with the latter being more evil and the former more noble.
The vengeance the Capulets plan to take does hint at a potential violent nature
though, so it is possible the series ending may not be too dissimilar to that of
Shakespeare fans may be pleased to see other plays referenced throughout, but
they may be less keen on the liberties taken with some characters. For
example Mercutio appears much more sinister here, Benvolio looks like someone
out of Ouran Host Club and even the Bard himself appears as a camp,
bungling playwright. Although there nothing wrong with trying something
new, Romeo X Juliet is anything but. The whole renaissance romantic
action drama has been seen many times before and has certainly been done better.
Mainstay features of rose petals, cross-dressing and awkward romantic moments
appear throughout, a shame as these clichés could have been cast aside to make
for something not only different to the original play, but also to other anime.
Instead Romeo X Juliet is very much a by-the-numbers series so far,
although it does improve near the end of the volume when both star crossed
lovers find out the truth about each other and the dramatic tension increases.
Up until this point the episodes drag and the plot unravels slowly, without
enough humour or side-stories to help the main story along. The potential
of the floating island of Neo-Verona is not explored, with little explanation as
to how it floats and why it has to. It could just be set in a normal,
non-floating city without flying horses and be no different. No doubt this
will be explained and more of the island shown in future volumes, but more hints
would have been welcome in the opening episodes. The people of the city is
explored more in the fifth episode on the disc, captured people being used by
the Montagues in a bid to lure out The Red Whirlwind. It produces the most
interesting scene of the entire volume, with both Juliet's failings and
importance being shown. It is the first scene which shows any real promise
and also reveals more about Juliet's companions. If only it could have
reached this point sooner as it results in the main characters becoming wary of
each other and actually questioning their relationship. It also leads to
showing more of the manner in which Neo Verona is ruled and suddenly the story
expands. The show finally starts making its own interpretations of the
play and using them to shape the fate of the characters.
The first volume of Romeo X Juliet was a definite disappointment for me.
Although it is difficult to put a new spin on the oft-adapted play, I would have
expected more then what is just another romantic action anime. Although I
appreciated the animation, which suited the characters well and beautiful
throughout, this is not a show where style can win over content. I daresay
that had the series been not given such a recognisable title it would have not
been released in the UK. There is potential for the series though, through
a world not yet fully explored, but for now there are dozens of other
adaptations out there, or you could watch the similar, but superior, Le
Chevalier D'Eon. The final episodes save this from being two starts,
as they do show potential for the show when they dragged it out of the clichés
and into a series finding its feet. Volume 2 should certainly prove
A making of is included but, save for the
interview, it is basically an overlong promo with some childish
dialogue. In fact the dialogue in this documentary proves how
much better the English dub really is.
Other then that the standard extras of a textless opening & closing,
art gallery and trailers are included.