Kunihiko Ikuhara is going to direct the opening animation for an (as of now) unnamed anime series that will air in two weeks! For those unaware, Ikuhara directed a little series that you may be aware of...
*wipes drool from face*
He also later directed what is arguably the finest season of Sailor Moon.
I may be setting myself up for disappointment, but the first thing that I thought of after reading the title of the article was "ZOMG AOI HANA!!!!111!1!!!!" In fact, if I had to bet on which title it would be, I would place money on Aoi Hana.
Especially after seeing these photos of the rough sketches of the OP that Ikuhara's working on:
Notice how the two sleeves in the third photo (I love how it reminds me of the end of the Utena opening ^^) resemble Fumi and Ah-chan's uniforms in Aoi Hana.
Plus, Ikuhara especially likes working on yuri anime, so I can't imagine that he would pass up Aoi Hana if he had an opportunity to be involved with it. I really hope I'm not wrong and that an OP by Ikuhara will serve as the icing on the delectable cake that the Aoi Hana anime will probably be.
Otherwise, the other summer 2009 anime series that I'm chiefly looking forward to are Umineko no Naku Koro ni
and Umi Monogatari
I'm interested in Umineko no Naku Koro ni because I enjoyed/got freaked out by Higurashi (especially Higurashi Kai), and I'm looking forward to another absorbing horror-mystery yarn. My only major issue with Higurashi was the lolicon "humor" that reared its ugly head for a few moments during both seasons. It was not funny, and every time that doctor whatshisname popped up to provide his unique brand of "humor", I felt homicidal. Otherwise, Higurashi was a very good, well-written horror-mystery suspense series. Umineko no Naku Koro ni looks like it has an all-around older cast, so that one problem will hopefully be gone.
I'm looking forward to Umi Monogatari because it looks like a pretty, relaxing series, and what I've seen of it through promos reminds me of Air, another series I've enjoyed. Plus Junichi Sato, who directed Aria, Princess Tutu, and Kaliedo Star, is directing it.
I haven't watched Spice and Wolf yet -_-;;, although I'm planning to since I've heard nothing but good things about it. For fans of Spice and Wolf, however, the second season this summer should be a godsend.
And I wish that I could be excited about the third season of Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. I thought the first season was great, but when I tried to watch the second season, I couldn't really get into it. Most Zetsubou Sensei fans who watched the second season enjoyed it, so if you liked the second season also, dig in. I'm interested in checking out studio SHAFT's other summer offering, Bakemonogatari. The plot sounds pretty average, but it might be good. I love SHAFT's animation style, but they need to write a good story to prop it up, which they haven't always done in the past.Anyway, it looks like this summer will be another good season for anime fans, with something for just about everyone! ^^