High school for a lot of teenagers had its’ high and low points. You made great friends, you got bad cases of acne, and you couldn’t muster up the courage to ask Tiffany to the Junior Prom. High school is full of drama, but did you ever have to deal with giant robots, insane bounty hunters, and weird things coming out of your forehead? That’s just a small take of what a teenage kid named Naota deals with in “Fooly Cooly (FLCL): The Complete Series.”
“FLCL” revolves around the life and times of Naota, a teen living in in the city of Mabase. Along with his perverted manga drawing father, confused grandfather, and a high school truant named Mamiki, Naota’s seemingly normal life is interrupted by the arrival of Haruko Haruhara, an extraterrestrial investigator for the Galactic Space Police Brotherhood. Haruko bursts onto the scene by running Naota over with her scooter, then after giving him CPR, she nails him on the head with a blue vintage Rickenbacker 4001 electric bass guitar. If that didn’t make his day, Naota, who somehow survived getting ran over and struck in the head with a guitar, returns home to find that Haruko is not only living with his family as their live-in maid, but is using that as a cover while working to find Atomsk, the most powerful space pirate in the galaxy.
After this shocking revelation, giant robots begin to come out of Naota’s head and cause more problems for our hero. The reason for this is because Naota’s head is the only one that can create a passageway for the robots. Haruko, fully aware of this, uses Naota’s head to search not only for Atomsk, but also do battle with Medical Mechanica, the monolithic industrial corporation responsible for the robots coming out of Naota’s head. At the same time, Naota is being watched by Commander Amarao, who believes that Medical Mechanica is out to conquer the galaxy. Put all of that together and you see Naota caught in a three-way dance between Haruko, Amarao and Medical Mechanica.
Aside from all of this, there is also a cavalcade of events going on, including a factory that looks like a giant steam iron with no doors for people to get in, a robot with a halo attached to its’ computer screen head who Mamiki believes is a god, and the creepiest of all, Amarao’s living eyebrows which are way too big for a normal human head. A lot to take in, and yes, it will have you pausing for a second look.
“FLCL” is packed with obscure references to not only classic movies and animé, like “The Matrix” and Lupin the Third,” but even attempts to throw in tributes to American cartoons like “South Park.” If you enjoy a show with great replay value and over-the-top antics, make sure to check out “FLCL.”