Monday, 27 January 2014

Anime Review: Rozen Maiden

Hello and once again it has been a pretty long time since I last posted anything on my blog. While reading what I posted last time I realized I had horrible English before and I did some grammatical corrections so that readers won't have too much of a headache trying to comprehend what I'm trying to say. Anyway, it will be a week before my end-of-semester exams begin, but I couldn't resist the temptation of watching an anime given that I haven't been touching my heck long list of anime folders on my laptop. So for the past two weeks, I finished two seasons of Rozen Maiden out of three, and the following will be my review of them. You could probably tell from my blog's background that I'm really liking this anime. In fact, my laptop and my Google Chrome is now filled with Rozen Maiden themes. All that's left now is to Rozen Maiden-ify my hand phone :)

Season 1: Rozen Maiden
Season 2: Rozen Maiden: Träumend
Mid season 2: Rozen Maiden: Ouvertüre
Season 3: Rozen Maiden: Zurückspulen

Damn German names!

What is this anime about: Dolls. Gothic lolita walking talking fighting creepy dolls.

Review: Dolls. I love dolls. Dolls are cute. Dolls are creepy, and that is exactly how I was attracted to this anime. In this anime however, these dolls are not meant to freak you out. They are in fact rather human in nature with only their size differentiate them from human characters (and the fact they sleep in flying briefcases). Suffice to say, these dolls have supernatural powers which enables them to live and engage in combat. However, their powers are limited without the help of a human 'medium' which acts as an energy booster for the doll's power. Somehow that reminded me of Rockman, but it works differently. The powers obtained from their medium directly drains their life force away, though it is not at a serious rate.

So this story revolves around a boy named Jun who is a kid with serious school phobia as a result of bully. He is also a hikikomori which means anybody who prefers to lock themselves in their rooms and spend quality time with their computers. He is a guy who despises pretty much everything and is under the care of her sister Nori who is the complete opposite. Jun has a mad hobby of buying stuffs online and returning them before he has to pay. Somehow this leads to him encountering a strange (and pretty) doll in a briefcase. He awakens her and is forced to sign a contract with her to become her 'servant'. Soon, a few other dolls join him and his house shall be filled with talking dolls! Oh, did I mention how cool their names are? :D

Rozen Maiden has a really interesting storyline, though some of it may be a little confusing to the viewers. However, this confusion happens toward the ending of the series. From the beginning, this anime is pretty humorous and interesting to watch, particularly in the first season. It is very entertaining to see how the life of an introvert guy is messed up by these few noisy dolls. I can tell you, these dolls loves to scream, argue with each other like how kids does it, destroy windows and make Jun's life as miserable as they possibly could. The greatest contributions to these are a baby-like doll, Hinaichigo who constantly gets into a fight with her tsundere counterpart Suiseiseki (usually because of the fact that Suiseiseki loves to bully Hanaichigo).

It gets better when Jun is involved in all the daily comedy between the dolls, such as an incident where Hinaichigo wages war on Suiseiseki because the latter stole a strawberry from the former's cake and Hinaichigo got Jun on her side. Both of them could practically destroy the entire house. Rest assured though that these dolls apparently has the power to fix damages they cause. Bottom line, these dolls are incredibly adorable.

After some time, things took a serious turn. These dolls start to engage in combat for real. There are 7 dolls altogether, and their predestined goal in life is to kill each other to claim their life force, the Rosa Mystica, in a dangerous game known as Alice Game. The last one standing becomes the perfect doll worthy of being with their creator whom they address as 'Father'. However, most of the dolls are reluctant to partake in the Alice Game and fight each other as they consider themselves to be sisters. A few of them on the other hand thinks differently. Many of these conflicts and dilemmas gradually changes the life of Jun as well as the dolls which makes this anime a really interesting one to watch. All the concepts of this anime are quite thoroughly well thought out.

Sadly, that mostly apply only for season 1 though. Season 2 turned out to be a little disappointing. It attempts to be humorous in the first part of the series as season 1 managed to pull it off, but it didn't work too well for most parts (mind you though that there are certain scenes which are downright funny). Towards the later part of the story, it does get a little more interesting but sad at the same time. Here you will actually see the Rosa Mystica gets taken away and the dolls became lifeless one by one. I cried a little when Hanaichigo *ahem* 'died'. All the while I was hoping the ending will not be too bad as most of the dolls are gone. I was really hoping for their revival. However, the ending is a rather disappointing one. I am not going to spoil it for you any further, but it could have been more than what it is. The ending is not necessarily a bad one, but rather not a 'feel good' one as described by some reviewer. 12 episodes for the second season just doesn't quite cut it, and the ending is pretty abrupt and in a way, random. It does not give a full account of what really happened and it certainly does not feel like an ending at all. I hate endings like that. I took a glimpse of the first episode of the third season and it wasn't very promising. It seems to me like season 3 is a reboot, which I seriously hope it isn't.

In conclusion, Rozen Maiden is an enjoyable anime overall, season 2 included. It's just that season 1 is a far more exciting to watch than season 2. I don't have high hopes for season 3, but I heard that it does has positive reviews, so I'm giving it a try someday. If you couldn't care less for the story line, the dolls themselves are really worth your attention. It's what kept me going for season 2 and will keep me going for season 3. I really loves dolls! <3

Season 1: 9/10
Season 2: 6/10