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FLCL (pronounced in English as Fooly Cooly) is an original video animation series written by Yōji Enokido, directed by Kazuya Tsurumaki and produced by the FLCL Production Committee, which included Gainax, Production I.G, and Starchild Records.

The English dub of the series aired in the United States on Adult Swim several times between 2003 and 2012, and also aired on the network's Toonami programming block from October 26, 2013[1] to January 25, 2014. Reruns of the series returned to Toonami from April 14, 2018[2] to May 19, 2018, and a marathon of the series aired on May 26, 2018.[3] The series is rated TV-14-DSV on Adult Swim.

Plot

FLCL revolves around Naota Nandaba, a 12-year-old, working class boy living with his widower father and grandfather. His life in the city of Mabase is interrupted by the arrival of Haruko Haruhara, who runs over Naota with her Vespa 180 SS scooter, gives him CPR, then hits him on the head with a blue vintage Rickenbacker 4001 left-handed electric bass guitar. Naota discovers that the blow to his head created an "N.O." portal, from which giant robots produced by a company known as Medical Mechanica emerge periodically.

Naota later finds Haruko working in his house as a live-in maid. It is later discovered that Haruko is an investigator for the Galactic Space Police Brotherhood. Haruko uses Naota in her search for the Pirate King, Atomsk. She is at odds with Medical Mechanica, a monolithic industrial corporation. Naota is being watched by Commander Amarao, a special agent of the Bureau of Interstellar Immigration, who believes that Medical Mechanica is out to conquer the galaxy. Naota is ultimately drawn into a three-way battle between Haruko, Amarao and Medical Mechanica.

Characters

Naota Nandaba — Naota, 12, is the main character of the series. His name is derived from the Japanese word for "honesty". Unbeknownst to him, he has the "right kind of head" to be used as an N.O. channel.

Naota is obsessed with appearing mature and devoutly acts nonchalant. This is most expressed in his monologues which open and close each episode where he continues to claim that "nothing amazing ever happens here" despite the show's surreal and often absurd happenings. Naota idolizes his older brother Tasuku, carrying around Tasuku's baseball bat, and even hanging out with Tasuku's old girlfriend Mamimi. In Naota's mind, Tasuku is the epitome of what it means to be an adult, as opposed to the other adults in his life (e.g. his father, his grandfather, and his teacher) who he perceives as being immature. Much like Amarao, Naota is picky about his drinks (disliking drinks which are sour or bitter) and hates spicy foods, and shares an intimate bond with Haruko. This being said, Amarao and Naota's childhoods nearly mirror each other.

Haruko Haruhara — Haruko is an energetic, spontaneous pink-haired female from outer-space, and investigator for the Galactic Space Patrol Brotherhood/Stellar Fraternity. Despite that, she doesn't really follow any sort of rules, and even tries to destroy our world just to get her hands on Pirate King Atomsk. Mamimi observes that she looks at least twenty years old, though she claims to be 19. But it is impossible to know, especially since Haruko is not even human. She wears a bright red coat, black pants, white boots, and lemon chiffon colored scarf. She rides a sunglow Piaggio Vespa SS 180 (becoming known as The Wasp Woman, a pun on the word Vespa, which means wasp) and wields a midnight blue, left-handed Rickenbacker bass guitar model 4001 (similar to the 4001S used by Paul McCartney, whom she mentions in episode five).

She also has large amounts of knowledge and respect for the types of guitars and musical stylings of American classic rock musicians, such as Jimi Hendrix and Elvis Presley, along with Paul McCartney. Her guitar can be used as an axe-like melee weapon, shoot bullets, act as a rocket launcher, and is used several times to open N.O. channels.

Mamimi Samejima — Mamimi, 17, Tasuku's ex-girlfriend, though she is in some sort of relationship with Naota since his brother left Japan. She is a truant high school student with pyromaniacal tendencies; she also smokes a lot and spends most of her time under a bridge. She is often seen with a camera, and always smokes a worn cigarette with "Never Knows Best" written onto the paper. It is implied that she is often bullied at school, causing her to ditch.

Canti — Canti is a medical robot with what looks like a television set for a head. He was manufactured by Medical Mechanica, but taken over by Atomsk as a way to escape them. After having his head broken by Haruko, he is recruited by her as an assistant; however, he proves to be no good for much other than washing dishes and fetching drinks for the family. The emotions of Canti are very human-like, despite his looks. He is also extremely polite, as seen when he extended a helping hand to Lieutenant Kitsurubami even after she attempted to destroy him.

Atomsk can manifest through Canti, with Naota being the catalyst. Atomsk's symbol appears on Canti's screen when he absorbs Naota. When Naota is absorbed, Canti's physical strength is increased and he gains the ability to transform into an antitank gun, called the "Overdrive Technique" in the manga.

Commander Amarao — Commander Amarao works for the department of Interstellar Immigration, a Men in Black-like agency. This agency, among other things, acts as a middle man for negotiations between the government and Medical Mechanica. Thus, Haruko is a big problem for them as she is bent on provoking an attack by disrupting communications. Amarao has fake eyebrows made of nori which he believes serve the purpose of protecting him from N.O. (Haruko mocks him for this, stating that they are mainly to make him look macho and to attract other women, including herself). Amarao seems to have had a past relationship with Haruko similar to Naota's.

He first appears in the fourth episode of the series, giving viewers the impression that he is virtually an omniscient character, giving background information as well as making fairly accurate predictions. However, subsequent events would show him as extremely weak and very limited in foresight, though he seems to grasp what is happening better than almost all the other characters. He is the first to warn Naota of Haruko and her intentions, as to beware of all "older women".

Lieutenant Kitsurubami — Lieutenant Kitsurubami is an attractive young woman and second in command on Amarao's staff in the Interstellar Immigration Bureau. She is often seen either giving out vital mission data, or on the field in investigations with Amarao. Amarao randomly begins to flirt with and embrace her in the final episode, but she resists him. In fact, Kitsurubami seems to be generally disgusted by the idea of romantic involvement (and likely any form of physical contact) with Amarao though she looks up to him as a superior and follows his orders loyally. She also seems to become smitten with Canti, despite her initial efforts to attack him with an anti-tank rifle.

Atomsk — Atomsk, also known as the "Pirate King", is an enigmatic character, apparently the most powerful space pirate in the galaxy. His N.O. is great enough to steal entire star systems. His physical appearance is that of a bird-like creature resembling a phoenix. He has a nose ring identical to the metal Ring on Haruko's bracelet, which allows her to detect Atomsk's presence or the activation of N.O. in general.

Kamon Nandaba — Kamon, 47, is Naota's father, a former pop culture journalist working as a freelance writer, with his own trashy tabloid: "Kamon-Mabase" (the title is a pun on "Come on, Mabase").

Shigekuni Nandaba — Shigekuni is Naota's grandfather. He owns the family bakery and coaches the local baseball team, the Mabase Martians. He has a grudge against Mamimi for unspecified reasons, but it is suggested that he didn't approve of Tasuku dating her. Shigekuni values baseball more than anything in the world — he is disappointed in his own son and younger grandson because they are lousy baseball players. He does not defend Naota as the other players mock him, because he holds too much pride for Tasuku. He enjoys taking advantage of Canti as much as Kamon does. He has an affinity for pornography.

Eri Ninamori — Eri, 12, is Naota's classmate. In the series, she is referred to as 'Ninamori,' her last name. She is the daughter of the mayor of Mabase and is class president. She projects a proper, even slightly stuck-up personality, and conceals personal information to an almost obsessive degree; she does not even let her classmates know that she needs corrective lenses, instead wearing contacts while at school. Even with her class president status, however, Ninamori is not above breaking the rules to get what she wants.

Gaku Manabe — Gaku, age 12, is another one of Naota's classmates and close friends and is obsessed with kissing and other things of sexual behaviour. In episode three, "Marquis de Carabas", he plays the part of a mouse in the school play. Gaku also uses the word "chu" constantly, especially when referring to Haruko. This is a pun in Japanese, because "chu" is the Japanese onomatopoeia for both kissing and the sound a mouse makes. In the English version, "chu" is replaced with "smooch" to make more sense to English speaking audiences. He's somewhat hyper (compared to the bored composure of his friends) and is usually seen with Masashi. He is an encyclopedia of bizarre rumors and legends, many of which are sexual in nature. He consistently refers to Mamimi as Naota's "wife", and Haruko as the "kiss-kiss" girl, likely due to her lewd behavior around Naota.

Masashi Masamune — Masashi, age 13, is yet another of Naota's classmates. He is friends with Naota and is often seen hanging out with Gaku, Ninamori, and Naota. Masashi also has a job as a delivery boy, and drives a truck around, even though he is only in grade school. His father's truck is later eaten by the terminal core when Mamimi loses control of it. Masashi, like Naota, generally sounds slightly depressed.

Miyaji Junko — Miyaji is Naota's eccentric sixth grade teacher. Her students have given her the nickname "Miya-Jun". She seems to be constantly troubled by the shallower problems which Naota seems to create, such as the destruction of her car (which happens twice over the course of the series) or the terrible interruption of a lesson. Even on 'normal' days, however, she is pathetically inept: her attempt to teach chopstick usage to a generation of students raised on sporks ends with the revelation that she is unable to use them herself.

Voice Cast

Character English Voice Actor Japanese Voice Actor
Naota Nandaba Barbara Goodson Jun Mizuki
Haruko Haruhara Kari Wahlgren Mayumi Shintani
Mamimi Samejima Jennifer Sekiguchi Izumi Kasagi
Amarao Dave Mallow Kouji Ohkura
Kitsurubami L. Villa Chiemi Chiba
Kamon Nandaba Joe Martin Suzuki Matsuo
Shigekuni Nandaba Steve Kramer Hiroshi Ito
Eri Ninamori Heather Lee Joelson Mika Itou
Masashi Masamune Steve Blum Kazuhito Suzuki
Gaku Manabe Bob Marx Akira Miyajima
Miyaji Junko Jessica Straus Yukari Fukui

Gallery

English Version Differences

FLCL's localization director (English translater) and script writer Marc Handler stated that localization of the script was the hardest part of the show. The in-jokes in the show included obscure pop culture references that had to be decoded and transferred to English audiences. One example was a reference to Cherio, a discontinued soft drink in Japan, for the English release the choice was made to use a discontinued American soft drink, Crystal Pepsi. Director Kazuya Tsuramaki responded to criticism of FLCL, stating "comprehension should not be an important factor in FLCL."

The Medical Mechanica building featured in the town is a symbolic representation of the Japanese belief that the wrinkles of the brain allow thought and if you were to remove those wrinkles, the person would be devoid of thought. For English localization, the Japanese team had to explain the concept because a direct translation of script did not convey the ideology.

Episodes

Color Season Episodes Toonami Premiere Toonami Finale
1 06 October 26, 2013 November 30, 2013

Three DVD compilations were released by Synch-Point in North America. A DVD collection box, containing all the DVD compilations of the English episodes, was released on January 23, 2007, but have since gone out of print. In January 2010, Funimation Entertainment announced that they had acquired the license for the series and began releasing it on DVD and Blu-ray Disc in February 2011.

Broadcast History

The series has had several runs in North America on Adult Swim with the first occurring from August 4-11, 2003.

  • United States (Adult Swim) — August 4-21, 2003[4]; October 20, 2003 - November 16, 2003; April 24, 2004 - May 29, 2004; May 28, 2005 - August 20, 2005; October 1, 2005 - November 5, 2005; January 2, 2006 - February 6, 2006; August 5, 2006; September 16, 2006 - October 21, 2006; December 11-21, 2006; January 7, 2008 - March 3, 2008; September 27, 2008; November 8, 2008 - December 13, 2008; February 13, 2010 - April 17, 2010; April 9, 2011 - June 25, 2011; September 3, 2011 - December 17, 2011; January 7, 2012 - May 19, 2012; October 26, 2013[1] - January 25, 2014; April 14, 2018[2] - May 26, 2018

Toonami Broadcast History

FLCL premiered on Adult Swim's Toonami programming block at 2:30 AM on October 26, 2013.[1] The series was pre-empted on December 7, 2013, during Toonami's month of movies, by the film Akira. It was also pre-empted two weeks later by a Cowboy Bebop marathon on December 28th. The series was removed from the Toonami lineup, after two complete runs, following the January 25, 2014 broadcast.

In preparation for the premiere of the two new sequel series (FLCL Progressive and FLCL Alternative), reruns of FLCL returned to Toonami at 11:30 PM on April 14, 2018. However, unlike the previous Toonami run, the series aired in HD.[2] On May 5, 2018, the series moved to the 12:00 AM time slot.[5] The series completed its run on May 19th and the following week (May 26th) there was a 6.5 hour marathon that saw the series air in its entirety twice from 10:30 PM - 5:00 AM.[3]

  • Toonami (United States) — October 26, 2013[1] - January 25, 2014; April 14, 2018[2] - May 26, 2018[3]

Toonami Marathons

FLCL only had one marathon appearance during its run on Toonami, the FLCL Marathon on May 26, 2018.

Sequel Seasons

On March 24, 2016, Adult Swim announced that it is co-producing, with Production I.G., 12 new episodes of the series that will air on Toonami. Back for the new seasons are series creator Kazuya Tsurumaki, serving as supervisor with director Katsuyuki Motohiro (Psycho-Pass) and character designer Yoshiyuki Sadamoto (Neon Genesis Evangelion). Also joining this season is writer Hideto Iwai (Last Dinner).[6][7] On March 20, 2018, a teaser for the two new seasons was released and it was revealed that FLCL Progressive would premiere on Adult Swim's Toonami block in June of 2018, followed by FLCL Alternative in September.

External Links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "FLCL! Coming Oct. 26th at 2:30am ". toonami.tumblr.com. September 27, 2013. http://toonami.tumblr.com/post/62409863145/flcl-coming-oct-26th-at-2-30-am-e-t. Retrieved on September 28, 2014. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "This Saturday night, Toonami’s taking you on a few sci-fi adventures ". facebook.com/TOONAMI. April 2, 2018. https://www.facebook.com/Toonami/videos/vb.1440408039583372/1889451674679004/?type=3&theater. Retrieved on April 11, 2018. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "What better way to celebrate your Memorial day weekend than with a Toonami marathon ". facebook.com/TOONAMI. May 9, 2018. https://www.facebook.com/Toonami/photos/pb.1440408039583372.-2207520000.1526431743./1903501013274070/?type=3&theater. Retrieved on May 15, 2018. 
  4. "FLCL on Cartoon Network in August ". animenewsnetwork.com. June 29, 2003. https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2003-06-29/flcl-on-cartoon-network-in-august. Retrieved on April 30, 2016. 
  5. "Toonami’s got a new quirk! ". facebook.com/TOONAMI. April 19, 2018. https://www.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1896709853953186&id=1440408039583372. Retrieved on April 19, 2018. 
  6. "Adult Swim Orders New Seasons of "FLCL" Anime ". crunchyroll.com. March 24, 2016. http://www.crunchyroll.com/anime-news/2016/03/24/adult-swim-orders-new-seasons-of-flcl-anime. Retrieved on March 24, 2016. 
  7. "Adult Swim announces two new seasons of cult anime hit FLCL ". avclub.com. March 24, 2016. http://www.avclub.com/article/adult-swim-announces-two-new-seasons-cult-anime-hi-234318?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=SocialMarketing&utm_campaign=Default:1:Default. Retrieved on March 24, 2016. 
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