[Lunar Logs] Director Ikuhara Bares All About His First Time

Ikuhara chilling on a park bench, as he is wont to do

Ikuhara chilling on a park bench, as he is wont to do

Lunar Logs is a weekly series featuring full translations of interviews with Ms. Takeuchi and others — such as the directors, writers, voice cast, and more — responsible for making Sailor Moon into the massively popular franchise we know it as today. Though not every interview will directly address or even mention Sailor Moon, I find it an interesting look into the minds of these influential figures.

Today’s essay, titled “My First Time,” was penned by

Sailor Moon director Kunihiko Ikuhara and first appeared in the August 1996 issue of Animage.1

Read on and I hope you enjoy his curious tale of the circumstances that led to his proverbial cherry being popped… and it absolutely isn’t what you’re thinking!

Director Kunihiko Ikuhara hard at work on a storyboard while wearing a funky shirt

Director Kunihiko Ikuhara hard at work on a storyboard while wearing a funky shirt

By and large I’m going to present the interview as-is with minimal commentary, but you can distinguish between my remarks and Director Ikuhara’s by the fact that his story is stylized with marked with quotes.

This time around, I’d like to talk about my first time. The Animage editorial team wanted to know why I threw out this topic all of a sudden and asked that I choose something a little easier. They wanted me to give them a topic about love or some mishap that we could all laugh about. (Laugh)

Anyway, today we’re going to talk about my first time.

I know I mentioned it in the first part of this series, but I immediately joined an animation production company right after arriving in Tokyo. I still wasn’t quite used to animation work at the time and made a bunch of mistakes. (To be fair, I still made a bunch of mistakes even after getting used to it.)

Right around that time, I was living with this woman. There was where I encountered many new first experiences and it was a refreshing and fun time.

Alas, as I mentioned earlier, I was really busy. There were so many days where I didn’t even come home, and when I did, it was only to sleep. Though we may have been living together, we were like two ships passing in the night. Looking back on it now, I wish I could have paid more attention to her feelings, but that was beyond me at the time. I was totally burnt out from work and kept demanding more and more of her, like wanting her to be nicer to me, entertain me, etc. It was only a matter of time until our relationship was falling apart at the seams.

Ultimately, we broke up in the heat of an argument and decided the two of us were through. That was the end of our dating relationship and we were off to find our own places to live…

… or at least it would have been great if we did, because reality isn’t quite so convenient. We were both pinched for cash at the time and couldn’t afford to move right away. So for the time being, we remained stuck together and from that point on we were no longer lovers, simply two people who were forced to live together.

One day, I told her that I’d be back late but happened to come home much earlier. That’s when… uh… well, it’s kinda hard to talk about. (Laugh) You see, there was a man I’d never seen before in my house. What’s more, he was in my bed.

This woman I was living with, though no longer my girlfriend, was in bed together with this man!

So many years later, I can now look at it objectively and laugh, but I was still so young at the time that I was seriously peeved.

I got into a verbal argument with the man, which then became physical. Two guys throwing fists, a woman screaming, then the shatter of glass… I don’t really remember much, but the whole thing was like it came straight out of a TV drama.

Ultimately, the police came and found me punching on the guy in a complete rage.

That’s right — this was the very first time in my life that I was interrogated by police. This was a first experience for me.

Just like you see on TV, there was a giant mirror covering one wall of the interrogation room. Ah, so that was a two-way mirror, and there were probably people on the other side. What’s more, a street cop even came in to bring me a pork cutlet lunch set, just like you always hear about.

As this was a civil matter I ended up just giving a statement, but I was still considered by my company to be a no-call, no-show for three days. You see, when you’re in police custody, no one can reach you. Even after I was released, I still had a lot going on in my life and was ultimately off from work for a week.

I can’t tell you how embarrassing and distressing it was for me to not only be taking a full week off as a newbie, but not even being able to explain the reason why. Honestly, I have no choice but to laugh about all this now. (Laugh)

Once that happened, it finally really hit me the reality of the situation that this woman I was living together with would find another man. Obviously I’d seen this stuff often on TV and in movies, and had even heard such stories, but emotionally I just didn’t get it.

Ever since then I… well, I don’t want to sound pompous and say that I’ve become objective in my outlook, but I’m not easily moved to emotion by things. Especially when it comes to women. Surely it consumes a lot of anyone’s energy to communicate with the opposite sex. But if all that energy you used doesn’t actually pay off, then that can lead to trivial issues cropping up. “I’m trying to have a good time here, so why can’t you engage in an interesting conversation??” kind of thing. However, ever since that incident, I stopped caring if the energy I wasted on communicating with the other party doesn’t pay off. Well, more accurately, I strive to not care. I finally understood that it was a bad idea to demand too much from others. I guess the loss of youth is usually tied to similarly sad stories. (Laugh)

But had that never happened, I’m sure something far worse would have occurred. Looking back on it, that woman wasn’t even remotely at fault. Rather, I’m convinced all the problems came to a head as a result of my behavior of taking advantage of her good will.

And that, readers, is my most memorable first time. The time when I got taken in by the cops.

Anyway, tomorrow I’m going to have another new first — something I haven’t had in a long time. I have some things to tend to and will be flying out, but this is actually the first time I’ve ever ridden on an airplane. Hard to imagine a director whose never been on a flight before… I guess I really do live an unbalanced life. (Laugh)

Silly Mr. Ikuhara

Silly Mr. Ikuhara

Honestly, I wouldn’t have put it past him if this story was about his “first experience” as we’d initially expect, but I find it even more mind-blowing that he actually was put through the ringer and sweated it out with the cops for 72 hours in jail. That definitely was quite a story!

That marks the end of the new weekly series, Lunar Logs. What do you think? Would you prefer that Tuxedo Unmasked sticks to the usual formula of analyzing the Sailor Moon universe, or is this something you’d like to see more of in the future? And, if so, who do you want to read more interviews with? I have quite a stockpile, but I have no idea where to start! Let me know down below!

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6 thoughts on “[Lunar Logs] Director Ikuhara Bares All About His First Time

  1. Very interesting to read the full interview.
    Tuxedo keep posting stuff like this.

  2. I’m interested in any content that you feel like sharing. Thank you for continuing to provide your website with updates after all these years!

  3. Oh, Ikuhara. I’m not even remotely surprised.

    Please keep giving us entertaining interviews like this!

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