avatarFLCL 🎸

52; 12022 H.E.

One time I heard someone describe FLCL as a fever dream of an anime. I think this reaction is justified, yet it doesn’t do it the complete honor it deserves. FLCL is the most unique and thrilling anime I have ever seen. Not only by its animation style choice, not only by its plot, not only by the ideas it’s evoking, but with the combination of everything listed and more, it creates something truly extraordinary.

My close friends know that I have a weak spot for GAINAX and TRIGGER works, especially anything that Hiroyuki Imaishi touches. This one is no exception. It’s a bit of an old show, the same year I was born, the wild 2000. It’s freely accessible on youtube. There are only six 20-minute-long episodes, so it would be blasphemous of you not to watch them. This post will be a little different because the show is so short yet incredibly dense; I’ll be making quick comments on my favorite parts and linking other essays that will better explain the core of Fooly Cooly.


FLCL is furiously fast-paced, unapologetic in what it is trying to do, and most of all, it is also highly experimental. Everything from the art style, and creative design choices, to voice acting and character-building is something you would not witness anywhere else, not even close. FLCL is accompanied by fabulous The Pillows, whose songs go so hard that it almost feels like they came from outer space. Please give the one below a good listen.

Have you ever seen a scene animated as if it were a manga? I’m not talking about Yakuza Turned Housewife, a PowerPoint with voice-over. I’m talking about a fully dynamic scene where the camera actively pans from one part of the manga page to another. The manga itself is animated and truly brought to life. It takes creativity and courage to show such a scene to your audience.

This is the best I can put when typing this late at night, just because I felt I had to write about it. Inexplicably, no matter how crazy the plot is, how little we know about anything that’s happening in front of our eyes, or how more and more surreal the feelings get, FLCL accomplishes brilliantly at reducing the emotional friction between you and the show’s atmosphere to something very close to nil. It absorbs you into its world and commitment to its belief while keeping you energetically warm and excited for what comes next.

Haruko Haruhara
Haruko Haruhara

Fooly Cooly is a coming-of-age story. Accept yourself and your life, take responsibility for your actions, stop whining about life, and instead live it with everything you are given at the moment. You may consider all the characters as little kids who can’t show you anything worthy of your attention, which would be your first mistake and prove that the above claim doesn’t hold.

If someone tells me Mamimi is their favorite character, or any character from FLCL at that point, I would immediately know they do be real for that. There is something so genuine about our characters’ problems, desires, and conflicts, such that it may seem all too boring or naive for a regular modern viewer. I would dare to say that people making those claims lack a soul’s subtlety and emotional harmony to notice thin yet thrilling currents flowing in and out.

Hiding in Public has produced one of the platform’s best anime video essays I have ever seen. Highly recommend watching his The Lie of Relationships in FLCL, and They’re Fake. It goes over some of the main topics very well, to the point that I would instead not paraphrase his thoughts into my own; better watch and enjoy the source. Thank you for keeping up with me on this absurd post I wrote while falling asleep. I wish people could enjoy FLCL for what it is, embrace all the drugs it’s on, and truly become a Fooly Cooly connoisseur. ◼︎