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This Week in Anime - FLCL Returns in Two New Flavors




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Chrono1000



Joined: 05 Oct 2013
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:38 pm Reply with quote
While the idea that progressive means female is a tad predictable I am curious to see where the story goes with Hidomi. Progressive feels closer to the original show but at the same time it clearly was made for a western audience. The examination of gender, the western school setting, and the more grounded story is like Production I.G was told to make an anime specifically for Adult Swim. While the westernization of the story makes me wary of how it will portray masculinity the first episode was visually impressive.
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GDinn



Joined: 20 Dec 2017
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:52 pm Reply with quote
Pretty sure the Progressive and Alternative titles aren't about their current sociopolitical meanings, just Rock and Roll jokes, dude. Prog rock gets the seemingly moodier series, alt rock the softer one.
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Joshua Zarate
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Joined: 12 Jan 2017
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:17 pm Reply with quote
GDinn wrote:
Pretty sure the Progressive and Alternative titles aren't about their current sociopolitical meanings, just Rock and Roll jokes, dude. Prog rock gets the seemingly moodier series, alt rock the softer one.

I feel exactly the same way. I think that’s a pretty cool idea to use and the new stuff so far appears to fit this description so yeah.
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Shay Guy



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 1156
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 5:48 pm Reply with quote
GDinn wrote:
Pretty sure the Progressive and Alternative titles aren't about their current sociopolitical meanings, just Rock and Roll jokes, dude. Prog rock gets the seemingly moodier series, alt rock the softer one.


It can be both!

On that note, I'm pleased to see that the name "FLCL Classic" is catching on.
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FLCLGainax



Joined: 10 May 2010
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Location: Land of the Free
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:53 pm Reply with quote
Chrono1000 wrote:
While the idea that progressive means female is a tad predictable I am curious to see where the story goes with Hidomi. Progressive feels closer to the original show but at the same time it clearly was made for a western audience. The examination of gender, the western school setting, and the more grounded story is like Production I.G was told to make an anime specifically for Adult Swim. While the westernization of the story makes me wary of how it will portray masculinity the first episode was visually impressive.
This was probably inevitable, given it is a co-production. Like how Lupin III Part IV was made for Italian tastes.
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luffypirate



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:58 pm Reply with quote
Jinyu splitting plates in a maid outfit. I wonder if that was intended to be a nod to Gunbuster 2?
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Shaterri



Joined: 03 Jan 2008
Posts: 172
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:20 am Reply with quote
Oh wow, I missed catching Alternative and so I missed that ending - very very cool! If you want a little more of Wataru Uekusa's stuff you can find the video he did for A Crow Is White's "Himitsu Spark" at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_26_gR7Vs8 and their "fake!fake!" video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-M7cvJy1IY . Both are absolute delights, with stunning and charming animation (though "Himitsu Spark" sadly has to reuse what animation it has a few times, probably for cost/time reasons).[/url]

Last edited by Shaterri on Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Hunter Sopko



Joined: 05 Mar 2003
Posts: 259
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:07 am Reply with quote
The song at the start (Thank You, My Twilight) isn't that new (2002). Although it does seem they cut a new mix for the show. The vocals were slightly different sounding from the original album version (definitely Sawao's more recent scratchy getting older voice), and the credits list it as (fool on cool mix). I wonder if it had to do with their leaving King Records?

Still, I was worried they would only use their more recent songs. It was the #1 or 2 song I wanted to hear used in the new FLCL and it was used first and very effectively. One Life ended up being my favorite pillows song from the original series and the series kicked off with it, and Thank You, My Twilight is a good omen. I cried tears of joy. Crossing fingers for Kono Yo No Hate Made.

They're also continuing the tradition of using non-vocal versions of their songs in the background. The song that played during the talk between Ida and his friends was Nonfiction (from 2005). There's a bunch of really good songs they can still use for this too. Come On, Ghost has a super great bass-line that would work.

I've seen very split reactions to Progressive's first ep. Some think it's too derivative of the first ep of Classic without as much energy. There's something to that, but I'm willing to give it time to do it's thing before passing judgment. I think we might be dealing with an Eva 1.0 deal where they kinda have to establish the baseline, and THEN they do their own thing. They're also worried about it being too conventional in its storytelling, which
again, we'll see. It could go either way, so the concerns are valid. But I'm pretty enthusiastic so far. Lots to chew on.

Quote:
NGL, seeing Progressive's Naota equivalent try to play hero and immediately eat dirt was pretty satisfying
...
It just needs to take what Gainax did with dick jokes and do that for periods.


I don't think it's a coincidence that the horn is red.

Also, if we're diving into metaphors, of course the boy isn't gonna be able to win wrestling with his adolescent hormones. I also don't think it's a coincidence the robot shows up at Midomi's window, you see him looking at her in the first classroom scene when she sits down. The whole setup for the fight feels very... male attention makes her feel overwhelmed and attacked.

The first thing that makes Midomi start overflowing is her Mom talking about her Dad. If it were normal anime, I'd worry about them going an Elektra route. Hopefully it's just character establishment though.

Anyway, super jazzed for the new show and looking forward to more of these columns.
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Valjean



Joined: 08 Sep 2016
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:19 am Reply with quote
Quote:
Lore is the least important part of FLCL.

Quote:
Of the new cast members, Jinyu definitely has me the most worried. The greater worldbuilding of FLCL always struck me as a purposeful afterthought.

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The plot of FLCL is only interesting insofar as it relates to feelings of adolescent frustration.

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It just needs to take what Gainax did with dick jokes and do that for periods.

Quote:
And for old fans skeptical of these new whippersnappers and their fancy new growing pains, take solace in the fact that no matter what, one thing about FLCL will always stay the same. That everyone is always horny.


I can't be the only FLCL fan who's weary of this widespread, shallow misunderstanding of what FLCL is about. I may be in the minority, but I know I can't be only one who feels this way.

While Nick and Steve appear to believe that Fooly Cooly was only about adolescent sexual frustration and dick jokes, and that the greater plot (i.e. Haruko's purpose for being there) was intended to take a backseat to phallic horns growing of Naota's skull, the actual story, if you pay attention to it, is more nuanced than that.

Haruko is revealed to be a mercenary in search of Atomsk, a monstrous being of pure energy--an energy known as N.O; N.O., the mysterious energy field that facilitates the guitars and giant robots that emerge from Naota's head, is described by Amarao, a man from a secret government agency that has been keeping tabs on Haruko. In the end, Naota and his father are used and ultimately discarded by Haruko after their respective N.O. fields fail to get the job done.

See, there's an actual story here and not just layers of sophomoric meta humor about puberty.

Yet the sexual innuendo is somehow what grabs most people's attention, what they freely associate with FLCL. These fans revel in FLCL's innuendo--which, please note, I'm not denying exists--like 12 year olds who just discovered sex and think all this pretense about naughty bits is just the coolest thing ever, and gosh are we mature to have figured the out the "true" meaning of the show.

Yes, FLCL was a show where a sexy space pirate straddled the protagonist and made a phallic object emerge from his head. This is supposed to be really deep and represent uh, puberty, and uh sexual frustration and stuff. It's also a show about a grown woman manipulating an innocent 12 year old child and interacting with him in inappropriate ways; a kid who, to the very end of the series, never makes any sexual advances toward Haruko, or is even shown to have lustful thoughts about her. He's not Shinji Hikari masturbating to a comatose Asuka--this isn't Evangelion, this is FLCL and he's Naota Nandaba, a 12 year old who tries to act more mature than he is and is seduced by a crazy woman that his carefree father allows to live in Naota's room. The end result of this screwing with Naota's mind? A naive kiss and a chaste "I love you".

Oh, and possibly years of emotional trauma.

And that's just the "sexy" side of FLCL! Elsewhere we have a story about fallen heroes; a story about a kid whose idolized older brother moved away, leaving him with the responsibility of looking after his kooky, irresponsible father. About a bullied young girl who once fell in love with the aforementioned older brother; a girl whose parents are poor and neglective, which, combined with the bullying and the heartbreak over her boyfriend moving away, has allowed her to develop certain destructive tendencies, including the the tendency to get a little too close to the ex-boyfriend's kid brother. It's a story about facing up to your father. A story about learning to assert yourself, push back at people who take advantage of you emotionally.

And it's a story about a power-hungry, morally bankrupt space pirate trying to summon the king of all space pirates so that she can absorb his power.

Is Haruko a shameless pervert? Sure, that's what makes her funny. And in Progressive, it's obvious that she's not just showing porn to junior high students for kicks. It's heavily implied in the original series that there's a connection between N.O. and sexual energy, just as there's a connection between it and "overflowing" with emotion.

But to act as though that is all Fooly Cooly is, just obvious sexual metaphors and that everything is an allegory about the difficulties of puberty is to grossly under-appreciate the story as a whole. There's so much more going on there than dick jokes, and no, not everyone in the show is horny. It's fine if you disagree--hell, I'm counting on this post getting a lot of hate--but if your expectations for the rest of Progressive are mostly limited to menstruation jokes and thinly veiled metaphors, I can almost guarantee you will be disappointed. There was more to FLCL than that, and I couldn't be happier that Progressive, so far at least, seems more concerned with continuing the story (i.e. the "unimportant" lore) than trying to cram contrived metaphorical visuals into every scene ("But the horn on Hidomi's head is a metaphor for her clitoris!" in 3...2...1...).
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jr240483



Joined: 24 Dec 2005
Posts: 4099
Location: New York City,New York,USA
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:11 am Reply with quote
Chrono1000 wrote:
While the idea that progressive means female is a tad predictable I am curious to see where the story goes with Hidomi. Progressive feels closer to the original show but at the same time it clearly was made for a western audience. The examination of gender, the western school setting, and the more grounded story is like Production I.G was told to make an anime specifically for Adult Swim. While the westernization of the story makes me wary of how it will portray masculinity the first episode was visually impressive.


uh, that is NOT a good thing you know! remember IGPX!?
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Takkun4343



Joined: 19 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:16 pm Reply with quote
jr240483 wrote:
uh, that is NOT a good thing you know! remember IGPX!?

I remember IGPX, all right, and I remember really liking it.

Yes, I'm aware that it flopped stateside, but that doesn't mean I have to hate it, now does it? Rolling Eyes
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Hunter Sopko



Joined: 05 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:58 pm Reply with quote
Valjean wrote:

I can't be the only FLCL fan who's weary of this widespread, shallow misunderstanding of what FLCL is about. I may be in the minority, but I know I can't be only one who feels this way.


I don't think you're wrong, but there's just a lot of different ways to look at FLCL in general. FLCL is still a coming-of-age story at heart, and it does include a lot of the aspects of the character relationships you described. And I wouldn't disagree that the symbolism and sexual metaphors are shallow, but they're also fun to talk about. There are any number of coming-of-age stories, but not a whole lot of them capture the hormonal roller coaster of energy that is like FLCL does. It makes (or at least made) the show somewhat unique, so people focus on it.

In the director's commentary Tsurumaki is generally blasé about the story, tending to focus instead on the animation/design choices, metaphors, characters, and other aspects of the show (not that there aren't some interesting tidbits). But I also think we need to divorce the terms story and lore here. The story was important, and it includes all of the character dynamics and growth you described. FLCL's story is deceptively dense.

However, by lore I think they mean the how's and why's of Medical Meccanica, Atomsk, N.O., etc. It did not obsess over explaining every little detail of those parts, and it worked fine. It would've slowed the show down. We may have gotten less than we might have needed sometimes, but overall I think NOT doing that worked to its advantage and allowed it to devote time other shows would've spend on minute worldbuilding details. I'm 99% sure this is what they mean by "the lore is the least important part of the show".

I think it's fine if Progressive continues where we left off in Classic, but it would be a mistake to bog itself down in a more conventional narrative just to answer a bunch of questions that didn't necessarily need answering, or explain plot widgets that didn't need explaining.
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Valjean Lafitte



Joined: 19 May 2015
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:26 am Reply with quote
Hunter Sopko wrote:

However, by lore I think they mean the how's and why's of Medical Meccanica, Atomsk, N.O., etc. It did not obsess over explaining every little detail of those parts, and it worked fine. It would've slowed the show down. We may have gotten less than we might have needed sometimes, but overall I think NOT doing that worked to its advantage and allowed it to devote time other shows would've spend on minute worldbuilding details. I'm 99% sure this is what they mean by "the lore is the least important part of the show".

I think it's fine if Progressive continues where we left off in Classic, but it would be a mistake to bog itself down in a more conventional narrative just to answer a bunch of questions that didn't necessarily need answering, or explain plot widgets that didn't need explaining.


I get what you're saying, but I just find the fear that FLCL Progressive might get bogged down in its own lore unfounded. The reviewers described Jinyu's appearance as a concern. But was it a concern when Amurao took a minute or two to explain N.O. to Naota? There's a way to explore the lore of the show without neglecting the characters. In fact, that it would be a mistake to get bogged down in answering questions could be said about any anime. Who doesn't prefer the more character-focused episodes of their favorite shows? But if without all those extra details you might just have a bland-to-decent slice of life anime. It doesn't have to obsess over them, but--and maybe this is just me--I think it does have to explore the world built by the first season a little more in order to be a truly satisfying sequel.
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jr240483



Joined: 24 Dec 2005
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Location: New York City,New York,USA
PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:45 am Reply with quote
Takkun4343 wrote:
jr240483 wrote:
uh, that is NOT a good thing you know! remember IGPX!?

I remember IGPX, all right, and I remember really liking it.

Yes, I'm aware that it flopped stateside, but that doesn't mean I have to hate it, now does it? Rolling Eyes


dont get me wrong. i liked IGPX! i even have those dvd demo that CN and toonami was sampling out during animenext & prospect park's sakura matsuri in 2005!

the problem was that GOD AWFUL season two that pretty much tainted the whole series! if people though eureka 7 AO or the multiple of gundam second seasons like 00, SEED & IBO was bad, that one was downright worse and more or less a warning sign that if a potential season one ends on a good note, QUIT WHILE YOUR AHEAD and not ruin the series with a season 2!
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