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No FLCL for Oldtaku

February 20, 2013
by

flclI get plenty of “why isn’t blank on your Top 50 List” comments. Plenty of those comments are made by peeps who clearly didn’t actually read my list. No, dude, there’s no way I’m the sort of guy who’s into Dragonball Z or Death Note or whatever. You’re just spouting popular stuff that has no correlation with what I actually dig. I do get a few shoutouts for series and movies I actually kinda like. Samurai Champloo’s good stuff, but it’s just outside of my Top 50. The same goes for a few other great series.

FLCL’s one of those series. It’s good stuff, but it doesn’t resonate with me quite as much as it does for a lot of fans. It’s beautifully animated and funny and stuff, but I just don’t relate with it.

I’m too old for its shit.

FLCL is about a very specific time in one’s life. It’s about those awkward teen years where you’re undersexed and overstimulated– wrestling with thoughts far more mature than your experience can handle. You’re a fleshy mass of strange hormones and untested knowledge. You think you know your shit, but you’re just another idiot kid wailing and whining away at a world that understands you and doesn’t give a fuck because it understands you. You gotta figure out all this stuff on your own for the most part, and you gotta feel all that pain and frustration like everyone who came before you, and that’s what FLCL deals with.

In order to fully appreciate a piece of fiction that deals with such issues, you really gotta experience said piece of fiction while you’re in the throes of adolescence. Once you’re removed from that stage of life, no matter how much you can look back and reflect upon it, you’re nothing but a passive observer trying to understand a mindset that’s now all but alien. As much as I can remember my own rebellious thoughts and frustrations with parents and peers, I don’t comprehend the feelings that accompanied those thoughts. I know that it felt like the world just didn’t understand. I know those solipsistic thoughts permeated my mind. I know I was there, but I don’t know how there actually felt.

Even in my early 20s, watching FLCL was an act of cold, distant observation. I could appreciate what was on its mind, and I really liked the action and comedy, but Naota’s feelings were too far removed from mine for me to connect.

That isn’t to say that people outside of the age bracket can’t relate. Maybe someone’s adolescent experiences hit closer to FLCL’s experiences than mine. Most of my longing, nostalgic feelings for that period in my life has more to do with artifacts from that era. I don’t fondly remember pinning for some girl’s attention so much as I remember the feeling of hanging out in an arcade or playing RPGs until 4 in the morning. I was am a nerd in every way possible.

So yeah, I didn’t see FLCL at the right age, and it doesn’t harken back to memories I hold dear. It’s just a wacky mess of cool animation with a snazzy robot.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Mazzack permalink
    February 20, 2013 6:25 AM

    You have just articulated (wonderfully I might add) why I liked but didn’t love FLCL.

  2. February 20, 2013 11:03 PM

    Wacky mess of cool animation is what puts it on my list…

    I don’t look upon most anime as a reflection of my own life experiences.
    I generally don’t emotionally resonate with my favorite anime.
    …or many anime at all…

    Except feelings of sheer unbridled awesome or hilarity.

  3. February 26, 2013 8:06 PM

    I thought it was interesting…and I LOVE wacky STUPID shit…but honestly I got tired of it because I didn’t feel like I learned anything or…anything. At least with Azumanga Daioh and their random spurts of nothing, at the end you feel good or sad because you like the characters so much and don’t want school to end…but FLCL, IDK….idk…

  4. March 14, 2013 10:39 AM

    Well said. I never understood nor loved FLCL, even though I watched it in my late teens. Although, I think personal experience also has something to do with the dissonance; not everyone was a wannabe rebel in their youth.

    In any case, The Pillows were amazing! =)

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