Anime Vice News

ROZEN MAIDEN ZURUCKSPULEN #1 - - Special Review

I... had no idea what the hell was going on.

I feel like it might be easy to find some meta-commentary here about MOE and its fanbase. It’s all well and good to squee about living dolls, but actually encountering them in reality is another matter entirely, ain't it?

But that’s just a fleeting thought. A little research reveals that this is actually the third series in a larger franchise, so I guess that makes the mouthful of a title a little more understandable (if not necessarily appreciated). To be totally honest, I got lost pretty damn quickly here - - it happened soon after the scene with the very Lynchian rabbit pianist, to be exact - - so I feel a little better knowing that the deck probably was just stacked against me.

I don’t know… I found myself enjoying the weirdly skippy way the doll people moved in about the same fashion as I enjoy the way little critters are animated in a Ghibli movie. The continual perspective shifts, contrasting these cute homunculi with their normal-sized human neighbors, were a visual novelty that never wore off. I thought about that stuff more than the actual plot.

All the business with ancient curses, and witches, and mysterious doors, and so on? Couldn’t hold on to any of it. Thus, we have yet another example here to demonstrate the pros and cons of anime’s highly specific programming habits.

I feel like it’d be waste to comment any further. Instead, I’d rather invite one of you more learned lunatics to perhaps describe this ROZEN MAIDEN franchise for me in a way that’s simple enough to understand? Is... that even possible?

Watch this episode, "Tale 1” here and decide for yourself.

Now, read my write-ups on other pilots from this season below…

rubberluffyon July 16, 2013 at 7:42 a.m.

You need to watch episode 2 for the -real- first episode. Episode 1 is just a recap of the first MANGA series (not the mostly anime-original previous seasons), and this is an adaptation of the second manga series. I actually think the second episode is really really good, but I was definitely caught off guard by this total mess of a first episode/recap. Give ep 2 a shot to get a real feeling about what this is gonna be like.

CapeBarneson July 16, 2013 at 10:57 a.m.

Yeah, a friend of mine said that this episode crammed several volumes of the manga in it indeed.

metalsnakezeroon July 16, 2013 at 12:24 p.m.

Yeah, this isn't a good episode for someone like you Tom who never seen the beginning of the series. What I remember is that the dolls are trying to become a perfect girl and must fight each other as well as understand the world around them.

rubberluffyon July 16, 2013 at 3:17 p.m.

@metalsnakezero said:

Yeah, this isn't a good episode for someone like you Tom who never seen the beginning of the series. What I remember is that the dolls are trying to become a perfect girl and must fight each other as well as understand the world around them.

It's not even that good for people who have seen the previous two seasons, since this one ignores their existence. There was a really big backlash against this recap episode, and I think it's really justified since I don't many people actually knew what this was gonna be in regards to the manga/previous anime. So all the RM anime fans hear there's a new season, get all excited only to find out it doesn't give a shit about them. And then there's the manga fans who don't even get the first manga series adapted before going into the second, all they get is some poorly handled recap episode. It's baffling.

Marshal Victoryon July 16, 2013 at 7:06 p.m.

@rubberluffy: Wow that sounds bad. Seems to me recap episodes would be much better off handled online. Youtube the recap for people who missed or are intrested in the series.Wold be a good pre series boost .Instead of having people confused an disheartned by the 1st episode.

zaldaron July 17, 2013 at 12:33 p.m.

So they tried a brotherhood but overdid the shortening of the stuff all ready covered (except it hadn't be covered at all) and didn't tell people before hand it was going to be a brotherhood like scenario. Accurate? If so yeah...not sure what lead them to think that was a good idea..

rubberluffyon July 17, 2013 at 12:52 p.m.

@zaldar said:

So they tried a brotherhood but overdid the shortening of the stuff all ready covered (except it hadn't be covered at all) and didn't tell people before hand it was going to be a brotherhood like scenario. Accurate? If so yeah...not sure what lead them to think that was a good idea..

It's not really like FMAB since this isn't a closer-to-the-manga remake. They are animating the alternate universe Rozen Maiden manga sequel without properly adapting the original 8 volume Rozen Maiden manga series (I think like 70% of the previous 2 seasons is anime-original), and then decided to just give us a cliff notes version of those 8 volumes as a first episode. This series can kind of stand on its own due to it being an alternate universe, but it does have some original universe interaction because of magic. It's why I said people need to see episode 2 to really see what this series is gonna be, since that is the proper start of its own story. Episode 1 can pretty much be ignored, you could probably just read a Wiki for those 8 volumes and get a better idea (or just read the manga I guess).

zaldaron July 17, 2013 at 1:02 p.m.

@rubberluffy: hmm interesting. Alternate universe stories are one thing that anime does much more of than the US. I mean we have the whole alternate universe in comics at times (Justice League being the one I am most familiar with) but they usually end up directly interacting with the original.

rubberluffyon July 17, 2013 at 1:30 p.m.

@zaldar:

Yeah the original manga/anime was about the middle schooler Jun who chose "To Wind" and received the doll Shinku and everything that went down because of it. This series is about the Jun who chose not to, now older and living an aimless life of mindlessly going to college and working in a book store.

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