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.


The Perfect Shoujo Manga for College-Aged Readers

If you’re a college-aged shoujo manga lover like I am, you can probably relate when I say I’m getting a little tired of manga set in high school. Don’t get me wrong, the stories are incredibly cute, and I enjoy seeing the characters open up about their feelings, experience the school festival together, and go on class field trips, but as a third-year at university, these tropes are a little hard to relate to. On the flip side, whenever I search for josei romance manga, I often come across stories with large age gaps (like the main character is a middle-aged woman who dates a guy 5+ years younger than her), which is even less relatable for me, personally. So when I came across A Sign of Affection (Yubisaki to Renren), it was as if the story I had been waiting for finally made its appearance. I was immediately drawn to the setting and characters. 

The main character, Yuki, is a 19-year-old college student with a hearing impairment who lives at home with her family. She primarily speaks sign language and types out messages on her phone for those who don’t understand sign language. In the first chapter, she meets a tall, handsome male named Itsuomi, who travels often and speaks many languages, but sign language isn’t one of them. Throughout the story, the reader gets to watch as their relationship, and the relationships of those close to them, develop. 

Aside from the setting and overall plot, I love this story’s realistic, everyday interactions between the characters. College is a busy time for everyone, and you likely won’t get to see your significant other every second of the day. Additionally, when you’re in a relationship as a college student, there’s a bit more involved than simply going on cute dates and buying matching phone charms. In A Sign of Affection, we see the characters doing everyday things as well as having those romantic moments that make you wish you weren’t single, like going to Costco and working a part-time job, for example. 

One other thing I adore about this story is the mental and emotional maturity of each character. Yes, high school students are smart, but as someone who left high school years ago, looking back on the past, I feel that many high school relationships consist of kids playing at being adults. This often results in characters making mistakes, usually regarding effective communication, that put a strain on the relationship being pursued. Not to say that college students are incredibly more mature than high schoolers, but they often have more wisdom to back up their decision-making process. In Yubisaki to Renren, we see Yuki properly communicate with Itsuomi, even when it’s difficult (SPOILER: like when she asked him about Emma!). Oushi, Yuki’s childhood friend, spoke fairly openly to Itsuomi regarding how he felt about the two of them going out. Even Rin and Kyouya got to the bottom of the matter regarding their feelings quickly and effectively. Rather than the main character spending chapter after chapter guessing about whether the romantic interest is interested in them in return, in A Sign of Affection, the characters communicate what they want and how they feel and work to make the progress that they desire. 

There are so many other amazing aspects to this story. The ongoing manga is so well written and exciting. I’m currently re-reading the four Japanese volumes, and all of the scenes are just as cute the second time around!

If you’re reading this manga as well, leave a comment with your favorite scene, your favorite character, or something else that you love about A Sign of Affection! (:

The story that is my life has entered a brand new arc… I wonder what it will contain

Hi everyone! My name is Megan, and welcome to my blog. If you’re reading this, it means that somehow, amidst all of the chaos that we know as the internet, something brought you here.

Hi everyone! My name is Megan, and welcome to my blog. If you’re reading this, it means that somehow, amidst all of the chaos that we know as the internet, something brought you here. Maybe you’re a friend of mine who I’ve told about this blog, maybe you follow me on social media and love books, manga, movies, and anime like I do, or maybe — and this time with LOTS of emphasis on the maybe — I finally figured out how Google AdWords works and I managed to pop up on your internet search. I seriously doubt it’s the last one but I guess ya never know.

Anyways, I guess I should start by explaining what this blog is all about. This reason is twofold, so let’s take this all one step at a time. First, I love fiction. All my life, I’ve enjoyed reading novels and manga, watching movies and tv shows, and seeing plays. When I was little, I told myself that I’d one day go to university to study literature and become a novelist. At times, I even find myself writing stories in my head and typing up quick blurbs in the notes app on my phone. However, despite having this dream of writing a novel since I was a little girl, I decided to study computer science when I finally made it into my dream university. I realize that there is almost no correlation between wanting to be a novelist and studying computer science, but because of various circumstances, this is the career path that I have found myself on. Regardless of my academic life, one thing that hasn’t changed is my love for all things fiction, and because of that, I have decided to create a blog to share this love with others who have similar interests. My second reason for creating this blog is simple, and at first, it may sound a bit snobby, but PLEASE hear me out: I need a job. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I was fortunate enough to acquire a work-from-home part-time position through my university, but as the pandemic comes to an end (thankfully), the job that I have been doing for the past year is no longer needed, and my income has dropped significantly. In my search for a new part-time position, I stumbled across a web design job, and their application requirement said “We want you to create your own website so we can see your skills!!!!”. After reading this, my mind immediately went “NOW IS MY CHANCE!” I realized that if this blog of mine were to fail significantly (and I really hope that it doesn’t) then I will at the very least be able to play off my embarrassment by saying “Oh, I simply created it for a job position hahaha” (unless those teasing me have read this post… if that’s the case then I guess I’m a bit screwed lol).

So, now you know a bit about me, and why I am here writing this blog. I hope to write a lot about the things I love. Recently, I’ve been VERY into shoujo manga (and shounen, josei, and seinen manga), and most of the ones I am reading currently update on a monthly basis, so I will definitely do my very best to upload my thoughts on new chapters and feel free to share your thoughts too in the comments. My goal is to upload a new post every weekend. I look forward to seeing you all in my next post!

If you took the time to read all of this, leave a like and comment below your favorite novel or manga + any recommendations that you have for me (: Also, feel free to share my blog with others!!!