With his parents away working overseas, Sakurada Jun refuses to attend school or even leave his house at all. Living alone with his older sister, he amuses himself by ordering “cursed” items from the Internet, then returning them once the novelty wears off. One day he receives a package that he didn’t order, and inside a beautiful doll appears to be sleeping. Curious, Jun winds her up. To his surprise, she immediately comes to life, demanding that he be her servant. Together, they must face a homicidal opponent to win the deadly Alice Game.
summary by Liegenschonheit
Highs: Beautiful character designs; balances drama and comedy perfectly; allows each character to develop
Lows: Inconsistencies in artwork; some questions remain unanswered
At first glance, the storyline of this anime seems stale and trite: lonely boy finds a lovely, not-quite-human girl companion under mysterious circumstances. Right off the bat, however, this anime sets itself apart. Replacing the same well-known stereotypes, the characters in Rozen Maiden are multifaceted and unique, each equipped with a wide and believable emotional spectrum.
Captivating and well paced, Rozen Maiden moves through each of its episodes with grace and an excellent sense of timing. Comedy segues into drama flawlessly, allowing the viewer to keep pace with the emotions on screen. As the story progresses, each plot element allows the characters a chance to adapt, grow and show new sides to their personalities along the way, all while maintaining the childlike attitudes which make this show so charming. Though as pieces of the story come to light viewers may be left with some unanswered questions about the origins of the dolls, enough information is given that the story told is still complete and makes sense.
The highlight of the artwork in Rozen Maiden is without a doubt the character designs of the dolls. Beautifully detailed and as unique as their personalities, the dolls are simply gorgeous. However, in some cases, it seems as if the artists couldn’t decide how big the dolls were, as in some shots they seem significantly shorter than normal. Really though, this flaw isn’t terribly noticeable unless you are looking for it.
From its dark and strangely catchy opening theme to the sugary cuteness overload of Hina Ichigo, Rozen Maiden is an anime that has somehow undeservedly remained below the radar among anime fans. For an anime experience that is more than meets the eye, fans would do very well to give Rozen Maiden a try.
Rozen Maiden can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.