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Haruko Haruhara (ハルハラ・ハル子, Haruhara Haruko) is the focal character of the FLCL franchise. A former investigator for the Galactic Space Police Brotherhood. A former invetigator for the Intergalactic Space Police Brotherhood, Haruko has travelled to Earth several times in her quest to find Atomsk, the most powerful space pirate in the galaxy. She leaves Earth in FLCLimax, but returns as a teacher in Mabase in FLCL Progressive. In FLCL Alternative, she's back on Earth again tackling a whole host of new Medical Mechanica problems.

Appearance

Haruko is a tall, slender woman with yellow eyes and a pink bob cut. Though her outfit often changes throughout the series, she is most often seen in a bright red coat, black pants, white boots, a white scarf, and a pair of goggles.

After her other half, Jinyu, splits off from her, Haruko's hair becomes light orange. After consuming Jinyu, Haruko's hair returns to its original pink color, but her eyes become red.

Personality

Haruko has an extremely manic and chaotic personality, making her disposition and behavior very unpredictable. She loves to manipulate and toy with the people around her for her own amusement or benefit. At times, she has also seemed to act as a maternal or mentor figure. Ultimately though, she seems to be mainly concerned with achieving her own ends without any regard for anyone that might suffer because of it. Though she has shown the capacity to care for or at least be kind to other people, and has even shown emotional vulnerability.

During the events of FLCL Progressive, after she has split off from Jinyu, her selfish nature becomes much more prominent. During this time she is solely concerned with chasing down Atomsk and will manipulate or destroy as many people as she needs to to reach her goal.

History

In the original FLCL series, Haruko comes to Earth (specifically, the city of Mabase) in search of the space pirate Atomsk. Her search leads her to Naota Nandaba, a young boy who has become disillusioned with the world around him. Using her "bat", which resembles a bass guitar, Haruko opens up Naota's N.O. channel, allowing robots from the organization Medical Mechanica to emerge from his head. Haruko does this in hopes of freeing Atomsk from Medical Mechanica, who has captured him. Haruko also takes up a job as a housekeeper at Naota's home, though she proves to be very ineffectual and does so only to keep tabs on Naota. Haruko battles the many robots that emerge from Naota's head, but Atomsk continues to elude. It is also revealed later in the series that Haruko had a prior relationship with Commander Amarao, an agent of the Bureau of Interstellar Immigration, as she also apparently used him to try to get to Atomsk, but abandoned him when he proved useless to her. In the final episode, Atomsk finally appears and merges with Naota. Enraged, as she had to consume Atomsk for herself, Haruko attacks Naota, but is overpowered. Naoto then kisses Haruko and declares his love for her. Taken aback by Naota's declaration, Haruko considers taking Naota with her into space, but decides against it as he is still just a kid. Haruko then departs, chasing after Atomsk once again.

Some time later, Haruko manages to track down and absorb Atomsk, but his power proves too great for her to contain. This results in her splitting off into two people: Haruko herself who mostly looks the same, except that she has orange hair, and Julia Jinyu, apparently an embodiment of the goodness in Haruko.

In FLCL Progressive, Haruko, still split in two, returns to Mabase as she tries to find and absorb Atomsk yet again. Haruko becomes the teacher of a high school class, which she proceeds to hypnotize and manipulate to her own ends. Her class also includes two students, Hidomi Hibajiri and Ko Ide, whom she takes particular interest in. She proceeds to manipulate the two, who have developing feelings for each other, in an attempt to open their N.O. channels. Haruko is also met with oppostion by her other half, Jinyu, who wishes to protect Mabase and Atomsk. Eventually, Haruko teams up with Jinyu as they both wish to remove Hidomi's headphones, which were created by Medical Mechanica and stop her from activating her N.O. channel. However, the differences between Haruko and Jinyu prove to be too great and Haruko decides she cannot allow to her interfere anymore. After an intense battle, from which Haruko emerges victorious, she expands her aura to the shape of a large wasp-like creature and devours Jinyu. Later, Haruko sets a trap to capture Atomsk and quits her job as a teacher, sending all the students to the amusement park to enact her plan. After battling Hidomi, who has augmented herself into a cyborg using her N.O. channel, Haruko springs her trap as Atomsk arrives. However, the trap fails and Haruko and Hidomi are pulled into Atomsk's N.O. channel. After the two return to Earth, Haruko sees that Atomsk has fused with the robot Canti and sucks him out, absorbing him once again. However, Atomsk's power again proves to be too much for Haruko and she releases Atomsk and Jinyu who have fused together. Haruko desperately tries to recapture him, but then breaks down emotionally. Atomsk embraces her before departing, leaving only Jinyu behind. Haruko then takes her leave of Mabase, declaring her intention to continue to chase down Atomsk.

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