FLCL Review


Plot: Naota lives in a boring town where nothing special ever happens. He spends his days simply going through the motions, going to school, spending time at home and sometimes playing baseball. He frequently spends time with his pseudo-girlfriend Mamimi – the girlfriend of his older brother who went to the States to play baseball.

Naota’s boring life is turned upside down when a crazy woman named Haruhara Haruko comes bursting into town (literally) on her moped and runs into Naota (again, literally.) After a quick smack to the head with her guitar, he later finds a robot springing forth from the wound. Haruko is really an alien that has used her guitar to open up an interdimensional portal in Naota’s head in order to find the thing she’s been looking for for a long time.

In case you didn’t get it from the synopsis, this series has a very insane premise. But just because a show has an insane premise doesn’t mean it can’t work and FLCL shows this greatly.

The characters are all (for the most part) likable if not lovable, the story’s confusing as hell, but an insanely fun ride, the animation and art are unique and fun, the music’s amazing – it’s just great. It’s definitely one of my favorite anime.

Haruko also stands as being one of my favorite anime characters ever.

That being said, to be fair, I do have to point out some bad points.

For example, this may have been intentional, but the story’s very confusing and many things simply aren’t explained. I’ve watched the series several times over and I still don’t understand all of it.

Some of the characters aren’t entirely likable, like Ninamori and Mamimi. I don’t, by any stretch of the imagination, hate them or even really dislike them, but I could never like them in the same league as Naota, Haruko and the others.

Ninamori really just seems like Naota in girl form with slightly more passion and forwardness. Mamimi’s….gotta have mental problems. She spends half of the series in this deep depression that really drags everything down. I don’t fault the character for having clinical depression, if she does, but they don’t portray that aspect of her well enough for it to be more sympathetic than it is annoying. She can be funny sometimes, but she easily grates on the nerves.

I also don’t like how she uses Naota as a replacement for Tasuku (The aforementioned brother) and leads Naota on. She’s constantly making out with him, groping him, jumping all over him, yet when he tries to insinuate that their feelings are mutual she looks at him like he grew a second head.

Another thing that bothered me is we never really learn of Amarao’s backstory. It’s hinted that he had a backstory very similar to Naota’s, and it’s obvious that Haruko has a past with him. However, they never go into details.

From what I can gather, Haruko showed up in his life just like she did with Naota and tried to open a portal in his head, but was disappointed when the guitar she pulled out was tiny. (It’s also a semi-running gag that the size of the guitar = size of your penis) And I guess she just ditched him because she couldn’t get what she wanted from him.

Finally, there’s the length and ending. The show ends on a cliffhanger, for the most part, and the entire series is only six episodes long. I would’ve loved to have seen this go on for just a little longer.

Art and Animation: The art is perfect for this kind of show, and it’s great that they change up the artstyle every now and then. The animation is also very well done – it’s very fluid and pleasing to the eye during the action scenes.

This show has one of, if not is my most favorite anime soundtrack ever. Most (all?) of the music is done by the band The Pillows. They are awesome and a perfect fit for this show. All of the songs seem perfectly placed, matched up well with the scenes and none of the songs get on your nerves after repeats.

Voice Acting: English – Some of the greatest I’ve ever heard. Everyone does a great job and seems to really enjoy their roles, especially Haruko’s voice actress.

Bottom Line – Despite being short and sometimes confusing, this is a wonderful, fun and funny anime that I think everyone should watch at least once. You won’t regret it.

Additional Information and Notes: FLCL/Furi Kuri/Fooly Cooly was directed by Kazuya Tsurumaki, director of Nadia: Secret of Blue Water, His and Hers Circumstances and Rebuild of Evangelion. Written in collaboration between Yoji Enokido and Kazuya Tsurumaki. Produced by Gainax.

Episodes: 6

Year: 2000—2001

Recommended Audience – There is some sexual content in this series. Some characters, mostly Haruko, wear pretty risqué clothing several times and, despite being censored, Naota’s dad gets naked on some occasions during the manga scenes. I’ve found that the TV version shown on Adult Swim actually has this scene more heavily censored than the DVD version, but the DVD version really isn’t that bad. Furi Kuri/Fooly Cooly in itself is supposed to be a sexual innuendo I think. There are a couple iffy scenes, but nothing really happens. 13+

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