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Rozen Maiden 4: Episode 12

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“Now you have become a useful servant”
Source: TV
Layers: 1
Sketches: 3
Cel Number: A3
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Added 11/23/2014
And then, after a brief cut to Jun, who’s surprised and delighted to see her, Shinku looks over at him. And, just as in “The Scene,” she surprises us by suddenly softening her expression. Her words -- “At last, you prove useful to me, my servant” -- seem to reflect the supercilious attitude she’s affected toward Jun since their first meeting. But her tender expression belies the harshness of these words.

This rough also is likely the work of chief animation director Kumi Ishii, and while it is simpler than the A1 image in the previous item, it also shows hard work at getting Shinku’s softened expression just right. Glance at the A3 layout in the thumbnail for a look at how wrong it could have been: there Shinku looks like she’s morphing into Hina-Ichigo! And while her tenderness needs to be a surprising change of pace, it also needs to be built on top of a steely resolve, or the battle that’s about to start just wouldn’t be remotely credible, even in fantasy.

The second thumb adds the even simpler A2 layout, the only other sketch that came with this broken set.


Shinku’s words could also mean “For the very first time, you’ve done me a service.” But already in Ep. 6 we’ve seen her aghast when Jun saves her plastic-and-porcelain backside from destruction at Suigintou’s hands. She knows that; by now Jun probably does, too. It’s just her way of thanking him while continuing to act as if she’s still got a mortgage on his soul.

But if she truly thinks this is the first time he’s ever helped her, she’s about to be set back once again when he shows what else he can set his mind to do in this dreamworld of his. (Noooo, I won’t spoil it: go watch the episode.)

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