Monday, January 7, 2013

Review: The Snow Queen (2005-2006)

The Snow Queen ~Yuki no Joō~ (2005-2006) is an anime adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tale, The Snow Queen. It contains 36 episodes.

In a small medieval town, Kai and Gerda have been neighbors and best friends since their childhood. They were happy children, but their lives would change on one cold winter day. In a faraway land, the Snow Queen lives in an enchanted ice castle. Her mirror breaks and shards spread throughout the world. Each shard contains something evil. If a shard enters a person's eye, then their soul turns to ice.

Unfortunately, an ice shard went into Kai's eye. After that moment, his personality grew colder to those he loved. One night, the Snow Queen appeared and took Kai into her carriage, flying back to her ice castle at the farthest north point of the world. Everyone in the town didn't know where he had disappeared, and believed he drowned in the frozen-over lake. Gerda doesn't believe these rumors. When another man admits that he saw her friend with the Snow queen, Gerda starts realizing that maybe Kai is still alive. Thus, Gerda packs her belongings and courageously goes on a journey to save Kai and bring him back home. Along the trip, she meets friends and companions to help guide her to the Snow Queen's location.

It took me nearly six years (!) to finish this Japanese television adaptation of this classic children's tale, but I am satisfied that I stuck through it until the last episode. This story is so beautiful that children and adults alike would find it sad and heartwarming. Although the ending was somewhat rushed, I liked how the anime followed the plot closely in its portrayal of the main characters. The OST music is also jovial and serene with careful detail to the setting of the story. The Snow Queen is one of those underrated anime shows that once you discover it you will find each episode a joy to watch. I highly recommend it. This anime should be available to rent and buy on DVD.

Opening Theme: "Snow Diamond" by Mariko Chisumi

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