I made a mistake of forgetting episode six’s review and went to watch and review episode seven instead. Yeah, this is how confusing The Rolling Girls can be, and just how choppy the plot seems to me at this point. I actually found episode seven quite easy to follow. In terms of plot, episode seven is quite self-contained.
Episode six on the other hand follows a circuit racing gang story. The prologue is the best part of this episode, the childhood friends heart swapping scenes are too sweet. Tomoki and Himeko make such an adorable couple – one who races and one who loves Shachihoko.
Seems like the gang of Rolling Girls in this episode get to take a break from the social work to hang out at a rock festival… it just so happens, however, that one of the main singers of the group holds a heart stone and is therefore a “Best.” As such, more gang wars break out on stage… well, that break really didn’t last too long.
It never ceases to amuse me how the slight scenes of comedy and the action animation can hook you to the episode so easily but with Rolling Girls, it’s pretty hard to reflect on each episode and figure exactly what happened because the supporting character cast of each gang is so huge, it’s hard figure out which characters are worth paying attention to and which are just background filler. To be honest, I don’t find the main characters that necessary to the plot either. Because the four female protagonists seem merely generic, cutesy and just a little airheaded, it seems like these four could be swapped out for another random four cute enthusiastic girls and the plot would roll on just fine. Perhaps Chiaya has a little more to do with this gang-wars business because of her family connection and her mother’s pursuit on her trail but Nozomi’s character just doesn’t have the assertive presence of a main character.
What this episode does differently from previous cases is that it does do a proper introduction to the Maiko gang of girls who provide surveillance and security for Kyoto. Alongside the festival by the Kamogawa Rockers that’s taking place, this episode seems fairly easy to follow in terms of plot. The idea of “jinxed stones” also arise in this episode leaving some interesting leeway for a plot twist. The stones’ powers to enhance one’s physical ability and combat prowess is also somewhat explained in this episode.
Later the girls end up helping make a Shachihoko… as part of their efforts to help “keep the peace” … and such.
While the motorcycle, supernatural heart stones set-up seems pretty interesting off the get-go, I think I’m going to officially drop Rolling Girls. I pondered this a long time because I really hate dropping anime series halfway through the season especially those of which I recap weekly. However, the dialogue lags too much and the characters’ personalities or the plot are not compelling enough to keep me tied to the series. Animation-wise the series is amazing but pretty pictures can only sustain you for so long. The plot attempts to be complex but the lack of explanations and lack of depth in each mini arc left me pretty disillusioned with the overarching world.
I feel like I end up making too much effort to remember all the new supporting characters of the series when they’re easily discarded after a two to three episode arc. At times the series has its charms but none of the supporting characters really get any emotional back story explanations nor is there any depth to our main group of slice of life girls. Sure, Chiaya is the most interesting of the group but most of the time the series is so focused on “peace-making” different areas that there isn’t enough time for proper character interactions or development. Lord knows how the girls even get along beyond small talk. I tried really hard to stick with the show but each week I seem to put it off for days (resulting in tardy reviews) or I have to visibly make an effort to sit down and watch Rolling Girls and no anime series should ever do that to a viewer.
Rolling Girls is really a hit and miss kind of show. With me it started as a hit and then became a miss as it progressed. Some people really like the simplistic “problem-solving” structure of each arc but others just don’t feel inclined towards the characters in any sort of way. Hardcore fans of slice of life will have no problem sitting through the casual-paced dialogue but for fans of action, dark plot or any sort of fantasy, you’ll want to veer AWAY from this series.
What are you pondering today?