GRAPHIC NOVELS

Snow White with the Red Hair: Vol. 1

Viz Media. May 2019. 200p. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781974707201.
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Gr 5 Up– Sorata Akiduki’s classic shojo manga was first written more than 10 years ago (and since spawned a popular anime by the same title) but only now has received an English-language release. Shirayuki is famous for her red hair, which forces her to flee the affections of her kingdom’s prince. Once in the woods, she meets a protective young man and his posse, and of course the young man turns out to be the prince of a neighboring kingdom. What follows is a sweeping fantasy as Shirayuki trains as an herbalist, survives kidnapping attempts, and becomes entangled in royal political games. The setting is rich, reminiscent of the world-building in other classic manga such as “Fullmetal Alchemist.” Akiduki’s art is elaborate, though it is occasionally tricky to identify to which character a word balloon belongs. An unrelated short story by Akiduki is included, a sweet modern romance. There is minimal violence, and while there are vague threats of assault, there is no overt sexual content.
VERDICT Fans of fantasy novels will find this a good entry into the world of manga.

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