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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) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.