Creating the sequels to Kazuya Tsurumaki‘s iconic FLCL original video anime was at least a decade in the making, as revealed by Production I.G. USA president Maki Terashima-Furuta and Production I.G CEO Mitsuhisa Ishikawa. A behind-the-scenes video shared on the official Toonami Facebook page gathers the staff of FLCL 2 and FLCL 3 to discuss how the sequels evolved from a dream into reality. Both Terashima-Furuta and Ishikawa discuss how Tsurumaki initially declined to make a sequel, and continued to do so for many years until Production I.G was able to purchase the original story rights. Even original character designer Yoshiyuki Sadamoto was hesitating to join the project unless the right staff was assembled, a task that proved difficult.

Directors were approached but would decline because of how large the shoes are to fill to work on such an iconic show. In the end, Ishikawa decided to approach up-and-coming animation directors with the same sort of youthfulness Tsurumaki had when he envisioned the original show. Two of these directors are Kazuto Arai (6HP – Six Hearts Princess, Sword Art Online the Movie: Ordinal Scale animator) and Yutaka Uemura (Saga of Tanya the Evil, Punch Line).

The sequels will air in the United States as two six-episode seasons. FLCL Progressive will premiere on June 2 at 11:30 p.m. EDT and PDT on Adult Swim‘s Toonami block, while FLCL Alternative is slated for September. In Japan, the anime will debut in theatrical screenings, with FLCL Alternative opening first on September 7, and FLCL Progressive opening on September 29.

Adult Swim describes FLCL Progressive in its latest press release as follows:

FLCL: Progressive tells the story of 14-year-old Hidomi, her classmate Ide, and two otherworldly beings, “Jinyu” and “Haruha Raharu,” who are determined to unlock their hidden potential. Mixed up in this is an all-powerful force known as “ATOMSK,” a gorgeous vintage car… and a certain Vespa Scooter.