Hello, this is 0215MADman here to give you my review on one of the most famous OVA of all time. The millennium anime itself: FLCL. Premiering in 2000, FLCL (pronounced Fooly Cooly but no one’s stopping you from calling it FLCL) quickly became a cult phenomenon. How did it become one in North America? Simple: [adult swim] aired it in full, like, 30 times over the past 13 years. So let’s see what made this 6 part OVA really shine!
Now first let’s look at the story. A boy by the name of Naota Nandaba is living in a city called Mabase. His brother, who plays baseball, has been transferred to America. As a result, his brother’s ex-girlfriend gravitates towards Naota, the next best thing. Which is a little creepy considering the age difference. Life is pretty boring. That is, until a crazy lunatic girl from outer space runs over him on her moped and smashes him on the head with her guitar!!! And now, Naota must live through puberty with said girl living with him as their maid. Also, giant robots come out of his head. No big deal.
It never goes upfront and says it, but this entire show is an obvious metaphor for puberty. A damn good one too, in fact. Puberty IS kinda like getting hit in the head with a guitar. Hits you when you least expect it (after getting run over) and life is never the same afterwards (the giant robots). But I’m not here to lecture you on that, because everyone has done that at this point. I’d rather look at it from a first timer’s perspective rather than a fifty-first timer’s perspective So let’s get into what I like the most about this 6 part OVA: the presentation.
First, the animation. This is what kept me around until the end. Because when it gets good, it gets REALLY FUCKING GOOD.
The action scenes are absolutely fantastic. Kazuya Tsurumaki and the teams at both Gainax and Production I.G. put a lot of effort into this and it shows immensely. The English dub voice acting is…okay. The actors are good, but sometimes, especially at the beginning, I was not a big fan. I grew to like them, especially Haruko, but for FLCL 2 & 3, I won’t be all like “Oh, the original actors HAVE to come back because IT’S NOT FLCL WITHOUT THEM HUUURRGG” no, if the originals don’t come back, maybe they declined and found better ones, who knows?
On the contrary, we have the music, which is pretty much everyone’s favorite part. Including me.
I don’t think I love it enough to buy the soundtrack, but if it’s cheap, hell yeah I’ll buy it. It’s easily the most memorable part of the entire OVA. And for a damn good reason. In my opinion, the music for a piece of media is as, if not more, important than the product itself. Basically, you want your audience to remember at least the tune to describe your product. A bad tune can leave a sour taste in people’s mouth. If you have a forgettable tune, you have to make the rest of your product stand out. But if you have an outstanding tune that blends well into the product, you’ve grabbed your audience’s attention and you need to keep them afloat with the rest of it. FLCL does this perfectly. Have another song from The Pillows, who thankfully, are coming back for round 2. And 3.
FLCL is not something that’s supposed to be taken seriously if you couldn’t tell by now. Being an OVA, they could’ve technically done whatever the hell they wanted. I mean, why not? It’s not gonna air on TV. Even still, I think they made the right choice not to just add titties just for the sake of having titties. Shock humor to me isn’t just something randomly gory or sexy. Shock humor is when something is randomly gory or sexy without a good reason/joke. Splattering someone’s face isn’t comedy. But with added context and saying something like “Aw man, I missed the wrong side of the brain” can make it funny. Why am I telling you all this? Because if left in the wrong hands, that might’ve been what FLCL would’ve become. Just mindless sex and violence with a constant “He’s going through puberty FEEL SOME FEEELS” and it would have become boring fast. FLCL knows what its strengths are and exercises them. The action is fast and well-paced (the spider-thing from Episode 3 is probably my favorite), the comedy, when it hits, hits very hard and very well, the music is straight-up legendary and you can see why this is one of the most beloved anime ever. Should you watch it in one sitting? While extremely possible, clocking in at 2 ½ hours, I don’t think it should be seen like that. I think it’s best seen one episode at a time. Regardless, FLCL is great. See it if you haven’t already.
Final Rating: 9 out of 10
FLCL is available on DVD and Blu Ray. The links below are from Amazon.
FLCL is available to stream on Hulu, iTunes, and FUNimation’s website.
FUNimation (although at the time of this writing, the episodes are pretty much just a Hulu embed): http://www.funimation.com/shows/flcl/home