FLCL Progressive: It’s Wacky But Is It Worth Your Time?

by Tito W. James

FLCL also known as Fooly Cooly is an anime OVA from 2001. The series returns seventeen years later with two new seasons entitled FLCL: Progressive and FLCL: Alternative. The new series is a soft re-boot, keeping the core premise but updating the characters and aesthetics to match contemporary audiences. I tried watching the original four times but just couldn’t get into it. So as a new viewer to the series– Is FLCL: Progressive accessible and worth watching?

The plot is a hot mess and shouldn’t be taken seriously. The premise is about an alien woman on a vespa who tries to harness the power of puberty to capture an intergalactic phoenix or something. Any time a character gets aroused, a phallic devil horn pops out of its head that eventually morphs into robot-armor because…Japan.

FLCL: Progressive has a wonderful cast of hilarious characters. Haruko in particular, is a joy to watch because she does the exact opposite of what a rational human being would do. But what can you expect from a sex-crazed alien? The human characters are accurate satires of today’s youth but can also inspire our empathy. The creators also appear to be taking the “progressive” title seriously as we are treated to a more multicultural vision of Japan than we usually see depicted.

While I don’t think this new series will have as much of a cultural impact as when the original first aired, I can say that I prefer FLCL for its characters and art. It’s a very entertaining and enjoyable watch. Considering how “meh” the rest of this summer’s anime appear to be, a fun, new show with awesome characters is enough. I’ll be looking forward to FLCL: Alternative this September.

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