Anime Review: FLCL

Anime Stats

downloadDirected By: Kazuya Tsurumaki

Produced By: Hiroki Sato, Nishizawa Masatomo

Written By: Yōji Enokido, Kazuya Tsurumaki

Music By: The Pillows

Studio: Gainax, Production I.G

Licensed  By: Madman Entertainment (AUS), FUNimation (NA), MVM Films (UK)

Number of Episodes: 6

Length: 25 minutes each

Released: April 26th 2000 to March 16th 2001

You may have noticed that usually when I review something I always write about character development and the plot. When screw all that this week because I’m reviewing the mindfuckery that is FLCL.

"You will obey my authority!!". Yay for South Park references.

“You will obey my authority!!”. Yay for South Park references.

Seriously I don’t even know where to start with FLCL, by the way is pronounced Fooly Cooly, but I suppose the plot is as good a place to start as any. FLCL follows the tale of a surprisingly cynical 12-year-old called Naota Nandaba, which considering all the crap that happens to him, its impressive that his capable of remaining so cynical and not go completely insane.

He lives in the boring town of Mabase and often hangs out under the bridge with his mentally unstable (at best) friend Mamimi Samejima, who by the way is 17. His life though is changed forever when he gets run over and then smashed in the face by the   Rickenbacker 4001 guitar belonging to Haruko Haruhara. Oh and by changed forever I mean robots now come out of his freaking head, did I mention this show was a mindfuck yet.

After the first episode were also introduced to Naota’s extremely childish father (who runs a pop culture magazine) and his grandfather. By the way I know it’s a little early in the review to mention this but I love the fact that in the first scene where we see them, the show decides it wants to become an animated manga. Anyway because his in love with her Naotos father, Kamon decides to let Haruko and the robot that came from his son’s head (just roll with it) stay.

From here the show descends into utter madness as episodes involving baseball shaped meteors, a family day out involving airsoft guns and even the Department of Interstellar Immigration get involved in the insanity. It’s this constant insanity that makes the show so much fun. When you not shouting “WHAT THE FUCK” you’ll be too busy smiling ear to ear and laughing your ass off.

Why does Mamimi always pucker her lips anyway?

Why does Mamimi always pucker her lips anyway?

Along with assaulting your senses with insanity, FLCL also loves its pop culture references. Naota’s father is the worst offender of this by far, constantly referencing titles like Gundam and MTV. He even dresses up like Lupin the Third at one point. Hell the show even references South Park of all things.

You see the problem with reviewing FLCL is that its unlike any anime ever made because it was designed to “break all the rules” of anime according to the creator Tsurumaki.

To quote Kazuya Tsurumaki in an interview with PULP

“Maybe it looks hip because ordinary anime has certain rules that they all follow; however, I made FLCL so it doesn’t follow that tradition.”

The idea behind the show was instead to be “short, but dense-packed” and this shows since FLCL is sadly only 6 episodes long.

Welcome to the first five minutes of FLCL.

Welcome to the first five minutes of FLCL.

This “break all the rules” approach can also be seen in the soundtrack which is from a band called The Pillow and is amazing. Something you should know about me is that I’m a sucker for anything to do with guitars and electric guitars especially so you know I love this soundtrack. 

Going back to that interview for a minute the reason he choose a band for FLCL was because:

“Normally, anime uses a background music that’s classical—strings, pianos. I don’t listen to that—I like electric guitars, drum sets; i.e., bands. Now, I thought, is there some reason they don’t use bands on anime soundtracks? I thought I’d give it a try and see if it worked out for my show.”

Finally lets talk about the visuals. FLCLs animations really are a in a style of its own. The characters themselves are really well animated for a 2000 – 2001 anime. Again going back to the interview, the reason for this style choice was because it’s styled after “a Japanese TV commercial or promotional video”

So that’s my review of FLCL and I loved it. FLCL is a ton of fun it watch. It’s insanely hilarious and in a weird way it reminds me of fireworks. Sure they both lack any emotional depth and your never going to leave a fireworks display moved by the actions of one particular explosion, but just like fireworks I couldn’t stop watching FLCL and I smiled the whole time.

FLCL is one show I can guarantee you I’ll be watching again but come back in two weeks when I’ll be reviewing Nobunagun. Hope you enjoyed this review and see you next time.