Atomsk, also known as the "Pirate King", is an enigmatic character, apparently the most powerful "space pirate" in the galaxy. His N.O. is great enough to steal entire solar systems. His physical appearance is that of a bird-like creature resembling a phoenix. 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. Atomsk's power makes him a target for both the Fraternity and Medical Mechanica, the latter of which successfully captured him at an unspecified point in time before the series begins. In response, Haruko is sent to track him down, ostensibly to capture him on the behalf of the Fraternity, though in truth she wishes to take his powers for herself, regardless of the damage she causes along the way.
Since Atomsk can travel through N.O. channels, Haruko makes her way to Earth searching for people with minds that can provide a strong enough N.O. channel for Atomsk to travel through in order to escape from Medical Mechanica. Upon finding Naota Nandaba, she strikes him on the head with her bass guitar to open an N.O. channel through which Canti and a host of Medical Mechanica robots begin to emerge; unbeknownst to her, Atomsk escapes from Medical Mechanica inside of Canti and remains trapped within. By using Naota as a catalyst, Atomsk is able to manifest his power through Canti and battle the Medical Mechanica robots.
During the climax, Naota emerges from Canti having absorbed Atomsk's power and briefly battles Haruko, who reveals her true desire to eat Atomsk and acquire his power. However, the fight ends abruptly when Naota releases the power, confessing his love for Haruko and kissing her. Atomsk emerges from Naota's head and, spreading his wings, opens an N.O. Channel through which he travels to an unknown destination. Soon after, Haruko departs Earth in pursuit.
At some point after FLCL, Haruko finally tracks down Atomsk, seemingly battling him in space just beyond Earth's atmosphere. Haruko successfully absorbs his power, causing an eruption of shooting stars that an older Naota and Mamimi witness. However, moments after absorbing him, the energy surrounding Haruko appears to split into two distinct individuals, one resembling herself with the other seemingly becoming Julia Jinyu.
Hidomi Hibajiri dreams of running through a ruined city covered in white ash with her body decaying, as several Medical Mechanica factories approach on the horizon, ironing out the wrinkles of the world. She eventually comes across what appears to be the desiccated body of Atomsk lying prone in a desert of ash. As she approaches his head, he opens his eye and fixes it on her; her headphones shatter and spiraling machinery emerges from the horn on her head, rebuilding her body into a mech that resembles an advanced, futuristic version of Canti, which allows her to confront and battle the approaching factories.
Behind the ScenesEdit
- The director's commentary explains that Haruko's bracelet are a remnant from the original story, in which Haruko was a space officer and Atomsk was her prisoner with whom she fell in love. They scrapped the idea but kept the bracelet, and a few discreet references to Haruko's past.
- Commander Amarao portrays him inaccurately, imagining Atomsk's appearance as a humanoid male figure with fiery red hair when he describes him to Naota. In an interview, the director clarifies that Atomsk's true form is indeed that of the bird, and Amarao's mental image was of a man because he believed that Atomsk and Haruko were lovers, which was later exposed to be false; Amarao looks very surprised when he sees Atomsk's true form.
- Atomsk is named after the novel Atomsk, by Carmichael Smith (a pseudonym of Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger, better known as Cordwainer Smith). In the director commentary on the third DVD, the director states that he is unsure as to how it's really pronounced (in FLCL it is pronounced "atom-isk" or "atom-osk").
- His bass guitar is a right-handed 1961 Gibson EB-0 in the cherry red finish.