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Rozen Maiden (ローゼンメイデン, Rōzen Meiden) is a manga series created by the manga author duo, Peach-Pit. The story centers around Sakurada Jun, a young hikikomori boy that finds himself indebted to a living doll by the name of Shinku, a doll of the Rozen Maiden series, who was created by a mysterious but extremely talented dollmaker. The series examines the living habits and personality of each doll that is living with Jun and his sister Nori, as well as the sibling rivalry that they commence to name one doll as "Alice" in order to meet the maker who created them. Jun's sometimes comedic, sometimes dramatic experiences with Shinku—as well as the other six dolls of the Rozen Maiden series—slowly bring him out of his depression and back into the world that he had abandoned. Rozen Maiden has been serialized in two different magazines with the original series being Monthly Comic Birz from 2002 to 2007 running 43 phases long. With 8 volumes, the manga was released in English by Tokyopop from 2006 to 2008, the manga has been also released in various other countries as well.
In TV Asahi's "Top 100 Anime Ranking" polled in 2006, Rozen Maiden was ranked 9th on the list.
Jun Sakurada is a Junior High School student who refuses to go to school after being traumatized by an embarrassing experience there (see Hikikomori). He has taken to locking himself in his room, never leaving the house, and spends the day ordering goods online and returning them before the date in which he has to pay. His older sister, Nori Sakurada, does everything she can to brighten Jun's dreary existence, but is unable to change his situation.
One day, Jun receives a letter claiming he has won a prize. The letter asks him to choose "Yes" or "No". It states that after he has made his decision, he must place the letter in the drawer of his desk, and Holie will take it to the spirit world. Despite his skepticism, he follows these instructions, and discovers soon after that the envelope has vanished. Moments later, he realizes that a richly detailed wood case has materialized within his room. The box contains a strange realistic doll dressed in French aristocratic (synonymous with Gothic Lolita) attire. Jun examines the doll from every angle before seeing the key and winding up the doll. The doll creaks, stands up on its own, then proceeds to slap him for handling her as crudely as he had. She introduces herself as, "...Shinku, the fifth doll of the Rozen Maiden."
Shinku is a doll from the unique "Rozen Maiden" collection, and before Jun can fully comprehend the weight of his new situation, a stuffed clown (bear in the manga) plush doll attacks. Shinku promises that she will save Jun's life, but only if he will vow to serve her. Thus, Jun becomes entrusted with the responsibility of protecting Shinku's "Rosa Mystica" whilst she is engaged in a centuries old fight with the other Rozen Maiden dolls for the title of "Alice."