We have been thinking about the many female characters of Jouran: The Princess of Snow and Blood (Joran The Princess of Snow and Blood) and how they all faced hardships, being taken advantage of by people who were supposedly caring for them, but still making it through with their willpower. There is Sawa, the Nue executioner sworn to avenge her village’s destruction. There is Asahi, the girl who lost her family in Sawa’s hands, and Elena, the seductress, another Nue executioner who hides her pain behind her powerful and sexy personality. Let’s take a look into their journey to empowerment.
Sawa, Snow, and Blood
Sawa never wished for her tragic fate. She was born in the Karasumori clan, whose members possessed the rare blue blood that holds special powers. This is why she, her family, and her community got targeted by the government, in a secret plan to drain them of their energy. Jin, head of Nue, takes her under his wing and gives her a reason to live as the sole survivor of her clan.
Later on in the series, we find out that Jin infiltrated her village under orders of the Shogunate, and orchestrated the massacre. The person who developed her as a top executioner was actually the man who was directly linked to the immense pain she experienced. Sawa faces him successfully, and they reconcile before he dies. Sawa is now free to bond with other humans, instead of pushing them away, and finds inner peace.
Asahi, Light, and Strength
Asahi Nakamura starts as a tragic figure, her parents having been killed by the woman she calls big sister, Sawa. Asahi is urged by Sawa to seek revenge soon, but Sawa has been projecting her own pain on her. As we find out later in the series, Asahi’s family abused her and were ready to sell their girl to an older man, when the Nue executioners attacked, saving her in this twist of fate. So, Sawa is Asahi’s only family, and Asahi realizes she has to help and protect her “sister” in any way she can, plotting Sawa’s fake death and dreaming of a common life together.
Asahi is admirable in her courage, resourcefulness, and resilience. She starts as a weak little girl who has been betrayed by the people closest to her, but she grows into a strong young woman, as shown at the end of the series, who holds the same powers as Sawa. We hope there is some sort of sequel to the story, starring Asahi. We’d definitely watch her adventures next to Elena’s daughter.
Elena, Passion, and Pain
It’s cool having a female character not just in anime but in popular media in general who doesn’t get demonized because she is sexual. Elena uses her charm and seduction techniques for her gain. She’s not judged by the show for doing this, and there is no attempt to be redeemed for her often bad and selfish attitude. We get to see her as a person, with flaws and positive traits. By the end of Joran Princess of Snow and Blood, Elena has survived near-death twice, escaped Nue’s shackles, and is married with a daughter, which is not the future she imagined for herself, but she has made peace with it and with her past.
Beautiful, tragic, powerful, these are the women of Joran. Knocked hard by life, Sawa, Asahi, and Elena, still manage to work through the challenges and find resolution in their struggles.
What did you think of the female characters of Joran? And, whose story was your favorite? Let us know in the comments below and thanks for reading!