The Living Doll Show – Rozen Maiden Review – UNOTAKU Anime Blog

Sometimes you just gotta take a leap of faith and hope the landing works out. A lot of times this leads to mediocre results or down right dreadful wastes of time. Then you have those rare opportunities where you stick the landing and roll into a pot of gold.

You feel great from it and wish it happened more often. You may think that hearing that string of statements, I refer to the pot of gold ending in this review, but hold you chariot horses because there is a fourth outcome. One where you don’t even know how you benefited from the adventure. That’s where I landed. Let’s recall what I did learn though, and see if we can piece it together.

  • 12 Episodes

  • Aired: Oct 8th, 2004 – Dec 24, 2004

  • Genres: Action, Comedy, Drama, Magic, and Seinen

  • Studio: Nomad

So you all know those shut ins, right? Those people who locked themselves in their homes or even go so far as to lock themselves in their rooms? Well apparently we got a bit of a weird one here. After suffering from a trauma that we don’t even find out about until the very last couple of episodes, our protagonist, Jun Sakaurada, becomes a total shut in and starts ordering tons of crap from the internet. I mean, just the weirdest assortment known to man. The difference is that he sends them back before the payment is due so that he technically doesn’t have to pay. So when a letter comes to him asking if he wants a doll, he thinks nothing of the weird request and chooses to accept it.

After magically appearing, he winds up the doll only to find that the doll comes alive and slaps the ever-living shit out of him for looking up her dress. Now he is tasked to be her servant and help her with the disabilities of being a doll while she helps him overcome the problems he faces as a traumatized shut in. Also this show gives me some real Zatch Bell vibes and I love it

Story: 7

So this is where I feel the “how did I benefit from this” comes into play. I have no idea why anything happened beyond the obvious explanation. What I mean by that is that I understand the events as they happen but the significance of said event to the over arching plot eludes me. So a good example would be the super saiyan form in Dragonball Z. When you hear about it, you are told that it never happened before and tons of saiyans have tried, fast forward a season’s worth of episodes to Goku transforming. That tells you it is possible and that surely others can do it.

Now while that is obvious now when we see more episodes, think about how it is for people who first see that. They are in shock and are most likely screaming in excitement. They aren’t thinking about what this event does to the over arching lore surrounding the saiyans, they are going, “HOLY SHT, HE ABOUT TO F* FRIEZA UP!!!”. Then it dawns on them what this means for the other saiyans in the show and such ideas start popping in their heads and so on and so forth. Going back to Rozen Maiden, though when I witness a fight between characters, I’m only understanding that these characters are fighting and the vague costs to the efforts they are putting forth. I don’t understand the real significant of the fight or any of the moves used. I can’t gather any info that may allude to future events.

That aside, how was the rest of the story? Well the rest of the story is wrapped in comedy and I enjoyed it. I think it was because my brain couldn’t wrap itself around the story itself that it grasped the humor a lot more but it’s pretty good. For one you have total shut in being bossed around by a doll, which derives a batch of humor all it’s own. Then you have the other dolls that come to interact with each other that bring their own brand of humor. Lastly, we have the humor a person derives from just how over the top some situations are played out. An example would be an episode surrounding an argument between two of the dolls. It gets really absurd for what the argument is based on of leading to some castle defense. SPOILER ALERT: The argument was over a strawberry.

Art and Sound: 6 and 6

Okay guys, let’s remember this is nearly a decade and a half old and it looks good for its age. It’s clean and simple. It’s a little bright when it comes to colors but it’s fine. There really wasn’t anything that looked weird or at the least disgusting looking. Also I hope you like porcelain dolls. I say that for anybody who recently played Alice Madness Returns, which I thought for the longest time was who they referenced when they mention this game they play called the Alice Game. For those of you that don’t know, most of Alice: MR’s enemies are blobs of black goop with porcelain doll heads with the eyes removed and after playing it you may either be scared of them or sick of them. But now that the show is centered around other living dolls, so the decision becomes harder.

So this is one of those times when I actually don’t care for the opening song but I also don’t hate it. For one I think it’s too long but this is a thing that most old anime had going on so what makes this more noticeable is that the song seems to end three times before it actually does. I have also gotten into the habit of not even listening to the ending song because most of the time I am binge watching the show so I end up just moving onto the next episode before the song actually starts up. So I haven’t heard it.

The background pieces are pretty chipper though. Yeah look at me using wacky old language words. The voice acting is what gets me though and I don’t mean it in a bad way. In every anime, there is at least one person who manages to sound annoying even if that’s not a perk on their character sheet. Here I don’t have that; and this is counting with a character that equates to a five-year child. So that’s always good, but what keeps the sound at a six is just that I value music over voices. Music pumps you up, it adds emotion and it’s one of the reasons you come back to a show. So if a show’s music selection is lacking, then the sound as a whole is lacking.

Characters: 7

So if The Three Stooges have taught us anything it’s that comedy works when the personalities involved are comedic as well. How does that relate here? Well the characters are all tropes we saw before but worked in a different way. For example, Jun is a hot head but he is push over in most cases. The amount of times he gets subdued and put on his ass by the dolls is amazing. Then we have the noble girl but she obsesses over a cartoon character. This is no lie, in season 2 she has a fucking shrine to him. She isn’t fitting under yandere categories quite yet but she gets close. Then there is the five-year old in place of the common ditz klutz, who is surprisingly my favorite to watch for some reason. Don’t ask me how and don’t go thinking those weird thoughts either. Hey… I said don’t do it.

Anyways, lastly we have the devious princess but she is clueless. She is also pretty funny to watch because she knows what about her powers but outside of that is a crap shoot. These characters blend well, especially for the comedy. So yeah, that’s kinda how I’m leaving it, so let’s wrap this up.

Overall: 6 out of 10

So fun is the word of the day and I think this is what this show was working toward. Sure, I didn’t understand what was going on most of my way through, but does that matter when I am having fun? I must warn you that binge watching the series in a sitting or two will leave you kind of unwilling to continue on to the next season. There is three in total and if you start losing steam after season 1 then you may end up dropping it then and there. I say that because I was told that season 2 is worse than season 1. I am two episodes in and I can kinda feel it but that is a story for another time.

Also I love it when shows use German. In this chase it’s used for the episode names and any material related to the dolls. So that’s always a plus.

So that was my was my review of Rozen Maiden Season 1. I will be doing reviews on the rest of the show so keep an eye out for that. Also, if you want more content that I wrote then check out my Gungrave review. Think The Godfather in anime format. But if you would rather watch and listen to a review instead, then check out our Highschool DxD Hero Review over on our Youtube channel. And while you are there, don’t forget to subscribe to the channel and hit the bell icon so that you are informed when we make another upload. Thanks again for stopping by and I’ll see you guys next time.

Come sit on my couch and let’s talk about all manor of things. From Anime to Video Games, let’s throw ideas around an see which ones strike us the most.

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