Naota Nandaba is an ordinary sixth grader living in a city where nothing amazing ever seems to happen. After his brother Tasuku leaves town to play baseball in America, Naota takes it upon himself to look after everything Tasuku left behind—from his top bunk bed to his ex-girlfriend Mamimi Samejima, who hasn’t stopped clinging to Naota since Tasuku left. Little does Naota know, however, that his mundane existence is on the verge of being changed forever: enter Haruko Haruhara, a Vespa-riding, bass guitar-wielding, pink-haired psychopath whose first encounter with Naota leaves him with tire tracks on his back and a giant horn on his head. Though all he wants is some peace and quiet, when Haruko takes up residence at his parents’ home, Naota finds himself dragged into the heart of the greatest battle for supremacy that Earth—and quite possibly the entire universe—has ever seen. – My Anime List
Based on 21 review scores:
The Nihon Review
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.
Anime News Network
FLCL is entertaining. Not even a simple meal at a table can happen without thoughtful portrayal. It’s also a show that seldom skimps on detail: Haruko isn’t left-handed by accident, and anime references slip past with unusual subtlety. Maybe most viewers will never notice the string of connections, but the very fact that the writing staff have paid mind to them has resulted in a staggering level of consistency hidden below the surface of such a randomised, schizophrenic appearance.
The only bad thing I can really say is that this show isn’t for everyone, although it’s so profound that even if you dislike it I’m sure you won’t deny that it was worth watching. It’s going to mean something different to everyone, as it asks you to identify with it in a very personal way. And if you don’t understand it then you probably won’t like it. But all of the best things don’t appeal to everyone, if they did they’d be boring and generic. FLCL may divide opinion, but it does so because it’s worthy of discussion. It does so because it asks a lot of you, and gives so much back in return.
FLCL is studio Gainax and Production I.G.’s merged anime masterpiece. Completed in 1999, the animation cinematography, especially foreshortening perspectives during action sequences, was far ahead of its time. Utilizing and blending CG ingeniously, characters spin in Matrix fashion, creating scenes both hilarious and mesmerizing. Despite Haruko’s pink hair and tendency to flip vehicles like toys, much of the human character designs and background veer toward realistic. This cleverly opposes and enhances the physics-defying action. As good as the music, characters and story are for FLCL, the animation visuals are for me the standout quality.
Long Jon Bronze
What is Fooly Cooly? No idea. Or more accurately, there aren’t any words for something that has never been created before, there isn’t anything else like FLCL. Never has been, never will.
The Visual Medium
FLCL, with its multitude of homages and copying styles from various anime, is an anime made out of anime. It is everything an anime series has been, could be, and should be. And yet, it is something unlike any other anime I have ever seen. It contains many cliches, and yet defies convention. Truly a classic piece of animation.
Anarchy In The Galaxy
FLCL does an magnificent job of setting itself apart from the rest of the crowd. Far too often an anime will attempt to parody other series and end up throwing the story off course. FLCL manages to keep things on track, while still maintaining a heaping helping of action and humor. Though it is a short six episodes long, FLCL is one of the best anime of the decade and a major accomplishment for something that was more or less an experiment on Gainax’s part.
Overall, as a classic slapstick OVA FLCL has remained a fun experience. The picture is sharper, the sound is crystal clear and the goofy antics remain full of both foolishness and coolness. The new Blu-ray delivers in spades and is definitely the best way to enjoy this evergreen masterpiece.
The Anime Review
I can’t give FLCL a “must see” rating. This isn’t because the show’s not stunning or witty or funny. It is. It’s not that it’s not a personal favorite–the more I think about it, the more it’s becoming one. It’s because great anime goes beyond fancy visuals and quirky happenings. Great anime evoke an emotional response–exhilaration, loss, hope–something beyond pen and ink and paint. FLCL will spark, for the most part, confusion. The casual viewer will throw it aside. Art critics might disagree with me, but great art has to be accessible, even if its purpose is to shock…you can’t reach a viewer even to stun them if the viewer just can’t understand. Here, the experience is the thing, and I had a smile at the end of each episode of FLCL. But understanding? Good luck.
I generally tend to enjoy anime series that are built on randomness, but I was shocked at just how much I enjoyed FLCL. It takes the formula of inanity (if there is one), and adds a surprising amount of narrative depth to it. Add in the production values of Production I.G. and Gainax, and everything about it is just a treat. If random comedy wears you out, then certainly avoid it; for everybody else, just sit back and enjoy the ride. Highly recommended.
If you’ve never watched this series you’ve probably at least heard of it. There’s few ways to overstate how important this anime is to a generation of fans and hopefully, with the recently announced sequels (yup, multiple!) in the works by Production I.G. and Adult Swim (yes, that Adult Swim) it can become just as important for a whole new generation as well. Especially if they do it right.
Even over a decade later, FLCL remains a fresh, fascinating and fun viewing experience that every anime fan should partake in at least once.
It’s easy to write off FLCL as a ridiculous anime, no plot, no complex characterization, just visual flair and no depth– and to an extent that’s true– but you don’t have to look too hard to see that it’s not completely random and plotless. It’s about simple truths as well as intergalactic space conflict with robots. It strikes an excellent balance between silliness and sincerity. It might not be for everybody, but don’t be too quick to judge the series. It’s wild and batshit, but if you can handle that, it’s thought provoking and a hell of a lot of fun.
Let me just make it painfully clear again (in case there is any lingering doubt): this is one of the weirdest anime series you will ever see. It is also a surprisingly heartfelt series that manages to evoke many emotions with a plethora of themes (self discovery, growing up, and finding love). For many viewers it will manage to bring back fond memories of youth and for those who witness FLCL while actually close to the age of Naota the show will play to even better results. I was only 12 years old the first time I witnessed this delightfully crazy show. It had a profound impact on the rest of my life as both a landmark anime (one that helped to establish my devotion to the medium) and as a series which actually helped me through rough moments while growing up – it always reminded me that no matter how messed up things can become in this world that there is hope for tomorrow. That is no small feat for a short 6 episode long anime series to accomplish. Somehow it all just clicked in the right way and at the right time. I’m certain that this series will still have a profound impact on others; for those who have yet to experience the magic of FLCL.
Last Level Press
FLCL is one of those shows that remains fun to watch even after all these years. It’s strange, it’s surreal, it’s funny, and it’s even a bit tender at times. If you’re a budding fan of anime, this would be one of my top five recommendations for you to watch because this would be the very show that would come to mind if someone asked you to describe what an anime is: craziness with strange hair and odd characters. However, this might not be the sort of show you would want to get people interested in anime unless they specifically want something like this. And with the whole series complete in under three hours, you could watch this in a single afternoon or as a get-together with friends.
My Anime List
I can’t sing enough praise about FLCL. It holds a dear place in my heart, and I hope everyone that reads this can find a great enjoyment in it as well.
Sometimes, you just want to grab a bowl of popcorn, shut off your major brain functions and watch a comedy that will make you laugh out loud frequently. I sure as hell do.