In the spirit of Valentine's Day, I will be reviewing the anime adaptation of Shakespear's Romeo x Juliet that has bit of fantasy elements added for good measure.
In Neo Verona, the house of Capulet peacefully ruled the land until the rival house of Montague took control on the kingdom of Neo Verona by killing the entire Capulet family and all of it's supporters in a bloody coup d'état. But,one of the children of Capulet's did escape the massacre and her name was Juliet. Forced to hide and masquerade as a boy in order to avoid being caught by the House of Montague, who still search any Capulets that might have survived.
In a twist of fate, Juliet meets a young man and they instantly fall in love. But she does not know that the one she loves in the son of the man who killed her family and rules as a tyrant, Romeo Montague. Neither know of their family ties. Thus the tale of a forbidden love begins. Truthfully, I've never read Shakespear's Romeo & Juliet.
The most I remember hearing of the story was back when I was kid watching Nickelodeon and every show had an episode that was centered around a school play about Romeo & Juliet. You probably know what I talking about. So I don't know exactly how faithful to the original story it is but I know it's not the original word-for-word since it does have added fantasy elements and other subplots (that I believe) added to the overall story.
The Story has a nice mixture of action, romance,and tragedy as you watch their love blossoms like flower even though everything is against their forbidden love. I really enjoyed how the romance and action meshed together so well and that they didn't put too much fantasy stuff in it. Though there is a lot of it in the last few episodes, but it didn't take too much away from the story of make it feel less real. The Characters are engaging and interesting, even the side-characters. They gave backstories to the characters which gave them depth and made them feel more real. I thought it was creative that they added William to the story, you'll have to see it to believe it. Of course Romeo and Juliet were my favorite couple (and characters), sorry for those of you who want to see Juliet with one of the other characters.
The Art is beautifully done with nicely designed characters and detailed backgrounds and environments.
The Voice Acting is superb in the English Dub,especially Juliet.
The Music is very well done and fits each scene acordinly. Also the opening beautifully done. When I first watched the opening I noticed that the music sounded familiar to a song I listened to a long time ago called "You Raise Me Up" but the openings lyrics were in Japanese. After watching more of the series I heard "You Raise Me Up" by Lena Pank sung in an episode and I found out the opening was the same song, but shorter and in Japanese. You can listen to them below:
I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes romance,fantasy,medieval times,drama, and some action.
I would say about 15 or 16 years old and up because it can be violent and bloody at times but not excessive. There are a few scenes with kissing, but come on, it's romance.
I really enjoyed it and I would have to say it's in my "Top 10 Favorite Anime Series" list. Even though they added a little too much fantasy towards the end of the series, it had a captivating story with invigorating characters, sweet romance,action, superb acting, beautiful art, and If you want to check out the Dub or Sub for free and legally head on over to Funimation.com
Thanks for reading my review.
I'd love to hear your thoughts, leave them in comments if you like.