First Look: Boarding School Juliet

Alternative title(s): Kishuku Gakkou no Juliet
Manga Adaptation by Liden Films
Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Premise

Romio Inuzuka and Juliet Persia are leaders of opposing factions at Dahlia Academy. They’ve fought like cats and dogs since elementary school, but Inuzuka has a secret – he’s actually in love with Persia! Will he find the courage to confess?!?

Jel’s verdict: Tragically Flawed

I was pulling my hair out watching this episode as it would do something really great in one scene and then something really bad in the next. On the good side, our main couple works really well together. Persia is confident and capable and, for the most part, is given the opportunity to shine. Inuzuka is kind of an idiot but means well, and you can’t help but like the guy after he has an ephiphany and starts thinking about how Persia feels. Big picture-wise, there’s a positive message lurking in there somewhere about women historically being seen as inferior to men and how that needs to change. It even looks great with LIden Films bringing their A-game on animation. Good stuff all around.

Unfortunately, there’s also bad stuff. As much as the show wants us to see Juliet as a cool, tough lady, they also can’t help but play the “she’s actually really timid and vulnerable!” card. We see a bit of this after the big confession scene with Inuzuka, but the worst of it is when a few of his rogue subordinates attempt to sexually assault her and he has to swoop in to save the day. This would be bad enough of on its own, but the camera work and general direction frame Persia getting her shirt cut off as some kind of sexy fan service and not the horrible, traumatizing event that it really is. Other than getting socked in the face, I doesn’t seem like there will be any repercussions for Inuzka’s lackeys either. It’s a disturbing precedent to set for the show moving forward, and a real stain on what was otherwise a good episode.

If I’m being generous, you could interpret that all as playing into the show’s overall message that the way women are treated needs to change, but it’s hard to say that with a straight face when you see how it’s presented. I want to believe that this will just be a one-off bump on the road and this show will continue to be a net positive, but I am skeptical. It’s too bad because I’d love to give a whole hearted recommendation for Boarding School Juliet. It’s a great message tied to an interesting, unique premise for a romantic comedy. I’ll give it another episode or two to see if they can balance things out.

One thought on “First Look: Boarding School Juliet

  1. “I’ll give it another episode or two to see if they can balance things out.”

    I’m in the same boat, right now it’s on pace for a second ep drop.

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