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Title:
  Romeo X Juliet volume 2

UK Distributor:  MVM

BBFC Certificate:  12

Suggested Retail Price (SRP):  15.99

Episodes:  6 - 12 (of 24)

Audio Options:  English 5.1, Japanese 2.0

Subtitles:  English

Release Date:  15th March 2010

Reviewer:  Tom (Webmaster)
 

The first volume of Romeo X Juliet - an adaptation of the famous Shakespearian play - sadly turned out to another action romance title with a period, and an average one at that.  Considering the strength material, it is easy to understand why it proved to be a disappointment and more was not done with it.  Towards the end of the first volume some promise was shown though as the series started to find its feet a little and the interpretations of the characters actually started to find character.  The floating island setting of Neo Verona, which had little impact on the setting in the first volume, finally started to be explored in more detail also.  Volume two should hopefully prove more interesting then. 
 


Volume two begins with a cool entrance from a mysterious man named Tybalt, saving the Capulets from peril.  He calls Juliet by name, despite her being disguise as a boy under the pseudonym Odin.  He then leaves and the Capulets are housed by supporters in a safe house.   Meanwhile Romeo discovers more about his newly-discovered love.  He is being pursued by another though, Lady Hermione whom he stands up in order to pursue Juliet.  They finally kiss. 


The following day Romeo is punished by his father, who threatens to destroy his horse.  Hermione comes to his rescue though and the horse is saved.  The threat from Romeo's father is too much in my opinion, as he is increasingly being portrayed as supreme evil and the Capulets as noble.  Not quite how I remember it in the play.  Purists will also be miffed at the portrayals of Benvolio and Mercutio, who are both quite one-dimensional compared to their original counterparts.  Considering the leads of the original were quite clear-cut, much of the play's character came from the more complex supporting characters, which is so far lacking in volume two of Romeo X Juliet.  The reappearance of Tybalt is something of a relief though, as it exudes a sense of pride that is reminiscent of the original character.  He also moves the plot along by introducing Juliet to a corrupt priest in order to test her resolve.  If she can punish the priest, then she will surely be able to slay Montague, Romeo's father.  The incident leads to a more determined Juliet and reminds her of importance as a Capulet and the rightful heir to the head of the house. 

Whilst Juliet meets with fellow Capulets and supporters, Romeo learns that Juliet is a Capulet and begins to struggle with his conscience and loyalty to the house of Montague.  The plot now finally starts moving faster and more is revealed about the floating island.  It seems likely it will play an increasingly bigger role as the series goes on. 

The story then steers away from the main love story, focusing instead on the characters struggles to fulfil the wishes of their many peers and colleagues.  When they meet again, the famous balcony scene is played out but to disappointing dialogue.  In fact the dialogue
 throughout this volume is disappointing to the first, which made far more of an effort to at least sound Shakespearian in tone.  Here though the voice acting is worse and the actors struggle with even the most basic lines, putting little feeling into them. 


Despite a few interesting plot diversions, such as the battles, the story still drags.  The plot could easily be packed into half the amount of episodes and some plot elements even removed altogether.  I say this without even any filler episode happening yet, so when they inevitably do things are likely to get even worse. 

 Volume two of Romeo X Juliet was a major disappointment for me.  I was expecting it to

build on the premise left by volume one, but sadly it does not and continues to be an  exceedingly average anime.  The slow moving plot makes for dull viewing and the voice acting which takes a surprising turn for the worst.  My major issue lies with the portrayal of the Montague and Capulets and families though, which were two families of similar stature and attitude in the original which were only feud with each other due to both vying for power.  In this series though the Montagues are led by a very evil portrayal of Lord Montague, only presented in this way in order to provide a major enemy as he becomes a dictator also.  This therefore gives the Capulets cause a noble reason to free Neo Verona from tyranny, which is at odds with the original portrayal of the two families.  Where as before (in the original) their feud juxtaposed the love story, now it no longer does with the lovers' love seeming less important to the greater cause of overthrowing a tyrant. 

I find it unlikely that volume three will rescue this series for me.  My only hope is that most of the major scenes and plot points of the original play have now featured in the series, so it may do something completely unexpected and make for a more unique series.  I guess we will have to wait and see. 

Extras:

None.  Rubbish! 

Ratings

Feature:   Extras: n/a
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