FLCL Progressive proves that sequels arent necessary. One of Progressives biggest problems is its lack of nuance. FLCL is known for being a majestic definer of youth and adolescence and the idea of growing up. It interweaves a crazy plot with themes of adolescence which makes for an equally stunning and eloquent look into youth. While Progressive continues with these same themes it doesnt do a good job at fleshing them out despite its attempts at projecting it over and over again to the viewer. It feels rather artificial and shallow because of how much it clocks you over the head with them serving as the complete opposite of the implicit nature of the original preferring style over substance. The repetition wouldnt have necessarily been for naught if the show actually went for a newer and refreshing route but it doesnt as it chooses to mostly stay on the same path as the original. It ends up being a major weakness of the show as it damages a large portion of its thematic weight and value. Its nice to see Haruko back but theres something missing. She is still pretty fun to watch though there isnt any semblance of her that quite matches her character in the original. The impeccable voice acting and her own quirky habits are lovely to see and hear again but her usual rambunctious and driven persona is toned down in order to highlight a different side to her. That side is fascinating especially with the introduction of Jinyu but the show does a poor job of realizing her inner conflicts. The drama here feels shallow and surfacelevel not allowing for any sort of complexity to built be built off of. With that in mind I still love Haruko and she carries the show by a ton. Hidomi shares a decent amount of the same characteristics as Mamimi the lack of ambition direction and passion. However her development as a character is erratic and inconsistent and it doesnt leave much of a lasting impression. Its hard not to compare the characters in Progressive to the characters in the original because of how much Progressive tries to follow in the same path. This coupled with the lack of proper characterization makes it very hard for us to sympathize and invest in Hidomi and her journey. The same issues apply to Ide his character feeling underutilized throughout the shows course because any semblance of growth is degraded down into something that is superficial and generic. He doesnt feel fully fleshed out and his character in itself is dry and boring which unfortunately matches the rest of the cast. Ide and Hidomi are examples of what could have been their characters largely feeling strangely underutilized for a show about youth and adolescence. There is some form of development but they along with the rest of the cast dont leave much of a lasting impression and dont accomplish anything that the original already managed to wonderfully encapsulate. I still have to give praise to the music though which is still delightful and fun to listen to. The fight sequences are not as crazy but still manage to be adequate enough and the music does a good job of elevating these fights into something much more. The constant whackamole with guitars is animated beautifully and wildly serving as a perfect backseat into entertainment and the ethereal music contributes a whole lot into that. FLCL Progressive doesnt feel like FLCL despite how much it tries to imitate the brand. It lacks its own identity and its because of this lack of personality that makes it lose itself in the end. The themes originally conveyed in the original take a backseat while Progressive chooses to put those themes of youth into the forefront which doesnt work in its benefit. In the end FLCL Progressive aims too high but accomplishes too little. With that being said I wont stop anyone from checking this show out and there are still parts to get out of it.
40 /100
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