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Rozen Maiden 4: Episode 12

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“Are You All Right?”
Source: TV
Layers: 1
Sketches: 1
Cel Number: A2
Oversize, 10.75W x 13H

No Background

Added 3/7/2011
Updated 1/25/2016
Jun carries Shinku to a safe place in his dreamscape, interestingly enough, a patchwork doll house that represents his repressed talent for sewing and making toys. Entering, he gently places the injured Shinku onto a soft couch.

Then he asks the well-intentioned but slightly absurd question anime characters always ask when one of their companions is stomped flat by a kaijuu or impaled by some sharp and obviously lethal weapon.

Are you all right?

And Shinku puts her hand up to the place of her horrific injury and responds...

OK, which do you think Shinku would say in this situation?

a) Of course I’m all right.

b) “All right”?? Have you taken leave of your senses, Jun?!? You just saw what that bitch did to my body!

c) I’m hot ... Jun ... I’m hot, and ... my lower back is ... burning ... burning ... like there’s ... some kind of ... white hot band ... pasted across the ... the top of my buttocks ... oh, Jun ... I need help ... quickly ... get me to an archival curator ... Oh God ... Jun ... please ... help me ... please ...

d) I’ll live. Just pour me a cup of black tea, Jun. Strong black tea. Make that a double. With a shot of Scotch on the side.

The answer, of course, is a). She is a doll, after all, so she can continue to exist after an injury that would have killed or seriously incapacitated a flesh-and-blood creature. So her first response is to tough out her misfortune, like a robot or android who has suffered an inconvenient insult to part of its mechanism.

But the eyes tell another story. Losing the first round in the Alice Game has shaken Shinku to her inmost core, and now she sits frightened and bewildered. We start to see what she’s really made of, in more ways than one.

And so begins “The Scene.”


Every series has its moment that its followers call “The Scene.” It seems that Office F&O thought this scene was the lolicon moment in Episode 10 when all the dolls loll around in their nightgowns. Certainly there are more rilezu from this episode than any other in the series. (I imagine them framed in pedophiles’ prison cells all over Asia.)

But I personally think that this is the most memorable moment of the series. Shinku has up to now been the steel magnolia who has risen impersonally to every challenge. Occasionallty we’ve glimpsed some of the insecurities inside that her stern exterior tries to hide away from our sight. But overall Shinku is Shinku, the gemstone-hard, emotionless Doll #5 who is always in control.

But here, with her protective shell visibly stripped away by her defeat, we begin to see the real Shinku, who is fully as vulnerable as the disturbed human she has come to dominate. Only in a different way.

Truly, the two were made for each other, and “The Scene,” brief as is, makes this unforgettably clear.

Caution! Fussy Notes

The genga might well have been saying c). From the dealer’s scan I could clearly see that there was a strip of that nasty Japanese celotape slapped across the whole rear of the sketch, right at the base of poor Shinku’s back. Already the genga looked to be damaged, and I knew that in time the acid in the tape’s adhesive would raise a lurid orange-brown burn mark across the whole width of the sheet.

Sadly, I’d seen other RM sketches with similar problems, bid on them unsuccessfully, and seen them go who knows where. I wished I could trace the winning bidders and beg them, for the love of God, to get that nasty tape off the backs of the images that they’d so insisted on owning.

This one, at least, got prompt attention: on arrival Shinku was rushed to the operating table in Sensei’s little patchwork doll house and there underwent a successful celotapectomy. I was pleased to see, when the solvent wore off, that the damage was not nearly as bad as I’d feared, though you can still see in the scan some signs of the burn mark that the corrosive adhesive left.

Ganbatte, Shinku!

    Previous: Jun Rescuing a Badly Hurt Shinku Next: Shinku’s injury hits home    

Curator: 60something-sensei
Gallery Created: 8/3/2002
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