We lay our scene in the fair Dahlia Academy, where two countries, both alike in dignity, come together; the "Black Doggies" of the Eastern Nation of Touwa and "White Cats" of the Principality of West have a longstanding feud. Romio Inuzuka and Juliet Persia, leaders of their respective dorms, seem to be bitter enemies.
In reality, however, Romio and Juliet are hopelessly in love, but revealing their relationship would call upon the ire of all their comrades. They hide their love to maintain peace, but a clandestine relationship means they miss out on many of the activities couples get to do. As they grow closer together, Romio and Juliet must come to terms with the fact that keeping their relationship a secret may prove to be impossible.
Being a great fan of the typical Romeo X Juliet school-twisted manga at hindsight, I was wishing for an anime adaptation of this rom-com for sometime, and when it premiered in Fall 2018, I was SO happy and ready for the anime adaptation by Liden Films, and it delivered flawlessly (well, small faults but big wins). (Yay, Happy Xmas wish granted!)
The story...let's just say that if you know a even a little bit about the Romeo X Juliet Shakespeary context, it's the exact same premise here, just in terms of different factions, mainly the White Cats and Black Dogs, led by both leaders Romio Inuzuka
and Juliet Persia. So with that, Dahlia Academy Boarding School (Juliet), was made as per the neutral ground for both factions to have and nurture education for everyone regardless of which faction they belong to. However, as both Inuzuka and Persia encounter each other *starts rolling Romeo X Juliet the play*, the amount of controversy that both have that's weighted on their shoulders become the main problem for concerning people.
And that's where the side characters come in. From the assistants, Inuzuka's ever-helpful assistant-cum-crush Hasuki and Percia's strangle-hold Princess Chartreux (just call her Char) are always there to help shape up each counterpart's emotions and feelings about each other, and confront each other as to deal with countless situations with the slightest damage possible. The most frightening are always the top brass, or model counsellors such as Inuzuka's own older brother Airu (which he despises greatly), twin sisters Kochou and Teria from the Black Dogs and Persia's relentless leaders Cait Sith, Anne Sieber and Rex from the White Cats to name a few. And of course, the White Cats rebel faction of Aby Ssinia, along with his supporter-cum-crush Somali and few others. Their depiction in the anime is just as frightening as in the manga, so great pointers for showing their cruelness. Overall, all characters were done as well as how they were in the manga.
From here on, really no problems at all. Liden Film's art and animation, bright, clean, fluid and showcasing some of the most simple but bad-ass animations when it comes to the serious stuff (e.g. scenes of action). That, I can go along with it. Same goes with the music too. I was concerned about FripSide's songs as the quality of songs they were pumping out in the modern times were average or didn't sound very good (as per the case of Dances With The Dragons). But, once that OP played, I was rest assured, this OP was fantastic and great, along with Riho Ilda's ED (which I should listen to her songs more) which was icing on the cake.
If there is the minimum fault I could lament with, was that the storytelling was quite slow, but once I compared that to the flow of the manga, it allayed most of the fears I had about pushing quantity for quality, and am glad that the slow storytelling compensated for most of the enjoyment I had for this anime. Heck, I'd even say this anime adaptation surpasses the manga in every way. It's a great one I tell you. If you're a fan of the Romeo X Juliet archetype, this anime is a must recommended watch. It puts a smile on my face, and so should inflict on you as well.
If you take a classic story like Romeo and Juliet and convert it into a modern romantic comedy, you’d get Kishuku Gakkou no Juliet. While neither series are alike to each other, they do borrow a few familiar themes with the most prominent being a forbidden romance. But there’s more to that, no?
Romance is practical in a show like this but it made me question first what the were really aiming for. I’m not familiar Yousuke Kaneda’s works but when it comes to a rom-com, they made the point crystal clear. Romio Inuzuka and Juliet Persia are in love. It’s the type of love that
ties these two lovebirds like fate. However, it’s a forbidden love as Romio and Persia belong in opposite sides of society. In their school (Dahlia Academy Boarding School), there are two rivaling countries. They are known as the “Black Dogs” and the “White Cats”. As the respective leaders of their dorms, you can expect a whole load of drama coming their way.
At first, this show felt like an experimental story of trial and error. The first few episodes depicts Romio and Persia in a relationship although they must keep it a secret to avoid consequences. They face numerous obstacles with their secret often being risked in public. This creates consequences which misunderstandings arise. Throughout the series, people assume Romio has been harassing Persia. There’s countless times in the show where Romio has to defend his own pride while maintaining his poker face persona. On the other hand, Persia has trouble hiding her own secret but can’t help but stay in love with Romio. You get the big picture here? The show sets up this sort of dilemma that seems to signal for a tragic or doomed relationship. And that’s a good thing. It makes the show feel less predictable as viewers will anticipate how their relationship will ultimately end. Will their relationship be an everlasting love or is it fated to be a tragedy?
While all this drama exists from behind the scenes, another main selling point is the rivalries in the show. The Black Dogs and White Cats are often going head to head in competition. Their personalities and attire also contrasts with each other greatly. The anime depicts the Black Dogs as rowdy individuals that almost seems to allude their behaviors as animals fighting for their territory. On the other hand, the White Cats are dressed more cleanly and maintain an aristocratical attitude to maintain their presence. Like cats, they are also cunning and are not afraid to take risks. The series takes opportunities to showcase both sides’ strengths and weaknesses. Through competition, the Black Dogs and White Cats strives to win no matter what in their adamant rivalry.
While Romio and Persia is the main focus, I suppose the audience wonders why the key visual contains other female characters. Make no mistake. This isn’t a harem despite the deceptive image of several girls surrounding our main male protagonist. Characters like Char, Hasuki, and the Wang sisters adds doses of drama in their own ways. For instance, Char often teases characters in playful ways like a curoius cat. Romio becomes one of her key targets although most of this is played for laughs. Hasuki is more outgoing and friendlier with others and that’s thanks to Romio’s influence. As one of the very few characters who knows the truth of his relationship with Persia, she’s definitely a character that he can trust. Unfortunately, not every character in this show is too welcoming. The Wang sisters are an example of this as their role has little impact on the overall story. Their debut in the show is nothing more than showing their status at school as prefects and there’s minimal character development for either girl. Still, you may wonder if this show has emotional drama. In the second half of the series, Romio and Persia’s relationship is really tested as they encounter more complex problems such as Romio’s brother.
Watching a romantic comedy like this probably gets predictable if you’ve seen similar shows before. The repetitive formula of misunderstandings, emotional segments, and character chemistry is usually drawn through dealing with social issues. Now I’m not going to deny this show is a cliché teenage soap drama. However, the show seems to shine best when we see the importance of Romio and Persia’s character relationship. Between the humor and drama, it maintains a balanced story without jumping over itself. However, I do wish the show extended its plot more from the manga. The series is ongoing and with just 12 episodes, there are other characters that are omitted. The plot seems to be structured in a way that gives the overall story its flow but not truly adapted to my expectations.
As a show produced by Liden Films, it’s satisfying to see the faithfulness of the character designs. The contrasting attires of the Black Dogs and White Cats shows their status at school with their personalities. Romio and Persia are the two to keep an eye on the most for their character expressions. This is because they behave in both honest and deceptive ways depending on circumstances. Thanks to characters like Char, we also get tons of humorous moments thanks to her manipulative antics. The feminine voice of Persia is also expressed adequately to showcase her elegant personality. Even when she cross-dresses a boy, Persia still maintains an overall cool image in public; a contrast to her more fragile self when alone with Romio. There’s also some fan service in the show so do be prepared for some cliché pitfalls like accidental perverted moments with loose clothes. Yes, this romantic comedy has it all.
Kishuku Gakkou no Juliet is far from being a classic Shakespearean tale but manages to capture the magic of a romantic comedy. I’ve seen many rom-coms in the past and most falls for the same tropes over and over. This anime is vulnerable to some of those tropes but is also able to tell an convincing story with memorable moments. Don’t expect this to be a big hitter of the year but do be prepared for a gleeful rom-com amplified by the charms of a star-crossed couple.
We have all seen the Romeo and Juliet tale before or at least know of it. It’s one of the most common plays taught in many high schools around the world. It is deeply ingrained into the public conscience, even to those who have never read or seen the play. Its famous for being arguably the easiest of Shakespeare’s plays to understand. It's a romantic tragedy, and that certainly adds to the appeal. Teenagers definitely like to use it to point out what happens when parents, families or affiliations don't support their little love affairs. What’s interesting about it is that, despite being one of
the oldest and world-renowned stories of all time, it still manages to draw people in with interest.
Based on Yousuke Kaneda’s manga of the same name, Kishuku Gakkou no Juliet (Boarding School Juliet) is another rendition of the classic Romeo and Juliet love affair with a more modern take. I was surprised to find that this turned out to be a good romantic, school comedy-shounen than what I initially thought. I don’t think this would have worked as well as it has if it leaned more towards shoujo. When you look at the premise and setting, it has all the markings of a generic show, but how does it make this all work here? Well, there are two key facets to making a Romeo and Juliet story work. First, the two main characters need to be likeable, relatable, and interesting. Second, the hatred between the two groups needs to be both arbitrary and equal between the two sides. Some stories make the mistake of nailing the drama aspects but fail to make the characters interesting. Others tend to make one faction more detestable while making the other seem to be in the right. Boarding School Juliet was able to execute both facets successfully while leaning more to the comedy side of things.
The prestigious Dahlia Academy which educates only the elite students from the Nation of Touwa to the East and the Principality of the West. Meet Romio Inuzuka, the first-year leader of the Black Dog Dorm that represents Touwa whose members are frequently clashing with the members of the White Cats’ House led by Juliet Persia, who is also a first year, that represents the West. What’s the catch? Inuzuka has fallen in love with his rival and sworn enemy, Persia. The story depicts his struggle to keep up the pretence of hating her—along with the rest of her House—when every time he sees her. He usually goes into panic mode at the mere sight of her that it makes his heart race. He is constantly worrying if anyone else shows up he has to pretend to fight her. The show is also good at comically portraying the excruciating range of emotions the smitten hero experiences as he tries to conceal his all-consuming love for Persia with predictably disastrous results. When the two finally get the opportunity to meet alone—and without fighting each other—Persia admits that she too likes Inuzuka. No silly games of “Ifs or maybes,” but rather, more of a “How on earth can they?” Especially given all the obstacles and challenges placed before them.
Our main protagonist goal is that one day, at the right time, that their love for each could bridge peace between the two factions, although, there is a lot of groundwork to do before that could be achieved. The shows antics is mainly based around Inuzuka and Persia trying to have alone time in secrecy for the touching moments to bond. Unfortunately for them, they are constantly interrupted in one way or another by the rivalry and ongoing war between the two Houses. The supporting cast tend to be the culprits of interrupting the sweet moments between the couple, they also serve to show their dynamics with both main characters respectively. Hasuki Komai is a childhood friend of Inuzuka who has a crush on him, a loyal friend and always looking for a fight with the White Cats’. Scott Fold is a hopeless suitor of Persia who is always trying to impress her while trying to one-up on the Black Dogs. Lastly, a snobby princess and a close friend of Persia in Chartreux Westia. She’s a royal pain in the ass to Inuzuka, she acts as a bit of an antagonist for him but later becomes a supporter of sorts since she can see that he makes Persia happy.
These characters help provide many of the laughs and a lot of physical and visual gags. The show is equally at its best when they are all interacting as well as the alone time with our main couple. Everything just clicks, and it goes to show that the characters are enjoyable and that makes for a more interesting comedy. Admittedly, not all the jokes land but this is definitely one of the better romantic comedies. Studio LIDENFILMS did a fine job with the backgrounds as it depicts a more old-school, fairy-tale, quasi-European look with its architecture and designs. It seems very much like a hodgepodge of styles, to the likes of Nisekoi, in its character designs and layouts. The fanservice does feel out of place, it feels more like a quota to have it in there. OP and ED are serviceable. The soundtrack is complementary to many of the well animated visual gags as well as the light-hearted atmosphere.
Boarding School Juliet is a very simple romantic comedy that has good execution, in saying that, there are areas where its lacking, for example, the backstory to the characters could have been expanded upon more, and there are moments where it feels like certain arcs are dragging. But it makes up for it by having Inuzuka and Persia being very interesting and their behaviour is both very human and very heart-warming. On top of that, the minor characters are also nuanced and incredibly critical to the story and are evenly divided between both sides of the conflict, so there's a good balance of both personal vendettas and character development. The message of the show is that love triumphs over hate.
“There’s no sexual harassment in a match” — Four-eyed sex offender
Oh…in that case.
“Grab them by the pussy.” — Donald Trump
I haven’t seen Romeo and Juliet butchered this horribly since Baz Luhrmann decided to cast Leonardo DiCaprio in a modernized version of the Bard’s classic with its original dialogue intact. At Dahlia Academy Boarding School, the “White Cats” and the “Black Dogs” operate on the assumption that the only way to resolve their differences, is through a school yard battle royal where anything goes. Faces get punched. Hair gets pulled. Even more faces get punched. Girls clothes get stripped off (you
know, standard middle school happenings). But amidst all the chaos and lifelong brain damage, our main character, Romio Inuzuka, reveals his affection towards his Juliet and thus begins an awkward series of events where the two must conceal their relationship from the prying eyes of their compatriots.
Romio is your typical too-cool-for-school badass, which makes sense because he’s almost never shown in the classroom, as he’s too busy courting Juliet or pounding her head in (he should have been pounding something else). He’s not particularly smart, but his fiery passion and general oaf-ness make him somewhat entertaining. I genuinely spat my coffee out when he lunged himself into that mirror. But slapstick comedy only works for a limited time, as it becomes redundant rather quickly. Nine out of ten jokes fell flat on their face, rendering much of the show as a tedious waste of time.
Juliet, Romio’s love interest, is a trite Tsundere with little-to-no value in the comedic department. Her main hook includes getting infuriated with Romio’s inane comments, followed by screaming at him and/or clobbering him (it gets old fast). While staying focused on her goals of changing the world, she also exhibits moments of foolishness when she leaves a spoon in the microwave (not funny bro, that shit kills people). In addition, due to her petite stature, Juliet looks three-to-four years younger than Romio, making their tender encounters seem a bit awkward.
Boarding School Juliet, lamentably, is a show without a clear direction, nor is it consistent enough to entertain the viewer with its abundance of unavailing situational comedy. Romantic situations between Romio and Juliet are surface level fluff, routinely devolving into lewd, hackneyed circumstances with little comedic value. On the other hand, the “love square” — Romio loves Juliet; Hasuki loves Romio; Weslia loves Juliet — creates an interesting dynamic between the characters, particularly because the love that is accessible is not the one Romio or Juliet desire. Boarding School Juliet does flesh out the relationship between Weslia and Juliet as children, but it leaves much to be desired. Also, the dynamics of such a relationship are bromidic, especially when little-to-no nuance is added to differentiate itself from its — numerous — predecessor’s.
The colorful artwork is so diversified that it hypnotizes the viewer into thinking they are looking into a kaleidoscope; unfortunately, this pristine look is impeccable beyond belief. There is a thing as being too “perfect.” Sometimes a sprinkling of “imperfection” can go a long way in creating an “authentic” environment.
Why the producers of the show decided to emulate the story of Romeo and Juliet, when the characters and thematic elements are antithetical to the Bard’s classic is beyond any reasonable person’s rationalization. So instead of concocting a convoluted reason as to why this happened (**cough**a lure to draw in more viewers**cough**), I decided to write a humorous poem to encapsulate my thoughts on the series.
“Thou must have reckoned himself quite capable of tackling the Bard’s masterwork,
But it was a far cry from a tear jerk; verily, it was an incomplete patchwork;
Methinks’ the comedy soured the mind, combined with the unkind bitch who
Considered herself refined; Although she rode Romio similar to an equestrian,
It was obvious she wanted to ride someone else, due to her being a lesbian;
Love interests come and love interest go, but instead of Juliet I would have chosen
The ho; If you dare question which ho I presuppose, any which one will do as long
As she takes off her clothes; Watching this show became a terrible chore, and the
Vibrant colors elicited a pronounced eyesore; I mustn’t allow myself to become
Remarkably incredulous, lest I wish to hasten my exodus via leaping from a large
Edifice; let it be known that this anime is no gem, as it was quite fortunate to