As always, my Review FAQ is in my blog, check it out if you want to know more info on how I do my reviews.
So there's a plot in there...somewhere. A very vague and confusing plot leaves the vast majority of viewers wondering what is exactly happening in this anime. I myself watched the series six times over the course of a month and a half, trying to understand what is happening on screen. I eventually came to the realization that there actually is no plot, but that the story is merely a train-of-thought event telling of an underlying truth, rather than that of a traditional story. Using a mixture of overt and subtle euphamisms and innuendos, the story is about puberty, specifically that of males, as well as the myth of maturity. Naoto struggles very hard to be what he sees as "mature," even when surrounded by adults that seem to have never matured. "Child in heart, but not in body" comes to mind. He sees all the adults around him as children. Similarly, most of his friends his age act the same; trying to act more mature than is necessay for them.
This anime is filled with a variety of characters that meet certain foils. Most of the characters are fairly predictable, with the notable exeption of Haruko. Then again, you can expect her character to be unexpected, making her reasonably expectable...ah, too much paradox. Let's just say she is a psychopath. I found most of the characters to be fairly standoffish, however, with Naoto being the one I could most connect to, though even Naoto is not a terribly strong character.
FLCL uses an art style just as eccentric as its plot. Originally concieved as a test of Gainax's new animation technology, the show drifts around styles on an episodical basis, sometimes even shifting within an episode. The director comments that this was also in part due to his directions, with each style pertaining to a specific feeling about the contect shown on screen. I generally liked the various styles, and it helped tremendously to my original complete failure to understand the series (which in this case I view as an interesting plus).
With an all-original musical score by J-Rock band The Pillows, the music flows very nicely with the "story", and is wonderful by itself. Not much to speak about the music, though, other than it is excellent. Interesting to note, The Pillows' popularity skyrocketed after the release of FLCL.
PERSONAL CHOICE: 8/10
It was funny, exceedingly esoteric and eccentric, and more-or-less enjoyable.
Personal Choice: 8/10
Wierd...it would probably be an interesting thing to watch while high...don't ask me about it though. Enjoyable for the kids due to its kooky nature, but the actual content is not suggested for anyone younger than teenagers, especially due to its underlying theme of puberty and maturation; only those who have gone through it already will truly appreciate the imagery.
WATCH AGAIN?: I've already seen it six times through, but it's short enough for a quick viewing, so more likely yes than no.