Furi Kuri certainly is 6 episodes of an Seinen, Sci-Fi, random WTF-just-happened kind of anime. While it is highly praised, I'll say it now, this anime won't be to everyone's tastes. It can also be difficult to understand and there is no obvious coherency to the story. Most would find it too boring. It's a refined taste like Whiskey, hence why it is a Seinen. It's like Marmite, you either love it or you hate it. Despite being part of the target audience, I didn't enjoy it initially. Did it get any better?
Animation is top notch. Not only is the quality amazing for an anime made at the turn of the century, but the style is also rather unique. The use of colours is unlike an anime I've seen before. The animation style also varies, with them doing a comic books style in one episode (which I didn't appreciate), cel-shaded in another and even go as far as to reference South Park in another episode. Well done for making the animation style stand out, it does better than some of the more recent animes, despite the obvious age. It has a wacky cartoony style for the most part, going very psychedelic and crazy at times. There is not any ecchi (HOORAY!), though a lot of mature themes are referred to or suggested. "...my what a large guitar you have..."
The sound is another thing that a lot of people love about this anime. Or more precisely the music, which is of the ever awesome rock genre. It's really good rock music and it even made me get the soundtrack. But that's it. It seems they got a rock band to do all the music and while rock is my favourite genre, having one type of music, especially rock in this case, is not good enough to have perfect sound. More precisely, it was the sound design. The awesome rock music was in the background of most scenes, even when it might have been inappropriate or made no sense for it to be there, given the atmosphere the scene was trying to convey. If there was any other type of music, I don't remember hearing any so there wasn't enough and it wasn't played at the appropriate moments. Too much of something good can end up making things go sour. As for the voice acting, there is an English dub and even a French dub, in addition to the usual Japanese audio. I honestly didn't like the voice of the main character, who was obviously voiced by a woman. And boy did it show. The voice just didn't suit at all, no offence to gals who do VO for male characters.
The main character is arguably Naota Nandaba, who is a child. Yes, a child who goes to elementary school, not even a high-school student. Now I have nothing against kids being main characters, but in this case it really didn't make sense having the main character as a kid. And that partially contributed to my non-enjoyment of the start. Naota lives with his single dad (ahem) and grandfather, while his older brother has gone off to the US to play baseball. Apparently he's that good. Unfortunately the older brother is never seen. As for Naota, he acts somewhat mature, sometimes. He also gets a lot of unnecessary physical abuse, which is worse since he's also a kid. Violence against children? This results in him growing strange horns out of his head, leading to more dire consequences (I won't spoil it). Of course being a kid, he doesn't understand everything and is confused. He reminded me of Shinji Ikari from NGE, one of my all-time favourite animes. Not only that, but he seems to be weak-willed, letting others do what they will, even if he complains initially. I'm sorry but I didn't like this character too much (and I hated the VO).
The other main character Haruho Haruhara is a crackpot crazy alien who rides around on her yellow Vespa without any consideration for others. Poor Naota gets run over so many times. And it doesn't stop when she's not on her bike. Speaking of the bike, it seems to have a mind of its own. 'Normal Vespa' my ass. Anyhow Haruho's reasons for staying with Naota and his family are unknown, but it may have something to do with the fact that Naota started growing horns after he was run over by her. She tends to use her guitar wrecklessly as a baseball bat, though thankfully the guitar seems to be tougher than diamond. She is very energetic, does what she wants and is random, could be infected with rabies? Reminds me a lot of Excel from Excel Saga, another anime I've previously enjoyed.
Mamimi Samejima, is a highschool girl, who is... very odd. She smokes, is a delinquent, appears to be homeless and has a heavy infatuation with Naota's never-present older brother. She even goes so far as to try and make Naota himself replace his brother, going so far as to even call him Takkun, which is what she used to call his brother. Mentally disturbed? Definitely. An interesting character? Probably. A good character? Maybe.
The other characters feature less and aren't essential enough to be a main character. Bar one blue robot. Canti is a medical robot who SPOILER< appears from Naota's head >SPOILER and is, in my book, the best character in this anime. Yes he never talks, but he is very considerate, doing the housework and being the maid. Even though he isn't meant for fighting, when he first appears, he saves Naota. A gentle machine, who looks badass and is a very peaceful, gentle character, even helping those who had previously attacked him. Even the characters (well, some) in the anime agree and they all (well, some) love him to bits. He even becomes a badass butt-kicking red robot when SPOILER< he eats Naota >SPOILER. It maybe cliche to say this, but this robot has a heart of gold.
Among the other characters is Naota's dad who also seems to be constantly high, though there is a reason for it, a rather grim and morbid one. The dude with the oversized eyebrows is funny, in that people keep on mentioning his eyebrows and they sometimes come off. There's another girl from Naota's class and she's pretty normal for the most part. Though I did wish they got together or something, could have been cool.
The story, believe it or not, is actually a good comprehendable story. It felt simple afterwards and there weren't too many big twists or turns of the story, but that's a good thing for this anime. It actually all fits together nicely, for the most part. Now of course it might not make any sense if one hasn't watched all 6 episodes but, boy it does at the end. And despite what may appear to be, there is no romance. Again, that makes sense and the ending, while some may not like it, I did. It was a solid conclusion IMO and explains what happens to all of the characters. It seems to be all over the place and there is a lot of sci-fi involved, but its okay, just watch it through to the end if you don't want your brain to explode. And if you still don't get it, then this anime isn't for you. Clearly a niche (?) audience of Seinen.
Overall, a competent seinen anime and one that may make you laugh, though it couldn't make me laugh (as far as I can recall). If you like the crazy, wacky, random mindfuck stuff and something altogether more unique, then this is for you. I have heard of people naming it their favourite anime of all time, but I wouldn't put it that high myself. The ending saved it for me, helping make sense of the story and the like. Definitely not for everyone, if you can't handle a complicated story that is actually simple (make sense of that!), then don't watch it. Since you may even find it boring Otherwise, if you've experience and maturity under your belt, then sit back and enjoy the ride. And the awesome rock music of course.
Family-friendliness Rating: 5*/5 Err, no perverted stuff, but young people may melt their minds with confusion when watching this (lower is better) <-maybe this is the exception?
Overall Rating: 8/10
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