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Dagger

Anime Romeo x Juliet

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No matter how you feel about Shakespeare (or, for that matter, GONZO), I defy you to watch the [url=http://www.romejuli.jp/g_move.html][u]trailer[/u][/url] for this show without drooling.

Romeo x Juliet, like Studio GONZO's Gankutsuou, appears to be a futuristic and/or fantastical adaptation of its source material (set in Neo Verona, a city floating in the sky, and including what rather resembles a Pegasus of some sort). They've obviously taken some liberties with the story--for instance, Juliet now cross-dresses as a knight to fight against the ruling Montague family. (I'm not marking that as a spoiler, since it's in the trailer and other promotional material.)

It seems as if they've got some great people on board for this project, and the trailer really is to die for. [strike]Also, Tybalt looks totally hot.[/strike] I don't think the series has a specific air date yet, but it should be coming to Japanese TV sometime in 2007.

~Dagger~

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[COLOR=DarkOrange]I'm torn between my love of reinvented stories and my complete and utter immesurable depth of sheer, unrelenting hatred for the story Romio and Juliet (and my infinete wealth of indiscribably furious despisision for theose two characters)

I may check it out, just to see if it brings some good to this dispicably hideous tale.

*braces for imminent stoning*[/COLOR]

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[font=Times]Well, I watched it in the brief intervals where it did not pause, and I must say it looks rather appealing, pleasing, and colorful. I can't make any declarations about wanting to watch it as soon as possible, but I'll stand firm on my beginning statement. It looks very pretty, just like everything GONZO makes. I'll bookmark that website since I want to show the trailer to my friends tomorrow.

Small side note (pertaining to the website), is it curious that I found the design of the more amazing than the preview trailer? I feel bad. >_>

Edit: Thanks for sharing this, it was most assuredly worth peeping at considering I don't check out much new anime these days. [/font]

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Oh, yeah, about the trailer--the large version barely loaded for me, so I picked the smaller version and let it load & play while I puttered around somewhere else. If you use the rewind button and go back to the beginning once it's done, it'll play through smoothly. Which is definitely much better than watching it while it stops every half second. :p

I forgot to mention this before, but Junichi Sato is credited as the sound director, which makes me wonder if they're paying particular attention to the acting or are planning on taking some kind of special approach with it. I was incredibly impressed by the ensemble acting in Red Garden (a current GONZO series); it would be wonderful if they could pull off something like that again. I think the lines in Red Garden were pre-recorded, which isn't the norm for anime.

GONZO can pull out amazing animation when they feel like it, but consistency really isn't their thing. I suspect that they generate a lot of money by pumping out mediocre (and mediocre-looking shows), then spend some of that on higher-end shows that won't necessarily be big successes. You can usually tell when they're lavishing more attention on a series, though--in that sense, Romeo x Juliet would probably fall in the same category as stuff like Gankutsuou and Last Exile.

It also shares several staff members with Kaleido Star, whatever that means.

~Dagger~

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[SIZE=1]Several months ago, Katana made a post on her myO describing what her vision of a Romeo & Juliet anime would be like. And I responded, "I bet GONZO is already working on it, except they'll have mecha roaming around Neo-Verona."

I AM ALWAYS RIGHT.

(Though all that aside, this sounds pretty nifty.)

EDIT: Wow, Tybalt [I]does[/I] look hawt.[/SIZE]

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I saw the trailer, and I have to say that I am quite intrigued. Now, I never liked the original Romeo and Juliet - between the difficult language and the boring story and poor characters, I never knew why it was such a classic. But this is an interesting way to put it - instead of giving us a boring historical Verona, give us the skies!

Now, I do hope that they actually give the characters personalties, and that Rome's and Juliet's love isn't such a cliche as the original was.

The music was very nice as well. Instant download when it gets released on Galbadia Hotel ;).

But, my question is, who the fudge was Tybalt? I couldn't tell.

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[SIZE=1]I'm very tempted to go on a "In the Defense of Shakespeare" rant, but I'll restrain myself and just say that Romeo and Juliet certainly wasn't cliche during its time. That's like saying Casablanca shouldn't be considered a classic film because the story is cliche too nowadays, or that The Beatles shouldn't be considered such a great band since their music isn't unique anymore.

Besides, the book is filled with sexual puns! What's not to love? :animesmil

EDIT: Doublehex, to answer your question extremely late, I think Tybalt was the one who appeared right before the screen that says "Junichi Sato & Toyo Ikeda."[/SIZE]

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I have to say, I'm very intrigued by this. The trailer is absolutely lovely, and I think that this is something that could get me interested in Shakespere. ;) Even though they have taken quite a few major liberties, the orginal story of Romeo and Juliet is old news anyway. It's always interesting to see something from a completely different perspective. I definitely plan on checking this out.

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[QUOTE=bellpickle][SIZE=1]
EDIT: Doublehex, to answer your question extremely late, I think Tybalt was the one who appeared right before the screen that says "Junichi Sato & Toyo Ikeda."[/SIZE][/QUOTE]
That's the one. Very Sasuke-esque, no? I found a magazine scan that matched screencaps to the names of the characters; there's no Mercutio as of yet, unless they changed his name.

Doublehex, the music is (as I learned on another forum) from the Romeo and Juliet ballet composed by Sergei Prokofiev. You can also hear it in Princess Tutu. :catgirl:

~Dagger~

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I does look awesome, but it didn't blow me out of the water the same way the Gankutsuou trailer did. It doesn't have the same visual edge that had, but then Gankutsuou is in a special visual category all by itself.

I'm a little worried about stretching a play of 2 hours to a television series of 11,but I trust GONZO to pull out the stops on their flagship "artier" productions, as opposed to their pumpkin scissors and chrno crusades.

Did anyone else notice the music was "Romeo and Juliet"?

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Oooh this looks good. :animeswea I think I'm one of the few people who really liked the original Romeo and Juliet...or maybe I just liked the basic story (Cause reading it is a bit of a bore) so I hope this'll be good.

*Spazz in*

AND ROMEO HAS A FLYING HORSE! =D NICE TOUCH! If I were Juliet I'd want Romeo to have a flying horse too!

*Spazz out*

And yeah...it looks good. I can't wait to see it! The music reminded me of Princess Tutu so that was good nostaligia.

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Man, I guess I can sympathize a little with folks not liking Romeo and Juliet. It's not the best-written of Shakespeare's plays (though also not the worst), but dammit it's still Shakespeare, and the guy's work is bottomless. For me the key fact about the play - and something that more modern "tragic romances" have never picked up - is the conflict between the families. I read it this way mainly because of the how the play is [I]structured[/I], which I don't think a "tragic" interpretation can really support. The title characters are empty and uninteresting, just a pair of hot-blooded and rather stupid kids who fall in love. The play isn't even a [I]tragedy[/I] in the sense of Macbeth or Hamlet, because the leads don't have "flaws" (or even personality) other than being young, dumb, and full of (err) passion. With tragedy the fate of the title character is there from the start, in the [I]basic features[/I] of the character himself. In R&J, however, the ending happens ONLY by mere chance (basically because Romeo doesn't get a letter in time). If you take a look at the structure, R&J is less a tragedy and more like a comedy that somehow went horribly wrong. Where most S comedies end with a big party, reconciliation, and usually a wedding or two, R&J kicks things off with a double suicide. But the strange thing is that the reconciliation itself is [I]still there[/I]: the last scene of the play is Capulet and Montague finally making peace with each other, and the "glooming peace" here is brought about directly [I]because[/I] of the love between the families' two kids. This is something that later readings and rip-offs of R&J have never understood: they just make R&J about love "in spite of" a bad situation - the feud - and thus a love that ends up having to escape from everything else, ultimately doing so in death (Wagner's Tristan and Isolde is a good example). But this misses the point that [I]the feud itself[/I] is really what the play is about. Shakespeare asks: how is it possible for two factions absolutely mired in hatred for one another to come to peace? R&J answers: by the blind, stupid, even unfortunate love that stems from the innocence of youth. [I]That[/I], to me, is extremely interesting, even if the lead characters themselves are complete bores.

Anyways, that's my spiel in defense of the play. Fair enough if you don't like the usual "tragic love" way of reading it - I agree! But there are other possibilities.

As for the anime, I think I'll need to reserve judgment until I actually see it. It [I]looks[/I] pretty and I like the design work (although I'm not sure about the wisdom of throwing flying horses in). But it's really a wait-and-see thing for me. Gonzo as a studio is notoriously uneven, and there are spotty areas even in their best stuff (such as Space Count of Monte Cristo, hereafter Space Count). The basic story here gives them a lot of material to play around with, although maybe not quite as much as Space Count. I'm hoping for really good results, but honestly I'm just not sure yet.

(also: thanks to Dagger for identifying the music, it was bugging me that I couldn't place it)

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Hahaha! The opening music is going to be a cover of "You Raise Me Up." This is going to be glorious.

A lot of Shakespeare characters (or at least names) from other plays are getting thrown into this--Francisco from Hamlet, Curio from Twelfth Night, Cordelia from King Lear, Antonio from The Merchant of Venice and Hermione from A Winter's Tale. Apologies if I mis-identified any of those. Plus a dude named William who, by pure coincidence, works as a playwright.

The plot thickens?

~Dagger~

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Go [url=http://www.romejuli.jp/character.html][u]here[/u][/url]. He's in the third row down, to the right of Montague (the bearded man) and has a rather snarky expression.

~Dagger~

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I read today that the music will be preformed by the Australian Eminence Orchestra. If you don't know who they are (which most of you won't) they're a group that performs music from anime and videogames around Australia. I'm actually going to see a performance in April of theirs though it's highly unlikely that it will contain any of the pieces from Romeo X Juliet. I'm actually looking forward to this more now :D

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I'm in love. ;)

It was a very nice first episode. It's hard not to weigh this against Gankutsuou on some levels, although it doesn't have Gankutsuou's wild art direction. Young Montague is the spitting image of the Count, and I have an awful feeling that poor Benvolio is saddled with the exact same problem as Franz and will end up the same way. His conversation with Romeo about love was more like a punch in the stomach than mere deja vu.

At the same time, even though Junichi Sato is the voice director and not the overall director, it sure feels like one of his shows. Classic Sato humor and all that. It also bears even less resemblance to the original story than Gankutsuou did to The Count of Monte Cristo. People have been throwing around Kaleido Star comparisons, and I suppose I can see that, because Romeo x Juliet has a ton of heart. If I end up adoring Juliet even half as much as Kaleido Star's heroine, this could get dangerous...

I have to confess that I quite dig the OP. I like the Japanese lyrics a lot better than the English lyrics, actually. Anyway, I'd be very interested in reading other people's thoughts on this.

~Dagger~

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Wow. Very VERY different than the original. But that's a good thing. It's going to be very interesting to see a completely different rendition of the story.

I've studied Romeo and Juliet at school since finding out about this series, so now (two essays later) I basically know the story inside and out, and it's very fresh in my mind. Needless to say, I'm going to notice every tiny little difference from the original, and probably find it distracting, because that's just what I do. :animeswea

Anyway, the first episode was certainly very nice-looking. Very pretty and all. Although I find the whole [spoiler]Juliet cross-dressing[/spoiler] thing kinda weird and the most distracting difference of the lot, I think I can deal with it. [spoiler]Magical growing hair?? Or was that just a wig???[/spoiler]

Romeo... hmm... His character design is fine and everything, but I think it's going to take some getting used to. That's just not how I imagine him. At least he's not acting like a sissy like he does in the actual play, though. You know, first there's Rosaline and everything... Yeah. Pretty fickle guy.

Is it just me, or is that [spoiler]crazy playwright dude supposed to be William Shakespeare, stuffed into his own play[/spoiler]??? Heh. Interesting, if so.

The whole Montague/Capulet feud is very different, too. Not a bad different, but there was certainly a role reversal when [spoiler]Juliet showed up at Romeo's ball[/spoiler], instead of vise versa.

Anyway, I think both the OP and ED are pretty cool. I'm pretty neutral about the new lyrics in the OP. They seem to match the show well, I guess.

I have this thing about original stories being changed when they're made into movies and the like...but I think I'm going to find this version of Romeo and Juliet very enjoyable, bacause I'm not all that crazy about the original play, anyway. Maybe they'll make it better. Heh heh. :animeswea

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Yep, Willy is exactly who he seems to be. I was amused by how, in episode 2, he talks about writing [I]As You Like It[/I] (a play whose heroine cross-dresses). :animesmil

I was worried, but the second episode did not let me down. Here's a rundown of some salient plot points (listed out of order). The story is developing quickly, but it doesn't feel rushed.

- [spoiler]Romeo learns Juliet's name, and they promise to meet again in the field of irises.[/spoiler] (That scene was almost beautiful enough to give me the shivers.)
- [spoiler]Montague announces Romeo's engagement to Hermione.[/spoiler]
- [spoiler]Juliet plays the Red Whirlwind again in order to save some girls. She gets wounded--not badly, but the camera focuses ominously on her injury.[/spoiler]
- [spoiler]After her sixteenth birthday party, Conrad (the old knight who saved her) takes her to a graveyard and tell her about her real identity. A handful of people still loyal to the Capulets have gathered there to hail her as royalty--the rightful occupant of Montague's throne.[/spoiler]
- The preview shows [spoiler]Romeo fighting Juliet as the Red Whirlwind.[/spoiler] From this we can probably infer that [spoiler]she finds out that he's Montague's son, although I'm betting that he won't learn who she is for a while yet.[/spoiler]

This is basically borrowing another viewer's words, but I saw someone offer a good explanation for why the appropriation of the Romeo & Juliet mythos is so effective in this series. One can't argue that they may as well just have been bold enough to make it a totally original story rather than a loose, loose "adaptation." Simply the names and the bare framework of families in conflict puts a cloud over the show that would be impossible to match with any amount of foreshadowing, flash-forwarding or what have you. It's because they're called Romeo and Juliet that the endearing innocence and young joy of the characters is poignant. I just want to reach into the screen and protect them what's about to unfold.

It's not a 100% departure so much as it is the Shakespearean equivalent of a fractured fairy tale. (On this note, that's a good point about the [spoiler]role reversal at the ball.[/spoiler])

~Dagger~

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I've only seen the first ep so far but I must say I'm already enjoying the turn that this show is taking. I'm actually a Shakespeare fan so you'd think I'd hate the fact that they're not following the story but I find that the Romeo & Juliet story is quite contrived and overused at times. It's probably one of my least favourite Shakespeare plays but I would have seen this show anyway. The fresh spin that Gonzo has put on this story has actually made me quite pleased and I'm definitely going to continue watching this series.

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Episode 2 was also very nice.

I agree about the [spoiler]iris scence, when Romeo and Juliet meet[/spoiler]. It was absolutely beautiful.

I have to say, the part where [spoiler]Juliet runs away from the ball...the whole thing was very Cinderella-esque to me[/spoiler]. But I'm not complaining. :animeswea

Once again, there was a role reversal, since [spoiler]Romeo is engaged to this Hermione girl, whereas in the play Juliet was engaged to Paris (and Romeo and Juliet were already married by this point...)[/spoiler]. The role reversal isn't a bad thing though. I'm finding it very interesting.

I think the whole thing with [spoiler]Juliet being the last surviving Capulet[/spoiler] is going to be a very interesting addition to the story. It certainly makes it a little more complex, anyway. And I suppose now there's a little more room for action sequences. ;) There certainly wasn't a [spoiler]Romeo vs. Juliet fight scence[/spoiler] in the play. Heh heh. :p

I'm really looking forward to the next episode, and how this series is going to play out as a whole. One good thing about it being very different than the play is that I won't be bored watching the same thing again. This way, I have no idea what's going to happen. :D

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I enjoyed ep2. I have to say that [spoiler]the role reversal make things very interesting for me, especially Romeo being engaged to Hermione,[/spoiler] also a lot more enjoyable. I also loved the fact that they had Willie [spoiler]quote probably my most favourite Shakespeare quote. "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely actors."[/spoiler]

As for the preview [spoiler] with Romeo vs Juliet (red whirlwind), I almost took it that it could be related to something other then Juliet finding out that he's a Montague. There are a lot os possibilities that come out of it.[/spoiler] But the tragedy has been nicely set. Any idea how many eps this is gonna be or is it still unset?

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I want to say 24/26 episodes, but I don't think we know for sure yet. The current pace would seem to suggest that, though. Mercutio appears for the first time in episode 3, and Tybalt is nowhere in sight.

Episode 3 was fairly mild-mannered until the explosion of action at the end. It's pretty clear that they're saving budget up for those big scenes, but I don't mind. Especially since the battles in episode 3 were, if anything, more dynamic and fluid than those in the first two episodes.

Key points for this episode...

- [spoiler]Cordelia learns that the person Juliet has been seeing is a noble.[/spoiler]
- Willy's mother pays a visit! :animesmil
- [spoiler]Mercutio tells Montague that he'll keep an eye on Romeo.[/spoiler]
- [spoiler]Montague goes to visit "Escalus."[/spoiler] Now, I had to look this up (*is embarrassed*), but in the original story, [spoiler]Escalus is the prince who tries to get the two families to make up.[/spoiler] In this version, I suspect that [spoiler]Escalus is a supernatural being, guardian or god of some sort. The mysterious green-tinted person in the opening is probably the spirit of the tree.[/spoiler] I wonder why Montague believes [spoiler]he has its blessing? He defied Escalus' will to take down the Capulets...[/spoiler]
- [spoiler]Romeo visits his mother, who left the castle when he was young. I guess she's living estranged from Montague?[/spoiler]
- [spoiler]Lancelot (the doctor) is taken prisoner by city guards for conspiring with the Red Whirlwind. Juliet comes to break him out while he's being tortured. Romeo, returning home on his flying horse, descends and tells the guards that he'll take care of it. He notices the scent of irises, and as he takes up his sword, he tells her quietly that they should pretend to fight and then fall from the tower. This allows Juliet to get away.[/spoiler]
- [spoiler]Afterward, Juliet finds out that Romeo is Montague's son. He asks her not to tell anyone that he helped her. It's not 100% clear whether he's guessed at who the Red Whirlwind is, but I think he definitely has suspicions.[/spoiler]
- The next episode preview shows [spoiler]Romeo and the Red Whirlwind getting cozy. Faux-BL, anyone?[/spoiler] :p

I thought it was cool how [spoiler]Romeo helped Juliet instead of seriously fighting her.[/spoiler] It was unexpected, but it made sense & was perfectly in line with his character, considering [spoiler]how he saved the Red Whirlwind in the first episode and doesn't exactly adhere to his father's beliefs.[/spoiler]

It also seems like Mercutio [spoiler]is not going to be the nice guy he was in the play[/spoiler] (as if his character design didn't already betray that, haha). It doesn't bother me, but his fans might be disappointed.

Now excuse me while I go watch those fabulous action scenes again.

~Dagger~

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I've just finally gotten to watch the first 2 eps., and i LOVE it so far !
It's enough of a change to the original story that you don't know exactly what is going to happen, but it's a very welcome change.
I can't wait to see ep. 3 now !!

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