Furi Kuri

Watch Fooly Cooly, Furi Kuri, FLCL or whatever you want to call it.

I realise that this command will fall on deaf ears, much as Anime Club President (Dark Otaku Lord) Derek's command "Watch Beck" has not yet motivated me to download and watch that particular anime.

For the uninformed, Furi Kuri is a six episode experience the likes of which I have not known in any other anime, movie, soundtrack, or piece of art. The following is a brief rant about the awesomeness.

First off if you are not familiar with anime, manga or Japan in the least, you probably shouldn't watch Furi Kuri. It is not the kind of anime that I'd suggest as a first, second or even third anime for someone to watch. You'll probably want at least three under your belt before you try this one. This isn't a matter of intellectual deficiency, but more a matter of understanding typical anime mannerisms. Some anime are artistically drawn cartoons with the occaisional foreign cartoon mannerism (akin to Elmer Fudd turning into a sucker/lollipop to indicate his gullibility) thrown in. This anime is an artistically drawn work of art with enough mannerisms and brief subtleties. If you aren't very familiar with the mannerisms, you'll miss a lot of important details that are very easy to miss when clouded by the confusion caused from a lack of understanding.

That said, any self respecting anime Otaku (fan) will watch this or rue having avoided it.

I will not categorically state my opinions on Furi Kuri's greatness.

Music: The music in the series is some of the best I've heard anywhere. It rivals Cowboy Bebop for appropriateness to the anime, and for simple awesomeness. It also has a similarly odd band name (Cowboy Bebop: Yoko Kanno and the Seatbelts. Furi Kuri: The Pillows). I have both soundtracks and I love them. The only fault I can find is that the band members might want to improve their english. Personally, I enjoy hearing japanese singers attempting english. It's awesome when they suceed, and I like the sound even when they fail (beyond the comicalness of it).

Story: If you can follow it, the story is deep. Much like Donnie Darko, you can only really understand what's going on if you either pick up and understand the subtle clues and hints, or educationally conjecture on what you see. Ideally, you'd be able to do both. The other quality I enjoy in the story is that it is exceptionally random. Not random in the sense of pure random action (if so, it wouldn't be so much a plot as a mish mash) but in that childish sense of random where everything makes sense to the child, even though it seems random to the adult. The first time you watch the series, even if you understand most of it and pick up on everything, the events in many cases will seem arbitrary and "random". The second or third time through, it makes sense just like the child. It might make sense the first time as it did for me, but it makes more sense on repeated watchings. Since it's only six episodes, that isn't so hard.

Characters: The characters are much like the plot. Seemingly arbitrary but as you begin to better understand the series, you realise the depth each has. It is really easy to marginalize each character and place them into categories, this even can help when watching the first few episodes as you attempt to absorb all of the oddities thrown at you. In the long term, it is simply unfair to them as they have so much more to say than "I'm the strange one" and "I'm the selfish child".

Extras: If you get the DVDs, you get some nice extras. An Image gallery is included on each DVD, as well as director commentary. The commentary is nice, and clears up a few possibly confusing points. Most of the time it tends to go off on tangents when you'd rather like to hear more about why they did a particular scene one way and not the other. Although, they do talk about some specific scenes in that way. The commentary is good overall. There are also various oddities in the extras, mostly close ups of various detailed objects in the episodes you'd probably have wanted a nice, long look at. English outakes are also included.

That's all well and good. But you have no idea what the anime is actually about. I'm hesitant to say much, namely because the anime has so much to say for itself. Basically, there is a boy, he has a brother who's gone somewhere, he has a friend who's a dropout from highschool, he's still in middle school, his family owns a bakery and other normal things. Then he gets run over by a very odd woman. She then hits him in the head with a base guitar, and leaves. It only gets weirder from there. And I'm not telling you how.

Yup, that's all I'm saying about that.

Anyway, I own all three DVDs, and the two CDs for the soundtrack. If you know me personally, ask me about borrowing them. Realise of course that return them damaged is akin to suicide. My wrath will be slow and painful. If you happen to be a sibling of mine who is older and intending on visiting me, chances are I'll subject you to a dose of this.

Furi Kuri is probably my favorite anime. While Naruto has it beat in length (125 episodes so far, Furi Kuri only has six) something about Furi Kuri resonates with me. Probably because it's an ADHD trip.


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