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DVD Review

DVD cover

Romeo X Juliet
Volume 2


Starring (voice): Fumie Mizusawa, Takahiro Mizushima, Aya Hisakawa and Ayako Kawasumi
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 12
Available 08 March 2010

Neo Verona is a medieval fantasy land which, since the rise to power by the dictatorial and cruel Leontes Montague, has been in steady decline. It has been fourteen years since he rose to the position of prince, following his assassination of all the surviving members of the house of Capulet, time enough for Montague to poison the population against the Capulets. Safe in his position he turned his mind towards the future and an heir. Now, fourteen years since the destruction of the Capulets, its one surviving princess, Juliet, is set to come into her own power and start the road towards the destruction of the Montagues... Except, that by chance, Juliet meets Montague's son Romeo, a meeting which finds the young couple falling in love...

Romeo X Juliet (2007) is a 24-episode series based very loosely on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet play. The anime was directed by Fumitoshi Oizaki from a script by Reiko Yoshida. This volume holds the episode seven to twelve: Warmth - Just For Now; Presumption - Justice; Uprising - Severing the Confusion; Tears - Being Able to Meet You; Vow - The Morning Sun's Blessing; Repose - This Way - which brings us up to half way through the story.

When we left Juliet she was just coming to terms with her heritage as the last surviving member of the Capulet family. Although the show continues to introduce characters which had appeared in Shakespeare’s plays and even contains the bard himself, often these characters are only tenuously linked to their originals.

So the new disc opens with the introduction of Tybalt who appears in the nick of time to help Juliet fend off the assassins sent to kill Vittorio and his family. Having secured victory Juliet attends the flower festival, where she is pursued through the streets by Romeo. Although he intends only on giving her an Iris they finally share their first kiss.

It is at this point that the two star crossed lovers' problems really start as Romeo discovers Juliet’s real name, he also discovers his father’s assassination attempt against Vittorio. While he is wrestling with these problems Juliet is being tested by Tybalt to see it she has it in her to kill. Their poor plot and a disastrous raid by Montague’s troops confirm to Tybalt the Juliet is not ready to take back the city.

Still, when we finally hit episode ten, the show does its own rendition of the famous balcony scene, before departing from the play once again.

The last two episodes see Romeo and Juliet leaving the city to get married in secret, meanwhile both factions are hunting the couple.

Like the first disc in the series, this disc comes with audio options for either an English 5.1 track or a 2.0 Japanese track, with subtitles. Both do a good job but are tonally quite different. Given the pretty good extras on the first disc it is disappointing to see that volume two contains noting in the way of extras.

Even though the show takes massive liberties with the original text it still maintains a good balance between its action and romance elements.


Charles Packer

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