FLCL Episode 1


"Fooly Cooly"

I'll try and write this review from the perspective of someone who knows absolutely nothing about FLCL. (Not too much of a stretch, as all I really know about it is that it has an extremely loyal following, and that I tried to watch it about eight times previously, but never succeeded.)

The reasons for this are twofold. First, just to accenuate how crazy this show is. Its weirdness transcends words, meanings and descriptions. The other reason is that, without a preconceived notion, it's easier (and probably a little more objective) to take this show at face value.

This is a Gainax/Production IG project, so it should go without saying that the animation and art is great. The character designs are great, with the weird ones just off the scale. The music (hard rock all the way!) is pretty off the wall, too, and goes with the frenetic pace of the show.

Technically there's only one thing I don't like in this show, and that's the use of pages from the manga (presumably, though I've never read it) in the middle of the episode. Gainax does this from time to time, and I really don't like it. There's no real reason to do it, other than to emphasize the fact that this is an adaptation. It sort of adds to the insanity of the show, but it could have been just as insane with rapidly scrolling/animating animation.

As far as the plot goes, there's very little in this one. It's refreshing as FLCL uses some different methods of introducing characters. You don't get to see much about what they're thinking, so everything about them comes out through their actions. Naota is dealing with adolescence, troubled by the attention of Mamimi (his brother's beau), who seems to be using Naota as a stopgap solution.

That's about as far as the normal plot elements go. On the other hand, we've got Haruko, the crazy (how many things in this show are crazy, anyways?) alien (?) biker who seems to herald the beginning of seriously odd changes in Naota's life.

So, knowing nothing about this show, there's not much more you can say about it other than it looks good, sounds good, and exudes craziness. Genre? Who knows. Plot? Who knows. Point? Who knows. It says a lot about the show that it more or less gets by the first episode on style alone. That's not to say the substance isn't interesting, it's just not really there (or maybe it's just whizzing by too fast).

Either way, I'm ready for another episode!

Rating: B+

Posted by Kei at 11:30 PM | Comments (3)

FLCL Episode 2


"Fire Starter"

For being almost complete indecipherable, FLCL is surprisingly entertaining. It does character development well, in non obvious ways (a fresh change for an anime series). On the other hand, the plot is really fragmented, and stuff is just hard to follow. Maybe if you could slow everything down 50% it'd be easier to figure out what's going on.

But that's definitely not the fun of whats' going on here.

From one point of view, though, this show doesn't really succeed on some levels. Most obviously is the fact is whether or not it is really telling a story? Sure some things happen, but we don't really know where anything's going. A lot of glitz and flash is thrown on top of it to try and cover it up, and that aspect of the show is pretty much all that's carrying it forward. There is a lot of it though.

Also, some of the animation in this episode is so over the top and exaggerated that it ceased being appealing to me. I'm kind of boring like that, really liking very standard anime looks over weird ones. I do, however, like the use of color in FLCL. It's a little washed out, but in general, there's a whole bunch of colors you don't usually see.

It's kind of hard to put a finger on exactly what I think about this show. It's pure insanity animated, which is cool, but on the other hand, you spend so much of it trying to figure out what the heck is going on--which is cool--but somewhat distracting. Is there really something going on here? Or is it just a stream-of-consciousness trip?

Rating: B

Posted by Kei at 12:02 AM | Comments (5)

FLCL Episode 3


"Marquis de Carabas"

Halfway through this show, I've got a better idea of what's going on, but where it's all going, and the depths of insanity and weirdness I'll be subjected to before it's all over is far, far beyond my reckoning.

The music, animation and art is really top notch, but the story... It obviously loves being weird for weirdness' sake, but is there a point where the zaniess becomes too much? What's the whole point of everything that's happening? Is it symbolic? Is there some deeper meaning? It's really hard to say because it's all pumped into your brain at a frenetic, hyperactive rollercoaster pace.

You should probably watch FLCL just for the sheer insanity of it all. It's use of the weird goes far beyond masterful.

Rating: B-

Posted by Kei at 10:59 PM | Comments (0)

FLCL Episode 4


"Full Swing"

Hm. Well, I wish I could do a content review about this episode, but let's just say it's pretty out of this world. Which is to say that it's pretty standard for FLCL. If there's any real cohesive story, it's a little bit about baseball, a little bit about jealousy, a little bit about the city blowing up, and a lot about being weird.

I almost feel like everyone should watch this show just for the pure insanity of it all. Maybe with a few repeated viewings, this stuff becomes more clear, but the first time you see it, more like than not, you'll be going, "Huh?"

What I can say is that the production values are still incredible, and the music still rocks.

So, yeah, if you'd like to watch a show that is seriously twisted, and has some sort of underlying meaning that is convered by layers and layers of wackiness. Check out FLCL!

Rating: B

Posted by Kei at 10:21 PM | Comments (1)