Romeo X Juliet – 24 (END)
Since Francisco, Curio, and Conrad aren’t sure what’s going on, Tybalt fills them in on how only Romeo and Juliet can save the world. At this moment, however, Ophelia is telling Romeo that she gave Juliet the kiss of death as a sign of the contract with the tree Escalus. She claims that Juliet won’t wake up any longer, but since Romeo insists on saving her, she uses the tree roots to keep him tied up while she has Escalus swallow Juliet up into its trunk. Immediately after this happens, the entire continent starts shaking violently as giant roots spring from the ground. Once things settle down again, Romeo declares that this fate for Juliet is wrong since she alone shouldn’t bear the sins. Ophelia corrects him because it’s not just Juliet – Escalus and Neo Verona have been saved by the blood of many Capulets. She also questions if Romeo would be fine with the land being destroyed, and he replies by saying that if that’s the path, he would accept it because of his oath to walk together with her.
Calling him foolish, Ophelia flies down right in front of Romeo and is about to strike him down when she suddenly gets an arrow shot through her hand. That arrow came from Francisco who has found his way into the chamber along with Tybalt and Curio, and Tybalt quickly frees Romeo from the roots holding him down. While the others keep Ophelia busy, Romeo gets a ride up to the top of the tree and starts hacking his way towards Juliet. Unfortunately, Ophelia then declares that she won’t permit them to touch Escalus, and she knocks down both Curio and Francisco. When Tybalt attempts to attack her directly, he finds himself hitting an invisible barrier around her, and he gets knocked back too. Romeo almost reaches the center of the tree where Juliet is being held, but Ophelia stops him by pulling him back with the branches. Despite this, Romeo uses all his strength to stand his ground because he wants to save Juliet, and his crying out of her name finally awakens her. This also causes the top of the tree to explode, and it turns Ophelia almost entirely into wood.
With white petals floating down all around, Juliet wakes up to see Romeo watching over her, and he tells her that she’s free. At his urging, Juliet falls asleep again, but Ophelia then rises up to say that there is consider might of Escalus’ in the world, and she won’t let its unique and precious existence be destroyed. In response, Romeo points his sword at her and declares that the most precious existence in this world are the people who live on it. When Ophelia fires a tree branch at him, Romeo cuts through it and charges straight through her, shattering her. This leads to more of the continent breaking up, though things are calm again when Juliet reawakens. The first thing she sees, however, is Romeo with a branch piercing through his armor, so she rushes over to him. Speaking slowly, Romeo says that it was thanks to her that he felt the joys of loving someone for the first time. He was happy to live in the world with her, but he knows that he can’t call her name or see her anymore. Romeo then leans in as if to get a final kiss, but his body falls limp before it can happen.
Though Juliet is still grieving over Romeo, Tybalt urges her to get on his winged horse because the tree is about to crumble. Juliet, however, asks Romeo to say her name and touches his lips as if that would help. In trying to comfort her, Tybalt tells her that Romeo shouldered everything himself because he loved her. Remembering their oath to each other about being together through life and death, Juliet realizes that Romeo kept it until the very end, and she decides that she will too. She came to save the world, and she knows that Escalus still lives because she can feel its life inside of her. Activating her wings, Juliet tells Romeo that she loves him and, after putting his hand on her cheek, she feels that they’ll be together for eternity. She then asks Escalus to grant her prayer, and her wings multiply and grow huge in size. It is through these wings that the continent’s descent down to the planet is slowed, and it splashes safely into the water below.
In the aftermath, William recounts how they didn’t know that Escalus supported the world and that Neo Verona was floating in the air. Elsewhere in the city, Hermione carries both an iris and a rose, and she wonders if Romeo and Juliet are happy together. She feels that she’ll definitely become happy too someday. As for the rest of the Capulet group, Francisco is now a part of the parliament of Neo Verona, and Vittorio is once again the mayor. Curio has his own vegetable store, and Benvolio and Cordelia have a baby. Tending to a row of iris flowers in front of a carving of the goddess, Conrad feels that he had been wrong, but a grown up Antonio tells him that Juliet wouldn’t want him to be sad. In the countryside, Tybalt is giving a ride to Petruchio’s siblings on a white winged horse, and when they say that this horse is pretty, Tybalt admits that it’s actually his little brother’s. William meanwhile thinks about how strife, hatred, sadness, and pain can all be ended by love. The joy of love is what Romeo and Juliet taught him.
Unlike today’s Claymore finale, Romeo and Juliet actually had what I thought was a pretty good ending. I say “good” in the sense that the story got wrapped up nicely with some of the best animation quality I’ve seen for this show since the first episode. I particularly liked William’s last couple of lines which I don’t think are actually from any of Shakespeare’s real works, but they still concluded the show on a high note. Hearing Tybalt refer to Romeo as his little brother was a nice touch too.
Romeo and Juliet died as expected, but Romeo didn’t become the second tree or anything like I thought he would based on what the old man had told him to do. Instead, he was mortally wounded fighting Ophelia, and Juliet was the only one who sacrificed herself to become the tree. The main thing I didn’t understand here was why they had to make Ophelia a bad guy. Unless they really just needed an antagonist (which is very possible), it seemed like Ophelia’s goals and what Juliet ended up doing were the same, so it makes me wonder if a lot of the stuff that happened was unnecessary – like Romeo dying. That and the fact that we were never told who the old man was.
Final Thoughts: I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I started watching this series, and when the first episode turned out to be one of the best I had seen in a long time, I was instantly hooked on the show. The amazing opening song probably had a lot to do with that. :D Unfortunately, I thought that several of the middle episodes were rather boring, and some of the characters felt wasted (Hermione for example). Things came together again by the end though, so I’d say it was overall a good series. It’d be interesting to see more of Shakespeare’s works adapted like this, but I’m not sure if any of the others have as well known characters or themes as this did.