OP Sequence

OP: 「私の薔薇を喰みなさい」 (Watashi no Bara wo Haminasai) by ALI PROJECT


「TALE 1」

I’ve been blogging on RC for 1.5 years and there’s never been a series I’ve been more adamant to blog than Rozen Maiden. As a quick declaimer, I’ve seen the original two seasons and the OVA, but I haven’t read the manga so all my comparisons would be to the original series. I’ve always had a sweet spot for Rozen Maiden and I’m a fan of Peach-Pit (the creators of the series) so I warn you now that sometimes I might come off as biased or a fangirl. I’ll also try and explain as much as I can along the way… especially after this premiere episode.

As a general overview, Rozen Maiden is a story about 7 dolls. Their creator is a man named Rozen and he’s put a “soul” into each of his dolls (called Rosa Mystica), hence why they come to life after being wound. Unfortunately all the dolls are born “missing something” and they’re forced to participate in a game called the “Alice Game”. The goal is to capture one another’s Rosa Mysticas and be the last doll standing. This last doll becomes “Alice” and is meant to represent the ultimate girl that Rozen had envisioned when he created his dolls. The story starts in modern day with a boy named Sakurada Jun (Sanada Asami) and unknowingly, he circles a random piece of paper which delivers a suitcase to his doorstep. This suitcase happens to contain the 5th Rozen Maiden doll – Shinku (Sawashiro Miyuki). Jun winds her up and ta da! She’s brought to life.

That’s the background story in a nutshell for all those confused and aren’t familiar with Rozen and his dolls. There are a lot of technicalities with the show that I feel like I should also explain. Each doll is meant to create a bond with a human in order to use their powers and thus the human becomes a medium for the dolls to use their energy. In Shinku’s case, Jun is her medium and to solidify that relationship, Jun wears a permanent ring (he can’t take it off!). This scene in the original series proved a lot more powerful than the quick 30 seconds they devoted to it in this premiere. It’s also made clear that Suiseiseki doesn’t have a medium and Hinaichigo’s medium is a girl named Tomoe. I also want to mention the use of N-Fields. This is similar to an alternative dimension that the dolls create or created by Laplace – the rabbit. Yes, the rabbit has a purpose but I won’t spoil that yet. The N-Field is often used to pull dolls in and this is where Kirakishou (Chiba Chiemi) exists. The 7th doll does not exist outside the N-Field because she was never given a concrete body by Rozen and thus why she killed Hinaichigo.

Now if you’re still puzzled and confuzzled… that’s probably cause you’re missing a lot of character development and context to certain actions. Souseiseki (Morinaga Rika) does die early on in the series and she does have an elderly man as her medium. She has a strong relationship with her twin sister Suiseiseki (Kuwatani Natsuko) – who is famous for using “desu” at the end of all her sentences. Unfortunately Suigintou (Tanaka Rie) steals Souseiseki’s Rosa Mystica upon her death and keeps it as her own. Hinaichigo (Nogawa Sakura) is one that I was surprised passed away so soon since she stuck around in the original series. She has a close relationship to Shinku and thus why you see her giving away her Rosa Mystica to Shinku at the end. This would’ve been a very touching scene for me if not for the fast-paced episode.

Indeed, this episode was extremely fast-paced. If anything, it felt like a random collection of all the “need-to-know” facts of this show that took 2 seasons to develop previously. If I wanted to be pickier about it, I would even say that they changed a lot of elements in the original series, just to keep it in line with what happened in the manga. It’s definitely a first episode that the original fans would appreciate more and I dislike how the show alienates new audiences from enjoying it as well – just because there’s so much missing. If you feel differently, I’d like to hear your thoughts but I’ll try and explain more as the story goes along for people that are following too.

So… is this a sequel or is it a remake?
My answer to that is… it’s definitely new material. Whether you’re a fan of the original or a new viewer, this season is going to be a new story and I’m looking forward to it. This episode can be seen more as a recap, but next episode definitely takes a step into an alternative dimension. This closely resembles the new Rozen Maiden manga that’s currently on-going. It’s going to show an older Jun in university and he stumbles across a kit to create dolls. In the original series, Jun was also commended by Shinku for resembling Rozen in the sense that he brings dolls to life (and he can sew very well). Anyway, I’m not going to spoil anymore but those are my final thoughts about where the series is probably headed.

I know there’s also going to be comments on the animation, and I’ve always been worried about Studio DEEN myself. I feel as though the backgrounds look very washed out – almost like waterpainting and makes the animation feel cheaper than it is. The character design themselves also don’t look as solid or brightly colored as I remembered from Nomad – although that’s nothing that I am too concerned about as long as the animation remains consistent and the quality doesn’t decline. Having Ali Project do the opening theme is quite reminiscent. I’m not really a fan of their style of music because I find it too minor and offtune, but it was definitely more over-exaggerated in the original series. If you watch the first opening, it also looks more gothic than the theme of this series.

TL;DR version – I would definitely recommend this for old fans (or even old viewers that have seen the original). For new viewers, I wouldn’t say that you have to go and watch the prior seasons, but it might help build up context and understanding. The new material looks promising and definitely not a moe/comedy/slice-of-life type of anime that most people might be expecting from Rozen Maiden. Yes, it’s about dolls – but I would say it’s more about the mystery and fantasy elements that bring the dolls to life.

Full-length images: 05, 07, 15, 17, 18, 20, 21, 23, 25, 32.


ED Sequence

ED: 「Alternative」 by Annabel



  1. I, for one, love the new animation. The watercolor-like backgrounds really look good to me. I think the new animation/character designs are easier of the eyes as well. Nothing too bold, but at least it looks clean.

  2. This felt really really rushed. I watched the original animes and was straining to keep up with the developments. But seriously, to lose 2 of 7 dolls in the 1st rushed episode, I dunno…
    But I’ll go with it being a recap. I’ve always loved the Gothic elements to this story.

    1. I’d recommend to read the manga instead. Several plot points they touched in this episode don’t exist in the old anime (e.g. Kirakishou plays no active role in it).

  3. yeah, definitely new material. It seems like they’re just gonna blaze through important events and try to pick up the stuff the first adaptation didn’t.
    So people definitely should watch the original… and even possibly the manga.
    The new animation style fits rozen maiden perfectly. That was great.
    What was also great to see were….

  4. I don’t know. This felt really rushed, they rewiew the first part of the manga.
    enestx@ read the manga for you to understand some things. The anime (the last 2 season are different from the manga)

      1. Peach-Pit had the original “Rozen Maiden” run and ended it very abruptly with a deus ex machina ending that a lot of fans weren’t happy with. This is the what the original series was based off of too but season 2 deviates a lot from it (plus a lot of original material thrown in).
        The second run is still called “Rozen Maiden” but takes place in an alternative dimension and features an older Jun. This manga is still on-going.

        If you read Zanibas’ preview post on this series, you’ll see that this 2013 anime version is going to be a combination of the two manga. I think they’re going to try and piece the two dimensions together and that’s why the first episode is a “recap” and the second episode will be based on the second manga. Make sense? o_O I don’t want to spoil too much either =X

  5. The first ep felt pretty rushed, considering there was barely any background given, but assuming that this is just a recap ep and there’s still a lot more new material, I still can’t wait for the next episodes!

  6. Suiseiseki! I remembered I was cheering so hard when she won the Anime Saimoe Tournament back in 2006. The year I started watching and following non mainstream animes. So happy to finally see a sequel. Thanks for blogging this show, Cherrie.

    As a random question to everyone, who’s your favourite doll? Replay below!

  7. ALI PROJECT is back and with more awesomeness than ever before.

    I wished they didn’t do this recap episode and just jumped into the current state of affairs, though.

  8. I actually have a phobia of dolls especially those around 3 feet long dolls that open-close their eyes (not caused by Chuckie by the way)…

    I still remember the first episode years ago when Jun received Shinku and when she moved all of a sudden. That totally freaked me out. And after a few minutes(an hour maybe?), my auntie visited our rented house which totally looked like a haunted house outside and inside carrying the same said 3 foot doll and tossed it to me… I peed on my shorts on my chair in front of my computer. My auntie was planning to give that doll on my cousin’s 7th birthday which was the next following day.
    P.S. I still watched the first season despite my fear of dolls LOL

    1. I actually have a huge fear of dolls too! These gothic maiden dolls give me the creeps when I walk past antique shops =(
      I watched Rozen Maiden despite all that though because I actually really like the gothic theme in stories and novels =X I thought the original series takes that theme more seriously than this version does. What scared me most was the first OP – that bleeding eye and hanging Jun?! Omg… can’t rewatch especially with Ali Project’s OP song =(

  9. Ok…. This was what happened earlier –

    First few minutes: WOAH……….

    Few minutes after the OP with Suigintou: WOAH… THEM WINGS

    Arrival of Suiseiseki: KAWAII DES~~~~~~~~~~

    Suiseiseki v Souseiseki: (TT^TT) NUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!

    Rest of the episode: WTH is going on here?

    Episode review: ????????????

    That’s just basically it.

    I wonder if Pandora Hearts would be remade or continued.

    Anyway, how many episode is this slated to be?

    1. LOL! My reaction after this episode was… O_O HUH?! But… WHAT?! You’re not the only one confused it’s ok ^^
      Anyway, the series is going to be one-cour. I believe 13 episodes but don’t quote me on it =X

  10. I think this is a pretty bad recap, really – new viewers will be hopelessly confused and you’d assume old ones still know the basic story.

    Well, whatever. I liked the old Rozen Maiden shows quite a lot back in the day, so I’m looking forward to the new story they’re going to tell. Too bad I have to wait another week.

    1. I agree. As a new viewer I was almost totally turned off. With wiping out 2 of the 7 in the first episode, I was beginning to think the story was going to be one episode long.

  11. I really liked the original series (and its OVAs) so I was looking forward to this new material. The original series was one of the 1st anime series I ever watched and it helped get me hooked on anime. I feel sorry for new viewers trying to make sense of this recap episode. They should have announced at the beginning it was a recap episode of what happened in prior seasons so the new folks would not all be going WTF???

      1. @Fireknight:
        I was a huge fan of Rozen Maiden when I watched it like… 5+ years ago >_> When the anime ended, I pretty much read up as much info as I could about the source material. I probably read everything possible – short of actually reading the manga (because it wasn’t translated completely at the time) =P
        Since it has been a long time favorite, I have a good memory retention for this random knowledge =) I’m sorry if I bombard too much info on people! >_<

  12. I really disagree with (but still respect) your comments on the visuals. As always with DEEN, the budget for this series is low. Those backgrounds were probably cheaper to make than a detailed style, but I didn’t care and found the backgrounds to be beautiful. The animation wasn’t very smooth due to the budget I assume, but the composition of the scenes were very good IMO, and the quality of the frames themselves were good. I really liked how everything looks. I think it even helps in creating an atmosphere that I can feel despit the episode being a “bad” recap.

    1. Oh, and I liked how the colors weren’t that strong/vibrant. It fits more with the overall feel the visuals were trying to make IMO. I wouldn’t like it if Sakurasou were colored this way, but I think it really fits Rozen Maiden.

    2. I think it depends on the art style that you like and it’s all personal preference. I think for Rozen Maiden, it’d pay off to have the solid, vibrant colors. When I make comparisons to the Nomad artwork, it just looks like their art was sharper with thicker solid lines, and just not as soft looking as Deen’s. I simply prefer that when I think of a gothic/mystery series.

      Anyway, regardless of the original series, I don’t deny that Deen is making an effort to have a new character design and it doesn’t look bad. I’m not trying to say that I think it’s ugly or low budget – I just prefer one to another. What some people might view as “low budget” or “not smooth animation”, I think it’s just their style of storytelling. For example, when Shinku is drinking tea, there’s a lot of scenes cut randomly but I think that’s meant to show time passing rather than low budget.

      1. Yeah, for the artstyle it really depends on our preferences. I’m just expressing my opinion for the sake of discussion. 🙂

        As for the low budget thing, I will definitely say that the budget of almost all Deen anime are low. But this doesn’t mean all of them look ugly. Being on a low budget restricts what the staff can do with the animation, but it doesn’t mean the show will look bad. I think it just depends on the staff and animators to make it all look good with the budget in mind. The Shaft style is a good example. Their style is unique, and a lot of people like it. That unique style of theirs is also cheap to produce because they often show lots of random stationary (there’s no animation) things instead of showing the characters moving. However, that style of storytelling was only used effectively thanks to the skill of the director and the rest of the staff. I think the problem with the ugly shows is that they try to produce something that would require a higher budget than what they have to look good, which is the reason why the product looks ugly.

  13. WOW this looks Fucking AMAZING!! love the creepiness and how good it looks O.o also is that OP the same girl who did ANOTHER Op?? It sounds and looks exactly the same, her voice and that creepiness that I loved from ANOTHER Op is in this one to <3 cant wait for ep 2…

  14. All of these full-length shots! Lovely

    I felt the pacing was a bit awkward, making the plot-line and characters a bit difficult to comprehend, but nevertheless became intrigued. I only semi-followed the original and was hesitant to see this as I didn’t know if it were a continuation. I didn’t know the budget for this was low, as I remember RM being a very popular series for an extended period of time. But for one with a low budget, it’s accomplished enough.

  15. As a new viewer, I’m a little confused by this episode, but I see that its a recap. I thought they were going with this pacing throughout the show and that kinda frightened me. They got the atmosphere and art right for me and I’m a fan gothic fashion so count me in! The story looks promising too. I’m going to watch it as it is without touching the original material, so hopefully I won’t be too confused.

  16. I’m glad that PEACH PIT got rid of their old publisher. I’m pretty sure that copyright has something to do with it. Somehow the new series manga has to follow a new storyline when the authors switched publisher. The first episode of this 2013 anime is not present in the new series manga. It must have been meant to be a “re-cap” for the fans who are already familiar with the original series. Otherwise, it makes no sense to introduce all 7 dolls in such a hurry. Due to the special circumstance, I cannot yet pass critical judgement on this new series. In any case, this one is my most anticipated anime of the season. I will follow through no matter what.

  17. Definitely requires a prior knowledge in order to enjoy. Having not watched or read the series, this episode just left me with an overwhelming sense of “What the fuck is going on here”.

  18. Since I have absolutely no knowledge of the franchise, I was utterly clueless throughout the whole twenty-something minutes to the point that I actually gave up midway and started fast-forwarding, which is very rare for me… I’ll see if the next episode is more coherent to me, and if not I’ll postpone watching this until I watch the first seasons.

    I did like the art, though. The designs are beautiful and the overall atmosphere feels very “Gothic”.

  19. As you said, it really felt rushed, but your revelation that the young man in the next episode preview was an older Jun changed my view of everything (I thought it was a new character): if the story is meant to be happening in the ‘future’ and about different events than the ones we knew before, than this first episode was meant to be fast paced as an introduction to what was coming next, a recap, or an explanation to how older|Jun became how he is.

    1. I’ve only read a little bit of the Managa reboot to know that they will be doing recaps like this to the Alice Game in the first Manga/Anime. This really is a “second season” though so you need to read/watch the original. 😉

      My Laplace no Ma was watching awhile for this Alice Game. lol

    2. I don’t think the story is going to take place in the future – it’s an alternative universe which the younger Jun never circled “Yes”. I think there’s going to be some overlap between the two dimensions though (as seen in the OP) that’s why I don’t think you necessarily need to watch the original anime since it’s all new material anyway.

  20. Thanks for the recap! Seems interesting… I never saw the original nor read the manga, but since this is newer material and helps ease in newbies like me, I should give it a chance and watch it! Then spend a couple of days having a Rozen Maiden marathon with lots of guilty pleasurable snacks. 😀

    Pat L
  21. The first episode’s pacing was like Challenger blasting off..the way they justisoned the first and second season animes like an empty fuel can.. I mean I know they want to follow the manga, but the first two seasons weren’t crap, why kill them off? Now they’re like uncanonical or something .

    but on the flip side they did give Kira some much needed screen time.I hope they do expand more on her yandere side, and hopefully, rozen will deus ex machine everything again and give her a body by the end of the series, instead of continuing to be the irresponsible father that he is.

  22. As a newcomer to Rozen Maiden, I was left extremely confused by this episode. I know they just wanted to get the stuff the older anime covered already out of the way, but it’s been quite a long time since those series aired and it feels like they really failed to take the fact that there were going to be plenty of newbies like myself tuning in.
    I think the only thing I have to compare this to would be FMA: Brotherhood and unfortunately this compares rather unfavorably to the way Brotherhood handled recapping. FMA:B charged through a lot of the stuff the original show covered yes, but it did so at a pace that still allowed the viewer to grasp hold of the plot elements and characterization that occurred therein. I understand that this new Rozen probably won’t have as many episodes as FMA:B did and so they couldn’t afford to waste too much time on recapping, but doing it all in one episode probably wasn’t the best decision they could make.

    1. Well FMA:B was also a year (or more) run anime. I think Rozen Maiden is only going to be one-cour so they don’t have as much time to go over their 2 manga series. That doesn’t excuse the recap episode though because like I said, I think it alienates a lot of the newer audience that hasn’t watched the original anime. What’s worse is that it’s not a direct “sequel” either so even the original anime viewers are like “huh?” O_o

  23. While I’m not familiar with the franchise I enjoyed the first episode. While it did move fast and some names were hard to remember due to that I feel like I understood the plot well enough. Definitely seems like something worth following to me.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *