Kunihiko Ikuhara

Last updated

Kunihiko Ikuhara
Native name
幾原 邦彦
Born (1964-12-21) December 21, 1964 (age 54)
Nationality Japanese
Occupation
  • Director
  • music producer
  • novelist
Years active1986–present
Known for
Website ikuni.net OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg

Kunihiko Ikuhara(Japanese:幾原 邦彦, Hepburn:Ikuhara Kunihiko, born December 21, 1964), also known as Ikuni, is a Japanese director, writer, artist, and music producer. He has created and collaborated on several notable anime and manga series, including his early works Sailor Moon and Revolutionary Girl Utena , and his later works Mawaru Penguindrum , Yurikuma Arashi , and Sarazanmai .

Japanese is an East Asian language spoken by about 128 million people, primarily in Japan, where it is the national language. It is a member of the Japonic language family, and its relation to other languages, such as Korean, is debated. Japanese has been grouped with language families such as Ainu, Austroasiatic, and the now-discredited Altaic, but none of these proposals has gained widespread acceptance.

Hepburn romanization is a system for the romanization of Japanese that uses the Latin alphabet to write the Japanese language. It is used by most foreigners learning to spell Japanese in the Latin alphabet and by the Japanese for romanizing personal names, geographical locations, and other information such as train tables, road signs, and official communications with foreign countries. Largely based on English writing conventions, consonants closely correspond to the English pronunciation and vowels approximate the Italian pronunciation.

Anime Japanese animation

Anime is hand-drawn and computer animation originating from or associated with Japan.

Contents

Early life

Ikuhara was born on December 21, 1964 in Osaka Prefecture. He graduated from Kyoto University of Art and Design in 1985. [1]

Osaka Prefecture Prefecture of Japan

Osaka Prefecture is a prefecture located in the Kansai region on Honshu, the main island of Japan. The capital is the city of Osaka. It is the center of Keihanshin area. Osaka is one of the two "urban prefectures" of Japan, Kyoto being the other.

Career

Toei Animation and Sailor Moon (1986–1996)

After graduating, Ikuhara began work at Toei Animation, where served as assistant director to Junichi Sato on Maple Town Monogatari , Akuma-kun , Toushou!! Ramen-man and Mōretsu Atarō , and episode director on Kingyo Chuuihou! .

Toei Animation Japanese animation studio

Toei Animation Co., Ltd., commonly referred to as Toei Animation, is a Japanese animation studio primarily owned by Toei Company. It has produced numerous series, including Sally the Witch,Gegege no Kitaro,Mazinger Z, Galaxy Express 999,Dr. Slump, Dragon Ball, Saint Seiya, Sailor Moon, Slam Dunk, Digimon, One Piece and the Precure series.

Junichi Sato anime director

Junichi Sato is a Japanese anime director, best known for working on shōjo-based anime and the magical girl genre. He is associated with TYO Animations.

<i>Maple Town</i> 1986 film

Maple Town, also known as Maple Town Stories, is a 1986 Japanese slice of life anime series created by Chifude Asakura and directed by Junichi Sato. The series, animated by Toei Animation, consists of 52 half-hour episodes, which aired on TV Asahi in Japan from January 19, 1986 to January 11, 1987. It focuses on the adventures of Patty Rabbit, Bobby Bear and their families, in a small utopian anthropomorphic city named Maple Town. The series was followed by a 50-episode sequel, New Maple Town Stories: Palm Town Chapter, which retained only Patty Rabbit from both series, although Maple Town's citizens made cameos from time to time. To date, this has not had an official English release.

Ikuhara's most famous work with Toei was on the TV anime adaptation of Sailor Moon. He served as director of many episodes over the course of the series' run, and took over the position of series director from Junichi Sato during the third season, Sailor Moon S . Additionally, Ikuhara served as the director of the first Sailor Moon theatrical movie, called Sailor Moon R .

<i>Sailor Moon S</i> third season of the Sailor Moon anime series

The third season of the Sailor Moon anime series, titled Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon S, was produced by Toei Animation and directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara. It began broadcasting on TV Asahi on March 19, 1994, and ended on February 25, 1995. It adapts the "Infinity" arc of the Sailor Moon manga series by Naoko Takeuchi, and follows the struggle of Usagi Tsukino and her friends against the Death Busters, who are planning to take over Earth. In 2000, Cloverway Inc. licensed the season for an unedited English-language broadcast in North America. Optimum Productions continued to dub the series. The series aired on YTV, who adjusted the episode numbers to match those of the original Japanese version, from June 12, 2000 to August 1, 2000. Edited and unedited videotapes as well as uncut bilingual DVDs of their adaptation were released by Pioneer Entertainment. In contrast to DIC Entertainment's dub of the first two seasons, Cloverway retained the background music and sound effects from the original Japanese version. Eventually, in 2014, Viz Media licensed the series from the start for an uncut release, and released the first part of the season on November 15, 2016 and the second part on June 20, 2017. While Sailor Moon S began very similarly to the first two seasons, it eventually took a darker, more emotional turn.

<i>Sailor Moon R: The Movie</i> 1993 first of the Sailor Moon films directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara

Sailor Moon R: The Movie, known in Japan as Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon R: The Movie is a 1993 Japanese anime superhero fantasy film directed by Kunihiko Ikuhara and written by Sukehiro Tomita based on the Sailor Moon manga series written by Naoko Takeuchi. The film takes its name from the second arc of the Sailor Moon anime, Sailor Moon R, as Toei Company distributed it around the same time. The events portrayed seem to take place somewhere in the very end of the series, as Chibiusa knows about the identities of the Sailor Guardians, the characters are in the present rather than the future, and Usagi and Mamoru are back together. The film centers on the arrival of an alien named Fiore on Earth, who has a past with Mamoru and wishes to reunite with him. Unfortunately, Fiore is being controlled by an evil flower called Xenian Flower, forcing Usagi and her friends to save Mamoru and the Earth from destruction.

Revolutionary Girl Utena (1997–1999)

Displeased over the lack of creative control granted to him, Ikuhara left Toei after the fourth season of Sailor Moon in 1996 to form his own creative group, Be-Papas, consisting of himself, the famous shōjo manga artist Chiho Saito, animator Shinya Hasegawa (animation supervisor for Neon Genesis Evangelion ), writer Yōji Enokido, and producer Yuuichiro Okuro. Be-Papas collaborated to produce the anime and manga series Revolutionary Girl Utena (Shōjo Kakumei Utena).

Be-Papas was an artist collective and collective pen name founded by anime director Kunihiko Ikuhara. Its membership consisted of Ikuhara, manga artist Chiho Saito, animator and character designer Shinya Hasegawa, scriptwriter Yōji Enokido, and planner Yūichirō Oguro.

Shōjo, shojo or shoujo is a Japanese word for "girl". The word is derived from a Chinese expression written with the same characters. The Chinese characters literally mean "little" and "woman" respectively. In Japanese, these kanji refer specifically to a young woman approximately 7–18 years old.

Manga Comics or graphic novels created in Japan

Manga are comics or graphic novels created in Japan or by person using the Japanese language and conforming to a style developed in Japan in the late 19th century. They have a long and complex pre-history in earlier Japanese art.

Ikuhara had much more creative control over the anime, which he directed, than he did over the manga, which was written and illustrated by Chiho Saito. Notably, he also recruited composer J. A. Seazer, who provided the series' distinctive duel chorus tracks. Ikuhara stated that he had always admired Seazer, who had enjoyed popularity during Japan's 1960s student protest movement, and felt that Seazer's work, with its themes of revolution and changing the world, was perfectly suited to Utena.

Takaaki Terahara, known professionally as Julius Arnest "J.A." Caesar, is a Japanese film and theater music composer. Seazer enjoyed popularity among students in Japan during the 1960s, and worked closely with director Shuji Terayama and his theater Tenjo Sajiki until Terayama's death. He is a member of the theatrical company Experimental Laboratory of Theatre ◎ Universal Gravitation, better known as just Ban'yū Inryoku. He gained more mainstream attention for his songs composed for the anime Revolutionary Girl Utena, and has also composed the score to the animated film adaptation of Suehiro Maruo's manga Mr. Arashi's Amazing Freak Show.

The series was a success, winning the "Best Television Series Award" and the "Kobe Award" at Animation Kobe '97. Be-Papas collaborated again in 1999 to produce a Revolutionary Girl Utena movie, Adolescence Mokushiroku ("Adolescence Apocalypse", released in English as Revolutionary Girl Utena: The Movie), with an accompanying manga, again authored by Saito. Ikuhara also helped supervise the production of other Utena-related works, including a Sega Saturn video game and a stage musical. Be-Papas disbanded after the release of the movie.

Ikuhara supervised the production of the English dub of the Utena movie, checking the quality of the translation; he expressed strong distaste for the idea of his work being censored or changed to seem more "American", and made sure such changes were not apparent in the U.S. release.

Hiatus (2000–2010)

Ikuhara's post-Utena works include the manga World of the S&M (released in English as The World Exists for Me), on which he collaborated with Chiho Saito; the novel Schell Bullet , which he co-wrote with Mamoru Nagano; and the Schell Bullet-based concept album Thanaphs 68.

After the conclusion of Utena, Ikuhara's only works in anime for a time were as the storyboard creator for the opening sequences of Nodame Cantabile and yuri anime Aoi Hana .

Return to directing (2011–present)

In 2011, Ikuhara returned as an anime series director with Mawaru Penguindrum , which began airing in July 2011.

He is currently writing the manga Nokemono to Hanayome , illustrated by artist Asumiko Nakamura and published monthly in Japanese fashion magazine KERA .

In 2015, Ikuhara released Yurikuma Arashi , which consists of an anime series produced by Silver Link and a manga series illustrated by Akiko Morishima. The anime began airing January 5, 2015.

A new project titled Sarazanmai began airing on April 11, 2019.

Personal life

Interests

He has expressed interest in the possibility of collaborating on a project with David Lynch someday. [2]

As with Miyazaki and Tomino, Ikuhara's works (especially Mawaru Penguindrum [3] and Yurikuma Arashi ) contain certain criticisms against the capitalist system. [4] In Ikuhara, such criticisms are often accompanied by a more or less latent distrust towards the whole social order, or even human nature itself. [3]

Interaction with fans

Ikuhara has attended several conventions and similar events, given interviews to fans and reporters, and, along with Chiho Saito, provided commentary tracks for the DVD releases of Utena. He often dresses in brightly colored clothes when socializing with fans. He has cosplayed as Sailor Mars on a few occasions. [5] When questioned about his work by fans, particularly about the more mystifying aspects of Utena, he tends to give humorous, odd or evasive responses (for instance, asked about the significance of the stopwatch carried by the character Miki, he said that it contains the key to "all the mysteries of the world"). The implication is that he wishes to leave interpretation of his works open to the audience.

Filmography

Works for which Ikuhara came up with the original concept are in bold.

Year(s)TitleTypeDirectorSeries Composition
Scripts
Episode DirectorUnit DirectorAssistant DirectorStoryboardOtherNotes
1986 - 1987 Maple Town Stories(メイプルタウン物語)TV seriesYesYesAssistant director on episodes 3, 26, 28, 31, 33 and 35. Also production assistant.
1987New Maple Town Stories: Palm Town Chapter(新メイプルタウン物語 パームタウン編)TV seriesYesEpisodes 2, 5, 7, 11, 13 and 15 only.
1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV seriesYesDirected episode 4. [6] Credited as "Yoshikatsu Kasai"(笠井 由勝).
1988 Tatakae!! Ramenman (闘将!!拉麺男)TV seriesYesYesAlso production assistant.
1989 - 1990 Akuma-kun (悪魔くん)TV seriesYesYesYesAssistant director on episodes 1, 5, 8, 11, 15 and 18. Commercial director, sub-title lettering.
1990Hana Ichi Monme(はないちもんめ)OVAYes
Mōretsu Atarō (もーれつア太郎) series 2TV seriesYesYesDirected episodes 18 and 26.
1990-1992 Utsunomiko Tenjō-hen(宇宙皇子 天上編)OVAYes
1991 Magical Taluluto (まじかる☆タルるートくん) film 1filmYes
1991-1992 Goldfish Warning! (きんぎょ注意報!)TV seriesYesDirected episodes 4, 13, 21, 25, 30, 38, 43, 49 and 54.
1992-1993 Sailor Moon (美少女戦士セーラームーン)TV seriesYesYesDirected episodes 6, 11, 15, 21, 26, 31, 36 and 46. Storyboarded Sailor Venus' transformation sequence.
1993-1994Sailor Moon R(美少女戦士セーラームーンR)TV seriesYesYesYesTook over as series director from Junichi Sato on episode 60. Directed and storyboarded episodes 51, 60 and 68. Storyboarded episode 61, Sailor Moon's second transformation sequence and the Moon Princess Halation & Burning Mandala attack sequences.
1993 Sailor Moon R: The Movie (美少女戦士セーラームーンR)filmYes
1994-1995Sailor Moon S(美少女戦士セーラームーンS)TV seriesYesYesYesDirected and storyboarded episodes 92, 103, 110 and 117.
1995-1996Sailor Moon SuperS(美少女戦士セーラームーンSuperS)TV seriesYesYesDirected episodes 128, 137, 150, 159 and 166.
1997 Revolutionary Girl Utena (少女革命ウテナ)TV seriesYesYesYesStoryboarded the opening and episode 1. Made corrections for a HD remaster in 2008.
1998 Martian Successor Nadesico: The Motion Picture – Prince of Darkness (機動戦艦ナデシコ -The prince of darkness-)filmYesCredited for "friendship cooperation".
1999 Adolescence of Utena (少女革命ウテナ アドゥレセンス黙示録)filmYesYesYesADR Supervisor on the English dub. Plays an art teacher.
2005 Diebuster (トップをねらえ2!)OVAYes Episode 2 only.
2007 Nodame Cantabile (のだめカンタービレ)TV seriesYesYesOpening only.
2008(Zoku) Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei (俗・さよなら絶望先生)TV seriesYes Episode 4 endcard.
Soul Eater (ソウルイーター)TV seriesYes Episode 29 only.
2009Nodame Cantabile: Paris-Hen(のだめカンタービレ 巴里編) OVAOVAYesCredited as "Kai Uzumaki"(渦薪 かい).
Sweet Blue Flowers (青い花)TV seriesYesYesStoryboarded the opening, episodes 5, 6 and 11 (final one co-storyboarded with Ken'ichi Kasai). Directed the opening under the pseudonym "Kai Uzumaki".
2011 Penguindrum (輪るピングドラム)TV seriesYesYesYesYesYesYesStoryboarded and directed the first opening and episode 24; storyboarded the second opening, episodes 1, 5, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22 and 23. Also music director.
2012 Kokoro Connect (ココロコネクト)TV seriesYesYesThird ending only.
2013 Brothers Conflict (ブラザーズ コンフリクト)TV seriesYesYesEnding only.
2015 Yurikuma Arashi (ユリ熊嵐)TV seriesYesYesYesYesYesStoryboarded and directed the ending; storyboarded episodes 1, 2, 7 and 12. Also music director.
2016 Norn9: Norn + Nonette (NORN9 ノルン+ノネット)TV seriesYesOpening only.
Shin Godzilla (シン・ゴジラ)filmYesWas an extra in a scene of a mob fleeing from Godzilla. Uncredited.
2019 Sarazanmai (さらざんまい)TV seriesYesYesYesYesStoryboarded the opening, episodes 1 and 11. Also music director and insert song lyricist.

Notes and references

  1. "【在学生&卒業生限定】幾原邦彦氏 特別講義「時代とアニメ、僕たちの移りゆく感性と欲望」開催のお知らせ" [Current Students & Graduates Only Announcement of Kunihiko Ikuhara Special Lecture "Time and Animation, Our Moving Sensitivity and Desire"]. 京都造形芸術大学 在学生専用サイト (in Japanese). Kyoto University of Art and Design. September 28, 2019. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  2. Sevakis, Justin (April 22, 2001). "Interview with Utena creator Kunihiko Ikuhara". Anime News Network . Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  3. 1 2 Pastore, Ugo (September 14, 2017). "Let us try to make sense of Penguindrum". academia.edu. Translated by Pavesi, Davide. Retrieved December 6, 2017.
  4. Brienza, Casey (September 11, 2014). "Objects of otaku affection: animism, anime fandom, and the gods of … consumerism?". In Graham Harvey (ed.). The Handbook of Contemporary Animism. New York: Routledge. pp. 488–490. ISBN   978-1-317-54450-0 . Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  5. "Interview with Kunihiko Ikuhara". UR Anime Club. October 8, 2000. Archived from the original on July 15, 2012. Retrieved January 29, 2008.
  6. Loveridge, Lynzee (May 15, 2019). "Utena, Sarazanmai's Ikuhara Likely Directed TMNT Episodes". Anime News Network. Retrieved November 8, 2019.

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