The Rolling Girls – First Impressions
January 11, 2015 Leave a comment
It’s hard to gauge where Rolling Girls will go, but the first episode introduced a suitably bizarre world filled with fascinating countries, and an interesting way of dealing with conflicts. The series seems to draw upon historical and cultural themes and ideas to build its world, with Japan effectively broken up into the older domains from the Edo and earlier periods. I rather liked this depiction of Japan, with the numerous new domains creating their own, somewhat unique cultures, whilst also vying for dominance over their neighbours. I have always had a fascination with medieval Japan, not necessarily because of the Samurai, but because of the culture and its influence of modern Japanese society. As such, seeing a series effectively split Japan up into numerous smaller domains that are reminiscent of that period is particularly interesting.
Then we have the individuals, who settle conflicts between domains, acting as a form of spiritual leader, whilst also settling conflicts directly. There are elements of the old Daimyo in these characters roles, but its also possible to see the tokusatsu genre’s influence on the series, with heroes like Macha Green complete in brilliant super hero costume. And there are even nods to American popular culture, with the famous chopper from Easy Rider making an appearance, although there are certain changes to the stars and stripes on the petrol tank. These themes combined with interesting and unique characters – although they are also somewhat one-dimensional at the moment – made the first episode really enjoyable.
And then we come to the animation, with its colourful palette, and wonderfully energetic action sequences that help to bring vibrant life to the world. This combined with the fun characters, and the vague 60s/70s aesthetic that certain elements of the series and characters have made this first episode brilliant to watch. The only problem so far is that the story, and it must be said characters, are all a little flat and one-dimensional. The story itself is fairly nonexistent in this first episode; with little in the way of an overarching plot that we can grab hold of. However, the world is vibrant and full of life, and while the story is a little on the weak side at the moment, the entertaining characters, and wonderful animation help to create a truly entertaining episode. It actually reminded my quite a lot of Tsuritama, and Yosakura Quartet – both have curious characters, a distinctive art style with lots of big colourful explosions, and worlds that are equal parts real and fantasy.