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.
So of course he has to somehow meet Shinku and the other Rozen Maiden dolls in this universe. And eventually he does. “Eventually” is the key word here. While the first episode was frenetic to the point of incoherence, the following episodes are so slow-paced that Shinku doesn’t really show up until Episode 4.
While this is sort of watchable it is a pale imitation of the original series. The animation isn’t nearly as good. The storytelling is flat and unmoving. The magic just isn’t there.
If you haven’t seen the original series I strongly recommend that you watch that instead. The DVDs are available in North America from Sentai Filmworks. It can also be streamed on The Anime Network (subscription required.)