For everyone that thought the first episode was too fast, too rushed, lacking information, confusing and choppy, or just a dump of stuff that happened in 8 volumes, well I’m glad to say that the second episode is not like that. It’s no surprise, but the rest of the anime will not be keeping up at the pace that the first episode was in. Going forward, we’re going to see the “rest” of the story that is new to both new and older viewers of Rozen Maiden. This starts from the second manga series which was also created by Peach-Pit and features a future in which Jun circled “Don’t wind.”. I haven’t read the manga any further than that so I will be speculating a lot along with everyone else. Please use the spoiler tags in the comments (even though I’ll probably read them all anyway =X).
There’s another loner to join the circle this week. Although it’s never fully explained in the first episode Jun is meant to be a young hikikomori in the making and this episode is a good representation of what Jun (Ohsaka Ryota – damn, this guy is everywhere now…) would’ve grown up to be if he hadn’t involved himself with the Rozen Maiden dolls. He does not socialize with anyone, lives alone and even seems to isolate himself from his sister later on in life (which is sad, because I like Nori). I thought this episode was great for new viewers because you really don’t get to see what Jun is like after the dolls steal the spotlight. I don’t think it necessarily shows him as a great individual to bond with – in fact, he seems kind of creepy sitting by himself and scribbling “die” all over his *coughDeathNote. Just kidding… but Jun makes no effort to really leave his comfort zone and thinks of everyone else as “below” him which should also be some sort of complex. It’s harder to get rid of these habits and thoughts, especially when you’re older and these values and ideas are already ingrained in your mind.
Jun’s coworkers are quite two-dimensional this episode and I didn’t get much of a feel for what their role will be. His boss seems to be a typical jerk and quite negligent of his responsibilities. He probably represents just about everyone that Jun has been trying to avoid his entire life. Saitou (Takamori Natsumi) is seemingly like any other girl going to school and trying to earn some money – but that key she wears around her neck has to symbolize something. Perhaps she’s also a medium? Or will become one? If there happens to be any romance in this series, I’d also bet that she becomes Jun’s love interest, but that doesn’t really seem to suit the mood of this story. Saitou also seems like the typical girl that “just so happens” to be captivated by Jun and somehow breaks him out of his shell. I might be wrong, but all signs are pointing that as well.
The kicker at the end had to be the text message sent to Jun (by Jun). It reminds me of D-Mail…
The younger Jun states that Kirakishou is basically the strongest doll right now (in his timeline) and Kanaria and himself can’t take her down. The younger Jun also wants to rescue Shinku (although I’m not sure how) and the message cuts off and the tone of the episode totally changes. I wasn’t getting the skin-crawling sensations last episode, but this week reminds me of why I started Rozen Maiden in the first place. There’s this eerie atmosphere that surrounds Jun and his obsession with finishing Shinku, probably because he has nothing else going for him in his life right now but these anonymous packages of doll parts (also creepy?). I love how they’re incorporating the two manga series together and it makes me curious how they’re going to tie or explain those differences in time dimensions. All the while, the gothic feel of the dolls and future Jun makes me weary of his character but it’s also intriguing to see how he has a knack for building dolls. I guess Jun was always destined to be a doll maker and he just can’t escape his role in the Alice Game.