Romeo x Juliet – “Star Crossed” (Crossed literally)
We all already know the ending. What made me watch this? I was curious HOW things would turn out, simple as that. But seriously, what made me watch this was the opening song! Who wouldn’t recognize that marvelous piece even if it was in Japanese lyrics? I was surprised to hear such music out of Animax, and so I was lured to watched Romeo x Juliet.
I’m giving you a piece of warning as early as now, this post is definitely not for a Shakespeare purist, if you are one. Spoilers ahead.
I wasn’t having high hopes for the show because I was merely interested on watching how Romeo and Juliet will die — or would they even die? What if this retelling was actually a production out of frustration due to the original bad end and that the producers decided to revive the two in the retelling? Of course I do know that it would a betrayal of the story — which is why I was intrigued to see the show through its end.
I definitely do not hate Shakespeare but I honestly find Romeo and Juliet’s story very idiotic. Romeo didn’t even noticed that Juliet was simply faking her death. Romeo even took his life after learning Juliet “died”. Oh come one, what the hell was that? I’m going to kill myself because I can’t live without you here beside me? Sorry it’s just not my taste for romance. Of course I know it’s suppose to be a tragedy that it has to end in some tragic way for sure… But such plot tool was totally uncalled for.
Back to the anime. Right at the start, it would be a bad decision to even compare it to the original when you see a flying Pegasus right at the opening song. Comparing to the original and saying that Romeo and Juliet has a superficial and fake plot is just not right. We all know that it is just an adaptation. No adaptation has ever been so similar to its predecessor. The predecessor is just a basis. As simple as that.
I think the adaptation played out a very good alternative plot of how to present the dispute between the Capulet and the Montague. I am fond of revolutionist ideas which is why I was easily captivated with the idea of taking back what the Capulet has lost fourteen years ago. I even do think that this is a much stronger background story for both families on why Romeo and Juliet shouldn’t be together. It’s not as simple as falling in love to the son of the rival family, it’s falling in love to the son of the family which killed your parents. Both characters are much more involved in the circumstance on why they are star crossed unlike in the original (oops, why am I comparing the two!) where the two have little to no knowledge about that certain ancient grudge that has been keeping their families at war. Of course, I’m just here to point the things that I think the anime did something to reinforce the original work.
I’ve read that most viewers found the idea of Escalus inappropriate. I also find it inappropriate. It was hinted already during the first few episodes the role magical stuff but they would have made a better story out of it compared to this one because I just can’t think of any parallelism or at least, relevance of the idea to the original work. Again and again, I am to focus that this is just an adaptation so adding something to the plot isn’t really that crucial and all (but all I could think of is that, they should have at least tried to relate it right?).
I know I am bias to this show because just liked what I’ve said, I didn’t really liked the ending of the original work. Meanwhile, the ending of the anime wasn’t really that strong to give that much of an impact but I honestly liked the idea that they died this time trying to do something for the people of Neo-Verona and not because of selfish matters of committing double suicide because they can’t be together anymore. They weren’t as foolish in the novel. Just like the vow they committed to each other, they are together even if they are apart from each other. I’d like to say that it is a much more matured thinking.
P.S – I liked the banner designs for both Capulet and Montague