First Impressions: FLCL Alternative (FLCL 3)

A surprise thing happened on April Fools. FLCL Alternative’s first episode premiered on Toonami at midnight instead of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders. It was in Japanese with subtitles too, which was amazing. I, being a crazy person that had to wake up early in the morning on a Sunday and came home from an anime convention that night, recorded this special event instead of watching it live. I think that this is the best thing that I could do, because I like being at least mildly awake when I watch anime. At this moment, I don’t think that one episode of something that is going to air months ago is enough for a full review, but let’s talk about this episode a little bit anyway. This being apart of the FLCL franchise gives this one episode enough baggage to talk about already.

I really liked is one episode. At first, I thought it was a little slow for something that is apart of FLCL. The original FLCL is franticly paced and has so many art directions thrown all over the place. That’s what I thought that FLCL Alternative was going to be. The end result was something completely different and I really liked it for that. Alternative focused on four different female characters that felt like real humans. The first half was spent developing the relationship between them, which felt even realistic. Even the fat character was more than what Studio Trigger thinks fat characters are and was the largest contributor to the group’s efforts and activities. Some subtle world building was thrown into the mix too. Then, of course, Haruko showed and all chaos happened across the land. You know, the usual FLCL stuff with things popping out of people’s heads and Haruko hitting things with a guitar. So, if you were in for that usual FLCL insanity, it eventually showed up.

So let’s talk ending thoughts. I am glad that Alternative doesn’t look like, act like, or feel like the original so far. I feel like the original FLCL was a lightning strike that can never happen again. It’s commentary on Naoto hitting puberty, it’s crazy art style changes, it’s frantic pacing, and the pillows playing in the background is only something that can effective once. I think that going for something different was the smart choice here. It may seem a little boring right now, but we will all have to wait months for this to air in order to see if this changes. That’s about it, really. Don’t judge a thing by its first episode even if it’s only going to be six episodes.


  1. As much as the new series appears to be a fine show so far (certainly better than a lot of other anime being produced right now) I thought that it just felt like FLCL without the passion. One of the biggest draws of the original for me was the amazing directing. It was like nothing I had ever seen before, and continues to be the most inventive anime ever made, constantly switching styles, trying out new shots, and just all around being a joy to watch. So when I turned on this new show and saw that all the life, the great animation, and the amazing directing were gone all I could think was “Why did they call this FLCL?”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The only series that came out more recently that had all the inventiveness of FLCL with all those directional choices for me is Nichijou.

      And I feel you are right about this but having to be called FLCL. Considering that I heard that this one is created by new comers in the industry, it does feel like a bit of a Marvell product in that the creators could do whatever they want as long as it’s vaguely FLCL. The good side is that these new comers will be noticed by a larger amount of people by being under a popular franchise name. The negatives? I think we covered that. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  2. my biggest takeaway from the episode was the music and how much i still love the music. i really thought it was interesting but without context its really hard to judge the episode by itself.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “Even the fat character … was the largest contributor to the group’s efforts and activities.” I see what you did there! 😉 But seriously, thank you for highlighting a show that doesn’t treat obesity primarily as a source of comedy.

    Liked by 1 person

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