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shoujoboy's Rozen Maiden Tv Review

Rozen Maiden

Rozen Maiden tv Review

Jun Sakurada is not an average boy of his age. Due to some event of the past, Jun has spent most of his recent life in his room, unable to properly socialise. One day, he comes across a doll. This doll, however, is no ordinary doll. It's the 5th Rozen Maiden Doll Shinku, and it comes into life when Jun gives it a couple of winds.

Shinku 'enslaves' Jun into becoming her "medium". Jun and Shinku soon come across Suigintou, another Rozen Maiden Doll who is determined to defeat Shinku in the "Alice Game" to become the ultimate "Alice". Shinku must fight through the obstacles coming against her and help Jun break out of his unstable life.

Description: euna

Story & Characters

The story of a boy becoming a man through interaction with his dolls... wait, what? For those of you who didn't know, Rozen Maiden is all about dolls; dolls any fanboy would trade their left (oh like you don't know what) for. In a nutshell, a social shut-in named Jun Sakuranda comes across a mysterious website that tells him to place an order form into his second desk drawer. When he does this a doll named Shinku appears and tells him that he is now her servant. While that might sound weird enough on it's own, it only gets weirder. More dolls slowly appear in Jun's domicile from what appears to be word of mouth (that's the only reasonable explaination I can come to). All these dolls sole purpose is to defeat each other and retrieve the others Rosa Mystica and become Alice, the doll creator's ideal girl. An odd story if I've ever heard one, but it's also one that works. For the most part this is a character interaction show that results in a lot of comedy and a few serious moments in there to boot. All of the dolls hold their own distinct personality which makes for interesting moments when they all are in the scene together. There isn't any one character that stands out above the rest which is what makes this fun to watch, there isn't that one character you wish just didn't exist. I can say this, although the plot was by no means amazing, it was an entertaining albeit odd journey.

(With Traumend) The Alice Game finally comes to fruition and the plot thickens. The plot that was lacking from the original 12 episodes shows up all of the sudden in this new season and pulls it off without a hitch. A short plot add-on for you. The final two Rozen Maiden's finally show up which signals that the Alice Game is truly about to begin and our good (evil) friend Suigintou shows back up through what was pretty much an Alice Game technicality (which you'll understand when the time comes). Through the first half of the season it is pretty much the same as was the first season, interaction between Jun and his dolls. Towards the latter half of the season thats when everything starts to come to a head. There were a few plot twists I won't get into as that ruins the fun of viewing it, but I will say it is a large story improvement over season 1. 1 point added to plot overall.

Rating: 8

Art

Getting right to the point, the art in Rozen Maiden is perfect. It's bread and butter is by far the character designs. While the human characters are average on the whole, the dolls are crafted beautifully. I believe it was done this way to actually showcase the stars of the show, the Rozen Maidens. Every doll is extremely well animated, delicate and beautiful in their own way. Shinku the dainty tea drinking doll; Hinaichigo the overly cute one; and Suigintou the dark, brooding one. If this show had absolutely nothing else to offer, the georgous art would be enough to keep me watching.

(With Traumend) The art was identical to season 1. The only add-ons were the two new Rozen Maidens, which of course were very well done. I give Peach Pit credit on some excellent character designs. Something so very haunting and beautiful about the character design to Barasuishou, similar to Suigintou, that just brought out her evil nature. I will say this though, after being exposed now to 24 episodes I am going to have to comment on the background animations. I guess due to my infatuation with the character designs I feigned interest in what is going on the background. I do still believe minor characters were intentionally drawn to bring out the Rozen Maidens, but the backgrounds were quite lackluster and at times horrid. Minor details cost this show an overall minor 1 point in the art deparment.

Rating: 9

Sound

The sound and music department was working overtime on this show. The vocal opening and closing songs were excellent. Being a fan of Ali Project I found the opening to be a great mood setter for the show and just an overall great song. As for the BGM of the show, it was fantastic. It had a beautiful, melodic and sometimes haunting tracks that carried the show above many out there. About episode 8 or so I realized that this was an OST to own and as soon as I finish this review, that's what I'll be hunting for.
Voice acting can make or break a show at times. Rozen Maiden had some of the best voice acting ever. Every character's personality was well matched by their respective seiyuu. Shinku sounded refined and snobby at times. Suiseiseki's seiyuu brought out her abrasive and insulting personality. But the best performance had to go to Rie Tanaka as Suigintou. After hearing Rie play the sweet and dignified Lacus Clyne in Gundam SeeD, it was a great surprise to hear her go to the pure evil Suigintou. Her voice brought out the evil nature of Suigintou and actually creeped me the hell out a few times with how well she pulled it off. She is truly a versatile actress and will be as iconic as Kikuko Inoue one day.

(With Traumend) Musically the same, save a few songs. Of course we are treated once more to an Ali Project opening which is always a good thing. The ending was a different song but had the same tone and feel to it as season 1. Also an image song by kukui was inserted into the show, which although it was a good song, I felt it's placement was a bit off. As for the remainder of the BGM, exact same as season 1. No change in overall score.

Rating: 10

Presentation

Rozen Maiden is a hard show to put my finger on. The plot was fairly easy to follow, not too horribly deep and at times, fairly cliche. But the show was very enjoyable and quite engaging. I laughed, felt sad, was empathetic and weirded out all over the course of the twelve episodes. While the show was fun to watch, critically speaking, it missed a few marks on making it great. The weak plot, the lack of character development and the few cliche moments in the show held it back from attaining that top 10 quality. For those with an open anime state of mind, this show should provide some fun and excitement. For those with pickier tastes, this may end up being a waste of your time. My hope is that once I watch Rozen Maiden Traumend, I will find myself liking this more if the plot is deeper and the loose ends are tied up.

(With Traumend) Season 2 was an absolute necessity in making this a succesful anime. I worried after season 1 that season 2 would provide similar fare and would do nothing in terms of plot development. Thankfully I was wrong as it finally gave me that plot kick I wanted so badly. Not only did it forward the plot, but it took on more of an emotional element which made the show all the more engrossing. In season 1 there was a clear line in the sand between good and evil, in Traumend that line was blurred quite a bit. Details would detract from the experience upon being viewed so I will not delve too deeply into what I mean by that. This truly completed the Rozen Maiden experience although the ending did leave opening for even more, which may prove a good thing if it happens. 1 point added to presentation overall.

Rating: 8

Final Verdict

8.50 (very good)

Reviewed by shoujoboy, Jan 17, 2006

Comments

  1. littlejonny100 Retired Moderator Jan 19, 2006

    For an anime about dolls i must say i too was greatly surprised at how much i enjoyed it. You do need to be a little open mided to watch it but most anime fans dont need to be asked to be open minded me thinks :P I think maybe the art was a little over-rated but i'ld need to go back and rewatch it to be more critical, however the voices i can agree with. I hope this series isn't dubbed because i dont think english voices would be capable or creating the same atmospheres as they do.

    I'm watching traumend now and i have to say i've become really confused as to who is playing with who and not much makes sense yet but we'll keep watching and see whats really going on. Cheers for a great review

  2. kuclo Jan 20, 2006

    you don't know about animes , i hate people who don't appreciate the good series , baka

  3. XxYukirinxX Jan 21, 2006

    I have watched the whole series. Its was cool with the actions and stuff. I like the melody when Shinku was fighting her rival nearly at the end of the series.

    The rival's wings are so cool, but i feel sorry for her. About what happened to their " father" and why she was "incomplete."

    I agree that the dolls were very detailed.

    I really like the plot though. They are focusing on Jun to open up to others and face his fears. The dolls helped him realize his own potential as well. The rival comes to make Jun trapped in a dark place (his fears and stuff) and Shinku comes and brings the light to Jun when she tries to rescue him as well as the other dolls. Also, when Shinku was fighting.

    Its a ok review in my opinion. ^-^;;


    merged: 01-21-2006 ~ 10:26am
    I have watched the whole series. Its was cool with the actions and stuff. I like the melody when Shinku was fighting her rival nearly at the end of the series.

    The rival's wings are so cool, but i feel sorry for her. About what happened to their " father" and why she was "incomplete."

    I agree that the dolls were very detailed.

    I really like the plot though. They are focusing on Jun to open up to others and face his fears. The dolls helped him realize his own potential as well. The rival comes to make Jun trapped in a dark place (his fears and stuff) and Shinku comes and brings the light to Jun when she tries to rescue him as well as the other dolls. Also, when Shinku was fighting.

    Its a ok review in my opinion. ^-^;;

  4. shoujoboy Jan 21, 2006

    In response to kuclo: was an overall 8 not enough to "appreciate" the series? Oh well, I guess if you don't throw a 10 at something someone likes you are bound to get this sorta comment. Thankfully I won't review Dragonball Z because that sure as hell wouldn't get a 10 and one can only imagine the backlash that would create.

  5. AWOL Jan 23, 2006

    ^ I really agree with what you said in the end; but what can I say? It was produced on a low budget.

    Somehow, I felt that the story didn't tie up well with the characters; fighting dolls!? Okay, maybe Suigintou does fit the part, but Shinku, as a prissy and bossy doll shouldn't really be suited for combat purposes.

  6. shoujoboy Feb 08, 2006

    Traumend has been added to the review and the overall score has changed slightly.

  7. ripsilver Mar 16, 2006

    awesome anime with nice action. and nice review... one of the best

  8. koeziekoo Sep 07, 2006

    i havent seen it yet but the review was good - am quite interested myself. whats this bout dolls tho?

  9. hello-me Jan 25, 2009

    I agree with your review about the sound. I love the opening song very much. The BGM also fits the anime very well, especially the battle between the dolls.

  10. naminerain Nov 05, 2009

    THIS ANIME IS AWESOME AND DESERVES TO BE PRAISED! I DON'T THINK IT'S CLICHE AT ALL!

  11. Sanisa Feb 23, 2010

    Thanks for the review!

  12. hitsu-chan Jul 20, 2011

    I love this anime! thx for the review

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