ANIME! It’s for jerks, right? Well even if you’re a member of that extremely close-minded (Read: WRONG) group that subscribes to that way of thinking, it’s a universal fact that FLCL (Fooly Cooly) is awesome. End sentence. There’s really no arguing with it.
Part of that is because this six episode romp by Gainax studios, the studios who also made the hyper-popular Neon Genesis Evangelion, is so batshit insane yet so heart wrenching in its character-driven story that it endears itself to the audience on a number of levels. It’s got incredibly stylish animation and a rocking soundtrack. I insist, being only a fringe fan of anime as whole myself, that this is the go-to anime to convert the uninitiated.
REVIEW OVER. Or it would be if I was reviewing FLCL as an anime. But nay, this is a review of the DVD that Funimation released last year. See when I first saw FLCL some time around the year 2007-08, there was really no good way to get a hold of a home version here in Amurricuh. Luckily, those dudes what published the Dragon Ball Z managed to pick up the FLCL rights in 2010, and now this DVD is widely available for around $40. So, what does this package give you, and should you pick it up?
WHAT YOU GET
For starters, you (obviously) get all six episodes of FLCL for your viewing pleasure. The Japanese language version, along with the excellent English dub are included, as well as the option for subtitles (though subtitles are included in portions of the English dub regardless). So, whether you’re a purist or want to get your Kari Wahlgren on, you get a good number of options here.
As far as bonus content, commentary from series director Kazuya Tsurumaki is included for all six episodes. On top of this, you get English voice acting outtakes, and a plethora of AMVs featuring songs from the soundtrack (done entirely by J-Rock band, The Pillows).
AND HOW IS ALL THAT?
Good, if not a tad underwhelming. As I’ve stated before, FLCL is an amazing experience and if you’re compelled to own said experience, then this purchase is a no-brainer.
However, considering how loved the series is and how long people have been clamoring to own the series in legitimate form, I can’t help but feel like more could have been included. The outtakes are pretty hilarious, true enough, and are a great addition. The commentaries will be worthwhile for anyone with anyone with an interest in the inner-workings of the series (though I feel one should curb their expectations, as I’m not sure Tsurumaki’s commentary is what many might be expecting if Western directors’ commentaries are what one’s used to).
Where I think the package is a tad of a let-down is how the rest is simply a packing in of AMVs of the show’s best tracks. Don’t get me wrong, I love (Read: LOVE) FLCL’s soundtrack. I would kiss it if it was a pretty girl and ya know wanted to kiss me back it’s cool if it didn’t. But I can’t help but feel like the tracks would have been better served as a separate bonus CD or something. Plus, there are no less than THREE videos of the end credits song, Ride On Shooting Star, included. Three VIDEOS, not VERSIONS, of the song that gets played after every single episode.
It’s an AMAZING song. They did not to include it three times in the Bonus Features.
And here’s the point where I reiterate that none of that matters because of the strength of the series itself. Fuck, who am I to be complaining about BONUS features. The fact that they included anything for fans of the series is actually really cool, and there’s some cool stuff here. Yes, taking into consideration all things, I still maintain that Funimation could have done a little bit more to make FLCL’s release after so many years an event.
But hey, now that the license is in hand, I’m sure they can trot out some special edition down the road. Heck 2015-16 is the 15th anniversary of FLCL, so we’ll see what happens then. Right now, though, I highly suggest you go out and pick up FLCL right now if you’re at all interested in this outrageous anime. It’ll be worth every penny.