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I’ve mentioned FLCL (Fooly Cooly) being one of my favorite anime series. I’ve spoken highly of its follow-up, FLCL Progressive, and it’s final season, FLCL Alternative has come and gone. It features another female protagonist, but instead of a loner, it’s a group of friends trying to live a somewhat normal life in the world. So let’s get going and see how this all ends.
An Alternative Tale
FLCL Alternative follows Kana Koumoto, a high-schooler hanging out with three friends who just want to live a typical life. One day, they decide to build a massive bottle rocket that will send them to space (a nice foreshadowing for what’s to come). However, before they could launch, gigantic pins (like the one on a typical smartphone map) fall from the sky and unleash a mysterious monster. It is here that Haruko Haruhara returns to finish what she started long ago.
The story itself is calmer than the others and the major plot events don’t happen until the middle of the series. We do get interactions and character developments with the four of them, including the idea that Kana tends to get herself involved where she doesn’t belong. That’s a nice play on the idea that you should always lend a hand.
Usually, helping out is a good thing, but what if someone doesn’t need any. Would it be fair to not seem them grow on their own instead of always helping out? Season two was about isolation, while this one was about friendship and trust.
I do feel the story is lighter than the others. Again, the story does get a little hard to follow, especially towards the end, but the animation and it being part slice of life, and the other an overarching story is unique for this series.
The characters were also memorable, and this series is more female heavy than the others. Even in Progressive, you had perhaps half of the cast as female and the other male, at least notable ones. We don’t have anything like Naota or Ide here, though we do have a love interest in Mon Sasaki.
Not like it’s a bad thing, but it is nice to see the contrast between all three seasons that it’s not so formulaic that they’re copy and pasting season one. Each story has its own atmosphere. Season one is wacky and adolescent, season two is grim and mature, while season three is calm and lighthearted.
I think that this was an overall wonderful effort. My only complaint was how they handled the ending, but this may require a rewatch. I won’t go in too deep, but I do wish the fate of Kana’s friend Tomomi Hetada (AKA Pets) would be more satisfying. We’re left wondering what happened to her and why she wasn’t reunited with the others.
Granted, the series could have turned a different path, but I would have loved the four of them reuniting. That might be an easy ending for the series known to be mysterious and wacky, but I felt while the ending was concrete, it felt more open-ended than I would have liked.
I do appreciate these seasons, though. FLCL was a masterpiece that some thought never needed a follow-up. These two, I feel would be in the same light as the original someday. I’d check both of them out if you can because these two are worthy sequels to one of the most famous anime of the 2000s.
That’s all for today, take care, and remember, the inn is always open.