Sunday, December 11, 2016


At first, the 1998 OVA Juliet seems like an incongruous mixture of tones, ranging from slapstick comedy to blatant fanservice to violent tragedy, until you realize that it's based on a four-volume manga by U-Jin, creator of the very ecchi and sometimes sketchy Sakura Diaries. The tonal shifts are still jarring, but knowing who created the story makes matters a little more understandable.

Another oddity of Juliet is its title, as the anime contains no character or location named Juliet and no references to the Shakespearean character. (Perhaps the manga spells out the connection.) Instead, it's the story of two siblings, Anzu and Naruto Nozaki, heirs to the fabulous Nozaki fortune. Naruto appears to be an overbearing sis-con. In fact, he's madly in love with Anzu, because they're not blood-related. He confines her to the family mansion for "security," depriving her of companionship and a real life. At age 16, she starts to rebel. She smuggles in a kitten as a pet (Naruto hates cats) and then escapes in a delivery truck. Naruto catches up to her and realizes that she can't be confined like a bird in a cage. He agrees to let have a normal life, but just then, tragedy strikes.{Spoiler alert - well, not much of a spoiler, because the AniDB summary spills the beans.} Brother, sister, and kitten are all killed.

However, it isn't Anzu's time, so she is brought back to life. Her brother, desperate to stay close to her, reincarnates as the kitten and, in feline form, continues his quest to dominate and letch after her. Anzu starts working at an all-services pet store and, after some comic adventures, finds the prospect of a new life, and possibly romance, beckoning. The feline Naruto continues to watch over her, alternating gratitude at being able to cuddle with her and jealousy at her prospects for human love. And there the story ends... but not before there has been a lot of gratuitous nudity, panty shots, and other fanservice.

Araki Kae, who played Anzu, is probably best known for her lead role in all the Fushigi Yuugi properties.Yamanoi Jin, who voiced Naruto, has had featured roles in many anime. The director, Tomii Wataru, is relatively unknown; his only other credited work is Rance.

This is an M74 release. M74 started with jan55's raw and German subtitles. He retimed the subs and translated them into English. The project then languished a long time until the subs could be checked; a new Orphan team member, Kou, fixed them up. I edited and typeset, and Nemesis and Calyrica did QC. Just before release, M74 made a new encode directly from the R2j DVD. The source has terrible blending/deinterlacing problems on horizontal pans, but the encode is the best that can be done.

Anyway, if you're in the mood for something a little ecchi (and a little sketchy), Juliet will fill the bill nicely. Enjoy.

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