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Last checked: March 20, 2015
Rozen Maiden (ローゼンメイデン, Rōzen Meiden) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Peach-Pit. It was serialized in Monthly Comic Birz between the September 2002 and July 2007 issues. The individual chapters were collected and released into eight tankōbon volumes by Gentosha. The eight volumes were localized to North America by Tokyopop between March 2003 and June 2007.
Rozen Maiden received a sequel under the series' katakana title. It was serialized in Shueisha's Weekly Young Jump between April 2008 and January 2014. Rozen Maiden has spun off anthology manga and novel stories, art books, and four anime series; the four anime series are titled Rozen Maiden, Rozen Maiden: Träumend, Rozen Maiden: Ouvertüre, and Rozen Maiden: Zurückspulen. Tokyo Broadcasting System were the producers for the anime with Nomad as the animation studio for the first three series and Studio Deen for Zurückspulen. The anime adaptions resulted in several audio disc releases and three video games.
In 2007, Geneon Entertainment USA licensed the first two anime series for North American release and had later signed Funimation on as a distributor, after shutting down in September 2007. In 2011, Sentai Filmworks acquired both seasons as well as the third series; they made the three series available for streaming on Anime Network. Crunchyroll later acquired streaming rights to the first two series. For the fourth series, Sentai Filmworks had acquired the license for digital and home video release, while Crunchyroll acquired streaming rights.
Tokyopop's volumes of Rozen Maiden have appeared on ICv2's monthly top one-hundred selling graphic novels. Reviews towards the manga were generally positive with reviewers praising balance in drama and comedy. For the anime, reception towards the first series was mixed while Träumend was mostly negative.
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."
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