Well lately for some reason I’ve been drawn to the idea of inanimate objects that are given life in one way or another… The past week or so has been all about Rozen Maiden…all (original, Ouvertüre, Träumend, Zurückspulen). I’ve been watching through every single one of these versions back to back (save a much needed spot of Rose of Versailles) and Fire Emblem Birthright. So I’ve been keeping busy with that. Now enough with the stalling let’s get started.
Middle School Jun Sakurada is a snotty little truant due to teasing from his schoolmates of the utmost harshness for different reasons depending on which version of Rozen Maiden you watch in some he is made fun of for not getting into the middle school he chose to originally test for (original) and in Zurückspulen he was picked on for having an interest in sewing and his creativity when a drawing he had made for a class project was submitted without his knowledge. The settings are always Modern day Japan in his middle school years, the N-field (a place constantly transformed for various uses), and realms of dreams (human and maiden). Now at this point before going any further I just want to point out the hilarious elephant in the room since these are German style dolls in a Japanese format of display that were made in London….
Jun while in his self-imposed exile would order off the internet in excess sending the items back before being charged until something came in that couldn’t be returned after reading a paper that said “will you wind? Yes No” and circled yes he received something he wouldn’t be able to return. Her name was Shinku and should have come with a warning label… her first action upon awakening was to slap her new master (or as she likes to call Jun ‘her manservant’). He in short order finds out each doll was to walk, talk, drink tea, fight, magic, and of course…order him around. There are seven dolls in all each with their own abilities and each requires a medium to draw power from during fights and also while performing spells… such as spells to possibly fix a window after doll case crashes through it.
Each of the characters has their own endearing quirks and personalities that compliment their masters in the ways of either being similar or enriching their lives for the better. Some of the biggest changes I’ll admit came from a Rozen Maiden I didn’t expect Suiginto the first Rozen Maiden doll with snow white skin, red eyes, and black wings. In two versions she had masters but they were both similar cases where she found a girl near death due to some unknown illness. Suiginto was usually a maiden that only cared for her own benefit had feelings towards these girls because they were ready to give up their lives for the doll that they referred to as an angel. Although during the various episodes every doll had her own trouble the importance of twins, if you love them let them go, what desperation causes, the feelings pertaining to losing loved ones and various other lessons. The loss of loved ones was one of the hardest to avoid due to the very reason the seven Rozen Maidens exist. The Alice Games, each Maiden is given a piece of a gem known as the Rosa Mystica to bring each of them to life only one maiden can win by becoming ‘Alice’ but to do that she would have to take all of the Rosa Mystica for herself and killing all of her sisters in the process. Shinku does not care for the idea along with most of her sisters and attempts to refuse the Alice Game…
The art differs depending on what version of Rozen Maiden one is watching evidences by the darker lines featured on the original and Träumend versus the thinner lines and softer look seen on Zurückspulen. There are a lot of different influences in this series Japanese, doll making, and at first I made the mistake thinking the dolls were ‘British’ or something only to find out they were German even though their names were Japanese. So the style is a bit everywhere with it being delicate yet… fight worthy even though the combatants are no bigger than a small child. Although I do find the effects chosen to go with the attacks such as Kanaria The Second Rozen Maiden’s violin using sound waves to destroy her enemies….perhaps?
Anyways this anime is as far as I’m concerned is Hatter approved its very serious for an anime about dolls. Although the young boy Jun matured as well while spending time with them. The most heart breaking parts were with some of the dolls embracing death including the adorable Hina-Ichigo…One of the more childlike dolls. After finally going through every episode my only disappointment was that the story didn’t have more especially when it was revealed that Shinku had to restore some of the dolls to life and also that the dollmaker did not tell the maidens everything about becoming Alice. Well my dears this Hatter is out!