Archive for February, 2013

The Cel Shaded Report, 2/9: Kawaii Konversation keeps coming

By
February 9th, 2013



kawaii-kon-logoSo you might have thought that things would settle down after the flurry of news out of the Kawaii Kon kamp ... err, camp, last week.

You would be wrong.

That's because a few days after last week's Cel Shaded Report, news broke of another guest added to this year's roster. So say hello to Toshio Furukawa, the Japanese voice of Piccolo in Dragon Ball Z, Freeman in Crying Freeman, Ataru Moroboshi in Urusei Yatsura, Kai Shinden in Mobile Suit Gundam, and several hundred bazillion other classic roles through the years as seen in his Anime News Network encyclopedia entry. He's been in this voice-acting game since the 1960s, after all, and shows no signs of slowing down. Kawaii Kon will mark Furukawa's third U.S. anime convention appearance, his most recent being at Sac-Anime in Sacramento, Calif., last month.

Meanwhile, in an announcement that probably fills anyone around the age 18-24 demographic with glee and aging 36-year-old relics like me with dread, there will now be even more convention to enjoy. In what could be considered the biggest expansion to Kawaii Kon since it moved to the Hawai'i Convention Center in 2007, part of the convention will be moving back to the Ala Moana Hotel with the advent of the Kawaii Lounge, a panel room that will have programming from midnight until 4 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. (Yes, I'm aware that the convention itself is noting that this is happening "Friday and Saturday." I believe this is what they really meant.) Announced events so far include otaku speed dating, a pajama party and cosplay contest, and voice actor Todd Haberkorn's "unplugged" panel.

Most formal convention events in years past have ended at midnight, so this move effectively adds eight hours of programming to an already packed schedule. Your friendly neighborhood blogger is unsure at this point whether to ask attendees to kindly keep the noise down, or to spring for several bottles of his preferred iced coffee beverage of choice to keep him awake long enough to cover some of the goings on during those late early hours.

Finally, a trio of con-related musical notes:

  • For those of you who fancy yourselves as singers, the second of three preliminary rounds for the Karaoke Kompetition is coming up from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 24, at Orvis Auditorium on the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus. Just submit this form by 11:59 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, follow the rules on musical accompaniment as laid out on the official preliminary round page, and make your mark (hopefully in a good way and not in the style of those American Idol/X Factor/The Voice/[fill in your TV music competition series of choice here] train-wreck auditions that they always show for comedic effect). Three people will be chosen to move on to the semifinals, and out of the nine people who will be ultimately chosen -- three during the previous round, the final three at an upcoming preliminary round to be announced -- the winner will receive ... something. (Seriously, look at the karaoke finals page. One would think a professional recording session would be included, as it has in past years, but we shall see.)
  • Eyeshine, the band led by voice actor Johnny Yong Bosch, will be filming their new music video on the last day of Kawaii Kon (Sunday, March 17), during the convention's final hours (3-6 p.m.), in the main events room. (For those of you keeping score, this probably means closing ceremonies won't start until 6 p.m. at the earliest. Make your dinner plans accordingly.) Want to be part of it? Stop on by. Just be sure to wear clothing with no visible logos. No cosplay will be allowed, either.
  • Advance tickets are now available for the Moonlight Magic Ball, the convention's formal ballroom dancing event. Cost is $20, a savings of $8 over the at-the-door price. Deadline to reserve online is Feb. 28, though, so you'll want to get on that sometime in the next few weeks.

Kawaii Kon is happening March 15-17 at the Hawai'i Convention Center; current rates for three-day passes are $48 general, $38 children ages 5-11. Two-day passes just went on sale, too, at $37 general, $27 children ages 5-11. For all your presale needs, visit kawaiikon2013.eventbrite.com; general information can be had at www.kawaii-kon.org.

Ota-cool incoming!

Yes, I think I've finally come upon a better name for the calendar formerly known as "The Great Calendar of Otakudom." 'Course, I could also end up changing this again next week or sometime down the line. You never know. It's also a bit abbreviated this week because, well, news is happening that must be written up. Hopefully things will die down enough for me to finally write up the additions I've been meaning to throw in here sometime next week. We shall see.

MangaBento: This group of anime- and manga-inspired artists usually meets every second and fourth Sunday of the month at the Academy Art Center, 1111 Victoria St., Room 200. Visit www.manga-bento.com. Next meeting: 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Madoka Magica double feature: Watch the magical girl saga unfold in one big four-hour, two-film chunk comprising Beginnings and Eternal, Doris Duke Theatre at the Honolulu Museum of Art. Tickets are $20 general admission, $18 museum members. Visit http://www.honolulumuseum.org/events/films/13340-puella_magi_madoka_magica_parts_1_2 4 p.m. Feb. 27 and 28.

The Cel Shaded Report, 2/2: Kawaii Kountdown, version 9.0

By
February 2nd, 2013



kawaii-kon-logoAs of today, we're about 1-1/2 months out from the ninth annual edition of Kawaii Kon ... which means we're getting that much closer to our annual three-day celebration of all things anime and Japanese pop culture. To that end, the local anime convention has been pulling out all the stops when it comes to news as of late, releasing enough news tidbits over the past week or so to fill ... well, an entire Cel Shaded Report, really, minus the still-haven't-come-up-with-a-better-name-for-it Great Calendar of Otakudom.

Let's start with the guests. A pair of Japanese talents have been added to the roster: fashion designer MINT and singer/songwriter Iruma Rioka. MINT -- no relation to this Mint -- debuted in 2006 as S-INC and has since created two brands -- Sixh, created in conjunction with designer Ibi, and MINT NeKO, fashions that have been based on more than 200 cat character sketches. "The fashion that MINT creates starts with a gothic aesthetic that has evolved into more decorative, ornamental ventures, emerging into an essence that is simple yet high fashion," notes his bio on AnimeCons.com. This will be his second appearance at a U.S. anime convention, on the heels of Anime Boston last year.

If that last paragraph held any significance to you, then you could be a perfect candidate to serve as a model in the MINT fashion show. Male and female models of all body types are encouraged to apply. If you're more a behind-the-scenes type of person and would rather serve as a volunteer hair designer or makeup artist, there are positions open as well. Application submission details are available at ow.ly/hjUTE. (Just, umm, do it quickly. They're going to begin picking the models on Feb. 15.)

The second guest, Iruma Rioka, is another name in the ever-growing "Japanese guests that I've not heard a thing about before I started looking into their backgrounds for Otaku Ohana posts, but when I do, they turn out to be crazy awesome" file. She's a self-described "fantastic singer-songwriter" who is fond of simple triple time and ... you know what, let me just grab a portion of her bio from her official website and post it here:

She comes from a noted family (Rioka) which is down on their luck.
She was kidnapped by a witch because of her debt. While that time, she was creating music in the top of the tower and was waiting for the chance to get out for a long time.
Because of her long blond hair, people call her Rapunzel.
After she found a magical crow (named Nemu), she ran away from the tower. She sings and goes on a journey to makes her dreams come true.

... yeah. Umm. Just … have a music video.

If you want to hear more from Rioka, CDBaby has Secret Garden ~2nd Press~ for sale, while iTunes has her self-titled five-song EP. As with MINT, Kawaii Kon will be the second appearance for Rioka at a U.S. anime convention, her first being at Anime Central in Rosemont, Ill., last year.

That brings the guest count for Kawaii Kon 2013 to eight, with illustrator Noizi Ito; voice actors Colleen Clinkenbeard, Todd Haberkorn, Lisia Wilkerson and Johnny Yong Bosch; and Bosch's band Eyeshine being the others announced to date. Attendees who want to spend even more time with Clinkenbeard, Haberkorn and Bosch will be pleased to know that the Guest Dinner at Hard Rock Cafe is back and happening from 6 to 8 p.m. on the first day of the convention, March 15. Cost is $65 to preregister, $80 at the door, and includes dinner and transportation to and from the convention center.

Anime Rocks 2013 flyerAnd while we're talking abut the Hard Rock Cafe -- hooray for smooth transitions! -- another pre-con event will be returning to that venue for a second year: "Anime Rocks!" spotlighting local musical talent and the debut of this year's limited-edition convention pin, happening from 2 to 5 p.m. Feb. 17 at the restaurant, at 280 Beachwalk in Waikiki. With the retirement of Eleven Staples after last year's convention, two groups are taking the stage this year: two-time con guests Alt/Air and Emke, a quartet of youths that has been making music together since 2005. To put that in perspective, a review by this paper's esteemed John Berger of their EP last year pegged their ages as between 11 and 15.

... yeah, they're pretty awesome for their age. Go see all of them, buy a pin, and get 15% off all food and drink. There will also be preregistration discounts, games and prizes at the event.

Kawaii Kon is happening March 15-17 at the Hawai'i Convention Center; current rates for three-day passes are $48 general, $38 children ages 5-11. Two-day passes just went on sale, too, at $37 general, $27 children ages 5-11. As for single-day passes, those haven't been formally put up for sale yet, but a new rate schedule recently was publicized: $25 for Friday, $30 for Saturday, $20 for Sunday. For all your presale needs, visit kawaiikon2013.eventbrite.com; general information can be had at www.kawaii-kon.org.

The great calendar of otakudom

MangaBento: This group of anime- and manga-inspired artists usually meets every second and fourth Sunday of the month at the Academy Art Center, 1111 Victoria St., Room 200. Visit www.manga-bento.com. Next meeting: 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Open Cosplay Shoot: Got a lovely costume that you want to show off and want to capture it on film ... err, pixels? (The digital era: changing the way we think about things since time immemorial.) Come on out to the first large-scale open cosplay shoot of the year at the Aiea Loop Trail. Cosplayers and photographers, meet at the first restroom at the head of the trail, and go from there. Happy cosplaying/shooting! 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today.

Comic Jam Hawaii: This group of collaborative cartoon artists meets every first and third Sunday of the month in front of Hot Unique Imaging on the Uptown side of Pearlridge Center. And yes, this means that this upcoming meeting will be happening at the same time that the San Francisco Squared Sevens take on the Baltimore Nevermores (you'll get that reference if you've ever read Tuesday Morning Quarterback) in the Big Game With All the Cool Commercials. Fear not; there will still be people there, happily drawing away. Visit www.facebook.com/groups/147779161986428 (Facebook login required). Next meeting: 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Madoka Magica double feature: Watch the magical girl saga unfold in one big four-hour, two-film chunk comprising Beginnings and Eternal, Doris Duke Theatre at the Honolulu Museum of Art. Tickets are $20 general admission, $18 museum members. Visit http://www.honolulumuseum.org/events/films/13340-puella_magi_madoka_magica_parts_1_2 4 p.m. Feb. 27 and 28.

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