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Rozen Maiden 0: OP and ED

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Based on a manga by the artistic team PEACH-PIT (Banri Sendo and Shibuko Ebara), this interesting series was produced by Nomad and ran in twelve episodes in October-December, 2004. It was followed by 12 more episodes in the Traumend story arc, plus the Ouverture 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 second season conclusion was notoriously problematic, so much so that it inspired the 2009 Zuruckspulen alternative retelling.

The staff was a distinguished one. Jukki Hanada handled series composition; he had previously scripted the manga adaptation of Sabre Marionette J, as well as episodes of Slayers and Chobits. He soon moved to Series Composition/Series Script editor for a wide range of series, including Popotan, Princess Jellyfish, and the Love Live franchise. He supervised a young Mari Okada, who wrote scripts for three episodes (4, 8, and 9) and soon became an award-winning scriptwriter/series compositor with credits including Black Butler, Vampire Knight, and the smash Anohana.

Kou Matsuo was senior director for the project. A veteran of Cardcaptor Sakura (storyboards and direction cooperation), the X movie (co-assistant director) and TV series (episode direction), Matsuo also worked on the yoshitoshi ABe project Texhnolyze (storyboard and episode direction). In the wake of Rozen Maiden’s success, he quickly moved to other directing assignments, including Kurenai and several installments of the long-running Moble Suit Gundam franchise.

Kumi Ishii (whose extraordinary roughs from Eps. 1 and 12 can be seen in the other galleries) was the character designer/chief animation director. Another veteran of Cardcaptor Sakura, Ishii had recently moved up to episode animation direction with Gunslinger Girl (2003). His work on Rozen Maiden earned him 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). An occasional junior partner was Masaru Kitao (yet another CCS animator!), who was soon to achieve fame as the character designer/chief animation director of the huge 2006-07 success Death Note.

The art is extraordinarily fine, but in the first years after its release, it commanded prices well above most other CGI art. The dramatic, intricately detailed gengas were well worth watching and waiting for, though, and when a larger supply of production art entered the market at better prices, I happily began accumulating it.

I've divided my collection into seven galleries: this one featuring my precious sketches from the first-season OP and ED sequences, a second for the protagonist Shinku and her reluctant medium Jun, a third for the other Maidens (including the rogue Suigintou), a fourth for Ep. 11 (an interesting collaboration between Ishi and a talented junior artist, Kimiko Tamai), and a fifth for the exciting first-season conclusion. The interesting 2009 alternative retelling, Rozen Maiden Zuruckspulen, is the focus of the sixth and seventh galleries. In some of these galleries I've hidden items to keep them focused, but if you go to "Private Area" and type in "seemorestuff," you can return and view it all.

But not here! OP and ED sketches are scarce and have been fought over fiercely. I’m happy to have gathered the precious five you see here, and additions, if the past is any record, will be few and far between. The OP sequence, accompanied by a notorious helter-skelter theme by Ali Project, was storyboarded and directed by Morio Asaka (director, CCS!) with animation direction by Akemi Kobayashi (who later did a great deal of the episode animation direction for Princess Tutu). The quieter and simpler ED sequence was storyboarded and directed by Chief Director Matsuo, with animation direction by Series AD Ishii.

 OP1: Suigintou

 OP1: Shinku casts her spell (A7)

 OP1: Shinku casts her spell (A10)

 OP1: Hina-ichigo

 ED 1: Jun and Shinku Have Tea

Curator: 60something-sensei
Gallery Created: 8/3/2002
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Presentation 8.82/10   Collection 9.47/10   Overall 9.03/10   Votes 84 votes
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