Yes, yes, I know - another Anime review, but this is going to be the last one for a while, that and this one surprised me. I quite enjoyed it. When you find something good, you spread it like wildfire!
In the floating city of Neo Verona, a tyrannical Montague rules over the people after having slaughtered the Capulet family fourteen years ago. The youngest Capulet daughter, Juliet, is the only survivor. With the city divided by wealthy and poor, Juliet takes it upon herself to dress as a boy and become a vigilante, swearing to bring justice to the people and uphold the innocent. By a twist of fate, she meets Romeo, the only son of Montague. Juliet has every right to despise Romeo for what his family has done to hers, but he is unlike his father - and her heart can't stop yearning for him.
Love blooms in the unlikeliest place, where reason forbids their love to grow. With an unfinished feud and an unfolding revolution at hand, is this a love that can never be?
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At first glance, we had no interest in checking this out. Firstly, it's Romeo and Juliet. I know it's arguably one of the greatest love stories of all time, and it's among the best of William Shakespeare's work, but I've never been able to get into the whole tragedy thing. Invest in the lead characters, only to have them die? Nah! While I've enjoyed stories that went that direction, I never have for R&J. Until now.
For one, the story and setting are completely different. It takes place on a floating continent, and people ride on dragonsteeds (horses with wings). This throws us directly into a high fantasy setting. Then, you have class division, a dictatorship, military police, and an entire family wiped out, save but one girl. This is enough to compete with all the hottest dystopias right now. Lastly, the story centers on Juliet, who takes a more active role by being a masked vigilante, and being able to hold her own during a sword fight. Be still, my beating heart!
And of course, they speak Shakespearean-like, occasionally.
But that's not all! Revenge, gods, a funny caricature of Shakespeare himself, and an integration of other Shakespearean plays keeps this ultra-familiar story fresh and unexpected. I honestly had no idea what would happen next, and the ending proved far more meaningful in its conclusion than the emo-original version - and I'm not going to say how. All in all, at 24 episodes, this series is a satisfying watch.
My only gripe is that Part 2 was a little slower until the middle, and the last two episodes were a bit on the weird side (let's hurry and rush the loose ends), but that wasn't enough to make me dislike the series as a whole. I'll go as far as to say that this is my favorite version of Romeo and Juliet yet, and a spinning example of how to take an old classic and turn it into a masterful, action-packed retelling. It's not bad content-wise, either. It shouldn't traumatize kids, all that much.
What have you been watching? Seen anything that you recommend? What's your favorite retelling, Shakespeare or otherwise?
I'm David, and "you raise me up, to more than I can be."