Welcome back to First Time Classics! My impression series of well known, respected, or otherwise “classic” anime that I am watching for the first time. In this edition I will be watching studio Gainax/Production IG’s 2000-2001 production of FLCL!

Now if any of you out there are follow me/ this series closely you will notice I have changed the format. For the sake of my own sanity, and ability to do these posts I will henceforth not update these posts during viewing, but rather only post once I have completed the series. My impressions will however keep the original formatting for now, with partial updates throughout my first viewing. The difference being that I won’t be release it until I’m done.


So.... What I know Going in:

  • Made by Gainax/Production IG in 2000
  • Is a complete mindbender

And that’s it really… this is probably the most blindly I’ve started an FTC show to date. I know it’s considered good, and crazy, but besides the picture on Funimation’s website I know next to nothing on this series, so… this will be fun. Oh and I’ll be watching the English dub for what that’s worth.

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Someone’s Missing a Brain- Episodes 1-3:

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What? Umm... What the hell just happened? Okay first things first, this show is weird, I mean extraordinarily weird. The first episode especially seemed like a mishmash of random stuff that just seems to happen for no explainable reason. I mean we have a elementary school kid having robots grow out of his brain, something about the new golden factory that looks like a giant iron, a supposed alien girl with a guitar and a violent streak. Its really just a lot to take in.

If I had to call it something, The best name I got for it right now would be a “Gag Drama.” Basically a plot focused action show except that all the scenes are filmed separately as a gag skit, each with their own visual style and joke. And really, the one great thing about this show is the animation. Those slow motion flying shots are absolutely spectacular, while the rest were interesting, though like the story, it sometimes feels like stuff is just being thrown on screen just because they can.

I’m glad that episodes two and three seemed to be more thematically consistent internally than the first episode, with three (the cat-ear episode) feeling like the most traditionally paced episode so far, and therefore probably the most enjoyable. It was surprising to find that the mayor’s daughter had a more significant role, and it’s given me hope that this series might be able to tie up its various plot lines together by the end, even if it’s just as likely to do nothing and leave me confused. But that’s it for now… onto the next episodes!

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Who cares about Fooly Cooly Anyways? - Episodes 4-6

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Alright I’m back from having completed all of FLCL, and well I’m still finding it difficult to describe. I mean, if you found FLCL dull than you must find anything less random than Inferno Cop to be unbearably boring. I will say that by the time I had got to this second half I was much more acclimatized to the drastic shifts in focus episode to episode, and was overall much more able to appreciate its style.

I would probably still complain that in comparison to the latter half, the beginning episodes, and especially the first episode to be a convoluted and confusing mess. Yes, in retrospect they make sense now, but FLCL really never had a good introduction to it’s craziness, preferring to throw you in the deep end, making you to either sink and drop it or swim on through. The thematic blocks of the coming of age story line were certainly there at the beginning, and tied up satisfactorily by the end. However I still feel that it was a little too random to start. Its hard to tell if the insanity actually was less crazy in later episodes, of if the small story points we got in the intervening time simply made it more palatable.

In some ways it feels like Blood Blockade Battlefront, in terms of using odd visuals for the sake of being weird. Though in BBB’s case it was usually in composition, while FLCL tried tons of various character and composition styles (including a strange South Park reference in episode five). However, what it really felt like to me was the end episodes of Evangelion (which is not all that surprising being Gainax) but simply in a completely different style with widely different themes. And like Evangelion, I find it very hard to place in terms of quality. I mean it’s interesting, it’s strange, and it has bare-bones plot points that you are more or less forced to accept because that’s what you’re told and move on. It’s sometimes thematically poignant, but also just structurally confusing. All of this making FLCL something that’s almost hard to compare at all, it’s just FLCL.

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Just to cap this off since this show has left all semblance of order behind, I will end with some quick High and low points.

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Highs:

  • Robot dude- He was probably the most sane person of the cast, I liked him a lot!
  • The Animation- again, really inconsistent but really well done.
  • The Action Scenes- great to watch.
  • The Creators- cause how else do you make this show in a sane frame of mind.

Lows:

  • Is that a sixth grader in a love triangle with an adult and a High schooler?
  • Trying to think of ways to describe this show.

Thanks for reading, Please comment below on your thoughts on FLCL. Do you Love it? Hate it? And if you have suggestions of what you want to see from this series, feel free to comment below. Also feel free to spoil away, As I am no longer doing partial updates.

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If you· want to see my previous FTC posts you can find them here: Ghost in the Shell (1995), Cowboy Bebop, End of Eva