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Rozen Maiden 1: Shinku and Jun

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Shinku holds the “killed” clown doll: A1
Source: TV
Layers: 1
Sketches: 3
Cel Number: A1
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Added 8/25/2020
Cut 265. The “killer clown” doll that breaks in during Episode 1 was “cleansed” of Suigintou’s magic and joins the ranks of “cursed” dolls in Jun’s room. And so when Shinku and her medium go through the mirror to rescue Hina-Ichigo from the baddie, the clown goes with them, now a soldier loyal to his new master. Suigintou, furious to see that her shock warrior has changed sides, uses her power to rip the doll apart. And so when they return home, mission accomplished, Jun finds that the clown’s shredded pieces have come with them. Shinku pauses to mourn the clown’s fate.

“Do dolls die?” Jun asks, puzzled over the depth of Shinku’s grief.

“No,” Shinku says, in a deeply philosophical mood, “it’s a state of mind. We know when we belong. And when we lose that belief, when we sense that we are no longer wanted, then we depart. We no longer exist; we are only physical objects.”

“And that is something bleak . . . cold . . . and tragic,” Shinku ends, hugging the doll’s shattered remains.

Featured above is the rough by episode animation director Kimiko Tamai [玉井 公子]. Like much of her work it is surprisingly finished as a first-level sketch, and it perfectly captures the depth of Shinku’s sorrow. But there were details that needed to be fixed, so visit the first thumb to see senior animation director Kumi Ishii’s nearly complete shuusei. Notably, the size and contours of Shinku’s bonnet, though barely visible in the dark setting, needed to be brought in line with the character setting. Nevertheless, Ishii’s revision reflects the melancholy expression from Tamai’s sketch, and, as in many scenes from this and the other episodes on which the two collaborated, it draws power from the junior animator’s superb first effort.

For the first part of this cut, you can’t see Shinku clearly, for Jun is crouching in front of her. He gets up and moves out, however, an action that involved a set of preliminary animation sketches that came with this set. These are not very interesting, so I’ve not imaged them, but I add in the second thumb an interesting genzu (perhaps from Takeo Takahashi, later overall director of Spice and Wolf) that shows how Shinku reacts to Jun’s departure. For more on this, see the next item.

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