Folks, its time to start freaking out and shrieking.
However, I am, admittedly, two days late (and two dollars short?) on getting around to mentioning this. In my defense, if I spread flat all the kleenex I’ve used to blow my nose over the past week, I’m pretty sure it would cover an area the size of Spain. Just a rough estimate there.
So, Ikuhara is going to be directing an anime for the first time since the late 90’s. If you do not recognize this man’s name, then get thee to a Revolutionary Girl Utena, because this is the man that is to thank for the the wonderful weirdness of that show. Same goes for the movie, although I would argue that the movie is weird in a more straightforward, easier to decode sort of way. Yes, there are also elements that seem completely impenetrable, but I don’t think they actually do hold any specific meaning – it isn’t exactly strange for the sake of being strange, but, rather, they simply don’t have fixed meaning. I do not normally give the post-modern perspective much credence, but in this case the audience’s interpretation is what is meant to matter. Ikuhara wanted to baffle us and see our reactions.
Anyway, I digress, as is so wont to happen when coming anywhere near RGU.
There are no details about the anime Ikuhara is working on, other than that he is working with a female writer that he refers to as “I-san”, and that the protagonist is a teenager. Normally I’d make some snide comment about teenaged protagonists, but since this is Ikuhara we’re talking about, I’m willing to just have faith.
However, even without knowing anything, one can plausibly make a guess as to what the anime will be. Ikuhara wrote a novel, Nokemono to Hanayome, in 2006 and 2007, which was then adapted into a manga on which he collaborated. The manga has been on hiatus for a while… but its serialization is beginning again in March. HMM.
The novel and the manga are about a goth loli and her lover, who are traveling. I haven’t read very much of the manga, admittedly, since, yes, its Ikuhara, but I was leery of getting involved with a manga that was on what looked to be a permanent suspension (I haven’t looked at X at all for the same reason). But I have read enough to know that, despite the less than inspiring trope involved (goth loli!), its definitely the Ikuhara we all fell in love with while watching RGU.
I will remind you, though, that it isn’t for sure that this is what is going to be anime-fied. Its just my guess based on timing and what Ikuhara’s been up to in the decade plus time since RGU. Other things Ikuhara’s been involved with: he supervised the dub for Adolescence Apocalypse, lived in California, storyboarded the Aoi Hana OP, storyboarded one of the Nodame Cantibile OP’s, directed the second episode of Gunbuster 2, and attended a bunch of American anime cons. He’s also supposedly cosplayed as Sailor Mars at some American cons as well, although there’s really no way to confirm this. None of this has any particular relevance; I just felt like mentioning it.
Oh, yeah, and he looks vaguely like Ruka from the Akio Arc of RGU. Dat forelock. Yep.
Here’s hoping whatever he’s working on will be a summer project. I don’t really feel like waiting around until autumn to see it, and its always nice when the summer has even just one solid show in its mix (here’s looking at you, Shiki).