Staying Awake in Rozen Maiden

Many verses warn us to stay awake, sober-minded and otherwise alert. Consequences of falling asleep are often decay and weakness. Staying awake is very important to staying alive.

“But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:36

“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ..” 1 Peter 1:13

It’s important to stay awake but, for me, it’s not always easy. The temptation to return to a comatose state and fall into escapes and distractions is great as challenges arise in my faith. It is so easy to put God on the back burner when sin or growth comes up that I don’t want to deal with.

In Rozen Maiden, Jun and the main Rozen doll, Shinku, have a discussion about the long, deep hibernation period Rozen Maidens have periodically. Jun thinks that sounds nice. As someone who spent much of her life asleep, Shinku is passionately of the other opinion.

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Shinku: We merely sleep for a bit when we are wound down, but if no one winds us up we may continue  to slumber and never awaken. That’s the kind of sleep it is.
Jun: That sounds sort of nice.
Shinku: Why?
Jun: There’d be no one who knew me by the time I woke up. I bet that would be refreshing. I almost wouldn’t mind never waking up.
Shinku: You think so? I think it’s better to wake up.

Jun desperately wants to escape from his current obligations. For a long time, he has not gone to school due to a traumatic experience and spends most of his life in his house. A long, deep sleep that would let him completely escape from the world sounds very tempting to Jun, but Shinku knows better. She strongly prefers being awake even with all of it’s implications. For Rozen Maidens, being awake means constant vigilance and inevitable battle. Shinku wants to be awake despite that because she has something she is striving for that she can only get if she is awake.

Shinku: For Rozen Maidens, awakening also signals the start of battle, but you see a lot more and hear more awake than asleep. And someday, you’ll also get to meet Father.

Shinku has a strong desire to meet Father, the creator of the Rozen Maidens. She will never be able to achieve this desire asleep. She accepts the reality and challenge of staying awake because she wants to fulfill her desires more than she wants to escape battle. She knows sleeping is nice, but she will never get anywhere if she stays that way.

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Shinku: To live is to fight, isn’t it?

Staying asleep negatively affects not only the person asleep, but those around that person. Another episode follows a couple that lost their son in an accident.The mother fell into a coma after his death and has not come out since. After entering the mother’s dream, the dolls discover the spirit of the dead child who tells them the mother chooses to stay asleep and keeps him in her dreams because they can be together and nothing can harm them in a dream.

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Jun is actually the one that scolds the boy and tells him how selfish it is to abandon the father in the real world.

Jun: Sure, losing you must have come as a shock but to turn away from reality and shut herself in the safe world of dreams is……

The boy releases the mother after remembering how lonely his father is and how much he needs the mother. She wakes up and pulls the father out of a loneliness that had caused him to become deluded and may have consumed him completely if she had chosen to stay asleep.

Although I don’t agree with the Rozen Maiden fight, they all fight each other in order to become Rozen’s image of the “perfect girl,” I admire Shinku’s determination. I want to remember that constant pursuit of escapes is not only unhealthy for my spiritual life but unfair to those around me who might be in need of support. If I lean on God’s power and remember what I’m fighting for, I’ll be able to make it through the next battle.

9 thoughts on “Staying Awake in Rozen Maiden

  1. I find this interesting because I have always thought of Rozen Maiden as a kind of religious commentary. The dolls revere Rozen as a loving god who created them and they are working on their own version of salvation over a period of centuries to get to be with him forever. I find each of the dolls reminds me of a particular type of believer. Rozen is mysterious and unfathomable and that stupid rabbit seems to have some hidden agenda that does not appear to be to the benefit of Rozen or the dolls. I find this show to be a great place to discuss religion.

  2. I definitely agree with the correlation. The only thing that bothers me about that is the dolls try to destroy each other in order to become perfect, which I see as very opposite of Christianity. Each of the dolls being a different kind of believer is interesting. I hadn’t thought of that. I mainly noticed Shinku’s “walk” I think because of the aspects of her personality that I lack. I wish I had her determination.

  3. Did you ever watch all four seasons of rozen maiden? One is of a 2013 version of the anime, with the same storyline, but under different situations. Then in Traumend (which is the last season), I remember one episode where all the dolls were asleep, but only because they were revived by Rozen after each of their Roza Mysticas were taken. I understand your idea of falling asleep absently and the implications behind it, but I think it depends on what the circumstances and outcomes.

    I enjoyed watching all four seasons, as well as I enjoyed reading your post!

    -cheri

    1. Ah, no I only saw season one. Well, that’s what I get for judging a show without seeing all the seasons :p. I need to go back and watch all of it. Also, I definitely recognize the need for rest, but I was talking about the type of “falling asleep” I tend to do which is escaping from the world and neglecting my relationship with God for long periods of time. Sometimes I need a kick to get me back where I need to be. I’m glad you liked the post!

  4. I agree, I watched most of Rozen Maiden (I think both seasons 1 and 2) and I thought you were going to talk about how boring it is…because it is a boring anime (to me).

    Seeing what you said about them fighting to be the “perfect maiden” (I forgot a lot of this anime, I haven’t seen it in yearrrrrs), it reminded me of how God sees us all the same. He has no favorites, and Christ said to forgive as your Father forgives

    47If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5:47-48

    Thanks for sharing a great review of this anime 🙂

  5. Oh, well there are definitely more in depth anime out there but I enjoyed Rozen Maiden for what it was, aimed toward a younger crowd I think. I’m glad you liked the review!

  6. Every time I read about Rozen Maiden, I find myself more and more curious about it. Staying awake is certainly important to the life of a Christian; but, one can’t be stretched all of the time. It’s so easy to go to the extreme when virtue is found at the middle! St. Columbanus would apparently wake up six times a night to pray. I myself want at least six hours uninterrupted sleep and as much down time as I can squeeze out of the day. 🙂

    That was a very nice article, by the way!

    1. Thank you! Yes, maybe I’m being to hard on myself. I just wish I didn’t find myself in an escapist slump every five minutes :P.

  7. Does anybody here read the Rozen Maiden manga? it was one of the first anime I watched back when I started in 2007, and one of my favorites, if you are interested in the story, the manga has finally ended, and I quite enjoyed the manga’s ending also in a comment above this somebody mentioned that they thought the series was for children, would it surprise you to learn that Rozen Maiden is actually a seinen series which is meant for males age 17 and up?
    Anyways on the ending of the series.
    (SPOILERS!!!!!)

    Basically Kirakishou the final villain could only be defeated by being loved, because Rozen made her basically invincible in the N-Space, and in the end Shinku gets all the Roza Mysticas and then sacrifices her life so that all the other dolls could come back to life, sound familiar eh? and then the manga ends sort of in a way that shows they could continue the story in the future with all the dolls alive and happy, and getting ready to search for a way to bring Shinku back to life.

    There is some questionable content in the story the biggest being Suigintou’s reverse crosses on her dress, which at the end of the story she says when she was made, Rozen hated God because he thought that God had taken his daughter (I guess she died or something?) which is why he started making the dolls, and why the first one had the reverse crosses on her, although apparently he mellowed out a bit after that.

    There may be other blasphemous and uhhh Japanese religious topics in it, but since it is a Japanese series made by non christians I prefer to just enjoy the characters and story as with any series.

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