By Jason S. Yadao
Ahhh, Anime Expo. Largest anime convention in the U.S., usually held Fourth of July weekend in Los Angeles, tons of people lining up for everything, enough that I'll probably never go to it (Fanime's probably the largest show I'll ever willingly visit, thankyewverymuch ... and after last year's experience, even that is a bit iffy now).
This year is AX's 22nd year, and along with the usual pre-con activities -- guest announcements! Room expansions! Preregistration deals! -- they're currently hosting a cosplay photography contest on their Facebook page. The winner will receive $250 and a badge for AX 2014 and have their photo reprinted in the AX 2013 program guide, while the top 15 photos will be on display at this year's convention.
Normally this wouldn't be of much interest save for the hardest of hard-core AX devotees, but there's a local angle to this contest: The fourth picture in the gallery was taken at Kawaii Kon, with a bunch of local cosplayers, in the Hawai'i Convention Center parking garage. Here's the picture and the listed description:
Photographer’s Name: Chris Kwock
Photo Title: Wolf Pack
Cosplay Model’s Name: Kim Mazyck, Jon Minami, Shaughnessy Birgado, Gina Maeda-Caluya, Anthony Ragil, Jolene Kanesaki
Character and series: Bertha, Beltway, Spectre, Lupo, Vector, Four Eyes / Resident Evil
As of Thursday night, when I was writing this post, Team Wolf Pack was running in 11th place with 251 votes -- 15 behind Kirito & Silica from Sword Art Online in 10th, 24 ahead of the Onceler from The Lorax. Now, I freely admit that this blog can't muster up enough votes to push Team Wolf Pack into the top spot, with this Diablo 3 Demon Hunter already at 1,241 votes. We have only a few dozen loyal readers, plus I've had experience pushing for something in the past, only to have it fall way, way, way, way, waaaaaaaay short of its goal. But if this post can help nudge our local cosplayers up a space, I've done my job.
To vote, just go to the contest page on Facebook -- I've direct-linked the photo above to their page, or you can click here -- and "like" it. You have until May 22 to vote, so have at it.
Meanwhile, over in the world of kids' comics, Audra Furuichi's nemu*nemu is up for a pair of awards in the 2013 Kids Comic Revolution comic awards: "Favorite Webcomic" and "Special Award for Excellence in Drawing Delicious-Looking Food" (the latter for the Phantom Ice Cream Truck strip in February 2012). Babymouse and Squish artist Matthew Holm -- in town a few months ago as a guest at McCully-Moiliili Library -- is also up for a few awards, including "Favorite Graphic Novel" (for Squish volume 4), "Favorite Cartoonist/Author" (with his sister Jennifer) and "Cutest Comic Character" (Babymouse).
Now, I would say to go out and vote for Audra and Matt just as I voted for them, but there's just one small problem: I'm not a kid. Perhaps my mental age is such, what with all these anime and manga and video games and other firmly-young-adult material surrounding me at the moment, but physically, I haven't been a kid in years. And that's the thing: The Kids Comic Revolution awards can only be voted on by kids. And I'm not sure if anyone regularly reading this blog -- save, perhaps, the librarian faction -- has access to anyone in that valuable voter demographic. But if you do know any kids, send them over to mlatcomics.com/krc/kcrawards13 to vote. You can also find a PDF version of the ballot there, which you can fill out and mail in; details on where to send it are available on the site.
Poppy Hill: The saga continues
Yup, From Up on Poppy Hill is still here, screening for a sixth week at the Kahala 8 theaters and a second at the Koolau Stadium 10. The question is whether you'll be able to see it in Japanese; your friendly neighborhood anime/manga blogger tried on Wednesday, visiting both the Koolau theaters and the Laie Palms Cinemas, and the net result is that he has now seen it four times in English. It's probably a good thing that Anime News Network reported on Thursday that Amazon has listings for DVD and Blu-ray/DVD combo packs from Cinedigm, the home video branch of Poppy Hill distributor GKids. (Main takeaways: Release date is Sept. 3; retail price is $29.95 for the DVD, $34.95 for the combo pack, but you can save 30 percent by preordering now; and if you're a Blu-ray guy or gal, while you're at it, why not throw in orders for Howl's Moving Castle and My Neighbor Totoro, out on Tuesday.)
On the bright side, watching it that many times, one starts noticing certain subtle things about the movie. More details on that after the weekend.
Friday-Saturday: 11:45 a.m.
Sunday: 12:30 p.m.
Koolau Stadium 10
Friday-Wednesday: 11:05 a.m. and 1:05 and 3:20 p.m.
And as always, you can buy your tickets in advance here.
Comic Jam Hawaii: This group of collaborative cartoon artists meets every first and third Sunday of the month at Pearlridge Center; locations within the mall may vary. Visit www.facebook.com/groups/ComicJamHawaii (Facebook login required). Next meeting: 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Anime Manga Society at UH-Manoa: Meetings during Summer Session 1 are every Friday starting May 24 through June 28. in Kuykendall Hall, room 306. Screenings TBA. 5:30 to 7 p.m.
MangaBento: This group of anime- and manga-inspired artists usually meets every second and fourth Sunday of the month at the Honolulu Museum of Art School (1111 Victoria St., room 200). Visit www.manga-bento.com. Next meeting: 1 to 4 p.m. May 26.
Tomo-E-Ame: Friends-Drawings-Candy: We're now in the submissions period for MangaBento's 2013 exhibit at the Honolulu Museum of Art School, with 2-D piece that are 11 inches by 17 inches or smaller now being accepted during MangaBento meetings. Larger 2-D pieces and art in other media will be accepted on June 9 in the art school's mezzanine gallery. As for the exhibit itself? That's June 16-July 14.
Summer Reading Program at public libraries: Register. Read books. Win prizes. Yay! I'm pretty sure more details will emerge about special programs at the various branches in coming days, but if I may just offer this initial thought: McCully-Moiliili branch manager Hillary Chang's already claimed the prize for coolest regular Summer Reading Program incentive EVER. LOOK AT THESE:
Five nemu*nemu pins. Exclusive designs. Exclusively at McCully-Moiliili. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaant. General program runs June 2-July 6, with registration beginning May 28; check your local library for exact dates.
Taku Taku Matsuri: A summer festival with an anime/manga slant at Hawaii Kotohira Jinsha-Hawaii Dazaifu Tenmangu. Aug. 25.
Oni-Con Hawaii: With guest Yuko Ashizawa, a fashion designer with Atelier Pierrot. Also featuring the Cosplay Chess Brigade and Yu x Me Maid Cafe & Host Club. Preregistration open now; $35 for a three-day pass. Artist Alley applications also being accepted (it's $110 per table, which includes two three-day passes). Hawai'i Convention Center, Nov. 1-3.
Kawaii Kon 2014: Guests include voice actors Michael Sinterniklaas and Stephanie Sheh. Preregistration open now; $37 for a three-day pass for children ages 5-12, $42 general admission. Hawai'i Convention Center, April 4-6, 2014.