Posted by psgels on 6 December 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews


Gonzo… on one hand they search the borders of anime and storytelling, and work with greatly original premises…

… and on the other hand, we have this; generic premises that only stand out in their mediocrity. While others may have loved it, all I saw was a dull, predictable story and annoying characters. For this series, the people from Gonzo decided to bring their own version of the classic by Shakespeare, but this series might also just as well be called “Pete X Catherine”, because the only similarities are the names of the characters. Oh, and the Capulets and the Montagues are still mortal enemies.

This is another anime that suffers from the “bad main-character-syndrome”, as I’d like to call it. Both Romeo and Juliet are incredibly whiny teenagers who prevent the storyline from progressing smoothly, and instead they force the series to delve in cheesy and naive morals. Their relationship starts out nicely, but once they’re in love, their relationship starts behaving like that of a bad soap-opera, with excessive amounts of “I love you but I can’t stay with you”. Predictably, the ending for the series is a horrible one, where characters have convenient increases of powers for the sake of storytelling, complete with some screwed-up physics.

In terms of storytelling, this series also leaves much to be desired. It took me twenty-four freaking episodes to realize that the characters are supposed to be living on an island, floating in the sky. If that wasn’t bad enough, the characters themselves didn’t even know this. I mean, why was there nobody who would have thought at one point: “gee, I hate it here; why don’t I just travel to a very distant place and see what happens?” It doesn’t make any sense.

I’ve said this before; the best people from Gonzo were definitely working on Bokura no during the spring-season. The writers failed completely to make me care about the characters and setting, due to poor writing. These guys need to learn that lots of angst and drama don’t necessarily make a great anime; well fleshed-out characters are much more important.

40 Responses

  1. Avatar kiseki gurl says:

    I don’t want to be too biased but this is GONZO. Generally they either make classics (Gankutsuou) or crap (Kaze no Stigma, Dragonaut etc.). However, I found Romeo x Juliet to be flat in the middle because while it wasn’t anything wonderful it was tolerable and somewhat enjoyable to me. Well most of the time anyways.

  2. Avatar Ivy says:

    Oh I loved this show. I’m just glad they tried to do something a little new, I mean it avoided being completely predictable we gotta give them that right? I’m talking about the tree side-plot lol (it might seem silly and tacked on but I rather liked it) OH and I thought the ending was extremely beautiful especially since Gonzo love ending their shows explosively. All in all I loved it, no matter how chessy it got it’ll always have a special place in my heart, as the show that Gonzo finally was able to deliver in and then some hee. (I thought Bokurano was horrid for the most part really, sorry)

  3. Avatar L.A says:

    Sure, there were some boring and unnecessary parts through middle and some of the characters were wasted, but I think things went pretty well in the end. And some beginning parts were definitely enjoyable to watch.
    And though I never liked Juliet, but Romeo was quite cute comparing with the original Romeo…..so I thought overall it was a good series.
    And no offense, but I personally liked RomeoxJuliet much more than Bokura no.
    The biggest problem I had with Bokura no was that simply it wasn’t entertaining to watch. Every episode just made me feel miserable and depressing (although that was what creators??intended to) and at some point, I felt that the plot just went too far to an extension that I don’t care any more.

  4. Avatar Doughnut says:

    I found this series started out quite well, it was enjoyable to watch the first 10 episodes maybe, but I completely lost interest afterwards. The tree sideplot was absolutely awful, I think if they chopped out that whole concept and knocked it down to 20 episodes it could’ve been great.
    The quality of the animation throughout the series is definately not stable, some of it was awful around the middle.
    I’m not sure I agree about Bokurano, I only watched up to around episode 8 of that and found it awfully slow, it bored me. I might consider reading it sometime though.

  5. Avatar charlie says:

    Wow.

    I never thought I’d say this…

    But I completely agree with you on this review! To me, Romeo X Juliet was the biggest disappointment of last season. All the characters were one-dimensional and much more interesting in the play. The producers basically took the premise of Romeo and Juliet, and literally screwed up everything. The anime could of been done in 13 episodes, all the middle episodes were mindless filler. The character designs were bland, as well as the animation. I honestly didn’t believe the romance and it all felt fake to me. Not one single character in the anime was better then it’s play counterpart.

    The story never went anywhere…I was expecting a lot more out of this anime, but it didn’t live up to these expectations.

  6. Avatar Avisch says:

    charlie:

    Same opinion here. The original play is better than this 24 episode wannabe (thankfully I stopped watching after episode 14).

    Whoever decided on the plot should have been smacked from the beginning.

    Overall GONZO created what was not supposed to be a supreme cliche of a anime adaption of a 17th century play.

  7. Avatar Issu says:

    I third the agreement in this one failing for me.

    Just to back up what Charlie said, I DID in fact skip all the middle of this series. I watched maybe the first 4 episodes of this series and the last three, and I have to say if I can get every character and the entirety of went on with just that much its kinda sad how much of the show was filler. Given, I’d say knowing the original story helped me understand the end, but considering how far-off and obscure it went from the original, I’d say it made no difference.

    I can’t even imagine what it must’ve been like to have to watch everything else in between. I’m only sorry you had to waste your time getting through the rest of it where I only got the beginning and end. And what the heck WAS that ending about?… Oi, very frustrating to watch.

  8. Avatar crintodesu says:

    i just accept everything… if u think like that everything is good. so overall it didn’t really disapoint me..

    so what.. did they both become the two parts of the “tree” or some shit?

  9. Avatar nahrub says:

    don’t get me wrong… i love cheese, but this show is just too cheesy. i stoped watching after 9 episodes… too painful. eye-catching though… beautiful animation, great action, but it’s just too cheesy.

  10. Avatar Noelle says:

    In some way I DO agree with you… I thought the anime started off pretty well… But after a while it does get boring and dull. No to mention, characters such as Juliet gets on my nerves. Same here, couldn’t take too much angst and drama, around 3-4 episodes is enough, but not… half of the anime series… But anyway, I admit, I DO like the ending, but sadly, it didn’t end up ‘matching’ the anime.

  11. Avatar Denizen says:

    I hear this anime even forsakes the classic “both commit suicide” ending. How can you ruin the most important part?

  12. Avatar janae says:

    bastard.
    it was this wonderful story showed into a japanese fantasies light

  13. Avatar GidgetDigit says:

    Both Romeo and Juliet are incredibly whiny teenagers who prevent the storyline from progressing smoothly

    I burst out laughing when I read that. That’s what the original story’s about.

    I agree that the character are archetypal, but it’s very difficult to break the mold when using the general plot line of a Shakespeare play. No, it’s DEFINITELY NOT Shakespeare’s original story, but it certainly stays true to the insane love-at-first-sight and swordplay-crazy spirit of the play.

    It took me twenty-four freaking episodes to realize that the characters are supposed to be living on an island, floating in the sky.

    What.

    How many times did you watch the opening credits? It’s right there.

  14. Avatar . says:

    this is a pathetic review.
    you obviously don’t know anything about anime.
    sure, there were some boring parts, but i’d like to see you do better.

  15. Avatar 16 says:

    #15 YOU are fucking pathetic

    romeo and juliet had potential, and I thought juliet wasn’t that much of a damsel in distress…or maybe she is. whatever. it could have progressed well, but the tree shit ending was totally weird. I’d rather have something that tied to the beginning and the tree was stupid and out of the blue. Melodramatic sometimes too. Romeo was laughable and boring.

  16. Avatar Jenny says:

    Okay. Personally I love this anime. You made some good points….but still I found no parts of this boring. The tree part was beautiful and put a new spin on a Romeo and Juliet story. I think the whole thing was well thought out. No disrespect to your opinion though. We all like what we like. As for predictable….well not to me. I was shocked at each episode. The whole red whirlwind thing was nice, and added another new spin on things. It had humor, romance, action, tragedy, everything really. No disappointment here.

  17. Avatar DADADAM says:

    This anime is bullshit!!! I was hoping he killed juliet, get the seed from her and offer himself to the lady that can fly whats her name again operia??? that way he’d be the one enduring eternal torment I really wish for that shit I never got the tragic I wanted!!! crap crap crap
    one more thing I hated all the parts of it because romeo deserved the roll of juliet and vise versa I mean what the hell whats up with japanese anime whenever you talked about forbidden love its always the girl who has something different about her saikano, chobits, ef a tale of memories, ef a tale of melodies main plot yuko and that dude with glasses not the side of course, elflen lied, The ugly yet beautiful world, to Love ru, rosario vampire and a whole lot more not worthy to be mentioned and whats worst is that most of the time this jerks make the lead male characters powerless and thats what pisses me off the most

  18. Avatar Miss V says:

    Well, I’ve been reading through your reviews and found that our tastes are fairly similar…but I think we greatly differ on just about anything having to do with romance (you know, which isn’t actually surprising, since I’m a die-hard romantic)

    This reply is late, but I do have to say some things here that I believe you’ve missed.

    First, Romeo and Juliet (the original) is a tragic story about the idiocy of rivalries and how it can impact one’s family and how a young heart can’t understand hatred like that.

    In between that, we have some of the stupidest, and yet most heart-felt romantic prose Shakespeare has every written.

    Have you ever been in love? Like, that initial crazed infatuation where you seem to be interested in nothing but that other person? If you have, then you’ll get Romeo x Juliet. This is a shoujo, through and through. Every moment is classic, spurred on by sweeping orchestral music and that damn “you raise me up” song (who knew it wasn’t only about Jesus/yourdad/someoneyoudon’tdesperatelywanttobang!)

    Basically, what I’m saying is…the show suffered from trying to throw this big fantasy plot into a short time. It wasn’t exactly perfectly constructed and there was a lot of confusing points that made absolutely no sense. Not to mention that some of the relationships were just insane. Largely that Tybalt and Mercutio practically switched places. The more original characters were quite fantastic and pretty well developed.

    But my favorite part of the story is that despite how much he’s worked for his country and to become a better man, in the end, Romeo’s obsession with Juliet completely outweighs his desire to save his country. That ending is fantastic, because it shows how stupid and powerful love is. But in the end, things work out and all that, as always.

    Also, you seem to have forgotten that this story was largely focused on Juliet herself, who was a strong-willed, very original character. She’s a great shoujo heroine by the end, sacrificing herself for all the people she fought for.

    I have noticed a tendency in your reviews to be incredibly harsh towards shoujo, and I understand that it’s just your opinion…but just because you can’t buy the classic moments that build a story that makes a woman’s heart flutter, doesn’t mean that it’s trite and boring.

    All in All, RxJ is a classic shoujo tale, with great desire and despair, and a good mix of just squee happy moments. Ultimately endin in a sad, but satisfying moment. One of those “oh, they’ll be together forever” that make you feel better about everything going to hell.

    (for the record, there were eps that were SO boring. But damn, I loved Romeo’s mom. What an awesome woman.)

  19. Avatar TS says:

    Lol…why do so many people hate on kaze no stigma…i loved that series! It was definitely better than this one for sure O.o.

  20. Avatar Thresch says:

    I actually liked the anime, but I have to agree with the review. At the beginning, I thought “Wow, awesome!”. The middle-part was unnessecary, yes, but it was fine too I think.
    The ending was horrible.
    1.It didn’t make any sense. At first, Juliet wanted to sacrifice herself. Then she changed her mind. Then she changed her mind again. WTH?! Neither Ophelia nor Romeo had to die. ô_O

    2.It was soooo off-story, it felt like the story writers hadn’t had any ideas anymore. They just needed a reason to let them die.

    3.Felt Neo Verona down or not? It was just too confusing @____@

    I would have liked it much more if they stayed with the original version. Really, the ending was soooo horrible. It could have been such a great Anime T^T

  21. Avatar Lana says:

    I really, really loved this anime and I thought it was great. There were things left to be desired but over all I found it amazing. I really love the original play but I like how in this one they actually had to die to save everyone else instead of just being love-stricken kids who decide to commit suicide. I like the changes they made. They aren’t as good as the play, but most movies and shows that are based on books and plays are never as good as the original. It is an anime and a really great one and you just have to accept it for what it is. I agree it should have a more quotes from the play and I felt the balcony scene was not as good as it could have been but I found the rest really good! I found the music and animation beautiful and I thought the story was great. Although they did fall a little when they went to Romeo as the main character. Overall this is one of my favorites and I really loved it.

  22. Avatar Ran says:

    I know you guys have all your tastes. I noticed a great deal of you don’t like Romeo x Juliet. But I respect every single one of your opinion. No offense meant, but to be honest, you guys didn’t have to be so harsh… Well, there may be some few parts which aren’t so nice, but that doesn’t have to mean that you have to say all those stuff… Hey, and before you guys pass judgement, think about it… You weren’t the ones who had to go through all the effort and expenses just to make this anime… Have you even done something as producing your own show? You talk like you own it and say all you want when in truth, you haven’t even done anything like it…

  23. Avatar Maxia says:

    Y’ll are so DUMB. All of you who criticizes romeo x juliet. You definitely don’t know anything about anime! How could you ever judge an anime without knowing about the whole story?! How could you ever understand the whole story if you stopped watching it because you said it was boring?! You said, ever since you’ve watched the first part it was boring?! The hell you are thinking!

  24. Avatar secret says:

    5/10 stars it wasn’t anything special

  25. Avatar 〓∑v¡lz〓™ says:

    I don’t know what the sh¡t u’re talking but it’s absolutely crap! Who the hell gave u the right to criticize about this anime! Can u even draw an anime? if u didn’t like it u don’t have to watch it and WTF this review for!

  26. Avatar Solaris says:

    @user #26 with the weird nick: If you don’t like here you can simply get lost far away. :D

  27. Avatar Tiff says:

    I finished watching and I must say, it was predictable but I still enjoyed it.
    I do not know Gonzo well but I watched simply because I loved Shakespeare.
    I loved how they cared about the people and everything and how they tried so hard to balance their love at the same time.
    Anyway, I admit this anime is not particularly interesting but after watching it, it gave me an enlightened feeling and made me want to love and be loved.
    Romeo and Juliet, suteki da ne!

  28. Avatar Tiff says:

    OMG, I COMMENTED BEFORE READING OTHER COMMENTS SO NOW I’M COMMENTING AGAIN!
    Can everyone stop being so hateful towards others that don’t have the same opinion?!
    Yes, some found it boring, some found it good but well, it’s drama, it can only ally half the world and no more!
    RELAX EVERYONE ):

  29. Avatar Sumire says:

    I completely agree with Miss V. It’s a shoujo anime, what do you expect? Blood everywhere like BLEACH? Uh, no. It’s aimed at ten-to-eighteen-year-old girls who are in love with the romance genre, like me.

    And personally, I liked the Escalus tree and Red Whirlwind-subplots. It added more drama into the story, and that’s what I like to watch. And, honestly, I like this more than the original play, actually. Not to offend anyone, but I find this much more interesting than the real thing. Call me crazy all you want.

    So, that’s just my two cents. Didn’t mean to offend anyone/thing, and I respect all your opinions, but mine is that this has to be one of my favorite animes. I really wish that Romeo and Juliet didn’t die and it would go on for just a little longer.

  30. Avatar Superbad says:

    If this review was shown on youtube then the reviewer would surely get the title “the biggest retard of the century.” Seriously, I don’t see the big deal y you motherfucker hate this anime over some lame acion shits. At least here, it shows you what love is, if you don’t appreciate it, then SCREW you.

    Well, I know that not all people have the same taste but this review is just pathetic. For all who think that Shakespeare would be crawling under his grave, then Alexandre Dumas would do the same when they made that 2002 Monte Cristo movie. Because they ARE adaptions, no matter however things change are not mainly important, as long as the plot is great then it matters. The plot of RxJ maybe boring to some but at least Gonzo still kept some parts of the original.

    Heh! Even if there’re people disliking this anime, they are just a bunch of anonymous fools, Romeo x Juliet is still undeniably one of the best-acclaimed works of Gonzo.

  31. Avatar Superbad says:

    Oh, I forgot, this review isn’t worth reading, that motherfucker of a reviewer is only judge the characters while (s)he doesn’t understand anything about the whole thing. How pathetic and ameteurish!

    Instead of reading this garbage, people should read reviews done by professional writers not some good-for-nothing.

  32. Avatar Me says:

    Okay I’ll be honest. It did get boring but as a person who loves watching anime I couldn’t skip any episode. So in the anime the roles of Romeo and Juiliet were switched if anyone of you who didnt caught that. I was expecting for Tibalt to get killed somehow but Gonzo never had him die. The ending was beautiful instead of the cliche of the tragic ending. The first couple episodes were the most interesting and cute. Overall it had beautiful animation. I would recommend this to anyone who love spinoffs of Romeo and Juiliet. But to those who may hate it give it a chance watch an episode a day to yearn for more.

  33. Avatar Yeah! says:

    Fuck all the haters, do you even know the meaning behind this anime? If you don’t, then you’re a born retard.

    And the reviewer should eat shit, suck cock and die. That will make 2011 a better year. Your reviews are all suck. What about the art, sound and such? Worthless piece of shit of a review in history.

  34. Avatar otakugirltoo says:

    hi.. i just wanna say that romeo x juliet is a good anime to watch.. the balcuny scene really made me cry.. of course each of us knows what love is, i must say, though its not as good as any other anime, this is just worth watching..

  35. Avatar Meow says:

    this anime was only LOOSELY based on “Romeo and Juliet” by Shakespeare…just think of this anime as an anime completely separate from the original play…most of you guys are saying that this anime sucks because it’s not like the original play…forget about the play…just watch the actual anime! ahaha

  36. Avatar Animefan000 says:

    I haven’t gone through most of RxJ yet, getting there. Though not my top favorite anime series, I actually found it enjoyable, more so than the actual play.

    I don’t really care if it was terrible or not, everyone has different tastes in anime.

  37. Avatar o0kittylover0o says:

    I completely disagree with this review…

    I guess you have to be a Shakespeare fan to really appreciate this anime, because when I saw it, what I saw was a genius masterpiece.
    They went above and beyond to actually flesh out the story, make it their own, and add in references and characters from Shakespeare’s other works for the benefit of a true Shakespeare enthusiast.

    And I think you didn’t quite understand the enormity of the world they lived on… it was a giant CONTINENT floating in the sky, probably around the size of Australia or bigger. And they did travel in the series, quite far and didn’t reach the edge.

    This anime was brilliant. ‘Nuff said.

  38. Avatar jm says:

    i watch a lot of anime and this certainly one of the best love story anime series,. although the ending is a little bit disappointing,even if this is Shakespeare’s work,.they should have to change the ending,all the hard works the two couple did..I think they deserve a Happy ending,..If Im not mistaken out of 24 episodes only 1 episode that they spend time together and the rest only last for 30secs..

  39. Avatar Mitars says:

    I started watching this anime cuz I read that it is a really romantic anime.
    The first episodes were quite interesting to watch but afterwards my motivation for this series got less and less. I was happy when I reached the last episode and saw some romantic by keeping their vow in life and death. The part with the “tree spirit” and the magical tree felt really weird to me; it just didnt fit in this story. Another thing are the characters, in my opinion there are just to many secondary characters in this anime; characters which are just showing sometimes but are mostly unimportant. If it were just a love story btw the two lovers and the conflict btw their families it would have been a great story but like this I just didnt feel much romantic nor I think that Im gonna rewatch this ever again. Kinda disappointed me :d

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