Quick & Dirty
Initial Interest: Medium
Favorite Character: The Doctor
Opinion: We shall see
This is a story of a young and tragic love, set in the aerial city of Neo Verona. Tyranny rules this island in the sky after the Montague family took control 14 years prior. The disparity among the wealthy and poor is apparent in the present state, the earth dries and water stagnates. The sky itself is wrapped in a deep dense fog. Both Romeo and Juliet’s lineages are of present and past ruling families of Neo Verona. Romeo is the son of the current Montague dictator, Juliet (a beautiful woman) masquerades as a man (Odin), she’s the last descendent of Capulet the previous rulers who were killed by an assasin’s dagger 14 years ago. Her true background is not to be revealed to her until her 16th birthday. The cruel hands of fate introduces 2 people who will become “Star Crossed Lovers”.
This is another one that I have mixed feelings on. The art caught my attention the other day so that’s a plus. But honestly I’m not a huge fan of Shakespeare. I’ve never read any of his comedies and I just don’t enjoy tragedies, and of course Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy. That being said, one of my all time favorite movies is loosely based on Romeo and Juliet, so with enough adaptation decay I know I can enjoy the story. I’ve heard Romeo X Juliet has a fair amount of adaptation decay so it could be awesome…or everybody could still die in the end. We’ll see.
I picked the doctor but this show has a pretty good cast overall. I like Romeo and Juliet and Benvolio is okay and the dragonhorse (Cielo?) is cool and Cordelia and whatever those other’s names are too. They’re all pretty good. But I like the doctor as the brave and good hearted everyman character rather than a central character. Plus he kind of finishes up episode 5 in a spectacular manner and that being what I have just seen, leaves an impression.
What’s really interesting about this series for me is that it kind of flips all of my personal impressions of Romeo and Juliet. I always thought of the Capulets as the more noble and wealthy family but here the Montagues are the aristocracy. If I had to color code I’d have made Romeo red and Juliet blue (or white) and here it is the other way around. Mercutio, who amuses me in the original by making jokes about his own death while dying, seems to be a total dick in this adaptation. I guess in a sense for me it’s like they just took all the names and switched them or something, it’s kinda weird to watch.
What they did well: The characters are likeable. The costumes are fun. The story is different but still knit together very nicely. Also, I like that Juliet is cross-dressing and playing a very Zorro-esque role. They also make little references here and there to the original play and others written by Shakespeare in a tasteful way that feels like a nice tribute to the source.
What they didn’t do well: While the characters are good they all seem to have pretty cookie cutter roles. The heroes are all good and the bad guys are all bad. The closest we get to sort of bad but also kind of good is Benvolio and I think he’s really just good but knows better than to be a reckless hero. They put William Shakespeare in as a character and it feels more like a joke than a tribute which, despite my not being particularly fond of the man’s work, kind of annoys me.
Overall I have yet to decide on this one. It seems to be an interesting series so far and I’m inclined to enjoy it. But it also gives me the feeling that one or both of them is still likely to die in the end and I just don’t enjoy that. Certainly if you aren’t worries about a tragic ending you might enjoy it. If you’re a Shakespear purist I’d stay away from it. And if you’re like me and want the happy ending I’ll just have to get back to you. Fortunately I have some free time coming and I’m putting this on priority.
Next Official Review: Infinite Stratos
As a side note, the above mentioned free time may lead to extra updates this week, look forward to it.