What can we expect from a title that says Romeo x Juliet? Probably a cheesy and draggy remade version of the original story that has no dept whatsoever.
But I was utterly wrong. Simply bear in mind that this is the Anime Version of Romeo and Juliet, and expect what you'll expect from most anime for eg, fantasy. I'm no fan of Shakespear's work but I do know the general outline of the story and the important scenes such as the balcony which audience will get to enjoy during the course of the series (although I'm guilty of laughing at that part).
Story wise - Firstly, I'm very impressed by the various climax and exciting moments in this series. The first 10 episodes or so will keep you on your toes while tugging your emotions along with the sweet and tragic moments of our main characters. Following episodes then mellow down, and just when I thought it's gonna get boring here forth the story picks up again and you just have to keep watching. ie. damn high priority. However, you may find yourself with a big "huh?!" at the last few eps. Yes there's where the Fantasy kicks in although if you have watched enough anime, you'll know that this is a typical storyline and thus befitting for this series as well. In general, the story was well remade for an anime indeed.
Art - The style may be a little hard to stomach for some but fret not, you'll get used to it in 1 or 2 episodes' time. The background was beautiful in some scenes especially the extensive flower beds. In fact, during the course of watching this series, I actually felt that it's well drawn because the characters doesn't have oversized eyes (or boobs) or overly skinny limbs, unlike some other animes.
Sound - Needless to say, the opening is one where you'll keep listening to even after completing the series. Images from the anime will then naturally float into your mind. Yes that's how influential Lena Park's version of You Raise Me Up is.
Character - For this portion, I'll really have to give the director a big hug. Setting the side characters aside, the mental development of both our hero and heroine was well-balanced and developed. The romance between the 2 was nicely presented while slowly telling the audience how they fell in love. This part was absolutely perfect because a plain love-at-first-sight thing would cause the story to lose its meaning and turn me off quickly.
Despite it being a great anime, I've gotta admit the presence of my fan-girling moments during the exceptionally sweet and touching moments which were strewed here and there. So fellow babes, watch this to ignite the shoujo heart in you!read more
Going into this series, I admit that I had braced myself for more of a tragedy than this. Having acted in the original play, I know just how depressing and plain ol' emo it can be. But this is truly something different.
Story: First off, the story is much more moving and uplifting than I was expecting. There were times when I was actually moved to tears by the responses of characters to each other. The story just barely follows Shakespeare's original story. Basically put, if you're looking for an anime rendition of his story, you're looking in the wrong place. This is not to say that the story is bad in any sense of the word. Rather, I think that Shakespeare would be proud of this expansion to his original story.
Art: I'd have to say that the art section is the most disappointing of all. Thankfully, this isn't saying too much. The art from front to back is very well done. Some of the townsfolk felt a little bit cheapened but I would count this as making sure the story is focused on who it should be.
Sound: I have to admit, I'm extremely impressed with the sound from this anime. From the musical compositions to the sound effects to the voice acting to one of the better renditions of "You Raise Me Up" (performed by Lena Park). As far as audio goes, darn impressive.
Characters: Only a couple of characters weren't all that impressive. However, all of the key players are very well developed. All of the seiyuu who performed did an excellent job indeed. This really helped to bring out the characters personalities and brought life.read more
I'm sure the Bard is turning over in his grave several times. First they make a stupid movie about him being in love, then they butcher his already crappy play into an even crappier anime.
Romeo and Juliet is the world's most popular romantic tragedy. It tells the story of two lusty 13 or 14 year olds, who just couldn't wait to jump one another's bones, but due to family conflict, they end up offing themselves. I never liked the story before because I thought Romeo and Juliet were stupid and selfish, not romantic or tragic. So I wasn't going into this anime with a good opinion. I was hoping it would change my mind, but alas, it did not.
First off, the story is so BUTCHERED, you won't even know it's Shakespeare's play except for the character names. Come on, flying horses, floating cities, cross-dressing--well, okay, there was a lot of cross-dressing during the Elizabethan period as well. Hell, this anime doesn't even retain the proper title.
But Romeo multiplied by Juliet is boring, it is amazingly incorrect and untrue to the play. The only thing it also kept going was the fact that Romeo and Juliet were total morons.
Don't watch this. It was unfabulous and not worth it. read more
Overall I believed it was a very good story. It goes along the basic storyline of the Shakespeare version, but I thought that the twists and extra pieces really made it unique and likeable.
I loved the music, it really went well with the anime and the mood of the story. I also loved the opening and ending music.
Each episode was a sort of cliffhanger, which made me want to watch the rest of them in a row (but couldn't). When I did, I felt kind of sad that it wasn't long enough.
Some of the characters that have more similar roles in both this anime and the Shakespeare story were excellent. Oveall the characters were well thought out and drawn (animated).
If you haven't watched it, I recommend watching it with an open mind. Don't limit yourself to thinking it will just be like the Shakespeare play, and I'm sure you'll be surprised, pleased and love most, if not all, moments in this anime laid out before you. read more
Manga, Anime: Romeo x Juliet does have a manga spinoff, with art done by COM and story still done by Gonzo and Sky Perfect Wellthink, that began running in Kadokawa Shoten's Monthly Asuka on March 24th, 2007. It is still running at this point in time, and has yet to be licensed Stateside.
Romeo x Juliet is a twenty-four episode anime that was produced by Gonzo (famous for their work on Gankutsuou and Saikano) and directed by Fumitoshi Oisaki (this was his first major work as a director). It ran from April 4th to September 26th, 2007 on Japanese TV, and, contrary to Funimation's giving subbers a cease and desist (which was on supposedly on behalf of Gonzo's requests for them to enforce Japanese copyright laws), the anime has NOT been licensed Stateside.
Story: Fourteen years ago, on the floating continent of Neo-Verona, the Montagues led a coup against the Capulets, and slaughtered the entire family, except for a young girl and her servant. The girl, in the meantime, has been bought up as a boy, Odin, and kept in hiding, occasionally going out as the masked vigilante the Red whirlwind. On the day of her sixteenth birthday, the day when her true identity is to be revealed, she meets Romeo, the son of the Montagues...
As you can tell, this is an EXTREMELY loose adaptation of the story. And, honestly, it had the chance to be good. However, the story has issues, and lots of them. And to cover them requires some SPOILERS, so read ahead at your own risk
First of all centers in the adaptation of the story. It's absolutely bare-bones: two star-crossed lover from rival families who die. It isn't even double suicide because of a misunderstanding; Romeo dies because he's trying to save Juliet from giving her life to save Neo-Verona, which ends up happening anyways upon his death, which makes most of the last two episodes or so pointless in the extreme. I'm not a Shakespeare purist at all, but dear GOD, they fucked this up. They can't decide when to use Shakespearean dialogue or when to adapt it, or when to keep scenes from the original play in just to remind people that yes, this is an adaptation. And for the recored, they fucked up the balcony scene in the extreme. I'm sorry, but you have to be really trying with a vengance to mess it up.
Another major problem in this is the characters. Gonzo might have been able to pull this off if they'd kept the original personalities from Shakespeare. Instead, Romeo becomes a naive whiny little brat who waxes philosophically (and unconvincingly) about justice and freedom and peace once he is sent to work in the mines by his father (Maoist China, plz?), Juliet can't decide whether she wants to be a shoujo heroine destined to lead a revolution and avenge her parents or a whiny little Mary-Sue moping over her angsty past and her TRU WUV with Romeo, not to mention that she's supposedly uber-skilled with a sword, but makes incredibly stupid beginners mistakes at several critical times, and Tybalt, probably my favorite out of the whole lot, is dark and brooding and actually doesn't coddle Juliet, unlike most of the cast. Other characters from other Shakespeare plays are thrown in haphazardly, but don't hold your breath waiting for them to be like in other plays; they're all butchered versions of their former selves (like most everyone else from the original Romeo and Juliet), most of whom are fawning over and coddling either Romeo or Juliet or both. Background stories for some major characters (such as Tybalt and the generic evil tyrant Montague) don't come until later in the series, and when they do, it's just more WTF (Montague is a son of the Capulets and got adopted into the Montagues and backstabbed his way to the top in order to get his revenge on the Capulets for mistreating his mother, who was, in fact, a whore; and Tybalt is apparently the son of Montague and a Capulet woman - again, WTF?!) The biggest issue with characters is the fact that NONE of them get any development; they're all one-note personalities running around in circles for most of the series.
This, in turn, is compounded by the issue that, for most of the series, THERE IS NO PLOT. It's either Juliet running around with Romeo in puppy love, angsting, or attempting to lead a revolution but failing at swordfighting when she's supposedly amazing at it, while Romeo either runs around with Juliet, tries to kindly let down his arranged fiancee, or starts to realize just what a douche his father is. Gonzo tries to build the series on Romeo and Juliet's TRU WUV, but the most that it is is puppy love, as they never meet for anything more than six minutes, yet this is enough for them to decide to run away together about halfway through the series and marry each other and set up house in a pastoral village out in the middle of nowhere. (...Then again, it was kind of like this in the original play, so they got that aspect down, to some degree.) They get captured, though, and Romeo goes off to the mines to have a slight development arc that makes him even more annoying at the end of it, and Juliet goes off to finally lead that revolution (which is instigated by something so fucking EASY that it's a wonder they didn't try this years ago, let alone the other five times that the revolution failed in this series!). And when the revolution comes about, it's glossed over to make room for the random tree that apparently keeps Neo Verona in the sky and that is dying because of the Montagues, and apparently Juliet is the next sacrifice to keep it alive. This brings about the situation in the last two episodes that I bought up back in the third paragraph. To say the least, this thing is a fucking MESS.
In short, the whole story is made of FAIL. There are bits of redemption that come through in Tybalt here and there, but all in all, this was just made of suck. And you wonder where it comes from, because on the one hand, you've got stuff like Saikano, and Bokurano, and Gankutsuou (which was an EXCELLENT adaptation), and then on the other, you've got THIS.
Art: Neo-Verona is absolutely beautiful. Gonzo really tried to emulate classical Italian Renaissance architecture in its construction, and they did it well. The winged horses that show up here and there in the series are pretty neatly designed and executed as well.
The character designs could've been done better, I think. Most everyone in this show looks pretty generic -- well-animated, for the most part, but fairly generic. And there are times when it was pretty obvious that they were trying to save budget with pan shots, still frames, and glossing over fight scenes. The animation quality dropped every once in a while, too.
Music: The background music for this was a study in extremes: it was either melodramatic or overdramatic string orchestra, to match the "epic" fight scenes and "dramatic" revelations, or soft and gentle string and piano numbers, to match the "tender" moments and the angst. All in all, it took the suckiness to whole new places.
The two versions of the OP and its instrumental, a cover of Josh Groban's "You Raise Me Up" by Lena Park, were used at several points in the series, and even if I didn't really like where it was used, I liked the songs themselves. The first ED, "Cyclone" by 12012, was a pretty nice rock piece as well. I didn't like the second ED all that much, as it was another female emo ballad, which we kind of already had in the OP.
Seiyuu: Overall, the seiyuu for this did a good job in portraying their characters, even if I hated their characters' guts. Props especially to Tybalt and Montague's seiyuu, who pitched their voices so that they matched, something I didn't recognize till I saw them in scenes that happened one right after the other, which was a hint to a major (if slightly WTF-ish) plot point.
Length: Honestly? I think this series shouldn't have even been able to get off the ground -- whoever greenlighted this should probably get fired.
But, in the long run, this was just way too long. I was starting to get sick of this around episode 13. If they went and retooled the whole damn thing (and maybe took care of the issues with the plot and the characters), they should've been able to wrap this up in about sixteen to twenty episodes, and had a chance of it being decent, too.
Overall: A pretty, well-acted series that, unfortunately, is an EXTREMELY loose adaptation of the original has nothing resembling a plot for most of its entirety, and when it does get a plot, it's quite WTF-ish, one-note characters that, for the most part, you will HATE with a passion by the third episode (except maybe for Tybalt) and music (save for the OP and the first ED) that doesn't help its case.
I decided to watch this series on a complete whim. As a lover of tragedies and angst, I've always liked the original Shakespearian play well enough, despite its many flaws. Unfortunately, if the original play had many flaws, then this incredibly loose adaptations has them tenfold.
STORY - There's no hiding from it. This series is a horrible bastardization of Shakespeare's play and retains very few similarities beyond character names, references, and the fact that Romeo and Juliet have the purest and most cliche love for each other ever! That said, the changes made are interesting, if nothing else. The fantasy elements don't seem important at first, but devour the series at the end, which I found very unpleasant and unnecessary. Indeed, the second half the series, because that's where most of the major divergence from the original play occurs, I found to be less entertaining than the first. Everything just got very repetitive after a while and I found myself not caring at all about the fate of the characters, which is never a good thing.
But even the story for the first half of the series wasn't very impressive in general, and even now, I'm not sure why I even bothered to finish off the series. The pacing was haphazard and there were far, far too many redundant scenes involving Romeo and Juliet's apparent infatuation with each other, not to mention certain character repeating themselves a thousand times, as if you didn't already know what was going on. I'm all for the romantic fluff, but come on, this is stupid. In summary, there was nothing great about the story of Romeo x Juliet at all, and that's considering I did like the original well enough. I suppose then, if you really didn't even like the original, you wouldn't find anything of interest here at all.
CHARACTER - I didn't really like any of the characters in RxJ. It was really kind of sad. I was especially disappointed that Mercutio's role was diminished greatly until near the end of the series and even then, he was not the character he was in the original -- upsetting because there, he was my favorite. Not to mention that he was incredibly out of character. Tybalt was similarly unrecognizable, but at least he remained Juliet's cousin, unlike Benvolio, who was no longer Romeo's cousin. Romeo and Juliet themselves were kind of... eh. Well, Romeo was a great, big pussy with that cliche sense of idealism and justice. This made him incredibly annoying for the entirety of the series, and I found it hard to sympathize with any pain and suffering he went through.
Juliet was probably the most interesting character in the series, which really isn't saying much, but hey. Because she was forced to dress like a man all her life (to keep her identity a secret), she had a lot of boyish qualities about her and was therefore a little more badass than her original counterpart. This made it kind of interesting, but as the series progressed, she lost her male persona and her stereotypical girly qualities kind of took over, including lots of ridiculous heartbreak/lonely scenes that were full of ridiculous.
I found the stark good guy/bad guy division in this series to be incredibly boring. There didn't seem to be very many shades of grey and it was basically CAPULETS GOOD, MONTAGUES BAD, or at least, Lord Montague was the definition of EVILLLLL. This was painfully obvious in all interactions between Romeo and Lord Montague (his father). Cliche character personalities are cliche. They tried to rectify this a little at the end by giving Lord Montague some pathetic sobstory to explain why he was the way he was, but it wasn't very convincing at all, and I certainly wasn't impressed.
ARTWORK & ANIMATION - I really dislike the style RxJ is drawn in. The noses are just ginormous, and I don't like it. :( Other than that though, the animation in the opening is bloody gorgeous... too bad it doesn't carry into the series! Overall, I'd say the animation in the actual episodes was pretty average, maybe on the lower end of average though. I was especially not fond of how they treated equine anatomy, but that may just be me.
MUSIC - The opening theme for RxJ is a Japanese cover of "You Raise Me Up" (which has apparently been covered more than 125 times, according to Wiki). About half the music in the series was also this song, including an English cover by the same singer, and various instrumentals. Most of the other music was pretty negligible, probably because this theme is what stands out the most. It's a pretty song though and the artist, Lena Park, has a very nice voice. The end theme is okay, but nothing amazing.
DUBBING/VOCALS - I saw this entire series subbed. Nothing stood out as good or bad, so I guess average all around.
OVERALL - As you can see, this was a pretty mediocre series all around, and it's no wonder it wasn't very popular at all. Like I said, I still don't understand exactly why I got so hooked (I saw the entire series in about three days), especially since I'd recognize its sub par quality from the very beginning, but I did, so I guess there has to be some redeeming qualities about it... I just can't really think of any right now. But that might be because I really hated the ending, which I found incredibly lame! In conclusion, I don't recommend this in particular unless you're really curious or really bored. :3read more
Firstly, it's important to point out that the name of this series is NOT "Romeo and Juliet" for a reason, that being it's not a clone of Shakespeare's original play. Now, I for one find that there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but for those who are either expecting the famous classic or cannot bear to see an exploratory remake, this series is NOT for you.
Okay, that out of the way...
Romeo X Juliet is a fantasy spin on its namesake with adorable characters and a team of well placed seiyū- including my personal favorite Ryōtarō Okiayu (e.g: Byakuya from Bleach). Much like the play it is based on, this series holds a combination of romance, drama, and conflict. However, unlike Shakespeare's original piece, the various plots and stories within (there are about 3) could actually stand on their own.
Sticking true to its predecessor, Romeo and Juliet are nobles from opposing households who fall in love and as a result must embark on numerous obstacles in order to be together. The twist to this tale, aside from the fantasy element, is that the bloodline of one household has been almost completely eradicated by the other, and its sole survivor is pressed to take revenge not just in retaliation, but for the good of an entire country. Combine such a journey with the conflicting hearts of the story's protagonists, and those that support and are against them, and you come out with a potentially interesting tale. Unfortunately, the series was not able to follow through on such potential, and came up lacking.
The romance aspect, which is the story's backbone, does not have the intense passion and heart throbbing intrigue as one would expect from anything associated with 'Romeo and Juliet'. Rather, it comes across as very forced, and until the story's end it may have been better for everyone involved had the two lovers stuck to simply being friends.
Another of its plot - remember I said there are about three - seems not only heavily out of place, but down right ridiculous as its presence is what determines the fate of the anime's hero and heroine...nope, I will not say what it entails as that alone would be one major spoiler.
Another reason why the story was unable to realize its full potential, lays with the horrendous character design of Juliet. It is obvious that the female protagonist was meant to be shown as a strong and capable female, but instead she comes across as flat, worthless, selfish, and highly annoying. This may be the reason that the romance between her and Romeo failed to come across with any sort of intensity, as her personal character was so lacking that she is the last person best suited for a someone like Romeo. Romeo, with his genuine heart, spontaneity and naivety, comes across as so real and immensely lovable, that to hand him off to one such as Juliet is a moral felony. Unlike Juliet's superficial emotions, Romeo's feelings come across with such immense depth that I can say he is the only one of the two who really knew how to love, and was in love.
The other characters are very noteworthy. Once again, I must point out that since things have been changed from the original play, do not be surprised that it affects the characters as well. However, despite their change, the main elements that made them unique in Shakespeare's original, still holds very true to them in the series. It is easy to get caught up in how drastic the changes are, but if you take a breather and step back, you will see that it really works for them - the core is still the same.
My personal favorites, aside from Romeo, are Francisco (the story's bijin because you know there just had to be at least one) and Curio - Juliet's bodyguards who do indeed lash out at the heroine when she is being fickle (much to my pleasure), Willy - who is very noteworthy as you can say he depicts the role of Shakespeare and it is this experience that has caused the original tale to come about, and Antonio - Juliet's pint sized, side-kick with a heart of strength and gold.
The Art in the series is nothing to rave about. It is simply Decent where the main characters are the only ones who get much artistic attention (which is far cry away from being detailed), and people in the background are portrayed with bland outlines and fillings. The backdrop - buildings, landscape and etc...range from Poor to Decent as one would expect much more from a fantasy setting. The color is not as bright and whimsical as it should have been, given its genre and setting, and things do appear painstakingly bland.
The Music was a disappointment. There is barely, if anything, remarkable about the soundtrack. There is nothing that will captivate and reel you in. There are no tunes that will make you feel the anguish and beauty of love and the character's situation, and there is nothing riveting for moments of battle or dark scenes.
All in all, it was quite a chore to sit through 24 episodes of this. Things did not start to get interesting (at least, as interesting as it could get for this series) until about the 10th episode and then it fell yet again. I was very happy when it ended.
It's important to note that my dislike for the anime has nothing to do with the changes to the original piece - If anything I really enjoyed that much and I honestly think that Shakespeare himself would applaud it as well...this coming from a Shakespeare fanatic. It is poor because it had such great potential, such a talented staff, but it did not follow through.
I went into this anime not expecting to like it very much. I am not a fan of Shakespeare. I am also not a fan of plots that showcase war and revenge. As it turned out, I am, however, a fan of Romeo X Juliet.
This is NOT your ordinary melodramatic love story. This is an adventure.
All of the characters are presented well and integrate with the story seamlessly, allowing this fictional world to brim with life, with living, breathing characters. Romeo and Juliet are portrayed as strong and brave protagonists that dynamically grow through each episode. The Capulets quickly become likable comrades plotting against the Montagues through perfect camaraderie, and this coupled with Romeo and Juliet overcoming regular adversities kept me watching. You can't help but care for them all. And the romance isn't sappy, but captivating and without a single blemish in its execution. Best of all, there are no fillers; each episode is dense with quality content.
Yes, the anime might not adhere to Shakespeare's version to the T, but I loved the enhancements: Juliet as a cool Zorro-like figure, Neo Verona set in the skies, and especially the flying pegasus! The visuals are fantastic, from character design to setting detail and imagination... everything! Be sure to watch this one on a large screen. And the opening, with Lena Park's rendition of "You Raise Me Up"... a slice of heaven right there. I wasn't a fan of the ending though, and the more magical aspects of this anime (e.g. the tree near the end) did not seem to fit very well.
Please try it. The first few episodes should be all it takes. read more
An anime version of Romeo and Juliet? Interesting.
But its a loose adaptation. Very loose. Don't expect Romeo X Juliet to be like the original Shakespeare play. This review, is written by a person who never read the play but has researched enough about it. Arguably, all the characters in this anime are made differently, unintentionally or not, from their counterparts. And from these traits we get an awfully plentiful disagreeing opinions.
Now for a detailed review...
The discussion of this part is going to be longer than the others because its the core of the anime, being an "adaptation." Let us begin with the basics; the original Romeo and Juliet is a very romantic tragedy with intense passion and drama of two very young lovers from enemy clans. And undeniably, it could be the most famous love story written, romanticizing love at a very high level. Also, the play has many social and societal issues that are heavy for younger people.
But, Romeo X Juliet defied the themes of the original by setting a different, lighter mood through a fantasy world. It was not made to adapt the original at all. The given conflict of the Capulet and the Montagues' dispute is briefly introduced to give way to additional plot lines such as oppression of the masses, heroism and coming of age. In context, this anime does not fall short of creativity in interpretation and twists in respect to the Shakespeare's play.
And of course, the heart of the story is the love between Romeo and Juliet- romance. And I can say that made a good job in creating interesting sweet and innocent love story between the two characters through memorable cinematic scenes. It was further made good by many emotional lines and dialogues, both original and quoted from the play itself, that are appropriately romantic.Those wonderful aesthetic qualities combined with the challenges the two must face warms up the interesting and the well-paced story.
However, though it has many notable rare qualities, its full of inconsistencies and wasted potential. I repeat, a lot of wasted potential; foreshadowing and the plot itself. Somehow, this anime introduces a lot of unconventional and promising conflicts, especially at the beginning, that disappointingly, unexplored further or left hanging. The Capulet and the Montagues' dispute was rather shallow and offers cliched character involvement which will be elaborated later in the review. Other notable examples could be the new characters, duty and a possible forbidden love.
The anime has a bad habit of introducing something big and exciting, and suddenly replacing it with in-character yet obvious internal conflicts, and gets resolved in a manner that's nothing brilliant. In par with this, many sub-plots have thin links with the main focus of the show. And most probably, the greatest weakness of the anime was the short climax build-up that lacks intensity. And the "climax" itself, a poor attempt to adapt the ending of the original, is totally unrelated to the path leading to it. Lastly, there are some important plot devices that makes very little sense at all.
But one thing makes all of these work: Romeo and Juliet. Their fairy-tale like romance is just so addictive because of its innocent nature. Ideally, they're in love, but in a mature perspective, its an obvious infatuation and a very compatible friendship. Its not intense, passionate and dark but rather the opposite. And of course, if they're together, they make it look that everything will work out. Well, the series did work out because of them, the anticipation of a different ending is a driving force to finish the series.
Pure romance is excellent, everything else that complements it are mediocre.
Artistically, this anime has done very well in dramatizing the themes with an excellent opening. Not only that, as I mentioned, cinematography and the bright mood of lovely scenes made its romance element noteworthy. However, the setting, the clothes, the building designs, appropriate they be, are nothing exceptional or new for they are based of from real life designs, except the pegasus perhaps. Romeo and Juliet's color schemes work well andare memorable.
Animation is another downer. It was inconsistent at most.
The opening song itself "Inori (You raise me up)" by Lena Park raised the score of this anime. It was beautiful, intense and well performed and placed in appropriate scenes in different themes. Disappointingly, the endings songs are pale in comparison with it.
Background music is as inconsistent with the story. It is very touching, light, mellow with Romeo and Juliet scenes and anything concerning romance. It adds up to the feeling of love in many scenes and makes them more memorable. So; the light romantic element itself is again portrayed exceptionally, everything else seems so bland and lacking.
A Code Geass Review has this line but I guess it will be very appropriate to put it here too:
"All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts..." - Shakespeare
William itself is in the anime, a nice caricature. Though he has minimal involvement he his comments are a nice homage and perspective to what what happening.
The characters in the anime are different and can be considered "twisted" versions of the original. Let us begin with the main protagonists; Romeo and Juliet:
Juliet is probably the true heroine of the story and she is very tradition defying one. She's considerably lacks maturity, evident from her views, actions and emotional responses. Yet, her strength and capabilities in leadership and combat pushes a fairly well development on her side. And being torn between her duty and her feelings for Romeo, the way she overcomes the hurdles of of these internal struggles is something that only few female characters achieved. The used metaphor for actions, also for her love and determination she shared with Romeo, the "wind" suits her role in stirring a revolution and going against the odds. She's apparently more level-headed than the original Juliet.
Romeo too, is a very unique prince, because his role of a child of an influencial/evil person, a kindhearted noble who advocates reform, well mannered, naive and innocent nature are the usual stereotypes for lead heroines: That's right, mainly princesses. But he fitted his role well and it's in tandem with his idealism and pure, young love for Juliet. And amazingly,none of these traits badly affect his male protagonist image, but rather it makes him more lovable and adorable. On the other hand, the real Romeo is impulsive, violent and too passionate according to some sources.
Romance worked out very well between the two, but again, mostly everything else is utterly mediocre. One big flaw is the lack of intense reaction from the other characters regarding RXJ love. It should be outrageous, scandalous, disappointing, shocking- all kinds of emotions to further juxtapose love. But all the characters are lacking in that area so the challenges RxJ face aren't romantic in nature themselves but rather situational or societal. Personal issues are always defeated by love. And like what I explained earlier, those conflicts have wasted big potentials.
The best example of poor character involvement is the repetitive "Montagues are evil" and "The Capulets must be destroyed." And the reason for that? Cliches...
Through all those negative attributes, the side characters are not that bad at all. There is the presence of nice best friends like Benvolio and Cordelia. Loyal protector with interesting little secrets and personalities like Curio and Francisco are very likable. The cast from the original play is certainly "animated" here, as alternate persons. Although the background people are decent enough, some of them made no contribution to the overall drama; just creating additional insignificant situations.
This is very opinionated and based on my preference; I had high hopes for this series but I was very disappointed. But I can say that I did enjoy it, especially the lovely scenes between RxJ. It succeeds in making the audience experience the kind of love that is shared between the two. I makes people "fall in love."
From the name of the anime, you can tell what it will be about, based on Shakespeare's original work.
Even from watching the opening theme, you can see that the series does not appear to be like the original, so don't expect it and judge this series based on that. For example... flying horses?
The story is extremely well played out. The only reason why I didnt rate the story any higher was that sometimes, the fantasy elements were too much, and didnt always fit in *spoiler* (Escalus). Only at the very end do all the elements fit together. Although almost everyone knows how a Romeo and Juliet story should end, you cant help but anticipate what twist Gonzo will throw in. Most of the story's details are different from the original, but all the underlying themes are there.
The art is beautiful. The character designs are different from commonplace anime designs, and the backgrounds are amazing.
The music is amazing. The opening theme suits the anime very well. The insert song in episode 7 was AMAZINGLY placed and well done... brought me to tears. The ending songs are also good, but at first they dont seem to fit. But as you sit and listen to it and think about the episode.. it just feels right.
I liked the characters the most in this series. One thing I didnt like about the original story was the love between Romeo and Juliet. It seemed more like infatuation, and there was no development of love between them. In this adaptation. there is actually love. You see the characters struggle and love each other so much. Actually, I havent seen such good relationship development in anime for a while (and this includes romance animes). The other characters, although almost all of them have a different role, all fit their new roles very well.
I found this series extremely enjoyable and definitely recommend it to any anime viewer who enjoys adaptations, and a clean anime full of love and struggle. read more
I figured that I should write my first review with one of my favorite stories I've ever seen/read. Romeo x Juliet is one of the most romantic and tragic anime ever because it's derived from Shakespeare's play, Romeo and Juliet, duh. But the anime's story is a little bit different than Shakespeare's, with the addition of mythical creatures and magic to add even more drama into an already dramatic story.
Story: The love story between Romeo Candorebanto Montague and Juliet Fiammata Asto Capulet. But instead of their parents being enemies and forbidding their love, the Montague family killed the entire Capulet family, except for Juliet who grows up to be the people's hero of justice, "Red Whirlwind". Meanwhile, the Montague family is a tyranny, and cruel to the people, therefore making them Juliet's opponent. And in the midst of a rebellion, Romeo and Juliet's destinies cross, and the all so romantic and tragic love story between Romeo and Juliet begins. I loved the anime version as much as I did the original play, and I LOVED the original play! There were moments... No, the entire anime was tugging at my feelings, there were many scenes where I couldn't help but cry soo much!!
Art: The art was the same as your typical anime made around 2007, not clear and beautiful, but a more realistic looking art. The characters were designed just the way I had imagined them when I read Romeo and Juliet. I loved the quiet symbolism of poison, roses and beautiful angelic wings.
Sound: This was amazing! Romeo and Juliet had the perfect voice cast for them! The music certainly made all the sad moments in Romeo and Juliet even sadder! The song, "You Raise Me Up" was beautiful and tear-jerking! Oh my goodness when it played at the end of the anime, I cried soo much!!
Character: A large variety of characters that could have been developed a bit more, or gotten a bit more screen time. But, there's my 2 favorites characters Romeo and Juliet, and that is enough for me. The romance and tragic level between Romeo and Juliet destroys my heart everytime I watch/read about them.
Enjoyment: I enjoyed it so much, and I cried so much watching this anime. The anime isn't the same as the Shakespeare play. Romeo x Juliet has more mythical creatures and overdramatic sad scenes that grasps the attention of the audience more than Shakespeare's original play. Romeo x Juliet is definitely one of the greatest romance stories ever, and one of my favorite stories ever! Everyone must watch or read Romeo x Juliet!read more
Added new depth to the classic William Shakespeare tail Romeo and Juliet.
I had a few doubt going into this series, but my misgivings were quickly put to rest, I thought it might turn out like the Leonardo DiCaprio movie Romeo and Juliet, the movie was pretty bad. Thankfully the anime series is a whole lot better.
Romeo X Juliet is a extraordinary anime series. There is the same story of two waring families, and the two children from the families falling in love. There are so many things that make this a great anime series. First the story, sure there's the same classic story, but GONZO added much more and new twists to the story. The world the anime series takes place in is wonderful. A mysterious land floating in the sky, winged horese, and of course the Tree called Escalus. The mystery behind the floating land is the real story. The love story, between Romeo and Juliet is just a added benefit.
The characters were also amazing. GONZO brought many changes to them, adding more life to them than in the classic play. Characters from Lady Portia(Romeo's Mother), William, Ophelia, and many more.
Next is the music, which is excellent on par with Fullmetal Alchemist, but a notch below Cowboy Bebop.
Finally the animation is done by GONZO. The did a stunning job with Romeo X Juliet, it just amazes me how good a job they do.
Overall Romeo and Juliet is a classic anime series, and is in my top 5 anime series I've seenread more
When i first saw the title, i though it would be quite a cliche anime since the story itself is quite well known. But i must applaud the effort put in by the studio in adding a lot of extra detail while still being able to maintain the original storyline. Myself being a fantasy lover was immediately taken in by the flying horses and mythical tree. I think that they made the story more interesting and enhanced the mood,especially the drama in the show. So in terms of the story it was quite well done in my opinion and should not be taken lightly because of its title.
The artwork was fairly good, although i don't pay that much attention to the artwork,there were certainly no noticeable flaws in the animeand the characters were drawn quite well.
The Songs in the show were quite an interesting selection. The opening was a surprise to me in that i never imagined there would be japanese version of the song "You Raise Me Up", but it fitted well with the anime. The ending was more upbeat then the opening which i squite different from your usual anime but i guess i dont detest it since its something different fro a change. The inserts of the english version of the opening helps to enhance the mood in the story and her voice is amazing.
The Characters is of course what makes the story so great.However, in this anime too much focus is on the main characters and the supporting characters do not get much showtime, so it is a bit onesided. But they still used the supporting character well to create the setting i shant spoil it.It is also interesting to see William in the anime acting as if the story actually originated from this anime and his presence is another interesting feature of this anime
I thoroughly enjoyed this anime because i myself am a romance-drama anime fan. But i found it different from the original shakespeare version and it draws me in. The conflict and burden of the names that the two must carry draws in the audience and the ending is somewhat satisfying even though it is meant to be a tragedy, it was portrayed in a manner that seems like a happy ending which is good because i hate those open endings.
Overall, it is a good anime worth watching and should not be judged based on its title, i hope this was helpful to whoever reads it, its only my first review though.read more
In a word: disappointing. The early episodes showed the potential to be an exciting and imaginative spin on an old classic; but it wound up being dragged down by serious pacing problems and a plot that was all over the place. There were too many things that seemed to happen for no particular reason other than they needed a dramatic plot development at that moment.
Sometimes a mediocre story can be saved by the characters. The characters in this series are likeable enough and several have the potential to be interesting, but most of the time their development is too lacking or rushed to be satisfying. Particularly frustrating is Juliet herself, whom they try to present as a 'strong and spirited heroine' through the old shoujo shorthand of having her dress as a boy and swing a sword around; but she always seems to forget how to use it and trip over her own feet any time Romeo, Curio, Tybalt, or any other guy needs to dramatically come to her rescue.
Even as simple eye candy, the show doesn't quite measure up. Although the character and environment designs are gorgeous, the animation is inconsistent from episode to episode. (Also, if you're going to have flying horses as a major element in a series, you'd better make sure you have the budget to animate them decently!)read more
Have you ever seen Romeo and Juliet? It’s a really popular play written by William Shakespeare. Countless variations of the play have been adapted in different mediums. Movie, book, TV Series, Anime. You name it, they have it. It’s considered by many as probably the best romance story in all of literature. But does it live up to the hype? Is it really THAT good? Is it worth watching when I already know what will happen in the end? If this is a Q&A, I would’ve easily answered that, but this is a review so just find out as you read along. Romeo x Juliet: a tragic tale of love and revenge. Is it truly love that can never be?
Romeo x Juliet like its origin, Romeo and Juliet is a true masterpiece. Not only that it tells the beautiful story of love and revenge, but there’s also a fantasy twist which will just make things much more interesting. Having seen Romeo and Juliet plays for about three times now, I always felt that there is something missing. The original story feels somewhat 1D in comparison to the “remake” though I will never say that one is better than the other. They’re both good in their own ways but it feels like adding something new to the story makes it standout even more. I don’t know. Maybe I was just tired of seeing the same old story over and over again so when a bit of a fantasy element was added, I enjoyed it a lot better. The title in it of itself is enough reason for you to watch this show.
Though the series mainly focuses on Romeo and Juliet, it is not right to say that the supporting cast is not that good. You’ll either hate them (Lady Hermoine and King Montague) or love them (William Shakespeare appears in his own creation. lol.) but they are made for you to do so. You’ll hate a character because they were made to be hated. It like professional wrestling: Heels (Chris Jericho is the natural heel in my book) are made to be hated while Faces (Super John Cena) are made to be cheered for. Now, with the supporting cast out of the way, let’s talk about the 2 characters that gave the series its name: Romeo and Juliet.
At first, we have Juliet Fiammata Asto Capulet (No google. Fuck yes!) who is not your typical damsel in distress. Throughout the series, Juliet is always fighting. Not just for herself, but for everything as well. As Odin, her “superhero” alter ego, she fights the system for the right of every citizen of Neo Verona. While as Juliet, the rightful heir to the throne of de Capulete, she fights not only for her right for the throne, but for her love as well. In the course of 24 episodes, Romeo and Juliet had too little screen time together because they we’re always apart. This in turn made Juliet a little weaker but not helpless. She is a fighter down to her core. Shows a feminine side often but produces testosterone higher than even Simon, the personification of testosterone (in my book) himself. Okay, that’s enough. lol. What I’m trying to say is that, she may be a damsel in distress but she is definitely not that helpless. She’s just madly in love with Mr. Perfect, Curt Hennig, I mean Romeo.
Then, we have Romeo Candorebanto Montague (I googled that! Fuck yes!), a noble gentleman (Like yours truly) who died a virgin (Like you. Haha, burn! Just kidding! lol. )… Or did he? I think. Probably. Lesson? Be a gentleman but never abandon your perverted side. Be like me, I mean like Sanji. He’s a good example. lol. Anyway, back on topic. He, like me (*grins*), treats women really good (right Hermoine? *winks*) and does anything for the one he loves (aka. Andres de Saya. It’s an expression in my country. Send me a PM or comment if you want to know what that means. lol.). The personification of chivalry and that’s about it. I have nothing much to say about his character other than that. He’s not a bad character but I didn’t give a shit about him that much. He’s just a bit perfect for my taste. I sometimes imagine him walking and the words noble, gentleman, handsome, and perfect will simultaneously pop on top of his head. You know, like that one in Seitokai Yakuindomo (Fun show. Go watch it.). lol. I’m getting a little sexist but that’s fine, right? I’m a man after all so I think it’s natural that I care about Juliet more than him. In all seriousness though, I feel like he’s a male nadeshiko, perfect, just too perfect for my taste.
Romeo x Juliet was animated by Gonzo back in 2007. But if you’re familiar with Gonzo, you know that they are a bit hit and miss. Though they can make amazing stuffs like Full Metal Panic, they can also do things like Gantz. It’s as if they flip a coin and be like: “If its head then let’s put all our effort in it, but if its tails then let’s just fuck it”. Well, going back on topic. In Romeo x Juliet’s case, I think it’s safe to say that the coin landed on its head. The animation is nothing too fancy but definitely still worthy of praise. I don’t remember seeing any CG which is like Gonzo’s trademark. I just might not have noticed it but I’m pretty sure they didn’t wave their 3D cocks in this series. Not much bombastic scene other than the few battle scenes and the “thing” in the end so the animation was a little stale but I think it’s not enough to deter future viewers. Overall, the animation is pretty polished for a Gonzo show.
If I can marry a voice actress, it would probably be Brina Palencia. She’s got the looks, the voice, and the wits (Go check out her con-session videos with J. Michael Tatum on Youtube, it’s really cute). So when I heard her dub for Juliet, I was seriously fangasming. Just like how Crispin Freeman is the embodiment of Alucard, Brina is the only one meant to play as Juliet. She nailed both her damsel in distress persona as well as her Odin alter ego. In regard to Chris Burnett who played Romeo, it’s a real good dub; however, I think there are other ones who are much more suited for the job. I can’t really think of a name, but I just felt that his dub was not as powerful as Brina’s. And because I have only seen the dub, I don’t really have anything to say about the sub. I’ve never seen the Japo dub line up as well, so I can’t predict if it’s a good dub on their part. So, if you plan on watching it for the first time, it’s only obvious that I suggest that you watch it dubbed. It’s a Funimation dub so it’s really good.
The soundtrack is really good too, specially the different variations of the original “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban. Though repetitive, I wouldn’t say I was unhappy about it because it was always used at the right moment. One perfect time when it was used was at episode 7. Oh my god, I swear to God (even if I’m an atheist), my testosterone level have never been so low my entire life. I was about to squeal but I was watching it with my friends so I had to hold back a little. Anyway, yeah, at that time when a certain event happened at episode 7, the way they used You Raise Me Up was just godly. To this day, every time I watch it, I still get goosebumps. All I can say is, well done. There’s also this instrumental version of the song (I really suck at identifying sounds. It might be a guitar or a piano or neither) and when I hear that, I naturally sing along with it.
If there’s one “flaw” in this series, I would say it was its ending. Though technically not a flaw, I feel like as a human being, you have already been spoiled even before you watch this show (If you don’t know how Romeo and Juliet ends then you, my friend, have been living under a rock your whole life. And since I’m a bit generous today, here’s a gift: Romeo and Juliet both die in the end. You’re welcome). Though the means differ in both mediums, the tragedy is still present and may deter some people because they know what will happen. No offense to those who have that mindset, but I personally thinks that’s a stupid reason for not even touching the show. Romeo and Juliet is a true masterpiece in any medium and we should all watch it at least once in our lifetime. Do not be deterred by the spoiler, even if they both die, their trials and hardships are what make the story incredible. “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey”.
With all that said, after some random computations, I’d gladly give Romeo x Juliet an overall score of 9.06 out of 10. As a true masterpiece made by the one and only William Shakespeare, no human being have the acceptable excuse to not watch it. It is a beautiful story of love and revenge that I’m sure 95% of viewers will really like. The other 5% probably have poor taste or just men with really high testosterone level. If you have not seen it yet, you have my full pledged recommendation in doing so. If my reviews have somehow helped you in the past then this one will surely end up to your liking as well.
Alternate Anime Recommendation:
For alternate anime recommendation, why don’t you try Gankutsuou: The Count of Monte Cristo? Both series centers around love and revenge that somewhat led to a tragic end. Though do not be deterred as both series have an outstanding journey in between them. And funny enough, both series was made by Gonzo back in the day and both of them are adaptations from really popular stories; Romeo and Juliet for Romeo x Juliet and The Count of Monte Cristo for Gankutsuou.
If you don’t like classic literature that much then we have… hmmm… *checks list* Ah! Got one! Nisekoi! I know what you’re thinking: “WHAT A SHITTY RECOMMENDATION FOR ROME X JULIET!” I know! I should probably punch myself. Though in defense, let me give some obvious comparisons. Both series have family feuds, romance (hahahaha!), and tragedy (because Nisekoi is a harem! Hahahahaha!). Though be warned that even if both series are somewhat comparable, they could never be much more different. I just couldn’t find another anime in my list that had the same premise so, yeah, fuck me! Hahaha!
And that’s it for me! Thanks for reading! Bye! read more
"Just another adaptation of one of Shakespeare's most popular plays. Boring." This was more or less what I thought when I stumbled upon Romeo x Juliet a while ago. One look at the opening credits of this anime suggested that I may have judged it too hastily, and 24 episodes later I knew I was definitely wrong.
It's a difficult task to improve upon the original story of Romeo and Juliet, a tremendous tale full of romance and tragedy. This anime adaptation pays a lot of respect to Shakespeare's famous work, and yet also manages to throw in so much of it's own ideas. Unlike the 1996 American film adaptation which was set in modern-day Verona, the anime changes the setting to Neo Verona, an aerial continent. Incorporated into this new fantasy setting are elements such as dragon steeds and enchanted trees. Rather than having two warring families on equal grounds, the anime instead depicts the Montagues as the dominant family, who force the Capulets into hiding for several years. The main theme of the story remains the same, with an ill-fated love between Romeo and Juliet accompanied by a rebellion by the Capulets towards the Montagues. However, the anime also includes many action scenes which gives the series plenty of energy and excitement. No matter how much one wishes against it though, the anime stays true to its roots and provides a tearjerker of an ending.
The animation in Romeo x Juliet is excellent during the first half of the series, but unfortunately there is a dip in quality during the second half. The character models are simple but effective, whereas the city of Neo Verona is shown in great detail and full of vibrant colours. The action sequences are also well animated.
The musical score supports this anime very well, and most of the tracks are used at the most suitable moments to create uplifting, dramatic, or sad atmospheres. The narrative is also superb, keeping in tone with Shakespeare's original play by including lines which use an older style of English as well as many of his quotes. The opening song (Inori ~ You Raise Me Up) is extremely soothing and fits the overall theme of the story perfectly. However, the first ending song doesn't suit this anime at all, whereas the second ending is fairly average when compared to the opening.
The characters in Romeo x Juliet don't disappoint either, and a lot of them feel like a breath of fresh air to the story. If you've seen or read the original play, forget what you already know about Mercutio and Tybalt, because they (among a few others) have different backgrounds and personalities. There are quite a number of new characters introduced, including one who is basically Shakespeare himself! The side characters are interesting to a certain extent in their own little ways, and provide decent support to the main leads. Surprisingly, the background of Romeo’s father is explored in quite a bit of detail, which partly helps to explain why he acts like a tyrant. Then we come to Romeo and Juliet, who as expected get the most screentime and development out of the whole cast. The length of the series allows it to take the time to develop each of the two main leads individually and thoroughly; Romeo has a strong desire to help others despite a lack of affection from his tyrannical father, whereas Juliet masquerading as a hero of justice is a great idea and provides another dimension to her character (she can handle a sword just as well as anyone in this show). The chemistry between the two feels very realistic and heartwarming, and never too cheesy.
Romeo x Juliet is a great series to watch, feeling familiar yet new at the same time. The main part of Shakespeare's play is still here, but there are so many other aspects to it too. The pacing of the story slows down a little during the middle section (due to the two leads embarking on their own separate adventures for a while), but any other flaws aren't noticeable enough to detract from the enjoyment too much. Definitely recommended. read more
"For never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo.."
Now, at first glance, one would think that this was just another adaptation of the tragic/romantic play.
However, dear viewers, not all is what it may seem. The creators of this show (and the manga, of which I figure there is one) takes the story and twists it into more of a sort of Hamlet adaptation than a Romeo and Juliet. The forbidden, star-crossed love is still there, but there is now a revenge plot to reclaim what was lost.
Even so, the story was still entrancing, as were all of the characters. As a Shakespeare fan, I did appreciate a lot of the dialogue as well as the certain nods and nuances to the Bard's play and several characters from his works. Not to mention the Bard himself makes a hilarious cameo.
The most endearing and appealing part to this show (as well it should be) though, is definitely the two leads. Their interactions are quite heart-felt and incredibly sweet. I will give this show a nod, as it really fleshes out the romance far more than the play ever did. The two characters talk and get to know each other a bit more than the originals did in the entirety of the three days that they knew each other. Even their deaths (oh come on, you knew it would still happen) was far more heartbreaking than it ever was in the play. The play has stupid teenagers not thinking through things. The anime has two young adults sacrificing themselves for the good of all and for love.
Another creative touch they added to this adaptation was the role reversal of the two leads. It's not Romeo who sneaks into a party, it's Juliet. It's not Romeo who flees to Mantua. It's Juliet. It's quite interesting and a new way to look at the story. I couldn't help but think it made the show far more interesting to see how they would twist the narrative around further.
My only issue I really had with the show was the way some of the characters were twisted around to benefit the story of this loose adaptation. Sadly, we no longer have the fun-loving witty Mercutio or the villainous, crazed Tybalt. Mercutio was the character I really mourned for. There was a lot of wasted potential on his part. Also, there was a definitive lack of play dialogue. I really was missing one of them saying the famous,
"My only love sprung from my only hate!!"
Wasted opportunity there, man.
In the end, this show is definitely worth a watch, even I would say, for those who love Shakespeare or the play. While it's not a faithful adaptation - heck, it's hardly an adaptation at all - it still retains the spirit and the romance of the play. You still love the characters and you still wish for happiness for the two leads. It's well worth the watch. And you'll definitely either tear up or feel your chest tightening a teeny bit.read more
I went into this anime really wanting to like it. And I did - fo about half the show.
The story is focusing on the classic romance between Romeo and Juliet, and mixes in fantasy elements.
Juliet starts out as a vigilante-type character who opposes the oppressive rulers, the Montague family, and is in the beinning really cool and driven, who eventually finds out she is the last Capulet - the former rulers of the nation.
Romeo is the heir of the Montague family and is a compassionate, kind young man who wants to grow up to do the best for the people.
Now, this sets up a very cool scenario about freedom-fighting and forbidden love, and it really works - in the beginning.
When the characters inevitably fall for each other it feels like they just don't care about the fight for the people anymore and the plot feels a lot flatter after about the halfway mark...
And I won't spoil anything, but what the heck was up with that ending? It just felt very rushed and forced.
I would reccomend this anime if you're just looking for a romantic anime, and not much else.
But if you came to this anime because you heard it was a cool romantic story about classisism, family feuds, freedom fighting and an interesting, unique twist on a classic story you should maybe not waste your time on this. read more
As a big Shakespeare fan and an even bigger fan of "Romeo and Juliet", I have been wanting to watch this series for quite some time. In order to do this, I had to overcome my initial wariness of all the deviations from the original work.
From the noble origins of the main characters to their ties and relationships with all the other characters as well as the names for some new questionable characters (see Lancelot, Ophelia and even... Hermione!?), I was willing to overcome these changes and additions as they would seemingly make for a more interesting and far more developed story than Shakespeare's original work.
Nevertheless, this story was far from being truly original itself, for it not only borrowed from Shakespeare, but also from many other well-known tales such as Robin Hood, Les Misérables, and many others. This could, again, be easily ignored for the sake of entertainment, but as the story progresses, more and more random elements come into play, making the anime drift off farther and farther away from the source material. This becomes truly annoying towards the end, where something like "The Tree of Life" from Avatar suddenly appears along with a Mayan-style theme concerning sacrifices.
This could, again, have been easily ignored if it actually made sense and turned the story into an outstandingly fresh piece of work, but, unfortunately, it didn't.
As if that wasn't enough, at least 3 characters are spared from dying like they did in the original work, for seemingly no purpose whatsoever.
Additionally, the design of Neo Verona itself is also a mix of a bunch of Italy's best sights along with some influence from other countries. Nevertheless, the art and architecture are generally well executed and enjoyable to look at. Although the animation overall is not outstanding, it is definitely pleasant and fits the overall tone of the story pretty well. The only downside to this would probably be the CGI (ugh, those flags!), but thankfully its use is fairly limited.
The terrible CGI is compensated with some lovely music, where the opening song is used both in Japanese and in English (though I personally prefer the English version and would have liked to see it played more often throughout the series). The ending songs are also nice, and, while nothing memorable, they give a nice look and feel to the show. (Despite people being "surprised" about the first ending since it is kind of a rock song, it's perfect for the large amount of action as well as the darker themes that appear in the series). The soundtrack is also well executed, and, again, while nothing outstanding, it certainly does its job pretty well.
Another strong point of this anime is definitely the voice acting, for it is of great quality (at least in the original Japanese version). Although I was not familiar with any of the seiyuus' work before, I was pleasantly surprised at what they did with Romeo x Juliet and how it all came together so well. This may also be thanks to the pacing, which, for me, was virtually perfect. Neither too fast nor too slow, this anime takes the right amount of time to develop its story and characters (although Tybalt could have certainly used some more time for his backstory and character development).
Despite its mishaps, this anime is definitely enjoyable and one well worth watching. Two pieces of advice, though: try to forget that this has anything to do with Shakespeare and watch out for developing an inevitable addiction! Now, what are you waiting for? Go and immerse yourself in the wonderful world of Neo-Verona, where I'm sure you'll be in for a real anime treat! read more
Alright, for better or worse, shelve what you know about Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet, this anime is a fantasy-action and romance story loosely *inspired* by the timeless play, not quite an adaptation. If that doesn't sound appealing or you were expecting Romeo & Juliet: the Noh Drama / [High School] Musical, you may leave. The rest of you...have a seat.
Story [6/10] - It should go without spoiling anything that the focus of the story is our hero Romeo and our heroine Juliet falling in love and the events that transpire before and as a result of this. Towards the beginning of the anime, the creative liberties taken and new characters introduced are refreshing, exciting, and it's great to see the lens focused with Juliet as the main character. The fantasy-like setting is fun. It starts out having a great mix of the romance, gripping backstory, action, and character development. Some shows use that momentum and ultimately finish out strong...but Romeo X Juliet sadly is not one of them. Had the second half been as good as the first half this score would be much higher. But if you appreciate good plot with an equally strong resolution rather than anime cliches, you like me will have an imprint of your face on your palm by the end.
Art & Animation [5/10] - Oh boy. At TIMES the art an animation quality are outstanding. R x J is sometimes here, sometimes there. Sometimes there are beautiful backgrounds with well drawn characters (the very beginning and very end are good examples), and at other times characters proportions, ESPECIALLY faces get completely screwed up the moment the character simply turns their head to face a different direction. In one episode, I thought to myself "they must have spent all the money for this episode on animating Juliet in that scene, because in this next scene Francisco's nose isn't on right..." I always try to look at animation in perspective of when it was made, and at times R x J has the animation production value of a show made in 2001. Gonzo and GK are both at fault here, because Gonzo is guilty of this in the past, and we all know they could have been better than that comparing to some of their other titles (even "moeblob" titles).
Sound (OST, OP/ED, Acting) [9/10] -
The OST is the true gem of this title. Whether or not you ever watch this show, you owe it to yourself to listen to if not OWN this soundtrack. Sakimoto-sensei is a man of exceptional talent, compared often to Uematsu Nobuo even though their styles are pretty different (probably by association to Final Fantasy, as his other famous work is the OST to FFXII). The often fully-orchestrated tracks bring an unbelievable amount of live into the characters, at times almost TOO much. But in this case, can't have too much of a good thing.
The OP is also fabulous, naturally pretty much a cover of "You Raise Me Up", but Korean-born Lena Park sings it with vigor and when she hits the high notes, the timbre and beauty of her voice really shine. Excellent staffing choice there. The EDs are enjoyable enough to listen to, the 2nd more than the 1st, but are overall pretty forgetable.
Lastly, the voice acting. Well I'll just say... Gonzo sure as heck saved money in this department. They probably spent most of their budget on Sakimoto-sensei. The female seiyuu are composed of a lot of unknown talents, and some of the best seiyuu in the production (Iwao Junko, Saito Chiwa) play very minor roles. The male seiyuu do a little better save for one gripe. Those who pay attention to the "acting" part of voice acting may agree with me, but it takes true grit to put up with Romeo's voice for 24 episodes (let alone Mizushima-san's voice in general but that is an opinionated digression not suited for this review). That aside the award for best role in the show goes to Ishii Kouji for his roles as Montague. Truly brings out, and makes you hate, the character which brings me to my next section...
Character [6/10] - At the beginning of the show, this really is around an 8 or a 9. The anime-original characters are very welcome, and whether or not you agree with the roles chosen for some similarly named characters from the play, the backstory of characters such as Tybalt are well written. Montague especially seems to be the perfect villain in the beginning, and continues to be through the later half. However...all semblance of character development seems to crumble in the last few episodes. You feel as if you are watching one of Willy's plays, because if you, even based on the anime alone, sit and think "what would the characters I have come to learn so much about over these past 20 episodes do in this kind of situation?" you'd be surprised at how contrary their actions seem, as if they are puppets in a play...or victims of poor writing on the staff's part. Some characters are completely forgotten, whilst others are simply assigned stereotypical "roles" which completely overwrite their personalities.
Enjoyment [7/10] - On the whole a fairly enjoyable title. The ups generally outweigh the downs and if you're looking for fantasy-romance, you can do worse than R x J. Some of the well written parts make the show worth seeing on the whole, and the incorporation of the OST as well as some of the "new" or "refreshed" characters give this title life differentiated from the Shakespeare play.
Overall (not an average) [7/10] - Based on the ANN Rating System "Good, worth seeing" Naturally there are negatives, the art and animation being the primary factor, and the somewhat rushed writing towards the end of the anime. But on the positive, the refreshed setting, new characters, and most of the character development make it worth the ride and some scenes may even be worth a rewatch. Like a good coaster, you will enjoy most of the ride, you just might get gas pains afterwards from that chili you ate before.