FLCLReviews

FLCL Ep. 5: Bura Bure/Brittle Bullet

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Summary

Naota and Haruko hide in a grassy field, playing a game of war with Kamon and Canti. Haruko starts shouting loudly and kicks Naota into the open where he can be seen. The narrative flashes back to earlier. Naota and his grandfather watch a John Woo-like movie on TV. Suddenly Kamon, dressed in a red robe crashes through the wall into the TV. This is a result of him being struck by a boxing glove coming out of Haruko’s crotch. She starts firing at him with plastic bullets. Naota rushes up stairs to his room and finds the towel-clad Haruko talking to her superiors through Myu Myu. Naota tells Haruko to put on some clothes which drives her further over the edge as she dresses up like a rock singer and starts shooting at him with her bass guitar then starts waving it around and crashes into him. Haruko forces herself onto Naota on his bed and says she’ll make him a man. A trigger suddenly appears out of the back of Naota’s head causing him to kiss her. Kamon, watching from the window gets upset, demanding they have a duel to determine who will get Haruko. Back in the present, Kamon, dressed like a Nazi, taunts Naota and Haruko wraps herself around him, licking him. Kamon and Canti see them and start shooting at them. Mamimi quietly watches from the bridge above. Kitsurubami appears with a large rifle from a blue car nearby and calls Amarao, who is in a boutique having his eyebrows done. Upon being told that Canti is blue, he says to attack. The animation temporarily switches to South Park-style as he talks to the hairdresser. Naota shoots at Kamon but finds it to be a scarecrow. Kamon taunts him and Naota has rope tied around his foot and is hit by wooden spikes. Kitsurubami continues to watch, wondering about the game they are playing. Naota complains to Haruko who says she can’t participate since her guitar isn’t plugged in. Naota fires relentlessly at Canti. Kitsurubami also fires at Canti from above. Haruko knocks back one of her bullets however, blowing up her car. Kitsurubami falls into the river along with Kamon and they float away. Naota is suddenly run over by a truck that drives by, but this doesn’t stop him from continuing to fire on Canti. Canti has Naota defeated, but he whines, saying he has time-outs then admits he made it up. Gaku, Masashi and Ninamori are revealed to be driving the truck, saying they have a part time job making deliveries. Naota gets embarrassed once his friends ask what he’s doing. He tells Canti to go get them some non-sour drinks. Gaku asks Naota if he has heard the rumor that he saved the city and Masashi talks about him being able to control Canti. Naota starts getting boastful. Haruko says it’s true and throws herself all over Naota. Haruko sees Mamimi on the bridge and says hello to her. Naota notices that she looks rather upset.

Naota’s friends drive off. Ninamori wonders if Naota is going out with Mamimi but they also wonder about his relationship with Haruko. Mamimi talks to Naota about the style of drink he now likes and says she saw him and Haruko together. Naota tries to play it off as not a big deal and says he has no feelings towards her. Mamimi says she heard about the same rumors as his friends and Naota gets more boastful. Mamimi pulls out her gun. Kitsurubami calls Amarao and says she lost the target. Canti suddenly shows up, scaring her. Amarao’s hair stylist is revealed to be Haruko and he pulls out a gun while she holds a razor to his neck. Haruko comments on his eyebrows and sending his commando on a mission against her. Amarao starts firing at her. Mamimi shoots at Naota and talks about how amazing he is in blasé fashion. She asks when he grew up and if Haruko caused these changes in him. Naota grabs her by the arm and says to come with him. Kitsurubami fires at Canti in fear, but it suffers no damage and offers to help her up. Amarao is joined by a large group of agents. He says Canti is too dangerous and Medical Mechanica will make its move. He says when it turns red it is Atomsk. Haruko is able to fight off all of the agents pursuing her with her guitar, leaving Amarao as the last one standing. Naota drags Mamimi with him to a restaurant but Mamimi doesn’t want to go in with him. She says he likes Haruko and refuses his advances when he tries to kiss her. Haruko and Amarao continue to fire upon each other. The trigger in the back of Naota’s head goes off, causing a skyscraper-sized cloaked robot to appear out of his forehead. Amarao wakes up to find that his eyebrows have fallen off and upon seeing the robot is fearful of what Medical Mechanica is doing. Haruko swings her guitar in front of Amarao to his fear and pulls a tiny guitar out of his forehead. She says he’s too small and Naota is a lot manlier than him. Haruko takes off as Amarao whines. The giant robot heads towards the Medical Mechanica plant with Naota and Mamimi atop its hat. Mamimi calls out for Tasuku to save her, getting Naota very upset. He calls for Canti and tells her to never call him Ta-kun again as Canti eats him. Haruko meanwhile rides through the air on her guitar with a bunny costume, using Amarao’s tiny guitar as a slingshot to fire at the robot. The robot, which is a giant hand under the cloak, starts firing back at her with a shotgun. Haruko climbs aboard the robot’s gun but gets knocked off as it pulls out another and shoots at her. Canti, now glowing red grabs her and Canti fires Naota through the back of the robot. Mamimi is knocked off the robot but saved by Canti. Canti drops Mamimi into the truck of Naota’s friends. Canti fires Naota at the robot again but it deflects him, knocking him into a nearby billboard. The robot fires at Haruko with all five of its fingers. Amarao and Kitsurubami almost get struck by one of the bullet casings. Amarao is fearful of the robot activating the plant. Suddenly Canti pulls a Gibson EB-0 guitar belonging to Atomsk out of its head. It swings the guitar at the robot, knocking it over the Medical Mechanica plant. Canti swings the guitar at the robot again before it hits the ground, knocking the core out of it. The robot comes to a halt, forming a giant hand. The core crashes into the river next to Kamon. Naota falls off the billboard and turns back to normal. Haruko steps on him, enamored with Atomsk.

Commentary

This is the funniest episode of the series to watch, and I’d say it’s between this and the more thought provoking episode 6 for the best episode of the series. The first half gives us a lot of goofiness with the game between Naota and Kamon over Haruko, while the second half features Haruko confronting Amarao as well as a robot fight that is a lot more impressive than those we have had thus far in the series. Plot-wise, we get more revelations. When Canti turns red he seems to be summoning the power of a being named Atomsk who Haruko appears to be quite enamored with. It also seems that Haruko and Amarao had a past relationship with each other similar to the one between Haruko and Naota today. Mamimi seems to have completely gotten over Naota based on his relationship with Haruko and the changes he has undergone. This episode probably features more anime and pop culture references than any other in the series. Most well-known is when the animation temporarily becomes a style very similar to that of South Park. Naota also dresses in a hood similar to that of the character Kenny from that show for much of the episode. Haruko references numerous rock bands early in the episode (those of which will vary based on whether you are watching the show in English or Japanese). In the dub, Kitsurubami references the character Seven of Nine from Star Trek Voyager. Naota and his grandfather watch a movie that is a spoof of the works of John Woo. Naota’s father dresses up like the classic anime character Lupin the Third early in the episode. Haruko dressing in a bunny outfit and riding on a guitar is a reference to one of Gainax’s earliest works, Daicon IV (she even shouts out “Daicon V!” when attacking). As if all that wasn’t enough, the episode also features my favorite song in the series, “Blues Drive Monster” during the robot battle at the end of the episode. It’s hard to get better than this.

Overall Rating
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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