Characters: FLCL

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    Naota Nandaba 

Voiced by: Jun Mizuki (JP), Barbara Goodson (EN)

The 12 year-old main character. He apparently has the "right kind of head" to be used as an N.O. channel. He dislikes bitter drinks and spicy curry.

Naota is obsessed with appearing mature and attempts to act nonchalant. This is most expressed in his monologues which open and close each episode where he continues to claim that "nothing amazing ever happens here" despite the show's surreal and often absurd happenings. Naota idolizes his older brother Tasuku and believes him to be the model for a mature adult.

At the beginning of the series, he's noticeably bothered by the situation with Haruko, but over the course of the series he develops a crush on her that overlaps with his initial crush on Mamimi.
  • Alliterative Name: Naota Nandaba.
  • Amplifier Artifact: Naota is a living one, used as a sort of replacement for Canti's missing pieces so he can fight at full power.
  • Batter Up: In episode 4.
  • Becoming the Mask: Tries to put on a mask of being a mature adult, despite being 12 years old. Various characters try to further this process or halt it. Haruko eventually convinces him it's okay to act his age.
  • Be Yourself: Throughout the series Naota attempts to act more mature than he really is, in attempt to both make up for his father's child-like behavior, and take the place of his older brother for Mamimi. Ultimately, Naota's arc revolves around the realization that it's okay for him to be himself and act his age.
  • Biggus Dickus: Haruko pulls a guitar out of his head so big that it gives the female controllers watching it nose bleeds.
  • The Chew Toy
  • Coming-of-Age Story
  • Crash-Into Hello: With Haruko, who runs him over when they first meet.
  • Deadly Upgrade: He's able to power up Canti by letting himself get eaten by him, though it really doesn't do much but faze him afterward,except make him smell of No. 2 when Canti excretes him.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: "How can you like someone who's insane?" He's talking to Mamimi- the pyromaniac arsonist- not exactly the paragon of sanity, even if she is a bit saner than Haruko.
  • Does Not Like Spam: He hates sour and spicy foods.
  • Humongous Mecha: They come out of his head.
  • I Choose to Stay: When Haruko asks (and then reneges) Naota to join her in her pursuit of Atomsk, despite just having confessed his love for her, he doesn't seem heartbroken or rejected, implying that he would've played the trope straight if he'd had the chance to answer her.
  • Improbable Weapon User: When he eventually gets a Gibson Flying V, nice choice.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes
  • Just a Kid: Haruko decides to not take him with her because he's "still a kid."
  • Kid with the Leash: Besides Haruko, Naota seems to have the most control over Canti.
  • Little Boy Seeks Big Girl: It's implied that he's around 12 years old, and his main love interest is at least 19.
  • Love Martyr: For Haruko. In the final episode, he confesses his love for her while she's trying to kill him. However, at the end of the episode, he wises up and decides not to follow her into space when invited to and she leaves to continue her chase after the Pirate King Atomsk.
  • Made of Iron: How many times does Naota get ran over in this series? It gets to the point that after getting ran over by a truck in episode 5, he recovers in mid-air.
  • Meaningful Name: His name is derived from the Japanese word for "honesty".
  • Missing Mom: His mother is never seen or mentioned in the anime or manga. The novels, though, tell us that she vanished mysteriously when Naota was little. Also, she was a colleague of Haruko in the Space Police.
  • Nice Hat: Actually no, people don't really think the hat's cool. Even more-so is the the one he wears when cat ears pop up on his head.
    Ninamori: By the way, that hat is really bizarre.
  • Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: And he still seems to say it even after everything that's happened to him.
  • Only Sane Man
  • Power Glows
  • Replacement Goldfish: For Mamimi, who uses him as a replacement for his brother.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Savvy Guy to Haruko's Energetic Girl.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Became a master of this at the end of episode 1.
  • The Stoic: For most of the series.
  • Took a Level in Badass: At the climax of "Brittle Bullet", Naota breaks free of his dependence and desire for Mamimi's affection by outright rejecting it and summoning Canti to fight the giant gunslinger robot. And then later in "FLCLimax", absorbing the power of Atomsk and entering a sort of Super Mode.
  • Wacky Parent, Serious Child: Naota is fairly normal, but his father Kamon is extremely immature, suffers emotional mood swings and exhibits inappropriate sexual behavior.
  • Weirdness Magnet: In just the first episode, a crazy woman riding a scooter hits him in the head with a guitar and then moves into his household as a live-in maid, and a horn grows out of his head that eventually turns out to be a robot with a TV for a head - which also moves in with his family. Things only gets weirder for him from there.

    Haruko Haruhara 

Voiced by: Mayumi Shintani (JP), Kari Wahlgren (EN)

An energetic, spontaneous pink-haired woman from outer-space, and investigator for the Galactic Space Patrol Brotherhood/Stellar Fraternity. She rides a sunglow Piaggio Vespa SS 180 and carries a blue Rickenbacker bass guitar on her back and claims to be 19, even though she's not human. She becomes the Nandaba household's maid after running both Naoto and his father over with her Vespa and plays on a rival team of the Mabase Martians.
  • Aliens Are Bastards
  • Ambition Is Evil: Haruko has been searching for Atomsk in hopes of absorbing his infinite power for herself and is willing to destroy the Earth in order to get it.
  • Ax-Crazy
  • Badass Biker
  • Beauty, Brains and Brawn: The Brawn.
  • Betty and Veronica: Veronica to Mamimi's Betty.
  • Beware the Silly Ones
  • Biker Babe
  • But Now I Must Go: After Atomosk escapes from Earth, Haruko leaves to chase after him. At first looked to be subverted in that she asked Naota to join her, but she immediately plays it straight by retracting the offer because he's "still a kid."
  • Cat Smile
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: She comes across this way to Naota, though her crazy perspective is matched by the equally crazy universe they're living in.
  • Cool Big Sis: To Naota, though he'd never admit it.
  • Cute and Psycho
  • Cute Little Fangs
  • Crash-Into Hello: Does this most frequently by running people over.
  • Dark Action Girl
  • Devil in Plain Sight
  • Drives Like Crazy
  • Evil Plan: Haruko attempts to feed Naota to the Terminal Core and destroy the Earth and kill all humans simply to get her hands on Atomsk. Naota defeats her in a final fight and foils her plan.
  • Extraordinarily Empowered Girl: She's from outer space, wields a gasoline-powered Rickenbacker bass guitar as a weapon, and plays baseball improbably well.
  • Genki Girl
  • Goggles Do Nothing
  • Hammy Herald: How she introduces herself in "Fooly Cooly" and "FLCLmax".
    Haruko: (revs up moped) Awright! (blasts off at breakneck speed) LUUUUUUUUUUUUNNNNNNNCCCCCCCHHHHHH TTTTTTTTIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMEEEEEE!!!!!!! (runs over Naota with Vespa)
  • Heel Realization: Heavily downplayed due to being openly and happily sociopathic, but in the final episode, getting beaten down by Naota and seeing Pirate King Atomsk save the world from a disaster she nearly caused leaves the normally Ax-Crazy girl speechless for a few minutes. She could've easily taken revenge on Naota during that time, but instead decides to chase Atomsk and leave Naota behind, perhaps realizing that bringing the kid along isn't the best thing for either of them.
  • Human Alien: At first glance, though it might not be her true form.
  • Instrument of Murder: Her Model 4001 Rickenbacker bass guitar seems to have an engine in it, shoots bullets and can apparently levitate.
  • It's All About Me: Her Fatal Flaw. It takes a good punch or two before she calms down.
  • Jerkass: She's very hard to be around in most circumstances, to the point where her Pet the Dog moments, though poignant, are quite few.
  • Lack of Empathy: She's basically a borderline sociopath.
  • Lovable Sex Maniac
  • Magical Girlfriend: Played with. She's a beautiful alien girl who suddenly enters in Naota's life as his household's maid after running him over and that's just the start of the crazy things that happen in this story. However, her motives and actions are far darker than one would expect and it eventually becomes clear she's only using Naota for her plans.
  • Male Gaze: She gets quite a bit of them toward the end of episode 5. First, she comes out of nowhere wearing a playboy bunny outfit, without explaining why or where she got it from. Then we get a big view of her surprisingly big boobs which bounce as she attacks Atomisk. Then throughout the fight, we get several gratuitous shots of her ass.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: With an emphasis on the "manic". She's actually a subversion; she has her own agenda, and Naota only plays a small part in it.
  • Manipulative Bitch
  • Master of Disguise: She tries at least. Most of the time her disguises are pretty transparent, but when she really wants to disguise herself, she's capable of changing her voice and mannerisms so completely that her victims don't realize the difference. That is, until they hear their nurse's voice change mid-sentence, and then look up to see her sporting a great big Slasher Smile.
  • Monster Roommate: To Naota.
  • Mysterious Past: We never actually find out who she is or where she comes from, but we at least get a few more hints.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: She's far more ruthless and calculating than her Genki Girl zaniness would suggest.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Amarao says her real name is Haruha Raharu, but given how unreliable his information is that's probably not entirely true. "Haruko Haruhara" might indeed be just an alias, though.
  • Pet the Dog: In spite of her excessive selfishness and manipulation and feeding Naota to the Terminal Core, she seems to have truly become fond of Naota by the end. Notice how, by the end, she offers Naota to join her in her pursuit of Atomsk, but rescinds it once she remembers that he's a kid.
  • Playboy Bunny: Puts one on for no immediately discernible reason during the battle in episode 5. It's a reference to the videos for the Daicon fan conventions that Gainax created when it was first starting out.
  • Pretty Freeloader: Though she does help around the house. Somewhat. Maybe.
  • Psychopathic Womanchild
  • Repetitive Name: Haruko Haruhara. Borders on Tongue Twister to boot.
  • Rose-Haired Sweetie: Pink-haired, energetic, cheerful, and passionate.
  • Sarcastic Confession: Haruko tends to give people outrageous answers, knowing she won't be believed.
    Naota: Who are you, and what do you want?
    Haruko: I'm just a wandering housekeeper.
    Naota: Tell me the truth.
    Haruko: I'm an alien.
    Naota: Right, and this afternoon you were a nurse.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: Energetic Girl to Naota's Savvy Guy.
  • Scarf of Asskicking
  • Screaming Warrior
  • Second Love: For Naota.
  • Shotacon: Subverted. She's not really into Naota, her advances on him were more about manipulation and impulse.
  • Slasher Smile
  • The Southpaw
  • Space Police: Haruko claims to be one, but she's apparently gone rogue.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: More emphasis on the "bye" part than the "hi". But when she really feels like it, she can become an expert at the "hi" as well.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: She has yellow eyes and she's an alien.
  • Town Girls: The Butch to Eri's Neither and Mamimi's Femme.
  • Transformation Sequence: She parodies this in the second episode, going through long, elaborate motions in a blinding light with a long drumroll just to restyle her hair, sport a halo and purple wings, and large, extremely goofy sunglasses on top of her stolen nurses' uniform.
  • The Unfettered: In order to free the Pirate King Atomsk, she continually manipulates Naota and his family.
  • Vagina Dentata: Well, it's actually a boxing glove, but even so...
  • Vague Age: She claims to be 19, but Naota has his doubts about that. It's later implied that when she and Amarao first met, he was Naota's age. It should also be noted that since she's an alien, it could very well be that she is 19.
  • Villainous Breakdown: In episode 6, Haruko becomes absolutely livid after Naota absorbs Atomsk's power. Her defeat really seems to have mellowed her out by the end.
  • Villain Protagonist: She is hinted to be one through the series. It's confirmed by the final episode.
  • Yellow Eyes of Sneakiness
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: She has salmon pink hair.

    Mamimi Samejima 

Voiced by: Izumi Kasagi (JP), Stephanie Sheh (EN)

A truant high school student with pyromaniacal tendencies, she's apparently Naota's brother Tasuku's girlfriend, though she is in some sort of relationship with Naota since his brother left Japan. She also smokes a lot and spends most of her time under a bridge. She is often seen with a camera, and always smokes a worn cigarette with "Never Knows Best" written onto the paper. It is implied that she is often bullied at school, causing her to often ditch.


A medical robot with what looks like a television set for a head. He was manufactured by Medical Mechanica, but taken over by Atomsk as a way to escape them. After having his head broken by Haruko, he is recruited by her as an assistant; however, he proves to be no good for much other than washing dishes and fetching drinks for the family.

When called into battle, he can access Atomsk's power using Naota as a catalyst.

    Eri Ninamori 

Voiced by: Mika Itou (JP), Melissa Fahn (EN)

Naota's classmate. In the series, she is referred to as Ninamori, her last name. She is the daughter of the mayor of Mabase and is class president.

She projects a proper, even slightly stuck-up personality, and conceals personal information to an almost obsessive degree. Eri isn't above breaking the rules to get what she wants. She rigs the voting during the casting for the school play in order to get the lead role in a play version of Puss in Boots and have Naota cast opposite her, which (along with other instances) hints at a crush on him.

  • A-Cup Angst: As the brains in the Beauty, Brains and Brawn trio, she works around this by layering her tops and leaving her legs bare.
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: She's taller than Naota and the tallest girl in her class according to the novels, but unlike for most girls her age her height seems to have no effect on her self-esteem or popularity. The mature and distant personality may be somewhat of an act, though.
  • Beauty, Brains and Brawn: The Brains.
  • Becoming the Mask: She explains to Naota her desire for this using her interest of the Puss in Boots story.
  • Broken Bird: Her perfectionism and ambition is all a desperate attempt to get her parents to notice her. She hopes that if she's cast as the lead, her parents will just have to come (and come together) and this will patch up their imploding marriage.
  • Broken Record: During the dinner scene in Episode 3. "I don't think it's any big deal." She even repeats the same animation over and over while she says it.
  • Class Representative
  • Demoted to Extra: She has A Day in the Limelight in Episode 3. Then she's mysteriously absent throughout all of Episode 4, and when she appears again in Episodes 5 and 6 she has a very small part.
  • Erotic Eating: She likes Popsicles.
  • Girlish Pigtails
  • Going Commando: She briefly looses her gym bloomers and panties when an alien robot took over he head. Luckily Canti was able to quickly get them back on after blushing.
  • Important Haircut: It's short as of the last scene of Episode 3.
  • Kick Chick: When the alien took over her head, it made her counter all of the attacks directed at her by kicking them away. It worked pretty well.
  • Male Gaze: She gets one or two shots of her legs while she's faced away from the camera in episode 3. It becomes especially jarring when you remember that she's only 12.
  • Meganekko: If she wore her glasses in public, that is.
  • Not So Different: From Naota in that she, like him, usually tries to act older and more mature than she really is. This could be one of the reasons she's attracted to him.
  • Not So Stoic
  • Ojou: Less than other examples, though.
  • She's Got Legs: Invoked. See A-Cup Angst above for more details.
  • The President's Daughter: The mayor's, actually.
  • Stepford Smiler: Tries to hide the fact that her parents' marital troubles bother her. She eventually reveals in episode 6 that she went to therapy with her parents, so this is no longer an issue.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Asking if "Tonight is okay?" in regards to hanging out with Naota, after he says that they shouldn't hang out for a while starting tomorrow, lest people start rumors about them. Cue Luminescent Blush on Naota's part, and a quick addition of, "Not like that," when she realized the way that her previous line could be taken. And then she begins engaging in some rather sexually aggressive behavior.
  • Third-Option Love Interest
  • Town Girls: The Neither to Mamimi's Femme and Haruko's Butch.
  • Tsundere: Type A. Though this makes her by far the sanest of Naota's potential love interests, it also makes her the least pleasant to be around, given the circumstances of episode 3. At least Mamimi didn't force him to participate in events without having any fair say, while Haruko was a shoulder for Naota to literally cry on.
  • Wise Beyond Her Years: Everyone believes this due to her stoic mask, though it doesn't come true until later in the series.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: She has purple hair.


Voiced by: Koichi Okura (JP), Dave Mallow (EN)

An agent from the Department of Interstellar Immigration, a The Men in Black-like agency. This agency, among other things, acts as a middle man for negotiations between the government and Medical Mechanica. Thus, Haruko is a big problem for them as she is bent on provoking an attack by disrupting communications.

Unlike other adults, such as Naota's father and teacher, he is mature and serious about his job. He has a pair of eyebrows so large, people can't help but drop everything they're doing and just stare at them. He seems to have had a past relationship with Haruko similar to Naota's, and knows more about her than anyone else in the series.
  • Badass Normal: He can hold his own against Haruko as long as his guns have bullets.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Made of nori.
  • Bowel-Breaking Bricks: His enormous nori eyebrows serve this purpose beginning near the end of episode 4-6.
  • Covert Pervert: Toward his assistant.
  • Does Not Like Spam: Like Naota, he hates spicy food.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: His N.O ability is pretty small, which means when a guitar is pulled out of him... well...
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: He initially seems like the ideal adult that Naota strives to be, but is later revealed to, like Naota, put up a false front of maturity to hide his own weaknesses.
  • Genre Savvy: He seems to know what's going on most of the time. However, it's made pretty clear that all of his information is only partially accurate.
  • Guns Akimbo
  • Knight of Cerebus: A very mild example, but the plot finally starts to advance as soon as he appears.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: While he knows significantly more about Haruko and Medical Mechanica than the rest of the cast, he still knows next to nothing and rather fills the gaps in his knowledge with his own incorrect guesses.
  • Man Child: Word of God says Amarao is basically an adult version of Naota with the same flaws.
  • Magic Feather: His eyebrows are implied to be this. While he claims they block N.O usage, there's really no evidence that supports this, coupled with all of his talk about how macho they make him and his immediate breakdown after losing them, they're more for confidence than anything.
  • The Men in Black
  • Mister Exposition: His ramblings about Medical Mechanica and the Pirate King Atomsk help to tie the more surreal parts of this series together.
  • Only Sane Man: Initially comes off as the only adult in the entire series with the maturity that Naota seeks to replicate. While he is this to some extent, his maturity is just a front and he's overall no wiser than Naota.
  • Phrase Catcher: "Those eyebrows..."
  • Power Limiter: His fake eyebrows seem to block N.O usage.
  • The Stoic: He remains calm and composed throughout all of his interactions with Naota, in contrast with the rest of the cast. Once he's forced to actually get out and do things, however, he's revealed to be a loud crybaby.
  • Sweet Tooth: He adds way too much sugar to his coffee, and at the hair salon he asks for a lollipop.
  • Teeny Weenie: In contrast with Naota's guitar, Amarao's is barely slingshot-sized. This is implied to be the reason why Haruko abandoned him.
  • Not So Different: Sees Naota as a younger him and most of his time is spent preventing him from making the same mistakes as he did, such as falling for Haruko.
  • Unreliable Expositor: He knows less about Haruko than it seems.

    Kamon Nandaba 

Voiced by: Suzuki Matsuo (JP), Joe Martin (EN)

Naota's 47 year-old father, a former pop culture journalist working as a freelance writer, with his own trashy tabloid: "Kamon-Mabase" (the title is a pun of "come-on mabase"). He makes the most references to pop culture. Like the other adults in FLCL, Kamon is extremely immature, notably more so than the other adults. However, he shows a surprising amount of seriousness and thoughtfulness at some points in the anime.
  • Abusive Parent: On top of becoming jealous of the relationship that Haruko and Naota develop, leading to him challenging his own son to an airsoft match for her love, his general Man Child tendencies are hinted to be the main reason that Naota tries to act like an adult.
  • Adults Are Useless: The most noticeable example.
  • Butt Monkey
  • Death by Adaptation: In the manga.
  • Dirty Old Man
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Despite being a completely immature manchild, he's surprisingly insightful. He figures out Mamimi's family situation long before Naota simply though her buying habits at the bakery, recognizes that Ninamori is only pretending to act mature and also hates him for publicizing her father's affair, and in episode 6 covers for Naota's absence at school since "he's enjoying his freedom."
  • Gag Penis: Gets one during the second round of manga visuals in episode 6.
  • Goofy Print Underwear
  • Hidden Depths: He delivers some surprisingly insightful lines throughout the show, and it is subtley suggested that he is comfortable enough with his identity that he doesn't try to pretend to be something he isn't, which is the problem that Naota struggles with throughout the show.
  • Madness Mantra: "Fooly...? Cooly...?"
  • No Fourth Wall
  • Only Mostly Dead: At one point, he was left for dead in the closet while he was replaced with a robot.
  • Otaku: He makes the most pop culture references in the show, after all. Case in point, the picture of him up there? He's wearing Lupin's outfit.
  • Putting on the Reich: Episode 5.
  • Smarter Than You Look: He's hinted to be perhaps the only character to fully understand the moral of the show of being yourself. He's still a weirdo though.
  • Wacky Parent, Serious Child: With Naota.

    Shigekuni Nandaba 

Voiced by: Hiroshi Ito (JP), Steve Kramer (EN)

Naota's grandfather. He owns the family bakery and coaches the local baseball team, the Mabase Martians. He has a grudge against Mamimi for unspecified reasons, but it is suggested that he didn't approve of Tasuku dating her. Shigekuni values baseball more than anything in the world — he is disappointed in his own son and younger grandson because they are lousy baseball players. Though like his grandson, he cannot stand spicy curry.

    Masashi and Gaku 

Voiced by: Kazuhito Suzuki (Masashi - JP), Steve Blum (Masashi - EN), Akira Miyashima (Gaku - JP), Bob Marx (Gaku - EN)

Two of Naota's friends/classmates, both 12 years old. Masashi generally sounds slightly depressed and always has a look of apathy while Gaku is somewhat hyper and is obsessed with kissing and other things of sexual behavior while constantly saying "chu" ("Smooch" in the English version.) Masashi also has a job as a delivery boy, and drives his dad's truck around, even though he's only in grade school.
  • Broken Record: Gaku. Particularly episode 1 "Pervert! He's a Perverrrrt!" and also "Smooch! SMOOOOOOOOCH!!!!!"
  • Expy: They look quite similar to Keisuke and Toji, Shinji's best friends from Neon Genesis Evangelion, with their general natures switched.
  • Greek Chorus: Are pretty much just commentators and observers to what going on in the series.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Gaku is more hyper and active than perpetually bored looking Masashi.
  • Verbal Tic: Gaku picks up many throughout the course of the series, but the one that stuck with him is "SMOOOOOOCH~!"
  • Those Two Guys: They are usually seen around and appear to be friends of Naota, but they don't really matter.

    Lt. Kitsurubami 

Voiced by: Chiemi Chiba (JP), L. Villa (EN)

An agent who works with Amarao. She's perhaps the most soundly mature off all the characters, devoted to her position as lieutenant and a pinpoint sharpshooter to boot. However, Kitsurubami has a touch of fangirl in her that pops out from time to time. Amarao has a crush on her, but she's become utterly repulsed at his unwelcome and creepy advances toward her- especially when she takes notice of his peculiar "eyebrows."

    Atomsk the Pirate King 

An enigmatic character, apparently the most powerful "space pirate" in the galaxy, according to Amarao. His N.O. is great enough to steal entire solar systems. He has a nose ring identical to the metal ring on Haruko's bracelet, which allows her to detect Atomsk's presence or the activation of N.O. in general. Canti is able to channel his power for a brief period of time, augmenting him with strength and powers of superhuman feats.
  • Chessmaster Sidekick: Whenever Canti eats Naota and turns red, it's Atomsk doing all of the fighting, despite Naota getting all of the credit.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In the last episode, he absorbs the exploding Terminal Core and flees with its energy, preventing an Earth-Shattering Kaboom... though to be fair, he may only qualify for this trope since Haruko was willing to blow up the Earth just to get Atomsk's power.
  • Meaningful Name: Named after the novel Atomsk, by Carmichael Smith (a pseudonym of Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger, better known as Cordwainer Smith).
  • No Pronunciation Guide: The anime pronounces it "atomisk" or "atomos'ku" (dub and sub, respectively), though the director's said he's not sure how it's really supposed to be pronounced.
  • Power Floats: His N.O. is so immense, it screws with the Earth's gravity.