Tripping Robots

by Bob Johnson

Fooly Cooly won’t harsh your buzz

When you get bored of wasting your day watching anime and start hitting the magic pixie sticks, you’ll want to whip this one out.  Fooly Cooly will help you and your stoner pals coast through a few hours of nacho-eating without ever losing that awed look on your faces that you get when you’re so wasted you think that everything makes sense.

This show is an overdose of vibrant colour, hyperactive visuals, and incomprehensible action, designed from the get-go to max out the cards as far as animation techniques go.  It’s not so hard to say that the difference between anime made in the 90s and 00s has more than a little to do with FLCL.

The soundtrack makes good use of The Pillows: their track “Ride on Shooting Star” was written for this show, and it’s probably vaguely familiar to anyone who listened to the radio around that time – it actually made a fairly big splash in the US, which deservedly only happens once in a blue moon for J-Pop.  Their catalog is used heavily throughout the show, laying down a mellow alt-rock feel most of the time, but still keeping decent pace with the frenzies that come by so often in Fooly Cooly.

I could give away what little I could figure out of the plot, but honestly, that’s not the reason to watch this one – like Dead Leaves, it pretty much makes no sense.  Short of psychoactive chemicals, there’s really no explaining it anyway.  Rather, join me in as I stay stuck in shonen-demographic fantasies of older women (who are younger than I am at this point) Mmmhmmm. College-age cougars going after Naota’s … forehead.  He has all the luck!

And by luck, I mean misfortune, because these chicks are bad news: Haruko crashes her Vespa into everything, when she isn’t thumping her space-bass upside Naota’s head.  Mamimi is an arsonist who smokes like a chimney and collects anything that moves and makes them her pet (including our emasculated hero).  For good measure, classmate Ninamori is also after said protagonist, in true drama queen fashion, of course!

Oh, and there’s giant mecha.

Sure, those of us who prefer comprehensibility in our anime are left hanging, and you?  You’ll probably sniff so much whipped cream over these 144 minutes they’ll be spooning your brain out of a soft-serve machine.  But any true weeaboo will sit through at least an episode of this, just to say they did.

Fuck Yeah, Look it up!

Fooly Cooly (FLCL) original video animation
Written by Yoji Enokido, Directed by Kasuya Tsurumaki
Produced by Gainax & Production I.G., Licenced by Funimation