'FLCL,' TV’s Strangest Anime, Is Back with a New Trailer

Seasons two and three of 'FLCL' are coming to Adult Swim this summer.
March 20, 2018, 9:57pm
Image courtesy Adult Swim

On Tuesday, Adult Swim dropped a new trailer for FLCL (pronounced Fooly Cooly), officially announcing two new seasons of the wonderfully weird early 2000s anime.

The reboot comes 18 years after writer Yōji Enokido and director Kazuya Tsurumaki's coming-of-age series originally aired in Japan, and 15 years since Toonami brought it to American audiences. Season two is called FLCL: Progressive and season three is called FLCL: Alternative. They're new stories following mostly new characters, but the show's blistering, dreamy visuals are still intact.

The original plot of FLCL is hard to get a handle on without multiple viewings and a Pepe Silvia-style organizational chart, but basically 12-year-old Naota Nandaba discovers he has a giant robot inside his head when a mysterious woman named Haruko (Kari Wahlgren) drives by him on a moped and hits him with a guitar. He then uses the giant robot to fight an evil nuclear power plant, while dealing with multiple love triangles between his mysterious attacker—who moves into the spare room in his house—his best friend, and his single father. The plot is less important than its portrayal of weird feelings and surreal moments that would be impossible to pull off in any other format. This video essay by Kristian Williams explains the appeal really well.

Adult Swim has recruited Wahlgren and the original anime company, Production IG, which worked on the 1995 Ghost in the Shell anime and Studio Ghibli classics like Howl's Moving Castle, for the reboot. Here's how the network describes the plots of the new seasons.

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…

FLCL: Alternative, which hands the series over to a totally different team of young creators who will redefine the meaning of “sequel.” The series centers on the misadventures of 17-year-old Kana, a high school junior who spends her days hanging out with her besties, Mossan, Hijiri, and Pets. They live unremarkable lives, until the day a Mecha falls out of the sky, along with a strange woman named “Haruko.” Her plans for Kana and her friends involve the force known as “ATOMSK.” Kana will have to risk everything to decide whether or not to help… like she really has a choice!

There is anime about cooking fights, possessed penguin hats, and feline pizza samurai, but FLCL really is one of the weirdest TV shows the genre has to offer. Now that its characters have grown up, maybe the show will visualize millennials' emotional reaction to crippling student debt, joblessness, loneliness, and waiting for Rick and Morty season four.

New episodes air on Adult Swim Saturday, June 2 at 11:30 PM (ET/PT).

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