Rozen Maiden Zuruckspulen

March 23, 2014

I was jumping with glee when I heard Rozen Maiden will be getting a long awaited sequel back in 2013. Oh yes. How I missed thee, my beloved Suigin Tou. Once more I get to relive my nostalgia for the series. But to say Rozen Maiden Zuruckspulen (or simply Rozen Maiden 2013 if that word is too hard for you to pronounce) is a reboot of the series is a little inaccurate. As we know, the previous seasons of the Rozen Maiden anime deviated from the manga and ended in an unsatisfying way. The kind of way that no matter how you think of, you won’t be able to fix it. As I found out, the manga series was divided into 2 parts. I didn’t read the actual manga but I read from summaries online that the first series ended very abruptly with our young hero Jun going off to save the dolls. That’s of course when the second series takes over. And so it seems there is a parallel world alongside the one we know because in the second series, we have Jun all grown up and a world where he didn’t get involved with the Rozen Maiden dolls. And now he will get to know them and get involve too…

The German word of Zuruckspulen as I found out means to rewind. From first impression, that means to rewind things that have happened to a point where you want to chart a new different path. So that is like a reboot, no? As I said, not quite. Not at least in the context of the anime franchise of the series. In this new season, we get to see how both worlds come together and perhaps this new Jun would want to rewind his life and redo things again because he isn’t doing well either. What happens when a world that should not know and is void of the existence of Rozen Maidens suddenly has the dolls coming in? Feels like fate is going to rewind things to where they were to correct the inconsistencies. But otherwise, everything else you need to know about this series still remains the same. The dolls and Alice Game. Ah yes. That cruel game to see which last standing doll can become the perfect girl as father wished…

Episode 1
This is actually the recap of the first series of the Rozen Maiden manga and NOT the anime. Jun just woke up from his sleep and sees a letter with a choice to wind or not. He circles to wind. Next thing he knows, he gets a briefcase with a little life-like doll, Shinku. He winds her up, she comes to life and slaps him for handling a lady like that. He is forced to become her servant and do her bidding. They are attacked by Suigin Tou. Shinku engages in battle and explains to us the brief of Rozen Maidens, their destiny to fight each and the last standing one will become Alice, the perfect girl and a whole again. After Suigin Tou retreats, Suisei Seki crashes into Jun’s room. Desu. Not another nuisance doll. She is troubled because her twin, Sousei Seki became subservient to her master, something Suisei Seki was against. For the first time in their lives, they parted and so she came here to seek Shinku’s help. Suigin Tou makes a deal with Sousei Seki regarding her sister’s whereabouts. Both sides enter the N-Field. The twins risk fighting each other but Suisei Seki wants them to forever be together. Her tears break Sousei Seki’s heart. She concedes defeat and wants her to take her Rosa Mystica. Unfortunately Suigin Tou snatches it for her own and devours it. Meanwhile, Hina Ichigo is the doll of Tomoe but she is always left alone in her room. She doesn’t want to feel lonely again but Tomoe has no choice but to lock her away as she doesn’t want others to find out. Because of that, she is tricked and drawn to Kirakishou, the seventh Rozen Maiden doll. As she lacks a physical body, she can only exist in the N-Field. She possesses Hina Ichigo to realize her goal of becoming Alice. Hina Ichigo’s artificial spirit, Berrybell goes to see Shinku and tells her what happened. She lets Shinku have her Rosa Mystica because she likes her. On a side note, Kanaria does make her cameo and as usual, she’s like a joker. Oh Kanaria… Jun is shown a door by Laplace Demon. A door which connects 2 worlds together. To open or not to open? He opens.

Episode 2
The second series starts here. In an alternate timeline or world, Jun didn’t choose to wind and circled unwind instead. Because of that, he didn’t get involved in Alice Game and grows up to be a lonely university student working part time at Takiwa Books. Wow. Jun is really gloomy. It’s like his life has no meaning. The bookstore manager, Yamaguchi enjoys badmouthing him due to his low academic results (Jun quit middle school and never enrolled in high school) and never does any work (leaving it all to Jun) besides flirting with fellow colleague, Saitou. Even the university students comment how creepy he is as he is always by himself. Wish they all would just die, huh? But Jun doesn’t give a damn. He just goes about his mundane routine. Life sucks. If only he could redo his life. Is that what he wished for? One day Jun sees a returned package. Yamaguchi sent it back due to the unknown publisher but was returned. Jun opens it and finds a weekly series on how to make a girl. He reads the brief introduction of what Rozen Maidens are and could a feel something familiar that he had been asked a question before. Back home, he is surprised to receive another package. It is the series’ second volume. He needs to collect the doll parts and complete them. He has received parts of Shinku. Soon Jun becomes obsessed in completing the doll. His mind is elsewhere at work and couldn’t concentrate. All he thinks of is going home to complete the doll. Every night, there will be new packages and new parts as Jun diligently makes them.

Saitou has been very concerned about Jun and walks home with him one night. She apologizes for being mean to him with Yamaguchi but had no choice because she doesn’t want to risk getting fired or else she will have no money to pay for her training fees in a drama troupe. So she can’t afford to be picky on her job. Jun sees the key hanging on her night and somewhat becomes interested. They chat for the duration of their walk. She envies that he has the freedom to do whatever he wants. When Jun returns home, he is surprised there is no package. Then he gets a message from an unknown recipient. He is shocked to learn that this email address is the one he used during middle school. Even more surprising, the person at the other end claims to be himself of the past! Can he believe this crap? I guess he is just going to play along. As time runs differently in both worlds, adult Jun is the unwind one and the one he is corresponding with now is the wind one, who is still a middle school student. This Jun explains that Kirakishou has become too powerful and needs his help to rescue everyone. He briefly describes the 7 Rozen Maiden Dolls and the Alice Game they are playing. Each doll needs a human to act as a medium to draw power. Because this Jun decided to wind, he became Shinku’s master. Each doll has one master. The other dolls are incapacitated by Kirakishou and Jun himself can’t move around much. Before he could tell something important, the message is cut off. Adult Jun hears somebody stuffing something at the door. An envelope package. To his horror, a letter saying that the how to make a girl series has been cancelled. All that time and effort for nothing, eh?

Episode 3
The message continues that due to Kirakishou’s interference, the delivery of the remaining parts were unsuccessful. But he can still get them in N-Field. All that is left is the left foot and head. Jun is so tired that he dozes off and finds himself in a land filled with doll parts. Phew. Just a nightmare? At work, Jun receives another message from himself. Three important things he needs to do: 1) Create Shinku; 2) Awaken Shinku and 3) Most important… Why does the most important part have to be cut off? Jun is not sure how to create Shinku but his other self is confident he can. It is not how well it is made but rather who makes it. That’s why it has to be him. Only he can make a vessel that will summon Shinku. Nothing is impossible. Easier said than done, right? This reignites Jun’s passion to finish Shinku so much so he requests to take the day off (since Saitou will cover for his part, I guess Yamaguchi is okay with it) and doesn’t attend classes. Jun’s first task is to create a dress for Shinku because as mentioned, she’ll be mad if she wakes up naked. Jun starts sewing though he isn’t sure if he can pull it off now. He was once good at it as a kid. But he stopped because it brought back traumatic memories. Flashback time. Jun was very adept in designing female clothes. His friends tease him but he denies for fear of being ridiculed. One day, one of his classmates has been elected to represent their grade as some princess for the cultural festival. Each grade will be responsible for submitting the dress design before the committee. Jun unwittingly designs the dress in his notebook. Next day, he finds his design pinned up on the board for everyone to see! How could this be? He remembers he might have forgotten to erase it and handed the book to the teacher. At the assembly, the teacher mentions about that design and pinned it up because he was moved. He encourages everyone to send in their creative ideas and credits that design to Jun. Some are shocked but mostly they mock Jun that he is some sort of pervert. Jun couldn’t take the humiliation and vomits right where he stands before passing out!

Adult Jun also tells about his miserable life to his other self. Sister Nori is a normal office woman. Past Jun wants to be careful because if Kirakishou finds this message, she’ll try to kill them. Finally Jun finishes Shinku’s dress and snaps shots of it to send it to his other self. Not bad. When he falls asleep, he finds himself in the land of doll parts. But this is not a dream anymore. It is the N-Field where dreams and the subconscious mind are linked. The past Jun can’t communicate with him anymore as Kirakishou has found out and is going to kill them. Adult Jun must find and complete Shinku. What? In this pile? No way? Impossible. Nothing is impossible. And so the big grinding starts. Seriously. Can he find the real parts hidden here? Better than doing nothing. This left foot doesn’t fit… This one too… Nope, not this… But after persevering (despite being pessimistic and all), he finally finds the left foot. His confidence grows and thinks the head must be nearby. He caresses one and feels from the texture this had to be the real Shinku. He puts it on. Perfect fit. With that, Shinku springs to life. So how is he going to awaken her? Well, some shaking here and there and just like magic, she opens her eyes. Remember the third important thing that adult Jun never got to know? Well, it’s to defend himself. Because Shinku slaps him for mishandling her. It’s just embarrassing to be slapped by a doll, isn’t it?

Episode 4
Jun is reduced to a pathetic apologizing dude when Shinku lectures him. Noticing that white vines are covering them, she says that he has been bound to the world beyond the portal. He must once again choose. He wakes up in his room. Shinku is unconscious as he inspects her. She feels so life-like and though he knows he made her, the fabric he used somehow turned into higher quality. Wondering how to awake her, an artificial spirit, Hollie shows him the winding key in a box set. He takes it to wind up Shinku. This time his reflex is fast enough to avoid her slap. Another round of lecturing and apologizing. Since he is spamming her with questions, she shuts him up and then explains Hollie told her about everything Jun did. She commends him. Noticing his handphone is the only tool that connects his other self, ever since Jun hasn’t been able to contact him. Since Shinku is going to be living in this ‘shed’, she makes him her temporary servant and demands tea. Tastes horrible. Jun then goes off to work and wants her to wait till he returns. What has a little doll got to do alone by herself? She’s too short to reach anything, huh? When Jun returns, Shinku indeed was sitting waiting for him. As Jun is still unable to get into contact, Shinku concludes Kirakishou must be behind this. Because of her scheme, the other sisters have been taken hostage. Hina Ichigo and Sousei Seki have retried while others except Kanaria have been trapped. Shinku is in the same predicament. She is here now because this body is not her real one. Before she got trapped, she ordered Hollie to transport her Rosa Mystica to a temporary body. There are a few risks if she is not in her real body. Now it’s tea time. It’s bitter this time.

That night when Shinku sleeps, Jun does his research on Rozen Maiden over the internet. No such entries exist. Because of his choice, Rozen Maidens do not exist in this world. So his choice determines that? I guess that means no Rozen Maiden anime and manga too. Next morning, Shinku wants to follow Jun to buy a teapot. Fed up of drinking his teabags, huh? It would be odd to see a little doll dragging a big guy around so Jun puts Shinku in his bag. Shinku didn’t like the teapot he chooses since it’s got a cat picture (she’s scared of them) but that guy is being stubborn and buys it anyway. He can’t afford others. There aren’t any others either. Next, to get tablecloth. He sees Saitou trying to buy cloth for her costume material. Jun becomes an expert in explaining the fabric and effects. He once sew as a kid, remember? Saitou thanks him. So you can say that this brightens up his day and even gets a quip from Shinku about this ‘girlfriend’ of his. Well, if she isn’t his girlfriend, why blush? She feels the other Jun was shyer. Now even with a teapot, Jun still uses teabags. Yeah. He forgot to but tea leaves. Another round of lecturing. Even after all that is said, she still drinks his tea like always. Later Jun ponders how his life has changed since Shinku came or how different he was as his other self. At least he feels nice to have someone to talk to. Shinku takes note from Hollie that she has 7 days left the most and Kirakishou is creepily watching her.

Episode 5
One morning, Jun receives another box series but Shinku doesn’t want him to open it, thinking it could be Kirakishou’s trap. Still curious, Shinku will tell him what he wants to know about her sisters. Jun would like to know about the elegant Suigin Tou but this pisses her off and tells him to go make tea. Looks like he hit a sensitive topic. At work, Saitou thanks him for the design advice and shows what she has made of it. Her troupe was impressed and she hopes he could give some advice before the play. Yamaguchi observes and didn’t like how the duo are getting along well. Meanwhile Shinku hears something from the toilet and to her surprise, here is Suigin Tou! OMG! The best doll has arrived! (I don’t care what you say but Suigin Tou is the best doll ever!). After exchanging ‘pleasantries’ to piss each other off, they start fighting. When Jun gets home, he gets enraged to see the place filled with rose petals and black feathers. WTF. Looks like they’ve calmed down and sitting facing each other’s backs. But in no time, Suigin Tou starts making Shinku mad again and here we go again. This time Jun is so mad that he tells them to stop and clean this mess up. Really. Shinku sweeping the floor? We take a detour to Suigin Tou’s story. Megu is a girl always sick and confined to the walls of her hospital room. She wants to die and hopes some dark angel will eat her away. When she received a suitcase containing Suigin Tou, she is most happy despite Suigin Tou obnoxiously wants her to put on a ring so she can absorb her life force and win the Alice Game. However Suigin Tou is surprised instead because Megu loves the idea of dying and calls her an angel. Suigin Tou is not pleased and finds her odd. She continues to observe Megu as she expresses her desire to die and spread beautiful wings and soar out of this place with her. And Megu wants her to quickly use up her life because eventually she’ll die so it’s best to get it over with.

I guess Suigin Tou didn’t want to get involved with this crazy girl and tries to flee. Probably the heavy suitcase slowed her down and thanks to her artificial spirit, Meimei, Megu finds her and brings her back to the room. Megu becomes a bad girl with an attitude because she throws tantrum and tells off the nurse. Even when her father came to visit, she tells him to get out. Why bother since he never visited her frequently (he claims he was busy with work) and distanced himself from her. One evening, Suigin Tou decides to make the contract and puts the ring on her. Immediately Megu collapses but white vines wrap around them. Kirakishou takes Megu’s soul into N-Field, much to Suigin Tou’s dismay. Back in present time, Jun learns Suigin Tou came out from the mirror of his toilet. Shinku explains the N-Field is connected to reflective objects and even closed eyes (dreams cannot be reflected if the eyes aren’t closed). Shinku has Jun hold her up so she can test touch the mirror but Suigin Tou says it’s not a proper portal. When she was in N-Field, she was frantically searching for a way out and stumbled out here. The only thing they can do is wait for both worlds to line up again. She doesn’t intend to stay here forever. Shinku also expresses she wants to reunite with the other Jun. Six days left…

Episode 6
Jun ponders that Shinku will leave him for the other Jun. What does he got that he hasn’t? They’re the same, right? Jealous of himself? Saitou brings Jun to her troupe and introduces him to her brother. Such a big guy… He isn’t part of the acting but the props crew. He mistakes Jun to be some worker and puts him to labour. Jun doesn’t mind. I guess it takes something off his mind. Meanwhile, Suigin Tou continues to provoke Shinku. She loves it, doesn’t she? Suigin Tou brags how she took Renpika (Sousei Seki’s artificial spirit) and feels great that she has 2 artificial spirits. At first she didn’t believe Shinku took Hina Ichigo’s artificial spirit (currently Berrybell is in the other world). Whether she does or not, she continues to taunt Shinku and loves to see her put up those eyes. Now Shinku can’t hold her anger and is going to fight back. Eh? They pull each other’s hair? WTF. So when Jun gets back, he sees the sisters in bad mood. Another fight. Well, he can’t complain since they didn’t mess up his room. I think Suigin Tou takes a liking for the rooftop. That’s where she ‘resides’ while staying here to piss off Shinku. Otherwise, why couldn’t she just leave this place? I guess she couldn’t. And they only have 5 days left. That is when the moon fades to nothing. Next day, Jun gets another box set delivery but doesn’t tell Shinku. After he goes off to work, once more Suigin Tou comes in to piss her sister. She’s at the mirror pondering if she could leave. Suigin Tou starts it by spraying the shower at her. Shinku does the same. Then it descends into fist slaps! WTF. Now they’re all wet and waiting for their clothes to dry, they talk about Kirakishou who seems to be targeting their master instead of the doll. Suigin Tou also notices this because Megu is in grave danger just as with the other Jun. Shinku finds it odd that Suigin Tou cares for somebody. They need to return to their world soon because since there can only be one Rozen Maiden existing at the same time, Shinku’s body is a replica and once it fades, her Rosa Mystica will be vulnerable. She allows Suigin Tou to do whatever she wants if that happens but it still doesn’t change the fact she has to save her master. The only way to solve this is to call a truce but Suigin Tou refuses. I guess that‘s that.

Jun and Yamaguchi are the only ones working. However Yamaguchi knows his mocking comments about him doing all the work and what a jerk he is. It’s as though he could read his mind. Not only that, once he learns there is no progress between Jun and Saitou, he lectures Jun that people like him who look down on others end up forgetting how worthless they are. He must think his boss must be a lazy bum with no education and shouldn’t be in this place. Well, keep dreaming. Because Yamaguchi has got friends, does what he wants at work even if it’s ordering others around (he in-your-face admits it), does he think he is better than him? Welcome to reality. Don’t even hope for a miracle that a girl like Saitou would be attracted to him. Jun is upset but what he says has some truth. Back home, Jun wonders if he should do something about it but Shinku tells him other worlds doesn’t branch off into others indefinitely. Because if it did, the ends will get weaker and eventually disappear. He is disheartened he can’t change anything and laments once Shinku returns, his own doll will no longer exist. He gets a rightfully timed message from his other self. If his world has no possibilities, just create them. If he has his own doll, he should be able to change his own world. So Jun takes out those unopened box sets to create his own doll. Can he change his world? By contacting his other self and creating Shinku, he already did. He could even change it if he becomes part of the flow. Or even bring forth a new world that branches off elsewhere. As thanks for creating Shinku, he sent doll parts for him to create his own new doll. While Jun starts making it, Shinku dreams about the day Hina Ichigo pitifully gave her artificial spirit to her. It was sad but Shinku vowed to end Alice Game her own way.

Episode 7
It’s like Jun knows how to become Shinku’s servant. When she wakes up, he already sets the table and tea nicely. It even tastes good! He leaves without saying anything. I guess even if he’s gotten good, he isn’t happy. Shinku hears from Meimei and Renpika that Suigin Tou has collapsed on the rooftop. Because a Rozen Maiden needs her beauty sleep in the suitcase to function well, Shinku lends her suitcase to her to sleep. Since when they’re in a truce? Jun buys a book called The Pocket Doll as present. He is surprised to receive a box set at work and another at home. Two in a day? He gets another email from his other self about changing the world. He remembers that traumatic moment at school where everyone laughed at his drawing. Although the teacher was impressed, Jun told him off he didn’t want to be praised for something that will make others laugh at him. He locks himself in his own room after that. Now Jun is tired of living with such feelings. Even working hard and making it into university didn’t change anything. The world is so unfair. He gets a call from Nori who is checking on him. Later Jun gives the present to Shinku. She has him read the book with her. She then asks why people leave behind things in words. Because you die, you disappear. It’s a way of remembering something. Everyone forgets. Shinku says even if she disappears, it doesn’t change the fact that the time they had together was real even if the world forgets. She hopes he won’t forget about the doll he created.

That night, Suigin Tou is up and well. She finds it repulsive for sleeping in Shinku’s suitcase. That’s some gratitude. She goes to check on her but sees Jun secretly making the doll. She tries to make a deal that she won’t tell Shinku about it if he agrees to lend his life for her power. Jun isn’t cowed because he has heard from Shinku about her case. She’s desperate, right? But he is willing to lend her his life with a condition. Sleep in Shinku’s suitcase during the day because it’ll be troublesome if some doll shrivels up on his roof and don’t interfere with his work. Meanwhile in N-Field, Laplace tells us that Kirakishou just like other dolls, rely on humans for her power source. This place too is filled with human souls. One of the door leads to a place filled with computers. This is where the original Jun is. He has been trapped here for who knows how long. He came here to save Shinku and the rest but was saved by Kanaria and brought here. Seems the emails he sent to his other self isn’t getting through and is communicating via Micchan. But he feels odd his other self keeps sending him weird emails but somehow they sound genuine. There are 2 possibilities. The emails he is getting are fake or the emails and doll parts his other self is getting are fakes. Because clearly he didn’t send additional doll parts after he completed Shinku. He deduces that there is a fake Jun sending those fake stuffs to the adult Jun. I think we could guess who that faker is now. See all those white vines covering over adult Jun while he is making the doll? I’m guessing Kirakishou is tricking adult Jun into creating a body in this world for her to manifest. Young Jun hopes his other self won’t create the doll and tries to send emails to him but again it fails. Then Kanaria floats down to check on any updates. She introduces herself as the smartest and craftiest doll. Some things don’t change, eh? Yeah. She thinks it’s time for her debut but Jun ignores her. Oh Kanaria…

Episode 8
Indeed, it is Kirakishou watching over Jun and hopes he complete her second vessel soon. Jun continues to help out with the troupe as well as work at the bookstore. He seems slightly happy. But one day Yamaguchi couldn’t tally the stock and wants Saitou to stay back with Jun and trace it since it happened during her shift. And without overtime pay too. Of course Jun is not too happy about it since he can’t complete his doll. So he tells off Yamaguchi it may be his fault since of the way he input it in the computer. Jun has kept a personal manual record of the daily sales so this shouldn’t take long. Saitou thanks him for bailing her out the second time. Jun denies he is a good person but she disagrees. Because he could have gone home himself as this wasn’t his problem. The work he put in the props was also good. Therefore he is a dependable and kind person with no selfish reasons. Shinku learns about the theatre performance tomorrow but Jun says he is just a backstage worker. That night Jun continues working on the doll and notes the last piece left is the head. Suigin Tou also pays a visit after Jun goes to sleep. She sees the doll he is making and feels this is doll is somewhat familiar. Next day, this is the last day and Suigin Tou is happy. Because it will be the day Shinku might disappear if the N-Field door doesn’t open. But it’s sad she won’t be around to see it because she’ll be sleeping in her suitcase. Oh, she’ll keep it as her memento when she’s gone. Shinku is so pissed that she wants Hollie to tape the suitcase and set it on fire! Shinku hints that she really wants to go to the play. She drags the bag up to Jun and sits at the door drinking at tea. I guess he has to give in or he’ll be late. He warns her to stay in the bag. She watches the preparations as she notes Jun has lots of potential he is unaware of. Once he opens that door, he is going to stop playing with dolls and go out into the world. Before the play starts, a crisis looms. The antique doll that is vital in the play was left behind in the storehouse. They won’t make it even if they drive back. Shinku purposely makes her presence known although she continues to act like a doll. Does she want to be in the act that bad? Everyone is amazed with this beautiful doll. So pretty. So life-like. They hope Jun would lend her and promise they won’t ruin this ‘present he got from a relative’. Suigin Tou has followed Shinku here because there is no way she is going to miss the final spectacle of her disappearing. She also brought the suitcase with Jun’s incomplete doll. It is as bait to lure Kirakishou. As she is a doll without a physical body, she had a doll made so she could come into this world like Shinku. She is definitely going to make her appearance here.

Episode 9
Suddenly the computer that young Jun is working off turns off. Kanaria thought she could be an IT expert and suggests if it’s plugged in. To her surprise even Jun knows this ‘issue’. But seriously, do you see any sockets her? The place then experiences an earthquake. Seems something is happening in the other world and Jun fears his other self may have finished assembling Kirakishou. Jun watches the play underway. He is surprised to see Suigin Tou watching beside him. Shinku knows that she will come and hasn’t given up yet. Jun must be really worried because part of the play involves pulling Shinku from opposite ends when the characters fight over her. Funny, no? Suddenly time stops. Only Jun and the dolls are able to move. Coming through is Kirakishou and she greets Jun her master. Suigin Tou remembers when she abducted Megu, she followed her into her N-Field. She is shocked to see many past Rozen Maiden masters crystallized underneath her. Kirakishou is collecting their bodies as nourishment. Because of that, Suigin Tou pities her that as the only doll who did not receive a body from their father, she is nothing but a junk and pitiful illusion. Kirakishou is not please to hear those hurtful words and attacks them. Because now she has a body as vessel, her power has fully materialized. Jun realizes the new doll he assembled was her. He feels guilty for doing that just because he wants his own doll and never realized the trap he walked into. But Shinku wonders as she was sent to this world like her and should be just a replica. Suigin Tou doesn’t think so as it feels genuine. What if the parts she sent over belonged to one of their sisters?

Suigin Tou asks why she has no interest in seeking the Rosa Mystica because it is their natural desire to become perfect and be with their father. Kirakishou may not have a body and her existence is sustained by those bodies so what use is Rosa Mystica to her? What she really wants is an inorganic body. Hina Ichigo’s purity, Kanaria’s pleasantry, Shinku’s nobility, Suigin Tou’s gallantry, Suisei Seki’s ferocity and Sousei Seki’s sincerity. She wants to become someone who can become anyone. This is her vision of a perfect girl. Suigin Tou calls her a broken girl and a monster. She didn’t like those hurtful words again. Shinku and Suigin Tou reluctantly cooperate to take her down but the latter mentions she hasn’t fully merged with her body and is trying to buy time from afar. Therefore they must attack the body. However Shinku can’t because she thinks that body belongs to Hina Ichigo. Jun has had enough. He created this problem and he wants to help. What can he do? Shinku seems reluctant to tell him to form a contract. Kirakishou won’t allow it either. Suisei Seki crashes in. First, she criticizes Jun! Then she surprises her sisters and won’t let them attack Kirakishou! She’s not budging from her decision. Because that body belongs to Sousei Seki! Kirakishou then starts absorbing Jun’s life although no contract is formed between them.

Episode 10
Still feeling guilty over everything, Jun wants to make a contract with Shinku. She warns there is no turning back if he kisses the ring. He’s willing to take that risk but Kirakishou won’t allow him. She wants him all for herself because it was he who created her. But Suisei Seki tells her to hold her horses. She wants Jun to make a contract with her to take responsibility of this mess. As Kirakishou’s body is Sousei Seki’s, the contract will allow her to be with her twin again. Suigin Tou reminds Jun about his promise to be her medium. So which doll is it going to be? Choose! Wow. This guy is popular. I never knew Rozen Maiden would turn into a harem series. Shinku mentions her time is up in this world and when time resumes, her replica body will disappear. Was this the clincher that made Jun decide? Or was it because she is the first doll he created with his hands. So much for freedom of choice because Kirakishou won’t allow him to make that decision. All their artificial spirits start outdoing each other to bring the ring to Jun. He breaks free from the vines. Whose ring did his lips contact? Kirakishou?! More accurately it is Sousei Seki’s. Because Kirakishou was made by her body so the ring belongs to her. Suigin Tou could feel Renpika resonating within her as Sousei Seki starts taking over the body from Kirakishou. All that is left to return her artificial spirit but Suigin Tou won’t allow it. If that’s the case, Suisei Seki uses her own to bring her twin back to life. This causes Jun to be separated from the dolls. The dolls wake up trapped in Kirakishou’s world. She has no more physical form in her own world because the master form a contract with Sousei Seki, the real owner of the body and thus Kirakishou was tossed away. Sousei Seki is up and running at the expense of her twin who is now in comatose state. Kirakishou goes into hiding probably to restore her power. The rest can’t break through the thick crystals.

Meanwhile Jun is in the zeroth world where one world perceives another world. He meets Kanaria and his younger self. Because time doesn’t run here, young Jun hopes to talk and find out more about himself. Adult Jun rants about his uneventful and depressing life. This causes young Jun to be depressed. Why not? That’s supposed to be him, right? It made adult Jun realize he shouldn’t be telling sad stories and blaming himself. He becomes positive and that’s when the zeroth world shatters. He remembers Shinku telling him the world is always branching off due to choices he makes for himself. Once he realizes that, he will be able to control his world. Adult Jun thanks his younger self and can take it from here. He’ll turn everything around. See you in the future. Sousei Seki explains why she can exist despite her artificial spirit is in Suigin Tou’s possession. Due to the fact they are twin dolls and very close to each other, their Rosa Mystica is completely identical. So it works for either doll. That is what father told them. Of course everyone’s Rosa Mystica should be rightfully be in their own place but they need to get out of this mess first. Adult Jun and Kanaria are trying to find a door to his own world. Kanaria doesn’t think he’ll go back to the way it was because as Rozen Maidens do not exist in his world based on his choice to unwind, now that Shinku appears, it has distorted his world and thus a time limit for how long she can be there. That time limit ran out during Kirakishou’s fight. Once it does, everything will go back to where it was like as though nothing happened. Everything. All that hard work he put in to create Shinku too. But he needs to find her first. Noticing something shiny in his sleeve, it is one of Kirakishou’s threads. This leads him to where the other dolls are. However the thick crystal walls are preventing them. Kanaria shows she is useful for once as she plays her Pizzicato to break down the crystals. Reunited and it feels so good? Sousei Seki introduces herself to Jun and calls him her master. She recognizes those soft fingers that tenderly caressed her body. Sounds so horny… Jealous stares from Shinku and Suigin Tou. Kanaria points their ticket out is through that clock.

Episode 11
Making the clock work again is the key to going back to their world. Kanaria goes off to find and inform young Jun. She needs to do it while Kirakishou is at her weakest. Yeah. Leave it up to them on how to make the clock work, eh? Young Jun is trudging through the endless dead forest. Despite finding Kanaria annoying, now he feels lonely without her! Gosh… He finds unwanted company in Laplace. He has no time to talk to someone whom he can’t tell is ally or foe. That’s what being a referee is, right? Jun is looking for something he lost and when he reaches a deep abyss. He sees something shiny below. Laplace borrows his magnifier and he sees Shinku’s body lying below. Back to the other dolls, Sousei Seki has what it takes to move the clock but she can’t do it alone and needs Suisei Seki’s help. You know what this means, don’t you? Suigin Tou isn’t going to hand her Rosa Mystica back and mocks the twins they can’t do anything without each other. Sousei Seki mentions when she snatched her Rosa Mystica, she felt pain in her chest. She can help relieve that pain. She makes a deal that once the clock starts moving, she’ll return her Rosa Mystica to her and concede defeat. Suisei Seki is brought back to life and the twins’ Rosa Mystica back in their rightful bodies. They have Jun give them an order. More than just fixing the clock. He wants everything to be put back as it was and the play reach the end. The twins weave their magic as they bring the clock to life. Kirakishou will not allow it and clutches Sousei Seki with her vines. Jun asserts Sousei Seki is his doll and is her master. Kirakishou is disheartened to hear those words. Didn’t she change the world like he always wanted? She sure did. But he doesn’t want that anymore. It will be meaningless if he can’t change it himself. He doesn’t need her anymore. Those words are sharper than any knife, piercing through Kirakishou’s heart. She lets loose a painful scream of despair before dying. When Kanaria finds young Jun, Shinku’s body at the bottom floats up. They realize Berrybell has always been protecting her body all this time. In the other world, Shinku’s body starts to collapse and fall apart. I guess her time limit is up. Suigin Tou notes it is what he gets for choosing his world. She wants Sousei Seki’s Rosa Mystica as promised. Suisei Seki is devastated to hear the deal but Sousei Seki is one not to lie and lives up to her end of the deal. In addition to Jun in shock, we have Suisei Seki like a broken recorder not agreeing to this. Iiya desu… Iiya desu… Iiya desu… Desu combo…

Episode 12
Young Jun remembers Hina Ichigo visiting him. She is happy to see him awake because of her fear of always being left alone in her suitcase. When morning comes, she’ll think how silly everything was because she has everyone to come wake her up. She likes him. So if he ever gets scared of bedtime, let her know. She’ll be there to wake him up. Back to the other Jun, he is regretting about the decisions he made. He hears the voice of himself dropping down from the sky not to give up. Young Jun throws the suitcase containing Shinku’s body to him. He wants him to put together Shinku’s body. While he is at that, Kanaria explains how Hina Ichigo gave Berrybell to Shinku and has been guarding her body hidden by Kirakishou. This surprises Suigin Tou because this means she gave her Rosa Mystica on her free will. Unlike her who snatched Sousei Seki’s, could it be it rejected her? Was that the reason behind the pain in her heart? Is this the true purpose of Alice Game? Once adult Jun puts Shinku together, he gives the winding key to young Jun. Now it’s his turn to awaken her. Shinku revives. Everyone is happy. But Shinku slaps both Juns for taking so long to bring her back. That’s Shinku for you. Sousei Seki is about to resume giving her Rosa Mystica to Suigin Tou. However she has a change of her and will let her off for now. She doesn’t want her to get the wrong idea. She just wants to think over a few things. She still believes in Alice Game and that the dolls were made to fight each other. The last one standing is the strongest. Sousei Seki’s Rosa Mystica still belongs to her and is only letting her hold it for a short while till she finds what she has lost. She then flies off alone.

She remembers the time spent with Megu. She was singing that song and combing her hair. She talked about the wilted flowers but they bloomed so beautiful. Megu shows her crazy side by throwing the flower vase on the floor, shocking Suigin Tou. She hopes when the real day comes, she will come to take her life and not leave her and disappear somewhere. Suigin Tou really thought she is the only person crazy enough to call her an angel despite her black wings. What is she going to do after she gets Megu back? She doesn’t know but she’ll live up to that promise. We are left with a teaser as we see white vines sticking out from one of the doors. Adult Jun says goodbye to his other self and the Rozen Maiden dolls. They’re going back to where they came from. Adult Jun has handed Sousei Seki’s ring to his young self. He will be her new master although technically they are the same person. Of course, you can’t have a goodbye without one with Shinku. She hopes he will remember the dolls he created, the happy times they had together (I thought most of them were annoying to him). After they part, adult Jun finds himself back in his seat and the play resumes perfectly till the end. Shinku and co are also back in their world. She remembers telling adult Jun that if he feels he is starting to forget, look deep into his heart. He will find his childhood memories and those of the Rozen Maiden. As long as he remembers them, the world will always be branching off because of his actions.

Episode 13
Life returns to normal. Jun attends the after-party with the troupe. Since everything ended well, he even wonders if the Rozen Maiden dolls were real. The troupe then gives him back his doll. However it is not Shinku but another doll. He realizes Rozen Maiden was real after all. But Jun is still being harassed and given workload by Yamaguchi. The latter is going to take some time off when the bookstore president comes in. Suddenly he is scared sh*t. Because he hasn’t handed in his report yet. Then about some stock thingy, Jun offers to do it because he knows his stuff. Saitou even shows him the notebook that he indexed. The president is impressed and wants to borrow it. Later Saitou tells Jun why she did that because she wanted to show who is the one doing the most work around here. You can’t let that lazy bum win all the time. As the duo walk home, Saitou wonders if he would like to officially work for the troupe. But she is also worried because he has not been turning up in university. She mentions he is not only good in making props and sewing but creating his own place. Just like the troupe and workplace, those places can’t function properly without him now. Jun attends university but he hardly feels any different. It’s that alienated feeling again. This reminds him if Kirakishou felt the same way. One day, the bookstore president talks to Jun privately. He wants him to consider his offer and doesn’t have to give an answer right now. He likes how hardworking he is and his notebook is a wonderful idea that has been the talk of the board. He even hints he could be the next manager. But Jun remains humble and mentions about his chances of dropping out of university and lacking academic credentials. However the president doesn’t care about it because he too was a university dropout and is doing fine. There are always a few options in life.

Yamaguchi must have overheard their conversation so I suppose he is going to be a jerk to Jun. First he blames him how he has to clean up his mess (What mess? I thought he was the one who made it). Then he gives himself the credit by saying if not for him, Jun wouldn’t have turned out he is now. In spite of that, he will let him off. Is that his way of forgiving and saying sorry? Yeah, he wants to show he is a kind person. Well, Saitou gives out the biggest laugh we’ve ever heard. Jun walks home and feels good about the opportunities he has in life. He still has Shinku’s winding key. As long as he looks into his heart, he could find infinite opportunities. Meanwhile, Kirakishou’s white vines are seen seizing Jun’s doll into the mirror. Back to the other world, young Jun is ready to head for school. It must be such a big deal that Nori and his dolls see him off. Yeah. Big deal alright. Jun going back to school. Along the way he meets Tomoe. However on his first day, he collapses at the rooftop. I guess the strain is too much for him. But the odd thing is that he has never awakened since and is in comatose state. Nori stays by his side while Tomoe laments if she had only looked out for him. The dolls converge to discuss there is a possibility that Kirakishou may be behind this and the need to do something quick. Kanaria decides to go home, feeling she can’t leave Micchan alone. She has a bad feeling when she realizes that Micchan is in danger. Suddenly Kirakishou (in possession of Jun’s doll) attacks Micchan. Adult Jun is reading The Pocket Doll when he sees Shinku’s end note to never forget. After so many constant reminders, who wouldn’t? He gets a surprise video call from the dolls. Glad to see them again? I don’t know how they do this from the parallel world but they are using Tomoe’s handphone. Jun of course recognizes her. Tomoe mentions what happened to his other self and is in deep trouble. There is no one else they can turn to and requests his help. He will gladly do so but he has to come over to their side. Shinku will have Hollie guide him. Jun enters the mirror.

Dolls That Play With You…
Hmm… Not how I hope it would end but I somewhat expected something like this either. It leaves us with a cliff-hanger because this time off Jun goes to the other world, his other self has fallen into coma, Suigin Tou continues to search for her precious and the sudden attack on Micchan. I guess if there is a possibility of another season, they’ll continue it from there. The first half of the series may be quite slow and may bore you because it focuses on Jun’s uneventful and boring life while he tries to sink in the fact that he has created a Rozen Maiden and figuring out the mysterious messages from his other self. There is a lot of drama in between so it might get a little draggy. And yeah, the lack of the other dolls making their appearances in the first half also takes away the fun. Because that is what this show is all about, right? So the lack of screen time for the other dolls besides Shinku and Suigin Tou had some effect to the drama and the sluggishness of it. But since I love this series, I am a little bias so I would shrug it off as nothing.

The second half slowly builds up to the battle between the dolls especially Kirakishou as the main and twisted antagonist. However I can’t say much about the fights between the Rozen Maiden dolls this time. In fact, I don’t think there is a proper one. The closest we get to see is Shinku and Suigin Tou’s fist slapping petty fight (?!). Yeah. That was pretty amusing. The ‘fight’ with Kirakishou turns out to be the dolls just trying to escape her clutches and it wasn’t really much. Then Kirakishou temporarily ‘dies’ when Jun rejected her. But when it boils down to the real battle between the Rozen Maiden dolls, I guess it was somewhat disappointing. However I don’t think with many of the dolls having good relationships with each other (save Suigin Tou and Kirakishou), I do not think that they would want to fight each other. At least never on their own initiative. The twins will definitely won’t want to fight each other. Kanaria is the happy kind and not to get into a brawl. Hina Ichigo may have been out but her innocent demeanour would have us think she’s not the kind to pick on anyone. Shinku? I think she prefers drinking her tea. So it boils down to Kirakishou to be the main antagonist and get the Alice Game going. Therefore if you’re going to watch this anime for some doll fights, forget about it.

I know Suigin Tou is a b*tch in this series but I don’t care. I STILL LOVE HER!!! Arrogant and conceited, that is the way I love my number one doll. I would have her no other way. It’s like she has this natural knack to piss off everyone with her acid tongue especially her arch rival Shinku. So much so I would say she’d stay outside on top of the roof so she could stalk Shinku every day and night. That’s Suigin Tou for you. And she probably didn’t want to admit it when she ‘lends’ Sousei Seki’s Rosa Mystica, but to me there was at least a shred of kindness in her. So she’s not all that bad. And the way she spends her time around Megu, even haughty dolls need to have company, right? Probably Megu’s approach to death is what attracts her because for a doll like Suigin Tou to always be commanding and looking down on others, she’d never expect one who would gladly throw her life away. Where’s the fun in that if you can’t see people’s reaction when they are going to die? So it’s no wonder she sticks around Megu. Maybe Suigin Tou is a lonely doll and wants some company after all. Not like she’s going to admit it anyway. Kirakishou as the antagonist also seem to have her own issue. Because of that, she developed a twisted approach. Lacking the all-important body that every doll needs to have, she too has emotions like the other dolls and wants to be loved. She felt hurt when Suigin Tou said those painful words to her. Well, at least in this sense she still has a heart.

The other dolls still feel familiar especially with Kanaria playing the comic relief part. It’s easy to look down on her because of her joker personality but this is who she is. Aside from Hina Ichigo, she is the liveliest among the dolls so it brings much tension relief when she is around. Therefore when she is down and putting on a gloomy expression, it just feels weird. The sunny disposition that is of Kanaria having that worried look? Odd indeed. Then there is Shinku who acts like a noble and treating adult Jun like her servant. Despite so, she treats him fairly and nicely like how a noble would. Though she is still afraid of cats… Did she get ‘harassed’ by one in the end? Suisei Seki’s late and limited appearance means we don’t get to see her nasty side of despising humans. At least not in this time of crisis. Though, she still finds time to mock adult Jun. Sousei Seki’s honest to goodness personality to a point she told her first and last lie to her twin. Hina Ichigo made the least appearance among the dolls and her appearance is only reduced to those in flashbacks. So I thought it was a shame that we couldn’t have the full set of dolls frolicking around. Even if that kind of setting would be just filler and not part of the main storyline, I wouldn’t mind simply because, they’re Rozen Maiden dolls. I don’t really care about this Alice Game. Not that I understand it well. I’d prefer to see them bond and have fun together. But that would defeat the plot of this series entirely. Sighs. Maybe there is another parallel world just for that. Laplace is still mysterious. You don’t know whose side he is on although he calls himself a referee and observes the dolls. Even so, for whom is he watching this game for? Himself? For father? God knows where he is now.

As for this adult Jun in the world without Rozen Maiden, it is without doubt that ever since the dolls came into his life, he seems to be much happier despite the initial annoyance. So my conclusion? You need Rozen Maiden dolls to be happy! Well, if you’re not being used by them, that is. What was once a dull and dreadful life he slogs through painfully, he now seems to be able to hold on and go through life with a better outlook than before. More confidence than he has before. So the key is not be stuck with your past wishing to redo things. But to move forward and make the changes with your hands. With the way things ended and this time adult Jun being needed and heading towards the other world, it shows that his role isn’t really over yet. I’m not sure if the other characters in his world would have anything to do with the main series. Like Saitou, there is this possibility you might think that some sort of romance would bloom but unfortunately, I was just thinking too much. There are hints that Saitou likes Jun but I would conclude it is as far as just being friends and nothing romantic because she admires his kindness and diligence. I wonder if she will be dragged into the other world too. Yamaguchi is your classic case of horrible bosses. Despite shoving all the work to Jun, it is a blessing in disguise because it made Jun a better person. Instead of quitting his job or showing displeasure, he grits his teeth and gets the job done. And you know what they say about reward coming to those who wait. Now he has the eye of the bookstore president. So trivial (and perhaps unrelated) Saitou and Yamaguchi’s appearance in this series that they have the honour of doing the next episode preview called In-store Broadcast. From what I can see, Yamaguchi wants to flirt with her but it is Saitou who is the one at the end who is making fun out of him, refusing him or leaving him out of certain activities she wants to do.

Perhaps I didn’t read the manga so there are a couple of things that I don’t really comprehend. Especially the part how Kirakishou kidnapped past masters and use them as her essence. If this is so, they must have played the game many times before throughout the ages and know every dirty trick in the book, right? Especially about their youngest sister who doesn’t even have a physical form to begin with. Could those masters be from other parallel words too? Because Kirakishou could just sneak into every door and kidnap those masters. And it’s not plausible too because there would be say, 100 Shinkus, 100 Suigin Tous, 100 Suisei Seki (100x ~desu!), 100 Sousei Sekis, 100 Kanarias who would lose their master in their respective world. And then Kirakishou could be the real winner of Alice Game using this method? Looks like she is back in her master related spree with Jun and Micchan as the known victims. Thus if the dolls had gone through ages playing this game, aren’t they tired of it? And since there was no winner (otherwise, why would the game continue if one of them had become Alice? Unless you tell me they can hold that title for a certain tenure only), does it mean they have to do this forever? Besides, how long does an Alice Game last per era?

Then there’s that branching off from the parallel world that gives me headache. Adult Jun’s world is not supposed to know Rozen Maiden dolls. Now that it has, now what? So what if Shinku disappears. Shouldn’t Suigin Tou too? I know Shinku’s body in this world isn’t her own but you’re talking about Rozen Maiden dolls. Which means, real body or not, shouldn’t all the dolls not exist? It’s like destiny is giving them time and deadline to change. But how come Jun still remembers? Didn’t destiny try to correct it? Who the hell is playing God with all these universe and parallel worlds? I guess Jun has made such decisions that he needs not warrant for any memory loss. I can’t say the same for other characters because Jun is the only person in this world to have met the Rozen Maiden dolls so saying they have no memories of the doll is not possible. In conclusion, if a world doesn’t acknowledge Rozen Maiden dolls, all you need to do is do something about it to branch your world off to another path that accepts them. I think. At least this parallel world thingy is not as complicated as the future paradox one. Both Juns meeting each other is okay since they are from different worlds. If it was Jun from the future in the same world, that could be a problem. Another trivial but puzzling thing is the Pocket Doll storybook. Over the series, we are shown short pages of the story. It is about a girl who receives 7 Matryoshka dolls that grants her a wish each. But as each wish she makes, there is some sad twist in it. I don’t know even how it ends. I’m not sure how this is linked to the story of Rozen Maiden.

Somehow the art and drawing for this season seem less refined and sharp than the previous anime. But I guess this is how the original manga looks like. Despite I find the previous season to be better looking, nevertheless the dolls here still look as pretty as they are. My only gripe with the artwork is that some of the backgrounds look terrible. It’s like the artist got lazy or trying to discover a new art style. It’s like as though they didn’t put enough effort into the background and sceneries so much so it looks like some poorly done water colour job or a bad mosaic picture. But I won’t be distracted by it since I would prefer to look at the dolls and their gothic theme dress. They’re still lovely especially the first doll :).

It is good that all the seiyuus of the original Rozen Maiden series were retained. I’m glad to hear Rie Tanaka playing as Suigin Tou again although she won’t be laughing her devilish giggles here. Likewise, the same with Miyuki Sawashiro as Shinku and Natsuko Kuwatani in her shrieky voice of Suisei Seki. Not forgetting Rika Morinaga as Sousei Seki, Sakura Nogawa as Hina Ichigo, Yumi Shimura as Kanaria, Asami Sanada as young Jun, Noriko Rikimaru as Nori, Masayo Kurata as Tomoe and Shiho Kawaragi as Megu. Joining the casts this season are Ryota Ohsaka as adult Jun (Staz in Blood Lad), Chiemi Chiba as Kirakishou (Mio in To Love-Ru), Natsumi Takamori as Saitou (Misaki in Sakurasou No Pet Na Kanojo) and Shou Sudou as Yamaguchi (Ikari in Beelzebub).

Once more Ali Project does the opening theme, Watashi No Bara Wo Haminasai. As usual, their gothic trademark is laced all over the song. Although I have not been hearing them for a long time, I find that this song is rather tame and not as naughty as their previous pieces. But it is still befitting this series very much. The ending theme is Alternative by Annabel. A slow piece, there is a creepy feel to this song. If not, I may say an ominous and sad feel too. But the main clincher to me is the background music and the original soundtrack. New pieces were composed for this new season and because they are composed by the same person who did the original Rozen Maiden soundtrack, Shinkichi Mitsumune, there is a very familiar feel to it all. I have fallen in love with a handful of tracks already especially that theme for the dark angel that is no other than Suigin Tou. It is good that there are new tracks and they didn’t resort to taking the easy way out by reusing old soundtracks. However I really missed some of the old favourite like Battle of Rose and Shukuteki and wished they were played in this season as well. However in view that there were no intense battle scenes, I figure those songs can’t be used.

Despite the twisted game of dolls fighting each other in a survival game to be the perfect girl for father, I thought deeply about it (okay, maybe not so deep after all) and think that the ultimate answer isn’t about beating everyone and be the last one standing. Notice how each doll has their own flaws and also their strong points as well as their unique personality? My guess is that it is father’s way of saying that they need to cover for each other’s weaknesses and flaws. So being the only doll left standing could mean a collective term. All of them could be the winner at the end and become Alice. Because by covering each other’s flaws would mean they have achieve perfection in a collective sense. Doesn’t this make better sense? So be good to each other and build that sisterly bond. That’s the reason why they are sisters in the first place, right? The powers they have aren’t for attacking but for protecting. I am sure that he didn’t make those beautiful dolls so they could rip each other apart. Or maybe it’s just this simple. Kill each other and the last one left wins.

I really hope there would be another season to this series because I would love to see the Rozen Maiden dolls again. No, rewatching this series doesn’t count. I’m not that much of an obsessed nutcase. Jun’s mundane and routine life has made me to reflect my own because it’s somewhat similar. Every morning prepare for work. Return in the evening to watch my anime till midnight. Rinse and repeat. Hardly any different from Jun who goes to university, works part time and goes home doing nothing or later on dedicate in making his doll. Wait… Am I seeing a pattern? Since Rozen Maidens do not exist in this real world of mine, could it be that it will happen too if I trigger some flag? Yeah. Maybe. How long must I wait till that happens? I hope to get Suigin Tou as my doll… Or I could just get one off from Ebay…

Rozen Maiden Soundtrack

July 10, 2009

I still love the Rozen Maiden anime series though I’m not that crazy about it when I first initially watched it. Besides the beautifully designed goth-loli dolls, another plus about the series is its soundtrack. Over the 2 seasons and special, there are quite a variety of background music which range from excitingly fast to soothing slow. All carefully suited for the atmosphere and mood of the scenes in the series.
Since the series did officially span 2 seasons, by right there should also be 2 soundtrack albums. The first season’s soundtrack has a whopping 44 number of tracks whereas the second season’s album has been drastically reduced by half, which is 22 tracks. Of course why not use the existing superb pieces from the first album instead of cramming more into the second, right? Besides, many of the soundtracks in the first album are being reused in the second season. For the record, a big majority of the tracks are produced by Mitsumune Shinkichi. As usual, listed below are my favourite soundtracks from both albums in alphabetical order:
1) Atatakana Kokoro
2) Bara No Chikai
3) Bara No Jubai
4) Battle Of Crystal
5) Battle Of Rose
6) Creation (AKA Tanjou)
7) For Tomorrow (AKA Ashita E)
8) Hyoukai
9) Kodoku Na Kokoro
10) Komatta Shumi
11) Kowareta Sekai
12) Kurayami Yori Kitaru Mono
13) Nightmare (AKA Akumu)
14) Shukuteki
15) Wrong Way
Among these pieces, my most number 1 all-time favourite is Battle Of Rose. I’m sure many Rozen Maiden fans would agree with me that this exciting battle themed rock piece magnificently combines both the orchestra strings, heavy bass and electric guitar. This background music is mainly played during the next episode preview albeit it’s a shortened version. But nevertheless, this is an absolute masterpiece. Battle Of Crystal also feels like a battle theme song to provide variety to Battle Of Rose as it also incorporates orchestra strings and electric guitar.
My second favourite piece is no doubt Shukuteki. I vividly remember this piece first came about in the first season whereby the twin dolls took on Suigin Tou in one of the final few episodes. Yup, it’s another exciting fast paced battle theme and every time I hear this piece, it never fails to make me shuffle my feet or at least get up and do a little dance of my own.
Atatakana Kokoro is a nice slow piano piece with strings and is a good song for easy listening. Likewise, Kodoku Na Kokoro too is a slow piano-driven piece accompanied with a flute. But this one has a hint of sadness in it. Wrong Way doesn’t sound like a song which befitting its name. I mean, though it’s a slow-moderate dramatic piece, it doesn’t give an impression that one has made any mistake. Something like that.
Bara No Chikai sounds like a piece suitable for an advent of a character. It relies on the slow strings in the beginning and the music gradually gets a little louder as the song goes by. Bara No Jubai uses the harpsichord and heavy drum beats in what I feel to be another theme suitable for a fight sequence. Hyoukai is another slow piano ballad which is complemented with slow strings and has traces of loneliness and sadness in it. If I’m not mistaken, this is one of Suigin Tou’s themes. Of all the themes, Komatta Shumi has got to be the most fun one in the sense that this is lively piece and one has got to love the creative guitar picking in the middle of the song. I’m not sure if the other instrument is a synthesizer or something else but it sure does fit filler or comical scenes in the series.
There are some scary sounding pieces such as Kowareta Sekai. This song feels like you have stepped into the broken world and N-Field of Suigin Tou. The slow strings and cello play gives a dark impression of abandonment. The same case with Kurayami Yori Kitaru Mono. Also feels like a theme befitting Suigin Tou’s world, the chilling and creepy play of the harpsichord and cello makes you feel that something may strike you at any moment and keep you on your toes. Though Nightmare doesn’t sound like a loud dramatic scary piece with sudden shrieky violins, but the slow combination of piano, strings and chimes is enough to give you a sense of creepiness. It also makes you feel like you are slowly descending into a nightmare which you may never escape.
For Tomorrow sounds like a song filled with hope. The piano is the main instrument here as it is accompanied by slower strings which will eventually take centre stage as the song reaches its end. Last but not least is Creation. Another slow dramatic piece which gives an impression of the formation of the dolls. Like giving their first breath and when they first opened their eyes to the world.
Since it’s impossible for me to blog on the remaining other tracks (not to say that they sound very bad) but let me just briefly go through some of them. Songs from the first season’s album include Ivy is a short piece lasting 10 seconds only and is used for the series’ title screen. It evokes a feeling of those Victorian era the way the strings are played. Same case with Rose Garden and Concerto as it is the theme for the mid-intermission. The waltz-like tune of Garden Party gives a sense of the rich and opulent fancy ball during those Victorian times. Noble Dolls too have this feel while Cute Girl sounds like a children song with the way the flute the harpsichord is played.
Alice Game sounds like an Arabian theme at first but because of the way the harpsichord is played, it gives a sense of eeriness. Kanshaku sounds like a fun piece with its Tiki-like playing. Battle In The House sounds like a funky piece suitable for all those in-house squabbles. Tantei Kun-kun is the theme for the in-series Detective Kun-kun show. It sounds like your typical slow detective jazzy piece. The slow happy tune of Change sounds like a wake-up-in-the-early-morning or daily life song, if you know what I mean. Same case with Neat Sister. Naisei and Awai Omoide is another slow piano play which I feel is suitable for reflection scenes (if there was any in the series. Can’t remember).
Abstract gives a feeling of impending or hidden danger while Zannin Na Kougeki is a heavy rock metal piece. Another slow dramatic piece relying heavily on orchestra strings is Bright Red. Okubyousha sounds like a tune for those scenes you see in chapels and such the way the harpsichord and flute is being played. Jaaku Na Takurami has a little samba feel in it while Barricade Sen sounds like a military piece (remember those flute played during the American Civil War?) with a little marching tune in it. Joukigen has a little Chinese feel while Funny Dolls sounds a little funny itself the way the xylophones are played.
On to the second season’s soundtrack, Shukumei is another Victorian-like piece albeit a little faster. Slapstick sounds like a song from the circus if you know those kind of songs played when carnival or clown antics are being carried out. Then there is Funky Dolls (more like a funky rock piece), Barasuishou (a creepy song befitting that evil doll), Bara Otome (a dramatic piece for that same wicked doll), I’m Not Junk (a funky lively dance piece which resembles a little closely to Shukuteki), Suishou No Field (sounds mystical and cosmic), Mebae (a song which I think feels like a lounge music with its easy piano and acoustic guitar), Genius Detective (a faster jazzy detective piece), Enju (a slow and easy piece with the emphasis on the flute) and Laplace (ironically it sounds a little relaxing as I was hoping for it to sound darker to reflect the mysterious character himself).
Of course there are many more CD audios if you are a hardcore Rozen Maiden fan such as the opening and ending theme singles of the series, Drama CDs (for those who can’t get enough of their favourite dolls) and even several Character Drama Series (for those who still want more of their favourite dolls as each of them have their own separate single CD). Yeah, they even have one Drama CD for that doggy detective Kun-kun called Rozen Maiden Original Drama ~Tantei – Detektiv~. Not forgetting a web radio show (called Radio Dramas) which includes Bara No Kaori No Garden Party CD Special, Memories Of Garden Party and Suigin Tou No Koyoi Mo Ennu~i (for the Ouverture special series). But you know me, I didn’t really listen to all these because I’m satisfied and like those soundtracks. Though I won’t be rewatching the series any time soon, but you can count on me listening to those beautifully crafted tunes over and over again. Just like how the Rozen Maiden dolls are candy to my eyes, the series’ tracks are music to my ears.

Rozen Maiden

Rozen Maiden Dolls

August 18, 2007

Yes! I still love those cute and kawaii midget size Rozen Maiden dolls. Okay, maybe some of them I love to hate. But overall with each of their quirky and unique personality, it makes them quite an interesting lot. What more garbed in colourful goth-loli styled dresses, don’t you just love how cuuuuuuute they look?
Forgive me if I sound like a sissy, admiring those dolls. Unless you’re not into anime or if you’re anime lovers but don’t quite like this kind of anime, I guess one couldn’t resist falling in love with these dolls. And they’re not just ordinary dolls. As I will reiterate, in short, they’re dolls created by some German guy, Rozen, and are destined to duel each other in a game called Alice Game, so that only the one left standing will become the perfect doll known as Alice, and will be able to meet their Father, whom they love so much. So who are they already? Carry on…
Being the first doll to be introduced when the series started, Shinku is your typical bossy and demanding lady who gets whatever she wants. Okay, maybe not entirely. Shinku at first seems like a Victorian era aristocrat as she enjoys drinking tea and ordering her ‘servants’ to make them or other biddings she has in mind. Initially, Shinku portrays no emotions or sympathy towards others (though from time to time in a way she enjoys ‘abusing’ Jun), probably because she and Suigin Tou don’t see eye to eye. As the series progresses, Shinku starts to become soft after her battle with Suigin Tou and doesn’t want to fight with her sisters. She wants them all to stay together like the way it is and fears of losing it. Shinku enjoys watching the tv series Detective Kun Kun and is quite gullible into believing things from the show. Also, Shinku dislikes cats because of her close encounter with 1 whereby it nearly took her wind-up key.
Doll number: 5
Medium: Jun Sakurada
Artificial Spirit: Hollie
Weapon: Uses rose petals during her attacks and her cane which she can double up as her sword
Battles (selected): Vs Hina Ichigo (Shinku emerges victorious when Hina Ichigo uses up too much power from her medium); Vs Suigin Tou (Though Shinku has several battles with Suigin Tou, it seems Suigin Tou always have the upper hand. By the end of season 1, Shinku wins after a gruelling battle. In season 2, no obvious outcome. In OVA, a draw before Laplace signals the end of the game for that era); Vs Bara Suishou (Shinku doesn’t seem to posses the upperhand as she’s avoiding and dodging Bara Suishou’s attacks. At the end of season 2, Shinku lost to her because she got distracted by Jun’s call); Vs Sousei Seki (OVA – draw and unfinished)
Flaw: Too bossy
Hina Ichigo
The second doll to appear in the series, appearing in the second episode of the 1st season, Hina Ichigo is the most child-like and childish in nature among the other dolls. Because of this, she doesn’t like being alone and is always in playful mode. She enjoys colouring and doodling with her crayons. With her squeaky high pitched voice, she likes to utter the words "Unyuu", which is some strawberry daifuku (a small rice glutinuous mochi). Liking all things cute, Hina Ichigo also likes Nori’s flower top hamburger and other sweet snacks. Because of her naivety, she often gets teased, mocked and duped by Suisei Seki, being the gullible little doll she is. Like Shinku, she loves watching the Detective Kun Kun show.
Doll number: 6
Medium: Initially Tomoe Kashiwaba. After her loss, she draws her powers indirectly from Jun through Shinku.
Artificial spirit: Berrybell
Weapon: Uses vines to seize and trap her opponents
Battles (selected): VS Shinku (Hina Ichigo admits defeat at the end of her battle to save her medium); VS Suigin Tou (mostly assisting Shinku in her battles); Before the real Alice Game starts, Father seems to have cut Hina Ichigo’s power link with Shinku, causing her to be in a comatose state.
Flaw: Too childish and naive
Suigin Tou
My favourite doll with her devillish giggles and the main villain of the first season. Suigin Tou was a doll left unfinished by Father but her strong desire to meet him lets Father gave her a Rosa Mystica of her own. Suigin Tou harbours a very deep hatred for Shinku because of the latter’s comments on how she isn’t perfect and not a Rozen Maiden doll. Thus, she detests being called a junk and gets really pissed off whenever Shinku calls her one. Though she may be cunning and would use any means to win the Alice Game, later on, Suigin Tou too show that she has her good side when she deeply cares for the sick girl, Megu. Though at this point, she may seem less crafty and scheming.
Doll number: 1
Medium: Initially nil. But she is revived and gains Megu as her medium in the second season
Artificial spirit: Mei Mei
Weapon: Shoots black feathers from her back
Battles (selected): Vs Shinku (in season 1, Suigin Tou has several battles with Shinku and seems she has the upperhand. Eventually Suigin Tou was defeated at Shinku’s hands by the end of the 1st season. In the 2nd season, her final battle with Shinku was interrupted by Bara Suishou. In the OVA, their battle rudely came to a halt when Laplace announces the end of the Alice Game for that era); Vs Sousei Seki (Suigin Tou wins the fight); Vs Bara Suishou (a brief battle when Suigin Tou was shortly revived in the second season. And at the end of the 2nd season, it isn’t a direct fight when Suigin Tou lost to her when Bara Suishou stabbed her from the back)
Flaw: Incomplete
Suisei Seki
The more conniving twin of the Rozen Maiden dolls. Suisei Seki loves playing tricks on Jun and Hina Ichigo and also enjoys teasing and insulting them, nicknaming them ‘chibi ningen’ and ‘chibi ichigo’ respectively. In short, you could say that she really likes causing trouble and making life miserable for those 2. However sometimes her schemes backfires on her. But she isn’t 100% devious as seen, she loves her twin sister very much and would rather be with her than fight her to become Alice and see Father. Though this high pitch voiced character has 2 different eye colours (not to be mistaken as a production flaw) and provides most of the comical relief and slapstick humour in the series, at other times she is quite helpful and provides assistant to Shinku in her battles. She also ends most of her sentences with ‘desu’.
Doll number: 3
Medium: Nil at first, but in the 2nd season, she reluctantly and eventually makes a contract with Jun
Artificial spirit: Amethyst Dream
Weapon: A giant watercan which make plants emerge from the ground
Battles (selected): Vs Hina Ichigo & Jun (not a real battle actually. More like some petty squabble when Hina Ichigo accuses her of stealing her snack. Nobody wins in the end); Vs Sousei Seki (she had a fight with her twin when she doesn’t approve of that old man as her medium. But Suisei Seki ends up running away in tears); Vs Suigin Tou (at the end of the first season along with her twin, she tries to buy some time while Jun when off to find Shinku. She was temporarily defeated); Vs Bara Suishou (her first attempt on Bara Suishou manage to hand her a short term victory allowing her and the rest to escape Bara Suishou’s N-Field. At the end of the 2nd season, she lost to her when she was frozen while trying to protect Kanaria)
Flaw: Too short-fused and ‘wicked’
Sousei Seki
The more rational and reasonable twin of the Rozen Maiden dolls. But unlike her twin, Sousei Seki is generally a total opposite as she is towards more masculine in terms of character and speech. Besides, she is the only doll who wears a pair of shorts (no, Kanaria’s doesn’t count). She is more calm and quiet and tend not to ‘shoot the gun’ like her twin. Besides also having different sets of eye colour like her twin, Sousei Seki at times can be quite analytical about the situation which contributes to her sharpness. Her loyalty is causing her indecisiveness to choose between her master-cum-medium and Suisei Seki. Later in the second season, Sousei Seki has a vision whereby she saw Father weeping in pain and with a little persuasion from Bara Suishou, she decides to fight in the Alice Game, ignoring her twin sister’s plea to stop, and would even possibly defeat her if it’s by any means to meet Father.
Doll number: 4
Medium: An old watchmaker man named Shibasaki
Artificial Spirit: Renpika
Weapon: A giant scissors which she could use to slash and cut things in her path
Battles (selected): Vs Suisei Seki (when her twin doesn’t approve of her medium, she forcefully tries to take her away though Suisei Seki ended up running away herself); Vs Suigin Tou (in the first season, she along with Suisei Seki fought Suigin Tou to buy Jun some time in finding Shinku, though Sousei Seki temporarily lost. In the second season, she lost for real and her Rosa Mystica was taken); Vs Shinku (OVA – draw and unfinished)
Flaw: Too boyish and stubborn
Bara Suishou
Making her first appearance at the end of the 1st episode of the second season, Bara Suishou is actually a fake Rozen Maiden doll under the guise as the 7th and final Rozen Maiden doll, because the other dolls have never seen her before. She is the creation of Rozen’s jealous apprentice and is the main antagonist for much of the second season. Though her intention is to win the Alice Game, she is stil quite mysterious in the sense of her eerie and unnatural calmness. She shows no pity nor emotions to her opponents and seems to posses substantial amount of power, possibly more than the other dolls. Although in the end she won the Alice Game, she has crumbled and vanished due to her false disposition and her fate after which is unknown. Though she has an eyepatch, don’t mistake her for being a pirate doll!
Doll number: Depends how you want to view it. Initially she claims to be the 7th doll. But since she isn’t a genuine Rozen Maiden, she shouldn’t be in this list either. However, seeing that she’s a doll that somehow got involved in the Alice Game, you may want to consider as the 8th doll.
Medium: Unknown, though I felt it could be her maker Enju
Artificial spirit: Nil
Weapon: Able to produce large amount of solid crystals
Battles (selected): Vs Shinku, Suisei Seki, Sousei Seki, Kanaria and Hina Ichigo (when the other Rozen Maiden dolls stumbled upon Bara Suishou’s N-Field, a battle soon ensued after a puppet show display of Shinku disposing of everyone. Though she overwhelms the all of them, Suisei Seki’s power up allows the group to subdue Bara Suishou temporarily as they made their escape); Vs Shinku and Hina Ichigo (Bara Suishou unleashes a flurry of crystals as her opponents dodged her attack. But their match is discontinued when Suigin Tou defeats Sousei Seki, who later escaped and the rest withdraws); Vs Suisei Seki and Kanaria (she freezes Suisei Seki who tries to protect Kanaria and then uses a sharp crystal to stab Kanaria later on); Vs Suigin Tou (not a direct attack because as Shinku and Suigin Tou are at each other, Bara Suishou betrays Suigin Tou by firing several rounds of crystals into the latter’s back and defeats her); Vs Shinku (stabs Shinku when she was distracted by Jun and ultimately wins the Alice Game)
Flaw: A fake, evil
Making her appearance in episode 3 of the second season, at first Kanaria may seem to pose a threat to Shinku and friends but it turned out that Kanaria is more goofy than expected. Yeah, she talks big but when it comes to taking action, she’s somewhat incompetant in doing so. Like how she plans to infiltrate Jun’s house and take her other sister’s Rosa Mystica. But we see her most of the time spying with her binoculars from outside the house and any her attempts to enter the house always seemed futile. And it’s the umpteenth time that she got and it was just a fluke shot. Although she’s quite goofy and at times bear the consequences of unfortunate events, Kanaria’s quite eccentric and eventually she becomes part of Shinku’s circle. Of course even so, the others don’t really look up to her nor do they have much confidence in her abilities and even during battles, they will tell her to stay away and not interfere. I suppose this would make anyone pissed off. Of course she won’t take it just like that and is determined to prove her worth. She likes ending her sentences with ‘kashira’ and is sometimes seen to carry a little yellow umbrella around.
Doll number: 2
Medium: Mi-chan
Artificial spirit: Pizzicato
Weapon: Playing her violin emits destructive sound waves
Battles (selected): Vs Suisei Seki (okay, not really a real battle. But Kanaria comes face to face with Suisei Seki outside the toilet. She uses her water gun to shoot at Suisei Seki, soaking her letter. But nobody wins when Jun unexpectedly slams the door on both of them); Vs Shinku, Hina Ichigo, Suisei Seki and Sousei Seki (Kanaria decides to be serious and obtain the Rosa Mysticas and launches an attack on the gang but falls short when Shinku comes up to her and slaps her before telling her to clean up the mess. You can say she lost); Vs Bara Suishou (in an attempt to protect Suisei Seki’s Rosa Mystica, Kanaria managed to rip off 1 of Bara Suishou’s arms before the latter stabs her with her crystal. Kanaria lost)
Flaw: Too goofy
The true and actual 7th Rozen Maiden doll which only made her very brief and short appearance at the end of the final episode of the second season. Because of that, much of her details remain very much unknown in the anime. I’m speculating that Kirakishou is the model that inspired Enju to create Bara Suishou since they both look almost similar. However a distinctive physical difference is that Kirakishou has a white rose as her right eye rather than Bara Suishou’s eyepatch.
Doll number: 7
Medium: Unknown and possibly nil
Artificial spirit: Unknown and possibly nil
Weapon: Unknown
Battles: None (What do you expect of making just a brief one off appearance)
Flaw: Can only exist in the N-Field. Because of this, I’m thinking how in the world Rozen ever created her since she’s unable to materialize her physical body in the real world. But maybe all that’s explained in the manga, which of course, I don’t read lah.
So if you’ve been reading my previous blog on this anime, you’ll know that my favourite doll is still Suigin Tou. She still is. Perhaps it would’ve been more fun if there had been more Rozen Maiden dolls. Then at least they could’ve done a battle royale style slugfest. But that would be very unlady-like, would’nt it? Yeah, it would be overcrowded at the same time too. Hopefully, they should realize that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that no one doll is perfect. Their flaws is what gives them their unique personality and I think each of them in their own right are their own Alice.

Rozen Maiden

June 2, 2007

 I never like playing with dolls. I still don’t. That is, not until I’ve watched Rozen Maiden. Okay, so maybe I still don’t actually play with such soft toys but if it’s a Rozen Maiden doll, I might give some second thoughts about it. Yes, those cute little midget-sized dolls garbed in goth-loli outfits. With each dolls having their own distinct personality, it makes them more interesting.
So besides being just cute looking dolls, what are Rozen Maidens really? Though there are some explanations throughout the series, let me just blog it all here one shot. There are 7 Rozen Maiden dolls created by some German doll maker guy called Rozen, hence the dolls are named after him. Somehow these dolls after their creation have been given a breath of life as they call their maker Father. However, because of Rozen’s infatuation to create the most perfect doll and he’s unable to do so, the fate and destiny of the Rozen Maidens are tied to this Alice Game.
It’s a game whereby the dolls have to duke it out between themselves whereby the last standing doll is declared the winner and is promised to meet Father. Throughout the series I find this Rozen guy a bit sadistic to pit his ‘daughters’ against each other. Uh-huh. Not that I really understand why except that Rozen perceives this Alice to be the most perfect and beautiful thing. So by winning the Alice game, that Rozen Maiden could become that perfect Alice. Which mean to say that those dolls are ‘imperfect’, right? Right. In a way.
But this entire 12 episode series doesn’t just concentrate on the dolls trying to outdo each other. It focuses more on the drama and interaction between the characters. Coupled in with some comedy, supernatural elements and terminologies of their own, it makes the series quite enjoyable to watch. Yes, there are some fighting with energy projections. But it’s not the main focusing point of the series. Besides, some viewers say that some of the background art and drawing are drop dead gorgeous. Well, to me, they seem pretty okay. Not that it made my jaw dropped several inches.
So we got this kid, Jun Sakurada, who’s a hikikomori as seen in episode 1. That’s a recluse case for those of you who don’t know. Just like Satou’s case in NHK Ni Youkoso. But instead of all those conspiracies, Jun’s reason why he’s one is because of some mental traumatic experiences he had when he was in school. Therefore, he locks himself up in his room and doesn’t go to school. So his poor but patient and understanding sister, Nori, has to do the chores around the house and tolerate his strange behaviour. Such a nice girl who loves her little brother very much. She even tries to help him but that stubborn kid just ignores her.
Because of his hikikomori-ness, Jun has this weird infatuation of ordering supernatural goods through the internet and then returned them once he has had enough fun of it just before the trial period ends. All’s well until he receives a letter saying that he’d won some prize. And after following the instructions on the letter, Nori comes in bringing some huge luggage. Upon opening and examining the luggage, Jun finds a doll in red goth-loli dress. He winds it up and the doll starts to gradually move on her own. Unexpectedly, she slaps Jun in the face for handling a lady indelicately. She introduces herself as Shinku, the 5th Rozen Maiden doll. Because of Jun’s stubbornness and Shinku’s bossy attitude, these 2 are like loggerheads and will always be in some sort of argument. Unfortunately for Jun, he always loses to the doll.
What could be worse than a talking doll? Well, another clown-like doll crashes into Jun’s room from the window and is gonna kill him! Shinku tells him that he’s gonna die and that the only way to stay alive is to make a contract with her by kissing her ring. Jun of course doesn’t really believe it all until that clown doll is really serious into attacking him. Shinku’s just sitting there not doing anything. No choice, Jun then agrees and kisses Shinku’s ring. With that, a ring appears on Jun’s finger symbolizing a bond has been created and Shinku goes into battle mode, easily disposing it off.
Later, Shinku explains that by kissing her ring, Jun hereby agrees to be her servant. Uh-huh. The master is a doll. Plus, Jun is also Shinku’s medium. Meaning, a power source used in battles. And everytime Shinku uses a medium’s power, Jun’s ring will start to glow and the ring will feel a little warm. Is Jun gonna accept it all? Well, he can’t really do much. Since he can’t even take off the ring from his finger, he reluctantly agrees to do Shinku’s bidding. But as I’ve mentioned earlier on. Jun and Shinku will get into arguments in which the latter will do something like kicking his shin or hitting his face with her ponytails to stop his ranting. Funny. Yeah, Jun’s more like her ‘slave’ than ‘medium’ if you look at it in a way.
In episode 2, another Rozen Maiden doll is introduced, the naive and child-like Hina Ichigo. Because she’s quite scared of being left alone due to her previous owner, her current master and medium, Tomoe Kashiwaba, tries her best to be with her. But one day because of Tomoe’s busy school schedules caused her to be come home late one evening (actually she’s at Jun’s house handing over some notes to Nori. Yup, Tomoe’s Jun’s classmate) and that’s when Hina Ichigo gets into one of her fits. Thus, she decides to drag Tomoe into another realm, N-Field so that they could play together forever. An N-Field is a realm whereby it’s supposedly the Rozen Maiden’s domain. And each N-Field reflects the characteristics of each Rozen Maiden and can be accessed via reflecting objects like mirrors and computer screens. Also an N-Field of a particular Rozen Maiden gives her a ‘home advantage’ but to offset that, a medium is used.
So Shinku decides to start the Alice Game by entering some large mirror in Jun’s storeroom and into Hina Ichigo’s N-Field. Yup, it’s Shinku vs Hina Ichigo. To cut things short, Shinku won because Hina Ichigo used up too much of Tomoe’s powers. Because Hina Ichigo lost, by right she would lose her Rosa Mystica, a vital ‘soul’ which gives the Rozen Maiden’s life. Without it, a Rozen Maiden is just an ordinary doll, unable to move or talk. But Shinku instead of taking Hina Ichigo’s Rosa Mystica, decides to make Hina Ichigo her servant as Hina Ichigo releases Tomoe from her contract. Oh boy, that’s what Jun really needs. Another doll living in his house. It’s gonna get ‘livelier’.
Episode 3 introduces yet another Rozen Maiden. This time it’s Suigin Tou, the main villain of this series and she harbours a deep hatred for Shinku. She’s also the one who sent that clown doll back then. By the way, Suigin Tou’s one of my favourite Rozen Maiden dolls because of her ‘pretty’ goth-loli dressing and her devilish giggles. Yup, her giggles sounds cute yet so… eerie. Besides Shinku and Suigin Tou having a short battle and the latter retreats after nearly claiming victory, we see how Hina Ichigo adjusts to life in Jun’s house. She’s still so child-like. And more of that drama with Jun and Tomoe.
Another Rozen Maiden comes crashing into Jun’s room through his window in episode 4. This time it’s the temperament and short-fused Suisei Seki. I guess without her, the whole series won’t be that lively or funny. Well, she’s not really a joker of the series, but somehow she doesn’t click with Jun and Hina Ichigo and always teases and mocks them. And because Jun’s relatively small in terms of body size for his age, Suisei Seki calls him ‘chibi ningen’ while Jun calls her back ‘wicked doll’. It’s really getting livelier. Like they say, the more the merrier. And Suisei Seki’s not even living with them. She’s just ‘visiting’. If you happen to notice her different eye colours, don’t think it’s a mistake made by the producers. It’s intentional. That’s because her other twin sister too has different opposite eye colours.
Here, Shinku asks Suisei Seki to use her powers to enter Jun’s Dream World, a place where it mirrors one’s personality, characteristics and memories. And it seems Jun’s one is a computer junkyard. As the series progresses, you’ll find out Jun’s fears and such and why he becomes a hikikomori (is scoring all eggs that bad?). But in Jun’s Dream World, it isn’t all hopeless as there’s a small green plant that just wouldn’t grow. Though Suisei Seki uses her Amethyst Dream (looks like a water can alright) to help it grow but it still wasn’t enough. As they’re heading back to reality, Jun manages to save Suisei Seki from falling and when they’re back in the real world, Suisei Seki has a more favourable view of Jun, though she still teases and mocks him at times. Hmm… I find it funny to see the Rozen Maidens sleeping in their luggage box. Is it comfortable? Yeah, and it seems that luggage can fly too. Really.
Episode 5 is my favourite episode because it’s really a funny one. We find out that Shinku loves to watch that Detective Kun Kun show, a puppet detective dog show. And she’s really into it with all those analyzing and stuffs so much so she thinks it’s real. Besides that, Suisei Seki steals some strawberry cake from Hina Ichigo and the latter accuses her of doing so but the former denies. Because of that, Hina Ichigo locks herself in Jun’s room. Nori wants them all to get along by the time she gets back or else. So we see Jun and Hina Ichigo teaming up to try and make Suisei Seki confess and apologize to Hina Ichigo and some hilarious battle ensue at the stairways. Jun and Hina Ichigo manage to make Suisei Seki confess but Suisei Seki isn’t giving up yet. We see Suisei Seki trying to tempt Hina Ichigo as she ‘hijacks’ the fridge teasingly slowly eats all her favourite snacks. Hina Ichigo hang in there. Yeah, all in chibi form too.
Initially Shinku didn’t want to get involve but Jun uses and impersonates the voice of Detective Kun Kun doll which he has, to say how Shinku’s bad to do such a thing. Then Shinku like an innocent and naive doll quickly says that it’s all Suisei Seki’s fault, pointing her finger towards a surprised Suisei Seki. Hehehe. Pandemonium ensues and the whole stairways is bloody messy with things being thrown from both sides. When Nori comes home, she blows her top when she finds out the place is in a total mess. We don’t really get to see Nori’s true demon side but it manage to make Suisei Seki say "Now I have renewed respect for this human". But in the end, everyone calms down and Nori cooks them their favourite flower-topped hamburger meal.
More of those Detective Kun Kun shows in episode 6. Because Shinku and Suisei Seki watched the horror special, they got scared by it and Shinku decides to ‘follow’ Jun while Suisei Seki with Hina Ichigo. In Jun’s room, Jun noticed how Shinku looks more human than a doll and Shinku trying to get through Jun’s heart by they both ended up quarrelling. Soon they heard Suisei Seki’s screams from the storeroom and rushed there. To their horror, they find Suisei Seki unconscious and Suigin Tou’s taking Hina Ichigo as hostage. Suigin Tou wants to challenge Shinku to the Alice Game and disappears back through the mirror. With no choice, Shinku along with Jun and several other dolls (including that clown one) head into the mirror to face Suigin Tou.
It seems Suigin Tou’s N-Field is quite dark, gloomy, cold and desolated with lots of broken dolls. By the way, Shinku seems to like pissing off Suigin Tou by calling her a junk. And Suigin Tou always rebuffs with anger that she’s not one. During the battle, Suigin Tou manages to have Shinku in her grasp and is going in for the killing blow when Jun remembers the time he spent with the dolls which activates some protective barrier around Shinku through his ring. Suigin Tou is shocked at this and wonders why such a medium posses superb powers and retreats. The rest of them then head back to Jun’s storeroom. There, Jun uses his sewing skills and repaired that damaged clown doll who was ripped during the fight. His skills impresses Shinku and everyone else as the clown doll comes back to life. After complementing Jun and as they’re leaving Shinku suddenly falls over like as though she has no more life.
The gang try various method to wake Shinku up in episode 7 but to no avail. She doesn’t even respond to her beloved Detective Kun Kun. Or even when her medium’s in danger (yeah, Suisei Seki trying to purposely drop some painful things on Jun). Suisei Seki explains something about some eternal dream, a fate worse than death as she has to relive painful memories again and again from the time of their creation. By the way, I want to mention that there’s this guy, Yamamoto, who’s supposed to be Nori’s classmate, always wanting to try and confess to her. Unfortunately, his plans are always being thwarted by an unsuspecting Rozen Maiden like the luggage box hitting his head. In the end, Nori never really knew of his intentions and Yamamoto has to back out because he doesn’t know what’s going on. Poor guy.
Soon Hina Ichigo too becomes lifeless because her powers are drawn from Shinku. This prompts Jun to slightly overcome his hikikomori as he sneaks out of the house and to his school library to find some clues. Tomoe spots him but instead of saying "Hah! I thought you’re a hikikomori and look what you’re doing out of your shell!", she decides to help him in his situation. It must be tough trying to translate each and every sentences in German using a Japanese dictionary but they manage to pull through. It seems the answer is to summon some artificial spirit. Yeah, that little light that seems to be flying around her. And Shinku’s one is called Hollie (likewise, Suisei Seki’s Amethyst Dream). With that, Hollie enters the wind hole from Shinku’s back and extracts a black feather, supposedly left from Suigin Tou (but I’m still wondering how it got there). Shinku soon comes to life but instead of thanking Jun, she slaps him and says that he took too long. Perhaps that’s her way of saying thank you. Hina Ichigo soon follow suit. At least the whole gangs back.
In episodes 8-9, we learn that Suisei Seki’s twin sister, Sousei Seki is some sort of a ‘replacement child’ for their master-cum-medium, an old watchmaker who lost his son Kazuki in an accident and his wife’s in a coma. It seems Suisei Seki doesn’t like how Sousei Seki’s an obedient ‘dog’ trying to satisfy her masters wishes and in the first place why Suisei Seki leaves the house and her master for Jun’s. Probably she loves mocking Jun. This old guy’s pretty scary when he’s senile. So Sousei Seki spends most of her time trying to find Kazuki in the Dream World, which is nothing but pure white. A lot of drama here and there.
Of course Suigin Tou has to come stir some trouble by showing Suisei Seki how her twin’s sleeping on the floor instead of her luggage. I guess it’s detrimental to a Rozen Maiden’s health if she doesn’t sleep in one. This made Suisei Seki unable to stand the sight and tries to take Sousei Seki away forcefully. They engaged in battle but Suisei Seki ran away in tears after coming to a conclusion that her twin loves her master more than her sis. So odd to see Suisei Seki like this. Then Suigin Tou tells the old man a way to forever be with his Kazuki, and that is to trap her in his Dream World.
As Sousei Seki falls into the trap, Suisei Seki’s relieved to find that Shinku and her servants (you know who) decide to help her out. Inside the Dream World, they encounter Suigin Tou. Soon the door to the Dream World will close and will lock them all inside. While Shinku and Hina Ichigo battles Suigin Tou, Jun and the twins are trying to find some big tree which connects to all dreams, to the old man’s wife’s Dream World. They manage to do so and find out that the reason why the old man’s wife wants to stay in this world is because Kazuki’s here as well. They want to stay here forever without having to experience the pain and sorrow of reality. Jun then knock some sense into them about accompanying that lonely old husband of hers. She soon realizes it and agrees.
As the trio rushes back to reality, they find Suigin Tou launching an attack against them. It seems Suigin Tou who has gotten Sousei Seki’s artificial spirit, Renpika (some giant scissors) earlier on, now wants Suisei Seki’s Amethyst Dream. Jun is shielding the dolls from Suigin Tou’s relentless attack which made Suisei Seki no choice but to give hers up to save him. Meanwhile, Shinku and Hina Ichigo manage to find Kazuki and the latter sets them free and asks them to tell his parents not to worry. When the 2 are back in the real world, Suigin Tou has already fled. But good thing is the old man’s wife has come out of her coma and the old man himself has overcome his denial of Kazuki’s death and admits Sousei Seki isn’t his son.
In episode 10, Suigin Tou enters Shinku’s dream to challenge her to the Alice Game which the latter agrees. Besides that, Nori requests the dolls to help her practice with her Snow White play. It seems Suisei Seki’s quite fitting of playing the evil witch while the dwarves are Sousei Seki and Hina Ichigo, Shinku as the Snow White princess while Jun as the prince. Also, Jun gets embarrassed to see the dolls in their undergarments when their outfits are being washed and happened to notice that joints as it reminds Jun that they have forgotten that they’re dolls and not humans. Besides some moments between Shinku and Nori, more insights of the Rozen Maiden and Alice Game are explained from Shinku. Though Sousei Seki notices that Shinku may be hiding something because she’s acting weird, that night when everyone’s asleep, Shinku prepares herself to go face Suigin Tou gives Jun a kiss before leaving via the mirror in the storeroom.
The battle finally begins in episode 11 but Shinku realizes that it’s a trap from Suigin Tou. In order to ensure Shinku has little powers during the battle, she uses a doll to stall her while she herself goes to Jun’s room and enters his Dream World. After which, Suigin Tou returns to her N-Field and starts a black feather-rose petal battle with Shinku. It seems Jun now is facing up to his fearful past in his dream. It seems that Jun was once a smart kid but failed an important exam one day resulting him being ridiculed by everyone, the reason why he shut himself out. Also, Jun was devastated and angry when Nori called their parents and told them how she couldn’t tolerate Jun anymore, another reason why he has been quite cold to his sister. Jun can’t take it anymore, he’s losing his self confidence and breaking down. With that, Shinku loses her concentration and could only hope that Jun won’t be fooled by his dreams. But Suigin Tou has Shinku in her grasp now and demands her to give up her Rosa Mystica.
The other dolls noticed that Jun’s Dream World has been opened but can’t do anything because their artificial spirits are taken away by Suigin Tou. They decide to seek Nori’s help in which she agrees. So how do they enter the Dream World? Suisei Seki knocks Nori out cold! That doll is really wicked. In the N-Field, Hina Ichigo manages to distract Suigin Tou to free Shinku and allow her to escape to Jun’s Dream World but Suigin Tou gave chase. Meanwhile the twins and Nori are at Jun’s Dream World and notices his tree is dying. The twins cover Nori from Suigin Tou’s attack to allow Nori to try and talk to him to bring him to his senses. After a lot of emotional talk of realization, they reconciled. Jun then saw the battle of the other dolls with Suigin Tou. To his horror, Suigin Tou rips off Shinku’s right arm. Jun with his regained confidence, steps in to protect Shinku and faces off with Suigin Tou.
The final episode 12 sees Jun and the dolls teaming up against Suigin Tou. During the battle, the twins manage to get their artificial spirits back. While the dolls hold Suigin Tou off, Jun whisks Shinku away. Now the roles are opposite. It seems Shinku’s lost her self confidence and seems shaky because she fears she can’t be Alice now. After some words of reassurance like how he’ll always protect her, Shinku felt a little better as Jun left to find Shinku’s torn arm. He spots it across a river. Because Suigin Tou has easily defeated the other dolls, she spots what Jun’s doing and is playing psychology with him about his fears. But because of Jun’s strong desire to protect Shinku and his gratitude towards her that allowed him to free himself from his traumatic experience, Jun’s sudden power destroys Suigin Tou’s barrier, shocking her. With more words of encouragement from Shinku, he crosses the river and retrieves her arm.
Then like out of convenience, some magical force appears to sew Shinku’s arm perfectly like it was never been ripped before. So it’s Shinku vs Suigin Tou round 2. Suigin Tou’s deeply swallowed by her hatred for Shinku so much so that she decides to burn her using some blue flame. But Jun’s will to protect is much stronger and in the end, Suigin Tou got burned by her own flames. Her secret is now revealed as Suigin Tou cries in despair. It seems she was the first doll created by Rozen but was left unfinished, like a junk. But her love for Father was genuine and still wants to meet him. And somehow she manage to move without a medium probably it was her determination to prove that she’s a complete doll. So sad to see Suigin Tou like this. But it seems Shinku didn’t take away her Rosa Mystica.
Meanwhile, Nori notices how Jun’s tree is growing albeit still small. His Dream World now isn’t dark and gloomy but bright and colourful. Though the twins want to tend to it but Nori requests them not to and wants Jun to do it with his own power. While Jun and Shinku shares a tender moment, Shinku then said a few last words before wishing him goodbye. Jun wakes up to find that the ring on his finger is gone. Looks like Jun’s cured of his hikikomori as he and Nori takes a step outside the house. He’s not afraid anymore. But looks like he has one fear left. Yeah, when he comes back, to his surprise he saw all the dolls there. Why? It seems that Jun used up too much power causing the dolls to temporarily disappear and because Jun has grown up, the powers return (and that ring too) along with the dolls. Jun’s glad that Shinku’s back and we see Jun’s school uniform hanging outside his closet. Looks like he’s ready to go to school.
But it’s not over yet. There’s a second season of another 12 episodes called Rozen Maiden Traumend which continues where the 1st season ends. I felt that the 1st season’s more on Jun as he overcome his fears and his interaction with the dolls. Whereas in the 2nd season, the Alice Game truly begins and it focuses more on the dolls. To save time, I’ll blog the 2nd season as well.
So the first episode shows the usual noisy dolls at Jun’s house. Uh-huh. Suisei Seki and Sousei Seki comes crashing in through Jun’s window and wants to see Hina Ichigo because she drew some doodles all over their artificial spirits. More hilarious antics between Suisei Seki and Hina Ichigo. Also, Jun’s back in school doing lots of catching up work. Luckily Tomoe’s there to assist him. Sorry, no chemistry between those 2. Meanwhile Shinku’s feeling depressed over the loss of Suigin’s Tou and has a little chat with Jun. In this season I felt, Shinku is less ‘aggressive’ and is more indecisive and shaky because of that last incident. Then Shinku spots Mei Mei, Suigin Tou’s artificial spirit and decides to follow it with Jun tagging along despite his objections. Mei Mei leads them to Suigin Tou’s N-Field. There they met a rabbit in a tuxedo, Laplace Demon. I think this guy’s a baddie from the look of things. Shinku tells Jun to ignore him after some talk. Eventually the duo ends up in a place filled with crystals and are suddenly attacked. Shinku asks her attacker to show herself, which she did. She introduces herself as Bara Suishou, the 7th Rozen Maiden doll, a doll with an eyepatch. Shinku seems surprised because this is the first time she has seen the 7th doll.
So episode 2 starts off with Shinku and Bara Suishou in a heated battle. Bara Suishou knows Shinku is mentally incapable of fighting because of that Suigin Tou incident. Looks like Bara Suishou’s gonna be the main villain this season after Suigin Tou’s demise. But before Bara Suishou can land the killing blow, Laplace uses some barrier to save those 2. This rabbit guy talks in riddles because I don’t understand what he’s saying most of the time. Back at home, a lot of talking between Shinku and Jun with the former explaining that with Bara Suishou’s appearance, the real Alice Game has begun. Because of that Shinku tells Jun not to tell the others about Bara Suishou because she doesn’t want them worried. But sharp Sousei Seki notices that Shinku isn’t acting like herself. Also, Tomoe takes Jun to a doll shop called Enju Doll and they meet a storekeeper, Shirosaki, who tells Jun not to be shy about liking dolls and that the doll maker Enju is currently busy making a new doll at the moment and invites them to come whenever they want. This episode though has some comical moments, but lots of spacing out and pondering as well.
If you’ve counted only 6 Rozen Maiden dolls so far, then you’re right. Thus in episode 3, the final Rozen Maiden doll is introduced, Kanaria. At first I thought she’s gonna be a real threat as she claims herself to be the smartest one among the dolls. But when she idiotically slips off the roof (not once but twice!), I knew that she’s gonna be another goofy one. How true. Here we see Kanaria trying to penetrate into Jun’s house to get the other doll’s Rosa Mystica but because of her goofiness and ‘dumbness’, she fails. Even when Kanaria manages to enter and tries to do some investigation of her own, she has a hard time trying not to let the other dolls aware of her presence. Yeah, Shinku thinks there’s an intruder and becomes Detective Kun Kun to solve the mystery. A lot of near misses in this light hearted episode. The dolls finally meet when Kanaria made a mess in the kitchen with Shinku using her powers to restore the place. Meanwhile, Jun’s at Enju Doll watching Enju creating ‘life’ when his ring starts to get warm as he rushes back. Yeah, great. Just what he needs. Another doll. With that, Bara Suishou notes to herself the Alice Game will begin from here.
More of those Jun-Shinku moments in episode 4. Also the twins talk about the inevitable in the Alice Game and it seems Suisei Seki isn’t interested about becoming Alice but to be with her sis forever. Sousei Seki doesn’t thinks so as she still wants to meet Father. So this causes a little riff in their relationship. Plus, Suisei Seki doesn’t want that old man as her medium so when Sousei Seki suggests Jun. Reluctant at first, Suisei Seki tries to approach Jun but is unable to do so. As Kanaria again tries to invade Jun’s house, she spots Bara Suishou’s head popping out from the puddle. And when Kanaria frantically tries to tell the rest about this, Suisei Seki decides to test it by dropping Kanaria in it! That girl never change. With Kanaria completely vanishing they conclude it may be an N-Field as they enter it. They reach at some auditorium where Laplace announces whereby all the dolls have gathered. He proceeds to show them some puppet play whereby Shinku defeats the other dolls including Suigin Tou. This scene is disturbing Shinku very much as she pleads for him to stop. Before you know it, Bara Suishou destroys that puppet play and asks if they should start the Alice Game.
Bara Suishou seems to be quite powerful herself as Shinku’s paralysed, sitting there and spacing out as the battle rages on. Jun notices sad Suisei Seki is and asks her to make a contract with him. She agrees. With that, now Jun has become her medium and her Amethyst Dream is more powerful as she counters Bara Suishou. In the meantime, the rest used this opportunity to escape N-Field. In the end, though Suisei Seki’s sad that she has to live with Jun now, but Sousei Seki assures her that she’ll come by tomorrow. Funny part at the end as we see Kanaria with her butt stuck halfway from the puddle as she curses the other dolls and promise she’ll get her revenge. Doesn’t anybody notice her. Perhaps they just don’t bother with her.
But this doesn’t deter Kanaria as she tries her umpteenth time to penetrate the house in episode 5. Yeah, and that Yamamoto guy too is trying… and failing. This episode is quite light hearted in the sense that Suisei Seki and Hina Ichigo tries to impress Jun but aren’t doing too well. So they decide to write him a letter but that scheming Suisei Seki tricks her that she must post it in a mail box and further describes the mail box as something scary. And of course a naive Hina Ichigo believes her but still do it because she herself likes Jun. Plus, Suisei Seki saw what Hina Ichigo wrote (a thank you note) and decides to copy it and send her own letter to Jun first. You can really see those scheming star sparkling in those eyes. Hina Ichigo has to traverse various obstacles in the city on a stray cat and manages to do so. Also Tomoe spots her and comments on how happy she is to see Hina Ichigo has changed. Back at Jun’s house, Kanaria manage to enter through the toilet window and while coming out, bumps into Suisei Seki. Kanaria pulls out her gun and is gonna shoot her. Is this for real? Well nope. It’s just a water gun. Yeah, it wets Suisei Seki’s letter. Too bad. Divine punishment. And there’s more punishment for them both. Because they’re standing at the toilet door, Jun opens it and smashes them both against the wall. At the end, we get to see Kanaria’s medium, Mi-chan, who’s some doll cosplayer freak obsessed maniac. Kanaria’s reporting to her on the other dolls but since she saw Kanaria so kawaii, she proceeds to give her that cheek rubbing hug (yeow! Must be burning hot at that speed). Later Jun receives Hina Ichigo’s letter, he can’t read it because her handwriting’s ‘cakar ayam’.
Suigin Tou returns in episode 6. I guess the series isn’t the same and won’t be ‘complete’ without her. Before that, we see a terminally ill girl, Megu, lying in hospital. I’ve never knew a person who’s so enthusiastic to die. I mean, yeah, she fells like she’s a burden but she’s too weak to do it herself. But anyway, one night while walking into a nearby church, she saw a light coming out from a box and thought it was the angel of death here to take her away. Actually it’s Suigin Tou. Before you know it, she kisses her ring and Megu becomes her medium. Yay! Suigin Tou’s back. Since Shinku didn’t take her Rosa Mystica at the end of last season, I suppose the producer’s waiting for this chance to revive her. So some moments between the 2 as Megu finds out about the Alice Game and wonders if she’d use up all her powers for it. Megu’ll be glad if she does because it will end her life. The sooner the better. Megu even thinks of herself as imperfect and a junk and wants to be like Suigin Tou who seems perfect to her.
While flying through the night sky, Suigin Tou encounters Bara Suishou and the 2 battle. But Suigin Tou questions her existence after Bara Suishou brought back some memories from the previous season. As Bara Suishou says, perhaps Father has fixed her for the Alice Game. Real sadist. Suigin Tou decides to visit Shinku in her dream. But to Suigin Tou’s surprise, it seems that Shinku is more kinder and gentler and apologizes for calling her a junk. Yeah, they’re all sisters in a way. But Suigin Tou still isn’t too convinced and heads back to Megu’s side. Later we see Bara Suishou at Enju Doll and having some conversation with Shirosaki as she says everything is going as planned. Something fishy must be up with these 2.
Episode 7 is another light hearted one. Kanaria is really serious this time in facing off with the other dolls but is suspicious that they invited her over for tea and cookies. I like the funny part where Kanaria’s thinking the cookies may be poisoned so that they could knock her out and take her Rosa Mystica and before she knows it, Suisei Seki stuffs it all down her throat! Hahaha. Eventually Kanaria decides to leave because they’re all just pissing her off. But back at her home, Kanaria asks how would Mi-chan feel if she no longer moves. Mi-chan says she’ll be sad and all that, which prompts Kanaria to be even serious this time. The next day while Shinku and Sousei Seki are chatting, Kanaria arrives and attacks them with her artificial spirit, Pizzicato (a violin). Kanaria’s going for it this time as she’s causing havoc and damage. Sousei Seki decides to attack but before she could do it, Shinku calmly walks toward Kanaria and slaps her! She orders Kanaria to clean up the mess she made. Yeah, that scaredy cat Kanaria just did that. I wonder why she’s scared of her in the first place. Maybe it’s because of her ‘bossy’ appearance.
They find out why Kanaria’s attacking them is because it’s for Mi-chan’s sake as she wanted to play with the other dolls. Soon they all decide to pay Mi-chan a visit. And that Mi-chan got very excited to see all the Rozen Maidens and proceed to put on some cosplaying outfits on them. Looks like they’re having fun. Later Sousei Seki asks why Shinku didn’t fight back seriously and the latter replies that she doesn’t want to lose anymore than it is now. Sousei Seki feel a little upset and wonders if Shinku is abandoning the Alice Game.
It seems Kanaria has joined that gang in episode 8. What do you expect when high pitch squealing dolls like Kanaria, Hina Ichigo and Suisei Seki argue. Yeah, they can bring the house down. Besides that, we see Sousei Seki seriously thinking about fighting everyone in the Alice Game. Of course Suisei Seki doesn’t approve of it and Shinku has that ‘if that’s what you wish…’ attitude and doesn’t really stop her. The reason why Sousei Seki wants to do this is because she had a dream and saw father in pain. And the only way to take away his pain is to become Alice, which Sousei Seki intends fulfil Father’s wish. Also, more of Suigin Tou-Megu moments as we find out Megu’s been weak/junk while she’s young prompting Suigin Tou to remember her own case. At the same time, Jun decides to visit Enju and watch his doll making process. I didn’t get this part when Enju comes up to Jun, grabs and touches his cheek, before agreeing that he could stay and watch. What the? So Jun gets to know more about doll making and its existence. And to his surprise, Jun finds out dolls that are flawed are smashed by Enju with a hammer. Something about equal feelings and such.
While Jun, Nori and the other dolls have some ‘flowing noodles’ experience for lunch in episode 9, we see Sousei Seki encountering Bara Suishou and Suigin Tou in the Dream World. Sousei Seki explains that she’s neither joining forces with them nor Shinku’s as she’s doing this on her own. That night when Shinku has a dream about Suigin Tou again, she wakes up to find the world in a duo-chrome colour setting. The other dolls too notice this and thinks that they’re in Suigin Tou’s N-Field. To cut things short, a battle ensues. Shinku and Hina Ichigo take on Bara Suishou while Suisei Seki faces Suigin Tou. But as Suisei Seki’s staring at the face of defeat, Sousei Seki saves her in time and says not to interrupt her fight with Suigin Tou. Though Suisei Seki wants her sis to stop fighting, that stubborn twin of hers intends to go on. No amount of words could reach her heart. She’s already decided. But in the end, Sousei Seki lost to Suigin Tou. She acknowledges it as her Rosa Mystica soon appears as her body floats in mid-air.
Suigin Tou grows excited at the sight of Sousei Seki’s Rosa Mystica in episode 10 and outpaces Suisei Seki to retrieve it. This made Shinku mad but Suigin Tou seems to look forward to fighting and even turns on Bara Suishou. But Laplace appears and offers Shinku and co an escape portal in which they had no choice but to do so. So lots of emotional talk and drama from the dolls as their feelings began to waver about the inevitable. Sousei Seki’s just lying there motionless in her luggage. Meanwhile Suigin Tou heals Megu a little with her new Rosa Mystica, which made Megu feel a little warm and smiles. I guess Suigin Tou’s a little happy too. But soon Hina Ichigo too fell unconscious because she originally lost to Shinku back in the first season. A sign which means the Alice Game is now in play. Before Hina Ichigo goes, she spent her last moments with Tomoe and felt happy. Then her Rosa Mystica is absorbed by Shinku, confident that Hina Ichigo would return one day. Sad. Two dolls down. Then, Shinku along with Suisei Seki and Kanaria are transported inside Enju Doll shop and to their surprise to see Jun there. But what’s even more surprising is that Shirosaki is actually Laplace as his human face morphs into a rabbit’s one. I actually had a hunch Shirosaki would be that rabbit because of the voice but now it’s confirmed. Bara Suishou then appears and addresses her Father, which is Enju. Surprise surprise. Is he Rozen?
Well he seems to look like Father as the dolls think it’s him in episode 11. But Jun is suspicious as he thought Father would only want to meet Alice. Soon Enju, Laplace and Bara Suishou left and tell them to meet at the N-Field tomorrow for their battle. Later that night, Shinku and Suisei Seki told Kanaria not to get in their way because it’s serious stuff, but this made her feel offended. So the next day, eventually Kanaria decides to come along as the trio are transported to a rose garden N-Field. The battle starts with Shinku vs Bara Suishou while Suigin Tou vs Suisei Seki again. Kanaria feeling left out decides to help out Suisei Seki. Meanwhile Jun too has arrived in the N-Field as he rushes up to the mansion where Enju’s just sitting and watching the dolls battling each other. Jun tries to tell Enju to stop all this but Enju’s turning a deaf ear while Laplace stops him. While Shinku helps Suisei Seki, this left Bara Suishou to target Kanaria. Soon Suisei Seki decides to help a ‘useless’ Kanaria but their teamwork is angering Bara Suishou. As a result of Suisei Seki’s covering for Kanaria, the former got frozen in Bara Suishou’s attack and her Rosa Mystica appears. Kanaria grabs it before Bara Suishou could and vows to protect it with all her will. Kanaria unleashes her violin attack which rips Bara Suishou’s arms but the latter materializes a crystal sword and stabs Kanaria. Thus, Bara Suishou obtains both Suisei Seki and Kanaria’s Rosa Mystica. Shinku saw all this and became furious as she unleashes her petal roses in fury towards her remaining foes.
So the final episode 12 sees Shinku in her rage grabs Suigin Tou by her neck and lunges her down to the ground as she shows the aftermath of Suisei Seki and Kanaria. But Suigin Tou doesn’t give a damn about it and they both continue their fight inside the mansion. But Bara Suishou betrays Suigin Tou and stabs her with several crystals from the back. This allows Shinku to take Rosa Mysticas from Suigin Tou and has vision of her memories but Sousei Seki’s one drifted towards Bara Suishou. With that the last 2 Rozen Maidens began duelling and it seems they posses powers from the Rosa Mystica that they had obtained.
Soon Shinku overwhelms Bara Suishou and blames her for everything and is going to terminate her to end all this when Enju shows up with Jun. Jun yells at Shinku to step saying that if she does this, she’ll be no worse than Bara Suishou. In Shinku’s hesitation, Bara Suishou uses this opportunity to stab Shinku with her head accessory. I can’t believe Shinku lost! Her Rosa Mystica and those that Shinku had defeated, is absorbed by Bara Suishou. Bara Suishou has all the Rosa Mysticas now and is the winner. Enju then says how happy he is that his doll won. Jun is shocked to hear that Enju had created a doll more powerful from Rozen. Looks like this guy’s an apprentice of Rozen who wants to eclipse his master’s art. Yeah, he even slapped Jun and says he’s just a kid who became Shinku’s medium by accident. But then Bara Suishou soon feels hot and starts to crack and crumble. Enju’s wondering what’s wrong (so am I). In the end, both of them vanished. Then Laplace mentions something about deceit and all those stuff and looks like he knew it all along but just played along. Uh-huh. My guess is that since Bara Suishou isn’t an actual Rozen Maiden doll, she’s an impostor so thus nullifying the Alice Game. But I wonder why the Alice Game was proceeded in the first place.
With that, Laplace disappears into a portal and tells Jun to escape before the entire place crumbles. A frustrated Jun yells at Father to fix everything and soon he hears footsteps outside the door and a figure which look like Father. Then it’s like a dream as we see through Shinku’s point of view as Father fixes her up and the other dolls. When Shinku awakens, she finds Jun by her side and tells him that she had met Father. He tells Shinku to become Alice and that the Alice Game isn’t the only way of becoming Alice. Now he says. All the other Rozen Maiden’s Rosa Mystica returned to their respective dolls except Hina Ichigo and Sousei Seki because those 2 were legitimately defeated by a Rozen Maiden and not an imposter. So this little issue has been entrusted by Father to Shinku to get those 2 Rosa Mystica’s back. Finally we see Laplace with 2 Rosa Mystica (supposedly Sousei Seki and Hina Ichigo’s) in the N-Field along with… Bara Suishou?! I thought she crumbled? Jun with Shinku in his arm then walks through the portal and leaves the N-Field.
What the? That’s it?! Oh man, it’s quite an unsatisfying end in terms of how the way things ended. It made me feel that there’s gonna be a third season and with that twist in the Alice Game at the end, I guess most probably that’s what the new season is gonna be, trying to get Hina Ichigo and Sousei Seki back. And I thought at least that 2 episode OVA special would help answer some of that. Unfortunately it didn’t.
That OVA, Rozen Maiden Ouverture, is actually an insight of Suigin Tou’s past and how she came to hate Shinku. Taking place somewhere in the middle of the second season, it all started when Shinku orders Jun to repair her pink rose which fell out from her bow. Jun makes his trip to Enju Doll and bought some red threat and a brooch. Back home, Shinku becomes disturb upon seeing the brooch and gives whatever excuse to say that she doesn’t need it. This causes Jun to be angry as he walks out of the room. Sousei Seki notices this and decides to explain to Jun in the storeroom.
A flashback as we see Suigin Tou coming to life but was abandoned by Father. Her desperate cries for Father has been ignored as he goes away with the other dolls. Suigin Tou here seems and sounds very low self-esteemed, indecisive, emotional and vulnerable as she crawls and make her way to some dress sown by Father on a chair. And it seems that the scene is during those Victorian times with Shinku having a little girl named Sarah as her medium. Back then, Shinku and Sousei Seki weren’t on friendly terms as they’re seen fighting in the streets of London. Back at Sarah’s place, Shinku’s explaining the purpose of the Alice Game and such when Suigin Tou suddenly appears out from the mirror. She’s desperately asking for Father. Shinku is shocked at first and had to push her away because she’s very clingy and shaky. Shinku is even in further disbelief when Suigin Tou introduces herself as the first Rozen Maiden doll. Uh-huh. This is the first time Shinku has met her as Suigin Tou’s weeping uncontrollably on the floor.
It’s quite odd to see those 2 dolls like best pals as Shinku teaches Suigin Tou how to walk, giving her words of encouragement and such. Yeah, you could say a friendship is created there. So how did it all go wrong? Hey, back then, there’s even a Shirosaki and Enju look-a-like coming to Sarah’s house and asking if she has those exquisite dolls because they want to buy them. Of course Sarah denies it all and even when Shirosaki notices the ring on her finger or even asking permission to take a peek in her room. Later, Shinku has to leave for her battle with Sousei Seki and asks Sarah to take care of Suigin Tou while she’s gone. But during the battle, Suigin Tou appeared looking for Shinku. Sousei Seki asks for her name and it seems Suigin Tou’s quite enthusiastic about telling about herself. Once Sousei Seki knew that there’s another Rozen Maiden doll, she attacks Suigin Tou with Renpika, causing Suigin Tou to be torn into 2 parts, surprising Sousei Seki. Though Shinku felt sorry she didn’t help Suigin Tou’s cries for help to save her because she thought she’d be much happier with Sarah but she’s pretty dead by now as Suigin Tou gets drag into some portal.
Then donno why as Suigin Tou’s lamenting her fate, Father appears and gives her a Rosa Mystica. Maybe he has acknowledge her finally? Meanwhile Suisei Seki decides to undo her contract with her medium so as not to endanger his health but Sousei Seki’s reluctant because she’s still locked in a battle with Shinku. But after hearing this, Shinku decides to undo hers with Sarah. Once done, Shinku exited through the mirror but finds herself in some unknown N-Field. There, Shinku’s surprised to see Suigin Tou intact and her Rosa Mystica. Shinku, in a gentle voice, still doesn’t believe that she’s a Rozen Maiden because she thinks Suigin Tou’s incomplete and that perfect crap thing. Wrong move girl. That’s all it takes. This caused Suigin Tou to snapped inside as she now thinks Shinku has been looking down on her all the while. Because of that, in her rage, Suigin Tou suddenly grew black wings from her back and started to attack Shinku, taking her by surprise. Fuelled by hatred, Suigin Tou grabs Shinku’s brooch and breaks it. Shinku’s horrified because that brooch was given to her by Father. With that, Shinku too becomes engulfed in rage as the 2 started fighting. I guess that’s how this junk name calling thing started.
Before they can finish, the clock strikes midnight and Laplace appears and says that the Alice Game for this era is over because the twins had gone back to sleep. Can he do that? I mean if it’s like that, then those dolls should’ve done the same thing too in the previous season. Maybe they love Jun too much and wanted to be together. Shinku and Suigin Tou then are sucked into a portal with Shinku clutching her broken brooch. Back in present time, Jun finally understands as he sews back the rose petal on Shinku’s bow with Shinku looking sad. And we see Suigin Tou on top of her the church roof with Mei Mei.
Overall, even with the unresolved issues at the end of the 2nd season, I still find this anime quite enjoyable to watch. In fact, I can consider this series to be one of my all time favourites. Of course, because of the unsatisfying end, I did some reading-cum-investigation of my own. To my surprise, I found out that it isn’t actually Bara Suishou with Laplace at the end of the 2nd season. She’s actually Kirakishou, the actual 7th Rozen Maiden doll who can only exist in the N-Field! The 2 sure look alike. See, that’s what happens when you don’t read the manga. So to say, Enju modelled Bara Suishou quite closely to Rozen’s Kirakishou. Why? Dunno.
Also, there are several differences between the anime and manga. For instance, characters like Bara Suishou, Shirosaki, Enju and Yamamoto doesn’t exist in the manga. In addition, Jun’s hikikomori in the manga is due to some humiliation when everybody in school finds out he likes to design girl clothing rather than scoring poor marks in a test. There are much more differences but I’ll just leave it here. Thus, if they ever make the next season (they’d better! Or else I’ll have to relive this unsatisfying ‘nightmare’ over and over again), I’m sure there’ll be some differences and surprises.
I like the voice acting of several dolls, especially Suigin Tou (Rie Tanaka), Suisei Seki (Natsuko Kuwatani) and Shinku (Miyuki Sawashiro). They sound quite unique and fits nicely and perfectly with the characters they play. The character development is also quite well done as you could see the characters grow over time. Probably because of the drawing and art of the dolls, maybe that’s why the animation looks good. Uh-huh. Good character designs too. I like it when the characters go into chibi mode. They’re quite funny themselves and they look cute.
Another thing I like about this series is the amazing background music and soundtrack. Yup, it boasts several nice tunes each fitting the theme and mood of the scene perfectly. From fast paced and exciting battle themes (eg- Battle Of Rose and Shukuteki are my favourites) to more solemn and slow pieces (eg- Atatakana Kokoro and Hyoukai), and even funky and ‘cute’ ones (eg- Komatta Shumi and Funny Dolls), or just plain eerie (eg- Kurayami Yori Kitaru Mono Kita and Nightmare). There’re quite a variety of them here using various sorts of instruments from violin strings to electric guitar, flutes to assortment of bells, piano solos and even the harpsichord to give that Victorian era feel.
And that’s just the original soundtrack. There are other albums ranging from the opening and ending singles, drama CD and even character image albums for the Rozen Maiden dolls. Speaking of opening and ending themes, I find that all the series openings, which is sung by Ali Project, to sound a little hyped up and ‘naughty/playful’. No, not as in the words or lyrics, but rather the tune of the song. Maybe it’s the way they sing it. Likewise, all the ending themes are sung by Kukui, though I don’t quite enjoy them as much even though they don’t sound that hyped up.
If you can’t get enough of Rozen Maidens, there’re several games of it released since 2006. But I’m guessing it’s gonna be a fighting game. Hey, it can’t be like those Barbie game for little girls whereby you choose what clothes to wear for your Barbie Doll, right? Another thing is, the titles of the episodes are in German as well as Japanese kanji. So without the help of the fansubs, I wouldn’t have known what they really mean. Okay, I could’ve guessed them since some German and English words are almost similar in spelling with some variations here and there.
So if you catch me playing with a Rozen Maiden doll (if I ever own one), don’t go saying "Hey, aren’t you way pass your age to be playing those?" because there’s a kid in all of us. Umm… Maybe that’s got nothing to do with it. Besides, I’m still thinking of which doll I prefer to become a medium with. Suigin Tou… Yeah, maybe but then… Perhaps it’s better not to make a contract with anyone of them. Hmm… Maybe there’s an 8th Rozen Maiden doll out there unknown to everyone. Now, swear to me on this rose ring.

%d bloggers like this: