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Utena, Penguindrum Director Ikuhara Announces Name Change

In an announcement that is characteristically cryptic, Revolutionary Girl Utena and Penguindrum director Kunihiko Ikuhara stated his name is now “Bonsoir Ikuhara.” In Ikuhara’s post on Twitter and Instagram, the announcement was framed 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.

He updated his Twitter account to read “Bonsoir Ikuhara, former name Kunihiko Ikuhara.”

“Bonsoir” is the French greeting for “good evening.” Coincidentally, artist Bonjour Suzuki contributed the opening theme “Ano Mori de Matteru” for Ikuhara’s anime series Yuri Kuma Arashi.

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: Ikuhara’s Twitter account

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