Another month passes in my life and yet again this year brings me more monthly commitments to other people. I know I’ve mentioned it a few times in prior posts like with Akatsuki no Yona & Kemono no Souja, and here we are with the September show. With the completion of Romeo, I sit at a 4-5 record with October being the last hurdle before I spam this blog with November Challenge posts for the first time. Well, enough of the silly nonsense I made up to make anime more annoying for myself this year, you are here to read about my travels in the world of Milan with the various Spatza Caminos!
What? You haven’t heard this term before you say? Well, this post will contain spoilers for the show, so if you already are that lost I reckon you move on out and quickly! So, what is Romeo no Aoi Sora? Questions galore I know. This show aired back in the glorious year 1995. I was a small tyke of only 3 when it began and ripe as fruit at age 4 when it concluded. Produced by the well-known Nippon Animation during the era when World Masterpiece Theater creations were popular, Romeo is like many of its brethren. Classic novels from across the world adapted into the whimsical world of anime. Minor changes were made here and there amongst them to create a more child friendly series to audiences, but all in all you get the basic story from those literary classics. So, off we go my travelers into the world of Romeo!
Romeo is a simple premise in idea and execution. Romeo is from a farming town that fights everyday just to make ends-meet. Nothing is taken lightly here and survival is based on everyone chipping in. Well, in comes the worst man you can imagine, the God of Death. Not a literal god mind you, just a man with a notorious reputation for buying children from poor families in need. You see where this is going right? Wrong! They refuse to sell Romeo actually, but then he takes matters into his own hands, burning their crops, and in turn destroying their livelihood. An accident in the fire blinds his father, and Romeo needs medical help for him and now. Paying for the treatment is another story however. Romeo sells himself to the God of Death for his father’s eyes and this story really kicks off.
His destination is the city of Milan and he will sweep chimneys. Or the more eccentric term SPATZA CAMINO! Which is rather enjoyable to say, is it not? On the small road to Milan we meet pivotal characters in the story to come such as Alfredo and Dante. Then, when he is officially bought, the rest of the story plays out. In spring he is meant to be freed from his slavery as a lowly chimney sweep, and go home to live his life anew. Before that though he must face a year of trials and tribulations. It isn’t all hard times though, Romeo builds the greatest memories of his life in that time in Milan, and we the viewer get to go on the journey with him.
The first thing I want to compliment in this show is the slow build to everything important. The series takes its time to tell all of its small stories treating them all with equal and delicate care. I would say the show has about 5 major stories in the city of Milan including the epilogue portion. You have the story of settling in, where we get to see Romeo learn about his new life in the new city. Everything is foreign to him and the battle of settling into his new family is the hardest part due to a certain trickster. After that the very crucial Black Brothers arc builds off the prior one with smooth ease and builds up the cast as a whole. Romeo, Alfredo, and Angeletta would be the top 3 who see time here. Then we continue with Angeletta and Alfredo’s character specific storylines, before finishing off with the final scraps of important interactions with Bianca as we close the entire plot.
I thought overall Romeo did an impeccable job world and cast building. Everyone who was important got their just time on-screen. Romeo is one of the few people we get a true follow-up on after the main story completes which is a bummer, but I can bear with that since it was his story after all. Many times throughout the show, antagonists are presented to foil Romeo in specific ways, and they do a noteworthy execution at it. I was impressed how they humanized even some of the most vial people after Romeo influenced them directly with his actions and resolve. There are a few people you will hate and come to love by the end due to their complexity as things progress. One thing in this show is the best part though.
No, it’s not the music! Although it is killer good, but I will get to that! It was the dynamically developed relationship between Romeo and Alfredo. The way they directly effected each others lives so much and inspired one another was truly something special to behold. It will make you really cherish the deepest friendship in your life even more and why sometimes one person can make such a huge difference in your life by just being themselves. If you aren’t in tears by the end of Alfredo’s arc with how touching it is then I seriously question your humanity. It holds one of the most emotional scenes I have ever seen in anime, and really it’s hard not to be deeply enamored with the power of it.
Right! So, music is a thing right? So, OP and ED first as always. They are both excellent in their own right. The OP is so pretty and uplifting just like the message the series presents throughout itself, while the ED is more of an adorable charmfest that is Romeo’s personality. So, you get a little feeling that both are interconnected quite well with the overall series. The musical score mixed in with the show is also quite stellar and I found myself humming along (quietly since my sister would stab me otherwise) with the tunes as they came and went. I would definitely buy a CD if I can find one of this soundtrack, if given the chance.
So, any negative points in the show? I didn’t mention visuals so you may think I disliked those, but they were quite Ghibli-esque ,and I adored them. I did have one small complaint, but this is personal bias over an actual issue with the plot itself. Best girl doesn’t win and no epilogue stories with several other instrumental characters in the plot. These are the two things that bum me out. They aren’t necessary, but I personally wanted Romeo to end up with another character and I would have loved to see what happened to all of his friends concluding the main plot. Some of them have so much development it sucks not to see how they turned out, but I get that you can’t make new stuff when the source material is exhausted already. Oh well, could be worse couldn’t it?
So, overall Romeo no Aoi Sora was a blast. A charming romp without modern anime tropes and clichés feels refreshing to experience. Of course, it also has to stand on its own as a worthwhile piece of art, and boy oh boy does it! This show tells a small-scale story of a boy named Romeo and how eventful one year of your life can truly be. It can determine so much about your entire future even, and that is what it did for Romeo. The past year of my life has been damn eventful as well, so I can relate heavily to design choice a lot. I love stories that seem more personal rather than being grandiose once in a while and gosh was it a treat to watch. May other World Masterpiece Theater shows continue the air of refreshing blue skies like Romeo did.
Until next time see you my little Wanderers!
Other Anime you may if you like Romeo no Aoi Sora