Based on the children's story by Hans Christian Andersen.
Gerda and Kai have been neighbors and best friends since childhood. Gerda is eleven, Kai twelve. They were happy children who worked and played as they should. All that changed when the Snow Queen's mirror broke. The shards spread all through the world, each containing evil. If a shard went inside your eye, it would turn your heart to ice. A shard went into Kai's eye. After that, he grew cold to those he loved.
One night, the Snow Queen came in her carriage and took Kai back to her ice castle at the farthest north point of the world. Everyone in Kai and Gerda's village didn't know where he went and believed he died from drowning in the frozen-over lake. Gerda doesn't believe this, for she dreamed of seeing Kai enter the carriage. When a drunk man admits that he also saw this, Gerda starts realizing that maybe what she saw wasn't a dream. She packs her things and goes on a journey to save Kai and bring him back home.
Yuki no Joou was created in celebration of 200 years since Hans Christian Andersen's birth. Apart from "The Snow Queen", it adapts a number of his other tales, such as "The Red Shoes", "The Little Match Girl", and "The Little Mermaid".
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.
Assuming that you read the detailed synopsis, the series is mostly a collection of short stories. While searching for her best friend, 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.
Let me just tell you how perfect this adaption of the Snow Queen is. I remember seeing this on a list of adaptions for the fairy tale "The Snow Queen" by Hans Christian Anderson, and I was really happy that they had an anime adaption for it. I am a big fairy tale reader and The Snow Queen just happened to be one of my favorite fairy tales. Also, since I enjoy watching anime, putting these two together was perfect. So of course I was going to see how they portray the fairy tale. And at the end of I was really pleased. So I'll
explain why I gave this anime these ratings:
Story (10)- I thought it deserved this ten. The anime helped the viewers understand the story and the concept perfectly (so if you are ever confused when reading this fairy tale, this is the right thing for you). What I loved most about the anime was not only did they stay truthful to the fairy tale, but they were able to incorporate many other fairy tales into the story, such as The Little Mermaid and The Little Match girl and many more.
Art (5)- I honestly think the art is what killed the show. The art isn't the greatest compared to many other animes I have seen. The story is amazing, but people wouldn't be interested in knowing what's going on because the art and animation is too distracting. I also think that is why this anime is underrated.
Sound (10)- The soundtrack is amazing. The classical, smoothing vibe this show gives with its soundtrack is the best.
Character (9)- They were able to portray every character successfully without mischaracterizing anyone. But I would be lying if I said that I didn't get annoyed at some characters.
Enjoyment (10)- Don't even get me started. I actually was able to get attached to most of the characters in the show (even if their appearance only lasted one episode). Yuki no Joou teaches their viewers many valuable lessons along the way and this show made me feel like I was a part of Gerda's journey. Which made this show very enjoyable to watch.
Overall (9)- The show did have its flaws. The art isn't the greatest and the show does start out slow. But as you watch each episode you start to get use to the art style and animation. Once you do, you then can concentrate on the story of the show and learn how amazing it is. The beautiful sound track, characters, plot, lessons, this show just has it all. I just wish more anime watchers can be able to watch these type of animes.