Snow white with the Red Hair is a manga, and anime currently in its second season. It has currently taken over my heart. Here are some of the reasons I think it is so amazing:
1. It’s a romance that firmly focuses on the agency of the main heroine, Shirayuki. She controls the course that her life will go in. Her love interest respects and admires her strength and passion, and it inspires him.
2. Said love interest is a dorky, earnest prince who, as mentioned above, respects Shirayuki and in turn, inspires her to work hard towards her own goals.
3. Court politics and class issues are delved into in-depth. It realistically depicts classism and the ways people are oppressed by those in power.
4. Pretty much all of the characters are fleshed out, and get the chance to shine. Even characters who initially seem completely flat, come back later and receive surprisingly gripping development. It has a generally relaxed pace and a slice-of-life feel to it. But the pace never drags because the characters and their relationships are so engaging.
5. It either subverts, or entirely avoids a lot of gross romantic clichés. When it seems like a male character will be a lionized possessive jerk, he either turns out to be the complete opposite, or he’s called out for that shit straight away. When it seems like a love triangle will develop, it’s averted; the guy has too respect for the girl and her relationship with someone else to ever act on those feelings. Essentially it’s a romance built on respecting the heroine, and it’s incredibly refreshing! Because this is sadly something you don’t see much of.
6. The art style/animation is gorgeous! Beautiful backgrounds with rich detail, and great character designs.