FLCL: Progressive

Chakmon

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Any interest among Digimon fandom to discuss the new FLCL series? FLCL is my favorite anime and we're halfway thru this new chapter. What do you think so far....???
 

Unknown Neo

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I heard the joke is that understanding isn't important for this show. That sounds true as I haven't really understood much of this new season. heh heh It's pretty good so far.
 

Chakmon

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I really liked the dream sequence lead-in to Episode 1. It was fantastic! The music mixed with Hidomi's phone alarm was perfect. I was a bit less enthused when they did another dream sequence opening for Episode 2 ... it dilutes the impact of the first intro a bit IMO. I love Hidomi's headphones, though we don't know the deal with them yet... other than their Medical Mechanica-brand.... weird....

I really like Jinyu. Raharu is a bit meh in this story for me so far, though her reveal as the teacher was classic!!! That whole teacher role was hilarious! The idea of a split Haruko is a very interesting concept. It let the writers make Jinyu unique and interesting, taking the pressure off Haruko having to deliver... because I don't think it's possible to make a better Haruko than we got from the original. This story direction was a good idea. And Jinyu is super cool as a Raharu "opposite." I loved Episode 1, but have enjoyed 2 and 3 quite a bit less progressively (no pun intended.) I thought Hidomi was going to open-up a bit more as a character after her smile at Ide at the end of Episode 2, but the nothing really changed with Episode 3 which was a bit disappointing. My concern is Hidomi is supposed to be the main character, but I feel like we've spent way more time with Ide and Mori as characters... I'm still waiting for Hidomi to develop...

So far it's been interesting, but missing a lot of the nuance that made the original so great.... Also, Hidomi is in middle school, where are all the uniforms??? The original could get away with original clothing styles because Naota, Ninamori, Manabe and Masamune were all still in elementary school... just sayin'...
 

Unknown Neo

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If you want dev, how bout EP 4. That might give you enough of it for her. heh heh Only 2 eps left.
 

drtomoe123

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I was in the shower yesterday and realized that I had completely forgotten this was coming out right now. I need to get on this ASAP.

Has anyone ever read the novels for the original OVA? My wife and I read through them a few months ago and it was crazy how much they fleshed out the world of the original.
 

Chakmon

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I have the 3-volume light novel series. Not sure if that's what you're referring to drtome123?

Ep 4 was good. Totally unexpected! An opposite Hidome!
Aiko and Masurao are interesting.... I'm suspicious that we can't see Masurao's eyebrows under his cap....

Those headphones are friggin amazing! But are they good or bad for Hidomi…?
 

Unknown Neo

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And those are the questions. Some of many. Will we get answers? No idea. We still don't have some from series 1.
 

Chakmon

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Yeah, I'm actually okay with the lack of answers in FLCL. For me it was really all about Naota's coming-of-age story.... will he ever get out from under Tasuku's shadow? will he swing the bat? will he play the cat? can he get over his super cool self? All the other stuff: Haruko, guitars, the Vespa, Canti, Medical Mechanica, interdimensional robots…. those are all just wacky things that happen around Naota's growing-up story. Because you know, nothing amazing happens here.... (my favorite part of FLCL is Naota's transition from sweet to sour to bitter vending machine drinks... it's a good analogy)

If we get no real story from FLCL2 I'd probably be okay with it. What I'm looking for is a Hidomi story. I found Naota to be very relatable... I still don't really understand where Hidomi is coming from in a lot of places. Maybe a female perspective is needed here..?? Not sure... Episode 4 Hidomi was very.... interesting.... How much is Hidomi and how much is the headphones? I guess we'll find out....

The music has been pretty good (I got that alarm clock tune on my phone!) and the animation, not bad. I only find Raharu to be visually jarring in this series... but when Raharu and Jinyu are glowing red and blue, they look amazing!
 

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Well, the one things they needed for this whole thing to work, was the music. It wouldn't be half as good without it. And they got it.
 

Chakmon

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So the guy that was working at the Immigration Center Orbit Elevator Area in Oozu City looked uncanily like Manjimutt from Yo-kai Watch.... I liked the softer animation style used for this episode, and the cut-away to Hidomi and her mom talking about closing the café was well done... I'm still confused by the opening animation... (oh well) The use of the amusement park, and Haruko dismissing the whole class to go there was hilarious! I love the play on romance at amusement parks (esp. Ferris wheels) and the "plan" to get N.O. from having kids mob the park. That whole Yuuya X Wataru thing was awesome! (and Yuuya was kind of cute) I love that FLCL2 went beyond the heteronormative with the pairings in letting couples into the park at a huge discount. The graphic was hilarious! Poor Mori.... (Combo 100)

I liked how Hidomi ended on this episode, apparently wanting Ide back and calling Haruko out on her obsession with Atomisk. Not sure what happened with Ide's uniform.... And I am still super-intrigued by Aiko, and what this flower plant is supposed to do.. Also, what was the deal with pregnant Haruko??? The class story gag was funny enough... getting married and retiring to become a housewife... but I feel like I'm missing something that was implied there.... anyway.... the FLCLimax is next (so-to-speak...)
 

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Ha. It is. Then the next week we get the other season. Which might be even different then the other two.
 

AguChamp

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I really haven't felt FLCL Progressive till the recent change in animation and direction by around episode 5.

The character's dynamic doesn't flow as well as FLCL, which isn't helped by the bland writing and situations.
I want to say the show is just growing out of it's awkward phase, but original FLCL never really had that issue. The characters, their
relationships with one another, and the overall tone of the show were well put together by day one.

FLCL Progressive began with a lot of the expository and animation issues I have with generic modern anime, and it really didn't feel like FLCL till the recent
episode outside of The Pillows making incredible songs.

I've been warming up to it, but so far the series feels lacking in what made FLCL unique.
So far it seems to be a show in which the plot takes a while in to truly connect, and while this format is fine and was even in the original FLCL,
that doesn't mean the characters and story have to be dry, just because they're waiting for the plot to kick in.

I've grown to like Hidomi, Iide, and to a lesser extent Jinyu, but it took the recent episodes to do so.
They don't have an interesting or unique dynamic with one another.
I get the feeling that these newer episodes are directed not just by someone different, but someone with experience.

I've enjoyed the recent episodes, and I hope they keep up that trend. Though the recent stuff with Medical Mechanica and Atomsk seems oddly retreaded,
as opposed to exploring other corners of their world or characters. It makes sense considering the characters involved, but it's execution
isn't as well tied into any sort theme or character development, where as the various events of FLCL felt well tied to it's world, theme of maturity, and characters.
 

Chakmon

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I could offer that FLCL2 was saddled with having to be a sequel while FLCL got to be an original work. But I also question whether anyone could outdo the original anyway. It was Gainax magic with the planets perfectly aligned. I think The Pillows as a musical thread linking the two works together helps keep it in the FLCL world, but there was definitely an intimacy in the original that I just don't feel with Progressive and any of its characters. In fact, I have a little metaphor in my head going that the transactional relationship between Mori and Aiko kind of exists with everyone here and maybe that's a "thing" to this story?

I personally still like Episode 1. The intro dream sequence, with the music playing into Hidomi's alarm to the title card I thought was fantastic, and a good intro was critical to the start IMO. Although you could argue that Episode 1 was a huge throw back to the previous series with a lot of what happened in it.... maybe that's why I liked it so much. The series just seems very "sanitized" overall... I can't think of a better way of saying it.

With respect to FLCL: Alternative, my impression is it will be something totally different (just a gut feeling) and I don't think it's planned to air until September.... I'm not a general fan of reboots (I have much PTSD being a Eureka Seven fan suffering under continuously horrible "reboots" lacking the magic of the original... it's like being a Sonic fan...) as they deny the market from original concepts and tend to not live up to the greatness of whatever they're paying homage to (with exceptions).... they also tend to reek a bit of laziness IMO as they get an assumed audience segment based on original series fans no matter what they deliver in terms of quality... but this is the world we live in..... I am excited to see how this story ends.
 

AguChamp

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Episode 1 was relatively solid, but I didn't enjoy episode 2 at all.

IMO considering they had new staff working on the show, the show should've yearned to be unique to the old show,
or at least try to cover ground the original FLCL didn't cover. If it's near impossible to recreate a feeling, it's much
better to create a new emotion, but in the current era of nostalgic callbacks running every sequel imaginable,
it seems obvious that they'd go a safe route of sticking to original FLCL, The Pillows being an example.

I'm interested in Alternative, hopeful it improves upon what we have now.
I'd hope for no complete reboot. Getting set up was already awkward this time, it could end up more so
later on.
(Sonic really did go the obnoxious route, not a direct reboot, but trying to have a story, but being so lazy that it suffers
from poor continuity.)
 

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Oh yeah. I remember Eureka 7's stuff. At least AO and that first movie. Not the recent ones. They were so weird.
 

AguChamp

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I have to say, with the last episode of FLCL, overall... unremarkable and poorly made.

I'd wager the biggest detriment to FLCLP was the introduction of new cast, who seemd unaware of what makes FLCL unique/good and filled the story with a lot of issues of other modern anime.

Also the story feels filled wh a lot of coincidences that barely correlated with any overarcing theme or plot, merely thrown in to get from point A to C and get a quick action scene in since the animation isn't nearly as creative or well done as FLCL.
Odd that Studio Trigger seems to better emulate some of what I love about FLCL, way more than Production IG

I though the introduction of new directors/creators would be good, but especially after watching Incredibles 2, one of these only sequels that I felt actually understood the magic of the original, it seemed well made as a result of mixing cast integral to what made the Incredibles the Incredibles, but also properly mixing in new ideas to flesh out what was there.

FLCLP is just inferior, and I doubt I'll remember it for any good reason outside of episode 5.
Keeping my expectations low for Alternative so that it can easily meet them.

On the bright side, at least we got more Canti... I can't get enough of that crazy robo.
 

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Well, I didn't really understand anything so it must have been a success. Next we wait until September for the next series.
 

Chakmon

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Incredibles 2 was fantastic! I was impresed with what they did in-terms of story, character, flow, and seperating itself from the original movie enough to tell its own story and be its own thing. FLCL2 could have learned some writing/production lessons from Disney on that one... I would agree the FLCL2 ending was a bit lackluster. I would also agree it seems to have followed that formulaic approach of reboot nostalgia prevalent with everything else....

My biggest gripe is with the lack of a Hidomi story overall. I must say I was a bit disappointed when I learned FLCL2 would have a female lead, because part of what made FLCL so funny was that it was a coming-of-age boy story, and Gainax wasn't shy about pervy humor hitting Naota from all directions. I wasn't sure how that energy would play-out with a female lead... and with FLCL2, it basically didn't. I think having Raharu directly showing kids porn in-class in Episode 1 laid the groundwork for the unimaginative in terms of pervy/hormonal energy that is N.O. and the basis of this bizarre tale. I did like the amusement park angle though in general. Nothing fantastic was really done with it though...

I got very little relatable background on Hidomi's attachment to the café and missing her dad and how that affected her, until the right at the end when it was used as a turning-point for her growth in her mom's eyes. There was not enough groundwork laid for the impact that scene was suppose to deliver at the end. And I honestly don't care about Ide.... he's a low-budget Naota. If we were going to have a female lead in FLCL2 I wanted a Hidomi story... not Hidomi thru Ide... which is what this often felt like. My issue is I feel like FLCL portrayed male adolescence pretty damn well in it's 6-episodes with the changing faces of Naota and those around him as everyone grows more into their worlds.... the plot just sort of moved things along and allowed for cool anime things to happen (robots, guitars, fooly-coolying, and all that crap) .... Did FLCL2 deliver a female adolescent story? I'd say no. It was a fail in my eyes for that. But then again, I'm not a female. But I don't think it did what FLCL did in terms of making a coming-of-age story for its lead. If it did, way more time would have been spent showing us how Hidomi relates/reacts with her world with some stumbling growth points (we got very little of that). I feel like FLCL2 spent too much time in the world around Hidomi developing a "story" and not enough time with our main character. It felt sterile. In the end I didn't really care much about anything or anyone....

I think Aiko is probably my favorite character in this one... so many anime stereotypes.... I'm actually not sure how I feel about Canti reappearing at the end. The lower quality animation was very jarring for me with both Raharu (Haruko?) and in the end, Canti. Plus, I didn't get my "My name is Naota! Don't ever call me Takkun again!" moment... Hidomi's moment was a combination of wanting to save Ide, and finding her strength with her connection to her mom and the inevitability of change and growing up.... it was.... okay... I guess.... I really want to watch it again and get my thoughts more clear on it.... was this a fair coming-of-age story for a girl? I don't know. I lack perspective. But I feel like no.

I'd say it didn't live-up to the original in terms of overall writing, character development or animation quality. In 6-episodes how did we end up with great Naota development and have such interesting characters in Mamimi and Ninamori… I'll never know.... What FLCL2 left me with was: completely loving Hidomi's headphones, and a new kickass alarm tune on my phone.... oh well... On the plus side, I did like Jinyu overall, and the idea of Haruko splitting under the power of Atomsk is definitely worth exploring more.... I did really like that premise... OP title cards were fair; CL was pretty good; music was great!
 

AguChamp

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Very much agreed.
 
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