FLCL [2000]

An outrageous mixture of science-fiction action, mecha misadventures, sinister coporate plots, and broad slapstick comedy, FLCL ("Fooly Cooly") has been a fan favorite since the six-part OAV debuted in 2000. The four-disc Ultimate Edition includes all the episodes, an additional disc with music, a rock video, and poster art, plus a booklet, a rubber bracelet, and a postcard to send in for a free T-shirt. Things have been going badly for sixth-grader Naota since his older brother Tasuku left to play pro baseball in America. At the opening of the series, he complains, "Nothing amazing happens here. Only the ordinary." Then Haruko, a girl from outer space, charges in on her motor scooter and clobbers him with an electric guitar. Her arrival upsets Tasuku's old girlfriend Mamimi, who regards bugging Naota as her prerogative. The fragmentary plot quickly dissolves into a string of chaotic events involving the main characters, Naota's lecherous father and grandfather, and various mecha (which grow from horns on Naota's head). Looming over the town is the mysterious Medical Mechanica factory, which looks like a giant iron. The freewheeling nuttiness of FLCL helped set the pattern for Dokkoida?!, Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, and other reflexive comedies. The episodes feature references to everything from Doraemon and Gundam to South Park. The bold graphic style of the animation shifts radically from scene to scene, including two sequences done as manga pages. The extras include commentaries, outtakes, and storyboard comparisons. FLCL is a bizarre series that will delight otaku who value comedy and action over coherency. (Unrated, suitable for ages 14 and older: violence, risqué humor, brief nudity. tobacco use) --Charles Solomon

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