Boarding School Juliet – Mid Season Anime Review
Synopsis: At Dahlia Academy, a prestigious boarding school on a remote island, students from two feuding countries battle each other every day. However, Romio Inuzuka, the leader of the Touwa dorm, and Juliet Persia, the leader of the West dorm, start a secret relationship! (Official Amazon Synopsis)
Mid Season (6 Episodes) Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Boarding School Juliet starts simply and fun. It’s a silly romcom that takes the Romeo and Juliet story and applies typical anime tropes. Trouble is, rather than being a fun mesh between the two, it ultimately grows into a stagnant and generic anime romcom, with few surprises to liven things up. What twists the series does offer aren’t memorable, failing to inject new life that’s so desperately needed.
Linny: What had caught my attention early on was the reveal that Juliet is trying to prove her worth to her father and make him realize his folly in dismissing her abilities due to her gender and his sexism. However, as the show progressed, this turned out to be little more than lip service, with the show often neglecting to address or develop that idea. Rather than show off Juliet’s inner strength and resolve, often things turn into opportunity for Romio to play the knight in shining armour by helping Juliet out, ultimately undermining her own potential and abilities turning her into little more than a typical damsel in distress (The show even calls itself out on that, but then proceeds to do it again and again anyway.)
Tom: None of this is aided by bland visuals and poor direction, often leaving much of the series’ action without impact. Comedy is also poorly serviced, with so many jokes falling flat due to mediocre voice acting, off comedic timing, and bland music queues. Jokes are just sort of dropped into things and then left to sink, as if comedy is hardly the point of this series. In fact, Boarding School Juliet takes a rather dramatic turn mid season, with a short-lived sports festival arc. Drama overrides the comedy as Romio and Juliet must contend with a new villain who seeks to undermine Juliet’s power (again Juliet is turned into a damsel in distress.) But none of it works thanks to such poor build up for this villainous character, who’s so under explored he hardly feels worth the one, flashy, action sequence that’s dedicated to his downfall.
Linny: Boarding School Juliet’s tone is all over the place. One minute it’s a slapstick romantic comedy, the next it’s showing serious attempted physical/sexual assault. Episode 6 takes a really dark turn with actual physical harm, mutiny/revolt and public humiliation thrown into the mix. It feels like Boarding School Juliet is trying to throw in as many random elements as it can, knowing that its simple gag/premise of Romio and Juliet having to keep their relationship secret is wafer thin and can’t possibly carry the show beyond a single episode. The rough transitions and change in tone could ultimately make a viewer lose interest, especially if they aren’t deeply invested in the characters.
Tom: By the time Boarding School Juliet shakes things up, for better or worse, it’s really too late. The series remains so stagnant for so long that the characters never feel much deeper than when we first met them. It makes it hard to care when everything turns dramatic as we just aren’t connect to either of our leads. Top that off with comedy that’s grown tired and overused, with few new running jokes to take its place, and Boarding School Juliet turns out to be another bland disappointment for the season.
Linny: One could blame personal tastes, but the fact that Boarding School Juliet struggles to build on its main premise and can’t seem to keep a consistent tone are things that will likely bother others as well. Unless you’re extremely starved for a romantic comedy that also involves power struggles, you are more likely than not to eventually lose interest.
Boarding School Juliet is available for streaming via Amazon Video.