In Volume 4 of Snow White with the Red Hair Shirayuki and Zen finally came to realise the romantic feelings they hold for one another. Now Zen vows to forge a path that leads to them being able to spend their whole lives together, but him being prince makes it anything but easy! With Volume 5 of this shojo series in hand, let’s find out how our cast is doing.
This instalment begins with the arrival of Mihaya (some may remember as Shirayuki’s kidnapper in Volume 1) to the castle. Zen is understandably furious to see Mihaya again, but the young scoundrel has come bearing a warning for Shirayuki and seeking money in return for his information.
With a deal struck, Mihaya explains that he joined a band of pirates after getting out of prison and there he encountered a boy (who goes unnamed, but is described as being 13-14 years old), looking for a woman with red hair. The boy knew that Shirayuki worked for the palace and about her run-in with Prince Raj previously, which suggests he has been putting a lot of effort into gathering information while planning to steal her away.
Zen vows to find the boy and put a stop to his plans but amid this chaos, an invitation from Prince Raj in Tanbarun arrives, inviting Shirayuki to a banquet. With danger brewing, this is the worst time for Shirayuki to leave the safety of the castle, but with Obi by her side as a guard, our protagonist puts her all into preparing for the banquet.
A large portion of this volume is setting up for something bigger in instalments to come. While Shirayuki visiting Tanbarun on her own is important both for her development and her relationship with Zen, it still feels like a bit of a stop-gap before we find out more about the new foe.
Having said that, I appreciate seeing more of Raj. It turns out that since his run-in with Shirayuki in Volume 3 (where she tells him to become a better prince!), his manners and personality have improved a great deal. Her blunt attitude toward him did install some fear of her though, which leads to the two struggling to interact when Shirayuki arrives in Tanbarun.
This volume is also sowing the seeds of love in Obi. As readers, we’ve been aware of his feelings toward Shirayuki for a while now, but it’s made clear in these chapters that he wants to stand beside her just as much as Zen. While our protagonist is completely smitten with Zen, I’m still keen to see Obi come clean because nothing good ever comes of hiding your feelings in a shojo!
The fifth volume of Snow White with the Red Hair comes to the West thanks to Viz Media and continues to be translated by Caleb Cook. The translation reads well with no problems to note. Volume 6 of the series is due for release in March with Viz continuing their fast release schedule for the manga.
Snow White with the Red Hair Volume 5 delivers an intriguing read. While the majority of the volume is building up to a much bigger arc, it’s still enjoyable and remains one of the most interesting shojo series being released right now.