FLCL++: Apparently, this is not a prank: Toonami will be co-producing "12 new episodes to be split into two seasons" of the now-classic surrealist coming-of-age story FLCL. Brilliant idea or boneheaded attempt to re-bottle lightning? You choose. (Maybe it is a prank, in which case it's a week early. Let's remain skeptical for now, shall we?)
Gather those rosebuds: His name was Noboru Ishiguro, and he was director of (among many other things) the Macross: Do You Remember Love? feature film, a clever in-universe reinterpretation of the events of the Macrossverse. He passed away this week at the age of 73.
Among his other credits were the original anime adaptation of Legend of the Galactic Heroes. I'd see it as being a more than fitting tribute to have that find a Western audience. I'm just sad it couldn't have come sooner.
Beauty and beauty: VIZ's choices of artbooks have been solid in the past; they made a friend out of me forever for electing to publish the material Takehiko Inoue collected from his work on the samurai epic Vagabond. Now they have two more winners in their upcoming catalog: a compendium of Vampire Hunter D/Final Fantasy visualist Yoshitaka Amano's illustrations, and an English-language edition of The Art of Castle in the Sky (the classic Studio Ghibli/Hayao Miyazaki all-ages skyfaring adventure). I'll be over here saving my pennies.
Let's go crazy, er, Berserk: More details have emerged for the forthcoming TV-anime re-adaptation of Kentarō Miura's jet-black fantasy epic Berserk. Among the most significant names in the credits are Makoto Fukami (Psycho-Pass), in charge of series composition, and Shin Itagaki as director. The latter has a long and storied career as a director and key animator — he worked on Princess Mononoke, Kids on the Slope, Dead Leaves, and Patlabor WXIII in the latter capacity, so my fingers are crossed that he'll have good things to bring to the table.
Dead bodies everywhere: The Empire of Corpses, an anime adaptation of a work by late novelist Project Itoh (Harmony, Genocidal Organ), could I guess be best described as "steampunk bio-horror". I hate labels like that, but they turn heads and draw eyeballs, so there you go. Funimation has picked it up, and has been setting up theatrical screening dates. I suspect it won't be anywhere near me, but the talent behind this project means it has my attention.
Oh, here's a trailer:
More of that Funny;Punctuation: The creators of Steins;Gate, for my money one of the finest anime of the last several years, are gearing up for another production called Occultic;Nine. I was less impressed with some of the other work from the same crew — Robotics;Notes was good but not great, and Chaos;Head was a garbage salad of ideas lifted from Philip K. Dick and the last three bad anime you watched. But hope, eternal, springing, etc.
Go get some: In the event the recent AlphaGo victory against Lee Sedol has whetted your appetite for the game, do bear in mind all of Hikaru no Go is available, dubbed and subbed (WATCH THE SUB FOR GOD'S SAKE) on Hulu.