Jun is a shut in. After experiencing a large amount of bullying in school, he closes himself off from the world and does nothing all day but order strange things off the internet. Unfortunately for him, a seemingly harmless piece of junk mail lands him in a contract with a living doll named Shinku. Sworn to her, Jun must now supply her with energy for her never ending battles against other Rozen Maiden dolls as they fight for the chance to become the perfect girl: Alice.
Because this show is about a bunch of dolls fighting one another, there is violence. However, it is usually limited to the dolls. Occasionally Jun gets hurt as well, a scrape or a cut. However there’s no fear of a blood bath in this show. The worst the show has to offer is a plastic arm breaking off a doll or a tiny bit of red to show a small paper cut.
It’s unfortunate to note that the language is the only part that got it bumped from 10+ to YA. And even more depressing is the fact that only one character uses bad language. Although it’s blissfully rare for her to get so bad that she drops the “illegitimate-son-word” (as I term it), it still happens more than it should.
Again, there’s not much to fear in this sector. The closest thing to nudity would be the dolls without clothing on, which is seen during their creation. However they have the detail-less form of a mannequin and thus there really isn’t any nudity involved.
The dolls all strive to become Alice, a perfect girl, so they can meet their father, or creator, again. Also, the way they refer to this “father” makes him out to be rather supernatural. In one scene he is described as “changing forms over the centuries” and thus being immortal, like the dolls. However this aspect of the show is never fully explained by the end and is largely left to interpretation. Another odd character is LaPlace’s Demon, who isn’t a “demon,” but a large rabbit in a suit. Like “Father,” he isn’t explained in the series. Though he too is implied to be supernatural.
Rozen Maiden is a wonderful show, though a bit odd at times. Jun has an actual legit background that makes sense and the dolls each have to come to terms with why they were created and if they want to risk the deaths of their own kind for a shot at “perfection.” Jun’s bullying comes from academic failure, a pressure that is very real in Japan and for some kids in America. As for the dolls, they were built to love their father and also to fight one another, things that seem contradictory at times. The reality of losing each other has a very realistic affect on them. Aside from the characters, the story itself is compelling, the music well done and the artwork solid. It may not be a trend setter in many areas, but it manages itself well enough. It should be noted, however, that this series ends without much of a conclusion. This is also true of its original manga version. So if you enjoy some beautiful doll battles and interesting characters, this show is a good starter. Although you might find yourself a bit unsatisfied with the open ending.
Personal Rating: Young adult
Episodes: 26 + 2 OVAs
Languages: Subbed and Dubbed
Official rating: TV14
Genre(s): Mystical, fantasy
Legal streaming: Anime Network (English dub)