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  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Naota's older brother, Tasuku. Is he a giant asshole that cared only about being a pro baseball player and not what damage he caused by leaving? Or is he a decent guy who just isn't good with people? Did he intentionally jilt Mamimi, like a giant asshole? Or did Mamimi just completely overestimate their relationship? Or both?
    • Is Kamon an Abusive Parent manchild or he's an adult that has realized that he doesn't have to pretend a stoic attitude to be one. There's evidence for both suggestions.
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  • Better on DVD: This series is an OVA, after all. At six episodes, you can comfortably get through the whole thing in an evening.
  • Draco in Leather Pants: Haruko being awesomeness personified ends up absolving her of trying to destroy the world and kill Naota in the eyes of most fans.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Kitsurubami is very popular in the fandom despite her minimal screentime.
  • Everyone Is Jesus in Purgatory:
    • Read more in Fridge, but you can take the plot as how literally comes. A kid meets an alien that wants to use his head that develops an adolescent skin condition that opens a interspacial portal where to bring the power of a space pirate. Or you can look the symbolism as see it as a big allegory to puberty, from meeting a new girl, getting all kinds of horny, quite literally, let your manhood pour out, becoming an adult and what does this means, after all, nothing interesting happens in Mabase.
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    • There's a theory that the series is a criticism of Japan's "low age of consent".note  From Naota's big brother and Mamimi, Haruko and Amarao and later Naota... probably, it seems that having sex, when not ready, has unavoidable consequences.
    • Did Haruko and Naota have sex during the whole satellite scene in episode 4? Not only is the whole scene a big innuendo, but in the next episode, Haruko surely refers it as such. Naota's whole attitude after it doesn't help matters as he becomes more aggressive to Mamimi lashing out at her trying to assert his manhood but is clearly afraid and intimidated by Haruko.
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  • Fan Nickname: After Seasons 2 and 3 were officially titled Progressive and Alternative, fans decided to nickname the original series "FLCL Classic".
  • Faux Symbolism: A minor example, but the gigantic hand has a hole straight through its palm during episode 5 and the first half of 6, as if it had been nailed to a cross.
  • Fountain of Memes: Haruko. Practically everything she says or does has gone memetic.
  • Gateway Series: The soundtrack acts as the perfect gateway to The Pillows. As a gateway series to anime, however, it's probably not the best choice.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: This series is almost completely unknown in Japan, even amongst otaku of the time. American anime fans, however, love it. Adult Swim pushing it relentlessly didn't hurt matters. Funimation's decision to bring the series back into print was treated as a very big deal. The series' popularity among American fans and the staff at [adult swim] eventually reached the point where, in 2016, it was announced that Cartoon Network would be partnering with Production I.G to produce two more seasons, something which only occurred one other time in the past with The Big O.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Magnificent Bitch: Haruko Haruhara, real name Haruha Raharu, uses her employment in the Galactic Space Police Brotherhood to covet the N.O. powers of the mighty "Pirate King" Atomsk for herself. Seeking out the powerful N.O. user Naota Nandaba, Haruko uses him to summon and recruit the Medical Mechanica robot Canti, using his strength to get closer to freeing Atomsk from Medical Mechanica's captivity and subverts the efforts of both the company and government officials seeking to stop her. Leaving Earth after being defeated by Naota powered with Atomsk's strength and professing his love for her, Haruko returns years later, finding more N.O. users to begin her plans anew. Through a series of manipulations and deals with rivals—including her own split-off personality—Haruko again nearly unites with Atomsk and though initially torn by his repeated rejection, recovers with his comforting before preparing to chase him once more, calmed and enlightened.
  • Memetic Mutation: Some people like to joke that Naota managed to do in six episodes what Monkey D. Luffy couldn't in 900+: Become the Pirate King (or at least gain the power of one).
  • Moral Event Horizon: Haruko feeding Naota to the Terminal Core, probably expecting that it would kill him, and knowing for certain that doing so could result in the demolition of the entire planet, all so she could "get what [she] want[s]." It's worse in hindsight –- she abandoned Naota like Amarao when she thought she had successfully extracted his power into Canti, and only returned when it became obvious that this wasn't the case. Thankfully, she has a bit of a Heel Realization and leaves Naota alone afterwards.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
  • Shocking Moments:
    • Episode 4: Naota saves the city from a hand-shaped robot satellite that falls from orbit and pitches a gigantic baseball-shaped bomb at the city, using an electric guitar that Haruko pulls from his head to bat it. Yeah.
    • Episode 5: Haruko surfing on (in midair) and using a bass guitar to take down a multi-story five-armed gunman robot that's actually a giant hand (each "arm" is a finger) — while wearing a Playboy Bunny suit. That's not something you see every day, folks.note 
    • When Amarao opens fire on her in the barbershop, Haruko wields a razor and slices each and every bullet perfectly in half without effort. Cue dozens of Men in Black with machine guns storming the place, and Haruko proceeds to defeat all of them without breaking a sweat:
      Amarao: ...You can't be real.
  • Superlative Dubbing: Many Western fans who are otherwise skeptical or outright hostile towards anime dubs love this dub. Many thought a dub of this series would have been improbable due to its use of Japanese puns and pop culture references. Instead, these were replaced with comparable English puns and cultural references. As for the cast, Kazuya Tsurumaki hand-picked the English voice actors himself, because it was vitally important to him that they have the same "essence" as the Japanese voice actors. He was particularly impressed by Haruko's voice actress, Kari Wahlgren.note 
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: As this reddit post points out, "One Life" sounds very similar to "Don't Look Back In Anger", by Oasis.
  • This Is Your Premise on Drugs: The series has its share of batshit insanity and like a drug trip, you can find some nuggets of true brilliance while your housekeeper with a chainsaw engine-powered guitar and robot that popped out of your head join you on magic adventures.
  • Toy Ship: Naota and Ninamori. At the very end, it's implied that they'll probably get together eventually if not immediately. It helps that it's definitely the healthiest male-female relationship, and Ninamori herself always had the most sincere affection for Naota. In a Ship Tease, Ninamori rigs the play just so she and Naota get certain parts. Also the fact that she unashamedly reveals this to Naota while holding his hand.
  • True Art Is Incomprehensible: Knowing what's going in on this series will probably just ruin it.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome:
    • The manga sequences in Episodes 1 and 6. They better damn well be, since they both took massive chunks out of the show's budget. Even the characters acknowledge it.
    • Haruko's kiss in Episode 1, which is loaded with complex 360-degree spinning that is incredibly complex for 2D animation.
  • Woolseyism: As noted in Superlative Dubbing, a significant portion of the dialogue was replaced in the English dub with comparable Western jokes and references. For example, in the Japanese version, the soft drink Cheerio is referenced. Since Cheerio is unknown outside of Japan (and the term is more closely associated in the U.S. with the breakfast cereal Cheerios), this was changed to Crystal Pepsi in the English dub.