Posted on January 18, 2017
All of the insanity in anime today
That’s a title made for Hiroyuki Imaishi, who had a hand in the crazy that was Neon Genesis Evangelion, FLCL, and Kill la Kill.
If you like non-stop action, over-the-top – that’s without the twists – plot devices, and a buttload of fanservice and mechas, you’d be wise to spot this name from afar.
A long time ago, he metaphorically shook hands with ProductionIG, known for their cutscenes in the critically acclaimed RPG Xenogears (1998) and the – absolutely friggin’ awesome – opening animation of crossover game Namco X Capcom (2005). Their cooperation spawned the completely bonkers OVA Dead Leaves (2004), and together with Gainax they created the excellent anime series Fooly Cooly (2000).
Also bonkers, but suitable for home-viewing at least.
Recognizing all characters is an art in itself.
Imaishi was not an unknown factor to Gainax either, as he was a key animator in one of their most famous anime series ever, Neon Genesis Evangelion (1995).
After their hook-up for Fooly Cooly – which is getting two more seasons in 2017!!! – he went on to direct mecha-infused series Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann (2007) and what-the-hell-am-I-watching Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt (2010).
They even have a Transformers homage episode.
Don’t get me wrong though. His work might be an acquired taste, but it’s really, really good.
In fact, you could just skip all the story scenes – not directed by Imaishi – in anime series Black Rock Shooter (2012), and watch his magic at work in the action sequences alone.
Tell me, who needs plot when you’re fighting a giant macaron-spewing mecha-spider with an elephant-sized gatling gun?
After founding his own company in 2011, Trigger, he upped the ante with high-powered high school brawler anime series Kill la Kill (2013), and all-girls Hogwarts OVA Little Witch Academia (2013), of which the latter just got its own series as well.
They also did the opening animation for Namco X Capcom‘s spiritual successor on the 3DS, Project X Zone (2012), and possibly its sequel Project X Zone 2 : Brave New World (2015), whose release triggered my insatiable desire to check up on all things Hiroyuki Imaishi.
And it’s not even a super great game.
All this to say I’m super psyched to whatever Imaishi’s legacy is gonna bring to the table next.
The aformentioned continuation of FLCL (Gainax) and Little Witch Academia (Trigger) are a great start, while I can’t wait for their opening animation of action-RPG Indivisble.