Rollin’ rollin’ rollin’, keep those ladies rollin’…
So here’s the thing about the first three episodes of The Rolling Girls: They’re not very well written. The characterization is fairly weak and the story is a mess of jerky pacing and competing plot points, bouncing between various individuals, introducing us to a particular conflict or relationship only to whip us away before we can really care about it.
In Episodes 1-2, the sibling dynamic between Masami and Nozomi and the rivalry-friendship between Masami and Kuniko were just coming into focus, and the hints of backstory were beginning to ground the general wackiness of the story—and then we veered away from that entirely, following Nozomi and a group of girls we’d spent almost zero time with in the first two episodes. It’s a good way to make those first two episodes feel empty and pointless, and makes it harder to care about the (comparatively quiet) events of the third episode, as we don’t have a good enough grip on the characters involved to be concerned for their well-being or invested in their goals.
But here’s the other thing about the first three episodes of Rolling Girls: I kind of… don’t… care that the writing wasn’t very good? Geh. I know. It feels wrong to hear me saying that, too. But there it is: As of right now, I’m enjoying the gorgeous color palettes and backgrounds, the imaginative subcultural communities, the wild action sequences and growing conspiracy plots, and as such I don’t feel particularly upset about the rough writing and flimsy characterization.
Could this change? Oh, absolutely. This all-style-no-substance storytelling will have a very hard time sustaining itself over the course of an entire cour (or more), and if the series doesn’t start giving me something to chew on (or at least make the far more interesting Masami and Kuniko a larger part of the central story), I suspect I’ll lose interest as we go. But for now, I’m enjoying the empty calories of Rolling Girls, and until that changes, I’ll be along for the ride.