Two new seasons will function as direct sequel to original 2000 video series.

Toonami, an ongoing programming block on U.S. cable network Cartoon Network, has been immensely influential in bringing English-speakers into the flock of Japanese animation enthusiasts. As a rare bundle of anime being shown on American TV, many Toonami viewers don’t just sit down to watch one show, but a handful of the new offerings and old classics it serves up over the course of its multiple hours.

One of the most iconic series to air as part of Toonami is FLCL, pronounced “Fooly Cooly.” Originally released in 2000 as a direct-to-video series in Japan, FLCL benefits from a heftier budget, and thus more lavish animation, than most TV fare, and at just six episodes long, it’s compact enough for newcomers to easily digest even if they’re not yet sure about this whole “anime” thing, and also short enough for committed otaku to rewatch again and again in the many years since its initial release.

FLCL was animated by Gainax, of Evangelion fame, but with assistance from Production I.G., makers of the Ghost in the Shell anime franchise (and multiple winner of the prestigious RocketNews24 Series that Even Anime Skeptics Will Enjoy Award). Last summer, though, Production I.G. acquired the rights to the franchise from Gainax, setting off speculation that it was planning to dust off the then 15-year-old series and continue the manic-paced coming-of-age story of 12-year-old Naoto and the science fiction adventures he gets mixed up in upon meeting the mysterious interstellar traveler Haruko.

Well, the speculation is over, because Toonami has just announced that not only is Production I.G. ready to start making new episodes of FLCL, the project is going to be a co-production between the American program and the Japanese studio.

Original creator and director Kazuya Tsurumaki will serve as supervisor for the new seasons, with Katsuyuki Motohiro, director of Psycho-Pass, taking over directorial duties. Character designs are once again by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, known for his work creating the look of the characters in Evangelion, Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honneamise, and Wolf Children.

In keeping with the packaging of the original six episodes that until now made up the entire animated body of FLCL, the new installments will be split into two new six-episode seasons. Designated Seasons 2 and 3, the new episodes won’t be a reboot, but a direct sequel, the plot to which Toonami parent company Turner Broadcasting System describes as:

In the new season of FLCL, many years have passed since Naota and Haruhara Haruko shared their adventure together. Meanwhile, the war between the two entities known as Medical Mechanica and Fraternity rages across the galaxy. Enter Hidomi, a young teenaged girl who believes there is nothing amazing to expect from her average life, until one day when a new teacher named Haruko arrives at her school. Soon enough, Medical Mechanica is attacking her town and Hidomi discovers a secret within her that could save everyone, a secret that only Haruko can unlock.

Before you go getting comfy on the couch, bear in mind that Season 2 isn’t projected to start until late 2017 or early 2018. But if you consider that the most recent FLCL episode was released all the way back in 2001, that means that the wait is already some 93 percent over, and the newest chapter of the story is just around the corner.

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Source: Toonami Facebook, Turner Broadcasting System via IT Media