Saturday, November 24, 2007

Why not FLCL?

Wow, I don't post for a week and now I'm going to do my third post. Although my last couple were under the influence of a lack of sleep and caffiene. Oh who am I kidding, this one is too.

So, I recently exchanged a couple of emails with animesophist and he mentioned Fooly Cooly to take my number nine spot. (Go read his review, it's about as good of a review of the series that you're going to find.) But that said it raises an interesting point. Why not FLCL? I mean it has everything a discerning anime viewer like me could want: Robots, a fast moving and crazy plot, robots, a crazy interstellar traveller riding a Vespa, more robots, amazing visuals and well... stuff coming out of people's heads. Thought I was going to say robots, didn't you?

But it's really tough for me because FLCL is a good show, but...

Does anyone really understand what's going on? Because if anyone does could they explain it to me. The problem with shows like FLCL and Lain and Texnolyze is that they get stuck in their own merry-go-round of crazy themes that they really forget simple things like plots. Or rather the plot gets buried under so much other junk that it forgets what the point of a story is.

And that's to entertain. And to entertain, I have to at least have a basic grasp of the rules of the world. Even in a show like RahXephon (which I finished watching after being up for 24 hours) I understood what was happening at least on a basic level. All of the other connections and conspiracies were icing on the proverbial cake.

On top of that, while animesophist is right, it is a show that defies categorization. It's also a show that uses and twists all of those categories it touches on. Sometimes it takes it right up to the level of a farce, sometimes it stops just short of it. So it's hard to take it seriously as a drama. It's hard to take it as light as a comedy. In fact it just muddles up all of them into one gooey mess, so that when I finished it I knew I'd experienced something. I just wasn't sure what.

And that's what lies at the heart of my problem with this kind of show. I can't connect with it. It's a good show and an interesting experience, but walking away from it doesn't leave me wanting to watch it again.

It ends up leaving me looking for something to wash my mouth out with.

2 comments:

Sophist said...

I can see how a lot of people can come to that conclusion about FLCL. I obviously loves the show but it's not unreasonable for anyone to be confused and a bit put off by the jumble.

To me FLCL succeeds because it's entertaining, and sometimes in all honesty it seems entertaining for no reason. It's like the creators decided to make this show with all these cool ideas and they'd string them together somehow long the way.

A person's like/dislike for FLCL is directly dependent on whether they can see the individual parts instead of yearning for a whole, if that makes any sense. Good take on the series though, always nice to see different opinions.

Cameron Probert said...

And I think you have a point about looking at the pieces rather than the whole. But generally part of the reason why I watch anime is for the whole rather than the pieces.

I mean on an episodic basis, I think FLCL suceeds. And even as a twist on the conventional coming of age story, I think it suceeds. And I do have a bit of a bias towards comedies in general. But as a whole, it just doesn't suceed in pulling me in and letting me connect with the characters.

And I think your correct, I think the enjoyment of the series is based on whether you can see the pieces without wanting the whole.