The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials


Title: FLCL
Company: Gainax
Genre: Action/Comedy
Format: 6 OVA
Dates: 26 Apr 2000 – 16 Mar 2001

Synopsis: Naota is your normal sixth grader who lives in the city of Mabase, a city in which nothing ever changes. That is until he runs into Haruko, an electric bass toting, vespa riding alien. With a quick swing of the bass to Naota’s head, his whole world is turned upside down as new things seem to keeping popping out of his cranium.

The Highlights
OST: Unforgettable.
Animation: Stylish and beautiful.
Pace: Never takes a break.
Seiyuu: Excellent.
Theme: Left open for interpretation.
Characters: Deep and interesting.

Get ready to scratch your head and say, “huh?” as this is one brain teaser that will take more than one viewing to understand thoroughly. FLCL is amazingly addictive as its “knows no boundaries” attitude takes you for a ride down one of the biggest roller coasters there are.

If I could choose just two words to describe the music in FLCL it be “so wicked.” The Pillows give a knockout performance here, making one of the best original soundtracks ever in anime. The beautiful guitar riffs melodically combined with the smooth vocals of lead singer Sawao help to set the tone for the entire series. My favorite song on this or any other soundtrack is “Hybrid Rainbow” as it was both beautiful and emotional. “Hybrid Rainbow” and the other songs make the soundtrack undeniably unforgettable. Even the vocals for FLCL is magnificent as one of the most talented seiyuu casts is up to the task of giving each character his/her voice. They succeed. Emotions are injected into each character by the voice actors with great success and brilliance.

Once FLCL gets going the insanity never seems to stop. The action is delightfully choreographed and the comedy is bust-a-gut funny. It has enough comedy for fans of comedy and enough action for fans of action. Any way you want it, FLCL will put a smile on your face. Make sure you can keep up with the lightning-fast pace, though, which combines with the action scenes to make for an intense session of flashing lights and unrelenting bombardments of imagery. It could be too overwhelming, be warned.

Animation in FLCL is stylish and cool, one of the best I have seen. With vivid colors and fabulously stylish character designs, the animation never gets old. Every episode is different from the rest and have its own distinct style; nothing ever seems to stay the same. There are even some scenes where FLCL turns away from anime and becomes more of an animated manga. You never see the same animation style twice, and each of these unique animation styles is done flawlessly. Yet maybe you wouldn’t like the constant changes in styles.

Now, FLCL is not all about the glitz and glamour of good animation and pretty music. The real gem of this series is the great characters. From the loud and flamboyant Haruko to the more reserved Naota, each character has his/her own personality and feels alive; their ambitions, their secrets, their situations and their reactions to those situations all reflect a level of realism found in average people like you and me. That’s what I consider great characters, but perhaps you don’t.

FLCL’s only weakness is that it is left to the interpretation of its audience; there’s so much going on, subliminally and overtly, that it’s hard to make sense of it as a whole. I’m not one of the people who would complain about such things, but there are plenty of people who enjoy more definite themes, or to be more general, a more definite anime. FLCL is a flurry of ideas and pictures and sounds. It may be too sporadic or too different to suit everyone’s palette. Nonetheless, it is one of the best anime out there and I would gladly recommend it to anyone–anyone who can handle it.

The Rating: 10

Reviewed by: DarkKanti

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