Beatnik said: How about just tackling his usual auteur-ish tendencies (long distance relationships in a post-modern society) and just grounding it in reality with no sci-fi nonsense, just one person in Japan, one person in the UK, and watching them deal with the distance.
Or is that too boring for anime which just has to have heavy genre influences in it somewhere? (and if it doesnt then its hilariously automatically labelled 'slice of life', but that's another debate entirely...)
That actually sounds like a good story idea in a way. I bet he'd somehow make it work into an awesome emotional ride.