Anime Review: Fooly Cooly: Progressive (2018)
Director: Katsuyuki Motohiro
Distributor: Adult Swim/Toonami
Released: February 4th, 2020
Runtime: 150 minutes
Availability: On blu-ray, streaming on AdultSwim, subbed on Crunchyroll
A high school student Hidomi lives in the city of Mabase where nothing interesting happens and everything is ordinary, until a new classroom teacher arrives and turns her world upside down, along with her friends, especially Ide, who has feelings for her. Who is Harhuhara Raharhu and what does she want?
The Sequel to the Original "Fooly Cooly" Is as Weird As Ever
Many anime fans remember Fooly Cooly (2000), aka FLCL. FLCL: Progresive (2018) is the sequel series.
If the name of the teacher sounds familiar, it is, Haruhara Haruko has returned to bring back her brand of insanity to the world of anime, still chasing the Pirate King Atomask.
Fooly Cooly (2000) was Gainax’s way to recover from making Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995) and Production I.G. and Adult Swim wanted to make more anime so they bought the rights when Gainax sold them.
I am happy to write that Production I.G. has captured the weirdness that defines Fooly Cooly in the sequel. And anime can be very weird, but Fooly Cooly is its own kind of weird that can’t be explained by anyone.
FLCL Progressive Trailer | Toonami | adult swim
The Animation Looks Nice, But It’s not as good as the Original
Production I.G.’s animation looks really nice. I like the character designs and the animation is fluid and it looks very nice. The character designs are unique and memorable.
Overall, the anime looks nice but the fight scenes are decent but not amazing. It still looks nice, but it’s not the best anime I’ve seen when it comes to the animation itself.
Audio and Subtitles
The English Dub Is Excellent!
Kari Wahlgren returns to her first anime voice role as Haruhara Raharu, and it sounds like she never left and it’s been 17 years. It’s nice to see her in this role again. She gave a great performance and I really enjoyed it.
Xanthe Huynh did a great job voicing Hidomi Hibijiri. She did a great job, I’ve enjoyed a lot of her work and she was a nice choice for this character.
Allegra Clark did a good job as Julia Jinyu. She gave a great vocal performance and I like her dynamic with Kari Wahlgren and it’s great how they play off each other and argue with each other.
Robbie Daymond gave an entertaining vocal performance as Ko Ide. I like his voice work and his character was entertaining. He didn’t get to do a lot in his role though, as the story’s mainly centered around Haruko and Hidomi.
The English dub is excellent and while not as memorable as the first series, it’s still excellent and I enjoyed it a lot.
Flcl Progressive Ost Thank you my Twilight
The Soundtrack Is Fantastic!
R.O.N did the soundtrack and it’s excellent. I enjoyed the music a lot. The musical score is nice but it’s also so much fun to hear the band The Pillows again for another Fooly Cooly anime.
The anime doesn’t have conventional openings but they use different songs by the Pillows. The ending is "spiky seeds" by the pillows.
The soundtrack is very well done and I enjoyed it a lot. It’s definitely a highlight of the anime and something that does live up to the original soundtrack.
This Tries to Milk Your Nostalgia Too Much
Fooly Cooly Progressive (2018) relies on your nostalgic feelings for the original Fooly Cooly (2000) far too much. It tries to remind you of all the things you like about the OVA and doesn’t try to do anything new that really stands out.
While it does capture the weirdness of the original, it doesn’t have characters that are truly interesting or memorable outside of Harahara Raharu, but you’ll already know who she is if you’ve seen the original.
Its lack of truly memorable or interesting characters is a fault of this new series. I find the characters of Fooly Cooly: Alternative (2018) to be far more interesting than the cast of Fooly Cooly Progressive (2018). While the anime is fun, it just doesn’t have the level of quality that the original had. It’s not bad, but it’s not surpassing the original either.
It’s milking your nostalgia and while it can feel fun, it does feel like it’s trying too hard to make older fans happy.
Will you watch "Fooly Cooly: Progressive" (2018)?
Haruko will make suggestive jokes and she shows Hidomi porn, but we don't see anything, we hear the noise.
There is fighting, and it's mainly people hitting things with electric guitars.
It’s Fun, but can’t Surpass the Original
If you enjoyed the original Fooly Cooly (2000), then I’m sure you’ll enjoy (2018). It does have many of the aspects that made the original fun but it can’t quite capture the zaniness and spirit of the original.
It’s not a bad anime but it’s not going to top the original. It’s a very well made anime with excellent production values, nice animation, an excellent English dub, and an excellent soundtrack.
While this anime is a lot of fun, I won’t be buying this for my personal collection, but I did enjoy streaming it on Adult Swim’s website.
What Doesn't Work
An entertaining story, decent characters and world-building
Relies too much on nostalgia
Characters aren't memorable
Excellent English dub
By Grade: B+
Fooly Cooly: Professive (2018) celebrates the legacy of Fooly Cooly, even if it doesn’t top the original, I still enjoyed it. I am disappointed that some characters didn’t return, but the new characters were still all right. They do have the flaw of not being as interesting as their predecessors.
The production values are very good with nice animation, although it's not as good as the animation from Gainax, it still looks nice.
The English dub and the soundtrack are solid and the animation has nice character designs and is very fluid.
It lacks interesting characters outside of Haruko to really carry the anime as many of them just aren’t memorable compared to Naota. The new characters are okay but don’t really stand out that much.
I do recommend watching Fooly Cooly: Progressive (2018) if you enjoyed Fooly Cooly (2000). It didn’t blow me away, but I still had fun and enjoyed the anime, if you’re expecting it to live up to the original you might be disappointed, but I don’t feel like I wasted my time. It’s a nice anime to watch if you want to watch something short.
It’s fun for fans of the first series but it isn’t a perfect anime.
I won’t be buying this one, I’d rather purchase the original Fooly Cooly (2000) instead but it is worth your time to stream it on Adult Swim if you live in the U.S. It’s worth your time but not necessarily your money. It will be released on DVD on October 1st, 2019 it does not have the Japanese dub on the disc.
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