Romeo x Juliet

Romeo × Juliet
Romeo x Juliet DVD vol 1 cover.jpg
Cover art of the first Japanese DVD volume, featuring the anime's titular characters
ロミオ×ジュリエット
(Romio to Jurietto)
Genre Fantasy, Romance, Drama
TV anime
Directed by Fumitoshi Oizaki
Written by Reiko Yoshida
Studio Gonzo
Licensed by United Kingdom MVM Films
United States Funimation Entertainment
Network CBC, TBS, KBS Kyōto, SUN-TV
Original run April 4, 2007September 26, 2007
Episodes 24 (List of episodes)
Manga
Written by Reiko Yoshida
Published by Kadokawa Shoten
English publisher United States Yen Press
Demographic Shōjo
Magazine Monthly Asuka
Original run 20072009
Anime and Manga Portal

Romeo × Juliet (ロミオ×ジュリエット Romio to Jurietto?) is a TV anime series, loosely based on William Shakespeare's classical play, Romeo and Juliet, along with numerous references and characters from other Shakespearean plays. Though the anime borrows mostly from Shakespeare's story, the manga adaptation differs extensively from the original. Romeo x Juliet was broadcast in Japan on Chubu-Nippon Broadcasting from April 4, 2007 to September 26, 2007. In 2009, Romeo x Juliet was dubbed into English and released by Funimation Entertainment.

Contents

Plot

Fourteen years ago in the floating island of Neo Verona, Leontes Montague and his men led a bloody coup and murdered all of the members of House Capulet, the rulers of Neo Verona. However one survivor, Juliet, was able to escape thanks to a group of Capulet loyalists. Fourteen years later, Leontes, the new Prince of Neo Verona, rules the land with an iron fist and crushes anyone who opposes him. Juliet, now a sixteen year old girl, fights against House Montague's oppression by becoming a masked vigilante known as "The Crimson Whirlwind". While attending the Rose Ball hosted by the Montagues with a friend, Juliet meets Romeo, Prince Montague's son and both of them fall in love at first sight. Unlike his father, Romeo is a kind and humble man who is opposed to his father's cruelty and shares many ideals with Juliet. Unfortunately for them, Capulet loyalists are planning a rebellion to overthrow House Montague while Leontes is obsessed with destroying the threat of House Capulet permanently. As these star-crossed lovers face many challenges and adventures together which will strengthen their love, an ancient secret hidden within Neo Verona is slowly revealed.

Main characters

Juliet (ジュリエット Jurietto?) Voiced by: Fumie Mizusawa (Japanese), Brina Palencia (English)
Juliet Fiammatta Ars De Capulet is the last member of the Capulet family. She disguises herself as a boy, Odin, in order to avoid being caught by the usurping House of Montague, who still actively look for the Capulets. An excellent swordsman, she also masquerades as a vigilante, the Red Whirlwind (赤い旋風 Akai Kaze?), in order to aid the people oppressed by the rival Montagues. She unwittingly falls in love with Romeo, which leads to several complications for her in the series.
In the series, Juliet is presented as a strong and intelligent young woman, she is loving, with a strong sense of justice and determination to lead the Capulet faction against the oppression of the corrupt Lord Montague. She falls deeply in love with Romeo and is stricken with the decision of being with Romeo or destroying Lord Montague. In the original play Juliet is shown as a shy, meek, and emotional young woman who immediately falls in love with Romeo when she meets him and does not care that he is a Montague. Her series counterpart backs away from Romeo after learning who he is, despite being deeply in love with him.
Romeo (ロミオ Romio?) Voiced by: Takahiro Mizushima (Japanese), Chris Burnett (English)
Romeo Candorebanto De Montague is the son of Lord Leontes Montague and Lady Portia and heir to the throne of Neo Verona. For political reasons, he has been forced into an unwanted engagement with Hermione, a young noblewoman. As a nobleman, he rides and owns a ryūba named Cielo whom he later freed. In contrast to his father, he is obedient and kindhearted, often disapproving of his family's tyranny. He is ostracized by the nobility save for his friend, Benvolio. He falls in love with Juliet at first sight.
In the series, Romeo is the crown prince of Neo Verona, and a confident, polite young man. He has little respect for his Montague heritage because of his father's tyranny. Unlike his counterpart in the source material, Romeo first encounters Juliet at a party hosted by his family, whereas in the play, he had secretly gone to a Capulet party in hopes of seeing Juliet's cousin, Rosaline. He holds nothing against the Capulet family and falls in love with Juliet, wishing only for them to be happy and safe.

Terminology

  • Dragon Steed (竜馬 Ryūba?, lit. Dragon Horse) - A winged horse with the tail of a dragon, similar to the Pegasus. Dragon Steeds are capable of transporting people on their backs and are handled using reins in the same way as normal horses. More than a means of transportation, a Dragon Steed can be considered a symbol of status as they are not something that common folk can own, and are only seen ridden by members of the aristocracy or nobility. Dragon Steeds with degenerated wings, thus unable to fly, are often owned by commoners.
  • Great Tree Escalus (大樹エスカラス Taiki Esukarasu?) - A huge and enchanted tree inside the Montague's castle, that gives support to Neo Verona. According to its caretaker, a woman named Ophelia, it gives blessings to people, but it also weakens if that person does not have love in their hearts. When it is thriving, it drops a shining fruit from its branches. Since it has been in Montague's care, the tree has noticeably begun to wither. In the end Juliet had to sacrifice her life force to support Escalus.
  • Carabinieri - The Military Police of Neo Verona.

Media

Anime

Romeo x Juliet was broadcast in Japan on Chubu-Nippon Broadcasting from April 4, 2007 to September 26, 2007. It was later broadcast by other Japanese television networks such as TBS, KBS Kyōto and SUN-TV. It was broadcast in Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia by Animax and in Italy by Rai 4. The 24-episodes anime was produced by Gonzo and SKY Perfect Well Think. It was directed by Fumitoshi Oizaki. The chief screenwriter for the series was Reiko Yoshida. The music was composed by Hitoshi Sakimoto and performed by Eminence Symphony Orchestra with Tomohiro Yoshida as sound director. The series used three pieces of theme music. The opening theme was "Inori~You Raise Me Up〜" (祈り〜You Raise Me Up〜)?) by Lena Park. "Cyclone" (サイクロン)?) by 12012 was the ending theme for the first 14 episodes. "Good Bye, Yesterday" by Mizrock was the ending theme for episodes 15 to 23. "Inori~You Raise Me Up〜 (English version)" by Lena Park was used as a special ending for episode 24. The anime is licensed in North America by Funimation.[1] The complete North American series was released in two sets, with the first half of the series, the Romeo Collection released on June 23, 2009 and the second half of the series, the Juliet Collection released on August 11, 2009.[2]

Manga

Romeo x Juliet was also adapted into a manga series, serialized in Kadokawa Shoten's Monthly Asuka shōjo magazine since March 24, 2007. The manga is licensed in North America by Yen Press[3] and was released on July 2010.[4]

Radio

An internet radio series, entitled RomeJuli × Radio (ロミジュリ×レイディオ Romijuri × Reidio?), has been streaming on Cospa's internet radio channel Onsen since April 13, 2007. It features the seiyū of Juliet, Fumie Mizusawa, and the seiyū of Cordelia, Miyu Matsuki.

Soundtrack

The original soundtrack for Romeo x Juliet was released in February 2008, bearing a catalog number of COCX-34784. It contains Hitoshi Sakimoto's music score, as well as the opening and closing songs for the anime.

Reception

Theron Martin, of Anime News Network reviewed the first DVD set, and enjoyed the musical score, but felt the story made use of too many 'saved-at-the-last-moment' scenes.[5] He noted a drop-off in animation quality in the second half of the series, and was disappointed at the change in the tone of the ending.[6] He later chose it as one of the best anime series of 2009, citing Gonzo's preservation of the overall tone, and the addition of "great action" scenes.[7] Bamboo Dong described it as "absolutely wonderful, both aesthetically and also narratively", and praised the reinvention of the tale.[8] Todd Douglass Jr. described it as "The characters, animation, and story all come together for one heck of an experience", and felt that the love story did not become "too cheesy".[9] He cautioned that the series' divergence from its source and the fantasy elements involved may make the series not ideal for everyone, but that overall it was a "great series".[10] Chris Beveridge of Mania noted the addition of characters from Shakespeare's other plays "may either please or annoy the hardcore fans", but enjoyed the adaptation, although he noted it was not particularly "revolutionary or challenging".[11] He later noted that in the first volume, the use of the fantasy setting was understated but was used more in the second part of the series and enjoyed the "focused" narrative, which he attributes to the "energy and enthusiasm" of the young production team.[12] Daryl Loomis of DVB Verdict enjoyed the balance between the romance narrative and the action narratives in the first part, describing it as "breezy fare".[13] He later sums it up by saying, "in spite of its many little faults, it is good, angst-y teenage fun", and that it "doesn't set the world on fire, but there's quite a bit to like about this series". He felt the "wild, logic-defying climax" added to the series, making it feel "less contrived".[14] Holly Ellingwood of ActiveAnime felt the choice of opening and closing songs was "unusual", as one was an already-existing song, and the other was a rock song which she felt contrasted with the mood and overall score of the anime.[15] She also praised the English adaptation as it incorporated an older style of language and many more Shakespearean quotes than the Japanese language voice track.[16]

References

  1. ^ "Funimation Acquires ''Romeo x Juliet'', ''D. Gray-Man'' (Updated)". Animenewsnetwork.com. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2008-05-17/funimation-entertainment-acquires-romeo-x-juliet. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
  2. ^ Funimation
  3. ^ "Yen Press Adds ''Kobato'', ''Darker than Black'', ''Romeo x Juliet'' Manga". Animenewsnetwork.com. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2009-07-24/yen-press-adds-kobato-darker-than-black-romeoxjuliet-manga. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
  4. ^ "ROMEOxJULIET story by William Shakespeare, art by COM, original animation by GONZO x SPWT | Yen Press". Yenpress.us. http://yenpress.us/?page_id=1428. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
  5. ^ "ANN DVD part 1". Animenewsnetwork.com. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/romeo-x-juliet/dvd-part-1. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
  6. ^ "ANN DVD part 2". Animenewsnetwork.com. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/review/romeo-x-juliet/dvd-part-2. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
  7. ^ "One of the Best Anime of 2009". Animenewsnetwork.com. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/feature/2010-01-01. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
  8. ^ "Shelf Life review". Animenewsnetwork.com. http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/shelf-life/2009-06-29. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
  9. ^ "DVD Talk Part 1". Dvdtalk.com. http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/37790/romeo-x-juliet-romeo-collection-part-1/. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
  10. ^ "DVD Talk Part 2". Dvdtalk.com. http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/38145/romeo-x-juliet-juliet-collection-part-2/. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
  11. ^ "Mania Part 1". Mania.com. http://www.mania.com/romeo-x-juliet-part-1_article_114155.html. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
  12. ^ "Mania Part 2". Mania.com. http://www.mania.com/romeo-x-juliet-part-2_article_115502.html. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
  13. ^ "DVD Verdict Part 1". Dvdverdict.com. http://www.dvdverdict.com/reviews/romeoxjuliet1.php. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
  14. ^ "DVD Verdict Part 2". Dvdverdict.com. http://www.dvdverdict.com/reviews/romeoxjuliet2.php. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
  15. ^ ActiveAnime Part 1[dead link]
  16. ^ ActiveAnime Part 2[dead link]

Further reading

External links


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