The Series That Will Be Easily Forgotten: FLCL Progressive/Alternative

Hihi, I’m back again, for another completed anime review.

After nearly a year, I can finally watch FLCL subbed.

I’m not really a big fan of how they released the dubbed first, then release the sub like over half a year later.

Both series are 6 episode each, just like the OG FLCL. Well, it’s been over 18 years, and we finally get a sequel. But does it live up to its expectations despite its age? Is it worth the 18 years wait? Lets find out.

I will be reviewing the two shows and finally compared it with the OG FLCL.

FLCL Progressive

Story

Progressive started off pretty nicely. Showing decent amount of promise for like the first 2 episodes, before the writing slowly derail and goes all over the place.

Each episode had a different episode director, but with Motohiro Katsuyuki as chief director. The series composer is the same throughout, but the writing felt out of place and way too far-fetched between episodes, can be close enough to call it episodic.

I don’t know if Motohiro is doing his job enough as a chief director, or Iwai Hideo’s writing is just plain bad.

Character developments is there, but with the messy writing, the developments between Kou and Hidomi felt like it’s constantly interrupted by Haruko and Julia. That may be the way the plot works, but I wish they could have integrated them even nicely, making them look like the advisors or some pretty significant side characters.

Climax felt pretty lackluster, as there was pretty much no buildup to the hype. Even if there is any buildup, I cannot see it. The plot unpredictability made this show hard to pinpoint if I like the story or not.

The ending felt pretty much open-ended. I don’t like such endings especially with shows that I’m certain that will never ever have a sequel on.

I wish the ending could have been done a lot better. Comedy overall also felt severely lacking. They are relying on action comedy alone. Pacing was rather slow too for the 6 episode format.

Overall, I’m on the “At Least We Got A Sequel” side of the fence. I don’t hate or love it, it’s lacking a lot of the OG magic, that I.G alone couldn’t replicate.

Animations

This is probably the few redeeming factors that the show has to make up for its flaws.

Animation by I.G, NUT and Revoroot. They tried to replicate the OG Gainax animations and I can say they did a decent job at it.

Character designs definitely not the OG look, but these designs looked pretty nice, I like it.

Colors felt rather awkward, OG colors used were bland, but it gives off a laidback look. This time it does feel like it’s fitting for the summer, but the emphasis on getting the colors extremely vivid is rather weird.

Combat scenes looked solid, as expected from I.G. Nothing short of a spectacle.

I like this new look overall, fitting for 2018/2019. But I wished certain elements of the OG show stayed. But well, Gainax is no longer part of the duo so I.G. calls the shots now.

Music

They brought back The Pillows, which is rather amazing they did, but they are not the main composers this time like the OG.

R.O.N is the real people in-charge this time.

They did a good job at trying to retain the style of that the OG had back then. I love it.

Voice Cast

I’m glad that Shintani Mayumi came back. I thought she’s pretty much tied down to Gainax or Trigger. She’s the mascot of FLCL.

The rest of the cast includes Inori Minase, Fukuyama Jun, Sawashiro Miyuki, Inoue Kikuko, Muranaka Tomo, Nakazawa Masatomo, Sugo Takayuki, Kurosawa Tomoyo, Urayama Jin, Suzuki Reiko.

The cast did their job nicely. I have no complains, they tried their best to make the show enteraining, and they did an excellent job.

But Inori and Jun’s chemistry here sometimes feels lacking. They didn’t really have the flow.

FLCL Alternative

Story

I would say this is the better one of the duo. Despite the same writer as Progressive, this one is more polished, has more of the OG comedy and the style of writing really does replicate the OG. The 4 girl team is definitely better than Progressive already.

The introduction just go straight into the action already. The comedy on this show is greatly improved. The action comedy also improved a lot. Directors reduced to 3 member team now, with Uemura Yutaka being the episode director for all 6 episodes.

The story flow feels pretty great, still a little bit episodic. The episodic nature this time because each girl gets their own episode, while Progressive is just being extremely erratic. The pacing is pretty fast, even faster than the OG.

Despite the episodic nature this show had, the character developments were nicely done. Each episode has a decent amount of buildup, leading up to the climax.

Romance is a good trade-off for character development I guess.

The climax is way polished than Progressive, because you can feel the build up. But the ending was… very… distasteful.

It literally felt like they simply ran out of time so they decided not to make a proper ending. It’s blatantly abrupt, extremely open-ended.

Overall, it had a pretty solid run for most of the season, but the ending pretty much ruined the entire show for me.

Animations

Same studio but different art style?

They abandoned the Progressive art style, to pursue something more fitting for 2018/2019. My reactions are mixed on this one.

I understand that they have to move on from the old artstyle. The combat now lacks the goofy action scenes.

Colors used looked slightly more vivid here. The character designs were pretty nice. It’s not perfect, but it’s good looking enough for me.

Voice Cast

New set of characters so new cast, except for Shintani Mayumi.

Miyama Karen, Yoshida Yuri, Iida Riho, Tamura Mutsumi, Aoyama Yutaka, Mori Katsuji, Matsutani Kaya.

They did their jobs well, I have nothing to complain here. The girls really sound like a clique and I love it.

Scores: Progressive|Alternative
Story: 7/10 | 8/10
Animations: 8/10 | 7/10
Music: 8/10
VAs: 7.5/10 | 8/10

Well, that’s it for the reviews, but how did the two shows live up to in terms of expectations?

My Thoughts About The Two Shows Compared to the 2001 OG…

Totally not intrigued.

To be honest, when they were rumoring around about I.G buying the rights over from Gainax, I was actually kind of disappointed. I wished that Gainax would be a part of the production so they could probably bring back the old staffs who produced the 2001 show.

But since Gainax was having some financial troubles back then, it would be surprising if Gainax turned down the sale.

But after so long the show finally came, and I am not particularly happy on they releasing the dubbed one first. I did understand the West lowkey pressured I.G to make a sequel, but that doesn’t mean you have to throw subbed watchers in the lurch for over 6 months. I’m fine if they release the subs immediately after the end of the airing, but waiting for over 6 months? Who likes that? Like what was the reasoning behind all that? I want to know.

That aside, what about the general feel of the 2 sequels? I am not particularly pleased with how I.G handled the production.

I.G could have hired the writers from Gainax to do the story, but no. The 7 director line up for Progressive was honestly a mess and a waste of money for I.G. I’m glad they reduced it 3 on Alternative, the story in Alternative is more consistent, less messy.

Progressive is pretty much like Mayoi Neko Overrun, a different episode director for each episode. This leads to a very inconsistent story telling style for each episode. For that we can kind of put the blame on Motohiro Kazuyuki (Chief Director) for not exactly doing his job in making the story flow smoother. He just let the story out raw.

You can say Alternative did kind of redeem the whole sequel series, but I think it’s not enough. I.G. knows very clearly that they have a lot to live up to when 2001 literally caused a cult following on FLCL.

To put it simply, I.G screwed the sequels, potentially the whole franchise. I’m not being harsh on I.G, but there is a lot of things that they did amazingly well, but this one feels like a production that lacks dedication and understanding of the 2001 style.

I personally recommend people to watch the 2001 and just stop there. It’s really not worth watching the 2 sequel seasons, especially if you love the way 2001 storytelling was told.

I.G disappointed me massively with the so-not-worth nearly a year wait for the subs and the botched storytelling. But there are some redeeming points, bringing back Shintani Mayumi, The Pillows, trying to replicate the artstyle on Progressive.

That’s it for me for today. This is probably one of the longest and my most dedicated posts in a long time… So it took me about 5hours to write. If you made it this far, congratulations, you are nearly done.

I do have more rewatched show reviews in the pipeline, I will be back eventually when I have the time. So I will see you guys then!

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One response to “The Series That Will Be Easily Forgotten: FLCL Progressive/Alternative

  1. Pingback: Super Sparkly Magical Anime Transformation! – Make It Anime Tag | BiblioNyan·

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