“FLCL” doesn’t always make sense, and that’s kind of the point. Once, at an anime convention, creator Kazuya Tsurumaki explained that he wanted the series to be a counterpoint to the idea that you had to be smart to understand “Evangelion”. It was not the same for “FLCL”. “I mean it’s okay to feel stupid,” he said.
Indeed, “FLCL” is the animated equivalent of a mood film, a story densely packed with information, world-building, and symbolism. Meanwhile, the tone, joke-by-the-minute pacing, deep references, and eclectic visuals make it super easy to just go along with the ride and laugh with the ridiculous and uplifting things on screen.
In many ways, “FLCL” is the closest thing to an MTV anime, a show that shares the iconic network’s sense of punk rock rebellion, and its penchant for fast-paced editing, go-anywhere attitude, and contempt. rules, and a killer soundtrack filled with guitar riffs. The visuals constantly separate, and the show changes its visual style in all other scenes, including an animated cutout scene in the style of “South Park”.
As for the anime, “FLCL” is closer to a full Daicon anime, referring to the opening anime short of Daicon III and Daicon IV, produced by amateur animators who would later found Gainax ( the studio behind “FLCL”). This animated short not only looks beautiful, but has more references per second than you can count, just like “FLCL”. The OVA pays homage to everything from John Woo, “The Matrix,” “Gundam,” and “Evangelion” (including a fantastic cameo from Hideaki Anno). Like classic MTV shows, this feels like an anime made for its specific era, for people deeply invested in the culture, aware of classics and newcomers alike, and it rules.