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Rozen Maiden 2: Everyone Else

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Suigintou kills Shinku!
Source: TV
Layers: 1
Sketches: 3
Cel Number: A1
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Added 11/16/2018
Updated 11/30/2018
Ep. 6 "Namida" (涙 Tränen), cut 223. Having immobilized Shinku with the zombie dolls’ dismembered arms, Suigintou morphs part of her feathers into a wicked sharp gun-metal sword, with which she intends to shatter her enemy’s doll body. Jun, looking on helplessly from below, calls out her name in desperation. Vignettes of their short but meaningful relationship flash before his eyes (and ours), including this image, as well as this one. In desperation, he stretches out his hand (the one with the medium’s ring on it) toward her.

Then Suigintou brings down that darkling sword. There’s a blinding flash of energy, and when it clears . . .

Well, at first we see Suigintou’s face and upper body, plus her wings as all these respond to her mighty blow. Her face is full of cruel determination, and for a moment she’s sure she’s annihilated her rival and won the Alice Game well and truly.

I’ve featured the A1 genga above, a tremendous piece of animation art. Suigintou’s eyes are riveting, intense and single-minded. And every other detail is also in motion: look at all of those fluttering ribbons and feathers. It’s an amazing realization of imaginative detail: one can honestly believe in Suigintou, not just as a nightmare boogiewoman of your darkest fears, but as something solid that could realistically come and get you some iridescent midnight with that gunmetal sword.

The first thumb adds a preliminary layout, its top trimmed off and basted to a new set of sequence holes to move Suigintou’s image to the right side of the frame. The second thumb includes a dramatic rough by episode animation director Kimiko Tamai. Maybe too dramatic, though: as with some of the sketch sets I’ve obtained from Ep. 11, Tamai tended to push Suigintou’s expressions “over the top” at moments like these. See how even her crow feathers go twisted and snake-like?

But having her show her anger this openly in an odd way makes it seem less scary, more “human.” So here and in Ep. 11 senior animation director Kumi Ishii pulled back her expression to a metallic impersonality that is just as determined and twice as scary. And we get the genga, a real stunner.

Suigintou isn’t trying to show how frustrated she is; she just wants to kill Shinku. And now she’s got her helpless where she wants her, and now she’s done it. Mission accomplished.

Errrr ... not so fast! ... move on to the next item.


Kimiko Tamai [玉井 公子], animation director for this episode, also handled the same task for Episodes 2 and 11. Her work is elegant with strong emotion and careful attention to details, making her one of my favorite animation directors for this series. She had a brief but distinguished career in anime, beginning as a key animator for cel-based series such as The Legend of the Galactic Heroes (6 episodes) and Cardcaptor Sakura (4 episodes), then moving up to episode animation director.

In addition to her work on Rozen Maiden, she also directed the animation for Ep. 5 of Spice & Wolf. This genga shuusei from that series is probably also her work. She gained more exposure as animation director for episodes in dark, psychologically intense series like Chaos;HEAd (2008) and Needless (2009).

But with the latter series her work in anime production came to an abrupt end. A shame, as her work strikes me as being among the best in the business and a definite asset to the superb art of this series.

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