And so the very confusing adventures of Old Jun and 7 dolls is finally over. And while I’m definitely left unsatisfied in some parts, I’m glad that I had the privelage to follow it till the end.
During these last 2 ep, things seem to get resolved quite easily. Shinku is reborn simply by putting her head in her real body, Suigintou’s surprise of Hinaichigo’s fate causes her to leave Souiseiseki’s Rosa Mystica alone, and while Suigintou decides to venture the N-world to discover the true meaning of the Alice Game, everyone else goes back to their respective time periods.
So instead of pointing out plot points like my previous posts on this series, I’m going to focus specifically on how Jun and the Rozen Maidens decided the quality of this show. Jun has always been the center of this particular story, and his development is one of the most convincing coming-of-age stories to come out of anime in general. It’s believable, well-presented, and brings a clear distinction of what has changed without changing the character itself. The best part is that this aspect can be taken as a standalone story, while also providing backstory.
But I’ve already mentioned how a big chunk of investment seems lost when it comes to the Doll’s side of the story, and that never goes away. To be fair, Suigintou and Shinku get some good amount of backstory, and all the dolls interactions are iconic enough to guess how their relationship is. But other than Shinku and Suigintou, the other dolls get so little screentime that we really lack any emotional connection to them. It’s even worse because that connection is needed to feel the tenseness of many plot points.
Yet in many cases, their presence actually save the show. Even if Jun’s development is well-written and relateable, it’s the mystery linked to the dolls and the atmosphere it brings that keeps us interested throughout. And as much as we don’t have much investment in these dolls, they bring alot of personality that Jun’s lifestyle lacks. After a while, we realize it’s not that hard to bring that lacking investment if they give enough time for us to watch them. And with the cliffhanger at the end calling for Older Jun’s help again, it’s safe to say a sequel would do exactly that.
In the end, I have to admit that this was one of the better shows this season. However, it’s kind of mixed when it comes to being a standalone. While one story involves a coming-of-age story that could be understood by anyone, the mystery involving the Rozen Maidens requires both prior knowledge and investment in the franchise to appreciate. It’s not the most accessible show this season, especially considering how much questions are left unanswered, but it’s definitely one of the best and I highly recommend it.