Silly me… I thought this episode was going to be the last. Everything felt like it was going to wrap up so nicely and to be honest; it might as well have been the finale because I’m not sure what else they could talk about. Judging from the preview, it looks like the final episode will revolve around Unwound-Jun and his confrontation with his bookstore manager or something. Perhaps there’s a bit of reminiscing of Shinku and maybe we’ll finally reach the end of the book. Doesn’t seem like the dolls are coming back though so it will really feel like they never existed at all. I guess that also means that the stage actors and Saitou don’t remember Shinku.
Like I said, I thought this episode wrapped up everything fairly well. The debate between Suigintou and Souseiseki was rather… short. I didn’t think Suigintou was going to go down without a fight so the fact that she “loaned” out the Rosa Mystica doesn’t surprise me. She’s not heartless enough to demand it back when it doesn’t truly want to be with her anyway (comparing herself to Shinku). I never thought of Suigintou as a doll that cared too deeply about her sisters (perhaps it’s because of my initial impressions of her in prior seasons) but I always had a soft spot for her past. If anyone hasn’t seen the original Rozen Maiden OVA, I highly recommend it. It’s original material, but it hits all the right emotional heart strings and actually brings out Suigintou’s character very well even if the situation isn’t applicable. I thought this finale was going to reunite Megu and Suigintou, but life is not easy for this doll and she’s still on the hunt to find Megu. I feel terribly bad for Suigintou at this point because this whole series has dragged her around in circles and she still hasn’t made much progress. What’s worse is that Kirakishou still seems to be lurking around… did I call it, or did I call it?
What I couldn’t guess was that Jun would go home alone. That was terribly bittersweet and his final moments with Shinku and Souseiseki were going to make me tear up a bit if they prolonged it any further. As much as I couldn’t stand Unwound-Jun’s personality for the past several episodes, his growth and maturity in the matter really shows when he walked off without his own doll. It goes to show that even given the opportunity to “create” a new past, he still rather live out his life the way it was meant to be – without the Rozen dolls. He is Unwound-Jun for a reason and no matter how much he regrets having chosen to “Not wind”, it is ultimately his life and he still has many paths he could take to change it. I like Shinku’s quote because it defines the world as limitless opportunities and one decision doesn’t isolate you to one road. There are still many chances for you to change the course of your life and I think that’s the lesson that Jun’s learned. He’s grown a lot since meeting Shinku and his Wound-self so his story feels complete now that he’s back in his dimension.
With all that wrapped up, I don’t even know if this is an anime-original ending or just a very good conclusion point in the manga. It seems like Unwound-Jun is going to live out the rest of his life and Wound-Jun is going to continue on playing the Alice Game. It’s sad to see Souseiseki get another chance at life when Hinaichigo is still gone, but I’m hoping that she makes more flashback appearances now and then. Aside from Suigintou, all the other dolls return to the Wound-world with Jun and it’s unlikely we’ll see any more of them in the finale. This is an anime about Unwound-Jun after all and I’d like to see how much he’s changed and grown since episode 2 which was also a solitary episode without dolls.
TL;DR – @RCCherrie: Almost got teary eyed for Rozen Maiden’s finale! Noooo…!! Don’t go Shinku! Oh silly me… there’s one more episode! But I thought that would’ve made for a fairly good finale by itself.
Note: I know the preview images are hard to see with all the warnings and maps everywhere. I sacrifice clean raws for the sake of more timely posts so I hope you guys understand.