Fooly Cooly

Season 1 Episode 2

Fire Starter

Aired Saturday 1:00 AM Aug 06, 2003 on Cartoon Network
out of 10
User Rating
84 votes

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Episode Summary

Fire Starter
Naota tries to get his life back to normal, but that's easier said than done when Haruko and a TV-headed robot are living with him! Even worse, he's growing another horn! Meanwhile, a string of fires have been occurring across town. Not coincidentally, Mamimi has become obsessed with the game "Fire Starter", as well as Naota's robot manservant, whom she calls Canti. What connection is there to the recent fires and the one that burned down the old elementary school years ago? And, why does Mamimi call her new pet, a little black kitten, "Ta-Kun", the same name she calls Naota?moreless

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  • Fire Starter: burning fast but loses steam.

    Don't get me wrong, I love this episode for all the hidden symbolic meanings that I could probably distill but this just wasn't as much an eye opener as the first episode. The first one was humor with a touch of plot. The second one tries to be serious. It succeeds, but for some reason, I just could not appreciate it as much as I did the first one.

    The animation quality of this episode was still high, as usual. However, it did not experiment with the different styles as much as the first episode did, one of the things I felt was the strong point in FLCL. The second episode has some different styles, most notably when Mamimi was talking about how Kanti was a god at Naota's house but other than that, nothing too eye catching and it's a pity because FLCL does experimentation well.

    This episode focuses on Mamimi, a character I found intriguing. She makes a good episode, being obsessed with a god that doesn't exist, being your sad little homeless girl. She does it all well.

    Once again, the Pillows rock my ears, I don't think I need to elaborate on how appropriate their music is for this show.

    The best thing by far was the final sequence with Kanti. His fight sequence, while short, was intense and full of "bad-arse" moments. Albeit, the way he expelled Naota was a little disgusting, but overall, that can be easily overlooked. Kanti shows plenty of promise, strong, silent, all together a little bit loose in the head. I love Kanti.

    Overall, a decent episode. While not as good as the previous, it was still enjoyable. a 9.0 out of 10.moreless
  • FLCL Episode #2 - "Fire Starter"/"FiSta"

    Although (in my opinion) still a good episode when compared to that of another anime, "Fire Starter"/"FiSta" is probably the last best (cannot bring myself to way 'worst') episode of the series. It is in my opinion anyway. Follows up on the craziness of the first episode 'FLCL' but seems to be an episode revolving around Mamimi and her alleged pyromania. "Fire Starter" also follows the first episode in that it also does not reveal much of the series' overall plot, which actually doesn't really get much screen time until the fourth episode, "Full Swing." With all that being said, I say that this episode's is not, in actuality, a bad episode. It's more that the other episodes were just that good.

  • There are always that one episode that is terrible this is sadly the one.

    I know so soon well better get it out of the way now then later. Respect to anyone that can watch this episode five times in a row. The plot the this episode treads off the original plot. I think the creators only made five episodes but they wanted an even number instead. My suggestion is to sit back and wait until the end because there is a very good fight scene in it. I still like this episode even thought I is terrible compared to the others, but it is still better than some shows.

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  • Compared to the pilot, this one, I felt, was seriously lacking

    Compared to the pilot, this one was pretty boring. Sure, I like them going 'deep' into the characters and such, but it just didn't do it for me. This series, to me, is all about comedy and the unexpected. This particular ep. lacks what I find appealing about the series.

    Although I do like the part where canti's about and everyone walking/driving by disappears, that's kinda funny, and the scene where Haruko is playing nurse. Naota says 'why'd a robot come out of my head', and she's like 'that's what I wanna know'.

    This one is deep, but it just wasn't quite as good as the othersmoreless
Barbara Goodson

Barbara Goodson

Naota Nandaba (Eng.)

Jun Mizuki

Jun Mizuki

Naota Nandaba (Jap.)

Kari Wahlgren

Kari Wahlgren

Haruko Haruhara (Eng.)

Mayumi Shintani

Mayumi Shintani

Haruko Haruhara (Jap.)

Jun Mizuki

Jun Mizuki

Ta-kun (Jap.)

Guest Star

Steven Jay Blum

Steven Jay Blum

Cop #2 (Eng.)

Guest Star



Ta-kun (Eng.)

Guest Star

Dave Mallow

Dave Mallow

Amarao (Eng.)

Recurring Role

Izumi Kasagi

Izumi Kasagi

Mamimi Samejima (Jap.)

Recurring Role

Joe Martin

Joe Martin

Kamon Nandaba (Eng.)

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Mamimi sees Canti through a camera and thinks he is a god from her game. There is a halo floating above his head with no string. However, when it shows Canti not in the camera view, he has a string.

    • When Haruko is about to crash into the Medical Mechanica factory, she is riding her vespa and black underwear is seen in plain sight. When she crashes and she is examined by the perverted cop, it shows a shadow showing there isn't any underwear.

    • When Haruko gets electrocuted, and you see her skeleton, you can see that she has a robotic skull.

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Haruko: Hey there, Haruhara Haruko here, age 19, splendiferous housekeeper at Takkun's house.
      Naota: She's older than that...
      Haruko: But my true identity is this... First Class Space Patrol Officer!
      Naota: What a lame stage name.

    • Haruko: (taking x-rays of Naota's brain)Okay, stay still. Look at this. It's empty, there's no brain. Did you lose it somewhere?
      Naota: You're the one who did this.
      Haruko: Don't blame me if you go around losing things. Some kids are just freaks.
      Naota: Look who's talking, miss normal.
      Haruko: At least I didn't sprout a robot out of my head, like some people. By the way, there's something new there now.

    • Naota: When you're on a bike, the ocean's a lot closer than you think. The autumn salt wind went right through to the back of my nose. And maybe it's because, like Haruko said, my head was empty.

    • Mamimi: I hated this place. And so I wished that it would go away. But it's useless. Even if it burns down the wreckage and ash are still there.

    • Haruko: No doubt you're thinking, "How would a grade-school kid be my guardian?", right?
      Cop: Hold on. You're telling me this kid's your guardian?
      Naota: Yea I have custody. It's kinda unusual.
      Haruko: So, you came for me, huh? (she smiles at Naota) The rain stopped. I'll give you a reward. It's even better than CPR.

    • Kamon: Move it! Move it! Well, since you don't have any nifty functions you could at least make yourself useful around the house.
      Naota: Hey! You're using him outside again?
      Kamon: No, no! This one goes in first!
      Naota: The neighbors have eyes you know!
      Kamon: You want it all to yourself because you brought it home. Aren't we being a little bit selfish?!
      Naota: (kid on a bicycle rides by) It's weird having a robot around the house!

    • Naota: You're the one who did this!
      Haruko: Don't blame me if you go losing stuff.
      Naota: Look who's talking. Ms. "Normal."
      Haruko: (looking at Naota's x-rays) At least I didn't sprout a robot out of my head like some people. By the way, there's something there.
      Naota: It's weird! Not normal. These horns sticking out. The last one turned into a (pointing) dumb robot that's living in my house, living here! What's up with that? And it was because I was run over by (pointing) your bike!
      Haruko: It's a normal Vespa, you should see it for yourself.
      Naota: And you still haven't taken those clothes back. People out there are starting to think you're a real nurse!

    • Kamon: It must be symbolic to have a humanoid robot in a normal household while the pursuit of unconventional science still exists. For one thing, there's the family unit N, where the robot's accepted into it; the social structure, M, that makes it all possible; and everyone's buying Initial D, Robot Detective K, Nakamori Akina's "Young Girl A", and Satsuki Midori's "Passionate Woman B". That's the meaning of the robot.
      Haruko: What's he talking about?
      Naota: He wrote a book about the deep mysteries of "Eva."

    • Naota: I don't know where the lies end and the truth begins. I asked myself what I could do for Mamimi. I decided to stay by her side; forever.

    • Naota: Exactly where does the truth end and the lies begin? Samejima Mamimi and Haruhara Haruko... A lot of lies are flowing around me, the two new horns that sprang up, a true story that seems like a lie.

    • Mamimi: I saw a God the other day, by the river in a rainy afternoon. He helped a kitten that was left all alone. It's a God that only I can see, a black-winged angel that came down from the heavens just for me...

  • NOTES (4)

    • Original Japanese Title: Fista

    • Original Japanese Airdate: June 21, 2000

    • Music List (all by The Pillows):
      Opening Song: "Instant Music"
      Canti and Kamon in front of the Bakery: "Sad Sad Kiddie"
      Mamimi sees "God": "Hybrid Rainbow"
      Boathouse Ruins: "Carnival"
      At the Bridge: "Beautiful Morning With You"
      Firestarter Game: "Stalker Goes to Babylon"
      Haruko Talking to Superiors: "Stalker"
      New Robot: "Advice"
      Canti eats Naota: "Little Buster"
      End Song: "Ride On Shooting Star"

    • According to the director's commentary on the Fooly Cooly DVD, the robot arm from the previous episode likely belongs to the robot that appears in this episode, as this episode's robot is missing an arm.


    • In this episode, when Canti's beating the rugs, Naota is talking to Haruko, he mentions how his dad wrote a whole book on EVA (or Evangelion).

    • At the beginning of the episode, where we first witness Naota's new horn, Haruko mentions Star Search, where average people turned familiar celebrities of today were recognized. (such as actor/comedian Martin Lawrence).

    • The fight scene with the Medical Mechanica robot in this episode is similar to the fight in the fourth episode of Mahoromatic: Automatic Maiden.

    • Naota's grandfather wants Canti to go find a certain magazine that has a pin-up of "Anna Nicole", or Anna Nicole Smith.

    • This episode pays homage to animator Bill Plympton when, during the conversation between Naota, Haruko, and Mamimi just after the first commercial break, the animation style briefly switches to that of his cartoons.

    • Kamon rambles on about robot related things during this episode. As a result, he makes references to many things. Family Unit N refers to the Nobi family from Doraemon, Initial D is a car racing manga and anime, "Innocent Girl A" is a song from the 1980s, and "Mature Woman B" is a song by Satuski Midori.