Tag Archives: Conrad

RomeoxJuliet: Neo Style

And yet I keep coming back. I know I’ve been gone for a short while, but those college finals are creepin’ up on me. But I’m here for yet another anime review, and this time, it’s academically related.

So this time in Anime Club, we watched RomeoxJuliet, the slightly altered fantasy version of the classic Shakespearean teen angst play, Romeo and Juliet (not much of a title change). But this time, it’s different. No spoilers (already had it ruined for me before I saw the ending) but it’s not as different as you’d think. Slightly different. Okay, kind of a major plot twist ending. And yet, still romantic and tragic. Yeah…

So this is the story of Juliet “Insert ridiculously long middle name here” Capulet, the remaining member of her noble family who were wiped out 14

Juliet. More manly/aggressive.

years ago by the evil Montagues. It was a good thing she had Conrad (who was only a badass in his earlier years. Now he looks like a whiny old coot.) or else she may not have survived, thus, no need for this anime. But anyways, now her and her family’s followers are out for revenge. But for the first 5 episodes or so, she doesn’t know she’s of royal descent. But yeah, of course that changes her and gives her a bit more of an edge and a chip on her shoulder. It’s expected.

But what does she do before she learns this sworn hatred of the ruling Montague family? She falls madly and irrevocably in love with the son of that

Romeo. Pansy.

evil bastard, Romeo Montague. I feel like it was a love based on herbology, but that’s for another review. Just know: irises. So this complicates things. OH, AND DID I FORGET TO MENTION? They have been passing off Juliet as a boy for the last 14 years of her life. She’s been Odin, knowing she was a girl, but she never knew why. Now she does. And now, Romeo is sexually confused. Add that little twist to your lemonade why don’t you.

So the rest of this little Twilight romance (yes, there are references) is played out in Neo Verona, a floating island above God knows what and it’s falling apart. That’s cool. But these little lovebirds must decide what’s more important, love/angst or their families, and we all know how that one goes. But it’s a great twist and quite worth a look see.

Great supporting cast.

Things I liked. The use of other characters from other plays. If only in name, this was a great tribute to Shakespeare, and, being in a Shakespeare class now, I can appreciate the sentiment. Again, I also liked this anime because it didn’t follow the exact plot of Romeo and Juliet. It used the new additions and twists to carry along a well told out story to a new end. Quite interesting if I do say so myself. Looking back on the list of voice actors, I wish I had watched this dubbed and not subbed. J. Michael Tatum as William “Willy” Shakespeare? Thanks very much I’ll take that.

The animation/art was quite good and the plot was ripe for the homages. The ending reminded me of Xam’d untimely end, but I think that’s the only reason I liked it. Otherwise the ending was terrible. The explanation, the random use of the tree of life… I was a little thrown off by how out of place it all was and why any of it was relevant. You have this nice little Romeo and Juliet plot zooming along and then you throw that tree/world wrench in there. Completely unnecessary. Other means to end the anime would have been appreciated.

Other than that, quite a good show. The story empowered Juliet instead of making some damsel in distress out of her, and it actually turned the story around completely. It made Romeo into the princess in the tower and quite

How cute. He's "watching" her from afar.

the whiny, unlikeable counterpart to Juliet. It took a while, but he came into his own. Tybalt destroyed people, I loved the Curio/Francisco (Eric Vale, by the way) dynamic, and it was all good (sort of) in the end. If you’re a Romeo and Juliet fan, or a Shakespeare fan in general, check this out, it’s worth the watch/twist. 6.8 out of 10.

Did I mention this anime ruined Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up” forever. Well, it sorta did. But here it is all the same.

Advertisements

Berserk: The Most Insane Anime You Will Ever Watch

So… This show has been weighing on my conscious for some time. It’s the inevitable story that gives you nightmares at night, despite how good of a show it was. Let me just say right off the bat that despite being made way back in 1997, this show can still stand among many good anime of the 2000’s. It’s got fighting, strategy, intrigue, rape… Now I say rape in a way that it will haunt your dreams for years to come. I never understood the phrase “tentacle-rape” until I watched this anime. And now it will never leave me. But all of this is beside the point. Let me explain the show in a bit more detail so you can get the gist of it.

Berserk is about a character named Guts. I know, it already starts out badass, and on some levels gross. The character Guts gained his name more through the way he was born than his mother slapped him across his tiny face and screamed, “Guts.” That would also be a cool intro to the show, but not the exact way they were going for. Guts is named Guts because he was born, despite all odds, from the ravished and destroyed body of his mother, plopped right down on the ground from the tree she was hanged on. This beginning already gives way to “violent beginnings bring violent ends.” And that is Guts’ entire purpose.

Guts, main character and badass hero from "Berserk"

And this is where the story picks up. Guts is a badass emblem of light during the Dark Ages. He goes around, arm-mounted crossbow and gigantic sword in hand, and slays what appears to be demonic cross-breeding monsters. This is only the first episode, mind you. After this, we are Gun Graved (Sucks) towards the story’s beginnings. Guts meets Griffith, the rag-tag leader of the Band of the Hawk, and they run train on absolutely every enemy they cross. Guts becomes a major key player in Griffith’s plans, and this pisses off the only female in the show who is worth anything, Casca. I can’t believe how many times she was naked in the course of this anime. Quite shocking for a woman in men’s clothing.

The episodes are quite gradual in their progression and usually deal with one battle at a time. Besides this one episode with an undead super-vampire type deal. That was straight out of left field. And I know I shouldn’t ruin the ending, but prepare to have your mind blown. I’ve tried to explain it to people, but its something better seen than heard. And suffice it to say, there are several other arcs in the story, and this 25 episode anime is only the beginning. Keep that in mind.

Not a lot to comment on as far as voice acting goes. Some characters suffered at the hands of the dub while others prospered. I watched the first episode in both Japanese and English, and based on that I usually choose how I’m going to watch the entire anime. (By the by, I chose Japanese subbed for Samurai Deeper Kyo, those of you who read that review. Far superior.) Two notes to make about the voice acting are that Marc Diraison (Guts) is quite good and brutal, although a bit on the heroic side. Kevin T. Collins (Griffith) was quite good and really brings a true acting quality to the anime. One thing that made the anime for me though was Sean Schemmel’s (Better known as Goku from Dragonball Z) played a minor character, Conrad (although I remember Guts calling him Gaston…). It was fantastic. The animation was typical of the 90’s, but did not detract from the great story and pace of the anime. I would definitely give this anime, and hopefully there will be more of this anime soon, an 8 out of 10.