Manga Review: FLCL Omnibus

Article first published as Manga Review: FLCL Omnibus by Gainax and Hajime Ueda on Blogcritics.

The FLCL Omnibus manga volume is based on the anime OVA series; Hajime Ueda was given permission to create this manga and to take some unique deviations from the anime’s storyline. Dark Horse Manga has the North American distribution rights for the omnibus, and released this volume in 2012. There isn’t a rating published anywhere on this volume; however, due to the sexual and violent nature of this volume’s content, I would recommend FLCL for manga readers who are sixteen or seventeen years of age and older.

FLCL Omnibus
Written by: Hajime Ueda
Publisher: Kodansha
English Publisher: Dark Horse Manga
Release Date: May 15, 2012

FLCL is set in a town where the big medical equipment manufacturer Medical Mechanica built a factory. At the beginning of the story, Naoto, a sullen boy who lives in the town, narrates that he lives in a boring town and that nothing exciting ever happens. Unfortunately for Naoto, his life will suddenly become more exciting than he ever expected.

Mamimi, a high school girl, is suddenly showing an interest in Naoto. She was interested in Naoto’s older brother, Tasuku, who has left to play professional baseball in America; Mamimi sees Naoto as a substitute for Tasuku. As they’re talking, Naoto is suddenly attacked by a woman riding on a Vespa scooter who uses a Rickenbacker guitar as a weapon.

It turns out the woman is a space assassin named Haruko Haruhara, and she’s an extraterrestrial investigator for the Galactic Space Police Brotherhood. She’s on a mission to track down Atomsk, the most powerful space pirate in the galaxy. Unfortunately, when she hit Naoto on the head with the guitar, she created an N.O. portal that can be used by armed robots. Haruko moves in with Naoto and becomes his family’s maid. As the plot progresses, the mayor’s daughter, Ninamo, also becomes involved in the story. Without giving away any spoilers, I can tell you that FLCL culminates into a very crazy sci-fi story.

Ueda’s art for the FLCL omnibus is on the simplistic side. However, I can excuse the art quality due to the fact that Ueda was trying to emulate the simplistic character designs from the anime OVA series. Also, since there’s so much action going on in this volume, there are a lot of “busy” panels, which makes this omnibus a bit of a fast read.

Admittedly, I’m not a fan of the FLCL anime, but I can say with certainty that this manga volume is rather well done for the type of story that it’s telling. The art style really complements the zany premise and storyline that are being presented.

After reading this manga, I believe that fans of the FLCL anime will appreciate and enjoy this omnibus edition of the manga. Also, readers who enjoy zany and over-the-top manga who aren’t already familiar with FLCL should also find enjoyment in this omnibus.

I wrote this review after reading a pre-release digital copy that I acquired through the NetGalley.com website.

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