Tag Archives: Rozen Maiden

Rozen Maiden, Vol. 1–Some Short Observations in Bullet Point Form (Again)

Having seen the anime series a good number of years ago (before this website began), and thus knowing at least the eventual outcome of the first season, this is a tough volume to review in the usual way. For the most part, it’s very similar to the first few episodes of the series, so here are some thoughts about what stood out for me on experiencing the story for the second time.

  • The hikikomori allegory aspects stood out much more strongly this time around: the hub world with the many possible entrances, the idea of talking to dolls as a form of therapy even–see Lars and the Real Girl for a much more positive take on the idea in American cinema, of all places. Reading this postWelcome to the NHK! is instructive; the situation is somewhat reminiscent for one of the sister with the MMORPG-addict brother though Nori is much more domestic, much more motherly. (And less interesting, alas.)
  • That contrast between Jun and Nori makes Jun that much more unsympathetic in this instance too. For some reason I don’t remember being as irritated with him when I saw the anime than when I read this manga. He really is a bit of a jerk, though of course the point of the series is watching him come out of his shell.
  • The line work is lavish and attractive. I was not all that taken by the dolls in the anime for some reason, and I found many of the voice actresses annoying. There are some wide panels in the manga that show off the fine detail of the hair and the dresses and I can recognize the artistry in them now. Kudos to Peach Pit.
  • It’s interesting we are barely told anything about the Alice Game so far. Most of the time spent in the in-between world was devoted, Evangelion-style, to the internal and real-life world of Jun and what he’s missing. As I mentioned before the hikikomori aspects are clearer to me now and so the story seems more character-driven as a result.
  • Why did I also feel that the conversation Shinku and Nori have about the right temperature for tea leaves was a thinly veiled allegory about Jun? It reminded me very much of the conversation about pinot noir grapes in the movie Sideways, in which different kinds of grapes = different kinds of people.

Will I continue the manga? I’d actually be curious in knowing a little bit about how it differs from the anime from all of you who’ve read it, so feel free to give some general hints in that direction. (No outright spoilers, please.)

Japan’s LDP annihilated

In what can only be described as a landslide election, the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan lost approximately 300 of 480 Diet seats.

Yabei desu~

Taro “Rozen” Aso was quoted by Associated Press as saying, “There has been a deep dissatisfaction with our party.”  Visitors to the official website of the LDP were greeted with the promise, “We will change what should be changed, and begin anew.”

Anime Diet previously reported on the economic woes that have plagued Japan in recent years, and Prime Minister Aso‘s unique association with the manga and anime industry.  His “Japan Cool” campaign attempted to leverage the popularity of anime and manga as Japan’s “Soft Power,” but the numbers didn’t seem to add up.

Does this turn of events herald a dark era for animation?

K-Ommerce

K-On’s influence is vast.  Here are some items that K-On! has sold:

Mio gets kickbacks for selling headphones

Headphones (English link)
Cell phones
Bass guitars
Pens
Hot plates

That’s in addition to the actual products associated with the series: CDs, figurines, manga, and of course dakimakura.

Given that overall Japanese retail sales fell 2.9 percent in April, will the boost from popular anime be enough to effect a turnaround?  Prime Minister Taro “Rozen” Aso, criticized as a “manga brain,” thinks so.  His “Japan Cool” campaign, whose stated aim is to leverage the popularity of anime and manga as Japan’s “Soft Power,” continues to be the focus of government efforts under his regime.  Ultimately, time will tell if he’s right.

J-Pop in London…

From Anime Corporation News

J-Pop Halloween Event in London

…Halloween-themed j-pop event will be held in London on October 20th at Cafe Manga, near the Westminster Brdige of County Hall…

Ray’s take: Well, I can just picture the amount of goth lolis that’s going to be there…I hope you don’t get choked to death by the fume of black make up and die in a pool of black ink if you do go! On the other hand, if you see an old Japanese dude wearing a t-shirt that says “Taro Aso FTW” and wearing a Golgo-13 hat and a Shinku tatoo, please give him our condolences for not being elected as the prime minister of Japan…