Visual art anime
The amine FLCL ( Furi Kuri is a Japanese commercial anime written by Yoji
Enokido, directed by Kazuya Tsurumaki. The style of FLCL is very distinctive; it
contains the elements of violence, sexuality, philosophy, science-fiction, comedy,
tragedy and so on. Thus, these complicated combinations make the whole anime
very attractive to a certain group of audiences. Since this a commercial anime, the
major point of it is to make profit. But, the question is that how this “weird style”
of anime grabs many people’s attention and makes a good sale. Gainax (a Japanese
anime studio famous for productions such as EVA and The Secret of Blue Water) is
very good at this; it realizes that there are many similar styles of commercial anime in
this competitive market, and the only way to win is to make it unique and distinguish
from others. Therefore, my essay is going to explain the thesis of how FLCL grabs
many people’s attention and makes a good sale and the related problems by using
the examples and statements from the text book (Anime and philosophy) and some
The story of FLCL takes place in a virtual city. It is another normal day when Naota
Mamimi are spending time together when a strange women, Haruko, shows up.
hits Naota as she is riding a bike. Haruko performed CPR on Naota, which opens up
story. Ever since then there are strange things coming out of Naota's head, but
all of them are resolved by Mamimi and the first TV robot, Canti. When Naota thinks
of his brother, there will be mysterious symbols appearing in the head of Naota
or Haruko, boosting his ability and helping him to tackle the difficulties. Later on
Naota finds out that Haruko is here to save the person that she loves, Yate, who is
also an opponent here.
The overall style of FLCL is a little bit weird because the way it presents the story by
using simple icons in the form of manga sometimes and the whole story is fictional
and abstract as well as its characters. The point of any commercial anime is to make
people happy and people money. As the text book says "(the point of making anime
is) creating the balance to get projects distributed quickly, before they could be
pirated, and to try to sell as many DVDs as we could to keep growing as a company."
(Text book page8) Many audiences actually like this kind of anime, because its
abnormal story and drawing style may help people release from their heavy work
and make them feel different from their daily life. Therefore, there's always a certain
group of people who get crush on FLCL and they are the target costumers for this
anime. However, the followed problem of this style is that people who dislike it will
extremely dislike it and on the other hand, there are a small group of people who
extremely like it, but not many of them. Thus, FLCL Production Committee solves
this problem by selling its DVDs at a very high price- over $300 at amazon.com,
because, they know that people who like it are crazy about it and collect it in different
versions. In other words, the target consumers of FLCL are people who are crazy
about it and people who are willing to spend money on it.
When FLCL was first on air, a large number of people watched it. In the same year,
FLCL was one of the top 10 bestselling anime in Japan, and it had over 700 DVDs
sold within three months on Amazon.com. In 2003, it got the third place for Best
Animation Film at the Fantasia Festival. Four years after that, FLCL was ranked
4th as the best English-licensed anime. “Avatar director, Giancarlo Volpe says the
staffs were all ordered to buy FLCL and watch every single episode of it”. All those
information indicate that FLCL has a very high quality of producing and a big number
of fans. Moreover, FLCL has a good sale on its related products such as character
figures, T-shirts and posters. There are plenty stores selling those things on eBay and
Amazon. Anime industry always has a mature market; for most anime products, the supply
always meets its demand. FLCL not only has a good sale but also has a high price
on its DVDs and products which cover the fact that many people who don’t like its
confusing style, so that the supply still meets its equilibrium price on demand.
"Art is still a business…if we didn't sell, then we couldn't continue to bring new and
exciting anime to the expanding audience outside of Japan" (text book page 9). I think
the anime forms of art have to be a part of business Fist of all, there's a huge demand
for it. Second, people want this industry to continue since it can never be replaced by
human movies. People do have various tastes of different styles of anime, and anime porducers are trying to make their products fit into costumers' interests. FLCL successfully attarcts a large number of people by its opposing opinions of the show's value. This is how FLCL is sucessful in this competetive market.
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