4 Jun 2010

FLCL (Anime) Review

FLCL (Fooly Cooly / Furi Kuri) (2000)
Format: OVA, 6 X 30 minutes
Studio: Gainax (in collaboration with Production I.G)
Score: 5 stars (Instant classic)
Summary: From the people who brought you such classics as Neon Genesis Evangelion, comes a madcap adventure that defies categorization. It will leave viewers wondering "WTF just happened?!" at the end of its all too short 6 episodes, but it's one hell of a enjoyable ride.

FLCL is a growing-up tale about a boy whose role model (his brother), has disappeared from his life. From a child's perspective, adults often seem to make decisions and do things that don't make much sense. Naota (aged 12), is such a child. When going through several changes in life (such as puberty), Naota seems to have a pessimistic outlook on life, and doesn't like adults. Perhaps he's afraid of growing up? Dealing with sexual frustrations only a boy his age would understand, he has to come to terms with his newfound emotions. Haruko (aged 19?) is the new girl in town, and Mamimi (aged 17) is his older brother's (ex?) girlfriend. Both girls seem to like him. Throughout the series, Naota has to come to terms with his true feelings for one of them, stepping out of his comfort zone to "grow up".

FLCL is the story of a boy (Naota Nandaba) and his quest to defeat an evil alien organisation that has been in hiding on Earth for a long time. One day, a mysterious girl named Haruko Haruhara hits him in the head with an electric guitar, bestowing him the power/curse to summon robots from another dimension. He befriends Canti, the first robot Haruko defeated, and together the 3 of them team up to take down the evil Medical Mechanica. Meanwhile, a shadowy government organisation seems to have a plan of its own...

FLCL is action comedy series that is sure to make you laugh from start to finish! Join Naota and his crazy adventures with his harem, all vying for a piece of him while he is coming to terms with his own sexuality. There is just one problem... Whenever Naota thinks of something pervertic, a giant horn starts forming on his forehead (he's literally horny)! Hilarity ensues!

FLCL is a musical adventure. The hard rock soundtrack from start to finish seems to be the backbone of the entire episode. The visuals perfectly conform to the beats and rhythm of the songs, while the fast-paced rambling dialogue seems to be appropriate lyrics to the enjoyable rock tunes playing in the background. Or perhaps its the other way round, with the music made to fit with the visuals and story? Whatever it is, I can't think of a more appropriate soundtrack to go along this crazy ride called FLCL. The music here is on the same level as, if not surpassing, some of the best works of Yoko Kanno. And I think that's the highest praise anyone could give to an anime soundtrack (I really like Yoko Kanno's work in Cowboy Bebop and Darker than Black).

FLCL is a feast for the eyes. The crazy animation hardly ever stops, and the styles just keep changing. There's even a homage to South Park! You can really see that Gainax and Production I.G did not hold back on their talents, letting the geniuses do what they do best to give us the coolest piece of  hyperactive animation I have ever seen. For the entire 6 episodes. Yes, they still do take shortcuts, but in really creative ways, and the quality does not suffer at all. Neon Genesis Evangelion has really detailed and fluid animation, while FLCL has sometimes jerky, but consistently creative animation.

FLCL, with its multitude of homages and copying styles from various anime, is an anime made out of anime. It is everything an anime series has been, could be, and should be. And yet, it is something unlike any other anime I have ever seen. It contains many cliches, and yet defies convention. Truly a classic piece of animation.

No comments: