Character Spotlight: Haruko Haruhara

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She’s certainly not the kind of girl you’d put anywhere in the “normal” column, that’s for damn sure, Haruko is nothing but pure insanity. Then again to be fair, if she’s a character in a six-episode show that doesn’t know the meaning of the word “normal”, then you’re already behind the 8-ball.

Not that it’s a bad thing though, in fact it is the zaniness and pure unadulterated insanity of Haruko that allows her to shine and because more than just a pretty face…for the few moments her face isn’t as crazy as can be.

Haruko after running over Naota with her Vespa

Haruko after running over Naota with her Vespa

Haruko is an alien, a space patrol officer from another world, though we never really learn much about her origins, including if Haruko Haruhara is her real name or not. She makes quite the entrance when Naota and Mamimi are chilling on a bridge. Out of nowhere that kickass The Pillows music kicks in and a woman riding a Vespa with a blue bass guitar is flying down the road…and then she’s way out of control and OH FUCK SHE JUST KILLED HIM!!!

And this is where we truly see FLCL’s true colours as the crazy facial expressions and gestures start. Haruko makes an Oscar-worthy dramatic performance declaring Naota’s death (somehow he’s not) and start rolling and sliding in circles on her knees as if she has tiny wheels on her shins. And once the helmet comes off and we see the presumably 19 year-old pink-haired beauty, the show truly has begun.

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While the art direction isn’t quite favouring towards beauty, opting for a more insane, over-the-top look, Haruko at times still carries some real beauty with her. When she doesn’t look like she’s about to transform into a Xenomorph with those facial expressions, Haruko’s actually very pretty, the few moments she’s calm and as normal as Haruko can be are actually very satisfying in that regard. You could argue that if she wasn’t as violent and power-hungry as she is in the show, she’d be super cool to hang around.

But it’s really those over-the-top moments that make her shine, along with the rest of the anime. Fighting with that bass guitar makes her so badass, the Vespa just makes it even funnier as she speeds off like she’s riding a Kawasaki Ninja instead of it. But most of all, just the pure ridiculousness of her actions, her facial expressions, her posture, movements, gestures, all that jazz, they define her and make her stand out beyond everyone else on the entire show. No one comes even close to equalling her on that front.

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There’s no doubt in my mind that Haruko will be a character I will never forget, it’s truly impossible for me to not recall her. The anime she’s from is so insane and being one of the first anime shows I was exposed to, she also has the nostalgia factor on me. I always thought she was so cool and funny when I first watched the show and that hasn’t changed since.

The only change now is that I want to jam with her. I’ll hammer out some sweet licks and Haruko can slap some bass lines and we’ll rock the night away!

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