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Rozen Maiden Traumend
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Rozen Maiden Traumend

This is the second show in recent months that has a preoccupation with the name "Alice". Thankfully Rozen Maiden Traumend does not have key rape, incestuous subtext and obsessive girls drooling on cookies although it does have a character with bunny ears! (albeit a male one). Anyway that's enough comparisons to Kagahime as I fear my recurring nightmares about the show may begin again. Thankfully Rozen Maiden Traumend is nothing like that travesty of an anime and is a welcome to return to the world of Shinku and company. Let the Alice Game begin!



I never got around to blogging the first season of Rozen Maiden as quite simply I didn't have the time, but for those who don't know the last season ended with our heroine gothic lolita doll turning her arch nemesis Suigintou to junk. Skip to this new series Shinku and her other doll friends are living with the human Jun and his sister Nori happily. Twin dolls Suiseiseki and Souseiseki are living nearby too so everyone is together. The only main problem appears to be Shinku feels guilt for what she did to Suigintou at the end of the previous series, a nagging doubt in the back of the mind that she shouldn't have trashed her enemy so much.



Of course things don't stay quiet for long as Shinku soon finds herself introduced to a new doll and addition to the cast. The doll is named Barasuishou and claims to be the seventh Rozen Maiden doll, she promplty attempts to kill Shinku like all good villains! The main problem here being though that our eyepatched friend isn't a good villain, in fact she sucks. Barasuishou admittedly has a tall order to cap everyone's favourite psycho doll Suigintou, but PLEASE the creators could have at least made an effort. Thankfully Suigintou herself makes a welcome return, and while she has a "good" agenda this time (to save a sick girl, awww) she is still as pleasingly full of bloodlust when it comes to combat however! But anyway, with all the Rozen Maiden (at least apparently) present, it is time for them all to battle and kill oneanother till only one remains! Then their mysterious creator will deem one "Alice", the perfect doll. Of course the plot isn't quite as simple as that, towards the end it twists and turns like a twisty turny thing and proved itself to be rather clever.



Joining the seriously in need of a personality transplant Barasuishou, is another new character on the side of the goodies, Kanaria. Kanaria is put in mainly as another comedy character a sort of Hina Ichigo Mark II. Unfortunately yet again compared to the original cast she's about as appealing as a cow pat, failing to make me laugh or think "awww cute" even once. Thankfully just as Suigintou is on hand to be better than Barasuishou, Hina Ichigo is around to be better than Kanaria, almost beating Suigintou as my favourite character with her overall cuteness, but not quite. Suigintou has far better fashion sense. Anyway despite not being a fan of the new cast members, the old ones still manage to be as entertaining as ever, so its only a minor criticism.



Of course, a blog post on the series wouldn't be complete if I didn't talk about the twincestuous (I love that word!) Suiseiseki and Souseiseki. The twin sisters are the source of minor yuri subtext and while it's not something that particularly explored much there are plenty of little hints that they are bit too fond of oneanother in the series. For a start you have their dramatic clasping of hands in the opening sequence, numerous dramatic exchanges about not wanting to part in the centre of the series and finally Barasuishou makes a comment at the end of the series that she knows that one was attracted to the other. It's nice to have some slight confirmation at least as I'm sure a fair few people like myself had been wondering for all 25 episodes. Not a pairing I particularly care a lot about but hey, worth mentioning all the same.



So , what do I make of Rozen Maiden Traumend? Well after originally thinking it was weaker than the first series by mid-viewing point, after the conclusion I feel its the better of the two. Why? Well, that plot is more clever and tightly packed than before. Why I enjoyed filler episodes like series ones "stairs", it dragged eventually and to me at least the second season felt more plot focused but still managed moments of doll fuelled silliness. The epic conclusion is far more exciting too with lots of small battles and events going on at the same time rather than the Suigintou vs Shinku singular battle from season one. In fact I enjoyed the ending so much, that I am looking forward to the possible appearance of a third season or at least an OVA which for me is the sign of series enjoyment! More Shinku, Suigintou and everyone please!

Overall Series Score: 7/10
"Look behind you Kun-Kun!"



posted by Mangaminx On Wednesday, February 22, 2006  
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