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Farm-Fresh balance.pngYMMVTransmit blue.pngRadarWikEd fancyquotes.pngQuotes • (Emoticon happy.pngFunnyHeart.pngHeartwarmingSilk award star gold 3.pngAwesome) • Refridgerator.pngFridgeGroup.pngCharactersScript edit.pngFanfic RecsSkull0.pngNightmare FuelRsz 1rsz 2rsz 1shout-out icon.pngShout OutMagnifier.pngPlotGota icono.pngTear JerkerBug-silk.pngHeadscratchersHelp.pngTriviaWMGFilmRoll-small.pngRecapRainbow.pngHo YayPhoto link.pngImage LinksNyan-Cat-Original.pngMemesHaiku-wide-icon.pngHaikuLaconicLibrary science symbol .svg SourceSetting

You will never see these characters appear so rational again.


FLCL (pronounced Fooly Cooly, not "Eff-ell-see-ell") is the story of Naota, a young Japanese boy who lives with his father and grandfather, is the object of inappropriate attention from his brother's ex-girlfriend, and generally feels his life and town are really boring. That all changes when he's literally run over by Haruko Haruhara, a manic older girl who rides a Vespa, claims to be an intergalactic police officer, wields a Rickenbacker bass guitar with a chainsaw-like pullstring motor on the back as a blunt instrument, and has no qualms about harassing Naota both physically and sexually. After his initial contact with Haruko, Naota's forehead starts spawning giant robots — and the wackiness just explodes from there.

While there is a galaxy-spanning Space Opera plot somewhere in the background of everything that goes on in FLCL, its real appeal lies in one of two places: one is the story of a young boy coming of age, filled with allegorical and symbolism-soaked writing and imagery which ranges from clever to truly brilliant, along with strong characterization and goofy, off-the-wall humor — while the other is a bunch of insane almost-nonsense strung together by other insane almost-nonsense to form a big ball of crazy that fascinates viewers while bringing a lot of big laughs between the cartoonish antics and the hilariously broken fourth wall.

The six-episode OVA also happens to feature gorgeous animation, excellent voice acting, and a rocking soundtrack (the majority of which is comprised of songs from Japanese alternative rock band The Pillows) — all of which fans have come to expect from Studio Gainax. FLCL's English dub is so acclaimed that it is often considered one of the Gold Standards of Superlative Dubbing.

Rumor has it that many of the artists, writers, and voice actors who worked on this had just finished working on The End of Evangelion and were feeling emotionally drained due to the utter grimness of EoE — so FLCL was a way for them to unwind. The truth of the rumor aside, FLCL is very much worth checking out as an art piece all its own.

There is a school of thought that FLCL is what you get when you get some of the best storytellers Gainax has, put them in a room, and give them The Good Drugs. (Give them all the drugs, and you get Panty and Stocking With Garterbelt.)

It has been oft stated: "If you wish to understand Fooly Cooly, watch the series from beginning to end. The desire will pass."

Adult Swim has stated numerous times that of all the anime the network has ever aired, FLCL is its favorite.

The original Synch-Point DVD release fell out of print, but FUNimation re-released the series on DVD — and Blu-ray — in February 2011 (with the original dub included). It's also legally viewable (in the United States) on Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube.

Take a swing at the WMG and the character sheet.

Tropes used in FLCL include:
  • Abnormal Ammo: Guess what Canti's gun uses as ammo? Naota himself, of course.
  • Accidental Pervert: Episode 4- Mamimi startles Naota by jumping up in a flash and he ends up reaching for her... only to end up holding her panties.
  • Adaptation Distillation: One useful fan theory states that the entire plot is just Neon Genesis Evangelion boiled down to six episodes and served hyperactive on a bed of heartwarming comedy. It's a deconstruction of a deconstruction, with the Mind Screw left intact, and not a single phallic symbol removed.
  • Alliteration: Haruhara Haruko. Har har.
  • Adult Child: Nearly every adult on the show, to some extent. It's a major source of irritation for Naota, and ends up being a major plot point as it leads him to try to act older than he is. His father Kamon is the most obvious example, being an unemployed, lecherous anime freak who makes scant money selling a self-published tabloid to convenience stores. In the anime, Naota seems to make some peace with his father, who hints at being a little more intelligent than he first appears. In the manga, their relationship gets ugly.
  • Airplane of Love: It represents Mamimi's longing for Tasuku (see entry for Yandere).
  • All There in the Manual: AV Club's review of the series gives alot of detail people are likely to miss.
  • Animated Actors: Parodied.
  • Anime First: The series was later adapted into a two-volume manga, which was less comedic and even more of a Mind Screw than the original series.
  • Arc Words: The title itself, appearing at least Once an Episode, although it's never really explained to either the viewer or the characters.
    • Kamon later lampshades this, asking Naota just what the hell it means.
    • Supposedly, "furi kuri" is a covert way of saying "sex," but used here, it also has a deeper meaning- the way an adolescent would picture thoughts of sexual encounters and eventually maturing to understand them when they come of age. This is the underlying development Naota's character undertakes.
  • Art Shift: Frequently throughout the series. There are two different sequences done to look like a manga, and at one point, it even goes South Park for a few scenes. Yes, you read right. SOUTH PARK. What.
    • Also happens briefly in the second episode, when Mamimi is hanging out at Naota's house. It's still anime, but a very different style, not sure if it has a name.
    • A lot of the scenes in the 5th episode are art shifts, and that includes the South Park style at one point.
  • Autobots Rock Out: The number of non-rock tracks can be counted on one hand.
  • Badass Longcoat: A Humongous Mecha Badass Longcoat, complete with break action shotgun and four different kinds of revolver at once.
    • A shotgun, a lever action rifle which it twirled with awesome cowboy-badassery when it needed to chamber another round, and one of the pistols was a Luger with an extended magazine (first appearing as a crotch gun).
  • Badass Normal: Amarao bikes 80 kilometers in an afternoon on his exercise bike and can last longer against the inhumanly powerful Haruko as long as he has bullets in his gun (as opposed to The Men in Black red shirts that fall in the dozens to her). In addition, Amarao and his MIB red shirts work for the government in the Immigration Department. Said Immigration Department outfits all of its agents with guns, has access to high-powered anti-tank rifles, and sports a high-tech NASA-esque Central Command Center which can monitor intruders IN SPACE.
    • Well, considering there are aliens, it might not be the same kind of immigration..
    • He might not be all that normal. Haruko does use his head to open an N.O. channel, much as she uses Naota (though less successfully), and Naota gets run over by scooters, shot out of cannons, chewed up by... whatever that is in Canti's chest.
  • Baseball Episode: Episode 4 "Full Swing"
  • Becoming the Mask: Ninamori tries very hard to be more mature than she is actually is, to the point that she goes on a rant about how she idealizes Puss in Boots for transcending the mask and becoming what he is pretending to be.
  • Betty and Veronica: Mamimi (Betty) and Haruko (Veronica). Ninamori is the Third Option Love Interest. However, he loses both girls in the end. Mamimi gradually loses interest in Naota as he grows more independent and closer to Haruko, and Naota inevitably rejects Mamimi altogether when he realizes that Mamimi never once had feelings for him and still loved Tasuku, Naota's older brother, instead. She leaves at the end of the series. Haruko does this as well. As for Ninamori, she is the most likely girl (and out of all of Naota's Love Interests, she had the most sincere affection for him) to end up with Naota in the future.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: Haruko.
  • Beyond the Impossible:
    • What happened to Ninamori in episode 3; doesn't Haruko have to smack her with the bat for that to happen?
      • There's a blink and you'll miss it moment where Ninamori and Naota knock heads at the subway. For a second you see both of their heads light up red, like Ninamori just briefly picked up Naota's N.O. potential.
    • Canti flying with the fake wings.
    • The fact that this series isn't defined as hentai or ecchi despite all its sexual imagery.
    • The manga managing to be somehow even weirder.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Final episode, epic battle, then it happens with our protagonist. Also happens in the manga.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Amarao's massive nori sheet eyebrows.
  • The Blank: Canti has a TV for a head. A head that can display Japanese kanji to communicate, though only done once.
  • Blue with Shock: Occasionally, but it should be exclusively noted that when Kamon sees Naota kissing Haruko, his face roars through the entire color spectrum.
  • Bound and Gagged: The hospital nurse in episode 1 after she's Mugged for Disguise by Haruko.
  • Bombing The Fourth Wall Into Rubble:
    • The "Behind the Scenes" aside for the Bullet Time scene in Episode 1.
    • In the fourth episode Haruko talks to the viewers while riding her Vespa down the Medical Mechanica building.
    • In episode five Naota actually glances at the audience and asks "Do you find this difficult to understand?"
    • "Let's just stay with anime. It's hard to be in manga form. Takes time and it's a lot of work. After the first episode they said not to do the manga thing again, but then we get accused of being lazy." The best part is that Naota apparently isn't in on the break. When Kamon mentions anime, he responds, "anime?"
  • Bullet Time: Used in episodes 1 and 3 for pure screwiness.
  • Cat Smile: Haruko
  • Cat Stereotype: Naota's cat fits the old, fat and lazy grey cat stereotype.
  • Chekhov's Water Gun: Ninamori uses a water gun she had been showing off for the entire episode to cool off Naota after he's ejected from Canti.
  • Chew Toy: Hitting Naota with a guitar is a legitimate plot point. Hitting Naota with a Vespa is a Running Gag.
  • Clothing Damage: Kitsurubami after Haruko lobs her ammo back at her.
  • Cloudcuckoolander:
    • Mamimi; it's played for laughs for the most part, but in episodes 2 and 6 her loose grip on reality is shown to have a nasty, vengeful side.
    • Haruko pretends to be this but it gets more and more apparent that she's a bit twisted by the end of the series.
  • Color Failure
  • Coming of Age Story: A really, really weird one, but still. It comes to its ultimate conclusion when Naota grows out of his "all-consuming desire to be an adult" phase and matures to realize that he still needs to be a kid while he is one.
  • Contemplate Our Navels: In "Fire Starter," Naota yells at Kamon not to let Canti be seen in public, only for Kamon to counter with a long-winded discourse on the implications of such an advanced piece of technology being introduced to an otherwise normal family.
  • Covert Pervert: Canti, of all characters. Those novels he's seen reading? Porno.
  • Crash Into Hello: By way of a Vespa.
  • Cult Soundtrack: By The Pillows!
  • Cute Little Fangs: Haruko.
  • Curb Stomp Battle: Many of the fights are noticeably one-sided. The most prominent ones include almost all of Canti's fights against the robots that spout out of Naota's head. They usually knock Canti around for a little while, until Naota merges, or something, with it and the one-sided fight gets turned to their favor. Another is Haruko against The Men in Black agents, who all go down without too much of a fight. The last is Haruko against a Naota fused with Atomsk's power. The only thing that stopped him from finishing her off her was his love for her.
  • Darker and Edgier: The manga takes a very different approach to the story, including Naota actually killing his father over Haruko, a full-on assault on the Medical Mechanica factory, and Haruko's feelings for Naota being more oblique. Rather than leaving him on the notion that he should grow up as a regular child, she leaves him with a Vespa he can use to pursue her, which he desperately tries to work to the point of making his hands bleed.
  • Dark-Skinned Blond: Kitsurubami
  • Deadpan Snarker: Pretty much everyone, unless they're unconscious.
  • Demon Head: In "Brittle Bullet", Haruko gets one when she's wearing an Elvis Presley costume and talking with Naota in his room.
  • Deranged Animation: Episode 5 was directed by the same guy who directed Dead Leaves and Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. And that's just one of the episodes!
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Haruko, though her over-the-top sexuality and undeniable charisma overwhelm just about everybody's better judgment.
  • Didn't We Use This Joke Already?: During the second round of scenes done in manga style, Kamon wonders why they are doing more manga scenes again.
  • The Ditz: Mamimi again.
  • Diving Save: Mamimi to Naota in Episode 1 "Fooly Cooly". Naota performs one on Mamimi during the big fight in Episode 2 "Fire Starter".
  • Does This Remind You of Anything? / Double Entendre: There are dozens of examples of both, mainly sexual, though not always.
  • Dramatic Wind
  • Dull Surprise: Affects both the Japanese and English dubs, but moreso the former. Manages to be part of the charm, though.
  • DVD Commentary: There are Japanese commentaries for all six episodes, with the director and...somebody.
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory: Or Kamon seems to believe.

Haruko: What's he talking about?
Naota: He wrote a whole book on the deep mysteries of Eva.

  • Everyone Lives: Barring mass destruction of property and the destruction of a bunch of robots, total death: 0 (in the anime, anyhow).
    • Technically, Kamon is dead for part of episode 4, but he got better inexplicably.
  • Evil Plan: Several. Haruko wants to capture the Pirate King for his power, who wants to escape Medical Mechanica to do more stealing, who in in turn want to 'iron out the wrinkles in human brains'. And that's just the evil plans; the Gambit Pileup is one reason why this show is so confusing.
  • Exposition Diagram: In episode 3 "Marquis de Carabas" and episode 5 "Brittle Bullet".
  • Extraordinarily Empowered Girl: Haruko.
    • Though it becomes apparent by the end that Haruko needs Naota because he has an even greater (if untapped) power potential.
  • Eye Scream: Naota controls Canti by having the robot plug into him. A sharp syringe-like plug that goes right into his eye. Naota understandably screams horrifically when it happens.
  • Foot Focus: Haruko is usually barefoot while in Naota's home, and several close-ups are sprinkled throughout the early episodes. In episode 2, notable focus is given to Mamimi losing her shoes and she is barefoot for just about the whole episode. Episode 3 has Eri wearing Naota's undersized pajamas with her comfortably bare feet in full view.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Quite a few. Here are some.
  • Gag Penis: Kind of, based on the reactions to the size of the guitar described as a bat that Haruko pulls out of Naota's head. And Haruko's disappointed reaction to the comparatively much smaller guitar shaped object she pulls out of Amarao's head.
  • Genius Ditz: Naota's dad, Kamon, can seem very moronic, childish, and perverted at times, but can also be very astute and wise in the next second. For example when Naota runs away from home, his teacher questions where he went and Kamon goes off on a random tangent about when he failed to take care of the class hamster it died, only to swing back around and say "Unlike that hamster, Naota's enjoying his freedom."
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Abused beyond recognition. Episode 4 shows that the female officers are turned on to near-orgasmic levels by Haruko tugging a naughty tentacle out of Naota's head (which soon turns into a guitar)]] when they break out in massive nosebleeds. The supreme instance is Episode 5, "Brittle Bullet:" Kamon is wearing a Nazi uniform complete with a freaking swastika!!! And it isn't reversed to symbolize good luck- that's the genuine article you're seeing!!
  • The Ghost: Tasuku Nandaba, Naota's older brother. We only catch a very brief and vague, envelope-obscured profile of him on a postcard in Episode 6, with his American girlfriend (to Mamimi's utter despair), Worse yet, the postcard has writing scribbled all over it.
  • Going Commando: Mamimi does in "Full Swing," though it's because she fails to notice that her panties have been accidentally pulled off... by Naota. Ms. Fanservice, indeed!!
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Kamon, in a Shout-Out to Lupin III.
  • Gratuitous English: Not so much in the show, but various songs on the show's soundtrack - including the ending theme, "Ride on Shooting Star" - are filled with it. Though we still have to point out Ninamori's red "USSR" t-shirt in Episode 3.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: The dub often doesn't translate things like sound effects (Mamimi says "kakiiii~n!" while describing how to hit a baseball to Naota), grunts (Americans don't say "yoisho" when picking up heavy things, Haruko), that kind of thing.
  • Gretzky Has the Ball: Naota is shown striking out looking every inning against Haruko's pitching. The problem is that Mabase isn't scoring any runs, and a given player can only bat at most twice every three innings if the team doesn't score, because the maximum number of batters you can send to the plate without scoring is six, while there are nine in a lineup, and everyone (or their substitutes) must bat once before anyone can bat twice.
  • Groin Attack: During the manga style sequence in Episode 6, Haruko kicks Naota in the crotch.
  • Hands-On Approach: Haruko, again.
  • Happy Place: Gainax's.
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen: The Bigger Bads, presumably Haruko's superiors in the Space Police Brotherhood.
    • Also Naota's brother Tasku is never fully shown on-screen.
  • Honorifics: Many of them get left in the dub, especially from Kamon and Mamimi.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!!: There are several examples that range from the obvious to the obscure. For instance:
  • Humongous Mecha: Boy, howdy! And the biggest one in the series actually manages to be even more bizarre than Neon Genesis Evangelion. It's a giant skyscraper-sized hand dressed as a cowboy with a hand at the end of each digit. In each finger-hand is a gun.
  • Hurricane of Puns: The series is loaded with wordplay, but the beginning of episode 5 has something like a dozen Japanese puns back-to-back, none of which translate to English. The dubbers, who had done a fantastic job up to that point, pretty much had to throw their hands in the air for this scene, which meant English viewers got a bizarre caption about the correct way to spell "mackerel." Instead of a joke about confusing the kanji for "blue" and "mackerel" (which the dubbers obviously couldn't work with, as noted), they tried to find another joke that fit the formula and ended up with a relatively obscure joke about how "if Seven of Nine heaves a sigh" you get a "sigh-borg," referring to Canti. Mamimi points out that "confusing robots with cyborgs is a common mistake."
  • Implausible Deniability: Naota's father tries to pass off Canti as the TV. When Ninamori asks why it's walking around, he says its a TV Walkman.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Haruko and her Rickenbacker bass; even weirder, it incorporates a pull-start gasoline motor. Oh, and did we mention that it's also a pump action shotgun, a machine gun, and a hoverboard?
  • Indirect Kiss: Kitsurubami unconsciously takes a sip from Amarao's exercise bottle and promptly goes Blue with Shock, and a couple other colors.
  • Initialism Title
  • Insert Cameo: The enormous animated hand is actually rotoscoped from the director's hand.
  • Instrument of Murder: Haruko's bass.
  • Ironic Echo: Watch episode 1 and listen to how Haruko uses the words "Lunch time". Now go back to "FLCLimax" and listen to how she she pronounces "Launch time".
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Mamimi's apparent pyromania is never questioned. While there is no concrete evidence that she was the one who started the fire at her elementary school, it is very heavily implied, and no one ever thinks to ask about it.
    • Haruko too. Though Naota cost her her best possible chance of capturing and consuming Atomsk, she still got arguably the most powerful "axe" in the Universe in consolation, and is free to keep pursuing her target.
      • Although Haruko didn't really do anything that bad. She may have used Naoto but that turned out to be the best for him anyways.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Not the case anymore, but the show fell into this in North America for a few years due to a combination of its continuing popularity and the licensor (Synch-Point) folding not long after releasing a complete FLCL boxset with additional extras. In the months before Funimation rescued the license, copies of the original DVDs (to say nothing of the boxset) were going on EBay for ridiculously high prices.
  • Last Girl Wins: Ninamori is the last one of Naota's Love Interests introduced in the show, but by the end of the show, it's clear she has the purest affection for him, and will probably be with him when they're both older. However, Yoji Enokido's novelization of this episode has a much older Ninamori narrating it as a frame story, and she says that she didn't see Naota again after high school.
  • Lecherous Licking: In "Marquis de Carabas" and "Brittle Bullet".
  • Let Him Choose: In the final episode, Commander Amarao attempts to talk Naota out of helping Haruko. Naota ignores him, turns around, and walks to Haruko.
  • Let's Get Dangerous: In the final episode, Haruko goes absolutely berserk after finding out Naota absorbed Atomsk's power. She'd shown plenty of skill before, but this time she's able to fly under her own power and clash guitars with Naota hard enough to part the clouds.
  • Love Martyr: Naota
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Subverted; Haruko looks like one of these, but she has her own ulterior motives.
  • Master of Disguise: Haruko, in a goofy, seemingly incompetent way. On both occasions where she fully disguised herself, her victims were completely fooled until she decided to drop the act. Hell, her entire goofy personality is an act, she acts like this to lower everyone's guard. Her actions in the final episode reveals her true agenda, and her true personality.
  • Meaningful Name/Punny Name: Kitsurubami is a light, traditional Japanese brown. It's also her skin color.
  • Medium Blending: The live action moped in the end credits.
  • Medium Shift Gag: In two of the anime episodes, the art suddenly changes to manga style for a while. It also shifts to South Park-style animation for Amarao's haircut.
  • Mega Neko: Naota's cat, who's apparently also used as a medium by Haruko to talk to her superiors. He also seems to be capable of tightly-controlled, high-speed, inertia-lacking flight that can be used as a form of attack in case Haruko has screwed up some how. It's a bit odd the first time you see it.
  • Mexican Standoff: Haruko and Commander Amarao end up in one in "Brittle Bullet".
  • Mind Screw: The whole series, but especially:
    • The fight at the end of episode 2, where Canti taps into Atomsk's power via Naota and what appears to be a literal Mind Screw.
    • The first half of episode 4, where an increasingly stressed Naota begins to suffer hallucinations of murdering both his father and Haruko when he suspects they're sleeping together. Eventually he gets better after working out his frustrations on a vending machine, his TV, a robot of his father, and a baseball-shaped satellite bomb about twice the size of a tank.
    • Our very own Sweet Dreams Fuel page posits that this series is one of the few examples of Consensual Mind Screw. They may be on to something...
    • Forget the supernatural stuff, think about the basic conversations. At least in the dub.
  • Misplaced Kindergarten Teacher
  • Missing Mom: Naota's mom gets only one blink-and-you-miss-it mention, indirectly referred to as deceased by Amarao while he's giving a quick rundown of Naota's family situation.
    • There's also the implication in said rundown that this may be related to Kamon's bizarre personality in the series - he had been an assistant editor at a counter-culture magazine before suddenly quitting to... open up a bakery (or move in with his father who might have already owned the bakery), write about the deep mysteries of EVA, and publish a trashy tabloid 'zine. Perhaps the death of his wife precipitated the dramatic change in lifestyle.
  • Mood Whiplash: Proving that even this Gainax production can't be completely free of angst. It's only briefly touched for a few characters before the show goes back to the gags.
  • Mugged for Disguise: In episode 1 Haruko overpowers a hospital nurse and steals her uniform to gain access to Naota.
  • Mundane Utility: Canti doing housework.
  • Murderous Thighs: Ninamori pulls this in episode 3 when a robot emerges from her head and temporarily takes control of her; first attacking Naota then Canti in this fashion. Neither one are seriously harmed though.
  • My Name Is Not Durwood: Haruko and Mamimi both call Naota "Takkun" (Or do you spell it "Ta-kun"?). It doesn't translate well, but it's an affectionate diminutive, like "Jimmy" or "Billy". Naota, with all his hangups about being a grownup, hates being addressed as such.
  • Nice Hat: Actually, nobody likes Naota's hat. Not even Naota, really. He's wearing it to hide the cat ears.
  • No Big Deal:
    • Mabase's residents find the weird situations and events in the plot somewhat weird, but not nearly enough so. For example, they seem more interested in the mayor's sexual escapades than in the massive robot battle that happens in the elementary school.
    • Also Ninamori's response to all the crazy stuff happening to her. In fact, "It's no big deal" is something of a Survival Mantra that she uses when she spends the night at Naota's house, especially in response to everything Kamon has to say about the scandals.
  • No Swastikas: Stunningly Averted in Episode 5: Kamon is wearing a Nazi officer's uniform with a legitimate swastika on the sash. Somebody had to have been doped up to allow that to swan dive under the censors!!
  • Nosebleed: In "Full Swing," after seeing the guitar pulled by Haruko from Naota's head, all of the female officers at the Bureau of Interstellar Immigration command center break out into these- profuse ones. Kitsurubami herself goes weak at the knees.
  • Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: Yeah, right.
  • Not So Stoic: Ninamori in episode 3.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Haruko. Warning: Do not make her mad.
    • Amarao is an inversion of this. In the beginning, he shows up and nonchalantly explains the mechanics and goings-on of all the events in Mabase and with Haruko. However, when put to task to actually confront and put a stop to these things, he's shown to be weak willed and ineffectual. This is symbolized by his nori eyebrows. When they're in place, he has an air of authority and almost sagely knowledge about him, but when this façade is broken and he's shown to still be the scared child he always has been, they fall off.
    • Possibly Kamon/ Or Obfuscating Silliness.
  • Ocular Gushers: Commander Amarao during the final confrontation in "FLClimax".
  • Panty Shot: Mamimi provides plenty of these. Episode 4 is the piece de resistance- Mamimi leaps up from beside Naota so fast, in a startled reflex, he grabs ahold of her and unintentionally pulls Mamimi's panties clean off- and she doesn't even notice!'
  • Physical God: The Pirate Lord Atomsk is a being capable of stealing solar systems. His mere physical presence on Earth weakens gravity for miles in all directions as everything is pulled into his N.O. channel.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: The manga adaptation isn't so much a retelling of the anime as it is a completely different story with the same premise and characters.
  • Product Placement:
    • Notice in the third episode that the drink pouches are rendered very realistically; a planned product placement deal fell through, but the producers decided to leave it in, mostly because they'd already spent the time and money to render them.
    • The guitars featured in the show are not only based on real guitars but are real guitars. Haruko's is a Rickenbacker bass guitar model 4001, Naota gets a Gibson Flying V, and Atomsk's is a 1961 Gibson EB-0.
    • Haruko's scooter is a real Vespa as well, the mid-1960s 180 Super Sport model.
    • When Naota finds his dad in the fifth episode, if you look closely at the shots of a ticking clock, you can see it's a Seiko, although it's so brief that's it's probably not intended to be an advertisement.
  • Pun: The extremely complex airsoft fight scene was complicated even for this series; mixed into the fray was musing on the Japanese word saba (the Japanese name for the mackerel) and its kanji that is pretty tough to wrap your head around without an appreciation of the Japanese Language, both written and spoken. What you might appreciate without it is that they are participating in a "survival game", or saba-gē.
  • Psychic Block Defense: Amaro uses his nori eyebrows for largely the same purpose.
  • Putting on the Reich: Kamon. Now that's Those Wacky Nazis!
  • Real Name as an Alias: Amarao reveals Haruhara Haruko's (Western style: "Haruko Haruhara") real name to be "Haruha Raharu" (Western order: "Raharu Haruha"). She moves a syllable over and adds "-ko"! On the other hand, we have no idea which, if either, is actually her real name.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Ninamori in "Marquis de Carabas", the hand monster in "Brittle Bullet" and Mamimi in "FLCLimax".
  • Redshirt Army: The fifth episode featured a whole crew of Men in Black that were hired to take out Haruko. They were offed in an incredibly awesome fashion.
  • Reference Overdosed
  • Rule of Cool: The OVA. Let's see...
  • Sarcastic Confession:
    • Haruko tells Naota she's an alien in the first episode.
    • In episode 4 Haruko admits that "I'm an illusion of your youth, a manifestation of the feelings in your adolescent heart."
  • Scars Are Forever: The ferocious hit Canti takes from being whacked on the head by Haruko's guitar leaves the poor 'bot trying to salvage the back panels she obliterated. By the end of the series, he still hasn't succeeded in piecing his head back together again.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: Episode 1 "Fooly Cooly" and Episode 3 "Marquis de Carabas".
  • Scooby Stack: Haruko, Naota's father and Canti in "Full Swing".
  • Second Love: Haruko for Naota because he did have feelings for Mamimi at first.
  • Seiza Squirm: A typically bizarre subversion - after Haruko runs over Naota in the first episode, while freaking out about what to do she seemingly rolls and slides around at random, while staying in seiza.
  • Serial Escalation: How weird and surreal can this episode be? How many puns and Double Entendre can we fit into this episode? How many guns can one giant robot hold at one time?
  • Sexy Shirt Switch
    • In the anime — Ninamori and Naota's pajamas.
    • In the manga — Ninamori and Tasuku's shirt.
  • Shotacon: Eventually subverted. Mamimi gets over Naota as a sign of both her maturation, as she no longer needs to rely on her perceived relationship with Tasuku, and his maturity, as he no longer wants to be in what seems to him an adult relationship with her to express that he isn't just a kid. She sums this up by calling him "Naota" instead of "Ta-kun" at the end of the series, recognizing his independence and individuality. Haruko leaves Naota behind after telling him he's still only a kid in the last episode, admitting that as he has begun to grow as his own person, she can no longer use him as an N.O. channel. This is a certain kind of series, after all, so nothing really comes across as Fan Service.
  • Shout-Out: To lots and lots of other anime, with references ranging from sly and subtle to blatant ripoffs.
    • Lupin III and Neon Genesis Evangelion in particular amount to running gags, and one character is named after a Carmichael Smith novel.
    • There's at least three for South Park. One comes in the form of a 30 second Art Shift, though the other two aren't as blatant.
    • The Pillows gave a musical shout out in the show's closing theme "Ride on Shooting Star"; it ends with the line "Beep beep, beep beep, yeah!", originally from The Beatles' "Drive My Car".
    • A shot of Mamimi's phone in the last episode says "Cyber Dying" which is probably a reference to Cyberdyne.
    • Haruko's sky-surfing bunnygirl is an explicit (she says so) reference to the Daicon IV music video, which was the first appearance of she who would become Gainax's signature bunnygirl, Misty May.
  • Sidekick Ex Machina
  • The Sideways Smile
  • Sliding Scale of Realistic Versus Fantastic: Far, far on the fantastic end.
  • Something Something Leonard Bernstein: The ending theme goes "RIDE ON SHOOTING STAR/ nuhnyenarnenanyeerrrnyerrr"
  • Stepford Smiler: Ah, Ninamori, trying so hard to pretend not to be a twelve-year-old girl with a twelve-year-old girl's desires. She even goes off on a fairly unsettling rant about how she idealizes Puss in Boots because he represents her desire to Become the Mask.
  • Stock Footage: Some. You can see they've reused sequences here and there; Ninamori's "'It's no big deal.' (eats a spoonful of curry)" sequence is the most obvious.
  • Sweet Dreams Fuel: The page in question refers to it (the whole series, not just the incident mentioned above) as Mind Lovemaking.
  • Theme Naming: Naota (ナオ太), Haruko (ハル子) and Mamimi (マミ美) all have names that are otherwise written in katakana (syllables) but end with kanji (characters with meanings).
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Naota's father to Naota in "Brittle Bullet".
  • The Three Faces of Eve / Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: Each of the first three episodes focuses on one of the Love Interests.
  • Title Drop: In the first episode, no less.

Kamon: Ah, your brother is away, so she's sinking her fangs into YOU, Naota! Fondling around! FOOLING around! FOOLY COOLY!!!

    • Happens quite frequently, with the characters having several humorous conversations about the meaning of the words Fooly Cooly.
  • Took a Level In Badass: Naota at the climax of "Brittle Bullet" breaks free of his dependence and desire for Mamimi's affection by outright rejecting it and summoning Canti to fight the giant gunslinger robot. And then later in "FLCLimax," absorbing the power of Atomsk and entering a sort of Super Mode.
  • TV Head Robot: Canti.
  • Ultra Super Death Gore Fest Chainsawer 3000: In the second episode, a fairly tame monochrome handheld video game about burning down a city inspires Mamimi to go on an arson rampage; then again, she was more than a little crazy to begin with.
  • Unusual Ears: The cat type.
  • Unusual Euphemism: The title of the show. It could be a mispronunciation of 'Furry Curry', though some claim it's the onomatopoeia of bouncing breasts.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The whole series runs on this. Why does no one comment on the strangeness of Ninamori growing a huge monster out of her head?!
  • Verbal Tic: Haruko adds "nya" and "pyon" at times, especially during Naota's nekomimi incident in episode 3, though more to come across as manic and mischievous. What's even more amazing is that said tic, and others like it, were worked into the English dub...and the dub is actually better off for having done so.
  • Villainous Breakdown: "Ta-kun... you can't do that. That power's mine! RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRGH!"
  • Wheel of Feet: The mayor's secretary and Haruko both do this in episode 3 "Marquis de Carabas".
  • Widget Series: Doesn't get much crazier than this.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Mamimi in episode 6
  • Yandere: Mamimi, though notably the object of her obsession is Naota's brother off playing baseball in America who already has an American girlfriend.