Why You Need To Be Watching "Fooly Cooly"

Why You Need To Be Watching "Fooly Cooly"

An anime review of "FLCL"
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"Fooly Cooly", "FLCL," for short, is a six episode OVA (original video animation) loosely based on a manga of the same title. Directed by Kazuya Tsurumaki (protégé to Hideaki Anno, director of widely popular "Neon Genesis Evangelion") and animated by the skilled individuals at Gainax, "FLCL" serves up a lot of beauty and complexity to the viewer. The show details the life of Naota Nandaba, a 12-year-old boy living in a fictional Japanese Suburb called “Mabase.” Without giving too much away about the very short story, the show revolves around the Naota’s relationship with an otherworldly human-looking woman by the name of Haruko Haruhara.

After appearing in Mabase in a rather comedic way, Haruko becomes a catalyst of change in young Naota’s life. Coming in both physical and internal forms, this change ultimately guides our protagonist to maturity and agency. Without a doubt, this show is an anime about “growing up” and (at least on the surface) offers nothing new to the existing dialogue. Even to a western audience, the “coming of age” themes of "FLCL" might seem a bit stale. Regardless of whether or not the idea is novel, "FLCL" offers up its message in a beautiful and complex way. Important developments during adolescence like sexuality, identity, partnership, and love are portrayed in FLCL’s well written dialogue, masterful animation and interesting metaphors. For many, however, the semantics of the story and the stale message are too big a pill to swallow. Beyond the, arguably, cliché moral, the sexual-metaphors and the pseudo-pedophilic surface of the story, I think "FLCL" is the best anime I’ve ever seen.

"FLCL" is beautiful, especially for the time it was created. During the late 90s and early 2000s anime was riddled with low-budget CGI in an effort to circumvent the cost of paying animators to draw. This lead to a number of anime and even western animations to become notorious for breaking viewer immersion by combining inconsistent/poorly done CGI with drawn image. For whatever reason, "FLCL" didn’t succumb to the tropes of its time and the visuals are worthy of award. Fight scenes are drawn to perfection, emotions are clearly portrayed through facial drawings, and the animation style is never dull. This, in part, is due to the inconsistency of visual style used throughout the show. At several occasions during the short run time, the show will completely flip the animation style without warning or acknowledgement. At one point, the show transforms into a page-by-page manga. At another, it pays homage to the animation style of "South Park." Even if you don’t enjoy the shows story, I think you might still enjoy the awe-inspiring art present in "FLCL."

"FLCL" is short. At only 24 minutes an episode (30 minutes for the final episode) and a total of six episodes, "FLCL" is a quick fix. Along with this shortness comes a lack of time demand for those viewers who want to watch something, but might not want to commit to a full 24-68 episode anime series.

"FLCL" is smart. Thanks to the directing of Tsurumaki, a protégé to the original 2deep4me director, "FLCL" is a complex show. This is not to say that you need to think hard and deep about the story and all of its elements to understand/enjoy the show (there is some surface value to the show), but viewers that want to be able to interpret and contemplate their show will be happily surprised. The show is ripe with metaphors, it is up to the viewer whether or not they are picked and enjoyed.

"FLCL" sounds awesome. The show's OST was produced in its entirety by a Japanese rock group called "The Pillows." In total, the band recorded three entire original albums for the show's six episodes. If that sounds like a lot to you, then you are right. Rarely, if ever, do I recall hearing a repeated song (other than the outro and intro) in "FLCL's" run time. This, effectively, creates a novel listening experience throughout the show. Even when I go back to re-watch the show, Ill find a new song I hadn't noticed before playing softly in the background.

Admittedly, my review of "FLCL" is a biased one. Having first seen it during an emotional crossroad of my adolescence, I created a strong bond with the “coming of age” story and its characters. Consistently, I have come back to watch the show when I’m feeling stagnated or unhappy and, consistently, it has brought me joy. This is not to say that the show does not hold its own from an unbiased perspective, and had garnered enough popularity in the U.S. to gain (and continue) air time on Cartoon Network’s “Adult Swim.” Somewhat reputable review-site Rotten Tomatoes has even given it a 96 percent, but for the most part it received above average reviews. Personally, I think "FLCL" is the best anime I will ever see because it so succinctly captured so much within a small six episode package. If you watch anime and even if you don’t, you should watch "Fooly Cooly."

Cover Image Credit: Imgur

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14 Fraternity Guy Gifts Ideas, Since He Already Has Enough Beer

Frat boys are a species of their own and here are some exciting gifts they will be ecstatic to receive!

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What more do frat boys love than alcohol, partying, and just acting stupid? Here are some gifts that help fulfill all of those needs for the frat boy in your life!

1. Beer holster belt

Whats better than one beer? Six beers! This fashionable camouflage accessory can be used for tailgates, beach days, formals and everything in between.

Price: $8.49

2. Phone juul holder 

You know those cardholders everyone sticks on the back of their phones? Well, now a Juul holder for your phone is on the market! This will save your favorite frat boy from ever again losing his Juul!

Price: $10.98

3. Animal house poster 

This Animal House poster is a classic staple for any frat boy. This poster will compliment any frat house decor or lack thereof.

Price: $1.95

4. The American Fraternity book

Does the frat boy in your life need a good read for Thanksgiving or winter break? Look no farther, this will certainly keep his attention and give him a history lesson on American fraternity heritage and tradition.

Price: $28.46

5. Beer pong socks 

These snazzy socks featuring beer pong will be loved by any frat boy. As for the way to any frat boy's heart may, in fact, be beer pong.

Price: $12.00

6. Condom case

This condom carrying case will not only protect condoms from damage but also make frat boys more inclined to practice safe sex, which is a win-win situation!

Price: $9.99

7. Frat house candle

Ahhh yes, who does not like the smell of stale beer in a dark, musty frat house basement? Frat boys can make their apartment or bedroom back home smell like their favorite place with the help of this candle.

Price: $16.99

8. "Frat" sticker

Frat boys always need to make sure everyone around them knows just how "fratty" they are. This versatile stick can go on a laptop, car, water bottle, or practically anywhere their little hearts desire.

Price: $6.50

9. Natty Light t-shirt 

Even I will admit that this shirt is pretty cool. The frat boy in your life will wear this shirt at every possible moment, it is just that cool!

Price: $38.76-$41.11

10. Natty light fanny pack 

This fanny pack can absolutely be rocked by any frat boy. The built-in koozie adds a nice touch.

Price: $21.85

11. Bud Light Neon Beer Sign 

A neon beer sign will be the perfect addition to any frat boys bedroom.

Price: $79.99

12. Beer Opener

Although most frat boys' go to beers come in cans, this bottle opener will be useful for those special occasions when they buy nicer bottled beers.

Price: $7.99

13. Frat House Dr. Sign

Price: $13.99

Forget stealing random street signs, with this gift frat boys no longer have to do so.

14. Beer Lights 

Lights are an essential for any party and these will surely light up even the lamest parties.

Price: $17.19

Please note that prices are accurate and items in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

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I Made The Decision To Come Back And Here's Why

It's been quite a year. I read a handful of my old articles and, with new found motivation, I'm excited to crank out material that's meaningful to me.

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I can't believe it's been almost a year since the first time I joined the Odyssey. The time went by so quickly. My first article was posted November 20th, and my last one, January 8th. It was a short run, and to be honest, I wasn't sure if I would come back.

Part of me was scared to write about the personal aspects of my life — things I'm not necessarily willing to share online. And, really, that's what I thought the Odyssey was all about: silly listicles and articles about mental health. First of all — I'm horrible at making lists. Second of all — I'm more of the type to "suffer in silence."

I was a little concerned about views. I wanted to write material that people would read, and when I realized that, I discovered why I was having a hard time creating content I was proud of. I wasn't writing what I wanted to.

There were some perks to writing for the Odyssey: I tried a new writing style. I mostly stick to fiction, essays, and the occasional non-fiction piece, but never article writing. I figure, any writing is good writing — and any publicity is good publicity. The Odyssey forces me to write something every week.

I got some home-town recognition, too. Over the summer, several people questioned me about my writing. When did I start? Is it what I'm going to school for? I got lots of compliments, people saying I show a lot of potential as a writer. (Which only made me cringe because I suck at taking compliments.)

I met one of my best friends. Callaghan, my schools' fearless editor-in-chief. She invited me over to her dorm one mid-November afternoon last year when I first started writing. She offered to do my makeup — something I don't do myself, and at the moment I was like, "Why not?"

Since then, we've been great friends. Now, our days practically revolve around each other. We always eat together; breakfast and dinner, sometimes lunch if we find the time. We go to the library and complain about homework instead of doing it (that's probably more me than her, to be fair). We have This Is Us dates and writing sessions. I've taken to calling Callaghan my "Soul Mom." She always has the answers, which is a perk to having a friend that's a senior. It also really sucks because she'll be graduated next year, but through her, I've made a ton of friends.

Even though my first stint was very quick, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone. I posted my writing on Facebook for the first time and that was a big step for me. And now with some new confidence and a new attitude, I'm ready to begin writing about what I think is meaningful.

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