Naota is a 12 year old kid that lives what he considers a boring life in the ordinary town of Mabase. About the only thing that's noteworthy is the unusual Medical Meccanica plant on the hill nearby that's shaped like an iron. Naota's life was about to get shaken up however, when he gets run over by a scooter, then clobbered on the head by the driver with her bass before driving off. That's a lot for most people handle, but finding out that this crazy girl is also now a maid at his house, will be his roommate, and claims to be an alien is just too much.
That's when Naota grows a big horn on his forehead. While he hides it with bandages at first, it keeps getting bigger and bigger until finally... two robots emerge from his head, and battle it out. The victor doesn't seem like a bad guy (for a robot) and is helpful around the house, but Naota is really starting to wonder just what is going on around here...
Naota getting clubbed over the head with a bass by Haruko is actually a pretty good metaphor for what I thought about this anime. It's unusual, came out of no where and I wasn't sure if it was cool or painful, but either way it left me dazed and unsure of what just happened. Wackyness aside this title actually has a few other interesting things about it as well.
The artistic design style of this show is one of its stronger points. I don't use the term unique often, but this show definitely has a unique style to it that is beautiful and shows a painstaking level of detail put into it. Screen shots of FLCL look like they could have been taken strait out of an art book.
The music is another interesting point. Through the entire show, the soundtrack was laid down by rock band called The Pillows. I'm guessing that this would be a plus for people into 'alternative rock' type of music, but as it isn't my thing it was more like I was trying to watch anime while a noisy neighbor insisted on blasting alternative rock next door. The main drawback of the music done this way is that the show never felt like it changed its mood at all - but perhaps that was intentional.
Ok, so aside from all that... what is FLCL? I've watched the entire thing and I still don't know. There's comedy, action, some stuff that seems similar to drama (but isn't really). It is totally crazy though. It took me a while to get into it because I just couldn't grasp what was going on, but eventually I decided to stop trying to figure anything out and just went wherever the show took me and that's when I started to enjoy it. Just sit back and enjoy the stuff that's cool and don't worry about the story which... if there is one is probably beyond comprehension anyway. That is however asking a lot of the viewer; to turn off their brain not because it's dumb, but because this show is intentionally that weird.
FLCL is a fun adventure, but having no story with a level of insanity that is a lot even by hardcore anime standards, makes this show best suited for those who are seasoned anime fans. The art alone makes it worth watching, and the rock music can also be considered a draw for some. Sill it's hard to recommend this title since it can so easily alienate people, but I guess it's best summarized by "crazy with no plot". As a bass player I also must admit I have a soft spot for an anime that features a girl who beats the crap out of people with her bass - and has good taste with that Rickenbacker.
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reviewed by archen in 2010