Saturday, August 4, 2007

Romeo X Juliet 3

We open in the cemetery with Juliet's eyes about three times too big. She was either taught a lesson about Christmas that went horribly awry, or we're starting where we left off last time. Juliet has just found out she's the rightful heir to Neo Verona; the daughter of the Capulet family. Conrad continues freaking the hell out of Juliet. Just about everyone who worked for the Capulets had been slaughtered, along with their families. Those who went slaughter-free, vowed to protect 'the last Capulet.' (Coming soon from Disney, "The Very Last Capulet") This is still all news to Antonio, who appears to have gone into some sort of fugue state. The mob's plan, as we're told, is to overthrow Montague. Specifics? Nah. But Juliet gets a cool sword. Then faints. She's had a busy day.

After the intro, Juliet's taking a bath and ruminatin'. Cordelia enters and Juliet barely notices, but does start to ruminate out-loud: "I remember that night when Mother and Father were killed. Why had I forgotten it until now?" Well, traumatic experiences can often cause the brain to block out the memories of the event to protect itself from emotional damage, and the rather sudden reveal of your past in a storm surrounded by people you'd never met can force those memories to the surface, resulting in your post-faint bath. Also, you're in a drama. Be glad you didn't wake up with amnesia and a baby and three boyfriends who don't know about each other. Cordelia puts a towel on Juliet's head and tells her to get some sleep. Fade out.

Fade in. A puddle. Wonderful. If you took all the dreary imagery from what we've seen so far in this series, put it up front, and followed it by all the happy, flower and horse imagery, it'd make the best anti-depressant/feminine hygiene product ad ever. A carriage runs through the puddle and stops so Old Hag can get out. I'm sure she'll get a real name in a moment. We're outside Willy's playhouse, where inside, Willy snores loudly. We quickly learn that Old Hag is Willy's mother. After berating Willy for a few seconds, she asks to see Conrad. Apparently, it's Mrs. Shakespeare's doing that Juliet and her adoptive family has been safe all these years. She put them up in the theater, using her son's love of the theater as cover. After that quick introduction, we whisk our new character away. On the street, Mrs. Shakespeare has a few lines about the Crimson Whirlwind. It's unclear if she's warning Conrad to keep Juliet from playing hero, or if it's idle chatter and she doesn't even know about Juliet's alter-ego. Well, other alter-ego. Or other-other alter-ego. I've lost track.

Of course, the next thing we're quick-cutted to is the Whirlwind's hat on a desk. Juliet sits up in her bed as Cordelia brings her some morning tea. Cordelia remarks that Juliet's fever has gone down. Yeah, I don't remember her having a fever, either. But she's better, anyway. Spotting the iris in Juliet's room, she asks if Juliet plans on meeting "him" again today. Well, she did promise. Cordelia offers to go tell "him" that the date is off, asking lots of questions. Juliet finally offers up that her crush is on the boy that saved them back in episode one. Cordelia raises her voice a little and tells Juliet that she can't see a noble. What with the plot that's been so heavily established and all. She tries to make Juliet promise to never see our Romeo again, but we cut away before she can sob and storm out of the room yelling, "Your not my real mother!"

At what I assume is dusk in this two hours of daylight world, Romeo sits by his Ryouma, Cielo, in the field of irises. "What's wrong, Cielo? You miss her, too?" That's one of the things this series has going for it, so far. The boy is much more the emotional, love-struck puppy than the girl; and the girl is much more the badass, stabby person than the boy. Not only is there the role reversal, but having been through most of high school English and knowing the story, it'll force the boy to rise to action, rather than being the one forced into action for no other reason than he's the main character. But as I blather on about story structure and reach for my copy of Joseph Campbell, I'm interrupted by nobles. Don Montague sits in his throne as his brother and Mercutio laugh about how they're better than everyone else. Montague picks up a grape and says, "The commoners are no different than grapes. To enrich them, or destroy them, is our freedom." Squish goes the grape, leaking grape juice through his fingers like blood. "We, the Montague family, are the ones who rule the vineyard. We will wring those who are useful to their utmost limits." Montague then purposes a toast. Everyone on screen raises their glass, but no one drinks. I guess the image of commoners being squeezed into wine put them off their drink.

Romeo enters and apologizes for being late. Daddy walks over and slaps him. The crowd is strangely shocked by this. The guy was just giving a Darth Vader speech. Is a single smack from His Evilness really so surprising? He quietly belittles Romeo, saying that if he's old enough to succeed the Archduke, he should think a little more before he acts. Then, to the crowd, he makes a joke about how his son must have been a little 'too involved' with his fiancée. Swell guy. Romeo gets the shaky, sad, anime eye. *sniff*

After the Funnest Party Ever, the Archduke asks Mercutio to keep an eye on Romeo and report any oddities immediately. Mercutio, evilly agrees. Montague then leaves to walk through what looks like a mix of Victorian England and Hell, finding himself in front of some big magic-looking tree with Christmas lights on it. Romeo and Juliet, sure, but this is still an anime, damn it. Calling it, Escalus, the Archduke exposits that, "As long as we possess the blessings of this tree, it is impossible to defy us!" Dun, dun, commercial breaaaaaak....

Back in the slums of Neo Verona, a man in glasses is passing out fruit with girls I assume are his daughters, and his wife. A priest comes in to praise the family for their hard work, ask where the food came from, and set himself up for goings-on later. Apparently, the food comes from the Crimson Whirlwind as way of 'thank you' for glasses man treating his/her wounds. I guess he's a doctor. The priest smiles and the editor gets bored, so we cut to a new scene.

Romeo flies over the iris garden on his horse and gets sad about Juliet. At the playhouse, Juliet holds her flower and gets sad about Romeo. Just to remind us they're in love, I guess. 'Cause right after, Romeo drops in on his mother who lives in a tower somewhere. I guess as one does in Neo Verona. Mrs. Romeo's Mother fled the castle a while back, and ever since people have been hatin' on Romeo. Why'd she leave and stick Romeo with some huge burden? Beats me. The two clearly have a much better relationship going than Romeo has with his father, though. Romeo hands his mother flowers and starts to blush. His mom takes the flowers and intuits that her son was thinking about some girl. Weekend Mom giggles, than walks away from us, the audience.

But on with the show. Dr. Glasses Man is on his knees in the slums, with a spear to his neck. A guard is accusing him of being affiliated with the Whirlwind. Where did he hear that, I wonder. He denies it as his kids cry nearby. The guard orders Dr. Glasses taken away, as the priest looks on from... elsewhere.

Cordelia and Conrad talk about crap we already know as Antonio runs in looking for Odin/Juliet/Crimson. He's learned that the doctor has been taken. Odin, Juliet, and Crimson are all very worried. With good reason, too. The good doctor is being questioned further, and looks pretty beaten up. But he doesn't give up a thing. Crimson runs out of the playhouse and is immediately at where ever the hell the doctor is. Crashing through the skylight, Crimson fights off three guards and absconds with the doctor. On their way out, the doctor pleads with Crimson to go on with out him, as is cliché protocol, adding, "You are this city's hope." Of course, Crimson blocks it all out and continues with the heroics. The two are cornered on the roof/guard tower of unnamed building by a number of guards, as Romeo flies on down to see what's going on, squelching the action for the moment. Juliet shines through just a little, as Crimson freezes. Romeo gets a whiff of irises, takes a guard's sword, and says that he'll capture the Whirlwind for the Archduke. During the quick fight, Romeo tells Crimson that there's an aqueduct below and they're going to jump in. With no explanation given to Crimson or us as to why this is a good idea, Romeo grabs him/her, she/he grabs the doctor, and they fall several stories to the aqueduct, leaving the cheese to stand alone.

The doctor blurts out that he never thought the Montague's son would save the Crimson Whirlwind. This time, Juliet gets the shaky, sad, anime eyes as she learns that her love isn't just any ol' royal, but a Montague. Romeo asks that they don't tell anyone he saved them, and as he walks away, Juliet falls to her knees.

Next time on Romeo X Juliet! Will Cordelia confess her love to Conrad? Will Romeo ever come out of his coma? Will Juliet win the spelling bee? ... okay, I don't watch the Next Time Ons. But I feel some woe finally coming on.

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