FLCL
Review By: Joe

TO START! FLCL IS ON AT 1 AM EST (that's in America!) SUNDAY-THURSDAY ON CARTOON NETWORK. The series will be starting over from the beginning tonight (November 9th). It is only six episodes long and it will play through at least twice but possibly not more. Now then, feel free to read my tripe.

Oh, my God! All I do these days is review anime like some kind of faggot! I start this review off good with the offensive, derogatory language, no? Certainly, I do!

Well, like I've said about fifty-thousand times before on this dumby site, I don't like anime very much. That said, the only anime series I do like are, uno, Cowboy Bebop, and dos, this one right here, FLCL or Furi Kuri or Fooly Cooly depending on how much or how little you like letters. Anyway, I will call it FLCL for simplicity's sake. Simplicity is my neice. She is turning three this December. For her birthday she would like fifty bucks from everybody in the world. Please send the money to me (she is too small to hold the money, it would make her fall over) so that she can achieve this goal. You do not want to break a three year old's heart do you?

Now then, FLCL is this weird cartoon about this kid named Naota. He has a normal, boring suburb kid's life living in his town that has a factory shaped like a huge iron in it until one day when this hooker named Haruko hits him with her Vespa and then hits him in the head with her guitar. Then all this crazy shit starts happening and robots start coming out of Naota's head. The show is only six episodes long of about twenty minutes each (the last one's closer to thirty though!!!).

Actually, just like Cowboy Bebop and the band Mindless Self Indulgence, I was introduced to this show thanks to my good LTM buddy, Rosstopher. Maybe I should start listening to him more but then again, no, he is a doodyhead. Hee doody is so fun to say. Anyway, I am absolutely in love with this show, much like I was (and still am) with Cowboy Bebop. However, I could explain my love for Cowboy Bebop but it's a bit more difficult with this one.

One thing I claim to not like about anime is how shitcrazy and weird it is. I can't exactly say that's entirely true any longer though because I'm told that FLCL is about as weird as anime gets. Well, it is very. It has a plot but it's not exactly clear what it is. I've watched the whole thing now a couple of times and I've actually caught on to more plot points I had missed during past viewings. I think I'd even essentially justified the whole story in my head at one point but now I can't really remember how I did that so never mind. One thing I can say though is that the creators clearly realize how full of shit they are. They aren't taking themselves seriously at all and it's very obvious. They're really just trying to entertain I suppose and that's very nice of them. They don't care about being shoddy, they're having fun. Plus there's an awesome soundtrack. All in all, it's not very different from the epic film The Enchanted Nemesis. Don't get me wrong though, I think FLCL is much better.

Listen, tubz. This show is really weird and it is very Japanese and they try to be funny pretty often and generally fail but that is not why I like it. What is it exactly that I do like about this show so much? I'm not completely sure! But let's both examine my thoughts together and discover!

For one thing, this sucker has a high budget. This really shouldn't be a reason for one to like something as it means you are just pleased with the flashy effects and the pretty drawings but it really does help. The action sequences in this are awesome (oh, incidentally, it's got robot fighting but its cool and fast and makes fun of other animes with robot fighting...I think?) and it is quite well drawn. Actually, the style of the show is definitely an amalgam (I use words how I want) of Japanese and English animation and it works quite nicely I would say!

There are some aspects of the storyline that I like a lot as well. There is, of course, the weird plot about the robots coming out of the kid's head and the action is cool but I think I really like how the main character is a bored kid growing up in the suburbs. Even though I never had to deal with robots coming out of my head and hot adult women hitting on me hardcore and I also didn't grow up in Japan where girls apparently wear incredibly short gym outfits, something about this show is done right that makes me think of childhood. Not necessarily my childhood but being a child in general. Fragment it up!

What I would say I like best about this show is definitely the music. The Pillows are the band that provides the soundtrack for this show. They are a Japanese band that sings mostly in Japanese (but with a heavy sprinkling of comically broken English) but it don't matter! They rock so hard! I'm serious! I don't think I've liked a band this much since The Pixies. Seriously, I would definitely say that the band is better than the show but the fact they are in it adds so much. This show would be completely different without The Pillows' music. There's even a chance I wouldn't like it! Can you believe it?!?

You see, I think what I really like best in this show is the music coupled with the direction. The direction is often very clearly composed around matching with the music and sometimes just a cut or a certain perspective at the right time in sync with a Pillows' song strikes me as fuckin' beautiful, man. I LOOVVVVE IT. My friend pointed out that this show also features a good deal of upskirt shots of the girl characters. Yeah, well, uh, that is just another reason to like it! Boy howdy so sexy!! Whatever, just laugh at the upskirt shots.

Incidentally, Ross also had mentioned the goodness of The Pillows to me long before I decided they were good too. That Ross! Ain't nobody gon listen to him! Shit!

You know, I can't guarantee everyone will like this like I can guarantee everyone likes our site hahahahahahahaahahahaha golly I am a funny one. Seriously though, the two animes people who don't like anime seem to like are this one and Cowboy Bebop. This one is a bit more of a stretch though. Well, quite a bit more. However, I would suggest giving it a chance. It's only six episodes long, for god's sake. You could watch the whole damn series and it really wouldn't even put a huge dent in your long, pointless life.

I am writing this on Sunday, November the 9th, 2003 (if you are reading this a year or so later than 2003 then it is all hogwash and if you are reading it a year or so earlier you have superpowers!!!) at 6 AM in the morning like an idiot. I plan to give this to Gringo to put up on the site today because FLCL is showing on the Cartoon Network right now at 1 AM EST. They've already shown it four times total I believe and are going to show it at least two more but I wouldn't count on it coming on again after that. One thing I might mention is that I actually saw this series in Japanese first and the voice acting is actually slightly better but really only because of the main character, Naota's, voice. He has a much more "bored, fed-up kid" voice in the Japanese version that makes him that much realer (even though I don't speak his funny language) and that doesn't really carry over to the English version. Also, I feel like some of the dialogue is so ridiculous that it doesn't even occur to you really when you're reading it on subtitles but when you hear it you're like "What the fuck is this stupid shit I am watching?" I dunno exactly why it works like that but I feel that it does. Even so, ignore this fact! Ok?! Of course the translators took some liberties and changed some stuff too but who cares? Nobody but fat kids.

Anyhow, Cartoon Network somehow got away with only making one edit to the entire series and it's hardly a big deal in any way so I would suggest at least watching one episode and seeing what you think. It doesn't make much sense and it's very largely stupid but it's still awesome in my opinion. If you hate it, you should still listen to music by The Pillows as they rock in so many ways it hurts my groin. Sure, they sing in Japanese but, think about it, half the time you don't know what the singers in your favorite English-speaking bands are saying anyway, right? Right. Oh, if you don't like good music you might not like them. No one is opinionated here.


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