Romeo and Juliet as written by William Shakespeare (and many others before and since) is arguably the most famous story ever told. Even for people who have never read or seen it, everyone seems to know about the Montagues, the Capulets, and what happened to them.
Romeo x Juliet is a little bit different. Tons of aspects of the anime, from the setting to the conflicts to the adventures the heroes go on, are deeply changed from the original.
But despite the differences, Romeo x Juliet is charming, fun, and a great watch for anyone, regardless of how well you know the play. So written here is everything you need to know about Romeo x Juliet!
Romeo x Juliet Plot
There are many ways in which Romeo x Juliet diverges from its source material. To begin with, Romeo x Juliet takes place on the floating continent of Neo Verona, where House Capulet has ruled for generations.
The power-hungry Leontes Montague, however, leads a bloody coup against them. He and his men sneak into their castle and murder every member of House Capulet, except one – Juliet, only two years old, is smuggled away to safety.
Fourteen years later, Juliet is now sixteen and has blocked out what happened when she was a baby so she no longer remembers any of it. Leontes has been ruling Neo Verona with an iron fist, crushing anyone who opposes him, and Juliet has been fighting House Montague’s cruelty as a masked vigilante – The Red Whirlwind.
House Montague holds an annual Rose Ball, and a friend of Juliet’s invites her to attend. While there, she and Leontes’s son Romeo meet, and with each of them not knowing who the other is, they instantly fall in love.
Romeo doesn’t entirely agree with his father’s tyrannical, absolutist policies, and he and Juliet realize they have more in common than not.
But House Capulet loyalists are planning an overthrow of House Montague to put Juliet back on her rightful throne, and Leontes is obsessed with finding the last Capulet he couldn’t kill all those years ago.
Romeo and Juliet together have to face their families, their friends, and the whole political world around them as their true romantic bond grows ever deeper, and the series follows them and their adventures as they struggle, despite everything, to find a way to be together.
And at the same time, there is a secret deep within the heart of Neo Verona… and it’s about to come out.
Romeo x Juliet Characters
- Juliet Fiammata Ars di Capulet – The last surviving member of the Capulet family. Does not remember the bloody coup in which she lost her family, but Capulet loyalists keep her safe. She disguises herself as a boy named Odin when she goes outside. She is also the masked vigilante, The Red Whirlwind.
- Romeo Candore Van di Montague – The only son of Leontes and Portia Clemenzia de Ebe, and heir to the throne of Neo Verona. He doesn’t agree with his father’s tyrannical policies. He begins the series in an arranged engagement to Hermione de Borromeo, but breaks that to be with Juliet.
- Leontes Van di Montague – One of the biggest antagonists of Romeo x Juliet. He is Romeo’s father and sits on the throne of Neo-Verona. He rules with an iron fist, and is known for being cruel, calculating, and merciless.
- Cordelia – A Capulet loyalist and sister figure to Juliet. She counsels her in all things, including love.
- Benvolio de Fresco Baldi – One of Romeo’s close friends, and the son of the mayor of Neo Verona, he often acts as Romeo’s voice of reason.
- Tybalt – The illegitimate son of Leontes and Volumnia Capulet, he is a vigilante in Neo Verona with an intense hatred for his father.
- Antonio – The young grandson of the rebel leader, Conrad. He is one of the few members of the Capulet retainer who doesn’t know “Odin” isn’t actually a boy.
- William di Farnase – Also known as “Willy,” he owns the theatre that the Capulets use as a secret base. A clear caricature of the real William Shakespeare, he’s a playwright and artist.
Similarities And Differences Between Romeo x Juliet and Shakespeare
If you’ve read this far, you can tell that there are some pretty big discrepancies between Romeo x Juliet and the Shakespeare play on which it is based.
Things like the setting (the real city of Verona versus the floating continent of Neo Verona), the positions of the characters (both being nobles versus a struggle between the two families for ultimate power), the existence of flying horses (they don’t versus they do), and the kinds of adventures the titular characters go on are obviously vastly different.
It’s almost like the creators of Romeo x Juliet only ever read a brief synopsis of the play and then decided to make a series based on that. But Romeo x Juliet and Shakespeare’s work have more in common than one might think!
In addition to the fact that Romeo and Juliet are star-crossed lovers in a tragic world, Romeo x Juliet also borrows its supporting characters’ names from Romeo and Juliet or his other plays, and the themes of the futility of political power in the face of true love and friendship at times superseding family remain.
Basically, while a ton has changed in the setting of Romeo x Juliet, it still retains the spirit of the play. In that regard, it’s not unlike West Side Story – another famous adaptation of Romeo and Juliet.
Romeo x Juliet Adaptations
Romeo x Juliet is itself an adaptation from Shakespeare’s play. But, after the anime came out, there were a few adaptations based on that!
The biggest one is the manga series, also called Romeo x Juliet. It ran from 2007 until 2009, was collected into two volumes, and was published in English by Yen Press in 2010.
Additionally, there is also a radio series called RomeJuli x Radio has been streaming in Japan since 2007, hosted by the voice actress who played Juliet, Fumie Mizusawa.
Where To Watch Romeo x Juliet
Both the dubbed and the subbed versions of Romeo x Juliet are available for streaming on the FUNimation website!
Crunchyroll also has a page for Romeo x Juliet, but the links to play the series don’t seem to work.
While it’s not the most faithful adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet you’ll ever find, if you enjoy adventure romance stories and you’re a fan of the bard, you absolutely can’t go wrong with Romeo x Juliet!