Rozen Maiden, ever heard of it? Read the wiki page?
If you think it sounds like a weird anime… well, you are totally right. It IS a weird anime. :D
That is not to say it isn’t good. It is extremely popular in Japan. According to TV Asahi’s list of the most popular anime in 2006, Rozen Maiden was ranked 6th. Lol, first is FMA, second is Evangelion, and third is Pani Poni Dash (<33333, I can’t understand why it’s not popular anymore).
Haruhi came in at a measly fourth place. Negima takes fifth place. After Rozen Maiden at 9th comes Ichigo Marshmellow (Strawberry Marshmellow, I gotta remember to watch that soon), and then Shakugan no Shana at 10th place. Nanoha comes in at 13th, NARUTO at 17, Inuyasha at 20, AIR at 32 (wow o_O), Ranma 1/2 at 36 (wooooow, 20-year old anime is still in the top 50 after all these years… shows how awesome Ranma truly is).
Higurashi only makes #61, Fate/sn at #70, Da Capo at #82, etc etc. Wow, I got off on a tangent.
Anyways, more interesting trivia:
The Rozen Maiden manga, produced by Peach-Pit, has been serialized in two different magazines: Monthly Comic Birz from 2002 to 2007, and Weekly Young Jump from April 2008 onwards. It has garnered quite a few followers, including Japan’s current Prime Minister, Taro Aso, who gained the nickname “Rozen Aso” after being seen reading Volume one of the Birz manga in public, allegedly while waiting at Tokyo International Airport. Aso remarked about the manga, “Although it looked girlish, I was impressed that its story was so deep.”
This really shows how popular RM is… I mean, even the Prime Minister of Japan reads it and is a fanboy x3
Okay, anyways, putting aside the hype… it’s not that good in my opinion. Of course, this isn’t really my type of anime, so the fact that enjoyed it really says a lot.
The fight scenes are totally lame. I’ll say that first. The fights suck, the “attacks” suck, the visual effects suck. The plot freaking sucks. The villain sucks. Shinku sucks, for god’s sake.
Yet, somehow, Rozen Maiden still manages to be meaningful and cute. I believe Jun is the main reason Rozen Maiden can be so powerful.
Jun has experienced tremendous trauma having been bullied at school. (Speaking of which, we just had a school assembly about bullying…) He was also previously a 100% A+++ genius top-of-the-school student, and the pressure from everywhere caused him to collapse one day. As we are introduced to him at the start of the story, he locks himself in his room from down ’til dusk. He hates all other people, and doesn’t want to see or talk to anyone. He wallows in his own lake of shame and loneliness like the failure at life he is.
One day, a suitcase falls out of the sky, breaks through his window, and lands in his room. Out of the suitcase comes a beautiful doll named Shinku, who can talk and move. The plot behind these dolls and the battles and “backstory” and stuff, that’s all lame and stupid, but the dolls’ interactions with Jun, and the effects they have on him, do possess meaning. Over the course of this anime, Jun eventually warms up to the dolls he at first finds annoying and loud. He genuinely develops affection for them, and in a way, this slowly returns him to society, unknowingly. The trials throughout these 13-ish episodes made Jun a better person, and in the end, Jun finds a reason to live on.
“To live is to fight.”
Purpose. A purpose in life. The desire to seek such a purpose is manifested in all of us. Those who care about us, those who love us — the reason to live on, is it not for the sake of others? To wish you weren’t alive, would it lessen others’ burdens? or would it give them yet another sorrow to bear?
For his own sake, and for those of his friends and his sister, Jun chooses to live on. The trauma of his classmates’ condescending words are still painful, yet Jun chooses to fight. To live is to fight, and after all, what point is there in living, if not for the light shining through the silver clouds, after the storm has passed?
“This is what is inside your heart right now.
A sky that has become this beautiful will not always be stormy.
Rain will fall and storms will blow.
The scenery will change, and if left alone, it will stay that way forever.
For that, you must continue fighting.
Because that is…”
“Because that is…
… to live.”
Hmm, shoulda chosen a better quote. This one sounded good in Japanese though. But wow, I can type fast o-o
Anyways, the ending was… I’m not sure whether it was lame or funny. But it kinda ruined the touching conclusion. It was like a joke. Well… I guess that’s what it was intended as.
As sucky as the story was, the music was EPIC. AWESOME music (background music, I mean). OP and ED were ok, not bad. I had the OP stuck in my head a while ago.
(This post has been sitting as a draft for about a month already; finally got to finishing first season of Rozen Maiden to write my final remarks.)
People, please critique this blog post as much as you possibly can. Tell me how much it sucks, because your opinions can’t possibly be worse than an English H teacher’s at AHS.