FLCL is a short series of only six episodes so you have literally no excuse not to check out this divine anime show. In the series the main character is a young man going through puberty. His older brother has gone away to america, leaving his flaky girlfriend behind. She has developed an attraction to our hero, because he is the only friend she has. Enter the odd older girl. The main source of action in the series. Just when you think it’s going to start making sense, FLCL laughs in your face and throws enough bizarre dialogue and imagery at you to make your brain hurt for days. Basically, it’s not an experience that translates into words very well. It’s kind of like a painting.
The Pillows, a Japanese rock band, provides nearly all the music for the OVA. It fits in quite nicely and sets the tone for the duration of the series. One thing I didn’t enjoy at all, was the awful dubbing. It makes all the characters sound more annoying and “kiddy” than they actually are, not to mention needlessly filling the entire series with contemporary American references. That aside, and not being a fan of alt-rock, I was won over by the raging guitar work and the way the soundtrack is used almost non-stop through the video. And while it still maintains it’s odd nature, I couldn’t help but feel like the humor in the last 8 minutes or so felt forced. This isn’t a bad thing though. The humor in the end didn’t feel right because there was a heavily somber mood and I couldn’t help but care about the different characters in the situations.
Quirky and really funny – but probably not recommended for a first time anime viewer. Watch a few other classics to get acquainted with the genre first. Even when its cohesiveness falls apart it does so in such a stunningly beautiful and amusing fashion that is hard not to smile. This anime has something that will please almost every anime fan, ranging from Gundam jokes, hentai references, love stories, science fiction subplots, and even men in dark suits for you Lain enthusiasts out there. Of course, a well story presented badly would result in a catastrophe. Again, FLCL doesn’t disappoint in this department either.
The show has influenced many other people to make show similar to theirs. One example that is not like Fooly Cooly is Avatar: The Last Airbender. They say that the director instructed everyone to go and buy a copy of the show. That is a pretty cool piece of knowledge there and proves this series is trendsetting. Should you watch it? From what I’ve gathered, you probably have already. If you haven’t, go ahead and do it. It’s only six episodes, reducing the commitment factor. The animation is excellent. The total lack of stylist boundaries is hysterical, and the art direction is paradoxically spot on. This is definitely a labor of love. Add in some of the funniest gags ever to appear on film, a cast of delightfully enthralling and interesting characters, a catchy soundtrack by The Pillows, and a surprisingly captivating storyline and you’ve got one of the most rewarding series ever.
Gainax, the makers of such animes as Neon Genesis Evangelion, Wings of Honneamise, and Mahoromatic, shows again why in my opinion why they are the best studio out there in anime. They never seem willing not to push the envelope in what can be done with anime. Personally, I believe that in this anime more emphasis is placed on style, though the plot is still absolutely whacked-out and wonderful in a “I’m not quite sure what just happened, but I love it” kind of way. Many people who find themselves attracted to the stranger side of Japanese culture will be blown away by this anime, whereas people who will not enjoy it include those who are unable to release their grip on reality for the span of 3 hours. So if you’re feeling adventuresome, regardless of how you feel towards anime in general, check this one out. You will not regret it.