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?
Rozen Maiden Zuruckspulen appears to function as a sort of reboot on the Rozen Maiden franchise as we are reintroduced to Jun and the Rozen Maidens as they deal with an enemy threat in the form of new Maiden Kirakisho and crossing into a parallel timeline where an adult Jun never gave life to Shinku. Before I address the new content of this addition to Rozen Maiden, I do want to address the major issue of this series coming with familiarity of viewers to the franchise. The show's creators make it under the assumption that you are already familiar with elements and characters to the
series, thus quickly pacing through events in the first episode of the series in introducing Jun and the six Rozen Maidens from the 2000s adaptations of the series to get to the main plot of the series involving Kirakisho. This already alienates new viewers of the series since the last animated adaptation of Rozen Maiden came seven years prior with the release of Overture. Other than providing background on Jun's issues due to focus on adult Jun, other characters who existed from earlier adaptations of Rozen Maiden don't get their backgrounds as fleshed out, limiting any connection new viewers would have to care for them since the show assumes you already know about their issues.
In terms of the new storyline, it is a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, seeing a scenario with Jun never bringing life to Shinku creates some unique development with his character as we see he never got over his issues of self-doubt and lack of confidence into adulthood, even after finally getting over being a shut-in. This leads him to not consider the other possibilities in front of him that he could take advantage of due to moping in his insecurities. This aspect of his character is exploited by Kirakisho for her personal gain in a rather sinister scheme for later episodes that lead the Maidens to take a more direct role in events for the second half of the series. If you cared about Jun's developments from the earlier adaptations of the series, you are likely to get enjoyment out of this aspect to the series.
On the other hand, Kirakisho's character is a bit underwhelming for a villain despite her rather unique origins as she doesn't have much dimension or depth to her character beyond being crazed for human hosts she can drain energy from. If you cared more for developments with the Maiden dolls, you aren't gonna like this series as much since they don't have any major influence on Zuruckspulen's plot until the show's second half and are not properly fleshed out due to the show's greater focus on Jun and its rushed pacing in introducing them. Plus the series ends inconclusively as Kirakisho is still causing trouble for Jun and the other Rozen Maidens and we are still left wondering what the true nature of the Alice Game is supposed to be since this was also not properly addressed in earlier anime adaptations of the series.
Overall, I'm mostly indifferent on this chapter of the Rozen Maiden franchise. While it does have some interesting ideas to explore with the alternate timeline story with Jun, the show's reboot makes itself only accessible to seasoned Rozen Maiden fans as it immediately tosses you into Zuruckspulen's events without allowing any accessibility for new fans to get attached to the series. Also, the greater focus on Jun could alienate said seasoned fans if they cared more for the focus on the dolls. Would only recommend watching this if you're a diehard Rozen Maiden fan.
Rozen Maiden, a very perplexing anime. Firstly let me say that this does not feel like a sequel to Rozen maiden, ill explain later. My rating will be very different from yours if you have not seen the original series.Now to the review.
Frankly, if you've come to watch rozen maiden (2013) just because of the story you will be disappointed. In the entire series, it looks like the story is just like one chapter. It tell you nothing of what you want to know and frankly there is nothing that you want to know. There are no twists but that has its own advantage. The
story is simple, too simple but that means there can be no plot holes, confusing moments or stupid conclusions(although this anime has it).
To continue from above, this is what makes this anime AMAZING. You get episodes which you ease into. Thus, it seems more like a setting. Yes, there is no point in many episodes but in that seemingly worthless episode there is loads of character building and realations building(although that relation is just ShinkuxJun). I admit many people may think of it as boring and might drag along to the last episodes but at the final moment you look back and see what a masterpiece has been set up. See it as an extension for rozen maiden(the original series), a better extension. So if your the type of people who like story and want a sensible or surprising story, dont waste your time with this series.
BUT if your the kind of people who love the character and atmosphere of an anime, than this is THE anime for you. Comedy, Romance, Drama,Action(a little) all can be found here.
Art and Sound:
I love the art. It is much better than the original and quite beautiful. The animation is fluid and smooth. The sound is also good, the osts are suitable for there respective moments. The opening feels outright weird though but that comes with the anime. The ending also feels great to listen to and feels good with the music.Not much more else.
The characters in this anime are also fantastic. They're few though. Through out the anime only Shinku, Suigintou and Jun actually mater. However, the relationship building is smooth for them. We see the adult Jun become the younger one, Shinku come to terms with two different Juns and Suigontou finding the error of her ways. Other personalities which could be pointed out are Kirakishou who is a great antagonist. She has reason for her actions and is a perfectly twisted girl(or doll). Other is laplace no ma who "appears" to be a "neutral" character and actually owns up to it.
Simple, if you like the original rozen maiden your going to like this series.
Il try to leave as minimum amount of spoilers as i can
Everyone who is a fan of Rozen Maiden would agree it was nothing but in short as a miracle that this show was even made in the first place, considering the time gap between the last series which was over 7 years ago. Also what is even more amazing is that this one actually goes back and follows the Manga's plot and original story.
The first 2 seasons were great but had a few flaws, one of them being that they deviated from the main manga storyline and the other is the major cliffhanger the
second season left us with, which made every fan of this show grind there teeth.
This one on the other hand actually goes back and resets the series and adapts the original material, however newcomers would be confused as to that is going on the plot due to the rushed up introduction and starts of at the middle of manga storyline. So any who is interested in watching this series must at least read the first part of the manga or the very least watch the previous shows to get a good grasp of the plot, characters and theme of the series.
The animation in this one is even more unique than the previous series, it actually animates it as if each animation slide was like an artistic painting. like those of the 17th and 18th century, which fits well considering the circumstances. it is also more detailed and a lot more representative than the previous animation used in the other series. it truly shines as an artistic masterpiece.
The characters are also well done and truly fit to there roles as they should just like in the manga. if anything they actually added the characteristics and rivalry and feelings that the ones in the original series lacked.
If i had to point out some of the bad notes in this show, it would be first the rushed up 1st episode which new fans to the series might find confusing. the rather slow progression during the first half of the series and that the series still leaves us in a sort of cliffhanger but unlike the previous series which the cliffhanger was an original ending this one u can actually pick up from where it left off and continue it in the manga.
I don't expect anyone to enjoy this show as much as I did. Fans of the previous manga or anime may find jarring the shift from slice-of-life/comedy to the moody atmosphere that this season presents. However, this was just the type of show I was looking for, so I suppose I fill a certain niche.
The story follows Jun as a young adult attending university (if only the bare minimum attendance) and holding down a job at the mercy of his douche bag manager's verbal abuse. This is quite the refreshing change of setting from his life as a hikikomori elementary schooler. We get to see
a darker side of things as Jun in my opinion is, the quintessential loner. Many shows have loner characters, but I can honestly say this is the most realistic depiction I've seen. He feels like a real person.
We see how past events have shaped how Jun has grown up. He has no friends, and no direction in life. He is constantly unhappy and has no one to tell. There is a scene where his manager sums up his personality as "gloomy," which is the perfect way to describe someone in a position such as his.
This is the story of discovering happiness after you have fallen, and how you are the one ultimately responsible for your future.
The art, animation and sound departments were all great. It does have the standards of a 2013 show after all. Not really much to say about that. The OST however, is my favorite of the franchise.
Obviously my favorite character is Jun, but the show does have interesting, or at least, realistic side characters that play roles in his development.
Conclusion: This show is not the most accessible. The tone of the first seasons are not like the first, but watching this season first may have new viewers not on track on their attachment to certain characters.
I have said nothing on the Rozen Maiden side plot, because a side plot is all I view it as.
I was excited when I found out they were gonna remake Rozen Maiden... I always wanted to watch it but never found the time to do it.
I expected witchcraft, creepy scenarios or at least an eerie soundtrack... and honestly, I've never been so disappointed since Another. Here's why.
Like I said, the plot revolves around the Alice Game, that it's supposed to be a way to encourage the dolls to fight between themselves and find who's the most capable of becoming a perfect doll/girl. But they never explain why, or for who. They talk about some 'father' but
they never talk in-depth about him. Midway through the series, watching every episode felt like a chore and I only watched them to see Shinku doing cute stuff or waiting for the MC to grow a pair.
The art was fine but not outstanding. The backgrounds are drawn like paintings, and while some can find it artsy, I found it lazy. You could see that all the effort went into making eye-candy out of the dolls. Now, I'm okay with that, but sometimes the contrast could be huge... the animation and character design put into making the dolls could be top-notch in some scenes, but when they focus on the MC's life it was just depressing.
If I had to describe the soundtrack with one word, it would be "classy". It blended up pretty well with the scenes and overall it was enjoyable. Also, Ali Project... 'nuff said.
Kirakishou is a demi-yandere, Shinku is a kuudere, Suigintou is a tsundere and the rest of the dolls are moeblobs. The MC is an oblivious doormat and there's a female coworker whose only role in the show is being cute and nice to him and hopefully create an emotional bond with him. And that's it. The only character development comes from Shinku, who eventually shows her 'dere' side to Jun, the MC who starts the show as a rather depressing person... and here's what pisses me off: HE NEVER CHANGES! Even though he has plenty of opportunities to turn his life around, he prefers to be a pathetic, conformist loser with a miserable gray life. Consider this: he's always being rampantly bullied by his boss, right? Well, in the last episode he HAS the opportunity to flip the coin and become the manager of the store, ask his coworker out and, I don't know, having a life? And what does he do? "Sorry, Mr. President, but I'd rather be a doormat... standing up for myself? Nah, too complicated... taking sh*t from the boss is easier". Seriously, this was like a cheap shoujo, but with a male protagonist. Jun was a horribly developed character.
As I said before, sometimes watching the latest episode felt like a chore... what does that tell you about enjoyment? I liked the key points of the show (when Jun assembles Shinku, when they fight Kirakishou, etc.) and everything was fine, but the execution was very, very poor.
This is one of those shows that you start watching because it looks really promising, find disappointing and don't drop it because you've already watched 3/4 of it.
The day I'm writing my first review had finally came, therefore don't judge me too hard.
I was never a big fan of Rozen Maiden. In fact, I've dropped it when I first attempted watching it years ago.As for today, I've seen all the seasons and still have multiple friends worshipping this anime for reasons I don't understand. Do I need to say I was reluctant to watch this new Rozen Maiden related thing? Because I truly was, and if not for my OCDs regarding anime kicking, I wouldn't. But, god, to think what a loss would it be!
The very first thing I've noted upon starting
the first episode, was a significant change in drawing. Although the previous series had pretty details and outstanding character design, it's the bright colours that seriously irritated me for I'm not a fan of overly bright palettes. The joyous brightness made the anime seem less serious than it truly was, and possibly that's why my first attempt of watching it had failed and I never got past episode three. This lovely return of Rozen Maiden, however, had a perfect colour scheme in my understanding. It was darker, therefore suggesting the anime was to concentrate on the inner world people prefer to keep hidden. The outfits remained as detailed as before, but I must note faces of dolls had changed a bit. I've mostly noticed that on Shinku, but that's not a minus. In fact, I like it much, much more. Probably what made this season particularly enjoyable to me, unlike all the others, was that I can proclaim it as one of my personal eye candies. Suigintou gets an extra point because, damn, those wings! In my humble opinion, art is what truly brings the most enjoyment in this season and with no hesitation I voice my rate
As I've started the first episode and finally got over the pleasant shock of the newly adopted art, my curiosity got a bit of a tickle. At first I decided it was what I feared - a new adaptation of the old series, meaning that the art was in fact the only thing that changed. However, things were progressing too fast for it to be true. Although even if it was indeed just a new re-cap of the first season, I'd probably watch it anyways. My OCDs are the worst. As I watched, I noticed there were some changes, I even started wondering if it was by the same creators due to multiple errors because, well, those were the basic things anyone familiar with the previous seasons knew, such as messing up a character's name. However, by the end of the episode I started suspecting that everything is actually alright and there was no mistake...By episode two, when I was proved it's a brand new anime with new characters and story, my doubts disappeared and I could finally lay back and enjoy the show. Which, I won't hide, I did. Just as the darker tones suggested, it was less humorous, and that's a big con for me, who was irritated by filler-like episodes before rather than amused. There were a couple of herp-derp moments, but they were not excessive and put right where they had to be. What I lacked, however, was Kun-kun. But it was perfectly alright given the fact how little of Hina-Ichigo I've got to see/hear, and if only it keeps the annoying doll off the anime, the Kun-kun can be forgotten. RIP. I must admit liking the idea of parallel dimensions, which gives anime a little of a mindfuck which Rozen Maiden had always lacked, but that had also cut down the fight scenes which I found quite good before. Alice Game and Father had not been the main goal of the dolls, and ugh, that's what left me uneasy. Basically, an entire anime was dedicated to escape a psycho doll who had no body? Erm...That's not quite exactly how does the anime work, unless it's something like Naruto, where it would take at least 50 episodes instead of 13. However, the cliff hanger in the end offers there is another season coming. I can't say the story was bad, in fact it did suck me in, but there were times I'd lose that connection and grow bored of talking about nothing or showing Jun being bullied at work. Therefore my score is
Rozen Maiden was always famous for it's music, and although I dropped the anime before, I had downloaded the first opening straight away and been listening to it all along the way until I finally manned up and gave RM another shot. The quality of music had not failed this time, too. However, although I've only finished the anime today, I can now only remember the opening and brief fragments of the ending. The soundtracks during the anime itself appear to be so insignificant I did not even pay my mind to them, and if not the basic knowledge of them having to be there, I would probably wonder if they were there at all. I can't truly rate a thing I have not paid much attention toward, so I will just stick to the fact I had not noticed it and lower the score I first intended to give
Characters never truly got much development in the franchise, except for Jun himself as the series were always rather aimed to discover his inner world. The dolls had all pre-set characters already in the earlier series and knowing they were, well, dolls, I never expected them to develop much. On the other hand, while changes with Shinku and Suigintou were clear during the earlier seasons, here nothing really changed. In fact, the newly introduced characters, such as Kirakishou, had no development whatsover. And, well, Jun was the only one to receive some development at all. The score of mine on characters is this high only because the characters stayed true to what they were portrayed before, such as Suiseiseki being a rude midget obsessed with her twin.
As I've stated before, I did enjoy the anime. I watch it in gym, while sweating fat on cardio machines, therefore if the anime is crap, I'm likely to have a very long exercise which will leave me exhausted. With the newest season of Rozen Maiden, however, the time flew rather fast, and in my book it's an indication I did like the anime. Of course, there were flaws that made me want for the episode to finish faster, but in general I found it very enticing and likeable. In comparison to the previous series I struggled with, I'm very impressed and pleasantly surprised. Hopefully, if there is another season, it will bring me as much joy.
As I've mentioned in the beginning, I never truly liked Rozen Maiden. I forced myself to watch it 7 years after the first attempt, thinking that the older, university and part-time working me will understand and appreciate it more than the 13 years old middleschooler who still struggled with English. The current me did not drop it, but did not feel fond of it either, and only finished it by convincing myself it was a "classic" that had to be seen. But this season is an absolute game-changer. I finally found some enjoyment in Rozen Maiden rather than feeling as if I simply MUST watch it. I was interested in development of the plot and eternally astonished by the art, therefore I actually liked it. There were things that buggered me, and I stated them all above. All summed up, they make a score I think this season truly deserves
Have you ever made a decision you regret? Something you wish you could go back on, now that you’re able to see the results of it through the power of hind sight? Maybe it’s something major, like you married the wrong person. Maybe it’s something a little less major, like a tattoo that you wish you could painlessly remove. Maybe you just don’t like the breakfast you ordered this morning. Maybe you wish you could take back that one comment you made that wound up having disasterously severe consequences. Well, you can’t take back your mistakes, but it may comfort you to know that when
you made them, you created an alternate timeline where another version of you wasn’t quite so unfortunate.
For you see, whenever you make a choice, you create alternate timelines where the opposite choices were made. There are an infinite number of these timelines, and yet they can all supposedly fit inside a box with a terrified cat. And a long time ago, Jun Sakurada made on of these choices, when the middle school version of himself received a mysterious letter asking him an odd, cryptic question: Will you wind it, or won’t you? His cynicism won out over his curiosity, as he circled the latter, and almost instantly forgot the letter ever came to him. But now, as an adult, that letter is once again becoming relevant in his life, as he begins receiving doll parts from a mysterious benefactor, and becomes entangled once again in the Ball-joint Battle Royale that he’d once avoided. One way or another, this part time book shop employee is about to find out that his low-key existence may be much more than meets the eye.
It’s been almost a year since I reviewed the first season of Rozen Maiden, and I seem to recall criticizing it’s animation, but pulling back just a little bit by saying that while it was bad, it at least wasn’t ‘Studio Deen’ bad. Well, I just finished the newest iteration of the franchise, and I’ve gotta say, Zurukspluren looks gorgeous. And who’s the studio behind this beauty of a series reboot? That’s right... It’s Studio Deen, and here I am eating my words with a nice big slice of humble pie on the side. As it turns out, Deen is a very difficult company to get a consistent read on, especially after the countless stiff, ugly looking shows they’ve produced and the small legion of otaku dedicated to slinging mud at them at every given opportunity.
That’s not to say the new Rozen Maiden had a huge budget... No, upon close inspection, it’s pretty clear that at the very least, money was tight for them. Thankfully, Deen seems to have done everything right with managing this production. For the most part, movement is limited to what’s necessary, with a focus on restraint over indulgence. This can become a problem in some anime, as it can lead to extended key frames and conversations made up entirely of lip flaps, but Zurukspluren very carefully avoids these problems by taking a page out of Studio Shaft’s handbook in terms of it’s visual style. Almost every single line of dialogue is presented in at least one frame of it’s own, sometimes multiple, and even when the line goes on way too long, it uses framing and angle tricks to keep your eyes invested in the screen.
I’d even go so far as to say that it uses this principal even better than a lot of Shaft shows, which can come off as desperate to make conversations look appealing when they’re at their worst. Zurukspluren is never that obvious about it, as none of it’s angles or frames ever feel bizarre or extravagant. With each line of dialogue, Deen knew whether to focus on the lips of the person talking or on the eyes (or sometimes whole body) of the person hearing it. The backgrounds are beautiful, and in keeping with the idea of less being more, the water color aesthetic makes every piece look way more detailed than it actually is. With the help of the brilliant visual style I mentioned earlier, it’s very easy to become immersed in the artistry of the series and completely overlook what had to be a shoestring budget.
The character designs are very standard... I’d almost say they look like a more normal version of CLAMP characters, as the humans all possess more or less realistic proportions and hair colors. The dolls, of course, look exactly the way you remember them, if you’ve been following the story thus far. They look more cartoony than their human counterparts, but in a way that a bunch of elaborately detailed ball joint dolls probably would look. The backgrounds in the world between timelines is where the visuals are at their most impressive, however, as the watercolors translate beautifully into a landscape of mostly bleak monotone colors, and while that tone may seem restrictive, the creators had no problem letting their imaginations loose without ever really breaking that tone, making for a very surreal experience over-all.
Despite the lack of noticeable funds throughout the series, the opening video clearly had a lot of money poured into it. The imagery comes by fast, but little of it is without purpose, as a significant portion of it is dedicated to showing us what happened in the time between the original series and this one, with Jun being trapped, Shinku being separated from him and leaving her body, etc. Simple motions such as the villain corrupting the song of the doll Kanaria say bundles about how the plot is going to play out, and even setting the imagery aside, the song itself is freaking awesome. The rest of the soundtrack is just as good, with composer Shinkichi Mitsumune bringing in a full orchestra for a result that’s surprisingly hard to describe, despite it’s obviously high quality. What I can say is that as with the animation and artwork, the music in Zurukspluren is very ambitious, consistent and unique, with intense attention to detail.
And the funny thing is that a lot of the compliments I’ve given to the production end of the series thus far can also be applied to the English dub, which was helmed by Sentai Filmworks. People often complain when a show gets recast by a new studio, but for this one, it’s a Godsend. Luci Christian doesn’t use the same kind of haughty delivery that Mela Lee used in the lead role as Shinku, but she’s still a great deal more pleasant to listen to, although the fact that she’s protrayed as less abrasive in this canon plays no small part in that change. Shannon Emerick replaces Mona Marshall, and while she’s not great... Let’s be honest, she never has been... She’s enough of an improvement over Mona that you can tolerate her on that novelty alone.
Aside from Nancy Novotny, who thankfully only has a few lines throughout the series, every single actor swap was a trade-up. Karen Strassman made for a great villain in the original series, but Jessica Calvello carries the role with a great deal more complexity, which fits the new portrayal a lot better. Brittany Karbowski is a welcome addition to any cast, and the fact that she gave emotional gravity to a meme character like Souiseiseki is a near-miracle. I’ll begrudgingly admit that Monica Rial isn’t quite as good as Christina Vee in the role of Kanaria, but it’s not a HUGE drop in quality, and of course she’ll do in a pinch, but the biggest improvement is Hilary Haag taking on the role of Hina Ichigo. Hina is no longer the hyper cry-baby she was in the first series, but is used in a much more tragic context this time around, which is an improvement all it’s own, but with Haag behind the wheel, you feel the weight of that tragedy.
Well, those were the replacement actors, so... How about the rest of the cast? The new actors playing new characters to the franchise? Carli Mosier is outstanding in the role of Kirakisho, the seventh doll and newly minted villain of the series. She’s terrifying through the majority of her appearances, working with the arachnid theme of her character, keeping things nice and creepy right up until the end where she portrays a kind of emotional devastation that sounds unaware of any wrong-doings she may have committed. And as for the rest of the human cast... Adult Jun, his boss, and his coworker/love interest... They’re good. They’re not standouts, but they don’t really need to be. Their roles don’t exactly come across as demanding, so I;m glad Sentai chose to cast relatively unrenowned actors to play them, saving their A-squad for the more outspoken roles. The dub is about on par with the sub, so pick your poison.
So, before I go any further, let’s talk about redemption, in terms of sequels and reboots. It’s easy for a continuation of a story to be better than the original, but under what circumstances can you say that the original was redeemed? Well, first of all, obviously, the original has to have had major flaws, regardless of whether it was good or bad. Secondly, you can’t just be better than the original... You have to make the original feel better just through the merit of your existence. As amazing as Star Wars: The Force Awakens was, it didn’t redeem the awful prequel trilogy, which still feels like an open wound over ten years since it’s completion. Force Awakens never tried to justify or reclaim the prequels, just sort of used them as a footnote to tell it’s own story. To redeem another story, you have to change it’s context in such a way that it can be looked upon in a better light.
There’s an infamous My Little Pony fanfiction called Cupcakes, and it’s extremely well known in the community for being torture porn and earning the rating “Grimdark as fuck.” It’s also resoundingly, objectively terrible in both it’s structure and it’s technique. However, there’s a much better fanfic... One just as dark, and just as unfriendly to the squeamish, called Silent Ponyville that goes out of it’s way to redeem and justify Cupcakes as an element within it’s own story, by portraying it as one of Pinkie Pie’s horrifying dream interpretations of a trauma she’d endured as a child. This is how Cupcakes can now be viewed and actually enjoyed through the eyes of anyone coming into it after reading the latter story.
So, does Zurukspluren redeem the original Rozen Maiden? Well, that’s going to depend a lot on which of two camps you’re in. If you thought the dolls and their escapades were the highlight of the original series and want to see more of them, I really can’t speak as to how this new take on the story will effect you. Shinku doesn't rejoin the series proper until episode three, and the rest of the dolls don’t come in until the latter half. However, if you’re in my camp, you found the dolls and their outright refusal to get involved in their own plot annoying as hell, and saw the depth and development of Jun as the single greatest thing about the series, then I can tell you without a single doubt that yes, the original series has been redeemed.
In terms of Jun’s development, we get to see not only an alternate(but far more relatable) backstory on his social withdrawal, but we also get to see the kind of person he’d grow into if he’d never met Shinku, and... He really didn’t turn out all that bad. Okay, fine, he’s not in any kind of ideal situation, but he’s living independently, he’s in college(although skipping many classes) and he’s somehow courageous enough to consistently attend a part time job where he works directly with two other people... A lazy jerk boss, and an easy-going female coworker, both approximately the same age as him. We get to see him gradually open up to this new girl and stand up to his supervisor over the course of the series, and every single step forward that he takes feels satisfying in it’s own right. You could make the argument that the girl is a ‘Manic Pixie Dream Girl’ because she sees the good in him and tries to get him to open up, but every choice he makes is his own, and the opportunities she directly gives him are few.
Jun is a lot more likeable in this series, and since there’s little to no time wasted on pointless slice-of-life hijinks, so are the dolls. We start off with Shinku and Suigintou, the former of which is trying to get adult Jun to help her get back to her own timeline, and the latter of which is making a compelling transition from old enemy to new situational ally. Shinku is a lot more patient in this version, and thank god, she at no point is portrayed as the love interest of either Jun. The dolls in general were very subtly sexualized in the original series, making for unnervingly pedophilic undertones that I went into great detail over in my previous review. Not only is that sexualization gone in this series, but the imagery of a nude doll is used to unsettle, rather than to titillate.
One of the biggest problems with the plot of the original series was that Shinku and her friends refused to play the Alice Game, choosing friendship instead of fighting, and while that may sound like something the heroes of an anime should do, it ultimately came off as an outright refusal to let the plot move forward. The only one attempting to change the status quo and actually make things happen was the villain. Basically, we were supposed to hate Suigintou for trying to make the story interesting. In Zurukspluren, the central conflict is of direct concern to Shinku, making her personally involved with the plot right from her fiirst appearance, and she works so much better as an active hero than as a passive one. Even Jun’s development is tied to the plot, as his desire for a more personal connection to the supernatural world of the dolls eventually becomes the catalyst of the show’s climax.
There’s no filler, and the plot wastes no time whatsoever on extended jollies, but that’s not to say the show is devoid of humor. When Shinku and Suigintou begin to co-habitate early on in the series, their bickering and getting under each others... Umm... Resin... Can get hilarious at times, such as when they’re unleashing all out war on each other in Jun’s bathroom. There’s a one-off reference to Shinkus favorite TV dog that hits the mark perfectly, and the show isn’t afraid to occasionally use super-deformed sight gags at the appropriate times. The humor balances very nicely with the plot and characters, and it never feels forced or sluggish. Then again, that’s just for people in my camp... If you love the franchise primarily because of the dolls and their adventures, and find little value in Jun outside of him being a support character for them, well, you honestly might find this series boring. But for my money, this is the season that needed to happen.
Rozen Maiden: Zurukspulen is available from Sentai filmworks. For those of you who didn’t pick it up cheap from the Rightstuf Winter sale, you’re still in luck because an at the time of this writing, it’s currently available from Amazon for 34.99, down from a whopping 60 bucks. In addition to the first season, there’s a second season called Traumend and an OVA called Ouverture, and while they were originally put out by Geneon and subsequently out of print, they were later rescued and re-released in one tight little 5 dsk package, also from Sentai. The original manga was also available stateside from tokyopop, but even though it’s out of print, it can still be found relatively cheap. The second manga series? Not so lucky, I’m afraid.
I addition to it’s excellent production and design, Zurukspluren... Which is German for Rewind, for those who care... Is a near-perfectly executed series, which is why it pains me to say that it suffers from one crippling flaw. Much like the other entries in the franchise, it ends on a cliffhanger, which wouldn’t be such a bad thing if the final episode hadn’t specifically attempted to set up the continuation. Even the first season knew to end on a climax, if for no other reason than to leave people emotionally satisfied until they got the chance to re-enter the story. Another season could be enough to make up for this blemish,but since the gap between the last entry and this one was a whole seven years, we could be in for a long wait. Other than that unfortunate problem and the fact that the first half of the series may be too slow for some viewers, I thoroughly enjoyed this series, and it’s greatly improved my opinion of the franchise as a whole. I give Rozen Maiden: Zurukspulen an 8/10.
Rozen Maiden: Zuruckspulen has a plot that is a bit more complicated than the previous Rozen Maiden anime. While this definitely makes the plot line more interesting, dealing with multiple worlds, as well as providing a bit more backstory about the nature of the dolls’ existence, it does not handle these concepts as elegantly as one might expected. There is a very rushed introduction episode, which unfortunately assumes some prior knowledge of the manga, and the first few episodes have slowed down, but still very fast. There is also considerable time lapse numerous times in the early episodes, which can feel like chunks of
the story were missing (granted the time lapse skips over some parts that would’ve been very slow to watch). The pace evens out about midway, and from this point the series is significantly easier to watch and enjoy. However, the starting episodes can be a huge turn off to some. The show is also slow to explain some concepts, and fails to explain some points brought up. The most plot takes place later in the series, like the other seasons. Finally, while the initial conflict is resolved, there is a cliffhanger ending that introduces a whole new conflict, causing the viewer to feel confused and dissatisfied. All this being said, the series does a good job with the actual story telling (pace aside), and is quick to captivate with the complexities and mysteries surrounding the Rozen Maidens. The mood of the entire plot is very serious and suspenseful, filled with a sense of urgency, and even with comedy bits, it never strays from that mood.
One very strong point is that all the characters of Rozen Maiden: Zuruckspulen are developed, to at least to some degree. Most even manage to escape the trap of being static from their introduction onward. The cast is as diverse as ever, with all the dolls, and frequently motivations for the characters is very clear. This allows the viewer to easily connect with one or more character, and enjoy their growth and development. The main character adult Jun is the most flawed character depiction wise, however, as he is somewhat nonreactive early on in the story, even to some things that would scare a normal person, or at least make that person doubt their sanity. His lack of emotion is fixed as the anime continues, turning him into a much more human and relatable character. While this may be the writers hinting at Jun’s depression, it is hard to be definite at this. While the influx of so many characters late in the series can bother some people, these characters still receive strong development.
The biggest problem it seems for old Rozen Maiden fans to reconcile is the differing animation styles between the old Rozen Maiden and Rozen Maiden: Zuruckspulen. While the style is simpler and more reminiscent of the manga style than the original Rozen Maiden anime, I believe it suits the purposes of Rozen Maiden: Zuruckspulen. It leaves the scenes significantly less crowded, and being less stylized, it does not distract the viewer from the story, which is something that cannot be afforded. This aside, the animation is pretty good, and comes with some incredible visuals.
The soundtrack for Rozen Maiden: Zuruckspulen matches the animation style very well, and the opening and ending set the mood and tone of the anime very well. While the uniqueness of some of the soundtrack present in the original Rozen Maiden anime is lost, it is nonetheless quite beautiful.
This anime plays with a variety of themes already present in the old Rozen Maiden, such as identity. However, the themes are expressed throughout and worked upon so as to develop alongside the characters and plot. Primarily, Rozen Maiden: Zuruckspulen toys with the contrasts of regret and redemption. This not only applies to adult Jun, but to many other characters. This creates some interesting comparisons to as to each of them earns their redemption from regrets. The series also deals with accepting fate, something everybody has to deal with at some point in their life. The show makes these themes obvious to the viewer, and expresses them in many ways.
It is a well done, solidly directed series with a beautiful gothic atmosphere and interesting exploration into the hikikomori issue. Based on its merits, this series should deserve a bigger audience, but unfortunately its format makes it inevitable that this series remains inaccessible to a large number of people.
Few anime series that are adaptations are lucky enough to be able to adapt their source faithfully from beginning to the end. Many times the anime is forced to create their own material to finish the story. If the manga is popular enough , it may
get some OVA series that adapt some of the most popular arcs. Such a decision usually limits the audience for the OVA series to just the manga fans. Rozen Maiden 2013 is a more interesting case, because the story this anime adapts is actually able to be relatively self contained. The producers must have also noticed this, because they aired this anime as a TV series. Such a decision seems to suggest that they were inviting non-manga audiences to give this series a try.
Unfortunately, this decision meant they had to fill in the new audiences somehow, and that led to a badly done first recap episode that covers basically the story of the 2004 Rozen Maiden plus the manga-only material that differs from the first anime. Yes, they cover material that diverge from the 2004 anime but the breakneck pace makes it pretty hard to keep up. What a way to attract new viewers. When it aired, it offered nothing of worth to new audiences and disappointed fans of the 2004 anime, who also found themselves quite confused by the new material. If they had really wanted to attract new people, they should have committed to it and adapt everything from the beginning.
Other than the first episode, the first half of the anime is an atmospheric slice-of-life punctuated by moments of eerie and sometimes outright freaky moments as the story slowly inches toward to the main narrative. Contrary to what may be expected, these episodes are excellent. The anime offers a thorough insight into Jun's life, who is an ex-hikikomori struggling to keep up with the pressures of society. While not sugarcoated, it gives a sympathetic look into those suffering from social anxiety. It's not truly dark, because there are cute, lighthearted moments, such as with Jun's sweet and kind co-worker Saitou, who offers hope for his situation. There's also Shinku, who provides humor and adorableness to the show. She tries to treat Jun the way she would treat his younger self, but it is inevitable that their relationship dynamic would shift and have different nuances. Seeing the two characters trying to cope with each other in a setting more grounded by reality is fascinating in a way the younger Jun and Shinku never quite was. Then there a moments that deal with supernatural elements. In those moments, the anime turns tense, and a sense of dread prevails. Great directorial decisions make these scenes genuinely a thrill to watch.
It's a shame that eventually the plot kicks in and the slice of life aspect ceases to be. It's not that the story is bad, it just becomes apparent that this anime is telling only a chunk of the whole story. The story becomes reliant on characters that the anime did not set up a proper instruction to, and the conclusion makes it clear that there's a finale that hasn't been animated because it does not fit into this arc. In all honesty it's rather difficult to care about the dolls other than Shinku within the context of the show because there is no build up for them. It would require previous knowledge and connection that the anime does not provide for a viewer to care.
In the end, Rozen Maiden 2013 fails to be accessible to non-manga readers. As an adaptation, it's excellent. The art is beautiful and wonderfully gothic in a way I wish the 2004 Rozen Maiden could have been. It's only sad because what this anime offers is interesting and it renders itself incomplete as a standalone work. This anime really should have been a complete remake. A more unified tone to the whole series would have been better, because I don't know if people who liked the feel of the 2004 anime would necessarily like 2013's. As it's not self contained, it's difficult to recommend to non-Rozen Maiden fans either, no matter its merits. I'd like to think that it's worth it to read the manga to watch the 2004 anime to watch this one, but it is a commitment not everyone is willing to make. On top of that, it's made even more difficult because the 2004 adaptation diverges from the manga that Rozen Maiden 2013 remains faithful to. It's too bad, because Rozen Maiden 2013 is an interesting character study with great atmosphere.