"One of the hardest things in life is to be average."
- The MC who blushes a lot
Conveniently - or was it ironically - the easiest thing in the anime industry is to be average, but that is not what FLCL Alternative is. After the disaster that Progressive was, no one could have expected this, but Alternative manages to leave the common mediocrity level and surprise with its quality positively. As an FLCL sequel, this series is still a shameful and embarrassing piece, but when viewed as a franchise reboot / spinoff starred by Haruhara Haruko's downgraded clone, we can't complain too much. In fact, we can go praising it for its achievements.
Our story centers around a group of 4 girl friends called blushes a lot, kinda fatso, really normal and the pretty one. This is unarguably what every female friend group looks like except on average there are only 3 of them - needless to say the normal one is missing. Their outlook is not the only painfully accurate thing about these girls. They are also living pretty much the most normal and assumably well-adjusted life of a teenage girl, fitting the mold, being like everyone else. That kind of awesomely average stuff, hence the quote seen in the beginning. However!!!
Pretty much exaggerating up there in the end with that last word and the !!!^, but there is a catch to it, which pretty much everyone who has seen the original FLCL could have come up with whilst writing fanfiction. Work, date, school, boys and hanging out with the sis sets its sails towards real space ships, robots, brain flowers and more abstract coming of age stuff because aliens and chainsaw-guitars. Logic can't be found from this narrative, but it does contain beauty, and at the end of the day, any reasonable person can be logical, but it takes much more to be beautiful, so it is easy to appreciate what FLCL Alternative does.
"The days flew by even though nothing took off."
-One character, probably really normal or blushes a lot (forgot)
To talk about the production, we have 3 directors here who all are doing their best. Some shots are polished with some creativity and effort was put in the editing and making department. Stuff such as live action on-stage type of music video playing while the life and important events from the cast's daily life is told in the forms of fast-paced visuals, is unarguably a decent idea and well-executed scene as a whole. It would be fair to say that lots of love is put in the making of this 3rd part, and this time around, it feels much more like a tribute to FLCL than an insult which the 2nd part represents. Not to be confused with "a good sequel" which I still think this isn't, but a successful tribute it is.
The animation and overall style in art is bit closer to the original FLCL than last time around. It gets a plus mark if not two in today's industry for sure. It managed to occasionally even remind me of the coolio that Punch Line was with its amount of animation detail, which I guess is explained by one of the directors directing that series. Either way FLCL Alternative has style and it deserves credit for it.
The OST is extra neato, but I am still not completely satisfied with the sounds, mainly because the English voice acting sounded rather monotonous and bland at times, even out of place occasionally. This is a downgrade from Progressive (the downgrade actually since it's the one and only) where the seiyuu work was decent as a whole. Perhaps the Japanese version will be superior this time around(?).
As a conclusion: I genuinely enjoyed watching this one. While it was mainly just a momentary experience with no long-lasting impact, and its biggest achievement is lessening the negative after taste caused by Progressive, it surely is a noteworthy piece from its production year if not all that much more. I wholeheartedly recommend this to people who hated Progressive because this one is a major improvement. As for die-hard FLCL fans, I can't promise you will like what you see. As an anime, Alternative achieves more in 6 episodes than most shows from currently industry achieve with 12.
I hear people like numbers so here are some,
Voice acting 5/10 (English)
Art and animation 7/10
Besto curl: 3 (I said numbers)
As a bottom line, judging this based to Progressive and prejudices caused by it, is not cool, nibbas. This better by a landslide or two.
*Please note that I saw the 6 episode long OVA series that was broadcasted on Adultswim, and not the original Japanese full length movie. In case this entry will be changed from Movie to OVA in the future claiming I only saw part 1 of 6, that is not correct: I saw all the parts*