The episodes of the Japanese original video animation series FLCL were directed by Kazuya Tsurumaki and produced by the FLCL Production Committee, which included Gainax, Production I.G,[1] and Starchild Records.[2] The English adaptation of the series is licensed by Synch-Point[3] and Geneon Entertainment, which released the DVDs and soundtrack respectively.[4] The plot of the episodes follows Naota Nandaba, a twelve-year-old boy living in the fictional Japanese suburb of Mabase, and his interactions with Haruko Haruhara, who arrives in the quiet suburb, drawn by the industrial town houses and the Medical Meccanica building.

The episodes aired in North America on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programming block from August 4, 2003 to August 13, 2003.[5] The episodes did not air in Japan, as they were released straight to video.

Six pieces of theme music are used for the episodes; five opening themes and one closing theme. All the theme songs are by the Japanese rock band The pillows, whose music is featured in the series. The opening themes are: "One Life", used in episode one, "Instant Music" in episode two and three, "Happy Bivouac" for episode four, "Runners High", utilized in episode five, and "Carnival" in episode six. The closing theme is "Ride on Shooting Star", used for all of the episodes. Geneon Entertainment has released three original soundtracks encompassing the aforementioned songs, with the soundtracks titled Addict, released on January 20, 2004, King of Pirates, released on September 7, 2004, and FLCL No. 3, released on June 7, 2005.[6][7][8]

Six DVD compilations, each containing one episode, have been released in Japan by Gainax.[9] In addition, a DVD collection box, containing all six DVD compilations, was released in Japan on August 13, 2005.[10] Three DVD compilations were released by Synch-Point in North America. A DVD collection box, containing all the DVD compilations of the English episodes, was released on January 23, 2007.[11][12] The series was re-picked up for distribution by Funimation in 2010 and will release a boxset of the series in Spring of 2010.

Episode list

# Title English airdate
1 Fooly Cooly
"Furi Kuri" (フリクリ)
{{{OriginalAirDate}}} August 5, 2003
Naota Nandaba, while walking with his older brother's delusional "girlfriend", seventeen year old Mamimi Samejima, is struck by a Vespa driver, who revives Naota and hits him in the head with her bass guitar before driving off. This turns it into an N.O. channel, from which objects and other beings can be pulled. Naota discovers a horn protruding from his head where he was hit, concealing it with a bandage. He keeps the horn secret from his classmates the next day and he goes to the hospital, where he again encounters the mysterious woman disguised as a nurse. He flees before she can strike him again with her guitar. At dinner, Naota discovers that his father Kamon has hired his mysterious assailant, Haruko Haruhara, to be their housekeeper and moreover, that they will be roommates. After learning from Haruko that she is "an alien" and frustrated with her, he goes downstairs and discovers that Mamimi had stopped by. Naota runs off and meets her at a bridge, where suddenly a robot, followed by a detached robot hand, emerges from the horn on his head, and begin to fight. After the robot triumphs, it is struck by Haruko with her guitar.
2 Fire Starter
"Faisuta" (ファイスタ)
{{{OriginalAirDate}}} August 6, 2003
Mamimi is obsessed with a hand-held video game called Fire Starter, which involves the player performing the role of an arsonist in order to please the Lord of Black Flames. The robot who had emerged from Naota's head is kept occupied doing chores at the Nandaba residence, while Haruko, despite being the maid, performs little to no work. Mamimi comes into contact with the robot while he is recovering the parts from his head that Haruko had damaged, and names him Canti, believing him to be the Lord of Black Flames of her game. Haruko tries to break into the Medical Meccanica plant in town, which is in the shape of a giant iron, but fails and is taken home by Naota. A series of fires meanwhile is erupting around the city, and Naota visits the site of one of these fires with two of his school friends, where he sees Mamimi down by the river and learns from his friends she is being bullied at her school. Naota realizes it is Mamimi who is starting the fires, and that she truly believes her game to be reality and the robot to be the Lord of Black Flames from her video game. He finds her performing a 'fire ritual' by the water bank. She explains she burnt down her old school house when she was younger because she 'hated the place', and had been saved from the flames by Naota's brother, the reason she loved him. A robot emerges from Naota's head then, and starts to battle Canti. Naota merges with Canti, and is able to transform into a large weapon to destroy the robot. At the end of the episodes Naota wonders what he can do for Mamimi, and promises to always be by her side.
3 Marquis de Carabas
"Maru Raba" (マルラバ)
{{{OriginalAirDate}}} August 7, 2003
The father of Naota's classmate Eri Ninamori, as well as the mayor of Mabase, is caught up in a scandal involving an alleged separation with her mother. Ninamori is more focused on the class' upcoming play, Puss in Boots, in which she plays the lead opposite Naota, who was voted to play the cat. Naota is unenthusiastic about his casting and skips the day's rehearsal. Upon meeting with Mamimi, she discovers that he now has cat ears growing from his head. Ninamori retreats to a train station to get away from the media circus that has developed outside her home, where Naota finds her. Haruko comes racing down the street, and loses her Vespa when she tries to avoid hitting a cat. The Vespa slams into Naota, knocking him into Ninamori. Kamon invites her to spend the night at the Nandaba residence due to the current turmoil at her home, and while in Naota's room, she reveals that she rigged the class votes to have him cast as the cat. The next day, the two get into an argument over the play. After Ninamori angrily reveals Naota's cat ears, he retaliates by revealing her vote rigging. This triggers the emergence of a massive creature from her head, which Haruko and Canti manage to defeat with the help of curry. The class goes through with the play.
4 Full Swing
"Furi Kiri" (フリキリ)
{{{OriginalAirDate}}} August 8, 2003
Haruko proves to be a star baseball player with phenomenal hitting and pitching skills, nearly singlehandedly defeating the Mabase Martians, who are coached by Naota's grandfather Shigekuni. Naota, however, is ignorant of the game and gets hit by one of Haruko's pitches. At home, Kamon and Haruko indulge in odd behavior that raises Naota's jealousy. He meets Commander Amarao for the first time, who warns him about Haruko. Commander Amarao, who works for the department of Interstellar Immigration alongside his subordinate Lieutenant Kitsurubami, later discovers that a satellite damaged by one of Haruko's hit baseballs is rapidly falling towards Earth. It homes in on a sudden burst of light from the N.O. channel in Naota's head that is triggered by his anger towards his father, and targets Mabase. Naota confronts Kamon and nearly attacks him with his baseball bat, discovering that his father has been replaced by a robot. He finds the corpse of his real father and revives him with hot water. After receiving a message that Commander Amarao had asked Naota to pass on to her, Haruko takes Naota to the top of the Medical Meccanica plant, where she extracts a Gibson Flying V guitar from Naota's head, which she calls his "bat". She then leaves as the falling satellite heads straight for Naota. It unfolds into the shape of a baseball glove and launches a bomb that looks exactly like a baseball. Naota swings his "bat" and manages to halt the bomb, which begins to detonate. Haruko returns to rescue him by swinging her guitar and knocking it back into space.
5 Brittle Bullet
"Burabure" (ブラブレ)
{{{OriginalAirDate}}} August 9, 2003
Haruko begins to switch her attentions from Kamon to Naota, arousing the former's jealousy. They resolve to "duel" for Haruko, which amounts to little more than an intense airsoft firefight with Canti allied with Kamon. During the fight, Lieutenant Kitsurubami tries to unsuccessfully blow Canti away. Mamimi, observing Naota's intimate relationship with Haruko, questions him as to how much he really likes her, leading him to confront her about their relationship. Finally, his N.O. channel erupts with one of the largest objects yet, a leviathan robot, while a gunfight rages between Commander Amarao, his group of backup gunmen, and Haruko. Trapped on top of the robot, Naota resolves to save Mamimi and bravely fuses with Canti. However, despite his and Haruko's best efforts, they are unable to stop the giant robot, which rampages towards the Medical Meccanica plant. Canti then manifests the power of Atomsk by producing his EB-0 1961 Gibson bass guitar, to the amazement of Commander Amarao and Haruko. Canti defeats the giant robot, which is actually a gargantuan hand, rocketing over the Medical Meccanica plant and straight into the ground, where it becomes a petrified monument, presiding over the plant.
6 FLCLimax
"Furi Kura[a]" (フリクラ)
{{{OriginalAirDate}}} August 13, 2003
Haruko and Canti have disappeared and become wanted criminals, while smoke has continued to pour out of the Medical Meccanica plant, shrouding Mabase in mist. Mamimi finds a small dog-like robot by the river. It runs away with her cell phone, which she lets it eat, and it grows as a result. Haruko returns to the Nandaba residence at dinner, causing Naota to later ask her in tears why she left. Commander Amarao and Lieutenant Kitsurubami attempt to find the "terminal core" of a robot they haul out of the river, which is revealed to be the device Mamimi has been feeding. It absorbs part of Canti before Haruko feeds Naota to it, then drills into the giant hand. From this, Haruko hopes to extract Atomsk, the celestial being whose power she desires. Before the giant hand can fully grasp the Medical Meccanica plant, Canti stops it as Naota emerges from his head, glowing with the infinite energy of Atomsk. Stunned, Haruko flies into a rage, bent on acquiring the power of Atomsk by destroying Naota. Before he can finish Haruko off, Naota stops short and declaring his love for her, kisses her, allowing Atomsk to fully emerge from his N.O. channel. Atomsk consumes the terminal core and blasts into space. Haruko zooms away towards the sky on her Vespa, leaving Naota to find her guitar lying amongst the rubble. In the epilogue, life returns to normal in Mabase. At the end of the credits, Haruko is seen riding off in space on her Vespa.

Notes and references

a^ : The Japanese title is actually an alteration made by Haruko on the phrase "funi funi, funi kura" (フニフニ. フニクラ?). The episode's title is not meant to have any actual significance.[13]

External links

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