What do you get a 25-year-old who isn’t a person but a specific programming block of content that’s mostly anime series? Why, more anime, of course. This is why Adult Swim has gifted Toonami two new sequels to FLCL, one of its most popular TV series since it debuted way back in 2003, in celebration of the brand’s 25th anniversary.
FLCL has been airing sporadically on Toonami/Adult Swim for the last 20 years, presumably because it’s the coolest anime ever made. It’s tough to describe — the title itself, pronounced “Fooly Cooly,” is wholly inexplicable — but it’s basically a coming-of-age story for 12-year-old Naota, who starts having giant mecha burst from his head after he’s hit by Rickenbacker bass guitar by a pink-haired alien named Haruko while she’s riding a yellow Vespa scooter. And yet that barely scratches the surface, because it doesn’t mention the space pirate, the giant iron sitting in the middle of town, the guy with seaweed for eyebrows, or the six-episode series soundtrack, performed by the outstanding J-rock band the pillows. Here’s a taste:
The two new FLCL series — technically, they’re called seasons, but “seasons” two and three had nothing to do with season one, or each other — will be titled FLCL: Grunge and FLCL: Shoelace, and animated by CG studio MontBlanc Pictures and the original animator of the series, Production I.G, respectively. Adult Swim offered the tiniest glimpse of Grunge via this clip of Haruko wielding her bass:
The other gift Toonami is receiving is a new, original series titled Housing Complex C, which will be animated by Studio Akatsuki and is described thusly: “Housing Complex C centres around Kimi who lives in a small, low-cost housing complex located in the seaside town of Kurosaki where trouble seems to follow her wherever she goes, and horrific incidents begin to occur…is an ancient evil stalking the residents of Housing Complex C?”
As a major, major fan of the beautiful, bananas, poignant, and often incomprehensible original FLCL, I am less than thrilled at the idea of more of the show, since season two, Progressive, was a watered-down sequel/remake of the first, and season three, Alternative, was another coming-of-age story that had almost nothing to do with FLCL except a few themes and flirting references. I think the original FLCL was so of its moment, and such a personal work by creator/director Kazuya Tsurmaki, that it can’t really be captured again. But then again, my love for it could also be because I saw it at exactly the perfect moment in my life, too, so maybe these new series will be the same for others. Who knows? (But boy howdy am I wary of that CG animation.)
FLCL: Grunge and FLCL: Shoelace are currently in production, while Housing Complex C is due out sometime later this year. Happy birthday, Toonami!