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Rozen Maiden – 13 (END)

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「TALE 13」

Before going into this finale, I was expecting some sort of long epilogue that talked about how much Jun’s grown since meeting his younger half. I thought there’d be some reminiscing and probably some sparks between Saitou and Jun. And guess what… the first half of the episode was just that. There’s the aftermath of the play with lots of celebrations in the air, Saitou & Jun go back to work and Jun even goes back to school. Jun finally caught a lucky break as well when the Store Owner took notice of all the work that he’s been putting into the sales tracker and all the slack he’s been picking up for the Store Manager. That’s what I would call being at the right place at the right time. Things are finally looking up for him and although he’s still a student, I’d definitely take up the opportunity for an advancement if I were Jun. He also gets the girl (somewhat)! I was hoping for more progression in their relationship, but there’s probably more on Jun’s mind right now than getting a girlfriend. If there was ever a second season, there’s plenty of plot development here – but for now, I’m satisfied.

The second half was what I was pleasantly surprised about. I wasn’t expecting to see any more of Wound-Jun, but there we have it – a cliffhanger! The dolls return as well and Shinku is as cute as a button! The connection that she has with Unwound and Wound-Jun is so heartwarming and I love seeing those moments of mutual understanding between the two. Whether Wound-Jun is going back to school or when Unwound-Jun flips through the book he purchased her, Shinku literally steals my attention away every time she’s on screen. Still my favorite doll! Period. Of course, it’s adorable seeing Kanaria, Souseiseki and Suiseiseki gather together to save Jun. Kirakishou coming back to life doesn’t surprise me and now… she finally has a “body”. Did she just get a little creepier with those eyes? I wonder who made that body for her…?

This finale episode pretty much threw more questions at me than answers. I was not expecting so many reoccurring characters to come into play as well. Kanaria’s master (Mitsu), and Hinainchigo’s master (Tomoe) were both sucked into the Alice Game with the former being a victim to Kirakishou. I’m not so sure why Tomoe has to be involved anymore if Hinaichigo is “gone”. There’s no doubt in my mind that Jun was also “captured” by Kirakishou and his spirit is probably held up in the N-Field. What bothers me is why the dolls feel that Unwound-Jun is the only way that they can save Wound-Jun. Not to say that I don’t like Unwound-Jun, but I feel as though his chapter in this story could’ve tied up nicely if they left him alone. If Shinku and the others can easily access the N-Field themselves, there has to be a reason that Unwound-Jun is called back into the game. With this kind of ending, they must create a second season to answer all these questions. I’ll be eagerly waiting…

TL;DR – @RCCherrie: Creepy dolls be creepy… Oh my god, that cliffhanger! What are you doing to me Rozen Maiden?! #season2please

Final Impressions

I will reiterate that I am a fan of the original Rozen Maiden and when I saw that it was getting another season, I literally facerolled all over my keyboard. I would’ve been so thrilled just to sit and watch it – getting the chance to blog it and share my love for this series is probably the biggest milestone I’ve had at RC (despite what anyone else has to say). I want to note that I have not read the manga and although I know more about this series than I’d care to admit, I still came into this series with no spoilers and probably a very biased opinion. That being said, I obviously had issues with the new series because of how much it varied from the previous one. For old viewers, it’d be best to come into the series with an open mind because the dolls and Jun are not the same as they once were… and for new viewers, definitely stick around after the first episode please!

What I loved and hated about this series is what it’s straight out of the second manga series (which is the original source material). The first episode is a “recap” of what’s happened in the first series manga and the second episode continues from the second manga series onwards. I know that the first episode is whack and it’s literally just a dump of events that might not make sense nor give you a sense of who each character is. Rest assured though, the second episode onwards proves to be very consistent in pacing and timing of events. It’s not all about the Alice Game this time around and I think people are often thrown off at first about the focus on Unwound-Jun. This is a story about him, not the dolls. This is the biggest complaint I had because the original anime was all about the dolls and I’ve learned to love the series because of that. This new anime cannot be viewed assuming you’ll get the same type of enjoyment as its processor (not to say you can’t enjoy both). Whereas the first and second seasons were more about the everyday activities of the dolls living under Jun’s roof, this remake is more about how the dolls help Jun grow and develop as an adult in a life without the Alice Game. Do not confuse the two!

Now that I’ve explained the differences between the two in terms of plot, there’s huge plus factors in the other changes the show has made. This includes the animation studio and character designs. Personally, I loved the old design of the dolls with its crisp colors and outlines. The new dolls are much softer and water colored – they’re also much smaller in size compared to a human being. Studio Deen does a great job in animating the motions of the dolls and the different camera angles to emphasis certain expressions and thoughts (I love zooming in on faces!). There’s also the use of its OST and silence in this anime which may come across as odd, but I find that when the pauses are used correctly, it implies the right tone in the story. The story is not all happy-go-lucky (or moe fun) as the original anime intended it to be; this remake has more dark/gothic tones that tie in the mystery of the Alice Game. This is why I also think the opening and ending sequences (especially the ED) tie together very well.

So if you’re still wondering if you should give Rozen Maiden a shot, or is this a remake or a sequel… I will explain that all for you now. As a new viewer, it’s definitely a remake. It’s an anime based on the original manga (mainly the second series) and you can probably watch it as it is as a standalone show without any prior background or research. Watching it with no expectations may really help develop your own opinion of what the new Rozen Maiden series is about. It has new character designs, great OST (the original anime did too) and a solid setting and plot development. Just please get past the initial first episode! For old viewers (like myself), I would still consider this a remake and let me explain why. Despite loving the first two original seasons, this anime does not bridge or branch off from that. This series tries to “fix” that by giving us a recap episode of what should’ve transpired. I think it’s great to have that context for the dolls’ personalities and I have a greater appreciation for Shinku, Hinaichigo and Suigintou etc… but that does not take away from this new anime as it is. Like I said, this is a show about Jun, not the dolls. Regardless if you liked/disliked the original anime series, this can be seen as a completely different series so I urge you not to get into it with the same expectations… and who knows, maybe you’ll love it as much as I do.

September 27, 2013 at 4:49 pm
21 comments »
  • September 27, 2013 at 5:16 pmBeedle

    The second half of this episode blitz through ~17 chapters of the manga just to put in that cliffhanger :x I’m not sure what to feel about that.

    On one hand, a lot of character development was switched just to bait viewers with the promise of another season but, on the other, I do want to see a continuation just to have more Kirakishou<3. Conflicted feelings are conflicted =(

    Thanks for blogging this, Cherrie! I’m one of those new viewers of this series, and I enjoyed it. The anime was friendly to new entrants– I didn’t need to do that much research on the cast just to get my footing– and while there were a few pacing hiccups and omitted key-scenes, it was an enjoyable series to watch– and one of the few I looked forward to each week.

    • September 28, 2013 at 7:44 pmCherrie

      No problem, thanks for reading. I’m glad you found it enjoyable even though you’re a new viewer ^^ not sure of the chances of us getting another season but if there was ever another one, I’d love to blog it too!

  • September 27, 2013 at 6:02 pmLulu

    So this is how it ends, there’s not much to talk about in the first half, Unwound Jun became someone with a bit of personality finally, i still don’t like him that much but i guess i better get used to it since it appears he’s coming back if there’s another season, speaking of other seasons i wish the series did not end in such a cliffhanger, i have mixed feelings about Kirakishou returning as the main villain again, i want them to focus more on the alice game but she’s a cool character, ill give it a shot.

    My absolute favorite scene in the episode is the dolls drinking tea plus Shinku and the cat, it reminded me a lot of the previous seasons, i only wish Hina Ichigo was there =(

    It was a flawed season but it had its moments, i can say i enjoy watching it and im looking forward to the next season, i believe you’re a very good blogger Cherrie and im glad you see the perspective of both viewers new one and old ones, keep up the good work.

    If there’s ever a winner of the alice game which i hope there is….GO KANARIA i am rooting for you

    • September 28, 2013 at 7:48 pmCherrie

      Awww thanks =) I try to be informative in my posts since the anime doesn’t seem to explain a lot. I also don’t really like Umwound-Jun as I’ve indicated in my posts… But I’m hoping that his character changes if there’s ever a second season. I don’t Kirakishou is going to continue as an ongoing villain… I think a better arc would be some background story on Rozen and why he created these dolls.

  • September 27, 2013 at 6:02 pmKurama

    This was the first Rozen Maiden series I ever watched,and I’m glad I did, this makes me want to go see the old ones.

    P.S. Cherrie, I went on your Twitter page and saw a picture of you… you’re so adorable <3

    • September 28, 2013 at 7:50 pmCherrie

      Thank you ^^ no body has said that to me before… *blushes* =3

      • September 29, 2013 at 12:11 amKurama

        Unless you grew up on an uncharted island all by yourself, I don’t believe that in the slightest xD

  • September 27, 2013 at 9:15 pmskyhack

    Watched the old one, got the box sets. I like the new one as well, interesting re-take. I DO miss Suiseiseki’s off beat comedy, though, especially her evil laugh in the “Snow White” episode.

  • September 27, 2013 at 9:55 pmricz

    I loved this series (I never watch the first one)

    I’m surely gonna miss this anime ;c

  • September 27, 2013 at 10:22 pmlivevoid

    “I feel slightly bad for Kirakishou”
    http://randomc.net/image/Rozen%20Maiden/Rozen%20Maiden%20-%2013%20-%20Large%2004.jpg
    “AHHHHHH Kill it with fire”

  • September 27, 2013 at 10:59 pmgawrshness

    Ah yes! It ended on a cliffhanger which means more Rozen Maiden in the foreseeable future! Looking forward to see how the story unfolds, and glad that someone (Unwound Jun) finally realized that perhaps Kirakishou is crazy for a reason. I hope by the end of the next season whenever it is intended to come out Kirakishou learned proper behavior. Thanks a lot for covering this series and hope it interested you enough to do the second one too when it is comes out.

  • September 28, 2013 at 12:00 amDualash

    I was actually quite surprised when the second half of the episode skipped to getting future Jun’s help again, but in overall I like the episode since in overall it ends the show on a positive note, implying for another season that will continue the adventure of the dolls.

  • September 28, 2013 at 12:55 amlune

    Im surprise how it ended. I thought the would ended with an aftermath of unwound Jun but adding the parts that is happening in the wound world was surprise specially Kirakishou is already moving I though it will take her a long long time before she can get back at the game! It makes me wonder if they plan for a S2?

  • September 28, 2013 at 9:33 amSherylfan

    I’m a old fan and I rather liked the new focus on jun even though I had a blast with the dolls in the previous series. But that end ugh. Seems like it’s setting up another go but there is no confirmation.

    It’s been great season but a depressing one in that a lot of my fav shows left on cliffhangers. Majestic prince, watamote, attack on titans and now this. I’m cliffhangered out.

    • September 28, 2013 at 7:54 pmCherrie

      Many shows last season also ended on cliffhangers =( seems to be the trend these days because no one’s going anime-original… Which is also a good thing if you hate that stuff.

  • September 28, 2013 at 10:28 amAnimegirlyay

    WHERE SUIGINTOU!?

  • September 29, 2013 at 12:37 amKyosuke

    I wasn’t particularly pleased with how they went about closing the series (rushed and left on a so-so cliffhanger) like many others. But I enjoyed the series as a whole nonetheless. Thank you for blogging it! :3

  • September 29, 2013 at 5:34 pmtenshika

    im probably watching the whole franchise the wrong way: since the older series i’ve watched this for the gothic theme and not the moe aspect. i can safely say that i love this 2013 version more than the previous ones. i guess the 2013 version is just more serious (comparable to Traumend) and another reason why i liked this 2013 was because it is a coming-of-age stuff about Jun. in this version Jun’s life, to me, is so much more important than the Alice Game. it made a nice character development on Jun.

    i whole-heartedly agree with you that they shouldve left Unwound Jun alone — he’s just starting to get a good life and even though he got to see his beloved dolls once again —– he just started to get a good life leave him alone!!!!!!!!!!!

    and my last point — does remake have the same meaning as “alternate retelling”? cos that makes more sense to me, considering that it IS a telling of an alternative world

  • September 30, 2013 at 10:00 amiron2000

    OMG! It ended!
    I want more!

    Some how I got the feeling of when I first finished watching Back to the Future :P

    “Back to the N-Field”

    I wonder what would it like if the Alice Game carried on till thousand and millions of years later in a futuristic world?

    Or how about a detail prequel movie or something, why Rozen has this sort of magically powers to create these dolls?

  • September 30, 2013 at 11:37 pmTensai Otaku

    In the Occident man that plays with dolls are considered GAY P_P….
    Now tell that to Oriental otakus LOL.

  • October 5, 2013 at 3:07 amRyner

    Despite the slow pace of the series, I did enjoy it nonetheless, and you are right Cherrie that this story mainly focuses on the adult Jun and him changing his world instead of the predicament that the unwound Jun and the dolls were in, with Kirakishou and the Alice game.

    Nonetheless it was an interesting take to the series that detracts it from the alice game for the past two anime seasons, since I’m a sucker for time travel, parallel world switching, and the what-if scenarios in animes/mangas/even games (I got exposed to this because of Chrono Trigger), this proved to be an interesting direction for me. I’m glad it was actually based off the source material, that way, despite this cliffhanger, there will still be a possibility for a sequel continuing on with the story. I definitely would hate anime original ending, as it would just simply end the story at that point, without hope of a proper continuation using the source material.

    I guess I’ll read the manga to find out what happens next, as there’s no way I can wait for an anime sequel especially with the huge time gap they did for animating this compared the previous season, I think it was, what 7 years? Insanity!