FLCLReviews

FLCL Ep. 2: Fista/Firestarter

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Summary

Mamimi claims she saw a god helping a kitten, but only she can see it. Naota finds her sitting in front of his school playing a hand held video game called Firestarter. His friends look on. Gaku and Masashi call her his wife. Haruko takes X-Rays of Naota’s head, finding his brain missing. Naota has another strange growth, now coming out of the back of his head. Naota complains about the robot that came out of his head living with them and that it’s all Haruko’s fault. He also complains about her still wearing the nurse’s uniform she stole. Haruko calls herself a 19 year old space patrol officer, which Naota doesn’t believe either and she gets changed, now wearing a halo and wings. Haruko claims that the robot came from the Medical Mechanica plant which is how it’s able to do things like take X-Rays. She pokes Naota in the head, bugging him further. Naota later finds his father using the robot to carry supplies out of the car. As the robot does chores various people passing by start disappearing. Kamon rambles on and on about robots and Naota tells Haruko that he wrote a book about Evangelion. Haruko comments on the fires that have been happening lately while looking at the Medical Mechanica plant with binoculars. It starts raining out. Naota find Mamimi playing with her video game under the bridge. She has a cat with her that she also calls Ta-kun. Mamimi mentions the god Canti from her video game. Haruko crashes her Vespa into the Medical Mechanica plant. She acts like she is brain dead while 2 security guards try to question her, and comment on the recent fires. Naota shows up and Naota says he’s her guardian. Haruko fixes up her Vespa with a toy Gundam figure. Mamimi continues to play with the cat under the bridge and spots the robot, now wearing Haruko’s halo and wings as it wanders around the field near the bridge. Mamimi thinks it is a god and follows it to an old burned out school. The robot climbs to the roof and floats off of it as she watches. Mamimi is even more certain that it is a god now. Haruko drives Naota home, past the beach as a reward, and purposely drives poorly to scare him, saying that without a brain he doesn’t have to worry if he gets injured.

Mamimi goes to Naota’s house to tell Naota about seeing the robot and thinking it’s a god. Haruko says the robot has been out in public buying Hustler. Suddenly the sky lights up as the robot, which Mamimi calls Lord Canti, comes down from the sky. Haruko complains about him being late and not buying the right kind of soda for her. Canti also brings Naota’s grandfather the Hustler magazine but he complains about it being the wrong one. Mamimi says Canti is a god and Haruko shouldn’t have him do chores like that. Canti continues to wander around, going to a burned out boathouse. Naota, Ninamori, Gaku and Masashi follow. They comment on a school that burned down long ago. They spot Mamimi’s shoe floating down the river and see her cleaning some of her clothes in it. Ninamori calls her pathetic. That night Naota and Mamimi walk across the bridge and she drops her video game. The game, Firestarter, is about burning down an evil city for “Lord Canti” to save the world. Haruko, in Naota’s room, communicates with someone unseen again and gets struck in the head by Naota’s cat Myu Myu. Naota sees a fire nearby and realizes that Mamimi is no longer with him. He remembers how Mamimi was found in the burned school 6 years ago and was rescued by his brother, the day they met. Naota finds Mamimi sitting by the school, with a ring of lit cigarettes around her and two torches attached to her head. Canti is wondering around in the school’s wreckage looking for things. Mamimi says she hates this place and wished it went away, but even then the wreckage is still there. She steps out of the circle towards Canti, trying to kiss him. Haruko drives towards them and a second growth starts coming out of Naota’s head. It is revealed to be a large blue robot, which completely pulls itself out of Naota’s head, flinging him right into Haruko’s Vespa as she arrives. The robot attacks Canti, knocking him away. Haruko swings at it with her bass but is also knocked away. The robot continues to attack with its extended fist and Haruko manages a direct strike but is blasted by it soon after. Naota knocks Mamimi out of the way as Canti crashes by them. Naota thinks of his brother and a red symbol suddenly appears on Canti’s TV screen. Canti grows a large mouth in its abdomen and eats Naota. Naota has a vision of a light bulb while inside Canti. Mamimi complains about him not really being Lord Canti and eating Naota. Canti turns red and easily punches aside the robot. Canti transforms into a large cannon and fires at the robot, destroying it. The bullet heads back into Canti. Haruko strikes the robot with her bass and it bursts into flames. Canti ejects Naota from it as if it was going to the bathroom. Haruko says they have to go after hearing police sirens closing in on the burning wreckage. Naota thinks to himself that he’ll stay by Mamimi forever.

Commentary

This episode tones down a bit from the wackiness of the first episode, but still has some good moments. Overall I’d consider it the weakest episode of the series, but it still gets a better than average rating from me, showing just how strong the show as a whole is. Mamimi gets some good development here, more than she gets in the remaining episodes and we find out how she and Naota’s brother first met. Seems like she became obsessed with him ever since he saved her many years ago. The storyline surrounding her and her pyromaniac like obsession was inspired by reported instances in America where video games were blamed for murderous rampages by teenagers. This episode’s enemy robot seems like a more developed version of the one we got in the previous episode and from the director’s commentary is said to be the remains of the robot that had showed up last time (if you pay close attention you’ll see its missing one of its hands). Canti eating Naota then using him as a bullet certainly adds to the craziness. We get another Gundam reference here as Haruko uses a toy one to fix her Vespa. Naota’s father is also proclaimed an obsessed Evangelion fan. The animation style also briefly changes radically around the halfway point of the episode for a scene, which to my knowledge wasn’t a specific reference to something, but just the personal preference of the animation director.

Overall Rating
3.5/5
FLCL Info


Director:
Kazuya Tsurumaki

Writer:
Yoji Enokido

Mechanical Designer(s):
Junya Ishigaki
Shigeto Koyama
Bukichi Nadeara
Yoshitsune Izuna

Character Designer:
Yoshiyuki Sadamoto

Musical Composer(s):
Shinkichi Mitsumune
The Pillows

Video Release (OVA):
Japan 04.26.2000 – 03.16.2001
U.S. 09.03.2002 – 07.22.2003

Theatrical Release:
Japan 10.01.2006

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