|Guitars, baseball, babes, robots, guns, and foreheads used as interdimensional portals|
When people ask me what FLCL is about I have to be careful not to have my head explode. Although it's an anime series lasting only 6 episodes it's one of the craziest, catchiest, most captivating series I've ever seen. Created as a departure from "normal" anime, it was used as a grounds for experimentation. The result is insane genius.
Naota is a student in middle school who lives a fairly normal life, occasionally fooling around with Mamimi, a high school girl who had been friends with Naota's older brother before he left for America to play baseball. Then a Vespa-riding, guitar-wielding alien runs over Naota and smacks him with her guitar. The result? An inter-dimensional portal is created in Naota's head allowing the transportation of giant robots and classic electric guitars.
The rest of the series goes on to have robots battle, both against each other as well as against Haruko (the female alien who looks human) and Naota. Odd love triangles are set up between Naota, Haruko and Mamimi as well as Haruko, Naota, and Naota's father. Add in the occasional third romantic interest for Naota and it's plenty to fill just 6 episodes.
Haruko is in town to deal with Medical Mechanica, the company which controls the giant factory in Mabase, Naota's hometown. Apparently they captured Atomsk the Pirate King, and Haruko wants him freed - not worrying about who or what she destroys in the process. Confused yet? It's good FLCL is only 6 episodes long, because you will have to watch it several times to really understand it. However, on the flip side, if they had made a few more episodes they could have made it a little easier to follow. I think they made the right choice, though - the chaotic, cluttered nature of the show is part of what gives it its charm.
The animation seems to be a testing ground of different styles using some of the best methods available. This results in animation that is just as bizarre as the plot, but compliments it well. From manga-style panels in the first and last episodes to South Park-style construction paper cut outs in the fifth episode the artists earn their keep and keep it interesting.
Also keeping it interesting is the music. Almost all of the music in FLCL is performed by the Pillows, an insanely catchy Japanese band that'll have you nodding your head and tapping your toes without realizing it. In an inferior show this music would steal the spotlight, but here it simply adds to the already mind-numbing goodness.
In between the over-the-top action, self-conscious animation, sexual innuendo and enormous eyebrows is interesting character interactions and a solid show that grabs you and tosses you about (in a good way). Certainly this show isn't for everyone, but I think a lot of people would be surprised to find they really enjoy it. For it's high re-watchability, and for being an exception to the anime rule, FLCL gets my Seal of Approval.
Written by Hyperion, 2005-11-21 20:42:15