The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Rozen Maiden: Ouvertüre

Title: Rozen Maiden: Ouvertüre
Genre: Action/Drama
Company: TBS/Nomad
Format: 2 episodes
Dates: 23 Dec 2006 – 24 Dec 2006

Synopsis: When Jun buys a broach for Shinku, she responds in a strange way, negatively rejecting it. Souseiseki decides to reveal the past events which have led to her strange reaction: the first meeting between Shinku and Suigintou.

The Highlights
Characters: Adds a massive amount of background to both Shinku and Suigintou.
Music: Far too many reused tunes.
Drama: Becomes melodramatic on a few occasions.
Aesthetics: Not as good as the first series.

In my opinion Rozen Maiden has never been as good as it was in its first outing. When compared with the first season, the art, animation, dramatic impact and execution have all been underwhelming since the focus turned from Jun’s hikkikomori-ism to the doll’s Alice Game. Rozen Maiden: Ouvertüre manages to relive some of the elements that made the first Rozen Maiden so enjoyable, but unfortunately incorporates a lot of the flawed execution and melodrama that spoiled Träumend.

Ouvertüre focuses on the events surrounding Shinku and Suigintou’s first meeting, bringing new light to both characters and adding a greater dynamic to their relationship. While this is welcome, I question whether this is the right forum in which to announce what I think is a fairly important series of events in the Rozen Maiden narrative. I’m almost certain that revealing this background during either of the other two series would have added far more meaning to their conflicts.

Technically, Rozen Maiden has continued to slide since the first season. The soundtrack is filled with reused music from the first two series which is often poorly chosen and doesn’t quite match the mood of the scene. The fight scenes aren’t anywhere near as pretty as they were in the first series and the animation is at about the same inconsistent level as it was during Träumend. Most attempts at drama very quickly slid into melodrama and the plot featured two significant instances of dues ex machina.

The story told in Ouvertüre is an invaluable addition to the Rozen Maiden universe, adding an incredible amount to both Shinku and Suigintou’s characters and making their rivalry all the more intriguing. I still maintain that these events would have been better off being revealed during either of the first two series, but Ouvertüre does have a sense of focus that was arguably missing from Träumend. Watching this mini-series will reveal the beginnings of the rivalry of the first and fifth Rozen Maiden, but it will take at least a third season to see it its conclusion. That, we still have to wait for.

The Rating: 6

Reviewed by: Sorrow-kun

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