Review: Rozen Maiden
Summary: Jun Sakurada is a young school aged boy who, traumatised by his experience at school, has taken to living in his room, only allowing his older sister to see him. Jun has become fascinated with occult items and often buys things online and returning them before the trial period ends. One day Jun finds a piece of paper with a single question: "Will you Wind?", after filling this sheet out and putting it in the desk draw as instructed, he finds a strange new case has appeared. Inside the case is a beautiful doll in a red dress, after winding it up the doll comes to life and introduces itself as Shinku. And soon he finds himself entering a contract with her to fight against other dolls in a battle she and the other dolls call the Alice Game.
About: Rozen Maiden was published by Peach-Pit in the Monthly Comic Birz magazine from 2002-2007. The series has gone on to inspire a second season, Rozen Maiden: Träumend and an 2 episode OVA Series, Rozen Maiden: Ouvertüre. Rozen Maiden at the time was one of the more popular series of anime, however its notoriety has decreased in later years as other series have taken its place, though the series still remains a classic in the anime world.
Review (Both Seasons): This is a series I first started watching when it was being released back in 2004 and has been on my to watch list ever since. Watching this series was a bit of nostalgia as it is a quite typical anime for the time it was released and slightly different to the current popular theme of anime. Although this series does deal with battles between the dolls, it is done in a rather tame way which is suitable for younger audiences. With many different character types which seem to clash in a comical sense among the dolls, this series deals with the realms of dream and reality in a psychological and yet cute sort of way with its art style changing like with many anime to portray different expressions among the dolls.
Like with many anime, I watched the anime from beginning to end in short succession and for both series. Rozen Maidens style allows for this without that general boredom and repetitive feel you get with some anime, partially for its lack of recaps and its ability to enter the series at any point without having to struggle to catch up again.
The first series showed a lot of promise, though it came to an abrupt end with the story still quite open, this was obviously with the intention for a second season which was released not long after. Although the second season introduced some new and interesting characters, it did appear to have many similarities to the original series with one of the new Dolls being somewhat similar to the original villain doll. Though the story was a little cliché in the second series, this is not uncommon in anime released more for younger children. Though I can’t help feeling the ending was rushed and somewhat disappointing.
Guidance: Overall this is a good anime for children of all ages, though some of the more complex discussions of the anime may warrant slightly older children viewers, though there are many comical scenes for even the youngest of viewers.