FLCL: Freestyle Collection
September 22, 2018 11:56 PM - Season 3, Episode 3 - Subscribe

With rain and college planning bringing a melancholy mood, Kana and her friends talk about their dreams for the future - and find out that Mossan has a powerful one, one that's driving her to work to her limits. But a friendly attempt to help her achieve her dreams has her angered, which leaves her friends surprised...
posted by NoxAeternum (4 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Sigh. I nothing can really capture the original. But lets get specific with this episode, lest I repeat myself.

The plot of the original revolved around Haruko's surreal ambitions intersecting with Naota's daily life. She was chaotic, but always in service of an obvious ambition--Haruko wanted at Atmosk and was willing to trample people to get there. To the extent that episodes focused on characters, it focused on character's relationship with Naota. His brother, a girl with a crush on him, his father, the girl using him as substitute for his brother who abandoned all of them. Using Naota as an active character in these stories allowed them to go deep on characterization. And the intersection of the plots revolved in no small part about Naota coming to loving someone so unlikeable.

In Alternative, Haruko's plot is largely disconnected from Kana's plot, which largely uses Kana as a framing device for episodic character vignettes exploring her conveniently small number of close friends. It's very formulaic, but makes for a slower pacing as it sets up a larger set of throwaway characters. And Haruko's plot is a boring drip feed of foreshadowing about some sort of space embargo / evacuation that has seemingly zero relevance to the character vignettes. Worse, it's not clear how Haruko's actions in this episode help her agenda. While smashing the Medical Mechanica robot and working as a foreman in at the construction site might be means of sabotaging her megacorp opponent, they're not nearly as overt. And trashing the fashion show served no discernable purpose. It's not like it was funded by Medical Mechanica or first prize was a golden ticket to the reactor core or something.

And Mossan's relationship with food is not exactly handled well in this episode. It leans into the 'fat people eat a lot of food' stereotype, with the backpack full of food, her family drawing pictures of food, and mindlessly wolfing down onigiri. Not that I particularly expect Japanese animation producers to have anything insightful to say about obesity, but I do expect them to gracefully avoid the subject if they're unable to meaningfully address it. Instead we also get a random cast unclothed scene -- because why?
posted by pwnguin at 12:17 AM on September 24, 2018

At this point, my headcanon is that Haruko is the Japanese Dr. Who, dropping into unsuspecting teenagers lives and upending them.
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 2:44 AM on September 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

Haruko has always had one key motivation - to manipulate strong N-O channel users. We've seen over and over that while she can manipulate N-O for her own purposes, she doesn't possess a channel herself. This is what has drawn her to Naota, Hidomi, Ide, and Kana - all possess powerful N-O channels. It's also part of what drives her to possess Atomisk - as the Pirate King, his N-O capacity is beyond compare.

So, coming back to this week's episode, we see one weakness with Kana - her N-O channel is unstable, and highly succeptable to emotional "static". When she kicks the pin, her reaction is a pale shadow of what we saw in the previous two episodes. And of course Haruko notes this as well, and realizes that the way to get Kana back to form is to help her resolve her issue.
posted by NoxAeternum at 7:01 AM on September 24, 2018 [1 favorite]

At this point, my headcanon is that Haruko is the Japanese Dr. Who, dropping into unsuspecting teenagers lives and upending them.

Or maybe a Cat in the Hat from outer space.
posted by pwnguin at 4:36 PM on October 1, 2018

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