"In the first half of the 20th Century, a movement arose to overthrow what had up to that time been standard techniques of classical music, to wit, melody, rhythm, and tune, because they were in the way of creating anything new. So what about the field of graphics? What about Japanese animation? Will FLCL become an anime for the 21st Century, one freed from the various conventions of anime?"
FLCL Animation Director
"So what about the millennium? Im not really sure, but writers keep asking about it. Like is there a meaning to releasing this title in 2000? When we were making this, it ended up being made in 2000? No. No, no, no. There must be a wish for everyone to be asking the same thing. Everyone is hoping that this is a Millennium Anime limited to 2000. Wishes and hopes are actually demands. I see. If we say that we werent thinking about the millennium, no one would be happy. So its been decided. That FLCL would be created as an anime for the year 2000. Does it matter if its true or not? FLCL is a Millennium Anime."
FLCL Script Writer
How do you create a truly original anime for the 21st Century? Gainax believes they have done it by forming an avant garde, postmodern production held together with a classic storyline revolving around well defined characters and created utilizing cutting edge computer generated animation. What do you call an anime this revolutionary? Giving it only one name would not do it justice. It could be FLCL as it is technically referred to throughout Gainax, Furi Kuri for those who prefer the onomatopoeia of Japanese speech, or Fooly Cooly as it is known in America and as seen in several examples throughout the series.
Strip away the layers of sexual innuendo, parody, alien technology, self-reference, symbolism and so much more and you are left with a strong coming of age story starring a boy struggling with his liminality. Add back those same layers and the result is a manic, carnivalesque anime with a solid core of intertextual personalities performing their unique roles in complete harmony.
Details as minute as the handedness of all characters (left-handed people are controlled by the right or creative hemisphere of the brain while right-handed people are controlled by the left or analytical hemisphere) were exploited to subliminally attune the viewer immediately to each characters base personality. Several unique key animators were utilized to give the series an ever fluctuating art style, while simultaneously, a consistent and vibrant color palette was chosen to give the series a steady feel throughout. Accomplishing all of this within the framework of six 30-minute OVAs is an amazing feat unto itself.
With the recent declaration by the Japanese government of anime as a viable medium for communication and their promotion of it as a cultural export, more than ever people are expecting everything released to live up to that reputation.
FLCL has the pedigree of being produced by Gainax, the makers of critically acclaimed anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion. The timing of its release during the turn of the century coupled with Gainaxs reputation for creating deeply thought provoking anime have lead speculators to believe that FLCL is meant to be the anime for the 21st Century. They just might be right. A look at the core characters sheds some light on exactly how Gainax accomplished this triumph in the field of anime.