Rozen Maiden – 02

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It’s like the spam mail you never asked for, only creepier and full of dismembered body parts.

This second episode went better than I expected. I thought it would be slower and boring, but they managed to display unwound Jun’s sad life and the Rozen Maiden part without taking too much time on either things.

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So like I said, this storyline slowed way the hell down. However, I thought this was actually a pretty great contrast. This unwound Jun absolutely hates his life and everything in it, so the slowness kind of exaggerated how boring this Jun’s life was. Every day was boring, painful and monotonous. Especially compared to the younger Jun, who woke up one morning and had absolutely everything thrown at him in the span of a couple days. It was just one choice that he made in his lifetime, but it was a really important one in retrospect.

Fortunately for the storyline, this Jun has the same interest that the younger Jun had (not that you would have gotten that in the last episode) with dolls. The scenes with our protagonist devoting his life to creating a doll were undeniably creepy. Not because he was reading books with sketchy sounding names like “create a girl”, but the fact he was skipping school, missing sleep and straight out obsessing over it. When the parts stopped coming out, Jun honestly did not know what to do with himself. It seems like a large part of this obsession was as an escape from his depressing life …and the rest because some magical plot tool of the two worlds being a bit connected drove him forward. In any case, it seems kind of interesting that in a show about magical dolls, the protagonist is such a depressing guy. Younger Jun had his issues, but there’s just an extra layer of hopelessness there with this Jun being an adult. Life is harder to change, the older you get. Plus this Jun actually pulled himself out of his hikkikomori ways by himself as a child and still ended up like this.

Things kind of became less depressing at the end of the episode though. The manager might suck, but Saito isn’t quite as bad as she first appeared to be at the beginning of the episode. She still seems like your typical nice girl character, but there’s a bit of realism to her since she said straight out that she would have said something, but doesn’t want to lose her job. Maybe she feels a bit guilty about all of this, but as it is, she’s not going to do anything about it. Saitou isn’t that selfless. Anyways, despite that though, she kind of got Jun to open up (or at least, to listen to her talk) and she should play a role in getting him back to enjoying life a bit.

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Then comes the supernatural aspect. Or what little of it there was in this episode. The wound Jun and the unwound Jun’s conversation was more interesting than I remember it being. Would you believe it if you received an email from someone who claimed to be a younger version of yourself? The unwound Jun was a bit more open to believing the impossible than I thought he would have been (even though he still had that “it’s probably a scam” mindset). And he was pretty accepting of the deliveries he received, despite the fact that he had only picked up the first volume maybe an hour or so ago and told absolutely no one about it. Actually, the cancellation message came before the mails with unwound Jun’s other self in the manga, but I don’t think the sequence of events really matters for that.

Why is Jun making a new Shinku? Well, you’ll see. I guess this is the part where the younger Jun’s shown skill of  being able to repair dolls would have come in handy. I’ll explain it a bit more. Apparently Rozen’s magical skill of making living dolls belonged to him alone (or at least, it was really, really rare), which is why there aren’t living dolls fighting for each other’s souls everywhere in this series. Repairing a Rozen Maiden back to working condition should have been impossible, yet the younger Jun was able to not only give Shinku back an arm she had lost, but he also gave her back the ability to move it (this was all in the manga and also in the original anime). And of course, if the younger Jun has the ability, then the older one should have it as well. Thus why him attempting to make a new (magical) doll isn’t an impossible feat. …Not that any of this is ever really mentioned with that much detail in the manga, so it’s fine if they ignore this in the anime I think (they could probably get away with a “oh, Jun could create a Rozen Maiden from broken parts because he’s skillful” comment and nothing else).

Oh, if you’re wondering why the younger Jun mentioned working with Kanaria, it’s because Shinku got Kirikishou’d in the younger Jun’s world. I don’t blame you if you never picked that up in the last episode, but yeah. Shinku is kind of out of commission in that world (that white rose she was sitting on devoured her body. …Because Kirakishou can do that). I guess we just have to assume that the younger Jun met Kanaria outside his house or something.

I’m rereading the manga to Rozen Maiden just to refresh what should be going on, and the more I read, the more I think the last episode was a good idea. Or in some regards to Jun, I think that this was a good idea. The Jun we saw in the last episode with zero hesitation is pretty much the same Jun that meets his older version here. Of course, with this attitude now, it’s hard to see why he was a hikkikomori since he’s not that broken, but still. They got the important parts about the dolls there as opposed to Jun’s inner struggles. Plus, like I said above, it provides a better contrast between the younger and older Jun.

…This just goes to show how different a mind set I had back when I first read the manga a few years back. I didn’t think watching a grown man obsess over dolls was weird or strange at all. Now I look at it and go “…this is the protagonist I (kind of sort of) admired?” …Yep. Actually, a lot of this episode really reminded me of Aku no Hana of all things. There was that same bleak and bland atmosphere and Jun seemed almost as hopeless as Kasuga at times. On the other hand though, where Kasuga went down a deep spiral of poor choices, this Jun should pull himself out of this slump as the storyline goes on. It’s not going to be easy, but he’ll have some help… Though of course, that isn’t the entire story going on. The storyline should switch the focus back to the dolls soon enough and a lot of the events should be less real life.

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And if you’re still curious about Jun, the next episode looks like it should carry some info on what traumatized him in middle school. …Not that it has anything to do with this screencap. 

About

University student and the one at Metanorn who's known for wearing glasses. Likes blood, insanity and plot twists, but also plays otome games and adores cute romance anime. It balances out... somehow.
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23 Responses to “Rozen Maiden – 02”

  1. Liza says:

    Wow. Unwound Jun’s life sucks. 0_0 And he ended up getting contacts/dyeing his hair(or something…)

    I found the whole make a doll thing to be very creepy and also his reaction when the next part did not come in. Just a tad obsessed. Also the headless naked Shinku just sitting there is creepy too.

    • skylion says:

      …any headless doll is creepy. Dolls like that are creepy in a way, period.

      Creepy!

      • Highway says:

        I wonder if it’s an uncanny valley phenomenon, or is it more of a ‘dead body’ phenomenon that makes dolls, especially headless ones, creepy.

        • skylion says:

          I can, see an uncanny valley, canny if necessary. So the ‘dead body’ thing is more likely.

    • Karakuri says:

      Yeah, he dyed his hair and wears coloured contacts. …The younger Jun calls him out on this in their emails in the manga, but that never happened here.

      Just wait until next episode, where Jun has to sort through doll bodies (the screencap I have at the end).

  2. skylion says:

    ::takes rolled up newspaper to Spammy::

  3. Highway says:

    Even though I was not expecting everything to be completely different, I still liked this episode. It definitely didn’t dawn on me that Shinku got Kirakishou’d at the end of the first one, although it had definitely seemed that Kirashikou was waaaaay too powerful.

    I did think the “I thought stuff would be better when I stopped being a hikikomori” line of thought was interesting, in that why would things get better unless you’re actively trying to change who you are. And Jun doesn’t really seem like the type to change who he is that easily.

    I can’t wait to see more Shinku, tho.

    • Karakuri says:

      Kirakishou has a lot of freedom since she doesn’t have a body (until she took over Hina Ichigo’s) and so she was kind of impossible to defeat. You can’t hit something that doesn’t exist. Plus she kind of (sort of) specializes in illusions and traps. …The doll’s individual powers aren’t explained in a lot of detail, so I’ve just grown used to assuming that they can do anything unless they specifically say they can’t.

      Ah, you’ve hit a major theme for this part of the story. Just wait and see~.

      Shinku should be back the next episode! In all of her haughty glory!

  4. Tofu says:

    Thanks for the info Karakuri ^^ Considering I haven’t seen the older series I was kinda confused as to what was happening so it was great to read up on some background information :)

    Unfortunately I was one of the people who didn’t realize Shinku had been eaten :( And also I never knew they would use this kind of “older self” “younger self” twist and figured it would be something similar to Fate/Zero from ep 1 (thus I was wondering why the fast pacing) but it’s all coming together now :)

    • Karakuri says:

      Good to know that my painful chuunibyou years are paying off somehow.

      …You and 90% of the other people here, Tofu. I don’t think anyone could have caught it, really. Things should come together even more once they explain why Jun is making a doll and how it’s even possible. …A lot of the events of the last episode should be cleared up within time, actually.

      • Riktol says:

        I watched the original series not too long ago and I didn’t catch that Shinku bit it in Ep 1. I haven’t read the manga though so I’ll use that as my excuse.
        My assumption is that by creating a new body for Shinku, she’ll be able to return/cross between the dimensions and carry on the fight against Kirakishou? Will he bring all of them back? make an army of dolls? (no spoilers plz)
        I was suprised when young Jun said he was working with Canaria, as I got the impression that she was a) weak (or ridiculously incompetant) and b) pretty into the whole Alice Game ‘there can be only one’ thing. In the previous show I found her to be really grating and it kind of looked like it was going the same way here, but if she’s central to the plot maybe she’ll tone down on that.

        • Karakuri says:

          I don’t think it would have mattered if you watched to original or not, they simply didn’t give any hints in the last episode that Kirakishou was doing more than just talking to Shinku. (Maybe you could have gotten that from the OP and Shinku being pulled by white vines, but even still).

          Uhh, I can’t say that Kanaria becomes any less annoying, but she does become a tad bit more useful, if that’s anything.

  5. joojoobees says:

    Definitely think this split self angle is interesting. Looking forward to more.

    • Karakuri says:

      I found it really interesting when they interact~ there’s more of that coming up shortly.

  6. BlackBriar says:

    That manager really pissed me off with his high horse, know-it-attitude. He wouldn’t be shooting off his mouth and gossiping about others if he went through some difficult times. And him calling people like Jun useless was a low blow. The headless doll was off putting.

    Aren’t you afraid that the more you read that eventually the anime is going to deviate from somewhere? To me, that’s the biggest risk when reading the manga followed by watching the anime adaption.

    • Karakuri says:

      Well, he’s supposed to be infuriating. Jun’s life is supposed to suck from all angles at the moment (though you have to wonder how boring his college mates are if they have nothing better to do than whisper about someone else). Er, this might be spoilers, but the manager does get kind of better.

      Nope. No fear at all. They’re going to have to deviate a bit anyways to talk about Suigintou’s medium, who plays a rather large part later on. I am a bit worried about pacing, but they could always make another season. …Plus the original anime deviated a lot anyways.

  7. Sumairii says:

    I’m completely unfamiliar with the material, but I would say that rearranging the cancellation to after the e-mails was a good move. The way that last e-mail got ominously cut off, followed by the sudden interruption of the notice being impossibly forced through the crack of the door was very well done. Plus, you get a more direct implication that someone is interfering, although you could still have gotten the same with the order reversed.

    • Karakuri says:

      The original cancellation notice said specifically “Create a Girl has been postponed because of interference from the 7th doll” (…which kind of makes no sense now that I look back, meaning that they’re probably going to explain things differently) …Plus there was another character around at the time. But yeah, it was all for good effect. They’re going to have to change some things up a bit to make things consistent for what’s coming up.

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