Yuki no Joou
Mimi: Who didn’t love fairy tales when they were a child? Most of us are probably familiar with stories written by Hans Christian Anderson, such as The Little Mermaid and Thumbelina, among many other titles, thanks to Walt Disney. Only a handful of them have been adapted into anime, the most recent one being The Snow Queen (2005). I wasn’t entirely familiar with the story, so I decided to check it out, despite the odds of the last 13 episodes ever getting English subs.
So once upon a time, there were two best friends, Gerda and Kay, who lived next door to each other. Everything is hunky-dory in their village until one day, the Snow Queen’s trolls break her mirror. One of the poisonous shards enters Kay’s eye, and he begins to act cold towards everyone. Noticing him, the Snow Queen takes him away to her castle. While the villagers believe that the boy drowned in a lake, Gerda strongly believes that he’s still alive and sets off on a journey to find him.
The series is mostly a collection of short stories. Gerda meets many different kinds of people along the way: suffering families, famous travelers, kings, warriors, witches, and other fantastical creatures. Being such a strong, kind-hearted girl, she always seeks to help them out with their troubles. Nothing too important happens for a while, so if you like things to move quickly, you’re going to need a lot of patience. Later on, Gerda teams up with a mysterious minstrel named Ragi, and his animal companions, a monkey and a wolf. Their friendship, which develops through many crazy experiences, is my favorite aspect of this fairy tale. And what is Kay doing this entire time? Oh, he’s just playing around in the castle, getting spoiled by the Snow Queen, and giving the trolls a hard time!
What’s wonderful about the individual stories is that they’re so heart-warming, adventurous, and filled with charming characters. They make you feel like a kid all over again. Meanwhile, the Snow Queen’s mysterious aura and her enemies really draw you into the classic tale of good vs. evil, complimented by a majestic soundtrack and a beautiful, yet harsh wintry setting. It gets very interesting at episodes 23, 26, 27, and 33-36, which are well worth your patience to see. Trust me, the finale is ACTION-PACKED! Unfortunately, they’re not subbed in English yet, but the action is enough to understand what’s happening in general.
The Snow Queen might be a very famous fairy tale in literature, but the anime is a hidden gem that deserves more attention. It truly has a great premise, and the main characters are extremely likeable and well-developed. As far as children’s anime are concerned, it is one of the best I’ve seen, as well as being an excellent adaptation. Anyone who likes Studio Ghibli’s works, Princess Tutu, and fairy tales in general should give this gem a chance.
Mimi’s Score: 8 Meeps out of 10 (Very Good)