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FLCL season 3 premieres as Adult Swim’s April Fools’ prank

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One heck of a sneak peek

flcl 3: alternative Production I.G./Adult Swim

Adult Swim is big on April Fools’ Day pranks, and this year’s was special for anime fans: The cable channel aired a surprise sneak peek at the upcoming FLCL return, premiering a full episode at Sunday on midnight.

FLCL (pronounced “Fooly Cooly”) isn’t an anime that makes a ton of sense on first viewing anyway, but more confusing was that Adult Swim chose to show the first episode of its planned third season, called FLCL: Alternative. A subtitled version of the episode aired during the channel’s Toonami block with no warning, kicking off the rest of the night’s goof; following FLCL, the film Mind Game and anime like JoJo’s Bizarre Adventures and Cowboy Bebop all ran in their original Japanese-language versions.

If you’re a big FLCL fan and missed the April Fools’ gag, you’re outta luck. The third season won’t air until September, although FLCL: Progressive, the cult hit anime’s second season, will begin on June 2 at 11:30 p.m. ET. That gives you plenty of time to rewatch the six-episode original anime, which shares a handful of ties with the sequels. FLCL is one of those must-watch series that demands repeat viewings — both because there’s nothing else like it and because it ... doesn’t necessarily make a ton of sense the first go round.

The good news? People who caught the gag are saying that FLCL: Alternative was pretty tight. That’s reassuring for fans who are reticent about bringing back the special original series, which ended on a perfect note. Even though there isn’t any legal footage out there yet, from what I hear: I’m here for it.

Also, its ending animation is very cute.