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24 of 24 episodes seen
This anime shares it's name and renaissance Verona setting with Shakespeare's tragedy. That's where their similarities end. Most of the characters have the same name as the ones in the original work but their personalities, actions and life expectancy are entirely different. Most obvious difference would be that anime Romeo x Juliet follows the structure of greek tragedy as much a Naruto does, and there isn't a trace of that foul and stingy Shakespearean comedy. There might be some scenes that reference the original, but since I'm not a Shakespeare fan, I only recognized a ridiculous balcony scene that serves more as a reference pun than a plot advancing scene.
Capulets ruled Neo Verona until Romeo's dad slaughtered them all except Juliet and usurped the duke's seat. 10 or so years later Juliet is a freedom fighter fighting Montague's tyranny with the help of remaining Capulet supporters. Romeo is a ruler's son flying around worrylessly on his pegasus (yeah, he has one). I will divide the story into three parts: romance, action and fantasy storyline.
First would be the romantic storyline that follows Romeo and Juliet's relationship.
It's a pure love story about them falling in love and transcending social boundaries that separate them. There aren't love-triangles or similar plot devices so I was never frustrated, it's just a really nice and beautiful love story.
Love without much drama sounds boring, but that's where the action/political part kicks in. Neo Verona is under rule of a tyrant so we get to enjoy the suffering of the lower classes and resistance members clashing with the city guards resulting in violent swordplay and high speed chases across the streets and roofs of Neo Verona. We're also shown some court intrigues surrounding Montague and other nobles. I'd compare this part of Romeo x Juliet with Rose of Versailles or BBC/HBO/RAI tv series Rome. Even though it's nowhere near as great as the aforementioned series, it should be an interesting watch for anyone who likes historical dramas infused with some action.
The fantasy storyline deals with a goddess and a flying continent. Neo Verona is a small continent floating in the sky due to influence of some godly forces that also maintain the natural balance of the continent. This part of RxJ serves almost no purpose until the last two episodes, it is painfully underdeveloped und totally unnecessary. I like fantasy anime and literature but from this sentence on, I will pretend that RxJ has no fantasy stuff except that the horses are replaced with pegasi.
The best part of RxJ is Juliet, one of my favourite female anime characters. She can stand her own in a fight with any male in the series and is a resistance leader loved and respected by both her followers and more passive citizens of Neo Verona. I've watched a lot of anime where "strong" girls shut away their feminine side and end up waiting for the wimpy guy to save them when real problems arise, but Juliet is different, she's always true to her emotions and always chooses her own path. It might seem she's a mary sue from what my fanboyish mind wrote above, but I wouldn't classify her as one as she tends to screw up when she's "choosing her own path" (though my uderstanding of what mary sue is might be somewhat questionable).
The other main is obviously Romeo, he's a skinny pacifist that I can't say much about because he's hardly noticeable due to Juliet's awesomeness.
There's a wide variety of side characters, they probably won't become your favourites but they're fleshed out well enough to keep the story interesting.
Art and sound
Art and animation aren't groundbreaking but I find them above average. Neo Verona looks great, it doesn't have Assassins Creed's Florence or Venice level of detail but it still looks beautiful and it's easy to imagine oneself living in it. Charater design is ok, I liked it but there was some "I've seen these characters before somewhere" moments. Animation is fluid during the action scenes.
Sound is nothing special, japanese voice actors did a solid job, except when pronouncing character's names, but I guess you can't expect a Japanese that doesn't speak italian to pronounce Juliet Fiammata Asto Capulet without any problems. Background music was ok, as I neither felt irritated by it nor felt it's absence. They used Raise me up a couple of times so I had to mute the sound since I hate the song (I also dislike the usage of modern music in mediums that use a quasi historical setting).
When you remove it's obvious influences from the picture, Romeo x Juliet is a very good action romance anime set in a detailed renaissance-looking city with a loveable heroine and an interesting story featuring political intrigues, revolution and an "awww" kind of love. I gave it a 9 because of Juliet being so awesome, but you can considered it an 8 if you think this review sounds too fanboyish in Juliet related parts.