»

xxKurumi's FLCL Tv Review

FLCL

FLCL tv Review

Story & Characters

It is sad, but how often do we find ourselves being cheated by an anime? You know, the anime with a plot so banal that you can predict every episode before watching it, heck, even guess the ending before finishing up the second episode. It is the anime so thoughtless that it robs you of a little intelligence each time you see it, as blank and unsatisfying as they come. A waste of time, twenty four minutes of your life you're never going to get back. For a quarter of the first episode, FLCL (Fooly Cooly, Furi Kuri?) will make you — at least, it did me — feel that way. In fact, you may feel that way until you watch the short series another four, five, six times. But upon watching the series again (I recommended another two times), however, you may begin to see one exciting, eccentric adventure.

So, Naota lives in a small and dull city where nothing ever happens — like, ever. You may recognize Naota's character, look and environment from Renton Thurston of Eureka 7, which is one of the first things I noticed, that they both live lives boring as dirt. At first. But as Naota narrates the drab happenings of his hodunk city, strange things being to happen. Rumors of a 'mad wasp/vespa woman' make their way through Naoto's hometown and, eventually, at his very doorstep. The pink-haired vespa woman woman in question, Haruko Haruhara, literally flattens Naota's head out of nowhere, her turbulent introduction to our sullen protagonist. I'm not going to lie, it's extremely weird, seeing this the first time. That is why the key to watching FLCL at first, for me, was this: don't pay too much attention to details, look at those later. FLCL moves extremely fast.

So, after she runs over Naota's head, it begins to undergo some means of 'transformation'. A rather retarded bump springs out of his forehead when no pressure is applied to it, which is why he ends up with a large band-aid across his crown. Thus, Naota's forehead becomes the catalyst of FLCL's tentatively admitted plot — well, that and the mystery that is Haruko. Anyhow, Haruko begins to 'use' (therein, extracting strange objects out of) Naota's head for her own agenda, going so far as to say that he as 'the right kind of head'. Haruko turns out to be some variety of alien, somehow connected to the mysterious factory erected in Naota's boring hometown, a stream iron-shaped venue known as Medical Mechanica

Naota is initially and rightly suspicious of Haruko and her intentions, but his family (namely his father who has an instant attraction to Haruko) ignores his paranoia and invites her to stay with them. Solemn Naota remains alert around Haruko, often criticizing her crude and mysterious behavior, as he is extremely aware of the adults in his life — he idolizes his older brother, Tasuku, and frowns upon the other adults he knows. Naota lauds Tasuku to the point of copying his former life: hanging with Tasuku's old girlfriend, Mamimi, carrying around a baseball bat as Tasuku did, monologue-ing about his brother, etc. But, more to the point, FLCL covers the events of Medical Mechanica, Naota's character growth and the unknown origins of alien Haruko Haruhara.

While FLCL is surely an eccentric, face-paced, and frankly a rather head-scratching series, it can also be, on occasion, intelligent, captivating and humorous.

Rating: 9

Art

FLCL's art is, like the other aspects of itself, unpredictable at times. It is, most of the time, simple (but still visually commanding), but there are sudden uses of manga panels, new animation styles or just random changes in character — for example, at one point Haruko is in a pink dress, the next she's Elvis. It really adds to the chaos of the head-turning series, but it also gives it a certain charm. Well, a very strange charm, but for FLCL it works. Otherwise, the art is very nice and without complication, though especially lovely in the final episode.

The overall reception to the art should be nothing but positive, even if you have no idea what's going on.

South Park parody in episode five.

Rating: 8

Sound

FLCL loves to shake up convention. It is the first anime I have come across that has used five opening themes in the course of six episodes, all by Japanese band The Pillows.

OP1: One Life
OP2: Instant Music
OP3: Happy Bivouac
OP4: Runners High
OP5: Carnival

ED: Ride on Shooting Star

Also unlike most anime I view, the dub came before the original Japanese — Adult Swim, insomnia, what can I say? Anyhow, as usual, I began watching skeptically; there are just so few acceptable dubs, it's really pathetic. So I really was prepared for the worst possible quality I could imagine. However, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that it really wasn't all that awful. Really, I think that the dub cast is almost as well cast as the original Japanese — not quite, but a truly deserving second.

The Japanese cast: Mayumi Shintani as Haruko, Jun Mizuki as Naota, Izumi Kisagi as Mamimi and Koichi Okura as Commander Amarao.

Honestly, I was skeptical of Mayumi as Haruko at first. I had heard her as cute and cunning Tsubasa of Kare Kano prior to FLCL. After discovering she was Haruko, I was stunned. Now I cannot imagine who else could have pulled of Haruko so well. Jun Mizuki, though, I was not familiar with before watching FLCL. He, too, gave a stunning performance as Naota, who portrays few emotions at FLCL's start. And while Izumi Kisagi gave a likewise wonderful performance, Koichi Okura was undoubtedly my favorite of the series. He endowed the Commander with all the stupid charm he needed to fit into this series.

The English cast: Kari Wahlgren as Haruko, Barbara Goodson as Naota, Stephanie Sheh as Mamimi and Dave Mallow as Commander Amarao.

Like the Japanese cast, Kari and Barbara provided nothing but excellence as Haruko and Naota. Frankly, with Naota's sarcastic character Barbara was better than any male voice I could have seen as Naota. Stephanie gave an admirable performance, but it lacked a bit for me. Mamimi, in general, did not stick to me as much as the other FLCL characters which could be why she is not as noticeable. Dave Mallow as Commander Amarao also proved to be my favorite character of the English-speaking cast, and Kari too.

The point is, in either languages FLCL is worth the listening to.

Rating: 7

Presentation

While it is true that I really do love FLCL, it doesn't warrant the higher score I would love to give it. Even though sound, animation, characterization and story are all there, it is hard to ignore how long they take to discover. Still, I recommend FLCL to anyone with the patience to stumble upon something unexpected. Even though it may not be catch your eye at first, good art takes time to appreciate. It really is worth the time.

It's very difficult to find an anime that is not afraid to be bold, and, let's face it — just a little insane.

Rating: 7

Final Verdict

7.83 (good)

Reviewed by xxKurumi, Sep 06, 2008

Comments

  1. shoujoboy Sep 06, 2008

    I still see the same problem with this review that I've made mention of before. You have serious sentence flow issues. Your verbage is typically pretty good overall and it's evident you are intelligent enough to get a valid point across, but you still rely heavily on that comma. 75 of those suckers to be exact. Most of them just prove to be flow breakers as opposed to necessary.

    I'm sure other comments will follow. We will see how they feel on the matter.

  2. xxKurumi Sep 06, 2008

    Quote by shoujoboyI still see the same problem with this review that I've made mention of before. You have serious sentence flow issues. Your verbage is typically pretty good overall and it's evident you are intelligent enough to get a valid point across, but you still rely heavily on that comma. 75 of those suckers to be exact. Most of them just prove to be flow breakers as opposed to necessary.

    I'm sure other comments will follow. We will see how they feel on the matter.

    Ah, well I always keep your advice in mind when writing reviews. I will go over this again some time tomorrow and try and correct as many claring comma/sentence flow issues as I can. Thanks again for the comment + critique.

  3. davidh01 Sep 06, 2008

    This is a good review content-wise; flow issues aside (and I needn't reiterate Shoujoboy's prior comments). I have been hesitant to check out FLCL - it looked far too weird for my liking on the basis of the trailers. However, you've put across some very astute and compelling observations that have really made me sit up and re-think my position. Maybe I should give this one the benefit of the doubt and take the time to watch it, I may be pleasantly surprised. Well done, and I'll look forward to seeing the revised product once you've gone over it again.

  4. xxKurumi Sep 07, 2008

    Quote by davidh01This is a good review content-wise; flow issues aside (and I needn't reiterate Shoujoboy's prior comments). I have been hesitant to check out FLCL - it looked far too weird for my liking on the basis of the trailers. However, you've put across some very astute and compelling observations that have really made me sit up and re-think my position. Maybe I should give this one the benefit of the doubt and take the time to watch it, I may be pleasantly surprised. Well done, and I'll look forward to seeing the revised product once you've gone over it again.

    Sentence flow noted. If you do end up giving the series a try, drop me a line about your thoughts.

  5. BossMac Sep 07, 2008

    I'm with dave on this one. Good review.

    About the show though, I know this is a six episode show but I felt it had so many things happening in such short time that 25 minutes felt like 2 hours. I completed watching this one after putting 2 month interval on each episodes just to give me the sense of "I wanna know what goes on next..." yet only curiosity rather than urge pushed me to finish it.

    And to be honest... I remember nothing of this show. :sweat:

  6. angelxxuan Sep 17, 2008

    I gave up on caring about grammar problems, this is online not english class ^_^ but all in all I thought the review was good

  7. tsuyoshi7171 Feb 21, 2009

    cool review

  8. chumbariwap123 Apr 23, 2009

    woah! cool review! :D

  9. Kaji666 May 03, 2009

    Good review. One of my personal favorite shows.

  10. CeZed75 May 07, 2009

    Good review of this great amazing anime, I advise her OST, an electro-rock mix that I always listen to some times.

  11. pigmypuff Jun 05, 2009

    little bit confused

  12. pmgbapm Jun 23, 2009

    I don't understand what you are talking about...sorry

  13. lordryo Jul 21, 2009

    FLCL is great!

  14. Fanatik007 Jul 30, 2009

    i like the character design

  15. Onlyrockman Aug 01, 2009

    The weirdest anime I've ever seen, yes! Though its short but its actually good and worth watching, the sound tracks are awesome too!

  16. SchRita Aug 23, 2009

    Thanks for the review!

  17. david2331 Sep 20, 2009

    This anime was strange yet funny and entertaining!

  18. SchRita Oct 31, 2009

    Thanks for the review!

  19. rukasu04 Mute Member Nov 10, 2009

    Thanks

page 1 of 1 19 total items

Only members can post replies, please register.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Read more.