I am reading a free preview of FLCL Omnibus over on Net Gallery, and it is good to see this series coming back from Dark Horse. While Manga seems to come and go, there are few if any staples in this industry that have managed to keep an audience as people drift in and drift out of Manga and Anime. FLCL is one of those very few Anime’s that seem to keep on coming back because the audience wants it, and it is good of Dark Horse to reprint this as a massive Omnibus of the entire story line. There are 394 pages of FLCL goodness on this one, and while it might be expensive at first, you know the prices are going to drop online to a penny almost overnight. The sad part is that you can also read this online for free from various outfits, but it might be worth actually going out to purchase the Dark Horse Omnibus.
FLCL revolves around Naota. His life in the city of Mabase is interrupted by the arrival of Haruko Haruhara who bursts on the scene by running Naota over with her Vespa scooter, then giving him CPR and hitting him on the head with a blue vintage Rickenbacker 4001 left-handed electric bass guitar. Later, Naota is shocked to find Haruko working in his house as a live-in maid.Since then, Giant Robots from Medical Mechanica have been coming out of Naota’s head and cause more problems for Naota. Haruko is using Naota for her search for the Pirate King, Atomsk, because Naota’s head is the only one that can create a passageway for the robots. It also puts her at odds with Medical Mechanica, the monolithic industrial corporation. At the same time, Naota is being watched by Commander Amarao, who believes that Medical Mechanica is out to conquer the galaxy. The combination of circumstances gets Naota involved in a three-way battle between Haruko, Amarao and Medical Mechanica. The underlying theme is Naota’s coming of age as he becomes more mature and learns to express his feelings.
So the story line is a pretty normal anime story line, nothing overly surprising here or shocking, really what this edition about is the staying power of the story line, and being run over by a Vespa, getting hit in the head with a guitar, and finding the new housemaid is absolutely nuts. In line with Japanese tradition, giant robots are also part of the scene, and that is what makes this awesome. Dark Horse has not changed anything, all the original art work, all the original backwards reading, with some awesome new art work that litters the book all the way though. You are getting an awesome mix of new stuff and old stuff, and a story line that has survived a long time in this industry.
I will rate this one five of five stars, I am a big fan of FLCL, and I hope that this book does very well. In so many ways, Dark Horse is taking a huge risk given the level of scanning in the anime market, and the ability to download this puppy free without any issues. This one is worth buying though, so feel free to pick up a physical copy and add it to your reading library.