During the events of the original Rozen Maiden, after circling "yes" on a paper and agreeing to wind an unknown "something," a traumatized Jun Sakurada fights alongside the lifelike dolls known as the Rozen Maidens. But what would have happened if Jun had circled "no"?
Jun, having gotten over his school trauma from his younger days, spends his time attending college and working in a bookstore. However, he does not feel as though he belongs anywhere. One day, he finds a book containing instructions on how to make a Rozen Maiden. Mysteriously, when he arrives home that night, the second volume in the book series has been delivered to his house, along with some pieces of a doll. But as suddenly as they started arriving, the books stop coming, and Jun gets a notice that says that the books have ceased being published. With an incomplete doll in hand, and a message from his other self in another world, this Jun also finds his way into the world of the Rozen Maidens.
Everyone has his or her own talents. Whether you're good at drawing, playing a sport, or even making a simple meal, there's a special hidden talent within everyone. For a particular boy named Jun Sakurada, he has a talent too. We should all be proud of our accomplishments right? Well, that doesn't fit the case with Jun because after a particular embarrassing moment in his earlier school years, there's that fear of anxiety that followed him for the rest of his life. Has that ever happened to you before? Maybe but did it ever escalate it to a point where a person almost completely changes
from whom they were once before? Probably not.
Despite the title being the exact same name of the original Rozen Maiden series, fan should not be confused with this anime. This series is called Rozen Maiden Zurückspulen but should be seen as an alternate series that follows the events of the second manga from its beginning. Fans of the original Rozen Maiden series of both the anime and manga should be delighted. This is because the series is the first reincarnation of Rozen Maiden since Rozen Maiden: Ouvertüre that debuted years ago.
The first thing viewers might notice is the overview of its characters and themes in the first episode. There's that sense of nostalgia that bites back from years ago if you've been a loyal fan. More honestly though, this series assumes that you are already somewhat familiar with the Rozen Maiden franchise. Even if you're coming into Rozen Maiden completely fresh, it is okay because of the material covered in this series isn't any sort of direct continuation from its prequels. However, the experience might be somewhat lessened to a degree.
As for starters, this series follows two sides of a story. For one, we have Jun Sakurada that plays the role of the main male protagonist. Like many people, he has a talent but it turns out to be something that doesn't fit well for his gender role. The story follows Jun and his life as a seemingly lonely man. He has an average life with an average job and no girlfriend at his age. We get to see from his point of view on the typical life of a young man whom seemingly have no particular goal or dream in life. What he does have though is a terrible experience during his middle school years. That has left a scar in his life that continues to haunt him since today with his memories.
The other side of the story covers a more fantasy field in Jun's life. That comes from the arrival of a strange text message on his cell phone. The twist here involves a bit of fantasy element as the messenger on the opposite side is someone he never thought to be. It plays around the boundary between fantasy and reality because his new situation becomes much of a problem than he had ever imagined before. For now, Jun has to deal with his newfound problem whether he likes it or not.
But the real star isn't just Jun from this show. From the depths of fantasy comes our lovely dressed doll, Shinku. She is not just elegantly dressed but also comes with a lady like personality. Her constant demand for tea and service from Jun is often played on a joke of annoyance. In fact, the master should be Jun, not the other way around considering he is Shinku's maker. The problem isn't that though because Jun can suddenly deal with annoyance in his life. Rather, it's this new twist involving a game known as the Alice Game. In that game, there are seven different dolls identified as the Rozen Maidens each with a different human partner. In order to win the game, one must steal the others' Rosa Mystica through battle and in turn become the perfect girl known as Alice. It sounds difficult. It proves difficult. It is difficult. This is because Jun wishes to win the game without actually taking anyone's Rosa Mystica. This task is considered impossible because it would defeat the purpose of the game. Whoever is because the scenes for this game suddenly won't be happy.
As if unhappy is a word to describe this series, just look carefully at Jun's college life. He's suddenly not happy about his job especially the way his store manager treats him. Not only that, he is constantly judging what others may think of him. The thoughts he forms sometimes borderlines on delusional. But who can blame him right? After all, he's suffered a past that he hopes to never to relive again. In essence, the overall tone of this series spells out a more serious atmosphere as we explore Jun's loneliness as a young man.
Character dynamics are explored throughout this series. There's two sides to it as well. First comes the more realistic side once again with Jun. In this series, Jun is works at a local bookstore where he doesn't seem to be happy. The store manager always seems to play the role of a bully. In many ways, Jun feels the scars of what he has suffered in the past as in the form of humiliation. Luckily though, there's some hope with his fellow co-worker Saitou. As someone who has a talent in the field of acting, she is sympathetic for Jun. The relationship between Jun and her is typical. It crosses between the lines of both friendship and possibly even romance. On the other side is the relationship between a human and doll – Jun and Shinku in this case. The series leaves their relationship as ambiguous. There's a sense of annoyance, appreciation, and bonding that can be all packaged by the duo's relationship. On other other hand, Shinku has rivals in form of antagonism towards another doll in the series – Suigintou. It can be seen as serious and comedic the same time; take it how you receive it. Unfortunately though, there's not much exploration of the other dolls with their masters besides Shinku and Suigintou.
Although the premise sounds interesting, there's a sting in its pacing. What I'm referring to here is the story and its main purpose. The Rozen Maidens are designed to fight each other for the title of Alice but the premise itself doesn't engage itself as well as one may hope. In fact, the majority of the first half adapts more of a slice of life tone that can be repetitive to watch. In particular, this relates to Jun and his life. Then, there's a problem with the other characters as the show seems to only highlight two particular dolls for the majority of its run. The series details the Alice Game so each doll should have its purpose. Instead though, this series only gives them a minimal amount of screen time. Not all the dolls gets their own spotlight and some may feel disappointed. The sense of emotions might also not be as strong as one may hope for due to a lack of exploration in the other dolls' backgrounds. Perhaps the amount of episodes could be a problem here but that shouldn't be an excuse for its pacing. Finally, the concept of fighting for a grand title or accomplishment isn't new in the anime industry. Other shows such as Mirai Nikki, Mai-Hime, Fate Stay Night, and recent Crime Edge has adapted such themes before. It's been done.
The artwork for the series suddenly feels a bit different. By different, I mean in terms of realism. The place that Jun is living at is designed to look very simple to give viewers an outlook on his average life. There's not much fancy going on in his life besides Shinku. The way his character is designed also looks plain with his face and figure. On the other hand, the Rozen Maidens are designed with fashion. Shinku's red clothes is covered with elegance and that lady-like atmosphere that matches her personality. Others such as Suigintou is designed to give off her darker personality through those lolita golita style of clothing while two other Rozen Maidens in the show has noticeable colored eyes.
Because the show is more serious and covers a more realistic side of Jun's story, viewers should also expect a more straight forward soundtrack. There's no funky beat or rock style music in this show. Instead, it has an eerie like OST that often depicts a more moody side of the story. Also, remember that Jun is isolated with himself. Therefore, viewers should expect the soundtrack to also convey that feeling of loneliness. The OP song, "Watashi no Bara wo Haminasai" by ALI PROJECT gives off a feeling of mystery and possible foreshadowing as well. As with the ED song, there's the sense of eerie loneliness once again.
For whatever reason you decide to try out this show, just be aware that it can feel a bit different from what you might be used to from the original Rozen Maiden series. By different, I don't mean as necessarily an unpleasant experience. Instead, it conveys a different and more realistic side of Jun and his story. The boy is not in kiddy clothes anymore but lives a new style of living. Although it's not pleasant, there's also some signs of joy. The lines of reality and fantasy are often crossed throughout various times. This can also bring on a different feeling for viewers. But more importantly, patience should be a key to deal with this adaptation. Rozen Maiden is often interpreted as a girly show because it has dolls. But for Jun, making dolls isn't just about fun. It's about a talent and his way of life.
~~~~PLEASE READ IF YOU HAVE ALREADY WATCHED THE ORIGINAL TWO SEASONS OF ROZEN MAIDEN~~~~
This review is to shed some light on the direction of the anime as it is very different from the original plot and story, but it's so good and I don't want people to be discouraged by the first episode like I was!
I really loved the original story of Rozen Maiden. It was so addicting and I was completely on an emotional roller coaster, especially once the Alice Games really started. When I saw that they had made a new anime of it, I assumed they were doing what they did with
Sailor Moon and doing a new release that condensed Seasons 1 & 2 into one season. However, I was mistaken. This Anime takes that story and rewrites the Alice Games into an alternate reality. The creativity is amazing with what they've done to the story and I won't go into detail because it'll ruin the whole anime. It's better to watch this plot develop as you watch for the first time!
When I watched the first episode, I was angry. I didn't understand what they were doing, and I didn't understand why things were happening as they were. I also went into the series thinking it was a condensed version of the original though, so that has something to do with it for sure. You get no character development on the Rozen Maiden dolls you meet in this episode, and you feel no connection to what happens in the first episode unless you have seen what happens in the original and know their relationships and personalities. It's a shocking and confusing first episode for sure.
However, when you watch the second episode you begin to understand more clearly as you switch and start following the life of some other guy in university who works at a bookstore. Pay attention to his name. When you hear the name and see what he finds, everything begins to make sense. It's in this episode that the series plot and direction become a little more clear. As you go into the third episode, there's no doubt what the direction is and you'll look back on episode one and see why things happened as they did and what it all meant in retrospect.
So in short, don't be discouraged by the first episode. It's a great series that puts a new spin on Rozen Maiden and is full of the characters you know and love, just in a new storyline. In later episodes you get glimpses of the original story and you get more character development that complements what you learned in the original story. You'll really enjoy it!
Because I'm feeling awesome today, I'm gonna write a review of Rozen Maiden: Season 3. May include minor spoilers. I edited a few typos.
I'm pretty sure most people are aware that Rozen Maiden (2013) is not really a season 3, but because most people called it that, I will leave it as Rozen Maiden: Season 3 for easy identification.
Let's begin. To those people who have watched Season 1 and Season 2, you will realize that season 3 has nothing to do with Season 1 and 2. Because, Season 3 is based on the Jun who did not wound the key. (Hey, at least that
satisfied my question what happened if they did not wind the key.) That aside, the story is rather slow-pacing for 12 episodes, especially when he builds Shinku and unknowingly builds Kirakishou. I was about to drop the show at that time (Episode 6 - 8, I guess), but thanks to the previous work of Rozen Maiden, I managed to pull through.
Let's see, the battle sence wasn't all that good, although it was much like the previous 2 seasons. It was rather cliff-hanging when Kirakishou just when BOOM!, instead of them seriously fighting it out. Thankfully, it doesn't end like that.
The ending was pretty meh, since it makes people think that Episode 14 is coming instead of leading to a new Season. It was a pretty decent story, although the back (battle part) seems rather rush as they most likely used up too much time in building Shinku and Kirakishou. Good thing is the story is clear and there's not a lot Critical thinking to do until your brain might bleed, like the Season 2 of Darker than Black. There's a nice twist about the two Maidens who lost the battle in Season 2, so look forward to it.
It looks better, although I would prefer the dolls to be slightly bigger. Then again, this is Future Jun we're talking about and not the middle school guy, so it is pretty acceptable. The dolls look somehow different, especially Suigintou, her eyes doesn't look so evil now (or I must be imagining it). If you watch the previous 2 seasons and this season back-to-back you will sure as hell notice the difference, maybe it's because of the new technology.
Special effects for battle scene are harder to grade, because there were barely any. But the final battle does show some promising effect and the first battle Future Jun was involved in looks relatively decent too. Compared to the previous 2 seasons, there's nothing new about this part.
What am I suppose to write here?
The music does suit it's setting, I have to admit it. There's a little background music during the 13 episodes so I can't really comment on it.
I always think that music are personal opinions so I won't get too deep into this.
The character's voice does suit their personality, which I gives a thumbs up. It does reflect their personality to a certain extend. To be clearer on this, you might need to watch Season 1 and Season 2 first...
Here we can see some pretty decent development in the main characters, the dolls, not so much, except a certain one. If we're talking about character design (not the art, mind you, I mean their personality and stuff), it is pretty good. The main focus on this will be Kirakishou as the other dolls didn't change much, like Kanaria's -kashira and Suiseiseki's -desu. Don't put up your hopes for Hinaichigo, though, she hardly gets any screen time this season, I hope she appears more later on.
Anyway, Kirakishou have a pretty solid build, if you're willing to do her equation yourself. There are parts where Future Jun assumes that he is like her and stuff. It will be easier to understand if you would watch it for yourself. Yet, in the end, I still pity Kirakishou.
Personal Opinion: Holy ****, Kirakishou's new body looks creepy as hell. I would rather watch Chuck Norris than her new body.
It is pretty enjoyable, once you get past the boring part of building dolls. Once that is over, I can bet you'll be sitting at the edge of your chair asking, "What happens next? God dammit, what happens next?!" Leaving that aside, it is quite refreshing, especially the ending parts, where a lot of stuff comes into place.
Overall, I would give this an 8, although it seems a little high for me. My expectations for it was originally 9, (I'm sorry, I never rate animes 10 as nothing is perfect), but the boring parts made me drop it to 7. Thankfully, it made a pretty good comeback and I'll give it back an 8, at least.
This season is pretty decent, although it can be a little meh compared to the previous 2 seasons. I highly suggest watching in. Try to bear with some parts as the reward for bearing it is relatively good. A small tip: Do not attempt to jump episodes, as it will cause a load of confusion, each episode is important in it's own way.
Fans of the Rozen Maiden series are already familiar with what happens when Jun circles “Wind”, but what happens when he chooses “Do Not Wind”? That is what Rozen Maiden Season 3 (as people are calling it) answers. We now see Jun grown up as a university student, with a job, and even a love interest. Personally, I enjoyed observing Jun’s life outside of his room. Based on the second series of the Rozen Maiden manga, I love the fresh take Peach-Pit took on this classic series; yet, in a genius way, they were able to tie together the older Jun with
the younger one. While the story opts to remain light on its characters and plot, by systematically switching between the mundane real world of the older Jun and the N-Field where the two Rozen Maiden universes collide, it retains the ominous beauty and calm pacing of the first two series. However, there is a serious lack of character development outside of Jun himself. That is why I recommend you watch the first two seasons (if you haven’t already) before watching this one, so that you understand the background of the characters beforehand. The anime is only thirteen episodes long, and it seems that many threads were left purposefully untied. Here’s hoping that we will see a proper conclusion soon.
The art is perhaps the best aspect of this anime, complementing the gothic, surreal atmosphere that is set throughout. The minimalist look works well for a dark, ominous series like this. The shift in art style really comes off as refreshing, beautiful and maybe even intentional, so as to differentiate itself from the first two anime. They even gave the dolls a touch-up, adding texture to their outfits, making their hair more natural, and other neat minor details, like Suigintou’s wings having a brush-stroked look.
The soundtrack remains just as sinister and mystical as ever. Thankfully, all of the iconic voice actors return, and ALI PROJECT opens each episode with the theme of “Watashi no Bara wo Haminasai” in grand fashion. The popular catchphrases from the dolls are still abound. Overall, I didn’t find anything I was disappointed with in the voice acting or music department.
Aside from is hair and height, Jun hasn’t really changed all that much, although it’s nice to see him with a different lifestyle, and I appreciate how they portrayed him realistically. The parts where he meets his younger self are especially endearing. For those whose favorite doll was either Shinku or Suigintou (the first and best doll, in my opinion), you won’t be left feeling disappointed. The humorous fights and snide remarks between the two dolls continue, and it’s hilarious to see the different ways they get on each other’s nerves. Although, for those who prefer the other five dolls, it’s hard to say what you will feel while watching this anime, since you barely get more than a few glimpses at them until over halfway through the anime. There are a few cameos which will fill fans with nostalgia, but the regretful lack of presence from some beloved dolls is evident.
Rozen Maiden (2013) handily doses out references to the original series, while crafting a completely new direction within a new universe. Skeptics will find many things to criticize, due to the lack of character presence and arguably slower pace, but at the same time, those who were wishing for something fresh and not just another Alice Game may be pleasantly surprised. At the end of every Rozen Maiden season, I always hope that this is not the last time we see Shinku and her friends. Once again, I wish that there won’t be another 7 years before we can enjoy this beautiful anime and its characters over again. From this series’s conclusion, it looks like this may not yet be the end; the only question is when.
Like Jun himself, Rozen Maiden has matured over time. Studio DEEN could’ve easily remade the entire first two seasons with a fresh coat of paint, but instead of doing their own interpretation, they left the original alone and expanded on it. Rozen Maiden reminds us once again that just because an anime is about tiny dolls, that doesn’t mean it’s aimed solely at little girls. Though, more importantly, Rozen Maiden (2013) tells the tale of a universe that is full of infinite choices and possibilities. Will you wind it?
The word "boku" is traditionally a personal pronoun used by boys or young men, but occasionally you'll hear a girl or woman use it. These women are known as "bokukko". Read on to find out more, and see some examples of classic bokukko!