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DVD Review

DVD cover

Romeo X Juliet
Volume 3


Starring (voice): Fumie Mizusawa, Takahiro Mizushima, Aya Hisakawa and Ayako Kawasumi
RRP: £15.99
Certificate: 12
Available 05 April 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 episodes thirteen to Eighteen: Pulsation, Solemn Responsibilities, The Self, One Person, Cruel Tyrant and Aspirations.

As the show is only loosely based on the Shakespeare play it is past the half-way point where the plot starts to significantly deviate from anything to do with the source material.

At this point of the story the two star crossed lovers have been separated, Juliet fleeing for her life away from the evil Montague, while Romeo has been banished by his father.

The most interesting story thread here is that of Romeo, although overall the plot is unrealistic as Romeo is banished to a mine until he can double the output. Being of less than sound mind he decides that what he really wants to do is better the conditions of the men and be their friend. Initially, this is met with some scepticism, in truth, as the mine is filled with small time criminals he was lucky they didn’t just toss him down the nearest shaft. Fate takes a hand in the oddly convenient cave in, where Romeo helps a small boy, an act which wipes out a lifetime of bad treatment and memories from the miners who decide to follow him away from the mine to set up their own community.

Juliet meanwhile is making good her escape inside a covered wagon, because nobody will think to look there. Her day get just a little worse when Hermione, Romeos betrothed, looses the plot and runs off to find her prospective lover, but how to get there, wouldn’t you know it a convenient covered wagon turns up. Hermione is less than please to meet Juliet, but instead of giving her away and solving all her problems the girls work things out.

The disc ends with Juliet rehearsing a play and Romeo setting up his all male commune, either way you know this isn’t going to end well for Juliet.

For extras the disc has the textless opening and closing sequence, an art gallery and the original trailer for the show, there are also a number of other trailers included.

This is not a bad show; the English dub uses some nice anachronistic language to give a hint at its Shakespearian roots. The animation seems to have dropped off a little, but for some reason this happens to a lot of Japanese anime once it reaches the half way mark. As a teen romance it works pretty well if you ignore the increasingly improbable plot.


Charles Packer

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