I’ll admit it – despite having the Japanese reading skills of your average seven year old Japanese kid, I will flit through Kunihiko Ikuhara’s website/blog on occasion. I chalk this up to a silly little hope-springs-eternal feeling I have regarding his English language version of his page, which, sadly, hasn’t been updated since 2002. A few days ago, ANN had a little story on their front page about Ikuhara, and I merrily clicked onto his blog even though I knew I probably wouldn’t be able to read it.
Basically, the upshot of it is this: Ikuhara is working on an OP for an upcoming anime. This anime will be premiering in two weeks… and Ikuhara hasn’t gotten as far along on the OP as he should be. I took a close look at the sketches he had on his blog, since nowhere did it say what show it was. Looking at it, I thought, “Gee, that kind of looks like it could be Aoi Hana.” But I dismissed it as crazy, and my mind just being hopeful.
But over on Okazu today, Erica noted that one of her readers had pointed it out to her, saying that it looked like he was working on the Aoi Hana OP. So I’m not crazy! It does appear to be Aoi Hana!
Of course, this is still in the realm of pure conjecture… there is no confirmation as to whether it is true or not. But I thought I’d make myself and all the other Ikuhara fans out there (who somehow still exist… or what’s left of us) foolishly excited over something that it so small, ultimately. Ikuhara really hasn’t done a whole lot since he directed the Utena movie (pretty much limited to some brief storyboarding over the past decade), so its exciting when he does so something. I wish he and Chiho Saito would finish up The World of S&M (released here as The World Exists For Me), though, and that he’d then direct the TV version. Pipe dreams! A dime a dozen! But, despite Utena being his only true masterpiece, I would really be thrilled if he’d pick up directing again.
Anyway, I’m pretty sure the only folks out there who are swooning over this are myself and any combo Utena/Aoi Hana fans that exist. Can’t wait to see that OP (the picture above reminds me of the Utena OP, by the way).