Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Never Knows Best

The elusive slogan glows in the dark blue night of the first episode of FLCL.

What does it mean? Or what does it mean to Mamimi who has presumably scrawled "NEVER KNOWS BEST" along the length of her cigarette, and burns the message down as she takes it into her chest? Does Never Knows Best even mean anything, in a series where the title itself is invented nonsense and the cast openly questions its definition?

Never Knows Best isn't even a proper sentence, is it?

It is instead, beyond meaning, perfect as the crowning contribution to the perfect moment. That moment is about being a disaffected 17-year-old standing in the middle of a bridge in the middle of the night, stalled halfway between noplace and notgoinganywhere. She pines for her never-seen, long gone baseball-playing ex, tries to replace the absent boyfriend with his 12-year-old brother, stray cats and strange new robot gods, and in this moment is just utterly convinced that she is lost and broken. The tobacco embers connect with and forecast Mamimi's eventual pyromania, and eventually, eventually maybe (maybe) she'll get over all this and be okay.

But in this moment there is one perfect, cryptic, bleak-sounding, moody adolescent thing to write on a rumpled cigarette.

It burns all the way down,
fire to air to water,
never knows best.

Ah! Sweet mystery of life!


Anonymous said...

Thank you.

Good cover of a complex subject that fewer people understand properly. -finally

Captain V. said...

Pretty much you got it.

I think so many people when analyzing this focuses too much on the actual smoking part and not anything else about her, or how fucked up she is, or how she pretty much just feels like an irresponsible bitch but doesn't care and doesn't want to care. She doesn't want to think of her future, she only knows what she wants. She wants the life that she felt cheated from, being with Takun.

Anonymous said...

Fantastic break down of the plot and the emotion. I hadn't seen this in a while and this perfectly reminds me of why it used to be my favorite show.