This is an alternate telling of the original Rozen Maiden, but set in a parallel universe in which Jun didn’t wind the key to wake Shinku. You should watch or read the original version before getting into this or you’ll have no idea what’s going on.
The weird thing about this show is that everything not involving the dolls— the other Jun’s growth, shown through his work at the bookstore, the play, and with the dolls— is much more interesting than anything involving the Rozen maidens. You’d expect it to be the other way around. But everything surrounding Jun’s growth as a character is exceptionally done. The parts with the dolls aren’t bad, but they just can’t compete with the show’s less fantastical parts. When I think about it, the original Rozen Maiden was similar. Sure, it had all these dolls running around and blowing things up, but the heart of the story was always centered on Jun’s growth. In this sense the new Rozen Maiden follows in its predecessor’s footsteps.
Be warned going in that the story is not complete. They stop at a good point in Jun’s growth, but end on a cliffhanger for the story involving the dolls. Perhaps this is the source of my complaints regarding the weakness of the dolls’ story, that it simply was just getting started.
- Storytelling – B – Excellent surrounding Jun’s growth, but the dolls could be improved on.
- Voice – B – Much more serious tone than the first series.
- Characters – B – The new Jun and the other two in the bookstore were very well portrayed. For the dolls the show mostly assumed the viewer was already familiar with them.
- Attention Grab – B – The first episode was a recap, and the picture books in the middle of the episodes were dull.
- Production – B – Looks good.
- Overall – B-
Recommendations – Welcome to the NHK, Original Rozen Maiden