The Rolling Girls Episode 1 Notes

January 10th, 2015.

This is the show I’m most curious about airing this season. I mean, the preview looked like someone combined Kyousougiga and Kill la Kill, and I have absolutely no idea beyond that, which made me think somewhat of Sekai Seifuku, which I quite liked.

So, armed with a burning curiosity but no expectations, let’s go.

Thoughts and Notes:

Screenshot album.

1) Peace Out:

The Rolling Girls anime episode 1 notes - All the colours - the development

First 1:37 minutes’ worth of history, 21 screenshots. It’s like an explosion of colours happened on my screen.Definitely got a unique visual flair, or 10.

So, everyone turned inwardly, to focus on their own community, and economy, a metaphor to Japan no longer engaging with those outside it, a historic reference to how it behaved when the west encountered it in the past. But of course, once they reaffirmed their position, the sense of “community” gave way to burgeoning individuality. It makes sense, after you keep talking about how “We” are special and different, you move to “I”, as the “we are unique” is mixed with uniformity within the group.

We also have the “protectors of peace” who first created peace by applying force, and then they grow bored. Why? Because they got peace, after having a personality that wanted to lay about into others. I guess it’s the conflict of a conqueror-emperor, once they have nothing left to conquer.

Well, I’m just rambling, onward!

2) Fights Are an Explosion of Colours:

The Rolling Girls anime episode 1 notes - Maccha Green Shigyou Kuniko fight

1) Erm, that subtitle placement is absolutely horrendous. Where’s Underwater when you need them? :P

2) Maccha Green, randomly moving her hands into super sentai poses. There’s actually a lot of implicit exposition here, about how the vigilantes fight one another, as representatives of their states, and the loser’s territory is absorbed into the winner’s, and that there are apparently a lot of tiny territories around. Uniting all of Japan is going to take quite some time, at this rate.

3) “The Best and The Rest”, or leading characters and mooks, or the Greek Choir. More colourful stuff.

4) That punch and the spittle-route, all the doujin are writing themselves.

5) “I need oxygen! It’s so stuffy!” – “I’m gonna take it off and take it with me!” – The doujin keeps writing itself.

3) Back to the “Real” World:

The Rolling Girls anime episode 1 notes - Moritomo Nozomi in her regular town-life

1) And then we’ve got a school, with people apparently having an ordinary school life? Huh.

2) It just hit me, the fighting sequences, what they remind me ofSummer Wars.

3) That girl with the gas mask on the scooter, it truly does remind me of Sekai Seifuku here.

4) Little girl wants to be a vigilante, just like “Ma-chan”, whom I suspect is her older sister, if not mother. And so we go, from being a normal girl in a seemingly normal world, to conquering Japan, or just having crazily colourful fights.

5) “A perfectly average girl.” I think that’s what they’re trying to convey here. An extraordinarily ordinary girl.

6) Ah ha, “Maccha Bomber”, “Ma-chan”. But wasn’t “Maccha Bomber” supposedly only helping her sister? Guess she wasn’t entirely forthright with her family. It’s also interesting, while the Best fight, the Rest make sure civilians won’t get caught up, and clean the mess left behind, though they did mention just wanting to have a picnic.

4) Quiet Moments; Kinship:

The Rolling Girls anime episode 1 notes - A lovely sunset shot

1) Sunset shots are often my favourite shots in anime. So pretty.

2) This show is just gorgeous. Also, I wish more presidents had such a great looking office. Relatively small, too.

3) Not sisters, just very close. This also explains why she had to go and intervene with two who were “basically sisters” fought.

4) Doesn’t Ma-chan in her school uniform look as if she’s wearing Senketsu, from Kill la Kill?

5) Everything’s A Game:

The Rolling Girls anime episode 1 notes - Utoko Masami and Shigyou Kuniko are having a ramen eating contest.

1) Of course, competitive ramen-eating. Makes sense.

2) Haha. Ma-chan was having a “Who will finish first?” contest, while everyone else thought it’d be an endurance competition, rather than a speed one. Awkward.

3) Someone with the head of an alligator speaking about needing a parental permission slip. The blending of the mundane and the surreal.

4) A bus appears to take them to an amusement park, and they just get on it. Derp. I bet they’d have taken a candy from a stranger too!

5) Oh, Ma-chan and the other Best have the same heart necklace. Hm. Did the two of them also use to be close friends?

Insert song? OP? Can’t really tell much about it with all of the talking and shouting going on.

ED – Very catchy and energetic. Energy is most of what the ED had. I’m sure it’ll grow on me and I’ll end up humming it as weeks go by. The art was very nice. Seeing the girl with the red flower-thingy in her hair that’s currently part of the “other group” makes it clear she’ll join the party.

Post Episode Thoughts:

The Rolling Girls anime episode 1 notes - Shigyou Kuniko remains standing

First, before anything else, this show is absolutely gorgeous, with distinctive designs, colours that aren’t only vibrant but actually look good, sharp characters who can be expressive, that last part actually reminded me of Little Witch Academia, in fact, and action that’s a joy to look at.

Ok, past the presentation that was on point, in terms of visuals and audio, what else did we have, or failed to have, this episode? I’ll say that this premier really reminded me of Yuri Kuma Arashi’s (see write-up). How so? Both shows gave us a spectacle, one that made very good use of colours, one where it wasn’t always clear what was real and what was, well, surreal, and both failed to provide an immediate “hook”, something to grab our attentions.

But while Yuri Kuma Arashi focused on the symbolism (being an Ikuhara show), Rolling Girls actually did have some characterization, showing us how characters interact, showing us their emotions, showing us their character. At least two of the girls who will matter received mere seconds of air-time (the white-haired girl who gets lost, whose actual reason to come to the Propellers remains unknown; and the “enemy group girl” who does not seem to have any enmity within her). We really have no idea where this show is going, or even how the girls will all end up together, or what their goal will be – spreading peace? Making a name for themselves? Having fun? Who knows?

And that’s sort of an issue for a first episode. This sure was a spectacle, and I’m actually interested in seeing where it’s going, and had I come upon this show later on I’d have played the next episode immediately, which is a sign the show at least succeeded in making me interested enough, but I won’t say it was a great first episode. It certainly was a fun spectacle, and I think it did do enough, in terms of characterization and hinting at backstory.

The world though? Completely insane. I do suspect it’s all literal, in which sense it’d be closer to Sekai Seifuku, but considering it makes Sekai Seifuku seem mundane and grounded… yeah.

Return to the The Rolling Girls Episodic Notes page.

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