Naota attends class where Miyaji shows the students how to use chopsticks, without much luck. Naota simply walks out of class while his friends talk about sporks. Days have passed since the events of the previous episode. Haruko and Canti have mysteriously vanished and a mist has surrounded the entire city, being emitted by the Medical Mechanica plant. The ominous giant hand remains next to it as well. Amarao and Kitsurubami worry that the giant hand will grab the iron and smooth out the wrinkles in the brain. Amarao wants to track down the Terminal Core of the hand in order to prevent the plant from activating and says they need to prioritize that over finding Raharu/Haruko. Kitsurubami becomes disgusted upon realizing she’s drunk from the same straw as Amarao. Mamimi, hanging out by the river, gets splashed by someone on a motorcycle. Naota and his friends pass by and Naota walks away without commenting once they see her. Mamimi finds a small 4-legged mechanical creature, in actuality the terminal core. Naota, heading home from school encounters Amarao once again, who puts a pair of fake eyebrows on his head, telling him it will block N.O so nothing else will come from his head. Amarao tells Naota that Raharu/Haruko is in search of ‘Pirate King’ Atomsk who has enough N.O. to seize entire galaxies. Atomsk was captured by Medical Mechanica, but despite being mortal enemies, Haruko fell in love with him. The small mechanical creature eats Mamimi’s cell phone, growing slightly bigger. She says it will now be called “Ta-kun.” Naota heads home and quietly strums his guitar in his room. He later goes downstairs and to his surprise finds Haruko at the dinner table once again. The shock causes Naota’s fake eyebrows to fall off. Haruko merely claims that she had asked for some time off and was on vacation. Naota’s father starts rambling on and on about what “Fooly Cooly” is and Haruko smashes him in the head with her bass guitar again. Later that night in his room Naota asks Haruko who she really is and where she came from. Naota, who clearly does care for Haruko even though he said before that he didn’t by showing how upset he was that she was gone. Haruko says Naota’s head is the only one that works. She says she’s leaving but he can throw everything away and come along with her.
Mamimi feeds Ta-kun with some cell phones she has stolen from other students. Ta-kun is now the size of a small dog. Naota has run off with Haruko, riding on her motorcycle with him. Naota’s friends talk about how he is missing in gymnastics class. Ninamori says she has admitted how she feels and cried to her parents, and jumps over the balance beam to everyone’s amazement. Kitsurubami reports to Amarao about having found the wreckage from which the terminal core was in, but not the terminal core itself. Under the bridge, Mamimi has brought Ta-kun even more cell phones and thinks she needs to move on to something bigger. Haruko spits out some nasty noodles she has bought and steals Naota’s. Haruko asks if fighting Medical Mechanica is her job and she says they stole something from her that she wants to get back. Mamimi brings Ta-kun to the bike that splashed her earlier it and eats it, growing even larger. Walking down the street, Ninamori spots Haruko and Naota sleeping on a bench. Mamimi continues to look for more vehicles for Ta-kun, which is now bigger than she is, to eat. Naota’s friends comment on how some vehicles have been mysteriously disappearing. They spot Mamimi and Ta-kun, which runs towards them and eats their truck. Mamimi tries to control him to no luck. Miyaji, wondering where Naota is goes to see Kamon but he does little more than ramble on about a hamster he used to take care of. Amarao comes on to Kitsurubami who is disgusted when he touches her. Ta-kun, now the size of a skyscraper walks by them and Amarao recognizes it as the terminal core. The terminal core steps on their car destroying it. Amarao crashes nearby where Canti is standing. The terminal core eats Canti and transforms, causing Amarao to realize that Canti is part of the terminal core. Haruko and Naota are awakened by the noise. The terminal core goes by Naota’s house, eating Miyaji’s car and smashing through Amarao. The terminal core heads towards the giant hand, with Mamimi and Amarao stuck on it. Haruko also drives herself and Naota towards it, saying it’s the climax. The terminal core stops before the hole in the giant hand, causing Amarao to realize that it is still missing something. Haruko and Naota arrive and Amarao shoots at them, knocking them off the Vespa. Amarao asks Naota where his eyebrows are and that he shouldn’t trust Haruko as she doesn’t care what happens to him, his family or friends. Naota turns his back on him and returns to Haruko. Haruko asks Naota to help her get what she wants and swings her bass guitar at him, knocking him into the terminal core, which eats him. The terminal core is absorbed into the hand. Naota has a vision of being inside the hand, seeing numerous irons smoothing out the wrinkles. Amarao proclaims it’s all over and Haruko says she doesn’t care what happens to this planet as long as she gets Atomsk. The hand starts reaching towards the iron, about to crush Amarao beneath it. Suddenly a glowing red Canti appears, holding up the hand. Naota, combined with Atomsk and glowing red appears outside of Canti’s head, holding two guitars and knocking the hand aside. Haruko, upset at Naota says the power is hers and she attacks him with her guitar. Naota is able to block all her blows and knock her away with ease. He flies towards Haruko and Amarao shouts out to take her out. Instead Naota pauses before Haruko, saying he loves her and kisses her. The glowing red Atomsk, a bird like being appears out of Naota’s forehead. Things start blowing away due to Atomsk including the iron and Amarao’s eyebrows. Atomsk absorbs the giant hand and flies away into space. The iron and everything else falls to the ground. Haruko says farewell to Naota, initially saying he can come along, but then saying he is too young and to wait until next time. Mamimi crawls out of the wreckage and sees Naota pick up Haruko’s guitar, taking a picture of it. Mamimi says her farewell, leaving town to become a photographer. Later Naota and his friends head over the bridge and get a drink which Naota complains is too carbonated. Life returns to normal at Naota’s home. One of the strings on Haruko’s base, held in Naota’s room, strums on its own.
While the previous episode is a bit funnier than this, this episode gives us a very strong finale, wrapping up the storyline and the various themes throughout the series. The episode provides explanations for what Haruko is truly after, as well as explanations surrounding Medical Mechanica and Atomsk. The last 10 minutes of the episode in particular are very exciting and well directed, with some interesting visuals. Many excellent music themes including Carnival, One Life, Last Dinosaur and I Think I Can play throughout the episode. We have another hilarious manga scene at the dinner table, which is very self-referential (such as Kamon asking what ‘Fooly Cooly’ is). Seeing Miyaji’s car destroyed yet again was another funny reference to previous episodes. In terms of external references, Atomsk is taken from the title of a Cordwainer Smith novel and Naota’s father refers to the well-known anime hamster Hamtaro. The ending of the episode seems very similar, stylistically to End of Evangelion, which kind of makes sense since director Tsurumaki was heavily involved in that movie. The ending is a bit bittersweet for Naota with Haruko leaving as well as Mamimi, who has moved on from her obsession with Naota and his brother. Overall, I find FLCL to be one of the best anime I’ve ever seen. The show provides both an interesting plot and characters while also being extremely off the wall and experimental. Both designs and music was top notch. The only downside is it is so short, but I will take 6 extremely high quality episodes versus a longer length series where things could be drawn out and reduced in quality. It’s a series I would highly recommend to any anime fan.