I originally watched FLCL a long time ago. I recently recieved it on DVD for Christmas from my sister – leading to me rewatching it with my wife. Within 2 minutes my wife says, “This is really weird.”
I say, “It gets weirder.” She didn’t believe me, but I was right.
In the series we have a number of characters who are all fallen, broken individuals. First, we have our main character Naota. Naota is a 12 year old who hangs around his older brother’s 17 year old chain smoking “girlfriend” Mamimi, is cynical, bitter, wants to grow up too fast, and is overly obsessed with older women in a sexual way. Mamimi is overtly sexual with a 12 year old, easily manipulated, worships random objects around her, and specifically creates an idol/false god for herself in her own image (Canti). Haruko is overly sexual (again with a 12 year old), is violent, greedy, power-hungry, and self-centered. Kamon Nandaba (Naota’s father) is perverted, constantly thinking about sex, especially with Haruko. Commander Amarao is obsessed with Haruko as well as his appearance more so at times than he is for the common good, which he is supposed to be protecting.
This short anime series reminds us of a simple truth which Paul points out over and over again in his letter to the Romans – we all fall short of God (Romans 3:23). Every single character fails in FLCL. The father is a perv who doesn’t provide his son with the proper parenting, getting jealous and cartoonishly violent when Haruko provides his 12 year old boy attention. Naota is cynical and constantly angry at the world around him, even as he is forced to assume some kind of cosmic hero role. Mamimi is sex-obsessed and worships her own gods. They all fall. They all fail. They are all weak. So are we.
It’s a constant theme in the Bible. We see so many weak individuals who fall hard. We see David succumb to adultery and later murder. We see Abraham lie and effectively offer up his wife to others in exchange for his life. We see Solomon give in to idolatry and worship of the false god Moloch. Moses murders a man in cold blood and hides the body in the sand. We see Peter deny Christ three times in the aftermath of Jesus’ arrest. Paul led mass persecution of the early church.
But, God can and does use these weak individuals. The Lord uses the weak, He uses the sinner time after time. We have examples like Augustine of Hippo who was a Manichean who lived a hedonistic lifestyle before coming to Christ. C.S Lewis was a militant atheist before discovering Christ Jesus. Christ has taken sinners like all of us to further His kingdom on the earth and in the hereafter. He takes us as we are, where we are in the muck of our imperfection and He remolds us in His image.
In FLCL, we see characters who are all fallen and broken. In reality, we see the same thing. In FLCL, we see a broken individual used to save the day (kind of) by defeating Medical Mechanica before they try to flatten the earth. In reality, broken individuals are sent out to do God’s work every single day. We are broken individuals. We are called to do God’s work. Let’s get working.