FLCL: Progressive is weird. I don’t mean that it matches the original FLCL weirdness that fans celebrate and praise it for. It’s awkwardly weird. It doesn’t have the fluid, bold experimental animation, the zany characters, and the upbeat music as its predecessor. The story’s a bit of a rehash (with the main character not seeing anything exciting about life until Haruko comes along) but with new elements. There are only two episodes left of Progressive and it’s unfair to judge and compare, but it’s hard to wait – especially with the internet buzzing on how Progressive isn’t as glamorous as the first series.
Why is this? Surely Production I.G. and Studio TRIGGER could have delivered the same excitement from the classic with Progressive (as the original team members are all on board). The thing is, FLCL classic was an experiment for Gainax to test new animation software at the time. The team was allowed to go off the rails with the software, art, and story writing to push the limits of their new toy and their artistic talents. That’s it.
That’s why FLCL classic was charming…well that’s my theory.
With FLCL: Progressive, the production team isn’t using new technology (to my knowledge). They already proved themselves to the industry (serval times mind you). There’s no need to reproduce the charm from FLCL Classic with fancy new software. From the four episodes I’ve watched, I’m assuming that Production I.G. and Studio TRIGGER are focused on delivering a solid story than just being silly with animation software. There’s FLCL: Alternate coming out in later this year. Perhaps it’ll recapture the outlandish feeling that the original gave us so we can only wait and see.
I’ve been looking forward to Days 5 and 6 of this list. I love music. I love anime. This will be a challenge indeed. There are far too many endings songs I love that I can not possibly just choose one as my favorite. I’m going to do ten songs, five opening and five ending themes for each day and let you in on why I love them so much.
5.An Evil Angel and a Righteous Devil
Dragon Ball Super ED 8
Performed by The Collectors
With the Tournament of Power Arc introducing a new ending theme this week (Haruka by Lacco’s Tower), I thought it would be a great idea to start off this list with the Arc’s first ending theme. An Evil Angel and a Righteous Devil is my personal favorite of the Dragon Ball Super ending themes due to the political tone and themes of the lyrics and music video (choosing a side, deception, the tragedy of war, etc.), something I would never expect from a Shonen series such as Dragon Ball.
I’ve already given an in-depth analysis on the song in an earlier post, so please check out the link provided.
‘Angels and devils: even if the devils were really angels
Righteousness and evil would still hold no meaning
Winning or losing doesn’t benefit anyone –
Everyone is simply hurt, crying at the end’
Dou Kangaete mo Watashi wa Warukunai (lit. No Matter How I Look at It, I’m not Popular)
Watamote Ed 1
Performed by Izumi Kitta (voice actress of series heroine Tomoko Kuroki)
Great songs are the ones that are personal. It’s even better if find parallels in the lyrics to your own life or if the performance of the song matches the spirit of the song’s central theme. The first ending theme of “Watamote” captures this as voice actress Izumi Kitta’s performs as Tomoko the series socially awkward main character I coudn’t help but find a sense of similarity by listening to Tomoko sing about her inability to commute with “normies”, wasting her life online, and her loneliness.
I also couldn’t help but laugh as in reflection of my old days of being a shut-in weeaboo back in middle and high school – feeling superior to my normie peers.
…god i was such a special snowflake trash back in the day.
‘After all the time I’ve spent online
My voice won’t even come out after all this time
In rain or shine, it doesn’t change
Is that right?! It’s not my fault!’
Hiru no Tsuki (lit. Daytime Moon)
Outlaw Star ED 1
Performed by Arai Akino
‘This serene feeling…
Tell me, what’s the word people use for it?’
“This serene feeling”. It’s the feeling I had towards Hiru no Tsuki ever since I was a child watching Outlaw Star. Despite being ignorant to the Japanese language and the context of Hiru no Tsuki back then, I always felt this peaceful, yet sorrowful presence in Akino’s performance and in the song itself. 11-year-old Benjamin couldn’t quite tell exactly what or why the reason for the feeling back then but he knew that there was more to Outlaw Star than just the simple story of ragtag crew traveling through space finding treasure and collecting money.
Hiru no Tsuki fueled the feeling.
Emily Brown and Ayako Kawasumi’s (American and Japanese voice actresses of Melfina) performance of Hiru no Tsuki in Episode 21 (Grave of the Dragon) drove the sorrowful emotion point home with Melfina singing acapella – possibly reflecting on her longing to understand the purpose and reason on why does she exist; despite her artificial creation.
The pain in her heart.
‘Will the time come? When you will know the pain in my heart?
Then you’d be able to be gentler than you are now.’
Ride on Shooting Star
Fooly Cooly ED
Performed by The Pillows
Ride on Shooting Star doesn’t make sense. You can not make sense of it, no matter how much you want it to. It’s confusing. It’s crazy. It’s nonsense. It’s perfect for FLCL!
Think about it: Fooly Cooly is a crazy and outlandish anime series. You know what else is crazy and confusing? Puberty – and the changes that it brings. Unexplained changes and experiences you did not understand at all as a teenager. What’s one of Fooly Cooly’s creative themes? Dealing with puberty and not knowing how to deal with it. That’s why Ride on Shooting Star is perfect as the series’s ending theme. It doesn’t need to make sense and that’s why it’s perfect.
‘Ride on shooting star
With the voice of my heart, like a shotgun
I kept on singing’
The Real Folk Blues
Cowboy Bebop ED
Performed by Mai Yamane and The Seatbelts
‘THE REAL FOLK BLUES
I just want to know real sadness
Sitting in the muddy river, this life isn’t so bad either
If it ends once.’
The lyrical music of Cowboy Bebop is of an expansion of the series’s story beyond simple background atmosphere. Cowboy Bebop is heavily influences by music so it shouldn’t be a shock how the music in the series work in synergy for the narrtive of Cowboy Bebop with songs such as “Rain”, “Blue”, and ending theme song “The Real Folk Blues”.
Spike’s tale is that of a depressing, saddening one. While there are many things about Spike and his past that we may never know, we do know and are aware of the sad realities of it. One could consider The Real Folk Blues as additional information on Spike, with lines in the song such as “The despair that grew out of hope
And this chance with a trap laid in it “ and “How long must I live to be healed?”.
Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed my top five anime ending themes! What are some of your favorites? Please tell me in the comments below and see ya later!