(Tokyopop, 2003)
™ and © Tokyopop

When it comes to surreal anime, flcl is, so far, the outermost marker buoy of odd with its Monty Python meets The Prisoner frisky, full-frontal assault on familiar clichés, such as the older fantasy woman who’s literally an all-in-one super-stereotype (she’s a nurse, an outlaw biker babe, a housekeeper, and an alien space cop) who latches onto the biggest sexless doofus she can find.

Refreshingly, it deals frankly with both sex and emotional intimacy, even if it is through the metaphor of girl bonking a boy on the head with a guitar, raising phallic-like protrusions which produce monsters. Like most Gainax projects, it raises more questions than it answers, yet remains strangely touching and disturbing — it’s a pity the manga adaptation doesn’t live up to it. Oh, it’s plenty odd, all right. (If the art is any indication, someone in Japan is a big Johnny the Homicidal Maniac fan.) But it’s rougher and rawer, deviating from the anime in several significant ways for no apparent reason without bringing anything original of its own to the party — except for a strange, paranoid “fear of America” subtext.

— S.A. Bennett

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 GainaxHajime Ueda


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 GainaxHajime Ueda

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FLCL OmnibusGainaxHajime Ueda