By Justin D Williams
FLCL Progressive features all 6 episodes of the anime directed by Katsuyuki Motohiro. The sequel to one of the most insane anime ever created, FLCL: Progressive brings together members of the original team with a whole new generation of creators. From the legendary anime studio Production I.G and Adult Swim. FLCL: Progressive tells the story of 14-year-old Hidomi, her classmate Ide, and two otherworldly beings, “Jinyu” and “Haruha Raharu,” who are determined to unlock their hidden potential. Mixed up in this is an all-powerful force known as “ATOMSK,” a gorgeous vintage car… and a certain Vespa Scooter.Special Features: Meet the Creators, The Pillows.
FLCL is one of the most beloved anime series in recent memory. It holds a special place in the hearts of anime fans, especially the generation that grew up during the Toonami era. When two sequels were announced FLCL Progressive and the later FLCL Alternative. I was one of the critics that went why do we need a sequel. However, my fears were put slightly at ease when FLCL Progressive was release. FLCL Progressive does not surpass the original series. However, where it does do well is create its own niche in the universe. The main characters from the original take a back seat as we are focused on Hidomi. Hidomi is a girl who wears headphones that don’t play music and she uses this as a way to shut out the world. One thing FLCL Progressive does maintain is the coming of age aspect of storytelling. Hidomi is a point of her life she feels out of place, she can’t really grip with the issues she is dealing with mainly coming from her relationship with her family. As the story progresses we see glimpses of her true feelings through some dream sequences. Fan-favorite Haruko returns with the humor and her own plans for Hidomi. I will say this time the humor and her character are very tame and less over the top. I think it works to compliment Hidomi more reserve character. Some of the complaints I have with the story just like the first series the narrative is hard to follow at times and doesn’t really make sense. I guess that is the appeal of the show but it would help if other supporting characters in the FLCL Progressive had some character development.
Production I.G. returns now has the sole production head runner of the show. The animation, for the most part, keeps the feel of the original anime. However, like a sequel there are some updates in the presentation. Some use of CGI in certain scenes and the use of color works well. I still like the more raw feel of the first one but as a sequel, this one works. Finally, the voice acting is pretty good. The English and Japanese dub does well and brings tons of energy to the characters. However, due to certain characters’ personalities, you don’t get some of that raw energy you expect from the original. For example, Hidomi sometimes sounds monotone and uninterested and that is due to her character. While Haruko is a ball of energy and very wild. This works and credit to actors for being able to pull it off.
Final Rating- B- : FLCL Progressive is an okay sequel. It doesn’t surpass the original and some of the supporting characters have no character development. However, there is some fun to be seen with Haruko interacting with new people and her motives. Hidomi is an interesting character but it will take some time to warm up to her. The animation keeps the feel of the original for the most part.
FLCL Progressive is now available on DVD. The DVD includes special features of behind the scenes which is worth checking out.