- F U R I K U R I
in May, 2001 by Mark Vallen, Jeannine Thorpe, and John Lentini
Screen shots generously provided by John Lentini.
by Jeannine Thorpe) Within four minutes of the
beginning of the first episode, FLCL (pronounced
Furikuri) revealed itself to be the weirdest, wackiest,
completely insane and absolutely wonderful anime I've seen
to date. Furikuri was made for those people who, once
Neon Genesis Evangelion and Revolutionary Girl Utena
started to get "experimental", were glued to the screen just
waiting to see just how far they would go. This show is so
out there that it is very hard to even set down a plot. One
could say "It's about a 12 year old boy, Naota, his
older brother's girlfriend, Mamimi, and their adventures
once a pink haired newcomer, Haruko, comes to town
on an orange scooter." But the series just can't be simplified
that much.... Furikuri just has to be seen to be believed.
six episode OVA series is a kaleidoscope of modern life and
pop images. It's what the artist sees as they purvey the world
around them and set no limits to their imagination.
captures the stagnation of adolescence, the excesses of adulthood,
the ugliness of the modern city, and humanity's dreams of
salvation. And it does it in a completely Japanese, completely
anime way, taking all of the world in and keeping only what
they like the best. The animation, like life, ranges from
completely course and simplistic, to beautifully detailed
realism. Furikuri reaches quite far, across time and
space really, in its search for references and meaning...
fans of the quintessential British rock band The Who
will be pleasantly surprised when the Vespa scooter rides
in and the guitar-smashing begins.
watching an episode of Furikuri, you will find yourself
asking outloud, "What was that? What did I just see? Did that
was particularly intrigued with the character of Mamimi
(directly below), who looks normal at first, but in fact is
quite a troubled teen.
Seemingly incapable of dealing with
the prospects of impending adulthood, Mamimi is quick to hide
from it all and look for spiritual guidance in the oddest
of places. Furikuri is a comment on the
current state of the world, how we are affected by the images
we see and the environments we are raised in, how things are
moving at a constantly faster and faster pace, and how a lonely
human can find comfort in it all. It's also an excellent example
of how Western Pop culture is influencing Japan. And if the
anime doesn't make any sense to you, well, that's because
the world doesn't make much sense right now. I give FLCL
my highest recommendation.
by Mark Vallen)
If you've ever seen the insanely frenetic energy and slapstick
comedy of the anime, Kodomo no Omocha (Child's Toy)...
and can imagine that level of lunacy turned up by quite a
few notches... then you'll have some inkling of the delirium
Studio Gainax dumps in our laps with their latest offering,
Furikuri. I watched the entire six episodes of this
show in it's original Japanese language format... but concluded
that an English translation wouldn't make things any clearer.
Watching this show is like having a vivid hallucination, and
much of the plot and the actions of the characters simply
cannot be understood. This anime moves at such breakneck speed
that after five minutes you give up trying to figure things
out and are content just to hang on for the wild ride.
The fantastic and impossible images of Furikuri sweep over
and engulf you like a potent dream. A colossus steam hand
Iron that sits atop a mountain overlooking a city. Gigantic
and contorted robotic assemblages that spring without warning
from people's foreheads. A friendly but enigmatic robot with
a television-like head that does housework... and a pink haired
girl named Haruko who rides a motor scooter and will
at the drop of a hat bash friends or enemies over the head
with her ever present electric guitar.
Furikuri has a fairly incomprehensible storyline it is far
from being boring and unwatchable. One is overwhelmed with
the show's visual richness and experimentation, and the Gainax
touch is evident in the lavish and detailed background paintings
and cityscapes. A particularly impressive episode showed characters
suddenly transported onto the pages of a manga. The transition
was carried off without any break in the story's narrative...
the full color anime became at the blink of an eye a series
of black and white manga drawings... and all without the slightest
acknowledgment that anything out of the ordinary had occurred.
That type of self-aware, mocking humor is what makes Furikuri
so entertaining. One episode even had the major characters
briefly morph into the South Park crew! As previously
mentioned... little of the show makes sense, but I'm not complaining,
no more than I do after having had a rather vidid dream that
was profound yet unfathomable.
you don't care for this anime, you're still sure to love it's
soundtrack. The Rock group The Pillows provide much
of the sensational score for the series, and their Power Pop
sound is all jangly guitars with a Punk edge. Their closing
theme for Furikuri, Ride on Shooting Star, will have
you bouncing off the walls with delight! Many of those who
worked on past efforts from Gainax worked on Furikuri. Director
Tsurumaki Kazuya and Character Designer Sadamoto
Yoshiyuki both previously worked on Evangelion,
and the scriptwriter for Furikuri, Enokito Youji, wrote
screenplays for none other than Revolutionary Girl Utena.
All in all, this is one bizarre series you should try to catch.
by John Lentini)
you ever wake up from a very strange dream and wonder what
it was all about? Well with Furi Kuri, take that same
feeling and multiply it by at least ten. Only then will you
get an idea of how wacky and wild the world of Furi Kuri can
be. Gainax in the past has been known for a twisted series
or three, but this one really goes over the edge. If
you think you've seen a strange anime series to this point,
then you really haven't seen anything yet. To accompany you
on your journey to the unknown are The Pillows, and
what better group to have for this unique trip. Most anime
series will lean towards J-Pop, but in this hard edge series,
we'll need some equally hard edge J-Rock music, and The Pillows
certainly provide. The music here really keeps the storyline
going throughout this six part OAV. Don't
feel bad if you turn away from this series either, Furi Kuri
isn't for everyone, or the weak of heart.
if you really want to open your mind to something new and
hear some good cuts along the way, than Furi Kuri is definitely
for you.This show will also hit the shelves of America sometime
in the future which is indeed a shock given the confusing
concept of the show, but we're glad to see someone get their
feet wet with this one, and don't worry, you will get soaked.
In the meantime you may want to check out the region two DVDs
which feature amazingly good English subtitles, but don't
worry... it's still the deep end of the pool.
site is owned & operated by The Black
Moon © Copyright. All rights reserved