Anime can be pretty weird -- just look at series like "Paranoia Agent" and "Boogiepop Phantom." Really weird, sometimes impossible to totally understand.
But for sheer strangeness and kookiness, the winner has got to be "Fooly Cooly (FLCL)." Even as it pokes fun at typical anime, it tells the surrealist story of a very odd coming-of-age, complete with strange plots, oddball characters, and robots sprouting out of a young boy's head.
Naota is a young boy living what he sees as an oppressively dull existance, in a quiet city dominated by the Medical Mechanica building. The closest thing to excitement is fending off the advances of his brother's troubled girlfriend Mamimi.
Then sudenly a girl on a Vespa runs him over, resuscitates him with a smooch, and then bashes him over the head with a bass guitar. That evening, Naota finds that instead of a bump, he has a horn growing out of his head, and no idea what it is or how to get rid of it.
Despite his efforts to avoid her, Naoto's kooky father has hired the crazy Vespa girl, Haruko, as a housekeeper. To make matters worse, his "horn" turns out to be a robot and a giant mechanical hand -- springing out of a channel in his head. And you thought YOU had problems.
The five episodes that follow don't get any more normal, as Naota must deal with the Mayor's daughter getting his strange power, cat ears, more robots, baseball, bombs, the Pirate King Atomsk, seaweed eyebrows, and the interplanetary Medical Mechanica which may or may not be intent on galactic domination. It all clashes in the final episode.
For newbies, "FLCL" is probably the WORST anime to start with. It's a parodic mishmash of anime in-jokes -- giant robots, fanservice, boy falls for kooky abusive alien girl -- and a storyline that is bizarre to the point where you may not be able to understand what's going on. But oh, is it a fun ride.
As if the plot weren't hyperactive enough, the animation is exaggerated and crazy, full of distorted faces and wild robot battles. Lots of action and overdramatic dialogue ("OH NO.... OOOOOOOOO... an American GIRLFRIEND!"). As if it weren't funny enough, the director sprinkles in homages to other shows, ranging from other anime to "South Park."
And the characters are as bizarre as the story itself. Naoto starts off as a typical bored preteen, but slowly gains confidence and guts as he gets immersed in the weirdness. Haruko is a completely off-the-wall kook who is apparently an alien. And there's a bunch of other weird characters -- troubled pyromaniacs, wistful robots, preteen pervs, and a guy from Interstellar Immigration.
"FLCL" is perhaps the strangest anime in existance. It's also enough to blow the top off of your head, with the strange characters and wildly surrealist plot. Fooly Cooly!
on 22 October 2015
a classic anime from japan. isn't hurt that much by the age of terrible english dubbing, the series itself is just "one of those" you'd be recommended if you decide your into this stuff, and this is the best quality you'd get from something that hasn't been "remastered" since the 90's/early 00's so all the video is in 4:3. it does lose points though for not having alot of content on the disc. the series is 6 episodes and there's not much extras
on 24 April 2015
I'll get the negatives out of the way; this series was made in the late 90's and for some reason was only made in 4:3 aspect ratio (maybe as it was cheaper to make for TV). Therefore, there is no option to change aspect ratio, a fact which isn't made clear from the Amazon listing or the packaging. The other negative is that the series is very short, only 6 episodes. Despite all of that, it is still definitely worth a purchase for anyone who is a fan of the quirkier side of anime, especially those who look for top quality animation.
I bought this as an animator and fan of Gainax (and IG) with the view to using it for study, but unexpectedly found myself drawn into the story, characters and aesthetic of the series. There are some great comedic moments and truly awesome battle sequences. The series flows effortlessly and is a joy to watch. Due to the length of the series, there are no filler episodes. This gives the series a sense of purpose and strong narrative.
Overall, despite the series being short, it is crammed full of great content (especially from an animator's viewpoint). It is great fun to watch and I would place it very highly amongst the other big series in anime. If only it had been made in 16:9...