The Cat Ear-Shaped Headphones are a mysterious object that were given to Hidomi Hibajiri by her father. It is unknown when they were made or what they are fully capable of. Whenever Hidomi wears them and feels extreme emotions, they activate a security protocol to block her N.O. channel, but this has been surpassed several times. This includes a red horn and robots coming out of her forehead, a cybernetic arm, and N.O.-infused metal floating around her. They can change color depending on Hidomi’s emotional state. They were created by Medical Mechanica and can drill into the wearer’s skull so that they can’t be removed. Because of this, Hidomi decides to keep wearing them once she realizes why Haruko Haruhara wants her to remove them. At the end of FLCL Progressive, Canti destroys them.
AppearanceEditThe Cat Ear-Shaped Headphones appear as predominantly black headphones with cat-like ear features on top and light blue highlights. The blue appears to be from LED lights, highlighting the ears' housing with two rings on the sides and the cat ears with two indented triangles that give the illusion of depth. They also have a jagged Medical Mechanica logo etched into the end of the adjustable portion above the housing.
When activated to suppress N.O. power, they change color from blue to red.
The headphones have the ability to detect N.O. and can suppress it. The lights turn from blue to red when N.O. is detected and something within the headphones begins spinning or whirring, creating a sound similar to an engine. This also occurs when one tries to remove the headphones, wherein they will drill into the wearer's skull to prevent removal. This not only stops removal, but also controls the wearer's thoughts directly. The headphones are able to modify the wearer's thoughts and personality to be nothing short of complete positivity, as most other emotions, such as stress or anger, trigger N.O. activity. The only way to deactivate this ability is the destruction of the Medical Mechanica factory that allows it to function, returning the headphones to their neutral blue state. Outside of this, they are also able play music when Hidomi plugs her phone into them, indicating a Bluetooth-like feature.
The headphones were created by Medical Mechanica at an unknown time for the purpose of detecting and suppressing an individual's N.O.. Hidomi's father obtained them at some point in the past, either with or without MM's permission, and gave them to Hidomi as a gift before leaving town. Since that time, she has used them to "put the world on pause," presumably wearing them nonstop even before she is introduced with them on in Progressive, as she's often seen sleeping with them on her head.
- Despite always being shown with the LED lights on, it's never shown or questioned if the headphones are rechargeable.
- They are based on the Cat Ear Headphones made by Axent Wear.