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[R2 (European) DVD box art]
AKA: フリクリ (Japanese), Furi Kuri, Furikuri, Fooly Cooly
Genre: Acid trip soap opera (with added explosions)
Length: OAV, 6 episodes, 30 minutes each
Distributor: Currently licensed by FUNimation
Content Rating: PG-13 (violence, innuendo, fan service, general insanity)
Related Series: N/A
Also Recommended: His and Her Circumstances, Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi
Notes: Editor's Note: The initial draft of this review was written at Partial status (2/6). The reviewer has since viewed the entirety of the series, but has not changed his opinion, so the review stands. However, some minor edits have been made to reflect this.

A manga with a very different art style, also named FLCL and written/illustrated by Hajime Ueda, was licensed by TOKYOPOP prior to their American branch shutting down.
Rating:
 

FLCL

Synopsis

Okay ... you see, there's this kid, Naota, and he's your average schoolboy. (Why do Gainax leading men have to look and act like Shinji lately? Is he trendy?) And there's Mamimi, a girl who used to like Naota's brother. Then he meets this lady named Haruka who has a habit of running people over with her moped ... and the rest I can't say because I'll be giving too much away, but let me tell you this: do NOT expect a coherent anime. (Gainax does have a habit of going off on a tangent with their shows.)

Review

Okay, the animation quality is great. CG quality actually looks good in some scenes (it seems trendy nowadays to pause a picture, turn it around a bit in a 3D-type motion, and unpause it - you've seen it in commercials, and here it is in anime).

But the plot! (Or lack thereof.) It's ... well ... a quick summary would be "Twisted Metal meets Plymptoons meets a soap opera". And the love aspect seems artificial ... if Naota's brother had never existed, there would be no reason for Mamimi to be in this anime supporting him (is she really?) Then there's Haruka, an alien, but don't be expecting Lum now! She carries around an electric guitar (what, is it trendy to have them now?) that sounds more like an electric saw for some reason. She also has some VERY flawed logic - one does not apply mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on someone who just got nailed by a moped, then proceed to smack the victim on the head with a guitar as they stir.

Well, as if the unsympathetic characters weren't bad enough, there's even more flawed physics and utter nonsense (why, oh why is Gainax so obsessed with apocalyptic themes and "cool looking mecha"? Is it trendy?). And to turn a Japanese street-punk soap opera into a sentai show midway seems ... well ... indecisive! Which audience are they trying to capture? The shoujo fans, or the "Yeah, let's see blood and guts and mecha" fans? Make up your minds! Now, mecha sprouting from a horn growing off of a lump on someone's forehead??? (Are they nuts? Or is it that the animators are turning more and more to drugs for inspiration?)

This anime's main purpose seems to be to showcase the Japanese punk rock band du jour (The Pillows), and to bewilder the viewer while they're at it. My guess is that they tried to combine the soap opera sweetness of KareKano and the cool mecha and futuristic look of Evangelion in hopes of appealing to both. But the result, Furi Kuri (which, incidentally, means "to fondle someone's butt" in slang Japanese), reveals that they're incompatible.

(Why do they come up with such names for their anime recently? First KareKano, now FuriKuri...I expect the next Gainax anime to be called ChumbaWamba - oh, wait, that's taken. Must be trendy.)

Only the animation style, which reminds me of Bill Plympton's cartoons (which I'd rather watch anyday!), is the saving grace of this anime. Perhaps I simply don't get the symbolism this anime may be trying to administer during the thirty minutes it's on ... much the same way as I don't get WWF or WCW wrestling ... or maybe Gainax should be more straightforward in the future. (But symbolism is trendy, I suppose.)

This anime DOES leaves room for questions, and for a diversity of opinions from its viewers, too. However...

Hey, the animation was kinda cool. But I like meat AND potatoes, not just potatoes. Eric Gaede

Recommended Audience: Classic flip-skirt fan service in a couple of spots ... mecha getting ripped to shreds ... some discussion of adult themes and occasional lechery ... nothing else of truly objectionable taste.



Version(s) Viewed: Prerelease fansub; R1 DVD
Review Status: Full (6/6)
FLCL © 1999 Studio Gainax