I’m sure everyone vividly remembers their first real love. I do. I’m also sure everyone remembers reading this play in high school. I remember how hard it was to say all those old-timey words and how embarrassing it was to reenact the actual play with my class. Even with these slightly unsettling memories I have around this story, it is by far one of my favorite romance anime’s. The story loosely revolves around the old story written by William Shakespeare. What’s different is the setting and the side stories of the show. It takes place in Neo Verona with Juliet Capulet who is secretly red whirlwind, or maybe she’s secretly Juliet however you want to look at it. The Robin Hood of the series, saving the citizens from the tyrannical government run by the Montague’s. During her time as Red Whirlwind, she poses as a boy, she also does this for a majority of her time when she is out in public. She does this to hide the fact that she is a Capulet.
Now this anime is the first actual anime I ever watched. I found it on the Funimation YouTube channel by mistake back in 2013. It peaked my interest because I love the original story so I gave it a try. And oh boy am I glad I did.
I recently started re-watching the show and it is giving me flashbacks to how I was mentally when I first starting watching this anime. Romance is the genre that got me to the anime obsessed person I am today. I think the romance genre gives authors the ability to really give characters lots of emotional depth, love can be the best thing in the world or it can leave the worst mental and emotional scars of your life. With the romance genre, for me it feels like I can connect with the author on a more personal level. I get to look into what they are thinking and theorize what made them take the story down a particular path.
The story itself is not where it shines though. Everyone knows how the story goes and how it ends. But it’s what the creators added that makes the story an extra attribute to show that the characters, atmosphere, and overall feeling of the show is really something to witness.
The characters are all very good. From the members of both Montague and Capulet families to the lesser developed characters like Hermione (haha). Romeo lives in a lavish mansion yet suffers from teenage angst, fighting with his father and fighting Red Whirlwind on an almost daily basis. Although he is a character that would do anything to help a friend out and follows what is important in his heart, not what is the status quo. Juliet is the last living Capulet, because of this she lives as a boy and goes by the name Odin until she learns about her destiny. So she isn’t able to enjoy everyday life. She lives with her friends and caretakers Cordelia, Antonio, Curio, and Conrad. What is interesting about this show is that all the characters have an overlapping interest with each other but not necessarily a common goal.
The animation was done by studio Gonzo. Known for famous anime like welcome to the NHK, Rosario + Vampire series, and Hellsing. Although they have not done as much as other studios and are currently having troubles in their finance department they know what they are doing. For some reason when I think typical/common (not in a bad way) anime style animation, I think of KyoAni, A1 pictures, and Gonzo. These three seem to be able to adapt whatever they want and make it into something beautiful. Also their 3 second studio ad at the beginning of each episode is pretty cool too.
This anime offers nothing new in the aspect of original story but if you like the original Shakespeare play, I think you will thoroughly enjoy this show like I did. This is a show that you watch for the romance and guessing how the writers decide to go about it. So in conclusion, this show may have its flaws and show its animation age (originally aired in 2007) it is still something worth experiencing. I give it an 8/10 overall.
P.S. The dub created by funimation isn’t too bad either, it lets you experience the Shakespearean language like in the original play.