Let’s Talk Second Male Lead Syndrome

Having second male lead syndrome could potentially be the most painful experience when reading a story or watching a show, aside from a character death. Out of all the media content that I’ve enjoyed, I’ve never experienced second male lead syndrome as intense as in the series Snow White with the Red Hair.

Now if you’re already familiar with the storyline and plot of SWWTRH, you can skip these first few paragraphs and go straight to the next subheading, because I’m about to give a brief overview for those who are unfamiliar. If you fall into the latter category though, please keep reading. Also, to keep it real with you, let me say now that this post has a bit of lazy writing. My goal isn’t to get a lot of viewers or subscribers based on this post, but rather today I just want to talk a bit about my favorite second male lead without spoiling too much of the story. If this bothers you, I apologize. Now without further ado, allow me to begin.

Brief Overview

Snow White with the Red Hair is a well-known shoujo manga (are we even surprised that I’m referring to a shoujo manga AGAIN) about a herbalist named Shirayuki who flees her country after being pursued for her red hair by the good-for-nothing Prince Raji and ends up meeting the Second Prince of Clarines, Zen Wistaria, and his companions Kiki and Mistuhide. After saving Shirayuki from Prince Raji, the two fall in love and continue all sorts of adventures come about.

The good part comes into play when Obi is introduced. Initially an assassin hired to keep Shirayuki away from Prince Zen, Obi begins to take a liking to Shirayuki’s bold and courageous ways and hands himself over to become Prince Zen’s personal attendant and messenger.

As time goes on, Obi is repeatedly assigned to watch over and protect Shirayuki in Zen’s place, which leads to the two spending a large amount of time together. Honestly, Shirayuki likely spends more time with Obi than with any other character in the entire series, except for maybe young Ryuu since they work together, but even so, Obi is often present while the two work.

So let’s talk a bit about Obi!

Throughout the story, especially in the manga, there is an abundance of cute ObiYuki moments. When Shirayuki is kidnapped by pirates, Obi blames himself and does everything in his power to save her, and afterward Shirayuki asks Obi to go to Tanbarun with her again. This part in the anime was extremely cute! Shirayuki is able to sense Obi’s disheartened state; she knows him so well that she can practically feel he is blaming himself for a situation that was beyond his control, so she puts his mind at ease by asking him to accompany her again. Shirayuki shows Obi that he still has her trust; no matter what type of hardships they face together, to Shirayuki, Obi is someone she can depend on.

Additionally, once Shirayuki sets out for Lilias, the moments shared between her and Obi only increase. When an unknown illness breaks out in the city, Shirayuki has an unexpected run-in with Zen and Obi at the gates. Upon seeing them both, she is quite surprised, but she only begins to blush once her eyes rest upon Obi (coincidence? I think not). The two of them then work side by side to save the town from the strange breakout, risking their lives and catching the illness in the process. One of my favorite scenes takes place during this time, when Obi and Shirayuki have to trek in the snow and they eventually both fall down, with Shirayuki accidentally landing on top of Obi (these types of scenes are the essence of shoujo romance and I LIVE for them).

Eventually, after confirming his feelings for Shirayuki to Zen, Obi is allowed to accompany Shirayuki for the remaining duration of her long medical research trip. Throughout the trip and the following chapters of the story, the two continue to spend so much time together, growing ever closer and at one point even pretending to be in a relationship with one another.

But the ObiYuki aspects aren’t all that make Obi so great. As a character, Obi has so much going on for him. His background is vague but in an interesting way: we know that he used to do some dirty underground work to make a living, but no one knows the extent to which he did this work, or what his work truly contained.

Further, Obi’s skill and agility in battle are both amazing. When Mitsuhide’s sword was taken from him, Zen entrusted Obi (who was also injured at the time) to fight along Kiki to protect Tsuruba-dono. Additionally, we’ve seen Obi spar with Zen for the right to protect Shirayuki, and fight with enemies in order to save her. Aside from his fighting skills though, Obi also has the skill of getting along easily with many of those he meets, except for stuffy nobles and lords.

In conclusion, Obi is the best second male lead I’ve ever read. He stole the show for me in this story, and I hope one day my ObiYuki heart receives the satisfaction it so sincerely craves.


Horimiya Anime… What Went Wrong?

Since the Horimiya epilogue chapter has made its debut, I’ve decided to reflect a bit on the 13-episode Winter 2021 anime.

As someone who binged fifteen volumes of Horimiya in two nights instead of preparing for midterms like I should’ve been, to say that I was simply a little excited when I heard about the soon-to-be-released Horimiya anime would be a serious understatement. I talked about Horimiya for months, joining Discord groups, making twitter group chats, and tweeting character popularity polls, and when the first episode of the anime aired in Japan, I watched it on a live stream and tweeted so much about it that my Twitter account came up as one of the top accounts responsible for the trend in the United States. I had no idea what feelings awaited me.

Upon finding out that Horimiya would be a single cour, meaning it would have between 10 to 14 episodes, I was immediately concerned about the pacing. Aside from the main romantic plotline that entails a secret between Hori and Miyamura which eventually leads to them getting together, there are so many things in the Horimiya manga that I felt were quite relevant but were, unfortunately, left out of the anime. For example, in my opinion, Miyamura’s development from a lonely middle school kid who pierced his ears with a safety pin just to feel something again, without caring about whether they’d bleed out or get infected, to a high school student with a found family consisting of his girlfriend, her family, and his many friends is a key subplot to the overall story. One person who I feel played a rather important role in Miyamura’s development is his best friend Shindou (my favorite character in the series). Shindou stuck with Miyamura from a young age, standing up for him when Tanihara was badmouthing Miyamura in the school bathroom and talking to him in class even though no one else would. Even after these two besties split up to attend different schools, the duo still supported each other, with Shindou being the one to encourage Miyamura to stop looking down on himself and to properly explain his feelings to Hori, and with Miyamura encouraging Shindou not to give up on his relationship with Chika. Without Shindou’s pep talk, our cherished Horimiya love story might have never progressed. 

Horimiya: Volume 4, Chapter 21

However, despite leaving out MANY fan-favorite manga scenes, and leaving in some controversial moments, the Horimiya anime wasn’t entirely bad. The animation was cute, the casting of the voice actors was done pretty well, and I absolutely loved the opening song. Overall, Horimiya as an anime was quite enjoyable, but I think it was likely even more enjoyable for those who hadn’t read the manga since they wouldn’t know about the scenes that didn’t make the cut. If Horimiya ever gets a reboot, which I unfortunately doubt will happen, I hope it has twenty-four episodes and AT LEAST one Meowmura episode (those chapters were so adorable). I feel that a well-paced Horimiya anime could have been the shining star of feel-good rom-com anime, and I wish we had the chance to see that dream become a reality.

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Tokyo Revengers – My Thoughts So Far

For those of us who have read the Tokyo Revengers manga, this episode was all about Baji and Kazutora, and the next episode will certainly be about them as well, and I am beyond excited. Since we are now a little more than halfway through the season, I felt it was time I made a super quick, midpoint review of the hit anime series Tokyo Revengers.

To begin, let me start by saying the adaptation of Tokyo Revengers is one of the best manga-to-anime adaptations that I have ever seen. The show follows the manga perfectly, and even the fun, not-so-important scenes that typically get left out in adaptations have all been included (that onsen scene was absolutely adorable!!). 

One part that I especially enjoyed was the aftermath of the Battle of 8/3. Yeah, the part with all of Toman and Moebius running towards each other was amazing and adapted perfectly from the manga, but the most heart clutching part was seeing Mikey break down after finally hearing that Draken’s life was saved. The way Mikey fell down with his back against the wall and his hand pushing back his hair… brb sobbing again.

Now we are finally in Valhalla Arc, which also happens to be my favorite arc. We get to see Baji, Chifuyu, Kazutora, and the Shinichiro backstory, but at what cost (iykyk). If you aren’t a manga reader, or honestly, even if you are one, make sure to prepare tissues and ice cream for the next few episodes. We are all in for a very painful ride, but enjoyable nonetheless. If you aren’t already watching Tokyo Revengers, but you stumbled across this post, here is your sign to start watching it ASAP.

Anyways, as always, thank you for reading my blog, and feel free to comment any anime recommendations below!! (: