Rozen Maiden: Ouvertüre

TV Special (2 eps x 25 min)
2006
3.867 out of 5 from 4,715 votes
Rank #1,496

One day, Jun brings home a new brooch for Shinku's outfit. To his surprise,she seems upset at this and coldly refuses his gift. Thankfully, Souseiseki notices Jun’s confusion and begins to explain the events surrounding their first contact with Suigintou in the distant past. Now, Jun will finally learn the origin of Shinku and Suigintou’s hatred for each other – in addition to why Shinku refuses to wear the beautiful new brooch Jun bought for her.

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Reviews

Epimondas
7

This short backstory tells the history of Suiginto, #1, and Shinku, #5.  Oddly enough, and with a strange bit of ironic twist, Suiginto is already an Alice at the start.  From the qualifications described as to what makes Alice, Alice, Suiginto fits those best before she gets her upgrade.  She is sweet, cute, vulnerable, lady like, dependent but not a bother, pretty, social, and well, she is nearly perfect.  It is never made clear why she was made first but not finished as can well be implied by the nature of their story.  It becomes somewhat clear as well, that before Shinku meets Jun, she is far from perfect or an "Alice".  In fact, she in some ways resembles #4 or #1 (after the upgrade) more than either pre upgrade Suiginto or post Jun, Shinku.  Why these facts are not made clearer but merely implied for the viewer to draw these natural conclusions from is unknown.  Then again, maybe getting a glimpse of what "Alice" is supposed to be is part of the reason.  Maybe she was incomplete because she would lose that vulnerable innocence or because she would never become Alice if she were complete.  Perhaps she was the model by which all the following dolls were meant to follow in with an understanding of what "Alice" is. The battle itself, is in reality a farce, judging by the qualifications to become "Alice", it would be impossible for any winner of such a contest of violent, self serving, brutal, life and death singular combat to ever produce a perfect ideal of beauty and passion that is "Alice".  Thus the "Alice" game was apparently never told to the dolls as to either it's rules nor it's nature.  It is simply impossible to become an ideal being by such means.  The contest was therefore rigged from the start to result in no winners.  Part of this story takes place sometime during the mid second season.  It is actually one of the dolls telling Jun about Suiginto and Shinku's past.  The greatest irony is perhaps that no one realizes that "Alice" already existed and had come into being then vanished.  No doll had such an attractive or appealing look as when Suiginto was crawling toward the rocking chair after Father vanished.  Given the way he vanished though, he is either a stage magician or some sort of real magic user.  The way he reappears is murky at best if it is even true, yet it subtly implies as well that Father may in fact be Jun.  Why and how Suiginto changes may not be totally clear, neither is the sad fact that she never realizes she had already achieved "Alice"-hood.  Prejudiced or teasing or protection behaviors are usually not enough to change a person's whole nature so completely around to the opposite.  Her new role was an anti "Alice" however.  It is odd in a way too that the most complete, humane, and sympathic character in the whole series is at least for a short while, Suiginto.  Was this intentional?  It is hard to say.  Was she meant to become "Alice" so soon? I also can not say for sure.  Did the writers even know or realize that they basically created "Alice" in her before her upgrade?  Also I am not sure.  The truth however is, a so called perfect maiden, has flaws.  Her flaws are part of her perfection and charm, thus, Suiginto hits the concept on every level like no one ever did before in the entire series.  Think about what I said, if people were truly attracted to absolute perfection: Humanoid robots would not be so creepy Julia Roberts would never be the mega star she is Jennifer Grey would never have fallen to relative obscurity after her plastic surgery that altered her cute imperfections. Rock Hudson would never have been such an important actor with his famous chin dimple, yet that imperfection was perhaps part of the reason for his rock star fame. I could go on.  You might suggest Marylin Monroe alters that concept.  Yes in some ways that does, but her surgery honestly was not as drastic as say, Jennifer Grey's.  I do not believe all her imperfections were removed and some may have been added, aka her mole?  If perfection was so important a physical quality to achieve some upper echelon apex of existence, then Marylin would not have either kept or aquired a mole. Need I say more?  Thus, I can conclude that Alice, already existed at least for a time.  I do not recall a complete description but it was suggested and the full description I believe was left to the imagination perhaps implied by and inferred by the prior descriptions as a foundation.  The angel wings, were part of that implied meaning.  No pure white winged angel would ever exist if that meant such pain had to be evoked to create her and more so by her own hand in order to morph into said angel.   What is perhaps somewhat confusing and a bit disappointing is that no one in the entire series ever seems to realize or truly grasp what Alice is or is supposed to be nor the fact that by doing the contest they will become further from the ideal of Alice than ever before.  Jun breifly makes a few comments about it in season 2, but it is sort of a case of either too little too late or too soft and quiet to make any impact.  Morals, it seems are a bit blurred or maybe fogged in the series since I never really did sense any kind of speaker for morality.  Though a couple got kind of close: Pre upgrade Suiginto, Post Jun Shinku, Jun, and Nora.  That is it and how much they impart that sense varies.   It is worth watching especially if you watch season 1 and 2, it helps clarify a few things.  Though, it may matter when you watch them.  I would suggest between season 2's episode 4/5 (after #2 shows up (the girl with the umbrella and violin)) and hmm before about episode 10.  Any more specific than that is uncertain.

angelsreviews
6

I am not exactly sure when this series actually ends up starting as there are many characters from Traumend but yet there is also a lot more information about the Alice Game that Jun doesn’t seem to know at the end of the series. There is also a lot of information on Suigintou. Because of the fact that most of the story revolves in a different era then the rest of the series, it makes it so the animation is a lot different as well. I believe the story is actually in Europe as well meaning a different look to the backgrounds. The personality of the only few human characters we see also show this different world well in how strict they are to their daughter in how she acts. The young girl, Sarah, who is Shinku’s medium in that time can’t seem to act like a child at all. She is always talked down upon by her mother and her father doesn’t seem to notice her all that well for the times we do see them. On the other hand, Sarah is also quiet harsh, especially about the ideas of Shinku fighting. She seems almost to light up when the subject of fighting dolls comes up a bit. The other part that is in the normal world is pretty much normal to the slice of life storyline but it is very short.The animation is very similar to the other seasons except since most is a flash back, we have a sort of slight sepia tone to it. The area in the flashback is very early 20th century Europe and has a very gray looking area. The N-field that they fight in is also a bit gray even if it still retains its color. No matter if they are looking back in time or the normal time, the dolls still seem like they are not part of the human world. They still seem more detailed and stand out. The opening song is actually a lot more calming then the first two. It has an even more haunting presence to the song, I think because it sort of focuses more on Suigintou and her feelings rather then the others. The ending has a bit more of an up beat then the opening which is opposite to the other seasons. Though this was a very short ‘OVA’ (or at least I think it was an OVA), it had a lot of information that I really do think was needed about the dolls and the Alice Game. It still had a lot of questions but it answered more then it gave.

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