FLCL, vol. 1

Naota is a lonely boy living in the town of Mabasa, a perfectly normal place where nothing out of the ordinary ever happens. Due to this lack of excitement, Naota’s older brother, a talented baseball player, has decided to go off to America to seek his fortune. Naota’s life is far from peaceful, however, as he must constantly deal with his crazy grandfather, perverted father, and his older brother’s girlfriend Mamimi, who is never afraid to put the moves on poor Naota.

As if that weren’t enough to deal with, Haruhara Haruko, a rock star from outer space, shows up one day on her motorcycle to fight the robots who spring out of Naota’s head with her electric guitar. Plus, Naota’s dad and grandpa take a liking to Haruko and decide to hire her as their housekeeper, much to Naota’s dismay.

His life is now even more chaotic and out of control than usual, what with the colorful Haruko constantly teasing him on top of everything else Naota must deal with on a daily basis. FLCL is a wild, crazy ride full of unexpected events, and although it is often difficult to understand exactly what is going on, it is nonetheless a gripping story that gradually pulls the reader in more and more.

The hilarious characters and distinctive artistic style make FLCL different from anything else I have ever read. It can be crudely drawn at times, but this style fits in well with the overall story and atmosphere, which are equally wacky and bizarre; to me it felt as though beautiful, carefully drawn artwork wouldn’t have been able to convey the true nature of the story as well as Hajime Ueda’s style, which adds a lot to the overall mad, frenetic pace and nature of the story. FLCL provides a unique and unforgettable experience, making it well worth anyone’s time: even if it proves to be incomprehensible, the characters, artwork, and humor are more than enough to keep readers entertained throughout.

FLCL: Volume 1
by Gainax and Hajime Ueda
ISBN: 159182396X
Tokyopop, 1999

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