Jun 24, 2020
Flying Luna Clipper is the single greatest thing to ever grace humanity. This movie about a group of fruit & vegetable people will make you laugh, have you in awe, and make yourself question whether it’s actually legal or not to own the movie. Let’s get right into it!
This OVA was directed and written by Ikko Ono. Who is that? I have no idea. He was seemingly born just to make this one movie and then blipped off the map completely. I only mention him because there’s a similar sort of mystique to the film itself. It was practically lost to time until someone found
the laserdisc of it in a thrift store recently in late 2015 and decided to upload it to YouTube. This gives the film an unusual aura, like a hazy memory of an obscure cartoon or video game you remember seeing as a kid, but you don’t know if it was actually real or just a product of your imagination.
Speaking of video games, Flying Luna Clipper uses 2D sprites made on an MSX2 computer instead of the typical cel animation at the time. Fans of Hideo Kojima may recognize the MSX brand for Kojima’s video game debut with the original Metal Gear, which later got an NES port. I honestly have no idea got into Ikko Ono when he made this decision, but oh boy am I glad he did. Flying Luna Clipper represents a lot of the same unrivaled charm found in games from that era. There’s this level of abstraction and dreamlike atmosphere that makes it a mesmerizing viewing experience from start to finish, even if you have no idea what the hell is going on. I was always at the edge of my seat; every time I told myself “There’s no way this can get any weirder!” the movie one-upped itself and continued to blow me away.
So is Flying Luna Clipper just style over substance? To some of you it definitely will just be a mismatch of ideas haphazardly thrown together into an incoherent mess, and I won’t blame you at all for thinking that way at all. However, for me the whole concept about going on this fantastical journey to explore dreams invoked a very magical feeling inside of me, like my mind had suddenly been transported into the body of an infant, and I’m experiencing the world all over again in my most impressionable years. Everything seems so fascinating and alien in that stage that you can’t help but to be in complete awe at everything around you. As we grow older, we start to take everything for granted and forget that we even had such a period in our life. Everything starts to blend in and become a bit mundane, which is why I appreciate things like Flying Luna Clipper that can take me by surprise and bring me back to my youth.
However, there is one tiny aspect of the film that’s a bit problematic, and it’s got to do with babies… In the Gravity Dance section of the film, there are a couple shots showing naked babies which are completely uncensored. To any western fan, I’m sure these mere seconds of footage alone is enough to turn them off from the film entirely, and while it does make me feel a bit uncomfortable, it’s not enough to ruin the movie for me. Who knows, maybe it’s not as big of a deal over in Japan where they had Goku’s Dragon Balls hanging out on national television, but it’s still something to look out for regardless. Aside from those few shots, the Gravity Dance section is absolutely my favorite part of the film. It conveys this sense of freedom and ecstasy, like you’re being whisked away on a cloud or floating on water. The bit before is starts where they tell you to unfasten your seatbelt was also really funny.
In conclusion, Ikko Ono really went above and beyond with Flying Luna Clipper. It is a one of a kind experience unlike anything else I have ever seen, and I am so glad it exists because by all accounts it really shouldn’t. I mean, even for the ‘80s where studios went bonkers on creating experimental OVAs and films, who in their right mind would come up with something like this? They really don’t make ‘em like they used to, and I’m not sure whether that’s a good thing or not… Oh, what am I saying? Flying Luna Clipper is a grace to mankind and I will cherish it with every ounce of my being. Now if only that alleged 2004 sequel film could get uncovered...
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