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Choujin Densetsu Urotsukidouji
Choujin Densetsu Urotsukidouji
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Completed 3/3 · Scored 7
Oct 2, 6:05 AM
Dropped 2/12 · Scored 4
Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis
Shingeki no Bahamut: Genesis
Oct 1, 5:23 PM
Completed 12/12 · Scored 5
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DigiCat Aug 20, 3:01 PM
Grazie mille for joining the club :D
DigiCat Jun 17, 5:34 AM
Hi :3 How you doing?
I made a club for sharing and discussing reviews
If you interested please join and make a thread, i'm trying to grow club
aa6dcc Jun 2, 11:26 AM
je suis alle au cinema avec des copains le voir... j'ai prefere Your Name de Makoto Shinkai, mais c'etait tout de meme agreable a voir, de la bonne musique etc... tres sympa, pas prise de tete mais pas "exceptionnel" non plus (selon mes gouts). Comptes-tu le voir?
DigiCat Apr 29, 9:27 AM
You welcome :3

Yes Frontier has a darker tone to it in the way it portrayes and developes the characters
It's stand alone and instead of having digimon partners the kids turn into digimon themselves

I actually "started" with Frontier since i was too young to remember much of Adventure when it first aired

Hope you enjoy :)
DigiCat Apr 24, 4:57 PM
Thanks :D Glad i could make you laugh

Yes, Digimon is my favorite anime of all time and i grew up watching it, but i think it can be enjoyed by all ages

Adventure, Adventure 02, and Frontier which are in my favs are the ones i grew up with, for me those are the top of the top of Digimon and i still re-watch them almost yearly (actually re-watching Adventure showing it to a friend), the worldbuilding and character developement is incredible considering it's a kids show

Adventure is the original and main series, also the only one with sequels, newer seasons/movies aren't quite as good, but still great

Watch order:
Adventure movie (prequel) -> Adventure -> Our War Game -> Adventure 02 -> Revenge Of Diaboromon -> Adventure Tri -> Last Evolution -> Adventure 02 The Beginning
Also has a side story Adventure 02 movies

And the remake Adventure 2020 is shit
If you want more thoughts:

Frontier is an underrated gem

Savers is also good, has quite a different vibe and a little slower paced

Xros Wars is the opposite, very fast paced, maybe even too fast, can be a bit hard to follow, though i'm just re-watching this now after not having watched it since it aired when i was in highschool, so it might improve in later episodes

And Ghost Game, the newest season, very episodic, the main plot moves extreamly slow, i wouldn't recommend this as a Digimon starting point, it's more something cute to watch if you really get into the series, got a nice horror vibe

The only seasons i've yet to watch are Tamers which i missed when it aired on TV, and the newer Appli Monsters which never got a dub and came out before i was capable of watching subs without my brain exploding
DigiCat Apr 20, 10:16 AM
Holy shit, we share the same birthday! (though a couple decades apart 😂)

Curious, what did you find funny about my Modest Heroes review? (you can see who reacted by clicking on the number of reactions 😜)
I see you also didn't particularly like the movie, nice review btw :3

Also like what you wrote in your about me, it's very cool
Feel free to discuss anime/cartoons with me if you like :)
Qkydzaa Dec 3, 2022 8:03 AM
Thank you so much for answering!! I am currently learning how to program and think about majoring in CS, and later on studying machine learning, so that is why I was interested in cyberpsychology (also my mum is a psychiatrist and I find her job really interesting).

Generally, I like to talk about my fav animes soo:

Psycho Pass - for me this is the Matrix of anime ( without counting animatrix :D). It covers some fundamental psychological topics, that are often seen in other titles. But what I find interesting is the characters and the plot as a whole. Kougami is probably the character I most look up to. Narrow minded , yet so friking intellegent, he knows what to do and nothing will stop him completing the goals he has set. Also Psycho Pass showed me so many ideas, themes that I tought were mind blowing!

Monster - I don't think that I should explain why it is in my fav list.

Kaguya - wholesome as f, every episode I was grinning, and to be honest that is the best romance that I have seen ( not that I have seen many). The characters are sometimes really reletable and the anime makes me value my last school years.

Golden Kamuy - If you haven't seen it... Just try it. This anime is like you said about vinland saga(bunch of dudes traveling around), but soooo much moreee. The characters are incredible. Every single one of them brings something for the whole plot and does not feel left behind. I could write a whole essay about this almost masterpice.

Ping pong - again, like Monster... I really dont think I have the time to explain why I love this thing so much. To put it shortly, PPTA is about life.

Steing;Gate - I was wondering should I remove it or not, but I will let it stay for now. The plot is good.. and ye

Now to your question :D Vinland Saga - YOU ARE 100% RIGHT. A month ago, while browsing MAL as ususal, I saw my profile and wondered "hmmm, what happend in Vinland Saga?". The answer is still unknown, because I don't remeber absolutely anything. I don't think that there was a character that was anything really special ( Thorkell was cool I guess). I barely remember why some things happend. But it is normal to forget stuff... the problem is that I do not feel Vinland Saga close to me anymore and I think it is in my fav list because of the hype after watching.

Gankutsuou - well, the uniqeness of it grabbed my interest. After completing it I didn't feel the end as good as the rest of the plot, but that doesn't mean that it shouldn't be in my fav list. I have never seen something like it.

Tatami Galaxy ( not yet on my fav list cuz I always forget to add it) - as PPTA - anime about life. TG just changed the way I interpret things. Just made me thing more positively. Probably the anime that has influenced me the most :D.

I am thinking of adding Casshern Sins, because its last few episodes were a masterpiece, but the first 18 or smth not so. Really atmpospheric.
Qkydzaa Nov 2, 2022 3:13 PM
Hey, I just read your Bio and could you explain a little bit more about cyberpsychology. It sounds pretty interesting. And just a quick question about your profession, is it somehow related to programming and IT or is it more on the psychological and medical side?
CataOrShane Jun 4, 2022 8:53 AM
Hi, nice to meet you

Thank you for taking the time to read my review and provide me feedback on it. I appreciate it. To me, not a single character from Wen Li's side has charisma. Everyone feels the same to me and Wen Li in particular I can't really remember a single occasion where something happened that made him develop as a character. Reinhard and a bunch of other characters from his side go through quite a few ordeals and events that change them and to me that's what keeps me entertained while watching LOGH.
archb Jan 31, 2022 7:41 AM
Hey Psychiatrist,

Thank you for the extensive reply. It was really interesting to read your comments and more on the history of anime airing to western audiences. I really appreciate it.

M6A3 Jul 1, 2021 10:15 PM
What FLCL means (for dummies)
FLCL (fooly cooly or furi kuri) first aired on Adult Swim in 2003.

I have read a lot of theories on FLCL but have never been really satisfied by them. There is the popular "it's a metaphor for imperialism" analysis that gets bandied about on message boards, which makes for a grade-A college paper but doesn't resonate with me at all. When people say that "it's a metaphor for puberty," I think to myself "sure, but is that it?" Not only is it a shallow observation, it suggests that this series conforms to the conventional coming of age tale, when really it deconstructs and then shatters it. I find FLCL so singular and compelling and realized that, for me, it can't really be understood using literary analysis but by just bringing your own life experience to it. So here is what FLCL says to me. And remember, it's just my opinion.

I know that many people find FLCL inscrutable, but I think in a lot of ways it wears its heart on its sleeve. Look past the psychedelic imagery and gonzo digressions; just watch how these characters interact with each other. I think too many people get hung up on the sexual allegories. Of course sexuality is a crucial component of puberty and the show is right to emphasize it, but it's not really what Naota's journey is about. FLCL has a lot on its mind but its message is obscured by the show's chaotic rhythm and the haziness of each characters' motivation. Which is pretty much the same case as life.

I envy anyone who sees FLCL for the first time, because there are few experiences as luxuriously discombobulating. Some people despise it: I've seen friends visibly develop a headache during the first episode alone and then politely ask we watch something else. You are either on board or you violently want to get off the ride, and that's part of the cult appeal of the show. Scour the Youtube comments and you'll see a consensus that FLCL is a psychedelic without internal logic. I find this both thrilling and sad: this series is admittedly a mind trip on a first watch but it pains me to see it so widely misunderstood.

FLCL does have internal logic and every moment serves a narrative purpose. The stylistic whiplash it gives viewers is part of its artistic integrity; I can't think of another work of art that better articulates the confusion and discomfort a person feels during puberty. Everything is anchored by Naota's blossoming perspective; we are confused by everything we see because we see it through the eyes of a 12-year-old who is being confronted by sexuality and the escalating complications of life for the first time. Fittingly, the only way to understand FLCL is with re-watches. Every time you sift through this zany chain of events and interactions, they increasingly gain clarity. This perfectly simulates life itself. We can never understand what's happening to us during puberty until we reflect upon it later in life, when we have gained more experience and emotional understanding.

I feel like FLCL isn't about a boy becoming a man but instead about how we are only hurting ourselves when we actively pursue "adulthood," or our idealized self. It's kind of the anti-coming of age story, because it dares to question what adulthood even means.

I'm going to use a lot of key scenes from "FLClimax" to illustrate my points, so here's a link to that episode in case you want to check out the moments I'm referencing to see for yourself:

It is during its final episode that FLCL finally exposes its big beating heart, and it casts a new light on everything that had unfolded beforehand.

Something that always mystified me is how Haruko is stunned when Naota confesses his love for her. It's the first time she is truly flustered. But why is she so surprised? She's spent the entire series trying to worm her way into Naota's heart. Except that I don't think Haruko actually knows what love is, and that's her fatal flaw that keeps her from growing as a person (and why she will forever remain 19). She is a teenaged Peter Pan, refusing to grow up and recruiting Lost Boys instead of Wendys. Is she in love with Atomsk or does she want to eat him? It's both - she idolizes him and wants to become him, and that's her idea of love: becoming someone who is her own idealized self. I realize now that her shock is not so much because Naota's affection is a surprise, but because this is the first time she's ever been confronted by what love actually looks like.

Throughout FLCL, Haruko treats intimate feelings like they're a joke ("Were you just about to confess your great love for me? How embarrassing!"). She expertly uses sexuality and affection as tools to manipulate. The one moment when she hints at having the capacity for empathy is when she allows Naota to hold her tightly as he cries, but even then she remains an enigma. Her far-off stare while Naota sobs into her chest (11:42) is one loaded poker face. What's going on behind those eyes? Is she mournful, regretful or just bored? You can never really tell with her.

[Side note: Naota breaking down in Haruko's arms is one of my favorite scenes in FLCL because it casts a deeply bittersweet light on their relationship. Who is Haruko to Naota? On one level, living without her has made him realize how much she has become his world - he is in love with her. But when he asks her why she left and abandoned him, his question is also directed at his brother Tasuku. On another level, the way he clings to her is an acknowledgement that Naota is a boy without a mother. We realize now why Naota has been so hesitant to open himself up - he feels abandoned by those he loves. Does Haruko recognize this? As she comforts him, she's acting as his lover, his sibling, his parent. And yet she can never really allow herself to be any of those things for Noata. Kinda breaks my heart.]

For me, her posture and expression in that moment looks like someone who recognizes that they're getting in too deep, that they're teetering on the edge of feeling personal responsibility to another person. Naota began as a means to an end for her but when he cries in her arms she is reminded that this isn't a game anymore. But her bracelet keeps clinking away - indicating that Atomsk is near - that reminder that she's close to getting what she wants, to becoming that person she sees herself as. She's resigned to her destiny and just tunes this moment of honest connection out. She simply cannot allow herself to feel anything - because once that door is opened, she'd be letting in feelings like doubt, insecurity, regret. She would no longer have control over her identity. Haruko views emotions like they're pathogens and she has steeled her immune system accordingly.

Someone becomes that numb to intimacy because it scares them. Haruko embraces the perks of adult behavior (developed sense of humor, sexuality, freedom) but she's a coward when it comes to actual intimacy. She's incredibly brave in other ways: when piratized Naota is barreling down on her, she's defiantly ready to be crushed. But when Naota confronts her with his vulnerable, sincere feelings? For the first time, she's speechless. Terrified. In that moment, she's a confused kid just like the rest of us. Then she must watch Atomsk, that rock god whose the coolest of the cool, fly away. She's not worthy - but then again, no one can actually become Atomsk. He's an ideal, that aura we perceive in those we look up to. But no one has it all figured out - there is no stage in life where you are free from insecurity and doubt. If Haruko actually caught Atomsk, she would ultimately become very disappointed.

The characters keep asking what Fooly Cooly means. Something kinky? Is it just gibberish? I think, in the end, the show tips its hat to what it's all about: love, baby. Sex is an important and thrilling discovery as you're growing up, but if that's all you ever care about then you'll become Naota's Dad, who is gonna die alone. Obsessing about sex is ignoring the bigger picture. It's not physical sexuality that really paralyzes us during puberty - what's really scary and frustrating are the anxieties and insecurities that come with sexual intimacy. Kids are given this narrative that love will be this wonderful feeling that can only brighten your life, but it's much more complicated than that. In reality, love is traumatic and can tear you apart if it goes awry.

FLCL captures the body horror and chaos of discovering sexuality, but if FLCL was only about sex, it would have ended when Naota swung the bat and hit a home run. This show understands that the most terrifying thing about sexuality is emotional intimacy. Because that means taking off your "mask" and being truly naked. Many people are scared to show their true selves - they become convinced that there is something wrong with them and that to be loved they must become this other person - their idealized self. Because of this, many folks don't make it through puberty intact - they've lost a crucial piece of who they are during the process and spend the rest of their lives trying to recapture it. I am certain that N.O. waves are triggered whenever a person feels an overwhelming emotion that cracks the false identity they've made for themselves, when they hit this wall that exposes their lie, that contradicts the role that they are trying to play.

Every principle character in FLCL falls prey to this. Kamon is a widower (or divorcee) who never really made it as a journalist, so he yearns to be seen as distinguished and desirable (like Lupin III, perhaps?). He would have sprouted a robot from his head when he caught Naota and Haruko kissing if he had the gift. Mamimi has been bullied and abandoned so she feels too helpless to take command of her own life. Her protector (savior) was Tasuku, so she desperately tries to continue her role as his girlfriend even after he has moved on. Ninamori is devastated that her family may be broken up, so she adopts the persona of a dispassionate independent in order to cope. Her infatuation with the story of "Puss in Boots" ('his lie eventually becomes the truth') is maybe the most important clue to my understanding of FLCL. These characters cannot confront their sadness and insecurity, so they commit to these false identities in the hopes that they will become happy.

The only exception is Canti, who is completely at ease with himself. He not only accepts the world but embraces it, freeing him up to be kind and giving to those around him. How appropriate that the only character in FLCL who is free of insecurity or selfishness... is a robot.

Tasuku didn't need to move to America for their to be a gulf between him and Naota - he is years older and at a different stage in life. People with older siblings know this all too well - there comes a point where you feel forcibly separated from this person you love, where they have gone to a place you can't follow. The physical distance between these two brothers only makes the emotional gap between them literal. So Naota adopts his "mask" of being a rational adult in the hopes that if he can commit to this role, then he can bridge the divide between him and Tasuku and feel connected to his brother again. He walls off his emotions and aspires to be mature even when it makes him miserable. All of the times Naota refers to his town and how much he hates it ("Nothing amazing happens here"), he's talking about his own headspace. His town isn't the problem - Masabe seems like a perfectly fine place to grow up - what makes him feel alienated and hopeless are the walls and borders he's built inside of his own head. The smoke that pours out from Medical Mechanica - that's Naota's anxiety, clouding his mind and numbing his true feelings.

It all comes to a head for Naota in the penultimate episode, "Brittle Bullet." After getting some sort of handle on his blossoming sexuality (he swung the bat!), he thought that he had crossed some figurative finish line, believing that he had become his idealized self - his brother. His newfound ego keeps building as his friends geek out over his exploits ("You're the pilot!") and it reaches a boil when Mamimi indicates that she's jealous of Haruko (doesn't every young adult fantasize that they're the focal point of a love triangle?).

But Naota's ego starts to crumble when Mamimi makes it clear that what they have isn't romance and that he's overstepped the arrangement. His ego then thrashes out in self-defense when, in her moment of panic, Mamimi calls out for Tasuku, not Naota. He can never become his brother; just because you swing the bat doesn't mean you get the girl. So he bristles with rage and hits his lowest point. Sure, it's a good thing that he takes back his name ("don't ever call me Takkun again!"), but his whole outburst is kinda unfair to Mamimi. He never loved her - the reason why he's so enraged is because his ego has been bruised.

He's already in love with Haruko but cannot reconcile what he's feeling, largely because she defies his expectations. He has bought into the outdated conventional wisdom of what becoming a man is: being strong and protective of a vulnerable woman who validates your masculinity with her gratitude. So instead of accepting that he is madly in love with this domineering woman who doesn't need saving, he instead hinges his self-esteem on Mamimi's approval because she is both helpless and is a connection to his brother. Naota believes that if he can somehow fill the void Tasuku left in Mamimi's life, then he will have escaped from his brother's shadow. When she doesn't return his affection, this false identity he's made for himself cracks. He had been treating romance like a power play and gets mad when he loses. He berates Mamimi for not recognizing his worth (look at how big my robots are, woman!), but really he's just trying to convince himself that he is what she needs. He then goes into battle fighting for the sake of his own ego, so of course he loses. Adding insult to injury, it's revealed that he was the bullet, not the pilot. He never really had control. This idealized identity he had constructed for himself is completely broken down.

In "FLClimax," Naota learns what it truly means to swing the bat - coming to terms with the blistering intensity of loving another person regardless of whether or not they love you back. By doing this, he accepts his true self.

Admitting that you love someone is really hard to do because it's kinda stupid. And childish. Being in love defies all of your rationality and self-interest. It's making yourself totally vulnerable and ceding control - and Haruko looks down on vulnerability. While she's amused by a child's insecurity, she's repulsed when an "adult" like Amarao shows weakness. That's why she can't allow herself to love.

The climactic kiss isn't a physical consummation. Naota and Haruko had locked lips several times throughout FLCL, but it was always her kissing him. All of those times, the kiss was just a provocation - it meant nothing. In the end, Naota chooses to kiss her, and it actually means something this time. Furthermore, it means everything. It's not really the world that's at stake when Haruko and Naota clash - what's going on is a battle between the mind and the heart. Haruko is powered by self-interest and narcissism - what she wants is to vindicate her own ego by becoming the most powerful being in the universe, becoming her idealized self. Naota is powered by his love for her - he is literally bathed in the energy of a burning heart. Naota won't let her get what she wants - it would hurt too many people - but he basically surrenders to her. Instead of cutting her down, he admits defeat because he can't stand to hurt her. But by throwing in the towel, Naota has won.

One of the most wonderful things about FLCL is how every character is going through the same growing pains and confusion that Naota is, whether they know it or not. Every character is in love with someone who doesn't love them back, they're all lying to themselves in one way or another and they all aspire to be someone they're not.

I think Haruko's sort of "superpower" is that she has realized the absurdity of everyone trying to play their "adult" role. She recognizes how everyone is putting on a "mask" and thinks that they're suckers for even trying. This is why she is so adept at shifting identities - space cop, nurse, housekeeper, athletic superstar, tormentor, lover, Daicon V... she understands that these are just roles and that anyone can play the part. Her gonzo "Master the Guitar in One Millisecond Class" bit? On some level, I feel like that's her revealing her process to Naota - if you just pick up the guitar and pretend you're a rockstar, then people will believe you are one - it's that easy, dude. It's why she's so amused when Ninamori reveals her "Puss in Boots" scheme in episode 3; it's why she is able to identify what people want and manipulate them so easily. It's why Naota is endearing to her - he clings to his mask so tightly even as she picks away it. And it's why she takes such pleasure in twisting the knife in Amarao's self-esteem - as far as she's concerned, the guy only has himself to blame for his misery.

I think what Haruko "wants" is to escape from being like the rest of these suckers and adopt the ultimate mask - Atomsk - so that she can have the ultimate control over her identity and escape from all insecurity and self-doubt. Her bracelet clinking away whenever Atomsk is near - that's her anxiety. She seems in complete control because she always has her eye on the ultimate prize. Whenever that is threatened, her composure is immediately shattered and she reveals herself to be an angry, petulant child. That's why she's shaking with rage when Naota emerges with Atomsk's power - he has stolen her mask and reminded her that she will never have full control over her life and that, most insulting of all, she is going to remain on the same boat as everyone else.

When the tables are turned and Haruko is clearly outmatched by piratized Naota, Agent Amarao urges him to "teach her a lesson." Amarao keeps fretting about the end of the world but deep down his gravest concern is that Haruko may somehow get what she wants. He bemoans that Medical Mechanica is going to flatten and smooth out humanity's brains - which seems to mean they intend to rob everyone of their uniqueness and capacity to feel - but this is a guy who wears eyebrows to protect himself from his own emotions. Amarao has clothed himself in responsibility, taking on the safety of the world so that he never has to confront himself. He clings to his mask just like everyone else. What he really cares about is seeing Haruko punished for breaking his heart. He is among the many who emerge from puberty jaded and hateful of the opposite sex. That's not maturity - that's letting anger and spite dictate your life. Amarao could not understand why Naota would choose Haruko over the world - but that's because he has become a corrupted version of himself - only willing to love if he will be loved in return. That's thinking purely with your mind - all the wrinkles removed. He's become what Medical Mechanica wants everyone else to be: stripped of their uniqueness, conforming to adulthood without arriving to it organically.

After being betrayed by Haruko and gaining the most coveted power in the universe, Naota could have taken revenge. That's what Agent Amarao would have done. Instead, Naota discards that power and let's Haruko know that despite all that she's done and how much she has hurt him, that he loves her. To Haruko, Atomsk's almighty energy is the only thing that truly matters. Naota throws that power away like it's meaningless and makes her realize that, to him, she is all that truly matters. Even if she doesn't love him back. By doing this, he defeats what Haruko represents. Naota demonstrates that we are not measured by how much power we wield or control we have over our lives, but by how we affect those around us. The sexually charged nature of their relationship was a red herring the whole time: it was not Haruko's flirtatious advances that bewitched Naota, it was how she invited him to share a connection ("You're the one I saw first") and how her sheer uniqueness shattered the chains he had placed on himself. Haruko is at her most dazzling to Naota when she idly observes that eating a bowl of awful ramen can be fun - that's what he loves about her. She doesn't need to become Atomsk to be a shooting star, and by denying her what she wants while simultaneously affirming how special she is to him, Naota lets her know this. I think he deeply affects her with that gesture. At the very least, he rattles her worldview irrevocably.

FLCL began with Haruko giving Naota a kiss of life (the CPR) - he is never the same afterwards, even if it's not immediately apparent. Appropriately, FLCL ends with Naota returning the favor.

[Side Note: The kiss shared between Naota and Haruko makes my heart swell to the point of bursting. Their relationship is not conventionally romantic nor is it even appropriate because, let's face it, the kid's 12 and she should be on a neighborhood watchlist for the shit she's pulled. However, it's strikingly beautiful, with the pillows' "I Think I Can" sweetly approving of this union while Atomsk's energy wreathes above them in a halo. Naota's love for Haruko is unrequited; he knows that it will not be returned. Haruko is guided by her own ego; she has never been concerned with her responsibility to others. She invests in the people around her based on how she can profit from them; she's incapable of loving another person. When Naota lets her know that she is loved, he is defying all of her cynicism and selfishness and in that one perfect moment gives her a dose of redemption. She has helped him in so many ways but for her own dark, selfish purposes. But Naota chooses to be grateful for the journey.]

Haruko is a bad person, but when Naota kisses her, she is defined as a person who is loved, not as a monster. And let's be clear: becoming Atomsk (the idealized adult) was what Naota hungered for at the beginning of the show. Shedding that power is a sacrifice for him; it's rejecting what he had initially wanted. He lets go of the identity that all of the principle characters in FLCL desire, and it is a selfless act made triumphant because he realized how empty that status was if it meant taking Haruko out. Naota finally lets go of how he had presumed the world should be, who Haruko should be and, most importantly, who he should be. Instead, he honors what's really brewing inside of him. He grasps the enormity of the love he feels like he just discovered fire, because the only way to genuinely love is to arrive to that feeling like you're the first person to ever discover it - not because your feelings resemble what society tells you love is. His honesty trumps all of the insanity that's unfolding around him: the world-defining machinations of Medical Mechanica and the coveted power of Atomsk look so small in comparison to a genuinely meaningful kiss. The world is so chaotic and oppressive, it can make us forget that we are not defined by our identities but by the connections we share with each other. FLCL is about love, baby.

Haruko leaving Naota behind was the first truly altruistic thing she does in the entire show. She finally recognizes her responsibility to Naota as a person and, despite her soft spot for him, decides that it's time to let him off this ride she has taken him on. She also lets him know, in her own snide way, that it's okay to still be a kid and that he doesn't have to have everything figured out. The look on Naota's face, to me, shows that he had already come to this conclusion. He just wishes Haruko could find it for herself.

Haruko will continue after Atomsk but can never catch him, forever stuck in that selfish phase of setting aside genuine personal growth in pursuit of some fabled identity she feels entitled to. She thinks that there is a finish line to becoming who you want to be but that's just not true - no one has it figured out and the only way to grow is through experience. Atomsk is an unattainable goal - we grow through valuing the people in our lives, not using them as pawns to help us bolster our own self-worth. Haruko can't comprehend this and that's her tragedy. However, she takes Naota's guitar with her and leaves him her own as a memento. It's a sign of subtle growth for her - she would never have done something so sentimental beforehand. It's a gesture that he meant something to her and that she wants to leave a piece of herself with him, and that they will now always be carrying their experiences together. Her sociopathic drive has been cracked somewhat, and I suspect that it will only continue to chip away from there. The day she gives up on chasing Atomsk would be the day she finally becomes a person.

Naota learns a lesson that is very difficult to take in. Yes, you're going to get your heart broken. Some people are going to be fickle with your emotions and betray your trust. Everyone has their own motives and desires and you can never have complete control over your life. His odyssey isn't actually that unique - to any child, the politics of love are so complicated that they might as well be a giant alien conspiracy spanning the universe. The question of why you would want to engage in life when it's just going to knock you down is a fair one. But you can't let your bitterness drive you, or else you run the risk of becoming Amarao, who has a self-esteem and identity built upon a foundation of sand. You can't let the fear of rejection or betrayal or abandonment keep you from growing or you will wallow like Mamimi, who had retreated from life waiting for someone else to fix it for her. It wasn't until she witnessed Naota's own revelation that she realized what had always been inside of her: creativity. Growing up is accepting that life will always be mysterious and messy but that you must always be open to the world around you.

Because we're all really just kids dealing with increasingly complex responsibilities and emotions - all you can do is have the courage to grapple with those things while maintaining your core decency. Never be afraid to swing the bat - but accept your strikeouts with grace and gratitude. I can't put it better than Charles Grodin does in this clip:

So what does "FLCL" mean? To me, it means both childhood and adulthood running parallel to each other. You need both in order to be a complete person. You never stop being who you are as a kid - there is never this line that you cross to become your idealized adult self. Suppressing the kid in you is denying your uniqueness, snuffing out your capacity to hope and love. So many people disown their true feelings and their true selves in order to become their adult self in the hopes that once they reach that finish line, they will be alright. Our anxieties and insecurities are created by who we think we are supposed to be. But playing these roles is what makes all of these characters profoundly unhappy - it is when they stop trying to deny their true selves that they find peace.

While Naota's relationships with Mamimi and Haruko were ultimately doomed, they gave him the wisdom to finally move forward with someone who truly deserves his affection. Because the person who Naota is actually compatible with is Ninamori. One of the most wonderful, unspoken ironies in FLCL is that because Naota is so preoccupied trying to decipher his feelings for Haruko and Mamimi, he is blind to the girl who is truly smitten with him. In a way, their stories are running parallel to each other - Ninamori is going through the same confusion and turbulence (she's the only other character who has a death-machine sprout from their head) but finally learns to work through it in a healthy way (13:15 in "FLClimax"). She calls him out when he's wrong but still views him with a deep curiosity. She sees him clearly and is frustrated by his attempts to be someone he is not and that's why she's always the one to dampen his ego before it gets the better of him (sometimes literally, like when she sprays him with her water pistol).

[Side Note: Ninamori reveals that she resolved her crisis of angst by admitting to her parents that she was sad ("And then I cried and stuff to my mother and father"). If that sounds familiar, it's because that is literally the plot of "Inside Out." Yep; one of the most original movies of 2015 happened to Ninamori offscreen. With one blink-and-you'll-miss-it line, FLCL beat Pixar to the punch by fifteen years. Fuck, this show is brilliant.]

I suspect that Ninamori is still too young to make sense of her feelings for Naota - until she finds him sleeping alongside Haruko on a park bench. She is constantly irritated throughout FLCL as Naota's attention goes towards these two older women instead of her, but in that moment she realizes just how deeply and fully Naota has chosen Haruko and how much this hurts her. For all of the grief Mamimi and Haruko give Naota, he inflicts it right back onto Ninamori without even knowing it. It's a reminder that while this is Naota's story, everyone around him is experiencing the same journey. As the series draws to a close, it's hinted that Ninamori will become the woman in Naota's life and that he will be in good hands. The show is smart enough to not have them get together in the end, though. At least not now. They're just kids, after all. They have all the time in the world.

Some people still argue about whether or not Naota ever really attained "adulthood." Of course he did - he became Atomsk, after all. It's just that he realized that "adulthood" is a fallacy. Maturity is not some revelation, it's an ongoing process - it's gaining layers that strengthen who you already are. When Naota gained Atomsk's powers, he realized that he didn't want or need it - becoming Atomsk would just be putting on another mask (or a pair of fake glasses or seaweed eyebrows). He doesn't need to drink the sour stuff and he doesn't need to become his brother. He loves the sweet stuff, he loves his brother, he loves his boring old town and he loves Haruko - and he is no longer going to disengage from the world around him even if it can be rough. He's become grateful that he gets to love and learn and accepts that the world will always be mysterious and out of his control. Haruko can't accept this, and that's why she needs to keep on truckin' while Naota stays. It's not that he couldn't follow her - he's just the one who is no longer lost.

Naota is back where he started by FLCL's conclusion. His town remains ordinary, his brother is still an ocean away, he still has Kamon as a father and he's back to square one when it comes to girls. Nothing has changed except for his attitude. He can now move forward with a clear mind and an open heart. And he will carry Haruko's bass guitar with him; if he learns how to play it, he'll have a helluva song to share. While the pillows' "Little Busters" serenades us one last time, telling us about how the kids are alright, the final shot of FLCL lingers on Haruko's guitar as it strums one last note. It's an acknowledgement that, even when they are flawed and disappointing, the most important people in our lives are those who strike a chord.

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RobdeFR Nov 6, 2020 3:23 PM
Really cool words on the "once upon a time" review. You ask there if someone saw it in another language, and alas here am I, I watched it in Portuguese dub back in the 80's too. It was very iconic as it seems it was everywhere else. Both the dub as well the series, it was very popular and efficient. I have an interest for Biology and anatomy these days and it's thanks to this series.

SaeLiuS Feb 5, 2018 8:13 PM
Rewatched it in Fact. In just the first two episodes the real plot is far from starting... But if you don't like the characters don't force yourself, it happens to me too. And I think that being able to relate to the characters is really important to truly enjoy the series.

About Macross... The new ones aren't really to my liking, but if you like Ginga you should give the first one a try (or the movie that is a remake of it). It can be just my nostalgia speaking, but you can fell they tried a lot harder back then.

The_red_baron999 May 14, 2017 5:26 AM
Hey I try to bring the super Robot genre back but with some changes and with influence of real Robot aesthetics.
I am only 21 years old, so if everything works fine I will have many years of time to become a better Artist.
The medium of my choice is Comic/manga and maybe Motion Comic/ Animation someday.

I am motivated and I mean it serious.
Everyday I do my studies of anatomy and draw some hours.
Most of my Pictures arent online because I have no scanner.
I think we Robot fans arent many so we have to connect.

If you can give me advice or cool ideas please send me a message.

I hope my english isnt too wrong because I am from North europe.
Seyfert Nov 1, 2016 2:57 AM
Lain is timeless, it covers the beginning of computer science, so that is forty years prior, and mingles it all with psychology... it's one 13-episode trip.

And, the ISS does seem like an ideal of diplomacy at this point if in comparison to its earthly counterparts...
It’s time to ditch the text file.
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