“How much distance do you think I need to put between me and those around me?” – Zen
I’m surprised the series shifted so much away from the simple fairytale romance between Shirayuki and Zen to shed insight on the difficulties in the behind the scenes politics of Zen’s relationship with the girl. Rumours continue to circulate that the prince and the herbalist are engaged and court is curiously intrigued. Zen appoints Obi as Shirayuki’s personal bodyguard for the time being in hopes that he can keep her safe from any attempts made to target or take advantage of her. Obi spends most of his day helping Shirayuki’s duties around the palace. Half-pondering the current court events, he ends up asking Shirayuki whether she’d be happier if Zen wasn’t a prince.
When Zen and Mitsuhide overhear Shirayuki and Obi’s exchange, they remember the time Zen was much younger, where he made friends accidentally with a rebel from Lido. Although the boy ends up betraying Zen for his political ideals, it’s pretty strongly implied he held genuinely feelings for his friendship with Zen. His dying wish was that Zen wasn’t a prince so they could have met normally and gone on as brothers… The weight of this words stay with Zen for a long time when he comes to terms with his social position, both the privileges, restrictions and responsibilities of it.
I’m quite surprised what a huge role Mitsuhide plays in Zen’s life and how much we get to see it play out in the actual series. Mitsuhide’s senses are razor sharp and part me wonders exactly how old he is because he seems at least Prince Izana’s age when he arrives at the palace, perhaps one or two years younger but definitely older than Zen to guide and advise him. Props to Mitsuhide for cutting down Zen’s friend in the heat of danger.
Izana’s definitely got politics down pact. He’s a much more calculating and fair person than Zen who tends to let his emotions get the better of him. I’d love to see an entire backstory on Izana and how he came to be so brilliant at politics… what he born a genius or did he develop his personality out of some life-jarring incident much younger? I’m impressed with how much the series can shed light on the dark aspects of royalty as well. If we only got a stream of Zen x Shirayuki fluff scenes, the relationship wouldn’t seem half as a realistic. Can’t wait to see how this court scandal is going to calm down and wrap up.
What are you pondering today?