Title: Rozen Maiden Traumend
Published by: Madman Entertainment (Australia / New Zealand)
Based on: Manga Series under the same name by Peach-Put
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Supernatural
Audio: English and Japanese Dubs
Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen
Runtime: 300 minutes
Cost: $59.95 for the season alone, but you are better off buying Seasons One and Two (This is the second) together for the same price.
Classification: This title is rated PG for Mild Themes, Violence and Coarse Language
Blurb: The second season of the successful Rozen Maiden franchise let down only by the fact that the anime was more-or-less dropped after this season without a proper ending. With the introduction of the seventh and final doll, the storyline takes a turn for the worse and the storyline gets more serious. The design I felt decreased a bit in this series, but had even better music alongside the tracks from the first season.
Special Thanks: Special thanks goes to the Madman Entertainment PR Team for providing me with a review sample of this title.
I just realized it has been a week since my last anime review, primarily due to some big things that are coming up on this site in the coming weeks and as it has been so cold, it is perfect “Lets rug up and play games instead of exposing any of my skin to the cold infront of the computer” weather. When I reviewed Rozen Maiden many a month ago, I gave it an A-Grade as it was, one of the half-dozen series that really got me into anime – and then into other otaku-media such as games, manga et cetera. How does Traumend stand up? Read on to find out!
The Alice Game Continues
Jun is back in school and life couldn’t be any better. Despite the happy days everyone spends with each other, something seems to be bothering Shinku. Could it be the arrival of two new adversaries? When all the dolls have assembled, the peaceful life everyone had been living up to this point will end, and the battle to life or death will begin, as the Alice Game takes full effect. Shinku has already turned one doll to junk. WIll she be able to do that to the rest of her sisters?
So, for a quick recap of the events of the previous season…. : Five out of the seven dolls have awoken, the protagonist Jun has two of the five living at his house whilst another two live with a couple who were part of a multi-episode arc. The fifth was the antagonist and was inevitably defeated at the end of the season. Are happy days here to stay? I think not, even if Hikikomori Jun has managed to renounce his ways, the battle of the dolls will still go on, and drag him along with it.
The storyline, despite the overall gothic theme of the characters clothing and music, is generally comedic in nature with the Alice Game interwoven into it. The first half of the series more or less setting the scene alongside introducing the doll Kanaria (Comic relief usually) whilst after a certain event (Which you should recognize when you see it) the storyline does focus more on the characters determination to fight, the loyalty of the dolls to their owners and the prospect of being junk. The storyline does take a dramatic end, however ends on a positive note indicating future episodes which as of yet, have not been delivered.
The focus is taken off Shinku and Jun and pushed more on the other characters, who were lacking development in the previous season. Suiseiseki and Souseiseki have their allegiances tested yet again as their beliefs differ as well as Suiseiseki’s hunt for a master is undertaken. Hinaichigo and Tomoe have an episode dedicated to themselves which shows some of their past and the bond they held together, even if they were Master and Doll only for a short time. Suigintou (Okay, the cover easily indicates she isn’t dead) has her beliefs regarding humans, life and junk shaken through her new medium and finally we have the two new dolls…. Kanaria who is the focus of the first few episodes and plays a good guy/bad guy role with the other dolls whilst Barasuisho acts as the main antagonist, weaving her way into the story where possible to capture the others Rosa Mysticas.
The focus on these characters was suitable, and I felt that they felt more like characters then just dolls put into the storyline to progress it like they did in the storyline. The storyline on the other hand I felt was a nice balance of seriousness and lightheartedness and felt it was less like the characters playing dollhouse and instead more of the characters playing the Alice Game with lighthearted elements.
Whilst the character and environment designs remain more or less the same, so I refer you to my previous review HERE for those aspects, I would like to take a moment to discuss the quality of them. In the first season, the design was more focused to the lighthearted nature of the series which mean’t graphics with more lighter tones and a more anime-ish design quality whilst Traumend has a more darker tone to the series with the characters and environments looking maybe a bit more realistic. I am stumped on what to write here, as they are almost exactly the same in terms of design concept, but implementation was a bit different. Overall however, it isn’t as good as Season One, but enjoyable still.
Seishoujo Ryouiki by ALI PROJECT
This is the sequence that really tries to put forward the gothic feel to the series and I love it. The animation is brilliantly done keeping to an art and design style respective with what they are trying to put across, keeping it full of life (No pixel seems to be left untouched) and the song is performed by ALI PROJECT… what more could I ask for?
Hikari no Rasenritsu by Kukui
The song is too soft for my tastes however is a good improvement over the previous theme. The animation fares better however, as whilst it is not very active, it at least involves some action instead of still images, and is actually a pleasant watch… at least for the first watch then you can skip over it.
My comments in the previous review on this series music quality still stands, however I must complement them on the number of new tracks they have added to the mix including a new lyrical track Madoka, which is dubbed into English by the voice-actress for Megu – Erika Weinstein which whilst not having as strong a voice as the Japanese voice-actress, adds a more realistic sound to the song which made it all the more beautiful. Voice acting for the characters in Season One remains the same in this season and are still strong, whilst new additions to the cast are all well suited to their respective characters.
The packaging is in the normal DVD style and consists of two DVD discs. The front cover can be seen above and whilst I would have preferred another character in place of Suigintou, it is well suited for the gothic theme. There is however, an included reversible cover which instead of Suigintou, has Shinku and Kanaria on it which I think is better designed. The two discs feature Shinku on both alongside either Hinaichigo or Suiseiseki on them, which goes well as that means the four discs in the set cover all four main dolls featured in the series.
In terms of extra content, there isn’t that much. However what is included is:
- Textless Opening / Closing
- TV Commercials in Japanese
- Trailers for the following series: 5 Centimetres Per Second, Evangelion 1.01: You are (Not) Alone and D Gray-Man (TV) Collection.
I feel I would love this series more if I didn’t already know there hasn’t been a third season of this series, and from what I can tell, most probably won’t be one anytime soon. However, it is an enjoyable season that allows a greater look into the Alice Game and the perspectives of the other dolls. Considering you can buy the two seasons now for the same (or similar) price of a single season, I would recommend checking out this series.