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Nightmare Fuel / FLCL Progressive & Alternative

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Progressive

  • Our introduction to the series easily escalates into content darker than anything in the original when a bloodied, disheveled and horned Hidomi wanders through a destroyed and crystallized landscape. Then her body literally starts rotting and falling apart, and just when she seems to reach some vague destination, a massive eyeball of an Eldritch Abomination opens up and forces the horn to emerge. The good news is that the nightmare fuel goes away once Hidomi transforms into some sort of combat robot - only for her to wake up from dreaming. Bad news is that her remembering it is almost like a Trigger for Hidomi throughout the rest of the episode, with heaps of Foreshadowing.
    • Hidomi's dream starting off the second episode isn't any better. An ecstatic narration from Hidomi herself goes on about how cool a zombie apocalypse is, imagining her classmates and herself as zombies before her body is eaten apart in a sequence that neatly crosses into Gorn territory. When she wakes up, she's blushing, which is the episode's recurring motif of being turned on by pain and death.
      • Alternately: Given the people who showed up in her dream (Ide and his friends), and how it played out (her *legs and bottom half* were taken off and consumed), it could be said that she's not turned on by the idea of being torn apart but by the idea of being being "torn apart".
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    • Her third dream is less overtly nightmarish, but does include an uncharacteristically peppy Hidomi gleefully ranting about how she wants to have her skin ripped off while fondling herself, and reacting with excitement at seeing her classmates getting crushed into paste by a giant hand before her head suddenly inflates and explodes.
  • Hidomi looks out the window (when she sees the factory on high alert) and suddenly sees a killer robot ready to grab her.
  • Haruko was enough of a terror to Naota's old town in the original series, just by focusing on the boy. Now? She's got her sights set on an entire classroom of potential kids, and Hidomi and Iide in particular. Those familiar with her antics know all too well this can't end well.
  • The aforementioned dream sequences, combined with the general Nightmare Fetishist vibes she gives off in Episode 2 and the sheer destructive power of her robot form, even in a weakened state all give off the impression that there is something seriously dangerous about Hidomi, enough that Jinyu is initially willing to kill her rather than let Haruko get ahold of her.
    • There's also the fact that what came through Hidomi's N.O. was powerful enough to one-shot Haruko. Haruko. The same woman that only ever got marginally inconvenienced if she got blasted or hit, could dodge and slice bullets, and had a grand total of two times she was at a real disadvantage in the original series. And she got knocked out and had to use her Guitar to even stand afterwards. Even if Haruko was split into two between Raharu and Jinyu and she may have suffered a De-Power in theory, whatever Hidomi is becoming isn't even its true power, and that is goddamn terrifying.
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  • When Ide tries to remove Hidomi's headphones he accidentally activates their emergency system, which locks them onto her head by drilling into her skull.
  • Haruko finally makes off with Hidomi in Episode 3. When Ide goes looking for her in an abandoned Medical Mechanica building, the viewer gets a Call-Back to Naota overhearing Haruko and robot duplicate of his dad doing something in the next room with lots of suggestive dialogue, only this time Hidomi is tied up and her dialogue sounds more unwilling, giving the scene a lot more of a creepy, rapey vibe.
  • Canti eventually ran out of power between series, resulting in his body being captured, borderline crucified and abused, and pieces of him being torn out and used to create N.O. reversal technology. The fact that his captors treat him with What Measure Is a Non-Human? doesn't help, as if to add extra horror to literally gutting a fan-favorite.
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  • In the original series, the Medical Mechanica plant shaped like a giant golden iron was mostly background symbolism, and outside of a couple guards keeping Haruko out and the thrashing the facility got in the finale, the only implications we got were that it was supposed to "smooth out" the world and the ability for people to think. Progressive finally shows the inside of another plant, and it has a cybernetic brain stem and spinal cord, acting as an internal antenna that had been screwing with Hidomi's brain. Adaptive technology? Living robot aliens? What the hell are these things?
  • Haruko is fed up with Jinyu's moral opposition and states point-blank with utter, uncharacteristic calm: "I am going to devour you." And she does, also revealing that she's been using A Form You Are Comfortable With this whole time.
    Haruko: Come with me, Jinyu. We can finally be together.
  • Hidomi finally loses it in Episode 5 after learning her mother is closing down the cafe and giving up on waiting for her father and then accidentally inflicting a Baleful Polymorph on Iide with her powers, and flies into an Unstoppable Rage against Haruko while transforming into her robotic Super Mode.
    • And to top it all off, the episode ends with Atomsk returning to Earth.
  • Episode 6 features a battle between Earth's Alien Immigration thingie and Medical Mechanica, which turns the town in a wartown. The civilians are caught in a crossfire that leads to buildings leveled and people transforming into mochi.

Alternative

  • Episode 5 suddenly gets a strong dosage of Surprise Creepy when Pets' mother brings Kana to their home once Pets herself has gone missing. The woman's tone is abnormal, as if carefully selecting her words in a way that seems troubled, and Pets' room basically has no posters, no adornments, nothing besides the bare essentials and a picture of Kana and Pets as kids. And then the woman suddenly accuses Kana of knowing where Pets is, grabs her and starts trying to force her to to give an answer Kana lacks. All the while talking about how Pets' father will be angry with her if their daughter is missing. The entire thing heavily implies a homelife that Pets intentionally never brought up with anyone for a damn good reason, and a major plot point is that Kana just never bothered to realize or pay attention prior to any of this.
  • In Episode 5, the threat of MedicalMechanica is explicitly developing into the apocalypse scenario that was suggested in the original series. Nobody on Earth can figure out any way to stop the irons; nuclear weapons are explicitly ruled out as insufficient. It has gotten so bad that the only thing the government can think to do is to allow a select few people to escape the planet and colonize Mars, leaving behind everyone else to have their thoughts flattened until they become mindless zombies. And even that doesn't seem sufficient, as it's stated that MedicalMechanica intends to do the same to every planet in the universe eventually.
  • The fact that Kana ends up summoning a black hole that ultimately ends up saving the day. Albeit at the expense of Haruko getting sucked into it and landing on Mars.

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