AY YO, PRODUCTION I.G., YOU SEE THIS SHIT, RIGHT HERE? THAT’S THAT GOOD SHIT. SIGN ME THE FUCK UP. THAT’S WHAT I WANT…….school girls turning into giant robots and tearin shit up.
But memery aside, Progressive’s biggest problem is that it didn’t deliver on its promises. And the opening scenes like this one here were where these promises were made.
Progressive, in all honesty, was much closer to the first season – aesthetically speaking than Alternative ever was. Don’t get me wrong, I think Alternative is, overall, a more enjoyable experience simply because it’s a more consistently pleasant one. But there are things that Progressive does right, and I think these opening sequences are the height of them.
Hidomi is such a subdued character. She’s aimless and seems to want people to just leave her be. That’s pretty relatable in a young character. I’m 26 and I STILL want everyone to leave me alone. But how do you characterize someone who hardly wants to talk or emote? You get right into their heads like they do in these sequences.
Remember yesterday when I said that Production I.G. were going to have to step their game up as far as their B plots were concerned because that is what provided the energy and spectacle? What you’re watching here in this dream sequence is a great example of the energy and spectacle that FLCL so desperately needs right now. Furthermore, Progressive’s monster and machine designs are much better and would feel much more at home in the world of season one than Alternatives would.
Progressive, unfortunately, would be bogged down by it’s failures. One of the more glaring ones is that it doesn’t put in the work to make any character development (especially between Hidomi and Ide) work. The easiest place to see this is in how one of the more recognizable symbols in the series, Hidomi’s headphones, are mishandled. They’re a keepsake from her father that she uses to keep the world out. But they also, kick into overdrive at one point annnnndd…..make her more outgoing, happier and willing to openly communicate with the people around her. I don’t know, maybe the idea was that holding on too strongly to symbols of the past will stunt her growth – she did act kind of childish afterall. But I digress. Progressive’s ultimate solution is just to smash them, which is pretty sad because they’re a pretty nice pair of headphones. A more symbolic gesture would’ve been to have Hidomi tear the things off on her own, and then use them for what they were meant for – listening to music. Hell, the song she listened to could’ve been one that her and her mother or her and Ide likes. I OWN a pair of those. I know what they can do, she could have worn them around her neck and let the speakers play or her and Ide could have shared them, each taking one earcup to listen to the same song – thus taking what was once something that was used for isolation and using it to instead bring people together and let Hidomi share herself with the world.
What I’m trying to say, really, is that despite it’s shortcomings, FLCL Progressive has a good deal of things in it that should be preserved and built upon to make FLCL a better series and push it towards that mythical state that could rival or even surpass season 1