Female anime characters can be a mixed bag. Usually, with the variety of genres, you can easily find protagonists of the gender that don’t annoy the heck out of you, and are also portrayed in a “Bechdel test” passing light. Though recently that hasn’t been the case with the past couple of seasons, oddly enough in Winter 2015, we finally have a new completely girl power series that makes me feel incredibly proud to watch. Meet The Rolling Girls, produced by Studio Wit (Attack on Titan), which makes many of my positive portrayal dreams come true.
This series tells the story of a futuristic version of Tokyo (
typical) where prefectures have split, and are now protected by groups known as “Mobs.” In these Mobs, there is a central leader, who is usually called a “Mosa,” or “Best,” because they have supernatural abilities. Each of these groups has one goal: to take over all the other cities/countries/you name it, as their own. That’s where our lead character Nozomi comes in. She’s a typical “Mob” girl who is about to get into a sticky situation, one that involves her specific leader, and the secrets she holds regarding another Best.
By the looks of it, you’re probably wondering how this series, with all its confusing plot details and such could be good. Well right off the bat, the visuals are incredible. Studio Wit has managed to make a series that many would ordinarily consider a strictly “Moe” type deal, into a show full of unusual creativity, and tons, and I mean tons, of energy. Every frame has something new to explore, a fantastic color palette, and a look that goes above and beyond what other shows this season would even dare to try. Some may say it reminds them a lot of Studio Trigger’s Kill La Kill, but if anything, this is just another example of how versatile Studio Wit is.
We also meet a host of fantastic female characters, ones who quiet frankly are among the best I’ve seen in a new series in some time. We have Nozomi, who reeks of the usual lead heroine tropes. She’s a go-getter, confident, spunky, all the usual things that make us want to root for a character, but unlike other shows that force you into having such a reaction, I actually like Nozomi simply for the fact that she has a goal…. that doesn’t involve a boy. In fact, not once in this first episode did I encounter A) A Crush B) A Possible Love Interest or C) A Guy Who Crushes On Her. Wow, what shock, a series where the first episode the female lead isn’t specifically situated to be in love or have romantically loved anyone? Bless you, show, bless you!
The same sort of positive remarks can be said for the other ensemble members we’ve encountered thus far, specifically that of Nozomi’s mentor and inspiration, Masami Utoku. She is easily my favorite character in the show, and I can’t wait to see what kind of evolution she makes as the series goes forward. With her disguise as a Super Sentai hero named Maccha Green, to her skills at eating ramen, this girl is the one to watch. She even has a giant robot that pops out of trees whenever she needs it, how cool is that!?
Blending comedy and action into a perfect combination, with its level of details, I feel like The Rolling Girls could be the surprise hit of the Winter 2015 season. Not too often do we have a series with female leads that are intelligent, strong, and willing to do what they must to get the job done. Boys and romance are none of their concern, and their drive is toward their communities. With even just those simple basics to the plot, I am officially sold. Bring it on, Studio Wit, bring it on.
The Rolling Girls is currently streaming on Funimation, with new episodes airing every Sunday.