and, after a sweet moment with Zen, Shirayuki sets off in the same direction.
Show of hands, who thinks Izana going to propose to Shirayuki just to royally screw them over? Yeah, I thought so. However, I’ve come to not expect this kind of cliché development in Akagami and have a certain amount of faith in the author’s writing. Up to this point, the trope of potential love rivals has been handled quite well in this series, mostly Obi and Prince Raj. What’s fascinating is that these characters show clear romantic inclinations for Shirayuki, but don’t necessarily act on impulse. Instead of throwing in some cheap drama, the author allows for the tension to build. This also allows for further character development, which I’m really hoping to see out of Izana. Taking all this into account, Izana’s involvement looks to be more of an interesting development than a flimsy reason for Shirayuki to be loved by all men who see her.
Finally, finally, they’re bringing back Ryuu. It’s a real shame he was only featured in a few early chapters because he’s an intriguing character, and it’s nice to see him open up to Shirayuki in their pharmaceutical journey. Something I’ve always appreciated about Akagami is the attention to detail, particularly with Shirayuki’s job as a pharmacist. While her relationship with Zen is the main theme, the series stresses that she’s an intellectual and the various plants and medicines she makes are a fascinating touch. Hopefully with this new arc we’ll be seeing more and explore a new part of the gorgeous world of Akagami.
GO Rating: 3.5/5