The Temperature of a Smile, a Cherished Place
Shirayuki’s dad is called Mukaze, and he’s supposed to be dead but Shirayuki’s grandparents told her the truth and she sneaked a peek at him once and never forgot his face. He’s never seen Shirayuki, but he recognised her because she looks exactly like her mum.
The story is that Shirayuki’s mum, Mukaze’s fiancée was going to be married off to his uncle, but he stole her back, was banished and ran. With his uncle on their tail they sought refuge with the back then Lions of the Mountain. Not too long after Shirayuki was born but her mum died and Mukaze, not wanting to raise her up with a group of outcasts, took her to her grandparents.
After Shirayuki ran away from Tanbarun, his dad searched all over for her. Kazuki was saved by Mukaze and so wanted to find Shirayuki to help her and felt that they should be the ones to protect her. Of course now, she’s quite happy where she is.
Obi is beating himself up over his failure of protecting Shirayuki, but she’s fine with him protecting her again.
Shirayuki overhears a conversation between Mukaze and Zen, where Zen admits he loves Shirayuki and awkwardness ensues. Although after a long chat with her, he tries to tell her his feelings face to face but is unable to because she falls asleep.
Back at Raj’s castle, the ball goes ahead and Shirayuki and Raj share a dance together before she returns to Clarines the next day.
It’s quite clear what this episode wanted to do, bring closure to this arc. Although maybe it’s because they wanted to close it off in one episode some parts left me with a lot to be desired. There was a bit of everything and I felt like it could’ve been much more.
Obi got over his failure far too quick, I half expected him to do something drastic. Of course I was hoping it wouldn’t be anything drastic, but even then this was way too much the other way of tying it up too neatly without any drama.
The slight delve into Kiki and Mitsuhide’s relationship was nice, only because I really want to see those two hit it off like I previously said. But it was short lived and left me wanting, though I guess that’s not a bad thing from the anime’s perspective.
Then Mukaze’s revelation on how Shirayuki came to be where she is now was fairly mundane and predictable. Left me thinking ‘oh, was that it’. I’ll be honest, I’m not exactly sure what I was hoping for, but this wasn’t it, and it wasn’t enough. Maybe it’s also because there wasn’t much reaction from Shirayuki who kinda took everything in and didn’t ask many questions or even seem to respond emotionally. I guess being detached from your parents since you were born could result in that. Though I found that seeing your dad once at a very young age and recognizing him something like 10 years laterr is not that believable.
Then we wrap up Raj’s relationship with Shirayuki with him knowing that she’s better off not in Tanbarun. This I suppose wasn’t that bad as Raj’s development through this entire arc was quite pronounced and he has learnt that he’s not the one for her, but he will still continue to improve for his country’s sake. And Zen’s jealousy was kinda fun to watch.
The episode did half focus on something though, which is progressing Zen and Shirayuki’s relationship. We did get the annoying interruptions that stops one person from telling the other how they feel by Shirayuki falling asleep, but hey, he pretty much said it to her when she eavesdropped. Not like they don’t know how they feel for each other anyway. But still, it was nice to see some Shirayuki x Zen time even if it was a little too tooth-achingly sweet…
As much as this episode gave a little bit of everything, I suppose it did do what it wanted which was close up this arc with no loose ends. So, whilst this episode was not satisfying in the slightest, the arc was and I’m looking forward to see what the next arc is going to be.