Sunday, October 20, 2013

Fooly Cooly: Embracing the Insanity

Other aliases of this animé series include: FLCL and Furi Kuri.

Seeing as I spend a good deal of time on this blog discussing Japanimation or just plain animé, this is a good place for me to go into this series.

OMG, where to begin?

I decided to dedicate an entry to this series because it's making its annual (or bi-annual) return to Adult Swim.
I cannot remember the last time I saw it, but it has been a while. Possibly a year, possibly two years. I don't believe I saw the entire series the last time it aired. More often than not, I always manage to catch episodes one and four, sometimes five and sometimes six. Sometimes three, but last time, I probably missed it.
Episode 2, "Firestarter" is often the one I miss out on, with "Brittle Bullet" (episode 5) close behind.

What is it, exactly?

It's a six episode animé series, I believe, from the early 2000's.

When we premiered it at my animé club, it went down as the most nonsensical thing I'd seen so far at that place.
And for the record, my threshold of insanity is pretty substantial, so for me to bug out as much as I did over episode one "Fooly Cooly". I came back to my dorm with such a headache.

As far as the nonsensical factor of what we watched at the club, the only things crazier than Fooly Cooly were the series, Abenobashi (where I believe the main character transformed into machines), "Gantz" (we got thru  two episodes before everyone else launched a protest...) and this movie "Ninja Scroll" (it had graphic nudity and a couple rape scenes, but what turned the most people off was a scene where snakes came from between a woman's legs)...

That isn't to say that Fooly Cooly handles its content "tastefully" by comparison... episode three has a sex scene, but it's brief and you hear more than you see... or should I say the main character sees very little of it because the door was only open a crack.
In general, though, the gross-out factor throughout the series is minimal compared to the others above.

As to what the series is about, Wikipedia has an AMAZING synopsis that hits on all the key points as well as how the grand scheme of things can be interpreted. (One of those things being that it's a "coming-of-age" story).

But in my own way, I'll attempt to explain it.

First of all,
They really don't explain ANYTHING about the series until episode five and six. Even then, you kinda have to put the pieces together on your own and keep an open mind.
Beforehand, my advice is just to take everything you see as it is because it isn't meant to make perfect sense :-P

The series stars a boy named Naota. He likes to think he's mature for his age (his biggest turn-off is adults who don't know how to age their age), but details like the fact he hates sour drinks let you know he's still very much a kid.
I had to double-check his age... he's 12 (my choices were either 8 or 10, lol).
After school, he likes to hang out with Mamimi, a high school girl who is dating Naota's older brother. He's away in America playing baseball, but during this time, she calls Naota "Ta-kun," the nickname she has for his brother... seemingly unable to differentiate between the two.

When they're hanging out one day, a 19-year old girl runs Naota over with her Vespa and hits him in the head with her bass guitar. After this quick exchange, she runs off...
all of these actions seem rather random and come out of nowhere.
Naota comes away from it with a bump on the forehead. When he turns home, he finds out that this girl, Haruko is their new housekeeper.

The main plot in each show is all kinds of insanity ensues in Naota's otherwise ordinary life... he has something jutting from his head and when it comes out, it's an alien or robot  that needs to be destroyed. Sometimes Haruko smashes it with her bass guitar. Or Naota gets swallowed up by Kanti (the robot that came from his head and he defeated in episode one) and this merge gives Kanti the power to defeat the enemy.

That's the short, concise version :-P
Any attempt for me to go behind will result in my head exploding...

Aside from the scene where Kanti emerges from Naota's forehead (the first of SEVERAL WTF movements this series is known for)...
what kinda turned me off at first was the degree of language in this series. I was only a college freshman at this point and it's not as if they were dropped f-bombs left and right. It irked me that Naota's father was talking to him about whether or not he's messing around with Mamimi... who talks to their kid like that, he's not at the appropriate age to discuss sex... and he was being very perverted about it.

I don't know when I turned a corner, but the next time I saw the series, I could not get enough of it. In fact, I believe we stayed out all night watching the entire series... the meetings start at 8pm and usually end at 10.

I guess you could say it represents that old part of me that used to stay up late watching Adult Swim at college, sleeping in until noon on Sundays...
Once I made sense of it for myself, I don't know, I love the insanity it. There are too many hilarious quotes to go into, but the funniest episodes are the first and third one. The third is also my second favorite of the series because cat ears are coming out of Naota's head... somewhat appropriate considering he was cast in the play as Puss in Boots. The storyline also involves a possible relationship between him and the "Noveau Rich Princess" in his class, Ninamori. She's the most popular girl in his class, but for whatever reason, she has a crush on him and actually rigged the votes so he would be cast as Puss in Boots with her as his "master"

I may or may not come back with an entry a week after getting back to the series...
I'll have to see if I can even stay up late to watch it at 2:30am :-P I haven't stayed up that late to watch animé in years.
Then again, I remember there being two distinct occasions where I stayed up to watch some InuYasha feature films... those were the days 8-)

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