Fooly Cooly?

Discussion in 'Art & Culture' started by Walker, Nov 23, 2003.

  1. Walker Hard Work! Registered Senior Member

    Alright, so I got an FLCL DVD with all six episodes on one disk, probably a bootleg. SO here's the thing: it has a director's commentary track in Japanese, WITH NO SUBTITLES!

    Does anyone know where I can find a transcript of this commentary, or at least a very informative FLCL website?

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  3. cthulhus slave evil servant Registered Senior Member

    just talk to my brother.
    hes memmorized every fucking episode, has them on dvd, vhs, on his hardrive. lol. hes tottaly obssesed with it.
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  5. Walker Hard Work! Registered Senior Member

    It's pretty difficult to understand what's going on. I swear it's the weirdest thing ever commited to film...but it's still pretty cool.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2003
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  7. goofyfish Analog By Birth, Digital By Design Valued Senior Member

    Spoilers (highlight the text in the box)...

    <table bgcolor="FAF0E6 " BORDER=5><TR><TD><FONT SIZE=1 COLOR="FAF0E6 ">
    First of all, for the generally curious folks who haven't seen this Gainax
    series, "FLCL" is their most recent OAV series, created digitally, and
    released on six region 2 DVD's over the past year or so. A number of notable
    "extras" came with the DVD's, including posters, very nice brochures and
    particularly interesting - well done English subtitles on disks 2 - 6. ( The
    region 2 DVD's were released by Star Child, #'s KIBA 478 - 483. )

    What's the series about? Well, on the surface, it's the story of Naota, a 12
    year old who gets involved with Haruko, a very strange and hyper 19 year old
    girl who claims to be an alien. Along the way Naota gets smashed on the head
    several times, and from the bump on his head come out various huge alien
    robots. Naota also has to deal with a number of other aliens who may or may
    not be trying to stop a huge flatiron-shaped building run by a mysterious
    organization called Medical Mechanica from destroying the world, Naota's
    older brother's girlfriend Mamimi, who almost casually hits on Naota, a girl
    classmate named Eri who teases him in a somewhat seductive manner, more
    robots, a whacked out school teacher and his self-center father and
    grandfather. Eventually it turns out that Naota is the key for Haruko to try
    to obtain Atomusuku, an energy containing space being/pirate, who is being
    held captive by Medical Mechanica. But Naota has his own agenda and the
    story ends with Atomusuku escaping from both Medical Mechanica and Haruko,
    Haruko leaving to follow Atomusuku, and Naota being left to pick up his life
    from the chaos left over from the aliens.

    The story is told with at a breathtaking pace with great panache, incredibly
    good and varied animation, a tremendous sound track, various levels of
    humor, and references to all sorts of other animations. But this is much
    more than just another "kid versus the aliens" story. What we have here is a
    multi-level "coming of age" story about Naota. And the key to "coming of
    age" in FLCL is sex.

    Right from the beginning the story is about sex and Naota's reaction to
    becoming a sexual being. Naota is struggling with the whole issue - he is
    moody about how life is changing for him. He is no longer just the "little
    brother" who hangs around with his big brother when he can. In fact, Naota
    is really uncomfortable with being saddled with his big brother's
    reputation, the expectation that he will do as well as his big brother, and
    even his big brother's girlfriend. Mamimi incessantly flirts with and teases
    Naota in the first episode. Naota's friends kid him about Mamimi with some
    awe, but Naota isn't happy with the situation because Mamimi is "in charge"
    of the relationship, which makes Naota still feel like a "kid brother".
    Naota sees "growing up" as being "noble", so he hides the photo of his big
    brother and his new American girlfriend from Mamimi. But the photo is an
    indication to Naota that his big brother has turned Mamimi "over to him", if
    Naota can make the relationship become more equal.

    Then Haruko comes along. She is even older than Mamimi, and is even more
    overtly sexual. But not only just with Naota, but also with almost any other
    man she is with. None-the-less, Naota is drawn by Haruko's sexuality, while
    he is at the same time angry that Haruko also treats him as a child
    alternately with pretending to find him sexy. Naota feels some sense of
    "ownership" over Haruko and feels threatened by his father's interest in
    Haruko. Naota realizes that he can't "compete" with his father and feels
    that it is unfair because he met Haruko first.

    Haruko has a continuously sexual influence over Naota, and this is
    emphasizes by the phallic imagery surrounding the two of them. The "hit the
    ball" scene in episode 4 with Naota, Haruko's guitar and the incoming
    satellite is an orgasm allegory. When Naota finally hits the satellite he
    "becomes a man", albeit with some help from Haruko. This change is
    emphasized in episode five when, while Haruko is sitting and rubbing herself
    on top of Naota, Naota gets an erection. Now, these two parts are not
    gratuitous additions to the plot. Instead, they follow the tradition of
    ancient royalty in which a prince had to demonstrate his ability as a man to
    be "father of his nation" in order to move along the road to eventually be
    declared king. Only after Naota has demonstrated his ability can Haruko's
    plot come to fulfillment.

    But Naota is not just a passive player in all this. He starts to try to
    assert himself earlier on. Eri obviously likes Naota and goes out of her way
    to be with him. She also teases him sexually - when she is over at his house
    she kids him about "playing around" since she has her period and can't "get
    in trouble". But Naota decides not to go along with this. ( Particularly
    once Haruko pops up to put a damper on the mood. )

    Naota starts to "feel his oats" with all this female attention, so by
    episode 5 he is ready to "prove himself" and "be a man", as he tries to take
    charge of and "protect" Mamimi. But Naota has totally misunderstood the
    situation - Mamimi still wants his brother, not him. Undeterred, Naota goes
    off to "save the day" and throws himself into the phallic cannon that Kanchi
    the robot has become, but he "shoots his load" at the wrong time and is
    finished early.

    So by episode 6 Naota is even more sullen - Haruko has disappeared and Naota
    has humiliated himself in front of Mamimi by not being a "hero". Naota has
    also suddenly realized that there is a real world outside of his town, and
    he is troubled that he might never get to see it. ( Yet another sign of
    growing up. ) When Haruko suddenly reappears, Naota is angry at first
    because he felt that she abandoned him, but then when Haruko is willing to
    be nice to him, Naota lets down his guard and starts to cry against Haruko.
    That's the point that it becomes obvious that Naota and Haruko's
    relationship is not so much sexual as it is a case of Naota looking for some
    sense of "mother" in Haruko. Haruko recognizes this and lets Naota get a
    little closer to her for a while, because "he is still just a kid".

    But all this aside, Haruko is still an alien on a mission, and gladly
    sacrifices Naota in order to get Atomusuku for herself. Haruko might "like"
    Naota, but she lusts after what Atomusuku is and the power he symbolizes.
    But things don't go the way that Haruko planned precisely because Naota has
    grown up. Naota takes charge of the situation he is in and uses the power of
    Atomusuku to be in control of his own destiny for once, surprising everyone
    including Haruko. But Naota is still a nice person at heart who, like so
    many people, is simply "looking for love". So instead of wreaking vengeance
    on Haruko for betraying him once again, Naota simply and quietly tells her
    that he loves her, and gives her a kiss. Haruko is touched by this, but at
    the same time, since has Naota has set Atomusuku free, Haruko sets off again
    in pursuit. But maybe Haruko has been changed ever so slightly by Naota too,
    because just before leaving for the final time Haruko tells Naota the
    truth - that he is still just a kid to her - instead of taking advantage of
    him once more.

    The epilogue nicely summarizes the changes. The abandoned and wrecked
    flatiron factory sits alone and forgotten. Naota and his classmates are out
    of grade school and into uniforms for middle school. Naota is taking up new
    interests and not trying so hard to be "grown up" since he now knows that he
    "is" growing up. ( Naota's rejection of the black coffee at the end is a
    sign of this. ) So that whole story of Haruko, Kanchi, Medical Mechanica and
    the rest becomes just part of Naota's memories, as it should.</TR></TD></FONT></TABLE>

  8. Halo Full Time Nerd-Bomber Registered Senior Member

    I'd have to agree Walker, that is one of the weirdest films I have ever seen. Crack smokers I tell you, they're all crack smokers.
  9. Walker Hard Work! Registered Senior Member

    Crack and a half.

    Thanks goof, BTW. I had noticed some of the less overt sexual themes in the show, but it seems way more pervasive when it's all written down in a document like that.

    Gainax is pretty incredible in that their stories are typically more focused on human relationships, using more traditional anime themes as their "meduim". But I also feel like there is less "left to the imagination" than they would like for you to believe, and more simply left unexplained, or in some cases, unevidenced. An example would be Neon Genesis Evangelion. The series' nebulous ending was pretty good, in my opinion, but confusing to viewers because we weren't really aquainted with the Eva's true purpose or the nature/definition of "instrumentality" before the final two-part episode. When the theatrical release of the Eva movie came out in Japanes theaters, a booklet called the "book of the red cross" was given to patrons that contained some pretty vital information about the series. The history of humanity and it's relationship with the Angels, the nature of the instrumentality project, etc. Some of this served to clear up mysteries from the show, but some of the information hadn't been touched on, or even alluded to within the series.

    While we're on the subject, has anyone read the FLCL manga? Looks pretty original, but if it's a rehash of the series, I'd prefer to read or watch something else.
  10. sargentlard Save the whales motherfucker Valued Senior Member

    A fun fact - This show was created as therapy for its creator by its creator. He had a nervous breakdown in his life so he created this show as sort of a threapy and stress reliever. What a way to relieve stress eh.

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