Wind? Do not wind? Rewind?
|When I heard that Rozen Maiden was a ‘readaptation’ of a show that already had had a few seasons, I thought that it might be a good opportunity to take a look at the show, without having to go back and catch up on a lot of stuff. So how was it for a complete newbie to this ficton?|
|So apparently this season is called Rozen Maiden Zurückspulen (a google search tells me that this is German for ‘rewind’), but I don’t even know how to begin pronouncing that and I will never be able to remember spelling. So for the purposes of my posts, I’ll just be calling this Rozen Maiden.
What the heck was that?
I had heard the name Rozen Maiden before, but never really looked into it because there’s just so much other stuff to watch. But with a new series is new opportunity, so I took a look at the first episode. And while I like exposition heavy shows, I didn’t think this one really overdid it. After learning about the existence of the Rozen Maidens, I thought it would take a couple episodes to introduce them all, but they really got on with it and they were not bad as far as introductions go. I also didn’t expect two of them to ‘die’ in the first episode, but it did a good job to help highlight the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ sides of the fight from the viewer’s perspective. I’m going to guess that Shinku is not all ‘good’, but Suigintou definitely seems all bad, and Kirakishou seems all crazy.
The fighting sequences were pretty short, and not really a focus of this first episode for me, especially Souseiseki and Suiseiseki’s, which seemed like Souseiseki just gave up immediately. The fight between Shinku and Suigintou was a little more outlandish, with rose petals not really seeming like an effective fighting implement versus the feather daggers that Suigintou was throwing out. I do hope that they get more into the presence of Jun, because aside from his quick decision making at the beginning, he didn’t really do much. And I don’t know who that other girl in the show is, but I’m hoping they give her more of an introduction soon. I also thought the look of the show was really good. I especially like the bearing that Shinku has, with the very upright way she walks, her personal teacup, and oujo-sama style. Kanaria has the comic relief covered so far, and Suiseiseki has whininess covered (certainly not my favorite character).
A re-adaptation indeed
I make fun of DEEN. A lot. However, the stylistic choices in this first episode were really nice in my opinion! The filters or whatever they had going on made the atmosphere really nice (and totally reminded me of Dantalian no Shoka, so points for that). There wasn’t anything overly sophisticated about the action scenes and this was just a lot of dialogue with fancy looking imagery, but really, that’s pretty much what Rozen Maiden was, so that works perfectly. The dolls look closer to their manga designs as well.
So, DEEN’s Rozen Maiden doesn’t look half bad. Hello, infodump episode. For anyone who’s read the manga, this should be a nice refresher. …For anyone else who’s just starting the series, …uh, good luck. Even those people who followed the anime only might be kind of lost since this totally rushed through the 8 volumes of the manga without taking a break. Even season of the anime 2 kind of only got around to the events around the middle of the manga. Or maybe this was okay as an introduction, since everything was short and sweet. If Highway is any indication, it doesn’t seem too bad.
However, they touched on most of the parts that will be important to the second half of the story anyways, so you shouldn’t be too lost starting the next episode. This goes for even if you’re new, since the story picks up in a completely different place. Think of this episode as an alternate reality (because thats what it is). Really, all that was missing this episode was Jun’s hikkikomori angsting over the fact that he’s good at making women’s clothing (which was a pain to deal with in the storyline anyways) and the dolls all interacting more. …And by interacting, I mean acting like useless moeblobs in between battles that I can’t even remember why they were fighting half the time. Oh and I guess there was a part about Jun having some sort of magical doll repair skill, but even in the first series of the manga, they mentioned it once and then completely forgot about it.
Hopefully you got the gist of the characters at least, since I assume that’s what they were going for (ie Shinku is a bit of a snob and has issues with Suigintou, Hina Ichigo and Kanaria embody almost every trait of childishness I despise, Suiseiseki and Souseiseki have some kind of twin angst going on, Kirakishou has issues, etc.) Long story short, personally, this first episode took every plot point I liked about the manga and animated it (mostly skimming over the annoying ones), so I’m not complaining. As for what actually went on, I don’t know if we’re supposed to assume that this all happened in the span of like, 72 hours or what.
I thought this first episode of Rozen Maiden was enjoyable to watch, and really wasn’t put off by the amount of information that they put in to catch people up to the story (which I appreciated). I think it gave a good amount of background to something that could have been really opaque if they hadn’t, but they didn’t let lots of talking dominate the show. I also thought the animation by DEEN was pretty good, especially Shinku, and enjoyed the slight haughtiness to her character. I’ll definitely be continuing with this show, and hope it keeps up this amount of entertainment.
I don’t know about you guys, but I rather liked this first episode. I can totally see people complaining about the lightning speed pacing (seriously, they jammed 8 volumes of manga in here), but things should definitely slow down the next episode. …Probably almost to the point of it being kind of boring. Actually, this episode felt a lot like one of those OVA that come with manga volumes to me. It seemed to be geared towards the people who already are familiar with the source material (as one would be if you bought the manga), and it doubles as a piece of media to convince someone already interested to look deeper into the series to see what it’s all about. Think like what the first Mirai Nikki OVA was (aka everyone was confused and a bit disappointed because it was just flashes of events as opposed to forming a somewhat coherent plotline.) As a first episode to an actual anime series, this just felt really rushed. I really enjoyed what went on here, but I can totally see people complaining about this. Especially compared to how slow I imagine the next couple episodes should be. However, in order to fit the second half of the manga in here, I’d say that this crunch is going to pay off. …Probably.
So from what I’ve seen here, you can probably skip the other versions of the anime and jump right into this, provided that you got the gist of this first episode. Really, all the other anime does is provide (almost) the same story at a much slower pace. That, and they look a bit deeper into the characters and their interactions. Though there are some anime only parts that they threw in there (like Suigintou randomly dying at the end of the first anime and that Barasuishou character). I’m not entirely sure if the Ouvertüre OVAs should be considered canon or not either… But yeah, you should be okay just watching this anime alone. Hell, you might as well pretend that the other anime doesn’t even exist since this took absolutely nothing from it minus the voice actors.
However, I would suggest reading the manga. While they gave the gist of the plot here, they did miss a LOT.
Anyways, on to a slightly different Jun.