Alfredo and Romeo
Romeo's Blue Skies
("Romeo No Aoi Sora")

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Romeo and Alfredo

    This is another lovely low-key art miracle from Nippon Animation (whose animators often work at Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli)!  Based on a European children's classic (Die Schwarzen Bruder), the story is set in Italy and the Alps in the late 1800's. Romeo is a boy who voluntarily sells himself into a type of cruel slavery to help his family through a terrible crisis. His good nature and inner strength, along with the help of friends he meets, makes it possible for him to survive his ordeal. This is one of Nippon Animation's shows in its long-running "World Masterpiece Theatre" series of shows.  It is scripted and drawn to the highest quality levels you will ever see in a TV anime series.
    "Romeo's Blue Skies" is especially noted for its dozens of beautiful background and scenery paintings throughout the show. paintings taken from actual drawings and photographs of the time.   The first time you see one of these backgrounds you will be astounded at their beauty and detail.   This is something you won't see in the usual TV cartoon!   Combined with the lovely and evocative original music score, the result is a piece of anime literature to be treasured for all time.

Piccolo kissing AnitaOur Fansubs

Vol. 1: Eps. 1-4
  In volume 1, we meet Romeo's family in his Swiss-Italian village. A terrible disaster forces Romeo to leave his home, to work as a chimney sweep in Milan. Along the way he meets a boy named Alfredo. Alfredo carries a deep secret with him. [Revision 4] Contents: Ep. 1: In the Alps; A Village in Crisis; Ep. 2: Destiny's Beginnings: The Family in the Flames; Ep. 3: Farewell, My Village; Ep. 4: The Boy On the Poster.  Plus: fan comments and info.
Vol 2: Eps. 5-8
   In volume 2, Romeo saves a life, survives a shipwreck, encounters an angel, and learns what his new life as a chimney sweep really will be like.  The depth and movement of the story doesn't even pause a minute. (Revision 1)
Vol. 3: Eps. 9-12
   Romeo's mysterious benefactor is revealed to be a young girl of fragile health, who can never leave her room, and who has not seen the sky or sun for years:  the lovely Angeletta.  In volume 3, we also meet the Wolf Pack, a local gang, of whom Anzelmo, Angeletta's brother, is a part.  Anzelmo reveals his true colors, but despite his deceitful ways, Romeo is determined to become his friend.  Anzelmo has other intentions though, and Romeo finds himself at the center of a gang conflict, not only threatening his hide but also his friendship with Angeletta.  In the climax, Romeo finds he must decide whether to stay and face the awful consequences, or flee into the streets, leaving Angeletta, suddenly struck down by terrible illness, behind him forever.  (Revision 2, 7-2-97)

Bonds of FriendshipVol. 4: Eps. 13-16
     Romeo is in big trouble... wanted by the police, the Wolf Pack and the Rossi family as well, he is on the run.  Angeletta is mourning over his disappearence.  But suddenly, a face appears... from out of the past!  Dante, his friend, who was also sold into child labor along with Romeo, and believed drowned in the storm on the lake!
    But there are two more key faces to appear from the past as well... Romeo's best friend, and a vision of loveliness in blonde curls, as if in a dream... who is she?
    Romeo becomes aware of his own limitations more clearly.  His earnest desire to emulate the one he admires most leads him to a fateful decision concerning his future occupation -- though even he doesn't realize it yet.  Meanwhile, preparations are being made for a final showdown with the Wolf Pack!
Romeo, Piccolo, Angeletta    Though the incredible background paintings and music are still there, in this volume the viewer is most struck by the intensity of the emotion and depth of feeling which is expressed in the simple line drawings of the main characters: Romeo, Angeletta, Rossi, Edda, Alfredo, and Anzelmo.

(Revision 1 is dated 9-20-98.)

Ep. 13. A Reunion in the Sewer -- brought to you by: C. Liang
Ep. 14. Escape, quickly! -- brought to you by: David Seid
Ep. 15. Strike a light!  The Oath of the Eleven -- brought to you by: Tim Woodard
Ep. 16. Alfredo is My Rival! -- brought to you by: Juurii-san

Romeo faces the Wolf PackVol. 5: Eps. 17-20
     The Wolf Pack, led by the confident Giovanni, just will not stop attacking the Black Brothers as they are working in the city.  Romeo and Alfredo are forced to devise another plan, one in which they would meet the Wolf Pack head-on.   As plans progress, and the great battle takes place, a victory is turned on its side and becomes a defeat instead, as Alfredo himself is lost.  Romeo now must face the Wolf Pack alone, without even the support of the Black Brothers to count on.  The struggle which follows is the climax of the first half of the series, and brings the story of the two gangs to a close.
    Episodes 19-20 are the first "side stories" of the series, and only connect weakly to the overall story progression.  Enjoyable and warm, but not heavy drama by any means.  But the last episode of the tape and the preview shows what is in store, as we finally learn just WHO Angeletta is, or at least, enough of the secret to tantalize.
    Volume 5 was timed and edited by a volunteer, Ken Hardwick, who did a splendid and tasteful job, and is responsible for making it possible for the volume to be completed so quickly, along with the thanks due to our generous sponsors:
Ep. 17. Showdown at San Babila Church -- brought to you by: David Seid
Ep. 18. Sing our Song of Unity on into the Dawn! -- brought to you by: Carrie Lui
Ep. 19. Grandma is a Witch -- brought to you by: Carrie Lui
Ep. 20. Grampa Theo's Puppet Show -- brought to you by: David Seid

Romeo holds Angeletta Vol. 6: Eps. 21-24
     By the time Angeletta's eleventh birthday has come and gone, Romeo has finally learned just who she really is.  But Angeletta's illness is rapidly growing worse.  Fearing that she might not survive long, Angeletta entrusts Romeo with her deepest wish, and Romeo sets out to make it come true.  To do so, he must put his own life in danger.
   Then, Romeo suddenly discovers Alfredo's missing sister, Bianca, who quite literally falls into his lap!  But Romeo's closest friend, Alfredo, is also in danger.  The two siblings once again find themselves on the run from two desperate murderers.
    Like volume 5, this volume was timed and edited beautifully by talented volunteer Ken Hardwick.  Special thanks also to Nicholas Conder, who singlehandedly sponsored this entire volume:
Ep. 21  Angeletta's Secret -- brought to you by: Nicholas Conder
Ep. 22  I Meet Grandmother -- brought to you by: Nicholas Conder
Ep. 23  Farewell, My Angel -- brought to you by: Nicholas Conder
Ep. 24  The Hunted Siblings -- brought to you by: Nicholas Conder

Alfredo and Bianca Vol. 7: Eps. 25-28
     Pursued by murderers, Alfredo suddenly realizes that the time for him to reclaim his inheritance has come.  Only Romeo can bring all the elements together to accomplish the goal.  But an even darker fate threatens Alfredo.   Courage and honor remain, but is that enough?
    This volume was timed and edited beautifully by talented volunteer Ken Hardwick.
Ep. 25  Alfredo and Bianca Reunited -- brought to you by: J. C. Arent Jr.
Ep. 26  Proud Souls -- brought to you by: Ken Hardwick
Ep. 27  The Start of a Long Day -- brought to you by: David Seid
Ep. 28  Lord Alfredo -- brought to you by: Sami Tabikh

Romeo and Bianca Vol. 8: Eps. 29-33 [End]
     It wouldn't be right to say too much about the tragedy and triumph of the final episodes of the series.  Though somewhat rushed by the premature end (the series was probably paced for 39 episodes) all the major elements of the story are resolved.
    This volume, like the previous, was timed and edited by Ken Hardwick.
Ep. 29  Forever Alfredo -- brought to you by: Timothy W. Woodard, M.D.
Ep. 30  The Last Promise -- brought to you by: Timothy W. Woodard, M.D.
Ep. 31  The Real Treasure -- brought to you by: J. D. R.
Ep. 32  A Lovely Christmas Eve -- brought to you by: Horst von Recum and Erin de la Mare
Ep. 33  Skyward! On Wings of Freedom! [final] -- Candace and Betty Harlan

Scenes from the showSelected scenesComments We've Received

    I wanted to thank you for the wonderful Romeo's Blue Skies vol. 1 that I received... Most of my collection I don't get straight from the source, so it's especially nice when I receive a copy so perfect, it belongs on a store shelf !! [GH]

    BTW, I got my recent request and I must say, I really enjoyed _Romeo's Blue Sky_. Very moving, I'm glad you're making it accessible to the fans. Great, great stuff, I loved it so far... I even had tears in my eyes at various points. :_) [WH]

    I just received my requests from Techno-Girls last Friday. I am very impressed by the subbing job done for Romeo's Blue Sky! I've only watched the first episode, I must confess, I am nerving myself for the upcoming sadness of the following episodes. I'm going to watch it with a friend so it isn't so bad. ^ ^ All the extras you threw in, like doing the OP/ED with both English and romanji, are wonderful! [CH]

     I just finished watching Romeo's Blue Skies 1-4. I found it very warm and cute, and I would like to see more soon. The reason I got it was because I saw the picture of the ferret on his shoulder. I have 4 ferrets, one of which is white with black eyes just like Piccolo. When I got the animation, I saw he was even more like mine because of his black tail! I had never even seen another ferret like him and I think it's kinda cool now to have an anime mascot for a pet.  Anyways, while I was watching it I noticed that it was very much like some anime that we get on tv here. "Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn," "Little Women," and "Swiss Family Robinson." All on a channel called INSP for Kids. I knew that they were all anime, but I wasn't sure if they were dubbed or produced for American audiences until I read the notes at the end of the tape. I really wish they would show "Romeo's Blue Skies" also, because it seems to be the best of them all.  (A.F.)

     As for Romeo's Blue Skies  -- I thought it was superb.  I found the first four episodes to be real tear jerkers.  As for the subtitling and translation job you have done, I have only one word -- unequaled.  I am happy to find that you take your time and do the job better than the pros.  Keep up the great work and count on my future support!  (D.S.)

    I'm an anime fan from Australia and I recently saw a tape of "ROMEO'S BLUE SKIES" that Techno-Girls had fansubbed.  I loved it so much I just had to drop you a line to say "you really made my day to see a translated copy of this!"   It was so good, It brought back memories of my childhood when I used to watch English dubbed works of some of the Nippon Animation shows on early morning cartoon shows.  Anyway, thats all I have to say, and thanx again for translating a truly wonderful show!  (B.S.)

The Newtype Article
This article introduced the show.  Later, Newtype did a feature article as well.

The introductory article in Newtype


    We  especially like the many comments we've gotten like "I didn't think I'd like it -- but I loved it!"     Romeo is that kind of show -- better than it sounds, better than it looks... with REAL drama, gripping adventure, and characters so real you'll swear you've actually met someone like that... Romeo will surprise you too.

    Thank you so much for your support.  Our sponsors made it possible to do this entire series.  We are very grateful to all of you!



    See Benjamin Ettinger's World Masterpiece Theatre Database and original WMT site for more information about this Nippon Animation series of classic children's tales from world literature.
    The "Online Anime Magazine" EX wrote a detailed article on "Romeo's Blue Skies".  Their article was significantly based on seeing our fansub of volume 1, Benjamin Ettinger's Romeo page, and probably the Romeo artbook.   Reading their article clearly reveals this magazine's annoying habit of obscuring and avoiding any reference to even the existence of such a thing as fansubs, as well as failing to mention or give credit to any of their major references, mostly our fansub and Ben's web site.  (We know that they based much of it on our fansub...)  This is probably typical of a site which has high hopes for lots and lots of commercial anime industry money, and they probably believe that such commercial interests would be offended by any perception that the site was tied in even the slightest way to the fan community -- unless they are doing this job of self-censorship purely for philosophical reasons (out of a belief that since it is legally possible to suppress fansubs, that therefore they SHOULD be suppressed in all cases).   Regardless of their sources and policies, this is a fine article.  That's journalism I guess.  There are quite a few errors, though...  For instance, Romeo's would-be girlfriend is named "Anita", not "Gina."
   Some amateurs in Japan have done some doujinshi, or unauthorized derivative manga, of the Romeo anime, including some in which Romeo and Alfredo were closer than just friends.  Take a look.


"Romeo's Blue Sky" Megu Extra, ISBN4-88271-410-8; Y1500
    This is the only artbook I know of.  It consists about half of a color section for cell art, and half for sketchbook art, with interviews, synopses, and staff information.  About 90 pages, and well worth it.

"Romeo no Aoi Sora Drama and Soundtrack" Vol. 1 WPC6-8128 (album)
    Volume 1 contains short drama quotes from the series, as well as several very good image songs and the TV versions of the Op and Ed songs.  Angeletta's song is adorable.  This album was released before the show ended.
"Romeo no Aoi Sora Original Soundtrack" Vol. 2 WPC6-8138 (album)
    Contains the full length versions of the Op and Ed songs, plus the best instrumental music is here as well.  This is the album to get if you only get one.
"Sora E..."; Hiroko Kasahara WPD6-9037 (single) -- The Op song.

    As far as we know, there is no manga.  Because this anime was based on a book, like the other World Masterpiece Theatre features, it breaks the conventional rule that a modern anime must prove its marketability by being preceded by a successful manga release.

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