I was recommended this anime from a friend. At first glance i thought it was going to be a short boring series, However. FLCL delivers an experience like none other. You may call it whatever you like: weird, crazy, wicked, schizophrenic, absurd and yet it manages to stand out as one of the most original and intersting anime of all times. You will like it, or you will hate it, but if it’s the second option – it’s just because you couldn’t manage to understand it and to feel the touch and the spirit of FLCL, not because it’s bad. It’s truly a masterpiece. You could say that the creators of this anime did for their scene with FLCL, what Van Gogh and Mozart did for theirs.
Ive noticed that the story is what gets the most criticism from viewers. Many claim that it doesn’t exist, but most realize at least on some level that there is a story that is intricately woven around the outrageous characters and surreal backdrop. The story is what requires rewatching for some. The first time you watch it, the story might seem to be a weird story about aliens… the second time, you might realize that its also a story about the interrelationships of “normal” people being forced to grow after a completely abnormal person is thrust into their lives. And a later viewing might feel more like a coming of age story about a boy trying to grow up in a world where no one grows up, even the adults…. And so on. So, if you don’t like subtle, multi-leveled stories that require a little mental work on your part, you won’t like this. I personally prefer stories that challenge me to actually think while I’m watching.
Several times a lot of subliminal messages are pushed through the story to the watcher, and are so easily missed. However, when I managed to “sleep” on these thoughts or reminisce about FLCL I felt rather moved by it, because of an innuendo that the story combines with. The iron that is in the center of the city resembles the flattening of culture, and the unification of all humans into mediocrity. There’s goofiness and uncontrollable madness that rolls around throughout the middle of the story, and towards the end becomes even more awkward – but it really signifies the desire of humans to be different. However, humans also desire power, and “equality” can easily be misjudged as “normalization.” FLCL describes how this development can really take the excitement out of life, and cause everyone to “grow up too soon.”
The characters are similar to the story in that at first they seem fairly east to read, but gradually reveal significantly more depth. Virtually all are unique and interesting in and of them selves, but as with all great stories, it’s the interrelationships that really set them apart from one another. The relationship between Naota and Haruko seems to change every time you think you finally have then figured out, and Mamimi and Naota’s father evolve significantly from seemingly two dimensional characters at the beginning to deep, rich characters by the end. And even the side characters such as Amarao force you to think about them… if Naota grew up physically without ever growing up emotionally, would he become Amarao? The characters constantly surprise you with their actions, but in the end, every action makes sense for the character that they really are.
The music by The Pillows is damned good, Furi Kuri has a lot of alternative in the atmosphere, and it’s fun watching characters fly around all over the screen as the bg music causes your head to bob.
FLCL is truly a masterpiece that’s not all that easy to understand or forgive. I don’t know exactly why I love it so much, I just do. I embarked on a journey and will never be the same person again, thanks to those 6 episodes of this amazing anime. If you were looking for a pure diamond in a pile of crap, you have defenately found it.