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by Dennis Carr

For starters, I'm going to say that this is probably the strangest anime I have ever seen, made doubly so by the fact that I saw this in largish fragments while depriving myself of sleep during Anime Expo 2001. Even stranger was that I understood it, and even stranger was that Furikuri is a Gainax show.

You read right, I understood a Gainax anime while deprived of sleep. Or maybe because I deprived myself of sleep.

This is a story about two kids somewhere in Japan, in a small town somewhere near Tokyo, who recently had a medical equipment factory built therein. It's shaped like an iron and it emits smoke every day at about 17:00... from the bottom. This odd detail is exemplary of the insanity that is in store for anyone who sees this - and it gets stranger.

The story revolves around a boy named Naota, whose brother has moved off to the USA to play baseball - and now he is stuck with with hs girlfriend, Manini. (No, no, Manini is his brother's girlfriend.) The fun is interrupted by a woman named Haruko who comes riding in on a Vespa scooter carrying a bass guitar with a pull cord attached to some (useless?) motor - which she uses to flog Naota once or twice after running him down with her scooter. At this time, Naota finds himself with a strangely squarish lump on his forehead. Haruko later moves in with Naota's family as a housemaid. Later in the first, the lump grows larger, to reveal itself to be a giant robot hand that comes out from his head.

Haruko proceeds to bludgeon and subsequently destroy the robot hand with her bass (that's still a guitar, not a fish), causing all to once again be well - at least, as well as can be expected in a city whose iron-shaped medical manufacturing company gives off something like steam every afternoon at quitting time, causing Manini to become quite ill at that moment.

But other questions are still left for the viewer - for instance, what is with all these large things coming out of Naota's head? How is Manini connected to the factory? Why doesn't Haruko try decaf? And why the HELL is that electric meter spinning so fast?!

In general, though, I found that one can only describe FLCL (as it's sometimes called) by pretty much telling the story - but this in and of itself is a problem, in that the story itself defies description and must be seen to be understood.






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Release Info
DVD Vol. 1
Available January 2002




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