The Rolling Girls 2 and 3 are just as bright, often appealing, and utterly confusing as the first episode.
As far as I can figure out, episode 2 has Nozomi deciding to go off to help another prefectorial dispute, in place of her sister Mazami, who’s in a hospital along with her opponent. We see the reasons why Nozomi wants to go as Maccha Green’s surrogate, things like no longer wanting to be protected and youthful restlessness in general. The show has worked hard to establish the Masami/Nozomi relationship, as well as their family’s, and it works very well. How lucky then that we have that to carry us through sometimes funny but more often bewildering episode 2 where they seem to go off that rollercoaster edge two times, Maccha defeats Shigyou (temporarily) with glowing puke (Nozomi’s puke glows too, but that’s next episode), and other such things, though the bit where Masami learns everyone knows who she really is was a great moment.
Episode 3 is no less bizarre. Suddenly the girls (there’s four of them and they’ve joined up for no real reason) aren’t going to help anybody but instead are trying to track down stone hearts, while elsewhere we see Chiaya’s mother buying them up, or stealing them, or something, and that guy in glasses is doing the negotiating on both sides. Anyway, they’re accused of stealing the heart of another Best, Thunderoad, but maybe it’s cleared up, or not, and by the way, Thunderoad is a bit of a cheat. If the girls are going after those hearts, or cores, they’re already one down. Meanwhile I’m still trying to decide if I care enough.
Aldnoah Zero, better known as “What the hell is Slaine’s head all about?” doesn’t give us anything particularly new in episodes 2-3. I mean, there’s plot galore. We got Slaine and Inaho squaring off in battle, mimicking each other’s lines, marveling at the other’s abilities and wondering how to defeat them. We got Slaine becoming not only a Count, but Saazbaum’s son, heh, briefly, because then we get Slaine killing Saazbaum off in battle, in spite of Saazbaum’s obvious warming to the boy since the first time they tried to kill each other.
We can also wonder about Inaho’s head, what part of it that is that machine, that is. It’s made him even more formidable in battle, and so far, the bionics and the wetware are cooperating, meaning he actually has an excuse to talk to himself now. I suspect that in a future episode something in his head will short-circuit, probably during an important moment in a battle. But for now, after some very nice battle scenes, I bet the show will step it back and work on the Vers internal politics, with useless scenes starring Inko and Rayet.
Maria the Virgin Witch passes the 3-episode test. It has the same things that I liked in the opener, the world of complex morals, simple and stupid people, and a headstrong main character. I especially like the view of Christianity that they are drawing. There is a divine power up above, but it refuses to interfere in human affairs. And while Maria might come off as selfish, doing away with the bad things in front of her because they piss her off, she has a healthy moral outrage towards the holy-noninterference stance, and I agree with her.
There is nothing bad about stopping an injustice in front of you What’s more, the Catholic church they’re showing in this series does not take this stance because there’s no profit in it. That doubles Maria’s outrage. And when you combine the church’s attitude, and it’s manipulation of the population with blessings from heavens with the actual god’s refusal to help, it shows how disconnected and screwed up the whole situation is. No wonder Maria’s pissed off, and no wonder Ezekiel can’t catch a break. Interesting that they bring in a god from another mythology at the end, though all he does is spout off a different type of nonsense at her. To write off evil as part of an eternal cycle is as big a cop out as Catholic gods’ excuses.