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Friday, February 20, 2009

Rozen Maiden Träumend Review

First off, I’m going to just assume there will be a third series. There is simply no way for there not to be. The first series ended in a way that at least had some closure, but Rozen Maiden Traumend essentially left us on an extended cliffhanger. What is the alternative way to become Alice? Can the other Rozen Maidens be revived? Will the real Bara Suishou please stand up? And what’s going on with that silly rabbit that doesn’t know that tricks are for kids?

On it’s own, Rozen Maiden Traumend had a lot going for it. The most successful aspect of the 12 episodes was the way it gave the viewers much deeper insight into the various dolls. In the first season, we really only got to know Shinku, and possibly Suisei Seki, but this time we got a really good look at Suigin Tou, Suisei Seki, and Hina Ichigo. Newcomers Kanaria and Bara Suishou were welcome additions, and Sousei Seki was as boring as ever (although she was revealed to be a know-it-all). Whereas last time the focus was on Jun and his hardships, the focus this time was almost entirely on the dolls and the Alice Game.

In terms of story, I’m a little ambivalent. The first few episodes were slow, plot-wise, but lots of fun. However, the way the action picked up so quickly near the last 3 episodes made it almost unbearable when the series simply ended without much resolution. I was also disappointed that they didn’t play the fantastic battle music from the first season, especially during the Megaman fight sequence between Shinku and Bara Suishou. Speaking of music, most of the music was reused, but I liked the new OP (wailing banshees and all) and ED.

On its own, Rozen Maiden Traumend is a bit iffy, but if it’s simply part of a larger series, I think there is a lot of potential for the whole story to be really super. I bet they could wrap everything up completely in 6 episodes. Or a long movie. Really I’d be happy with whatever resolution I could get. Even as I write this, my mind is abuzz with questions (Is Rozen supposed to be like God or something? How did he get his shirt so white? Where are the Elric brothers?). I really enjoyed the ride, but Rozen Maiden Traumend left way too many loose ends to be considered a complete success on its own.

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