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KLIATTIt's not easy to describe the plot of FLCL, which stands for Fooley Cooley, but here goes. Naota, our hero, is 12 or 13 years old. He is snuggling with Mamimi, who is a pyromaniac, when a motorcycle-driving alien named Haruko smashes him in the head with her guitar. This triggers the growth of a huge bump—which would be phallic except for the eyes and mouth—on Naota's head. A pair of robots sprout from the bump, one humanoid, the other in the shape of a hand. Haruko smashes the humanoid robot with her guitar and reprograms it; the next time we see Canti (the robot's name), it is garbed in an apron cooking breakfast for Naota's father. A third robot attacks Mamimi during a croquet game; Canti eats Naota; and together they defeat the croquet robot, although the art is so funky at this point that it's hard to tell. Got it? FLCL is not storytelling in the traditional sense; part of this manga's charm is trying to figure out what's going on. The characters are likable, and I especially enjoyed the way Naota adapts to the weirdness around him, until the surreal becomes commonplace. The art is great—scratchy, surreal, funky—although it will not be to everyone's taste. On the other hand, FLCL is not storytelling in the traditional sense. Scenes change unexpectedly; flashbacks come without warning; and your guess as to what's going on is as good as mine. If this is Naota's fantasy, he doesn't seem to be having a particularly good time; he takes loads of physical abuse, and he doesn't get (or even seem to want) either of the girls. FLCL contains vulgar language, comic book violence, and depictions of robots in hand-to-hand combat. Recommended forlibraries with manga collections. KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2003, Tokyopop, 170p. illus., Ages 12 to 18.