Two warnings before I begin. First, I am not marking for spoilers. I would, but everything I feel the need to speak about happens to be all spoilery. Therefore, spoilers abound here. Second, there is not going to be anything nice following. Having watched the end of Romeo X Juliet I am compelled to rant at length about its shortcomings. If you like this show, even a little, you may not want to read on.
What they did well: Kaze really liked the armor designs. Most of the characters (that weren’t evil) were likeable.
What they didn’t do well: Everything else.
I said in my 5 ep review that the characters are very flat in that they are either good or evil and there is no in between. That’s still true. The winner of the ambiguous loyalty prize is Hermione who very much wanted to kill Juliet until she managed to have a real chat with her and discover that she wasn’t a manipulative bitch after all. At that point she disappears from the show almost entirely.
Tybalt appeared in like episode 6 and I was predisposed to like him. He had a cool character design, he came in kicking ass, and he is voiced by Okiayuu Ryoutarou (I think I’ve mentioned I’m a fan). But after saving Benvolio’s family from assassination he vanished. Reappeared to save Juliet from an obvious trap at the request of Francisco, disappeared again. Reappeared to be one of the people kicking ass in the final fight. He literally could have been written out of the script and it would have made absolutely no difference at all. And he wasn’t really fighting for anything in the first place. So I didn’t really like him much at all. I wish they had written him out.
To me the whole series kind of dragged on a bit. Around episode 12 I started wanting it to be wrapping up but they kept going for twice that. Most of the episodes between there and the actual end episodes felt unnecessary. I had been meaning to take the series in one sitting and post this review on like Sunday, but I had to quit around 17 and couldn’t bring myself to finish it until proper anime craving struck last night at around 9. It just felt like it was meant to be a 12 episode series but when they got there they weren’t done so they made it a 26 episode series, but even they couldn’t make it last that long so it fell down to 24.
And last but not least there is the end. I knew going into this that there was a good chance that they would both die at the end. I also knew that there was a good chance the reason would be stupid, like they both kill themselves because they can’t live in this world without each other. But Romeo X Juliet surpassed all imagining. For those of you reading this having not seen the series I’ll fill in some of the weird blanks. See, Neo Verona is a floating island/continent in the sky and once upon a time it was sustained entirely by two enormous trees. But these trees, like god, are opposed to sin so at some point when someone committed some grievous sin one of them died leaving the second tree, Escalus, to hold up the world. Escalus was doing the job rather well but apparently it was getting tired so it was dying too. Now Escalus has this spirit lady looking after it named Ophelia. Ophelia tells Juliet that she has the seed of Escalus inside her and that if she sacrifices herself the tree and everyone else will live. I wasn’t happy with the prospect of Juliet killing herself to become a tree, but it beats doing it because she’s sad. But Romeo finds out and he, Curio, Francisco, and Tybalt bravely fight to stop her from becoming a tree. And they win! Yay! Except Romeo and Ophelia have just killed each other and he is now dead….crap. And then Juliet in all her wisdom decides that since Romeo is dead she’ll be a tree after all. What was the point of that entire episode of fighting? They saved her from becoming a tree so that she could become a tree. Who wrote this crap? So they die and everyone else is happy forever more.
Also the nitpicky things that annoyed me: Juliet decides to dethrone Montague as The Red Whirlwind so that it’s not a Capulet thing, it’s a Neo Verona revolution thing. But they immediately unmask her and she spends the rest of the series riding out as Juliet. And at the end Tybalt takes Petruchio’s little siblings for a ride on Celio but how the hell did he find Celio in the middle of a dense forest in the first place?
I didn’t like it. I maybe liked it a tiny bit more if we assume that I don’t already hate the original. I don’t recommend it. Just read the play, it’s shorter and it might actually be less frustrating. Plus there’s that whole thumb biting scene which is just awesome.