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12 days of anime #6 – Noodles are great [The Rolling Girls]

20.12.2015

In the winter season of 2015, The Rolling Girls started off powerfully. As the number of episodes increased, somehow the series managed to roll down into the deeper and deeper pit of sloppy animation and nonsensical quirks that some audience stopped caring about it at some point. Had the quality remained the same as the first episode, I would even readily consider it my top favourite contender. Sadly, greater letdown follows greater expectation.

The Rolling Girls may soon be forgotten. Until that time comes, I’ll write a precious blog post rekindling its old glory, since I am in quite a desperate need of ideas to do this 12 days project.

RG 01 - ramen

I had an impression that The Rolling Girls might be a heavenly series for me since the noodles-eating scene – the scene when Masami and Shigyou entered the same bar and randomly competed to see who could empty the most bowls of ramen. Not the colourful fight between the same two at the beginning or the quiet touch on the relationship between Masami and Nozomi during the middle part. I marvelled at the eating competition which came out of nowhere and was way more intense than it should have been.

I love daily life and activities. Actions are certainly cool, but I always find myself drawn towards little moments of everyday life. I fell in love with Hyouka when it delivered the subtle hiccups of Chitanda during a conversation or the grace of her cooking delicious food. I decided that Wolf Children was a must-watch when I caught a glimpse at the young troublesome Yuki running around the house, almost making a cabinet fall to the ground. I’m impressed by Only Yesterday and Hourou Musuko because they mentioned the inconvenience of wearing a sanitary napkin. When a friend of mine introduced me to writing fiction, I first wanted a story about a bunch of students who clean classrooms and toilets. When you really think about it, even toilets are poetic, thrilling … or just deep – deep, deep toilets, aren’t they?

An anime can polish reality to the point that’s breathtaking, for example, like how Makoto Shinkai always does with his backgrounds. Or it can add dramatic elements to normal activities that call for excessive levels of skills, speed and sweat, the same way as The Rolling Girls’ first episode. Why can’t eating noodles be the best scene of 20-minute screen time?

The Rolling Girls gave me hope. It has youngsters picking up trash as a daily task assigned by their organisation. It has a hero by the name of Matcha who wears green-tea outfit. She ate too much ramen due to a childish competition, hence puked during a fight, catching her enemy by surprise and promptly gained victory. It features main characters with no superpower among a huge cast of overpowered heroes. What’s more, it is pleasantly stylish in both the art and sound departments. It could have had it all. The only thing is it didn’t.

At least the first two episodes are consoling to remember. I rewatched the noodles scene 3 or 4 times because I decided to write this post. The scene is still great. Noodles are great too.

RG 01 - noodle battle

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