17 min | Romance | 2017
Romeo & Juliette16 is a hybrid machinima and live action short film loosely adapted from William Shakespeare’s tragedy play, Romeo and Juliet. It is set in Tokyo and tells the story of Ren, 17, and Junko, 16, who meet by chance under a cherry blossom tree and fall in love at first sight. Since Junko’s father is extremely strict, their only option for getting to know each other is in a virtual world called ‘Second Life’, where they fall further in love and go on many exciting adventures together including flying together as avatars. In real life, Junko is highly disciplined. She attends a private high school and is in training to become a fencer in order to improve her chances of studying in America. Ren works for his father’s small food stand and builds virtual 3D objects as a hobby. Despite their class differences they long to be together. After a time, they cannot stand being apart and arrange to meet in person. When Junko’s parents find out about their meeting, they punish her by forbidding her to go out and by taking away her Internet access. Ren and Junko meet one last time, at a pre-arranged location on the Tokyo Rainbow bridge, where the fateful story of Romeo & Juliet story ends in a tragic suicide, leaving the audience torn between believing the virtual and reality.