The 2000 miniseries FLCL (usually pronounced “Fooly Cooly”) has always been an outlier among popular anime in the US. While it includes familiar elements like fighting robots, malevolent corporations, and space pirates, they aren’t the focus. Instead, they’re more like set dressing for its hyperkinetic, experimental narrative about a young boy coming of age in a small town. FLCL has aliens, but it isn’t about aliens. It’s about the sensations of growing up and feeling stuck somewhere you don’t want to be — or as someone you don’t want want to be anymore.