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|The World R:2||The World R:X||W.B. Yeats|
|First Appearance||.hack//AI buster|
- "If he said I'm special, I can't deny it!"
- — Hokuto —
- 1 Online
- 2 Offline
- 3 History
- 4 Trivia
Hokuto appears as a young blonde-haired girl. She is dressed in a very revealing white outfit with a large white witch hat. In order to mask her true age, her player uses voice altering software to imitate the voice of a young teenage girl. Her appearance while playing as Yeats is unknown.
Though really played by an experienced player, Hokuto pretends to be a newbie. A skilled actor, she was able to convince Albireo that she was actually a young girl during their first few meetings. Her online personality is fairly hyper, and she has the tendency to give her friends odd nicknames. When she's around people who know her true identity she drops the newbie act, and acts like the mature woman she actually is. Hokuto was created so that Haruka could enjoy The World without worrying about running into her boss, who would recognize her original character, W.B. Yeats.
The user behind Hokuto is Haruka Mizuhara, a translator in her early thirties. Her infatuation with Celtic myth led her to pursue a career in translation, but soon found that she couldn't work on what she truly wanted. As a result, she finds herself not really giving her all to her job, often putting it off until the last possible moment and often cutting it close to the deadline.
Haruka was one of the players chosen to test Fragment. It was while she played Fragment that she learned of the Epitaph of Twilight and became obsessed with it. She created several alternate characters set up in different servers so she could gather as much information as possible about it.
She became infatuated with Kazushi Watarai after meeting his character, Albireo. They became quite familiar with each other over the net. After resigning from CC Corp, Watarai contacted Haruka in the real world, and they began a relationship. They now apparently live with each other.
Haruka, playing as Hokuto, saw the Divine Spear of Wotan wielded by Albireo and hoped to learn more about it. She pursued him and eventually succeeded in forcing him to form a party with her. At that moment, she also learned of the existence of Lycoris, becoming the only person other than Albireo to know her.
In the short time she spent with Albireo, she became infatuated with him and hoped to project her feelings to him. Haruka couldn't bear to send him a straightforward message via e-mail, so instead she logged in as her first character, W.B. Yeats, and wrote the Descendants of Fianna poem. The poem detailed Balmung and Orca's conquering of the One Sin event, a moment seen only by Hokuto and Albireo. Her comment of the "warrior who wears the eyes of the stars" was a reference to Albireo, who would understand the message Haruka sent to him.
Shortly afterwards, the two began seeing each other on a more friendly basis. After Kazushi Watarai, the player behind Albireo, was released from both the hospital and CC Corp, the two finally met in real life, with a shared future hinted.
Second Character chronicles the events of AI buster from the eyes of her player Haruka. It shows Hokuto as the person she really is, an overworked translator behind of her deadlines who plays The World as a release. While playing as Hokuto she notices Albireo walking through Mac Anu. Intrigued by the strange spear he wields (The Divine Spear of Wotan) she makes it her mission to find out more about it, and about the player who wields it. She begins to approach his door but is interrupted when monsters attack Mac Anu.
Saved by Albireo she is able to convince him to let her into his house. She observes as Albireo interacts with Balmung and Orca, and becomes curious when she notices Lycoris, who is attached to Albireo. She follows Albireo as he tries to fulfill the Lycoris event, and slowly becomes infatuated with him. Struggling to conceal her true identity becomes increasingly difficult as she travels with Albireo. Especially when talk turns to the Epitaph of Twilight, a subject that is well known to Haruka. After Lycoris and Albireo disappear at the conclusion of the event, Haruka considers sending an e-mail with her feelings to Albireo, but decides against it; instead, she revealed herself via a poetic posting on the BBS regarding The One Sin.
Albireo briefly contacts Hokuto during Wotan's Spear for information regarding the rogue player Tsukasa. Hokuto attempts to find out more about Albireo's real life self during their conversation but is unable to discover much. After Albireo leaves CC Corp at the end of the story he meets with Hokuto in the real world. It is implied that they started a relationship after this.
Hokuto makes an appearance at the end of the manga. A poem by her alternate character W.B. Yeats is read by Reki and she later appears in the Rena special pack.
Haseo accidentally gets an email from Hokuto that was intended for Rena if the player had .hack//frägment saved data, and briefly mentions that Albireo is the same as always, implying they're still together by 2017.
The character data for both W.B. Yeats and Hokuto was lost in the disaster following the failure of the R.A. Plan. Haruka had high hopes for The World R:2, and recreated Yeats as best she could as a Shadow Warlock when the game came out, but found that the new version just couldn't hold her interest. She still logs in occasionally, but is not the heavy player she once was.
When Reiko Saeki visits Haruka to learn about the Epitaph of Twilight and its connection to The World from an expert, Haruka is still living alone in the same small, old apartment described in 2nd Character. The only change is that it is even more packed with books than before. Contrary to the hints given in AI buster 2, she and Kazushi are not living together. It is implied that Kazushi's inability to get over the Lycoris incident is responsible for this.
By 2022, Haruka has established herself as a well-respected translator. She has moved out of her old, cramped apartment into a much nicer one in central Tokyo. She still plays The World occasionally, and keeps in regular contact with Reiko. She has a young daughter named Riko, and it is implied (though not stated outright) that Kazushi is the father.
- "Hokuto" is the Japanese name for the Big Dipper. Perhaps it is destiny that she would meet Albireo, who is named after a binary star.
- W.B. Yeats was a real-life Irish poet. Haruka chose his name due to her love of Irish and Celtic poetry and literature.
- Because of Tokyopop's many mistranslations, Haruka's other character, W.B. Yeats, is often mistakenly called W.B. Yates and W.B. Yeates.
- It is possible that her daughter Riko [pronounced リコ "li-co"] is named after the AI Lycoris ["li-co-ri-su" リコリス, as the pronunciation of L and R letters are indistinguishable in Japanese], whom Hokuto and Albireo were friends with during the Lycoris incident, serving as further implication of her relationship with Kazushi.