‘FLCL’ (Fooly Cooly フリクリ) was quite a unique anime experience. If you were a teenage nerd in the mid-2000s you were probably watching Cartoon Network’s ‘Adult Swim’. They debuted a lot of new anime to America. There is no doubt that one of the most interesting, unique, and mind boggling of these anime series was FLCL. It had a very short run, and then ended. Now, many fans are happy to hear that it is finally returning!
Asking “What is FLCL” is like asking what is Munch’s famous painting ‘The Scream’. FLCL is very surrealistic, never takes itself seriously, is super over-sexualized, and deals with a lot of deep themes. Simply put, FLCL follows the story of 12-year-old Naota who lives with his widowed father and grandfather. He feels generally lost in his small fictional town of Mabase after his older brother moves away for work. He is a loner and very moody. Suddenly he is hit by a crazy woman on a Vespa scooter who gives him CPR and then hits him on the head with a guitar, opening a portal (in his head) that releases monsters and robots. Does this sound crazy? It sure does. In the best way.
FLCL lasts for only 6 episodes, but each one is so packed full of great jokes, gags, action, and incredible animation that I was sure that it should have been at least 12 or more episodes. It was also incredibly influential in America. Hit TV animation ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ took a lot of inspiration from FLCL. When they started developing Avatar, the creator had all the animators buy FLCL and study it on their own.
FLCL is uniquely Japanese. A lot of it is about puberty, and the feelings of insecurity and sexual frustration that puberty brings. These are themes that are often ignored in American media but are more commonly opened up about in Japan. I remember how my mom watched part of an episode with me and grabbed the remote, turned off the TV, and shouted, “This is perverted!” And stormed out of the room. Was it perverted? Yeah, but that is how 12-year-old boys are. It is never pornographic, it is very over-the-top in every aspect, but I think that is because that is how 12-year- old boys feel. Everything is extreme to them. The story of FLCL is really of a boy growing into a man and conquering his own shifting feelings and insecurities.
Late last year Production I.G and Adult Swim announced they were partnering to produce and develop a sequel series to the original. More recently, original character designer Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, who has worked for other classics such as ‘Evangelion’, and ‘Wolf Children’, announced that he will also be returning to work on the next season. Furthermore, Japanese rock group ‘The Pillows’ will return to score the show.
While no premiere date has yet been announced, the show is expected to start sometime in 2017. If you have never seen this incredibly interesting show, please go check it out. I guarantee that you have never seen anything like this!