Rolling Girls Review — Obnoxious Visual Junk Food (As Directed By Don Bluth)

Annoying.

Annoying!

Goddamn fucking annoying!

I don’t even know where to start complaining about this one. I thought I had gotten over my dislike for bizarre nonsensical anime, but then Rolling Girls came into my life and reignited my hatred like that guy who your ex-wife cheated on showing up to your office as your new boss. And just to rub it in, he fucks her constantly in his office whilst leaving the door open so you can hear her yells from your cubicle across the room and feel pain akin to being skull-fucked yourself with each thrust. Did I mention this anime was written by the guy who wrote Bible Black and a bunch of other crappy anime about fucking? I’m surprised True Blue isn’t on his resume, because I sure felt like as much of a useless statue as the girls who got fucked in that atrocity after sitting through this pigshit!

The main reason for my irritation regarding this anime is how it seems to have this incredibly smug attitude that thinks anime fans will watch anything regardless of context as long as it looks cool. Hey, anime fans love cool-looking fights right? Let’s put them into this show. Hey, anime fans love rock concerts right? Into the show. Oh yeah, they also like cute girls and bizarre nonsensical objects and aliens and heart-shaped puke? Who cares if it doesn’t make any sense and without any context, it just comes as pure undiluted filler that’s completely charmless, nonsensical, and just plain unfunny? Put ’em all in the show, whilst fucking “character development and having some sort of hook” up its unimportant ass. Seriously, how much of an idiot does this show take me for?

And I’m serious when I say this show is as context-less as it gets. It does have a plot of course: after two rival gang leaders injure each other to the point that they’re hospitalized, a girl who looks up to one of said leaders as her big sister named Nozomi decides to take over her job of delivering peace notices to different parts of a post-war Japan that mutated into some sort of saccharine version of Tokyo Tribe years after said war in order to gain confidence or something. Joining her on the quest is a new recruit named Yukino, a girl from the opposing side named Ai, and a complete stranger named Chihaya, each with their own personal reasons for joining. As such, the majority of the anime is focused on these four’s travels whilst something cooks in the background. However, it’s not the plot, but what you use the plot for that creates context. And if you were to ask me to detail the plot any further let alone tell you what said context is, I’d be at a loss because I’d be surprised if the people behind this anime cared, let alone knew.

Okay, anime writers? I want to establish another new rule that you’re not going to listen to, but I’ll say it anyways. You know that sort of non-stop “we want to be comfortably wacky” style of humor that Gainax popularized with stuff like FLCL and junk? You’re NOT allowed to based every single element of your show around that! Not saying you can’t have it. After all, there’s a reason Edgar Wright is so popular amongst the movie community. But you’ve got to have something else to contrast it, even if it’s just some loud-mouth giving non-stop questions about the logistics behind the existence of a 20-tooled swiss torture machine. Why? Because worlds where craziness is the norm are boring! They don’t work in the majority of Tokyo Shock’s output, and they sure as hell don’t work here.

To the show’s credit, it does try to contrast the wackiness with some personal character drama. What kind of character drama? Oh, the kind where I’m supposed to believe that a bunch of people are in danger of dying from falling off a roller coaster despite the fact that I saw them get blasted into the sky Team Rocket-style and land safely on the ground with no injury a few minutes ago. You know, the hypocritical and completely awful kind of character drama that rests on the terrible side of Don Bluth’s resume – with a scooping of We’re Back: A Dinosaur Story piled on top of things.

In fact, many of this show’s problems are reminiscent of the films that caused Don Bluth’s downfall, particularly Rock-A-Doodle and A Troll In Central Park. You’ve got some good animation – although several episodes suffer huge dips in production and the character animation itself is consistently terrible – but it’s all in service of nonsensical filler, a non-existent story, bland characters, and plot points that don’t make the least bit of sense. This show has the advantage of having decent rock songs to contrast Rock-A-Doodle’s Tweedle-ly Dee bullshit, but it’s also a lot longer than that film, so said advantage is cancelled out. And whilst Edmund himself was a pretty annoying character mostly due to being played by a kid who acted as well as a Full House cast member, he is freaking Hamlet compared to the characters that Rolling Girls chose to focus on.

The main four are so nonexistent in terms of personality and story importance that you wonder why they’re even in the show, let alone following them on what’s probably the most banal attempt to do a “finding yourself” journey I’ve seen in a while. I understand that that style of main character can work in something like The Great Gatsby, but not only do the girls not represent anything of real importance in their outsider role, but there is no Gatsby to be the heart of the show. And it doesn’t help that all the characters they run into on their journey are lazy cartoon stereotypes that are too focused on being wacky to be interesting, and their personal stories are always based on simple misunderstandings and resolved so cleanly through poorly conceived coincidences and nonsensical hyper-real logic that would embarrass shows on the Disney Channel that it’s hard to feel anything for them.

For example, one story starts with a rocker girl getting kidnapped by some people with a completely nonsensical robot-like device, only to shift entirely into a completely different story about how said rocker girl and her miko friend split apart when they were younger due to the former’s mother instructing it but the miko girl not being made aware because it would be too distracting. Yeah, because breaking your friend’s feelings is so much better. But then after everything is made clear, they’re suddenly best friends again through the power of rock despite the fact that you can’t solve a grudge that lasted what looked like years so easily. I have no idea what the point of that story was, how it makes any sense, or what the titular Rolling Girls contributed to that story. But the concert is so fucking pretty, so who cares…I CARE GODDAMMIT!

And just to add insult to injury, the final climax of the show is that one of the main girls is a squid alien and there’s a conspiracy to take over the world with a giant robot that was never foreshadowed and looks completely stupid. Why? Because the writers thought they looked cool. Fuck the fact that the setting is too crazy for those sorts of dramatic elements to have the least bit of weight. Fuck the fact that none of the other stories contribute to these plot twists in the least. Fuck the fact that the final climax ends up being an unspectacular let down of nonsense visuals with too much going on before ending with a very undeserved happy ending stating that the main point of the show was that all titans need support and friendship is good.

Which isn’t a bad message, except the main characters supported jack throughout the entire show. The truth is, they achieved nothing, learned nothing, moved the plot about as efficiently as a mailman with a hunchback, and in the end, are nothing! I don’t remember their names (I had to look them up for this review), I don’t care about their existence, and I sure as hell ain’t gonna put more effort into defining their roles than the creators did. Because they were about as empty as the visuals, the logic, and the entertainment value this piece of shit gave me.

There is NOTHING FUN about this anime! No story! No sense! No laughs! You’d think with four girls riding across a post-apocalyptic Japan full of quirky settings and character archetypes, something interesting would happen. But nothing ever does! I’ve been informed by some people that Rolling Girls is supposed to be a parody of anime/animation showcase in the same vein as Guilty Crown or Space Dandy. Maybe, but it’s a bad one, because Rolling Girls doesn’t seem to have anything interesting to showcase within either of those genres. When I watch this show, I don’t see an insightful analysis into its topics. I don’t see a meta-commentary on the fanbase. I don’t even see a simple story greatly exaggerated to the point of absurdity like Code Geass and Sunrise’s attempts to copy it.

All I see is puerile, poorly-written junk food written by a bunch of people who treat their fanbase like they have no intelligence whatsoever and whose story felt like it was made up as it went. Fuck this show. Fuck the creative team. Goodnight.

PS: For the record, Rock-A-Doodle probably would have been more tolerable if that stupid dog would have shut his trap.

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