Ikuhara interview in Da Vinci


JP text here

Ikuhara on his inspirations: “Especially what gave influence to Sarazanmai, when it comes to “young boys’ things”, is the movie “Stand by Me” based on Stephen King’s novel. That gave its title to the ED.”


On his approach to making the anime: ” Recently Ive worked often on late-night anime but, at any rate, [something like] I have an image that hardcore anime fans are watching. Not to self-debase myself, I want to make anime that isnt like what broadcasts in the middle of the night. There’s the same intention to present it to dads, granddads, and people of various generations.

“Because this aspect, “family” is so important to me, at the same time as wanting to create it [anime], I’d think Id like to watch it with my family.”


“As I’ve been talking about Shirikodama for a long time, I may have annoyed the producer (lol). “

“For me, every time I intend to do something, but people are the same. And every time it happens, I announce, “In this era this is what I think”.

“Shuji Terayama, who I liked, was the same, because I liked how he would try to find words to represent the era, cutting entertainment, I also want to do that. Well, because anime is made by a large number of people, it is the result whether or not my writer’s character appears.”

On his intentions regarding Sarazanmai:

“For Sarazanmai it was decided that it absolutely cannot be said that it is aesthetic. (lol). Craftsmanship is in battle with consumption, you see. No matters its appearances, anytime I want to open a new door, I dont want to do something like flattering people.

If I couldnt be honest with myself, that would be the time when my career is over. Well, I haven’t adapted to people. Its something I cannot do. Every time I’m thinking “This is the end” (lol)”

” Around when I was 10 years old, I had this very pure susceptibility. Because I hadnt decided yet who I would be. At 10, “that person catches big tuna, amazing! I also want to live as a tuna fisherman!” I had that sense, I was quick to be influenced by people. I would like to convey a message to those who absorb things in this way.”

” The keyword for unlocking this age of too many connections, is “desire”. “This word “desire”, lying beyond connections, was floating around in my head.” In about 2012 in a certain book, “Today’s young people don’t want cars, boyfriends and girlfriends. There is no desire for young people today.” thats the theory I read. I tweeted, “Young people today have no desires. I wonder if that’s true?” and received a lot of comments. “

“Some tweets said, “We [young people] too have desires”. From then on, I became interested in what exactly modern desire is. In my opinion, the 2011 east Japan earthquake disaster in 2011, regardless of if you were young or not, that was when Japanese people at the same time had the experience of losing their materialistic desires. I had no choice but to think of the ruthlessness of living and where life is going to.There’s great stories like the era change while the last emperor is still alive, and the Tokyo olympics, but despite that the the transience of life continues to cling to us. Under such circumstances, what is the desire that still exists? What are the “connections” and “desires” of  Kazuki et al?”

“Because I like “boxes”, I often use them as a motif. As a symbol of consumer society I also like cardboard boxes, I’m interested in their image of “hiding”. In this world, what does it mean….There are a lot of things that exist but they do not exist. The most extreme thing is “death”. When I was little、I could see death.  When people died, funerals would be held at their own houses. People who died on the road, it wasnt uncommon. But now when funerals happen, people die at hospital. “

“Although life and death should be parallel, only death is hidden in a box. But I think I should live together with something I don’t want to see, and I should keep watching. I think with the thing I don’t want to see, I should live together with it, and I should keep watching it.”

[Ikuhara] has never wanted to quit his job since entering the industry.

“I have never been despairing. For some reason I won’t stop. When it comes to not quitting, I think it’s great. So, even if I stop directing anime, I have a hunch I’m still going to make something. It might be interesting to be a Youtuber (lol).”

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