DVD Review: FLCL Progressive

DVD Reviews, Reviews, Top Story

Sometimes you really have to wait to see more. The first season of FLCL was released back in 2000 (which you might be astounded to realize was 19 years ago). The series gained a cult following even though they only produced six episodes. The series arrived on Adult Swim’s Anime Saturday night in 2003 and built a bigger following. The six episodes were repeated over the decade. And for the longest time, fans thought the limited episodes were all there was and would ever be. Until 2016 when an announcement came out that there would be two new seasons of six episodes each. Luckily for fans, there wouldn’t be decades between each season as FLCL Progressive and FLCL Alternative arriving in 2018 on Adult Swim’s Toonami block. Now FLCL Progressive is coming out on DVD.

Haruko Haruhara returns to town after the events of the first series. She assumes the role of a school teacher as she continues her plot to control the power of Atomsk. She finds herself wanting to use teenager Hidomi Hibajiri. But the girl is kept a bit safe by her cat ear headphones that never come off. The teenager is dealing with her own issues with dreams of a destroyed world and her body parts rotting off. Plus she might have feelings for her classmate Ko Ide. Haruko eventually uses him as a way to pry past the headphones. But can she do anything when Medical Mechanica and the Interstellar Immigration Bureau get tangled into the action? And how does this all set up FLCL Alternative?

FLCL Progressive is an anime that requires multiple viewing simply because the visual animation is so overwhelming, it’s easy to just lose track of the story. You let the images wash over your eyes as the battles slip into nightmares and daydreams involving robots, old cars, guitars and speakers. Luckily it is a six episode series so rewatching it to follow the storyline is only another 2 hours on the sofa and not an entire weekend. The rock and roll soundtrack helps amp up the action and makes time go faster as the weirdness unwinds. FLCL Progressive is worth the wait.

The video is 1.78:1 anamorphic. The images look sharp in the world that fluxes between the real and science fiction landscape. The audio is Dolby Digital 2.0 in both English and Japanese. Both sound clear as the action fluxes. The rock soundtrack doesn’t overwhelm the voice actors. The movies is subtitle in both English SDH and English Translation. Take your pick.

Meet the Creators (11:38) talks with the folks from Production I.G. They discuss how the show wasn’t a big hit in Japan when it was released so they were taken back that the show was a hit on Adult Swim. This led to a bigger audience in Japan wonder what they missed out on that the Americans hip to. Originally the creative minds behind the first series swore there was no way to make additional series to FLCL. But a way was found.

The Pillows (5:14) interviews the band whose song is the theme song. They talk about how they had no idea about the anime world so they were pretty jerkish when the producers of FLCL asked about using their music on the new series. They now understand that this has helped make them bigger than before.

Warner Home Video and Adult Swim presents FLCL Progressive. Rated: Unrated. Boxset Contents 6 episodes on 1 DVD. Released: October 1, 2019

Joe Corey is the writer and director of "Danger! Health Films" currently streaming on Night Flight and Amazon Prime. He's the author of "The Seven Secrets of Great Walmart People Greeters." This is the last how to get a job book you'll ever need. He was Associate Producer of the documentary "Moving Midway." He's worked as local crew on several reality shows including Candid Camera, American's Most Wanted, Extreme Makeover Home Edition and ESPN's Gaters. He's been featured on The Today Show and CBS's 48 Hours. Dom DeLuise once said, "Joe, you look like an axe murderer." He was in charge of research and programming at the Moving Image Archive.