I’m about to go work a fish fry, but let’s see if I can knock this ball outa the park, yeah?
The plot premise is familiar to anyone who read Shakespeare in high school.
Upon initial acquaintance with Romeo x Juliet (which, for various reasons, I keep wanting to type as “Romexo x Juliette”), it didn’t make my priorities list. To be fair, even writing this summation post didn’t make my priorities list, so I suppose that the lack of intention sums up my thoughts on this particular title nicely. I finished this show long before attempting Mystic Messenger Hell, so you now you have some idea of just how long I’ve been sitting on this, which is terribly unlike me, I know.
The idea was a good one, I’ll give it that. I’m a sucker for Shakespeare (…and Homer and Chaucer and Marlowe, but mostly Shakespeare…), and I was actually quite excited to see an adaptation once I got past all the still images of armor I was finding online. I was that kid Freshman year of high school who read the play in one day and started memorizing passages. (I was also that kid who positively salivated over Julius Caesar the year following and Hamlet two years after that, but I digress.) How could such an adaptation run, I wondered? Would it inspire others to seek out Shakespeare’s work for themselves?
Watching episode one, my attention was peaked and interest held. I found myself making suppositions and considering how textual characters would align with their anime counterparts. As the show continued, the pacing was well timed in that the episodes kept me watching without feeling the need to skip to later content. (*cough cough* Looking at you, ItaKiss. *cough cough*) I was pleased in that regard, and I binged the episodes unrepentantly in about two days. Before I get into the spoiler-fest of things I didn’t like, here are some fairly spoiler-free things that I did find quite enjoyable.
Firstly, I appreciated the casting. I recognized Hermione as Sen immediately. I also recognized the little girl in the fountain as Renge. And Juliet (as becomes evident when she’s in her male guise) is CIEL-FREAKING-PHANTOMHIVE. Yes, I’d say the casting directors did a stand up job. The voice actors did excellently. I applaud their work. (‘▿’ʃʃ
The translator responsible for dialogue must also be praised. I loved the attempt to make the lines fairly Shakespearean without trying too hard and, with the occasional misstep that had me amused, it was well executed. Regarding a few lines I even found myself wondering, “Wait, was that straight from William or merely mimicry?” One line made my list of Swoon-Worthy One-Liners, and another is about to make its way into their ranks. Again, I say, well done. It’s not perfect, but a grand attempt that I can wax on most highly.
“I am not afraid, though neither am I foolish.”
Along this line, the REFERENCES. I’m just going to leave this here:
Et tu, Romeo?
The character design was flawless, the characters themselves (both original and standard) breathing life into the plot, and the animation was beautifully rendered. It was not a pinnacle of style, but pleasing to look at all the same. And NeoVerona?? That setting is COOL, fam. (Did I use “fam” correctly?) There were downfalls to this, but all in all I liked it!
The show original plot deviations were well contrived and showcased the characters nicely. Without getting to greatly into spoiler-ific content… well, that labor camp. ❤
The music and sound? A+, setting the mood and tone beautifully, but how could I not love that THIS:
is the Japanese version of THIS:
which is also an alternate version of THIS???
When they played the english version during the bridge scene, I think I might have cried. I don’t remember, but I know that I loved every single second of it. One of my very favorite components by far.
Lastly, Juliet was a true herione. She wasn’t a meek noble lady, but a determined, sometimes foolhardy but always well-meaning hero.
Now, it’s time for the things I didn’t like. The list is short, but it was the second mentioned that had a huge impact. Some brief spoilers ahoy! If you’d like to skip them, skip to after the triple line break.
The sci-fi element just…gah, why did you have to try so hard, creators? I mean, sci-fi is fine, but that tree!? I’m going to mention this tree, the show insists, and then let you forget about it forever until it suddenly becomes relevant again. I was actually thinking, “Oh, I forgot about the tree.” Seriously. It was odd enough that I made a note of it at the time, the poor execution on the part of the creators. And the story behind them was explained only in part. What happened to the other tree?? How was there not some sort of catastrophic event upon its death that they’d have on some sort of record?
The ending was bleck with unrequited love thrown in for effect! I did cry, but the unreality of the whole scenario kind of took me out of the moment, and I disliked that immensely. Usually, I can suspend my disbelief when watching anime, but this just didn’t do it for me. When the psudo-poison death didn’t happen, I mistakenly assumed that everything might actually work out for our lovers. Boy hardy was I WRONG.
WHY WAS THE ISLAND FLOATING???
Was that wedding scene cute or cheesy? I honestly couldn’t tell.
*sigh* Okay, I’m done now.
You know, it’s funny, but the more about this I write, the more I’m convinced that it wasn’t as bad as point two above lead me to believe.
But point two above…that was still pretty awful.
Anyway, I wish you love, peace, and cute little geese (or a sheepy sheep)!
Should I keep labeling my general summation posts things like “Let’s Talk About blablabla–recommended” and save my more personal titles (ex. “Victor’s Blush Means Everything”) for my more topically driven posts, or should I just start calling things whatever I want and give no indication of the post type in favor of more personal titles? Some combination? Subtitles perhaps? Hmm… This post in my typical format would have been titled Let’s Talk About “Romeo x Juliet” –Recommended (Yet So Much Wasted Potential).