I hope these two drink poison and die.
Kishuku Gakkou no Juliet
Shakespeare’s play never really explained why the Montagues and Capulets hated each other so much. All we know is that they had an ancient grudge. Maybe a blood feud of some sort. Eh, who knows? Two rich, bored families stirred up trouble because they had nothing better to do. I can believe that. As much as I don’t respect it, I can totally see it. But yeah, it was stupid back when I had to read the play in ninth grade, and it’s stupid now. So in this anime, Romio — yes, Romio — and Juliet belong to opposing clans. These clans hate each other. Why? I’m not really sure, but unlike Shakespeare’s tragedy, this is supposed to be a romantic comedy of some sort. And as a result, the violence is an exaggerated, comic sort of violence. I don’t think any Mercutio or Tybalt — if they even exist in this story — are going to die anytime soon. Nobody’s going to be wishing a pox on any houses! In short, you’re not supposed to take this feud too seriously… just seriously enough for Romio and Juliet to keep their love a secret. Ah, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
The story opens with what appears to be yet another pointless skirmish between the White Cats and the Black Doggies. What are they fighting for? Shrug. What would they do if one side actually won? I dunno. Maybe I’m not paying close enough attention, but can you blame me? Eventually, the fight is broken up, and afterwards, we see Romio confess to himself that he actually loves the girl. In fact, he’s been in love with the girl for quite some time now. This is why he never goes all out. He pretends to fight her, but in reality, he’s actually trying to protect her from getting into harm’s way. Meanwhile, at the opposite end of the spectrum, Juliet unfortunately believes that Romio is looking down on her because he never goes all out. She has no clue that he likes her. When a trio of punks try to, uh, apparently sexually assault the girl, Romio instantly leaps to her defense. This act confuses the girl, because she doesn’t understand why he would save her. Yah, gosh, why would you ever try to stop a sexual assault in the making. So the brilliant girl wonders if he might just be looking down on her again!
So near the end of the episode, the girl challenges to the guy to a duel while simultaneously confessing to him that his actions make her feel inferior. He realizes that despite his good intentions, he’s actually hurting the girl he loves. So inspired by Juliet’s desire to become strong enough one day to influence the world and change the longstanding rules that no one with any real executive power seems to be enforcing, he decides to go all out… by confessing his love to Juliet while engaging her in a duel. Although she is shocked by the confession — plus the fact that up until this point she never really considered Romio in any sort of romantic light — the girl nevertheless agrees to go out with him as long as he can prove his resolve. Y’know, his resolve to change the world along with her. Nevertheless, she insists that they must keep their relationship a secret, because…? Because what? Well, I really don’t know. We know Juliet comes from a special family, so maybe she doesn’t want to look as though she lacks propriety, but I thought we wanted to change the world.
Blood feuds between two families are dumb enough as it is, but they’re understandably dangerous. I wouldn’t want to get in the way of two irrational families. Although the hate between the White Cats and Black Doggies also appear to be irrational, they’re a bunch of kids, man. Can the hate between them really be that bad? Y’know, race will sometimes tear lovers apart. Maybe your racist family doesn’t want you to date someone from a different ethnicity, so you reluctantly break up with them. I won’t lie; if someone actually does that, I can’t help but think that they’re pretty weak-minded and pathetic. Pretty gutless and pathetic. Same with anything that has to do with discrimination, really. If you break up with someone because of class differences, you kinda suck. If you break up with someone because of their race, you kinda suck. If you break up with someone because you’ll be disinherited, you kinda suck. But it doesn’t look like discrimination even comes into play here. From what I’ve been shown, it simply looks like we have two rather gutless kids too afraid to stand proud with their love until the last episode. I dunno ’bout you guys, but that doesn’t sound fun to me.
Irozuku Sekai no Ashita kara
For whatever reason, Hitomi appears to have been abandoned by most of her loved ones. As a result, the world is grey and colorless to her. That just sounds like depression to me, so it probably is. We don’t know much about her backstory, but I suspect she’ll open up about it eventually. In any case, this is when her lovely obaachan decides to step in and send the poor girl 60 years into the past. Hitomi doesn’t want any part of this, but you can never disobey your elders even if this means ending up in a time period you know nothing about. Oh yeah, her grandma just happens to be a mage. Yep, magic exists in this world. Don’t worry about it. We thus get a brief scene that almost looks like something out of a Ghibli movie except not as cute. The girl finds herself riding a bus that takes her back in time, but she doesn’t have any cash for the fare. It’s okay, though, because Pocky will do the trick.
Apparently, time-traveling magic is real difficult, so it comes to no surprise that Hitomi’s grandmother wasn’t too accurate with her spell. As a result, our heroine ends up magically appearing in some guy’s room. Then again, maybe granny’s magic spell is accurate after all. More on this later. First, she has to hide under the bed to avoid being discovered by the guy. Then after the guy leaves, she has to escape out of his window like some sort of illicit lover. Unfortunately, his friends just happen to be nearby, so they recorded all of this as it unfolded. They then start wondering if the guy has a secret lover. Oh boy, I sure do love gossip. To make matters worse, the girl goes and loses her precious earring in his room. Is it magical? Is it futuristic? Maybe both. Either way, Hitomi will want it back. Still, despite our heroine being a touch clumsy, I gotta hand it to her for staying relatively calm. Look, if you send me back to 1958, I’d probably be losing it.
Eventually, with the help of Sho’s gossipy friends, Hitomi makes her way to her granny’s old magic shop. There, she learns that her granny, who must be a teenager at the moment, is still studying overseas. Studying magic in England, that is. Uh, is she attending Hogwarts? I digress. Still, way to go, old lady. You couldn’t even send your granddaughter to the right time period… or did she? Luckily for Hitomi, her granny’s granny — i.e., our heroine’s great-grandmother — seems to realize that there’s something important about the girl. Hell, maybe she just instantly knew as soon as she laid eyes on our heroine. After reading a letter from her granddaughter from the future, the great-grandmother is more than happy to let Hitomi have a place to stay. No one else minds either. Let’s just take this girl in. After all, they’re family. This letter says it, so it must be true. But in the meantime, the girl has to get her earring back from that guy’s room.
Speaking of the guy, his name is Sho, and for now, he seems like a no-nonsense kind of guy. His single mom teases him about having a girl over without her permission — which she happily approves of — but he thinks instead that they might have been victims of a burglary. Yeesh. I mean, I understand why he might think that, but as expected, our heroine and Sho are getting off on the wrong foot. Also, when the shy girl spots him leaving his home with her earring in his possession, she doesn’t have the confidence to call out to him immediately. Instead, she ends up inadvertently stalking him across the city. That’s no good. Nevertheless, when she finally summons up enough courage to come near him while he’s busy drawing, she is blown away by his artwork. Y’see, up until this point, Hitomi’s world has been completely colorless, but for some reason, Sho’s drawings move her. His drawings touches her heart. Not only can she now see colors, she even sees the world through some sort of impressionist filter. Too bad he still thinks she’s a burglar, though. A strange burglar who now looks like a crazy person.
So… will this eventually become a love story? To help Hitomi out of her depression, did her granny send her back in time to make friends, and more importantly, fall in love? I mean, being a sap for romances, I wouldn’t mind this, but I can’t help but wonder what the endgame would be. Wouldn’t Hitomi want to return to her present one day? So even if and when she and Sho clear up their misunderstandings, won’t they eventually have to part? Well, maybe, maybe not. It sounds like she doesn’t really have much to return to, so if life is so grand back in 2018, she may as well stay in the past. At the same time, however, I can totally see some sort of overly sentimental ending where she returns to her time period, reads a letter that Sho had written her from 60 years ago, and thank him for showing her what true love looks and feels like. God, I hope that doesn’t happen. We’ll see, though. This is from P.A. Works, so obviously, it’s a pretty anime. Unfortunately, their dramas — especially the ones with a dash of the supernatural — have a history of being poorly executed (see: Glasslip).