FLCL Ep. 3: Maru Raba/Marquis de Carabas


Ninamori, Naota’s friend and daughter of Mabase’s Mayor, is brought to school by her father’s secretary since there is a fight going on between her parents. Her comments imply that the secretary is having an affair with her father. Ninamori got the lead role in the school play and is bringing the costume with her. Naota wakes up to find his room a mess. He goes outside to talk to Haruko, who is working on her Vespa. Haruko ignores him until he calls her an alien. Naota wants her to clean up, but she says the house is full of copies of Kamon’s overprinted but barely bought minizine, Kamon Mabase. Haruko tries to take off Naota’s hat, to his annoyance. She tells him she’s making curry for dinner and Naota complains about it being too spicy so she says she’ll buy a special version. At school Ninamori complains to Naota for skipping rehearsal that morning. Naota has been selected to play the cat in the school play Puss N Boots. Naota and his friends get in trouble in class when their teacher, Miyaji catches them reading his dad’s minizine which has an article about Ninamori’s family. Naota skips rehearsal again and hangs out with Mamimi, who is wearing a hat with cat ears and takes pictures of them. Mamimi pulls off Naota’s hat, revealing that he has cat-like ears on his head. Kamon shops around his minizine at a store with little success, and also tries to sell it to Ninamori when she comes in. Mamimi plays with Naota’s ears and says he was super cool for saving her the other night. Haruko catches Canti hiding while it works on a broken part and later drives off on her Vespa. A large group of reporters gather around Ninamori’s house. The secretary talks to Ninamori and flees. Ninamori heads to the train station where she is found by Naota. They talk about the current goings on at her home. Haruko drives there to pick up Naota and avoiding a cat, crashes her Vespa, which hits Naota yet again and causes him to fly head first into Ninamori. Ninamori notices Naota’s cat ears and touches them despite Haruko’s warnings not to. She suddenly develops a pain in her stomach and passes out.

That night at dinner Kamon and Canti scarf down Haruko’s curry while Naota and Shigekuni have trouble with it due to it being extra spicy. Ninamori, who is eating with them, is confused about why they have a walking robot eating with them. Kamon questions Ninamori about the goings on with her parents and she says it’s not a big deal. Kamon becomes terrified when he finds out that the mayor’s daughter got hit by their Vespa. He tells Ninamori to spend the night to help her get over the bad things that have happened. Kamon talks to Ninamori as she takes a bath and she says she’s glad he published the story about her father’s affair since it got rid of the secretary. After Ninamori finishes her bath and Naota finds her in his room wearing glasses, she tells him she usually wears contacts. Naota is stressed out by Ninamori sleeping over, especially after finding out she knows about his cat ears. Naota doesn’t want to play the cat in the play but Ninamori wants him to, revealing that she rigged the votes so she would be the lead and he would be the cat. Haruko reveals that she has been sitting above them spying and rubs Naota’s ears. Naota wakes up the next day in class with Canti and Haruko there; Haruko has brought him his curry for lunch. Naota wants to skip the rehearsal but Ninamori grabs onto him and won’t let him go, saying her parents are going to be seeing the play together. The two argue and Ninamori knocks off Naota’s hat revealing his cat ears to everyone. Naota shouts out that Ninamori cheated to get the lead role. Suddenly the cat ears vanish, appearing on Ninamori’s head instead. They are quickly revealed to not be cat ears, but rather legs of a giant spherical shaped creature which uses Ninamori, attached on its underside to grab onto Naota and then attack Canti. Haruko smashes at the creature with a wooden ukulele to not effect and tells Canti that they should get out of here. The two run out of the classroom and upstairs, causing the creature to follow them up to the roof. Haruko’s Vespa arrives with her bass which she swings at the creature, which uses Ninamori’s legs to defend itself. Canti punches it from below causing Naota to be flung up into the air and lose his lunch. Naota’s lunch falls into the creature’s mouth. Canti is thrown off the roof, crashing into Miyaji’s car. Canti eats Naota again. The creature, disgusted by Naota’s curry spits out Ninamori and Haruko tricks it into the firing path of Canti, which fires Naota at it, destroying it. Naota comments that everything worked out with Ninamori’s parents and they didn’t get a divorce. The play takes place with Ninamori and Naota playing their lead roles. Naota sees Ninamori is wearing her glasses again but she puts her fingers through the frame, revealing they were fake.


Similar to episode 2, this episode focuses in particular on one of the side characters, in this case Naota’s friend Ninamori. I found it, and the episode as a whole, a bit more effective than the one surrounding Mamimi in the previous episode. Cats feature heavy in the episode, with Naota’s role in the play, his ‘cat’ ears (which are later revealed to be something completely different) and other references. The title of the episode is a reference to Puss in Boots, the play which Ninamori and Naota are participating in. The theme of that story also plays heavily into the theme of the episode with Ninamori continuously lying about things, much like the titular character of that story did. The episode also features multiple references to Crystal Pepsi, a clear version of the popular soft drink, which was produced in the early 1990s and was a massive flop. The episode includes the classical music piece “Comedian’s Galop” by Dmitry Kabalevsky during the battle sequence, a rare instance where outside music was used in the show. The battle sequence is the most interesting the show has had yet, particularly with the design of the monster that Canti and Haruko take on.

Overall Rating


Kazuya Tsurumaki

Yoji Enokido

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

Character Designer:
Yoshiyuki Sadamoto

Musical Composer(s):
Shinkichi Mitsumune
The Pillows

6 episodes; 1 compilation movie

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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