Jun is a 14-year old hikikomori. His parents are both away for work, and his older sister looks after him. Jun spends his days in his room, surfing the net in search of interesting bric-a-brac (he is specialised in 'cursed' items), which he sends back within the period for the return policy.
One day, he receives a coffer containing a doll in gothloli outfit. He uses the key to wind up the doll, and she comes to life! It turns out that Shinku, the doll in question, is a masterpiece of engineering made by the master dollmaker Rozen. She has a 'soul', and can draw power from Jun through a rose-crested ring.
When another doll flies through the window and starts attacking Jun with knifes, Shinku rescues him.
We learn that Shinku has six sisters, all with their own 'soul'. Their maker, Rozen, longs to have a perfect daughter -- and by collecting all seven souls, a doll can become 'Alice'. The souls can be collected through battle: the so-called 'Alice game'.
Little by little, Jun encounters more of Shinku's sisters. There's the energetic Hina-ichigo, the stuck-up (and sneaky!) Suisei-seki and the quiet Sousei-seki.
But meanwhile, Suigintou is plotting to defeat Shinku and take her soul. Through a series of escalating battles (in 'N-space' and in dreams), Suigintou launches a campaign against Shinku (and, by extension, Jun and the other dolls).
The series holds the middle ground between comedy (the dynamic between the open and cheerful Hina-ichigo and the sneaky Suisei-seki is often played out as the comedy card) and serious contemplations (when they visit Jun's 'soul-world'). The animation is pretty basic, but great care has been taken to make detailed designs -- if dolls and/or gothloli is your thing, you'll appreciate the elaborate dresses.
- Amusing set-up;
- Interesting designs;
- Fairly interesting stories.
- While he does experience extreme stress when going out, Jun does need a kick in the nuts for treating his sister badly;
- Basic animation.
All in all, a 7. It's fun to watch, but it's also good it doesn't last beyond the 12 episodes.