FLCL 2 Light Novel Review
^Maybe I should put more effort into finding actual pictures in the novels, but I figure pictures of the characters from the corresponding chapters works.
FLCL 3’ll be coming up eventually. Hope you enjoy the review. Discuss if you want ^_^
Title: フルクリ / FLCL; “Marquis de Carabas” and “Full Swing”
Volume: 2 (of 3)
Author: Enokido Yoji
Original Concept and Plot: Tsurumaki Kazuya
Illustrator: Tsurumaki Kazuya
Licensed by: TokyoPop
Translated by: Gemma Collinge / Laura Wyrick (Adapter)
Review by: Kafkafuura
“Plunge deeper into the demented dreamscape of a high school nothing turned mutant warrior in this volume of FLCL” (From the back of the book) ← First, I’d like to point out that other than Mamimi, the entire child cast is in 6th grade, ie. elementary school.
“A Lolita complex is merely an adult admiring a child – a grown-up metamorphosis.” “I like Diet Coke. This is grown up.” – FLCL Director/Producer/Creator Tsurumaki Kazuya ; this is what makes the afterword worth reading.
“…it felt good. It was the same feeling he got when he’d ridden on the speeding Vespa – the time when his brain had been empty. Maybe this is how Haruko always feels.”
“Marquis de Carabas”
Up until this point, FLCL really centers around Naota (even if Fire Starter’s about Mamimi), but “Marquis de Carabas” starts off with Ninamori Eri: class president, special girl – or not. She’s in conflict over being special due to “other people” and not by herself. Added into the mix, her father becomes the subject of a scandal, bringing her more unwanted attention and tying her more to the adults in her life she wants to be independent from. She gets caught up with Naota (via vehicular accident, as usual) and an interesting relationship is formed. To end it all, Ninamori gets through her social, self-contained plight via giant robot warfare and moves on with the play “Marquis de Carabas”. Naota is left confused; Haruko has a glint in her eye.
“If you don’t swing, nothing with happen. Takkun, you think you’re special, don’t you? That’s why you don’t swing. If you swing, people will know you’re not special.”
This chapter is about Naota. Even though most of the other chapters follow Naota around, “Fooly Cooly” is an introduction, “Fire Starter” is about Mamimi, “Marquis de Carabas” is about Ninamori, and now “Full Swing” is about Naota. In “Full Swing” Naota’s feelings sort of come to an uncomfortable peak. His resentment for following in the shadow of his brother Tasuku, his relationship with Haruko strained, his relationship with Mamimi strained, his relationship with his father strained, all connected in one place about to explode. We’re also introduced to Commander Amarao and the military/government. Naota explodes, in more ways than one, and is forced to “take action” – swing – if you will.
A great number two of three. A second in any series usually suffers for being in the middle, with the introductions over and no incredible climax to carry it, but I think FLCL handles this fairly well. I liked “Marquis de Carabas” because it moved a little farther away from Naota and focuses more on another character: Ninamori Eri. It sort of strengthens the child v. adult dynamic by making it more generalized; Naota’s not the only one at odds with his irresponsible parents. Ninamori’s also a great “politician”. “Full Swing” takes up the slack as the end of a middle by throwing a bunch of new questions into the mix – the government, and someone who knows Haruhara Haruko – a man with incredible eyebrows. You can’t not love Amarao at first sight…
Of course like FLCL 1, FLCL 2 suffers from the same “short book, but normal price” syndrome, but again I don’t think the price is too high for the value of the book. The added internal dialogue that the light novel offers over is refreshing to those who have already seen the anime, and so it’s generally easier to follow; even though it still keeps its confusing charm well enough.
I recommend reading the afterword. May your heads stay empty my friends – good day.