Rozen Maiden Vol. 1

Peachpit Press, Author, Peachpit Press, Illustrator . Tokyopop $9.99 (175p) ISBN 978-1-59816-312-4

The genre of "awkward young man meets bizarre/supernatural/extra-dimensional/space alien female and all manner of wacky hijinx ensue" has been endlessly rehashed, from the prototypical Urusei Yatsura to countless knockoffs, including Peach Pit's own DearS . This volume goes down that familiar path, adding only a slightly more sinister edge than its predecessors. Jun is a high school dropout who spends his days ordering items from the Internet and sending them back for laughs, but his feeble prank backfires when he receives a "Rozen Maiden" named Shinku. The doll comes to obnoxious life when wound up by a key inserted into her back. Instantly treating Jun with disdain, Shinku attempts to groom him into her manservant while revealing that the antique mirror owned by his parents is actually a doorway into the "N-Field," the nexus of alternate realities. Charged with protecting the living doll by "the Spirit Hollier," Jun and Shinku embark on a transdimensional odyssey, the purpose of which will presumably be made clear in the next installment. Peach Pit's cutesy/goth manga art is coupled with a story that hits all the usual notes. (May)

Reviewed on: 05/08/2006
Release date: 05/01/2006
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