Tomo MuranakaMiyuki SawashiroMegumi HayashibaraFLCL
FLCL: Progressive
Episode 1 also reviewed here: Anime 1st episodes 2018: F
Medium: TV, series
Year: 2018
Director: Katsuyuki Motohiro
Writer: Hideto Iwai
Actor: Inori Minase, Jin Urayama, Jun Fukuyama, Kikuko Inoue, Kouji Ohkura, Masatomo Nakazawa, Megumi Hayashibara, Miyuki Sawashiro, Reiko Suzuki, Takayuki Sugo, Tomo Muranaka, Tomoyo Kurosawa
Keywords: FLCL, anime, SF
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Format: 6 episodes
Url: https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=19820
Website category: Anime 2018
Review date: 27 July 2020
FLCL 2018 sequels
The original FLCL (from 2000) was a big deal in anime. It was by Gainax and it was Very Very Anime, at a time when we'd seen less of that kind of thing. It's basically a big box of mental, but also with subtext, metaphor and emotional weight. People still remember it today.
This is one of two 2018 sequels. I thought it was pretty much a waste of time.
Its main problem, I think, is that it's not really achieving anything beyond, "Look at me, I'm FLCL!" It's built around crazy anime stuff, which is okay up to a point but is ultimately just eye candy... and if you've seen FLCL, it's not far off what you're expecting.
I'd have loved it had it been harnessed to a strong (or even functional) story, though. Magical flowerpots, spirit forms that can catch a falling car, the multiple apocalypses, the things that grow from people's heads, girls who turn into TV receivers, the dodo who leads a battle against petrifying alien goo sprayers... I can't say this show hasn't ticked the Whacked Out Mental Imagery box.
Unfortunately, here's a plot synopsis:
Hidomi Hibajiri is emotionally repressed and her classmate fancies her, but is deeply unlikeable in ep.1. Mental stuff happens. Haruko, zombies, don't take off the headphones. Oh, look, personality change. Haruko vs. Humourless Maid. Dehydrated boys who float away like balloons when reinflated. Spectacular ending. Oh.
The characters do get emotional material, but its connection to the plot is unclear. Hidomi's conversation with her mother in ep.6 about Dad and closing the cafe for instance... it clearly means something to the characters, but it's not plugged into the story we've been watching. Ditto for Aiko, even though she's one of the show's two worthwhile characters. (Goro and Aiko were boyfriend and girlfriend in ep.3, to the astonishment of Goro's friends. Their B-plot is a bit of actual story amid the noise and splashy spectacle of the rest of FLCL Progressive.)
I've heard that people who watch all the FLCLs together have a better opinion of Progressive. Well, this is a sequel and presumably there are story links.
I just don't think it works. It's a dead, holllow attempt at FLCLness. Every episode will, at some point, go completely hatstand... and that's pretty much it for reasons to watch this thing. Haruko does, in fairness, feel as if she's plugged into what's going on, but almost everyone else is a bystander. Sometimes an action-packed bystander, yes, but still being washed over by the story (such as it is) rather than part of it and shaping it.
I did like Aiko and Goro, though.