Because Shakespeare's most famous work has undergone infinite versions, retellings, and adaptations, one could do almost anything with it and succeed. (Heck, I even imagined an underwater Romeo and Juliet in which Romeo is a shark and Juliet is a dolphin. I should work for Disney.) Studio Gonzo has an extremely unsavory track record - with only one truly respectable anime under their belt - but this is Romeo and Juliet. You cannot mess this up.... unless your name is Baz Luhrmann. Alack, but in true Gonzo fashion.......
a potential masterpiece manages to fall under mere mediocrity. It doesn't start that way. To be sure, the first eight episodes are superb. For starters, the innocence of Romeo and Juliet manages to be charming and endearing, rather than cheesy and embarrassing. The liberties taken, such as telling the story mainly through the eyes of Juliet and adding a certain pizzazz to the conflict between their families, adds flavor to the original tale. Even the "Red Whirlwind" business and certain character swaps failed to put a sour taste in my mouth. The interesting new elements, however, were quickly drowned by slow pacing, inadequate characterization, and the series' ultimate undoing that makes its sudden introduction in the ninth episode.
I've once said that only one thing could truly ruin this series, but I was wrong. Quite a few things can. The crux of Romeo and Juliet is not just convincing that the two characters love each other, but convincing the viewers of their tragedy. In the former, the series succeeds. Plenty of blushes, "I love you's," kisses, and other such scenes with Romeo and Juliet suffice. The series fails, however, in portraying why viewers should care. Too often episodes do little to propel the story forward (for example, there is a late episode in which certain characters act in a play). This is unfortunate because the two lovers spend an important amount of time separated. The crisis begins, however, when science-fiction rears its ugly head and almost turns the show into something unintentionally humorous. Not only was it dreadfully out of place, but it was unnecessary; all the crap dealing with the Tree of Escalus and Ophelia could have been left out and we would have a much better show.
Considering Gonzo's love of obnoxious and flashy animation, I was surprised by Romeo x Juliet's rather subdued animation. The character designs are pleasing to the eye and the two leads are cleverly color coded. Juliet is associated with dark reds and Romeo with bluish greens. Fight scenes are well animated and the animation for the ending theme is gorgeous. There is some very bad Cgi used later in the series.
The opening theme is a fantastic mellow song that complements the mood for the series. The first ending theme, however, is quite retarded. A hard rock song for Romeo and Juliet? Get a clue. Voice acting gets the job done. Kudos to the seiyuu for Romeo.
Had the characters been more sympathetic, perhaps the glaring flaws in the story could have been ignored. As it is, though, the two main characters are nothing more than vaguely likable. Furthermore, certain side characters behave completely out of character; Lady Hermione, in particular, behaves so erratically that I am convinced Gonzo just didn't know what to do with her. All in all, the characters are neither terrible nor exceptional, just disappointing.
....and in the end, so is the series. As for its standing with other Gonzo shows, well, it stands next to Last Exile, meaning that it was an extremely disappointing experience, yet it manages to be better than their other works. Reluctantly recommended.
- Animation is done by a bunch of assholes called studio GONZO. God, I hate them so much, they suck hard in most of what they made.
- Directed by some nobody called Oizaki Fumitoshi. This guy is not even a director; he is mostly working as an animator and decides to direct only when nobody else is willing to take the job in some shitty show they know it’s going to flop before they even begin to make it. That is why his only jobs is this one, and two crappy lolicon shows titled Ontama and Astarotte no Omocha.
- Based on Romeo and Juliet, one of the most famous theatre plays of all times, written by William Shakespear, one of the most famous writers in human history, who eats for breakfast almost every other poet and author of modern times. Who can forget his famous story which had flying horses, a female masked avenger, and a magical tree that is about to destroy flying continents? … What, you don’t remember all that in the theatre play? Neither do I.
Sadly this most amazing love story fell into the wretched hands of those assholes at GONZO and turned it into a fantasy/action mediocrity that has little to no connections to the original story. So let me make it clear that this is not an adaptation of the original story but some piss poor story filled with names from Shakespearian plays as a cheap method to sell to the ignorant who would expect something amazing. Don’t anyone assume this turd of a show is even close to dear old William’s brilliance. It’s a retarded shounen adventure that rips-off names from a much better material and does nothing to improve its immature formula.
So in the so-called scenario there is this girl who survives the slaughter of her family and turns Zorro against the nobles responsible for that. And she so happens to fall in love with the son of the leader of the rivalling family. Sounds legit. And if you expect to hear sappy dialogues of eternal love, poetry and romance in its purest form, give up because Romeo in this goddamn show is an indecisive lead and Juliet borders a tsundere. Meaning, there are no memorable characters or situations; it all plays out as a typical adventure with typical anime characters.
The story takes part on a setting filled with flying stuff like islands, horses, dragons, and gives a fairy tale flavour to everything. The production values are not bad as far as backgrounds go but surely lack when the characters deform in many scenes. Voice acting and songs are ok but nothing amazing or memorable.
The pacing is a mess; it starts nicely in a sappy way and the more it progresses the more things make no sense. Many conflicts are resolved in a very simple way and have no relation to the main story or even to one another. The ending specifically is shit, as it came out of nowhere and ended in a rushed and unexciting way.
In all it is a passable adventure that shamelessly uses the title of something it is not worthy of even licking its feet. Not recommended.
And now for some excused scorings.
ART SECTION: 7/10
Analysis: General Artwork 2/2, Character Figures 1/2, Backgrounds 2/2, Animation 1/2, Visual Effects 1/2
SOUND SECTION: 7/10
Analysis: Voice Acting 2/3, Music Themes 3/4, Sound Effects 2/3
STORY SECTION: 3/10
Analysis: Premise 2/2, Pacing 0/2, Complexity 1/2, Plausibility 0/2, Conclusion 0/2
CHARACTER SECTION: 5/10
Analysis: Presence 1/2, Personality 1/2, Backdrop 1/2, Development 1/2, Catharsis 1/2
VALUE SECTION: 1/10
Analysis: Historical Value 0/3, Rewatchability 0/3, Memorability 1/4
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 1/10
Analysis: Art 1/1, Sound 0/2, Story 0/3, Characters 0/4
I will start this off by saying I am a fan of Shakespeare and adaptations of his plays in various media. For example, I love The Lion King, which is based off of Hamlet(It is! Look it up...) and Kiss Me, Kate, based on The Taming of the Shrew. Unfortunately, when it comes to Romeo and Juliet, certain versions of it in modern times have left me in tears, while I prefer to stay away from others. When I watched this anime, I hoped it wasn't going to be a cheesy romance story, and to my happiness, it was not. It was a great fantasy series and a fantastic adaptation of Shakespeare's masterpiece.
Usually, when I watch anime, I don't expect much out of the story. There have been very few that I would consider amazing and unpredictable. Unfortunately, I did find some things slightly predictable, as well as some episodes, while others were less predictible. It also seemed to repeat the 'just saved in the nick of time' scenario a bit. Also, the ending is probably what you would expect it to be.
The premise is unique and entertaining, and very different from the play. Wheras in the original Shakespearean work Romeo and Juliet the Montagues and the Capulets were feuding families in Verona, while in Romeo x Juliet the duke Montague murdered the Capulets in order to take over Neo Verona, leaving Juliet as the only survivor. I enjoyed the differences between the original play and the anime, as it made it feel more like an adaptation then a copy of the play itself, and it did have quotes and places where the story was similar. The series also did a good job of connecting certain events back to the play itself, like with Romeo and Juliet in the balcony beside the convent.
In a way, it felt like a more fanciful adaptation of the original, with pegasi and floating citites.
The romance in the series between Romeo and Juliet is innocent and adorable, which happens to be the type of romance I like most. While some people might prefer more intimate moments between the two romantic leads, but I liked it the way it was. It's still enough to make a fangirl squeal.
The animation in this series has it's good points and it's bad points. So I'll start by listing some bad things I noticed/didn't enjoy.
Now that I've pointed out some things that I did enjoy in the series.
Usually, when I'm watching an anime I watch it in Japanese and not English. This is one of those select few that I would probably watch in English. While the voice actors are fitting in both languages, the English cast not only did a very good job, but they highlight more quotes and references then the Japenese version does. I would recomend watching the English version to people who would like to watch the anime because they enjoy Shakespeare and would love to hear most of these references, while people who usually prefer to watch it in Japanese should watch it in Japanese.
In the music section, I realized some songs were taken from other places. For example, when the opening happens, the song is a version of "You Raise Me Up" is sung in Japanese. I know that song wasn't written by the creators/musical staff. Another song that I recognized was "Lascia ch'io Pianga", a classical Italian aria, played during the scene in the church. Both pieces fit nicely, though it was rather weird to hear the two of them(especially the second one!) playing in the background of an anime. The only other problem I had with the music was the original ending. It was a rock piece that didn't fit well with the mood of the anime. I did, however like the second opening, which was more melodic and fit nicely.
I'll start with the major characters. I prefered Romeo to Juliet, and I think they were both flawed perfectly, making them good characters. However, Juliet's personality did bother me occasionally. The two of them are both given a good amount of development. However, the interesting secondary/minor characters really made the show.
There were some secondary characters/minor characters made the show more interesting. I loved many of them, so I'll point out a few. Antonio was adorable, and served as a good 'little brother' figure for Juliet, while Tybalt was hot and served as a great 'big brother' figure for Juliet. I loved how Fransisco lightened the show's mood by being a flirt, and I just love characters like him for whatever reason. He and Willy lightened up the show in certain areas, which was nice when it was grim and tragic. Speaking of Willy... He's hilarious, and I like how they incorperated him as an 'author'. Obviously he was placed there as a character to be like Shakespeare himself, as you will find out later in the series. I wish that the secondary characters had more time in the 'spotlight', so they could be given more backstory and depth, because they were very likeable.
Enough of the good characters, however. I disliked a few of them. I really didn't like Hermione or Emilia, mainly because of their personalities.
Romeo x Juliet is a great anime that I would highly recomend to a romance lover or a fantasy lover. Shakespeare fans who like modern adaptations of his work would also enjoy this.
Sorry for any errors: It's my first time writing a review.
I love this anime. It is beautifully drawn, and has a wonderful soundtrack.
There are two things stopping me from giving it a 10. First, the way the Escalus ending seems to be just thrown in. It felt as if the writers made it to the end of the series and realized that Juliet and Romeo were still alive and having a happy ending. I know there were hints of Escalus throughout, but they were not focused on until the last 2-3 eps of the series as a main plot point. Second, I felt the character of Romeo was too whiney and not masculine enough. That's just personal preference on my part.
Other than that, I believe this is an amazing version of a timeless story and everyone should watch it... it has action AND romance, so it should satisify everyone.
Romeo x Juliet is based off Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet, obviously.Romeo, meets a girl named Juliet and, obviously, they fall in love, however, it's not until later when Juliet finds out that Romeo is the son of the tyrant ruling over the land who she wants to kill. It's not long after that Romeo finds out that Juliet is the surviving daughter of the Capulet family, the "evil" family (he was tricked by his father).
Later, they put aside the fact that they are both from families who are mortal enemies and both turn against the evil king, Romeo's father.
Romeo x Juliet is a truely heart touching romance anime. If you're into romance, you MUST watch this. That's my opinion. The other guy who reviewed and rated in the 3s clearly didn't like this but that's just his tastes, I don't see why you'd dislike this unless you were a crazed shakespeare fan or don't like romance anime one bit.
If you're neither of those, this is a must watch.