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Kunihiko ‘Bonsoir’ Ikuhara’s Name Change Tied to New Music Project

After a cryptic announcement that he was changing his name to “Bonsoir Ikuhara,” the Utena and Penguindrum director revealed he’s participating in a new music project. Ikuhara is teaming up with Bonjour Suzuki (Yuri Kuma Arashi opening theme) and Elise Shōjoshiki indie band member Teiko (Sarazanmai‘s Sara Azuma) to form the group Teiko BonBon. Ikuhara is serving as the group’s music producer, Teiko will perform the vocals, and Suzuki will direct the music.

The group’s first album Kimi no Seishun wa Kagayaite Iru ka will be released on June 8 with two alternate album jackets with art by Kei Mochizuki. Teiko will cover nine songs selected by Ikuhara with the theme of “fighting girls.” The track selection includes songs from Ashita no Joe, Godzilla vs. Hedorah, Choujinki Metalder, Ultraman Z, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, Revolutionary Girl Utena, and Sakura Wars.

Ikuhara first announced the name change on his social media accounts with language that is typically used for coming out, however Ikuhara didn’t directly state that the name change is related to his gender identity. His posts highlighted that he chose to “live honestly to myself” and that the announcement may cause him to “lose a lot of things.” The director made the revelation at midnight on March 31 in Japan, leading some fans to ask whether it was an early April Fool’s joke.

Ikuhara has previously adopted pseudonyms in the past to represent his animation projects. For example, the original story for Sarazanmai is credited to “Ikunirappa,” the original story for Penguindrum is credited to “Ikunichauda,” and Yuri Kuma Arashi is attributed to “Ikunigomamonaka.”

Ikuhara’s Re:cycle of Penguindrum compilation films will open this year and the first is scheduled to debut in theaters on April 29. The second will open later this year. The film project will re-edit all 24 episodes of the television anime, but also add new sequences and new characters. Sumire Uesaka plays the new character Purin-Chu-Penguin.

Ikuhara announced at the 2020 New York Comic Con Metaverse panel for the Revolutionary Girl Utena series that he is “working on [his] next work right now.”

Source: Music Natalie



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