Romeo and the Black Brothers

Romeo and the Black Brothers is an anime series in the World Masterpiece Theater franchise
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Romeo lives happily with his family in the Swiss Alps until a series of crop failures and his father's illness bring about tragic changes. To save his loved ones from ruin, he sells himself into slavery for 25 francs to Luini, called "God of Death," who travels poor country districts searching for child laborers to fuel the growing cities of Europe. He is taken to Milan and sold to a chimney sweep, and so becomes one of the "Black Brothers," the boys who keep the city's chimneys clear in great hardship. On the way he meets Alfredo, a boy with a mysterious past whose main aim in life is to find his beloved little sister, Bianca, and the two boys become close friends. In Milan he meets the fragile Angeletta, but her brother Anselmo is part of a local gang, the Wolf Pack, and despite Romeo's overtures of friendship, Anselmo begins a gang war. The Wolf Pack are not the only ones out for blood, as Alfredo is threatened by those who know his secret and will stop at nothing to prevent him claiming his rightful inheritance.

The story was based on the 1941 novel The Black Brothers (Die Schwarzen Brüder) by Lisa Tetzner, a German forced to flee the Nazi regime to Switzerland because of her husband's Marxist leanings. She wrote her book to highlight the real-life scandal of child slavery in Europe-compare to 24 Eyes, a similar protest. The anime adapted the story freely, though it retained the basic elements of the typical World Masterpiece Theater production-a classic tale of emotion and melodrama, set at a safe distance in time and space, with vulnerable but heroic young people enduring testing times in the struggle for survival. The lead character's name was changed from Giorgio, new characters were added, and the plot and conclusion altered, partly to fit a schedule originally planned for 39 episodes but finally forced to squeeze the story into 33.

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Original US Poster Art

General Information Edit
Name Romeo and the Black Brothers
Name: ロミオの青い空
Romaji: Romeo no Aoi Sora
Publisher Nippon Animation
Start Year 1995
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Aliases Romeo's Blue Skies

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