I complained here and here that the new Rozen Maiden is not nearly as good as the original 2004/2005 series. If you haven’t seen the original series you’re in luck: Crunchyroll will start streaming both seasons of the original series starting tomorrow.
I’ve been told that my initial post on Rozen Maiden Zurückspulen (Crunchyroll) was unfair. Actually everyone seems to agree that the first episode was terrible, but supposedly it gets better after that. So to be fair I watched the next few episodes.
The subsequent episodes are indeed better than the first–though that’s very faint praise. It turns out that this is not so much a remake of the 2004 series as an alternate-universe sequel. In this universe Jun did not select “Wind”, therefore he never met Shinku and remained a hikikomori. He is now living alone and attending a third-rate university. (He somehow managed to pass the entrance exam even though he never went to high school.) But he’s still socially isolated.
Rozen Maiden was a gothic fantasy anime series that ran in two seasons in 2004 and 2005. I rather liked it–a strange but compelling story about dolls who came to life to fight each other for the soul of a young man and the chance to become “Alice, the perfect girl.”
Tara Aso, Japan’s newly-designated Prime Minister, has acquired a somewhat scary band of followers in the Akihabara district due to his reputation as a manga fan. Apparently he is particularly fond of Rozen Maiden.
Of course I wish him well, but I’m not sure that Shinku, Suigintou and Suiseiseki will be much help in dealing with a shaky economy, an upper house controlled by the opposition, and a sclerotic ruling party infested with cronyism.
The worst thing about this series is trying to explain what it is about without sounding ridiculous. A story about a boy who plays with dolls? A story about dolls that fight each other to win the chance to become the perfect girl? A commentary on the emotional pathologies of Japanese adolescents?
Nevertheless it is a fascinating and charming story with a positive ending and some very nice artwork.