Comedy, drama, coming-of-age storylines, and crazy are all present in these animes. FLCL lovers will love this.
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FLCL, a popular Japanese anime, is a show unlike any other. ‘ Haruko Haruhara, the housemaid of Naota Nandaba’s sixth-grade class, has been a long-time favorite of anime viewers since its premiere in 2000. Brilliantly, FLCL manages to reconcile the universal problems of adolescence with the awe-inspiring universe it creates. It’s a hoot! It’s heartfelt. It’s a work of art. The Pillows, a Japanese alternative rock band, provide the soundtrack. As a bonus, the show is only six episodes long, which can either be a blessing or a curse for anime aficionados with a never-ending backlog.
After viewing FLCL, if you’re looking for more of the same, you might want to check out the anime on this list.
Also, don’t forget to check out FLCL: Alternative and FLCL: Progressive, the official sequels to FLCL.
1. Punch Line
Non-linear storytelling techniques from FLCL are incorporated into Punch Line, which follows a wandering soul who is pumped up by the sight of underwear. Yuuta Iridatsu realizes his soul has been evicted from his mortal body after a botched bus hijacking.
To keep an eye on the female residents of the Korai House apartment complex, Yuuta takes on the role of a spirit. A single look at a girl’s underwear will boost Yuuta’s strength, but two consecutive looks will send an asteroid hurtling toward Earth, destroying everything in its path. Punch Line’s absurdity is clearly influenced by FLCL. sexuality and self-discovery appear in both works.
2. Dead Leaves
Anime studio Production I.G. is behind the 52-minute OVA (original video animation) Dead Leaves.
Two extraterrestrial fugitives, Pandy and Retro, are brought into captivity after committing a series of crimes on Earth. Their new prison surroundings turn out to be a top secret cloning lab full with genetically-experimented horrors, which they quickly discover. Dead Leaves’ adrenaline-fueled animation pushes the envelope more than FLCL’s.
3. Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
FLCL and Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann share a passionate adolescent point of view, although being told in a more conventional manner.
Kamina, Simon’s hot-blooded adult mentor, and an ancient mecha of enormous might pilot the strange wastelands above in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. If Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann’s stunning visuals and fast-paced action aren’t enough to entice you, the show’s honest depiction of maturity and the agony and sacrifices that come with it is a must-watch.
4. Kill la Kill
Sultry and stylish action show Kill la Kill flips the high school anime genre on its ear. Ryuko Matoi, a 17-year-old high school student who moves to Honnouji Academy in order to track down the person responsible for the murder of her father, is the star of the show. Satsuki Kiryuuin, the student council president of Honnouji Academy, is a cold-hearted dictator.
Symbiotic clothing that grants Ryuko enormous powers is discovered after she is defeated by one of Satsuki’s henchmen. Additionally, Hiroyuki Imaishi, who directed Dead Leaves and Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, directed Kill la Kill to embody FLCL’s animated pandemonium.
5. Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi
Shopping in a magical arcade Like FLCL, Abenobashi is an absurdist animated comedy. To get away from their daily routines in Abenobashi in Osaka’s Abeno-ku, 12-year-old Satoshi “Sasshi” Imamiya and his best buddy, Arumi Asahina, are whisked away to wonderful (and perilous) variants of their city. Mune-mune and Eutus appear in each new reality, despite the fact that each new world is completely different from the last.
Despite the arcade’s absurdist comedy and childlike attractions, Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi provides a gloomy view at childhood.
6. Excel Saga
If you were a fan of FLCL’s wild anime parodies, then Excel Saga has even more to offer. “Excel” is the name given to a young woman who has committed her life to bringing Il Palazzo’s aspirations of world dominance to fruition. Excel’s impulsive and ill-advised activities have resulted in the demise of most of Il Palazzo’s goals.
Featuring funny parodies of popular and obscure anime series, Excel Saga features an eccentric ensemble of likeable yet mentally ill characters.
7. Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt
As with FLCL, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt features surreal humor that is amplified to an eleventh-hour pitch. Panty and Stocking, two fallen angels, must pay their way back to Heaven by exorcising the demons that afflict Daten City. However, even under the guidance of Father Garterbelt, Panty and Stocking continue to neglect their angelic responsibilities because they are distracted with their vices.
Similarly to FLCL, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt is full of raunchy humor and WTF stories, but the graphic style is more reminiscent of Cartoon Network.
Adulthood and family are explored in Kyousougiga, a fantasy action show that shares FLCL’s over-the-top humor and animation. An enchanted world called the Looking Glass City, which was created by a monk named Myoue, is the setting for the series.
Myoue and Koto, a black rabbit in human shape, lived in the Looking Glass City with their three children after Myoue was exiled from his previous home. While Myoue and Koto disappeared from the Looking Glass City, their children were left in charge of running Myoue’s imaginal realm. As if that wasn’t bad enough, a young girl with a hammer named Koto has stumbled into this parallel reality in search of the black rabbit.
9. The Tatami Galaxy
Both Tatami Galaxy and FLCL deal with the difficulties of adolescence. While FLCL tells its tale of regret and squandered youth from the viewpoint of a child, The Tatami Galaxy does so from the viewpoint of a young man.
In his third year of college, Watashi laments the decisions he made while on campus. Watashi is thrown back in time to his freshman year thanks to a once-in-a-lifetime meeting with a mystery man with an eggplant-shaped head. The Tatami Galaxy’s strange, fast-paced plot and unusual graphic style will feel right at home to FLCL aficionados.
10. Space Patrol Luluco
Astronautics An average middle-schooler tries to juggle her responsibilities as an interstellar cop in Luluco, a 13-episode anime series. Luluco, a 13-year-old girl living in Ogikubo, a space colonization zone occupied by humans and extraterrestrials, just wanted a regular existence. A sleeping drug her father unintentionally ingested freezes his body, forcing Luluco to take his position on the Space Patrol. Unfortunately, her dreams of a normal schoolgirl life are shattered.
Space Patrol Luluco shares FLCL’s sense of absurdity, but its seven-minute length also evokes a Western-animated aesthetic.
Leogardo Reyna Jr. is a Corpus Christi, Texas-based freelance writer. My Anime List, VentureBeat and Comic Book Resources are just few of the places where he has written about his passion for anime and manga. He’s looking forward to the McRib’s comeback.