Romeo X Juliet – 23
Unaware that Juliet still thinks that things aren’t over yet, Romeo bows down to her and gives her the throne in place of his father. Declaring that she’s the Duke of Neo Verona now, Romeo asks her to help the people and says that he’ll return to his village to restore the life to this land. He thinks that they’ll definitely get back together someday, but Juliet just silently walks past him and says goodbye to him in her mind. As Conrad has red Capulet flags raised across the city, much to the joy of all its citizens, Juliet walks through the castle by herself clutching her chest in pain because she can feel Escalus calling to her. Romeo doesn’t know about this and heads to his father’s final resting place where he’s paid a visit by Tybalt. After Tybalt comments on how Montague had a fittingly miserable death, Romeo remembers how his father had uttered a name before he died. This leads to Tybalt revealing that it was the name of his mother and that Montague was also his father. When Tybalt changes the subject to how Romeo’s going back to his village, Romeo explains that he doesn’t want to get in the way of Juliet becoming Duke. What’s more, Romeo recognizes the importance of getting back the strength in the ground.
Since Tybalt is his brother, Romeo asks him for a favor and pulls out the colored rocks that Petruchio wanted to give his siblings. Tybalt, however, slaps away the rocks and tells him to leave other people alone because what’s more important is what Romeo himself wants to do. He then proceeds to tells Romeo about Escalus being connected to the Capulet daughter Juliet and how she plans to sacrifice her own life. Romeo is shocked to hear that according to legend, Juliet will experience eternal pain and suffering in place of Escalus. He wonders if there’s another way to save Neo Verona, and although Tybalt doesn’t know, he does say that the only person who can stop Juliet is Romeo. It is at this point that Romeo remembers how the old man had said that the great crimes that man has committed won’t disappear but will instead die with the land. The old man had also told him to shoulder Juliet’s fate if he opposed this, and Romeo now understands what the man meant. Because of this, he decides to go after her.
As Romeo and Tybalt run through the underground passageway, the violent shaking around them causes a segment of the ground to collapse, leaving Romeo on one side and Tybalt on the other. Romeo goes on ahead and soon catches up to Juliet as she’s walking across a bridge. He tries to ask her why she didn’t tell him about the stuff with Escalus, but Juliet yells for him not to come towards her and says that it has nothing to do with him. Romeo feels that it does because of the oath they took, and even after Juliet claims that she’s forgotten about it, he still intends to stop her. He feels that it’s wrong for a peaceful world to be built upon her suffering alone, however Juliet rebuffs him by declaring that fate is unchangeable and that it’s her fate to protect this world and the people of Neo Verona. Though she really just wants him to go back because she doesn’t want him to get dragged into this, Juliet pulls out her sword to indicate that she’s willing to fight him if he tries to obstruct her. After a moment of silence, Romeo tells her that he wants to save her from eternal suffering. If going against fate becomes her sin, he is willing to kill her now and take on all of her sins. Pulling out his own sword, Romeo proclaims that he’d happily fall to hell for her sake.
As the two lock swords and begin to fight, Juliet remembers all the time they’ve spent together. It was because she loved Romeo that she decided to go alone and break their oath. The reason she had kept silent about Escalus was because she wouldn’t have been able to go if she had told him. Right as Juliet is thinking that she really does want to live and be together with him, Romeo knocks away her sword. He then drops his own sword and walks up to her to kiss her, but this is broken up when the shaking ground suddenly collapses the pillars lining the bridge, and part of the ceiling falls down. Conrad, Curio, and Francisco had been looking for Juliet, and they now find her after they fly through the hole in the ceiling. However, everyone gets separated from Juliet when giant roots emerge from the water and cut the bridge in half. As Ophelia’s voice announces that it’s time for the contract and time to sprout, the top part of Juliet’s armor breaks off as huge wings emerge. She calls out to Romeo as she’s pulled toward Escalus’ room, but before Romeo can go after her, Tybalt – who had arrived moments earlier – stops him briefly to give him his sword and to urge him to save Juliet with his love.
Romeo charges into Escalus’ room to save her from Ophelia, but he quickly gets swatted to the ground by a root. He can thus only watch as Ophelia gives Juliet the kiss of death and causes her to fall unconscious.
The episode turned out to be quite good overall due to the story developments plus the musical choices for some of the scenes (such as what plays after Romeo learns from Tybalt about Juliet and Escalus and then later during the sword fight). The animation quality was noticeably worse in several parts compared to last episode, but it was still about on par with the rest of the series. The story is still proceeding as expected, but I was a little surprised to see the normally calm Ophelia act like this. There’s nothing like having Ophelia be incredibly creepy to make me oppose the entire sacrifice-yourself-for-Neo-Verona idea.
Next week is the conclusion, and while I still think both Romeo and Juliet will sacrifice themselves, it’ll be interesting to see how it happens. I suspect it’ll be William who gets the final lines of the series. Incidentally, for those of you wondering what happened to Hermione, she got a brief 3-second cameo this episode.