Rozen Maiden – 07
There seems to be a lot of debate over Rozen Maiden in terms of its focus on Jun versus the dolls. I’ve read a lot of comments here and there that like the focus on Jun’s personal life (and his job and his “girlfriend”) and it’s what makes the series feel more like a slice-of-life. I’ve also read a lot of comments that prefer to see more Shinku/Suiseiseki/Suigintou etc. and the Alice Game because well… quite frankly Jun’s life isn’t the most exciting thing in the world. For those of you that fall into the latter category (myself included), what you have to remember is that the main protagonist of the story is Jun. He’s the star of the show and this story is about how the dolls help him grow and develop and change as person as a result of being thrown into the Alice game. In the previous series, there was a strong focus on the dolls and although it was more light-hearted, it was a “slice-of-life” as a Rozen Maiden doll, not so much Jun. A lot of people liked that because we got to see a lot of moe action and Kun-kun shows and it really pushed Jun aside. So much so that he feels like a side character or an accomplice to Shinku rather than the other way around. As bland and dull as Jun can be, the primary focus of the show should be on him. The rest of the dolls should be used to flesh out his character.
Now I never said that Jun didn’t have his faults. I find him rather boring to watch because he’s kind of a boring person in general. He doesn’t socialize (much) and he doesn’t feel the need to focus on school either (like other students should be in university). Worst of all, I get a vibe that he feels like he’s different so he doesn’t have to go through all these trials that normal adults-to-be have to go through. When in fact, all teens and preteens go through the same bumps along the road to adulthood. Everyone gets bullied and made fun of, and everyone handles it differently. Jun just happened to get publicly humiliated (although in hindsight, I’m sure a lot of people would be proud to have such an artistic talent) and took it rather badly. I think a lot of your character is also built upon how you respond to these issues and how deeply you let it impact you. Growing up, everything seemed like it was a big deal to me – from failing tests to getting rejected and all the gossip (dam*… so much gossip). Everything was equally as important and I treated everything like it was a BIG fu*king deal. Well newsflash to Jun – it’s not that bad. You grow up, and you learn that you’re always going to have issues to deal with and it’s how you react to them that helps you become a better (or worse) person. I think he’s starting to slowly realize that and the flashback is supposed to indicate that he does feel like he should’ve done differently. Too bad you can’t change the past Jun – creating a new doll is not going to change anything in the past. It will however, change your future (and possibly everyone else’s) so beware. If Jun was my brother, and I’m talking to you, Nori (Rikimaru Noriko), I would take it as my responsibility to help him back on his feet.
That’s why despite a lot of the lower points in the series, I still find myself very glad that Jun has Shinku (and Suigintou) to stand alongside him. It’s the dolls that make the show for me so when Jun purchased a book for Shinku, I felt so glad that he made an attempt to connect with her. I felt that her method of unwrapping was a little awkward (you tear from the edges sweetie, not the middle) but the look on her face actually showed some appreciation for Jun. Now the mysteries behind the random chunks of story are solved! I always thought it was Shinku’s background story that Rozen gave her or somehow it’d be a giant metaphor for the show… but you never know. Suigintou and Jun also had a heart-to-heart conversion this week. Not nearly as emotional as the prior scene, but it was Jun’s way to show that he was willing to play along with Suigintou if she lowered her guard a little. The Wound-Jun was always a big advocate of getting along (he didn’t like the idea of killing another doll), so it’s nice to see that part of him still exists. If you haven’t seen the original series (or read the manga), this scene was very reminiscent for me and reminded me of Suiseiseki’s contract with Wound-Jun. Jun is shown to hold a lot of energy to become a medium for two dolls and it’s quite unusual since most mediums are drained with just one. There’s a lot of speculation as to why and how but I don’t think there was ever a concrete answer.
The latter half of the episode brought back Wound-Jun and Kanaria (Shimura Yumi) locked inside the N-Field with nothing but a computer (how convenient!). The only person that Jun is able to communicate with is Kusabue Mitsu (Kawase Akiko), Kanaria’s medium and he seems to be having a one-way conversion with Unwound-Jun. This solves the mystery as to the who is sending Unwound-Jun text messages. Although it was never explicitly stated, the animation indicates that Kirakishou has Jun wrapped around her thorns tightly. That means that the doll that he’s making is likely going to be a body for her. Wound-Jun isn’t aware of this, but he’s a smart cookie… he can tell that there’s something wrong with Unwound-Jun and his theories are spot on. Now the question is, what is he going to do about it?