Fans of the cult classic anime FLCL (FOOLY COOLY) have waited almost twenty years for a sequel to the Adult Swim/Production I.G. project. This summer, two new seasons of FLCL will premiere on Adult Swim: FLCL PROGRESSIVE and FLCL ALTERNATIVE. Before that, a sneak preview at the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2) on April 6.

C2E2 made the announcement via  their Twitter on Feb. 8. The C2E2 Adult Swim/Toonami panel will consist of Adult Swim producer Jason DeMarc and Production I.G. producers Mitsuhisa Ishikawa and Maki Terashima-Furuta. The panel will also include Kari Wahlgren, who voiced Haruko Haruhara in the first FLCL.

C2E2 teaser image of the iconic iron of Medical Mechanica.
The iconic iron of Medical Mechanica.| Image: C2E2

Two Sequels, 18 Years in the Making

It was rumored that Production I.G. was planning on revisiting the series after purchasing the creative rights in 2015 from Gaimax, which was part of the original production committee. Toonami officially announced that they were collaborating with Production I.G. for the sequels in March 2016. The next year, fans got a nice treat at Anime Expo 2017 with a teaser trailer flaunting the upcoming sequels. Producer Terashima-Furuta said the show’s creator, Kazuya Tsurumaki, wanted them to do something different with FLCL 2 and 3. Tershima-Furuta implemented a different production team for the sequels. The new team includes artists who worked on anime like MOB PSYCHO 100 and MY HERO ACADEMIA. The new seasons will feature music by Japanese alt-rock band The Pillows. This is the same group who did the music for the first FLCL.

The Legacy of Naota and Haruko

FLCL's Naota Nandaba with a bump on his head
Naota’s little bump on his head is actually a portal for robots to emerge. | Image: Adult Swim/Toonami and Production I.G.

The original FLCL is about 12-year-old Naota Nandaba, a boy with a portal on his forehead. Typically covered by a bandage or hat, this portal releases giant robots called mechas. These mechas are produced by Medical Mechanica, a malevolent company seeking out the elimination of free thought. Naota’s adventure details his struggle with growing up, on top of his encounter with a Vespa-riding alien called Haruko Haruhara.

According to director Kazuya Tsurumaki, producing FLCL in its style was daring at the time. Tsurumaki’s fast-paced mini series proved to be a hit when it premiered in April 2000. In addition, the series had three novels and a two-volume manga later that year. The anime premiered on American television in 2003, through Adult Swim, until 2011. The show returned in 2013 after Adult Swim reintroduced the anime-heavy Toonami block the year prior.

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What to Expect from FLCL 2 and 3

Adult Swim released this official synopsis of FLCL PROGRESSIVE and FLCL ALTERNATIVE:

“In the new season of FLCL, many years have passed since Naota and Haruhara Haruko shared their adventure together. Meanwhile, the war between the two entities known as Medical Mechanica and Fraternity rages across the galaxy. Enter Hidomi, a young teenaged girl who believes there is nothing amazing to expect from her average life, until one day when a new teacher named Haruko arrives at her school. Soon enough, Medical Mechanica is attacking her town and Hidomi discovers a secret within her that could save everyone, a secret that only Haruko can unlock. But why did Haruko return to Earth? What happened to her Rickenbacker 4001 she left with Naota? And where did the human-type robot ‘Canti’ go?”

The upcoming anime doesn’t seem to place Naota as the protagonist, but many characters and entities will return. There has yet to be an official release date for FLCL PROGRESSIVE and FLCL ALTERNATIVE. They are slated to premier this summer.

Featured image courtesy of Adult Swim/Toonami and Production I.G.

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