Everyone is more violent. Romeo tries to kill his father -wait I checked and he tried it in the anime too, so nevermind. Mercutio shows up to try to stop and then get slashed by Tybalt -who does pause when Juliet calls out his name- and Montague doesn't surrender peacefully. The people show up outside the room and throw stones at him when he's about to strike at Juliet, so he stabs himself. With her sword, which I forgot he had kept. He gives the speech about glory and wanting to be feared, and then the wonders why he wasn't loved. That's an inverse of the anime, in which he does the wondering first and then says he wanted to be feared - kind of ambiguous, since it's not clear whether he's regretting anything, answering his own question, accepting how his life and death went, or what. Which, no complaints here. In the manga, he does the wondering and then his lasts words are to Romeo, telling him he doesn't want pity. In that case, it's still ambiguous but I do get a sense of acceptance at least. The scene does read as sad, especially since Romeo loved him. I think it's nice too, only it should have been preceded with more hints about their relationship. We don't get much of it beyond Romeo getting punished and scolded for being rebellious, while in the anime there are little moments like Montague asking 'you too, Romeo?' at one point and Romeo telling him much later that he was no longer his father. I also note that despite Tybalt being near Montague, we don't get a panel of him wanting to prevent Juliet's getting stabbed like in the anime. Of course he later tries to save her, so.
I haven't mentioned that Juliet's hair is short. She cut it sometime early this chapter, and I thought it was the wig until the fluffy moment coming up next. Her hair is long in the two pages before the act title page, while she's thinking of the people she'll die for, and when she shows up again to face Montague it's short.
Tybalt only finds out about the Escalus and Juliet's impending death from Juliet shouting at it to calm down. I assume he was brooding nearby. This time he's clueless about it, though he gets angry -again- when Juliet's not telling him anything and they get separated by a falling pillar.
It's nice that this Romeo picks up on how depressed Juliet is, although he kind of did in the anime, just misinterpreted it as Juliet being unwilling to be with him right now. Instead of Tybalt having to tell him and them having an angsty fight to stop Juliet, Romeo tells her that whatever it is, they'll shoulder the burden together. Then he compliments her haircut. I really liked this fluffy moment -not that I don't like their fight scene of course.
We see the golden fruit falling. In the anime, we saw a fruit fall when Titus died. I remember a comment somewhere that the fruit falls whenever someone dies. It could correspond to the people. But the tree here looks bare, while there are plenty of live people left.
I don't know where Tybalt gets 'only you can save Juliet.' In the anime he told Romeo that only Romeo could stop Juliet, because only Romeo could convince her not to die. Tybalt could back up this reasoning with Juliet's words to him at his mansion and then when she asked him to take care of Romeo. I don't know about here, when they're in the middle of fighting Ophelia. Maybe he's applying the same reasoning to Romeo waking Juliet up. That would work. The only problem is that Tybalt is so underdeveloped and gets so little time with Juliet that the only thing I can come up with is that he managed to interpret her words about both houses uniting in the conversation at the church, but it's a stretch. For Tybalt, pretty much all his development happens in this one chapter and that one church sequence. And he's riding a white dragonhorse, not his.
Well, both Romeo and Juliet want to save each other and the world, so the conflict comes from here. This is how they both get to die: in parallel and contrast to the play, Juliet decides to die but then doesn't want to but -in the manga version- decides to again when the tree is holding Romeo, and falls unconscious. Romeo fights for her and dies, making Juliet wake up and be heartbroken, and then she chooses to die. There's a bit here when Ophelia says Escalus is the most important thing in the world (not something she said in the anime), to which Romeo responds the same thing as in the anime, about the people. We don't get new information about the tree aside from that, so I don't know whether this is meant to introduce ambiguity, suggest Ophelia is wrong about the tree being needed to save the people.
Tybalt's on his own horse now. It makes me wonder whether somebody forgot to shade the one he was riding when he showed up to help Romeo. We get the same scene as in the anime, with Curio being the one to reach for Juliet, though this time Francisco explicitly tells him 'it's what Juliet wants,' and Curio's not crying. Also Tybalt looks a bit different. In the anime he closes his eyes and looks down, before leaving. I interpreted that as acceptance, maybe resignation. Here he's got the wide eyes and open mouth, and I can't tell whether he's upset or just shocked or both.
Nice callback to the episode 24 title, 'prayer - in the same world as you.' Juliet says she will save the world she met everyone in, and asks Escalus to hear her prayer, and when she dies we see her and Romeo, with him saying he was happy to live with Juliet in her world. We get them in the afterlife on a field of flowers and I'm crying. I'm crying again typing this up.
For the epilogue, we get an exact time frame: one year later. We don't see Willy, Emilia, Conrad, and Portia -I suppose since they were reduced quite a bit here- but we do get all the other characters, doing much the same things, with some exceptions. Antonio is with Francisco, we don't get clarity as to Francisco's profession, and Tybalt is looking at his father's grave, while we get a frame of this guy I can't identify tilling a field. At first I thought it was Antonio, but he's with Francisco, shorter and lighter-haired. The boy's black-haired and drawn a bit like Romeo, which makes me think of Mercutio, since sometimes he was drawn similarly to Romeo in this manga. Only, from the little we got of him he wouldn't give up on being heir despite everything being lost, so I doubt he'd he this happy working a field only a year later. The last shot in which we know it's him is with Romeo holding him as he's injured, and they're both staring at Juliet showing up. Perhaps it's a flashback to Romeo rebuilding the village, or a random townsperson. Cordelia and Benvolio look up at a tree while talking about Juliet's sacrifice, a tree which has the rose and the iris growing near it. I wonder if this tree is where the Escalus used to be, though there aren't any ruins in the panels. Unlike the anime, we don't get a shot of Romeo and Juliet holding hands before the tree, whether it was the afterlife or no. We do get to see them again and I'll talk about that in a bit.
Tybalt is looking at Montague's gravestone. We don't get to look at his face, just from the back and unlike the anime he's dressed the way he usually dresses. The only thing I miss about the mines subplot is that it gave him a chance to be nice to children, smiling, dressed brighter, and acknowledging Romeo as his brother. It gives him clear development, whereas in the manga I think he did grow, but I'm sure as to the path. It might have taken a little longer this time around.
For one thing, for the most part I'm not sure he came to a decision on what he was going to do in the throne room. Of course he doesn't know about Escalus this time around, so he won't delay killing Montague for that. He does stop when Juliet calls out his name. He's the stoic type -well, when not yelling- and so I'm not sure how to interpret his expressions, which are all variations on widened eyes except for the smirk back when he was taking Juliet to a bar. He gets the wide eyes and the lines on the forehead when Montague stabs himself, and then he gets stoicy and leaves the room looking at the floor. Then he's back to angry with Juliet and he fails to save her, during which he's got the wide eyes and open mouth thing, but no angry eyebrows this time. As opposed to, as I mentioned above, his overall more restrained demeanour and acceptance of Juliet's final decision. Hopefully his last panel means he's moving on with his life and visiting the grave -who buried him?- is to get closure, like his stabbing the crest (which I just realized mirrors Juliet stabbing the crest at the bar instead of the portrait of Montague) in the anime seemed to be.
Aw a field of irises and roses. But Juliet's hair is long again and both she and Romeo seem to be wearing what they wore when they met at the ball. I didn't know whether it was a flashback to act 6 or not, but I've realized that with what they're wearing it's just an afterlife scene. Plus the field they were in during act 6 didn't have both irises and roses, I think But it's still very sweet and makes their escape and marriage scenes even more important to the story, because they make this mirror scene of them holding hands and frolicking happily more poignant.
There are cute extra drawings, unlrelated for the most part. There's a drawing of Juliet as Odin -she looks like the Whirlwind without her hat and mask- , Romeo in black which the artist says she didn't get in before the deadline, and a cute deformedish scene of Curio holding bags of flowers -irises and roses again-, Francisco holding a daisy up next to him and smiling, while Benvolio happily skips behind with Tybalt watching and holding a flower -maybe a daisy- and looking sort of bemused - amused? I can barely see his mouth.
In the afterword, there's mention of another novel. So there are at least two Romeo x Juliet novels. I found one on YesAsia http://www.yesasia.com/us/romio-
Unfortunately it's the only one there and I don't think it's an omnibus, so they only have the first volume, unless this other one is it: http://www.yesasia.com/us/romio-to-
There's also an afterword of the director this time. It sounds like he was directing the manga; I'm not sure if the anime as well. He says he wanted to tell the story with the special features of manga and make the differences good. Overall I do have a special place in my heart for this manga, and I do appreciate it as something different, even if I think it wasn't as good as the anime, which is probably due to the supporting characters getting even less than they did in the anime. But maybe it was shortened prematurely and that's where the blame lies. The character designs and city designs aren't as impressive to me, but I do like the drawings and felt moved by them. So all in all it was worth doing.