Rolling Girls’ second side-arc ends… reasonably, I guess. It’s hard to point to any one specific reason this arc didn’t really do anything for me emotionally, but it just didn’t seem deeply felt. The character arcs were all very obvious and standard, and there just weren’t enough small character moments to make this feel like its own story, and not just Rolling Girls riffing on an established template. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great, and the fact that the show has clearly forfeited its animation highlights almost makes me wish it’d never misled us with them in the first place.
Anyway. My full ANN post is available here, and you can check out my kind of conflicted notes below.
Flashback to this arc’s girl trying to put a shachihoko on the roof, being saved by her motorcycle beau, being yelled at by her father
She’s already got her shoulder koala
Mamoru’s the dad
Himeko’s the daughter
Mr. Dandy’s fixing the racing dude’s bike. Racing dude says racing has gotten painful
She’s talking about how much she loves the Shachihoko, and how she’ll make a big one for the main hall when she grows up. Then a moonstone falls from the sky, which she gives to the guy
So are the moonstones generated when people decide who they want to be? Obviously not everyone gets one, but it may be tied to that
And then he gives her one in return. His is called “Star of the Circuit,” hers is called “Shachipoko Stone”. So clearly they are tied to having clear goals
Tomoki’s the name of the racer guy/Mie Motors leader. He tells Himeko they didn’t break the shachihoko
And he’s the one who sent the request for help, using her name to avoid his gang finding out
“I couldn’t believe you’d gotten so pretty.” aw this guy
Both of these guys have turned away from their dreams for now
Chiaya seemed to be linked to the thing that got thrown in the fridge last episode. There was no other real reason for that little moment. Is it a general animal thing?
The Rolling Girls spend the first quarter of this episode looking for each other. lol
The Aichi bikers are crumpled in a heap with a literal buzzard poking at them
Tensions running high!
Adding a cute couple to the middle of this arc is doing wonders for my investment
Oh right, Yuriko has a bad sense of direction, that’s her thing
Yeah, Tomoki lost interest in racing. No one could compete with him. Everyone’s saying his competing kept tensions down
Nozomi actually doing her job!
Himeko’s trying to run away again
Nozomi trying to convince them to think of a name for the town. She’s trying! I actually like that she’s not very good at this job, and the show keeps demonstrating that. It’s nice to have characters make the big conciliatory gestures and then just get shot down because things aren’t that simple
And Yuriko somehow ended up in the Motors gang. That’s actually great
Tomoki getting tricked into okaying a race with a dude we still can’t understand is also pretty great. This episode’s slowed down a bit, and it’s helping everything. The characters also now have enough scenes behind that that they’re likable
Ai just wants to leave now that they have the stone
The racers pick up the “items to put on the tower” along the way, tying the shachihoko narrative in
Mamoru ends up apologizing to Nozomi
And now the rolling girls are trying to make the shachihoko. Good luck, idiots
Wow, these painted clouds are lovely
“Orca and shachihoko are different things” nice work girls
The girls are kinda useless but mean well. That’s just how the show goes
Tomoki’s all fired up to race Mr. Dandy
“I still love it, after all!” Simple story, but it’s nicely told
Dandy lends Tomoki his bike
And we get another insert song
This sketchy effect they use for Tomoki’s last stretch is great
So they give the shachihoko symbols of both towns