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Rozen Maiden 4: Episode 12

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Scriptwriter:Jukki Hanada
Episode Director: Kou Matsuo
Animation Directors: Kumi Ishii (senior) and Masaru Kitao (assistant)

"Shinku"(Reiner Rubin), is a dramatic finish to this series' first story arc. Taking place in the dream world of Jun's disordered mind, the episode begins with the protagonist Shinku gravely injured and the series villain Suigintou apparently victorious. However, a tremendous effort by the rest of the cast gives Shinku a second chance, and the episode brings the series to a satisfying climax with this second confrontation. It was followed by 12 more in the Traeumend story arc, plus the Ouvertuere special but many fans consider these a sequel and prequel rather than a continuation, with all the usual faults of such add-on projects

The staff for this episode was a distinguished one. Jukki Hanada supervised the overall series composition, while Kou Matsuo was senior director for the project. Kumi Ishii (whose extraordinary roughs from Ep. 1 can be seen in the Shinku gallery) was the character designer/chief animation director. A veteran of Cardcaptor Sakura, Ishii had recently moved up to episode animation direction with Gunslinger Girl (2003). Her work on Rozen Maiden earned her many more assignments for for character designing and series direction, among them Red Garden (2006), Kurenai (2008), and We Without Wings/Under the Innocent Sky (2011). .

Her assistant, Masaru Kitao, had also been part of the large CCS staff, and some of his sketchwork for that project can be seen in this part of my collection. Kitao's most significant achievement, however has been as character designer and chief animation director for the big 2006-07 success Death Note.

The episode contains many memorable scenes, each well realized by the animators. I've watched carefully for sketch art from this fine episode, and am happy now to have enough to give it a gallery of its own. In addition, I've now obtained a copy of Kou Matsuo's storyboard for this episode. This has allowed me to identify cut numbers for all the sketches and add a reduced scan of the storyboard information (thumbnail sketch + annotations and dialogue) to the items.

CAUTION! MAJOR SPOILERS ABOUND IN IMAGES AND DESCRIPTIONS! But holy 'ell, it's a great ending to a great series. Watch the episode and then come back and relive your favorite moments.

 Souseiseki attacks Suigintou: A2

 Souseiseki attacks Suigintou: A4

 Souseiseki attacks Suigintou: reanimation

 Jun Rescuing a Badly Hurt Shinku

 Shinku carried by Jun to safety

 Shinku carried by Jun to safety: extras

 “Are You All Right?”

 Shinku’s injury hits home

 Shinku despairs (A1)

  Shinku despairs (A2)

 Shinku at her most vulnerable: A1

 Shinku at her most vulnerable: A2

 Jun tells Shinku how he feels about her

 “So ... No More Tears.”

 “Now Wait Here!”

 Shellshocked Shinku

 Jun runs through the forest.

 Nori shouting to the Maidens

 Suigintou Beats a Strategic Retreat

 Suigintou Beats a Strategic Retreat: reanimated dougas

 Suigintou Confronts Jun 1

 Suigintou Confronts Jun 2

 Suigintou Confronts Jun 3

 Shinku reappears
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Curator: 60something-sensei
Gallery Created: 8/3/2002
Hits: 262595

Presentation 8.82/10   Collection 9.47/10   Overall 9.03/10   Votes 84 votes
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