Rozen Maiden (2013) Review — B-

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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.

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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

2 thoughts on “Rozen Maiden (2013) Review — B-

  1. I think they should have re-introduced the dolls much earlier in the series. The part dealing w/ Jun’s personal development was not bad but it just happened at a snail’s pace. During the first half the basic scenario – Jun being depressed, the shopkeeper being evil, the girl liking Jun – did not change very much and I got slightly bored.

    On the other hand, in the last third all of the dolls and all of the conflicts from season II were re-introduced but dealt with only very briefly and w/ a lot of plot twists. I got confused. Whose master was older Jun, now? What happened to Suiginto’s master? What was the nature of dual Shinku?

    Apart from this timing issue I quite liked the show. The artwork was new and looked good. In particular, I loved Suiginto’s brushstroke-like wings!

    1. Interesting. The parts about Jun were my favorites. 🙂 The dolls were certainly more filled with action, but yeah, it was dealt with very quickly and kind of fell in the background compared to the second Jun’s development. I think older Jun was the watering can doll’s master. I completely forgot about Sugintou’s master. No idea what happened to her… Didn’t she get kidnapped or something?

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