New FLCL in 2023: My Initial Reaction!

You know what it is!

First off, I know I am well beyond late with doing my FOFs, especially my FLCL Week post from like 2 years ago now, but that's beside the point!

In typical fashion, I want to give my initial reaction to the news that I totally did not anticipate.

In honor of Toonami's 25th anniversary, there are going to be 2 new seasons of FLCL. They will be FLCL: Grunge and FLCL: Shoegaze, with at least FLCL: Grunge releasing sometime in 2023!

The above trailer shows a quick animatic of Haruko swinging a sword and it features a new artstyle that incorporates more CGI, which definitely has had people sharing their opinions.

We've been through this song and dance a few years ago, and the last time this happened the new seasons of FLCL that we got were controversial.

I'll keep it short and sweet with my initial reaction:

With FLCL being my favorite anime of all time, I am HYPE to see we're going to get two more seasons. No lie, I almost started happy-crying at work when I saw this on my feed.

It took me off-guard because I had NO idea that this was going to happen. But I am also a very skeptical (paranoid) individual, so I can't help but at least passively acknowledge the signs that this may not live up to the hype.

First off, the animation is a bit jarring, but who's to say that the entire anime is going to be this way? It may just be for FLCL: Grunge and FLCL: Shoegaze may return to a more traditional anime style (considering Production I.G. will be at the helm for Shoegaze). I've tried to stay away from too much info about it right now, but I have heard that different studios will take charge on separate seasons, with a few key players from FLCL: Alternative in particular coming back to do Shoegaze.

Just like before, all we have is a short clip, so I'll be on pins and needles for a full trailer to see what else it has in store for us in the art/animation department.

However, at this rate, I've come to accept that FLCL may be one of those titles/properties that people come back to when directors want to get more "experimental" and try new things out. While I have some stern opinions about that, I have to at least acknowledge that as a probability.

Do I feel like FLCL is being "milked?" A little bit...and while I understand the consensus that forms of media tend to fall in quality as more entries are made, with a title as experimental and unpredictable as FLCL you never know what to expect. While I will acknowledge the potential for "bad" or at the very least, dissatisfaction, I would like to be optimistic for once and acknowledge the possibility for new things to enjoy.
Forgive me if it sounds a bit polyanna, but that's my initial reaction.

I'm gonna start a Hype Train for the coming of FLCL in 2023! Let's get it started!

Here's my personal wish-list for things I'd like to see from FLCL: Grunge and FLCL: Shoegaze as well as some possible predictions of what we'd like to see.

1. More The Pillows Music:

It just isn't FLCL without that sweet, saccharine, nostalgia-hitting, badass music from The Pillows. Despite how experimental FLCL is, it'd be absurd to exclude the music, and The Pillows as far as I know still make music, and have released a plethora of music between and beyond the Fool on Cool soundtrack that was used for FLCL: Progressive and FLCL: Alternative.

The trailer played "Ride on Shooting Star," so there's hope it may return. If there were any particular songs I'd like to hear, I'd like to see if like they did Fool on Cool they did remixes/remakes of specific songs or maybe even ones that weren't featured in that one. A 2020s remake of Hybrid Rainbow or Runner's High or Carnival would slap!

Also, there is one specific song called "Good Morning Tokyo" that I heard a snippet of from The Pillows' channel. I haven't heard the full version, so I'd love to hear it in an episode.

2. How Many Callbacks?
I wonder how many callbacks or reappearing themes are going to appear in these next 2 seasons. Certain concepts such as N.O., Medical Mechanica, and the Immigration Agency were present from seasons 1-3, and they did have an interesting evolution from 1-3. Hopefully they continue and expound upon these concepts in a way. Don't try to fix something that ain't broken, but also don't try to reinvent the wheel.

3. Aesthetic Changes?
Leaked artwork shows that FLCL: Grunge may have more of a cyberpunk aesthetic. Sci-fi has always been part of FLCL, but I'd like for them to lean into it more. Speaking of, the word "Grunge" carries a certain connotation in terms of aesthetic. Does this mean that FLCL is going to try a 90's throwback and go "Grunge" in terms of music or artstyle? It'd be a bold and daring approach, and I'd appreciate the effort.

4. Update on Naota and Other Chars:
It's a large pitch, but I would really hope that the new seasons of FLCL give us an update on the main characters, specifically Naota and Sameji from season 1. In the Season 2 ED, the main characters from all 3 seasons were featured, so maybe there were opportunities to bring more content about them that may not have made the final cut or was actually being saved for later seasons. We shall see.

5. FLCL Multiverse?
Again, this is a very ambitious pitch, but considering how many iterations of Haruko we have now, and all of the different aspects of FLCL that have been seen...would it be possible that there's a FLCL multiverse? We have Haruko from the FLCL Manga, Haruko from s1, s2, and s3, and now these new Harukos.

What if all of these versions of Haruko are different and converge in an overarching plot?

What if the next 2 seasons feature cross-overs from previous seasons? Again, that's very ambitious, but not outside of the realm of possibility.

Till next time