The girls head further south, but their personal differences finally cause a falling out. As Ai goes on her own to Okayama, the rest head to the last client in Hiroshima. Unbeknownst to the girls, Chiaya’s true nature is revealed. Split up, they try to deal with the Bests in each region, but are unsuccessful.
I’m going to assume this is just the first half of the Hiroshima arc, which really put a damper on my plan of doing the rest of this show biweekly. At least the reason this is the case is that we finally had somebody address the 8 episode long elephant in the room, that the girls can’t do anything and their presence is next to worthless. Seems a little late in the game for this kind of soul searching, but better late than never. As much as I love Ai, it is true that she is kinda a jerk, and this kinda split up makes this split-region plot work well. The show seems to have always said the girls will always be part of the rest, ever since the promo art, but is that really their fate? For all their good intentions they have been a failure, and something’s gotta break at some point. I hope it’s not simply that Macchan and Shigyo come in and save em from their troubles, they deserve better development than that.
The big reveal this arc is finally the revelation of why Chiaya’s mother needs the stones. I mean, there was a chance of the plot involving aliens ever since stones started raining from the sky, so I wasn’t too surprised. I like how, keeping in theme, the aliens are just these super cute blobs. It seems weird that Chiaya has managed this long without waking up after anyone else, but I suppose we can assume she’s been careful about it for the most part. It does create an interesting timeline of events: Apparently the ship was attacked by the twin towers, was that why they were activated in the first place? If those kinds of automatons were possible in the first place, what kind of powers did people have before the stones started raining down? Once again, we’re brought back to the possibility that the stones might not be the only way to become a Best.
The more this show went, the more obscure it was getting with its references to local Japanese culture. While the Hiroshima Yakuza angle is another thing I just don’t get, I’m glad we’re on more familiar ground with Okayama’s obvious Momotaro reference. Yakuza have been in anime to the point where even if I don’t get its regional importance the tropes are all too familiar, and all the ways they’re playing with the Momotaro story are pretty cute. Part of me wants to chastise the creative liberty of equating a sloth to a monkey, but the little dude is pretty cute, and the entire trio are a great match for genki girl Momo. I also like how Ai is developing with these Bests. Given an outside look, she might be able to better realize how her selfish actions affect others better than when she was with the girls. I wonder if Ai will finally find the power to fight for others rather than herself.
While I like the Yakuza characters, I’m worried the show is throwing too many of its plot elements together. We didn’t really know much about these characters before this arc, and now they’re basically serving as the final villain, holding all the cards. Will the culmination of the Hiroshima arc be hand in hand with defeating them in general, or is there another enemy hiding behind them once they’re defeated? The Rolling Girls has managed quite the feat to get me genuinely interested in its plot again. I just hope it can deliver on what it’s been building up this whole time.