Archive for October, 2013

Oni-Con scheduling and Ingress panel clarifying

October 31st, 2013

Oni-Con Hawaii logoWe're about 24 hours or so away from the beginning of Oni-Con Hawaii, close enough for my preview article -- the same one that appeared in our print edition yesterday -- to appear on Honolulu Pulse (and the Pulse version is free to read!). Over on Oni-Con's Facebook page, the updates have been coming fast and furious for the past few days ... so fast, in fact, that I can only assume it's difficult for them to keep up. The scheduling grids posted there and on their website haven't been updated with revised info since they were published on Saturday, and navigating through all of the updates to figure out what's what may be a daunting task.

So for your planning convenience, here's my version of the schedule, incorporating those changes and adding in columns for cosplay meet-ups and Marketplace hours. The URL is, for those of you who want to store that in your smartphones.

Also for your reference, here's Oni-Con's most current panel description listing. It serves its purpose for the most part, save for one panel: the Ingress panel, scheduled for 3 p.m. Friday, which has the following description:

Ingress ◊ Friday at 3:00pm, Panel Room 1 ◊ Jordan Silva and John Hyrne discuss about the android app game Ingress.

... which may be underselling the panel juuuuust a tad. Yes, it technically is an Android app game, but ... well, here, have a Wikipedia blurb:

Ingress is a near-real time augmented reality massively multiplayer online video game created by Niantic Labs, a start up within Google, currently for Android devices [2] but expected to be available for Apple's iOS in 2014. The game has a complex science fiction back story which Niantic is revealing in segments.

The gameplay consists of establishing "portals" at places of public art, landmarks, cenotaphs, etc., and linking them to create virtual triangular fields over geographic areas. Progress in the game is measured by the number of Mind Units, i.e. people, nominally controlled by each faction.

Leading the panel will be four of its local players. Yes, Jordan and John will be there. But so will Joyleen Kaiwi ... and a certain friendly neighborhood anime/manga blogger. Yes, this technically makes it the first con panel I've ever done from the presenter's side of the room. Be nice, and ask really nicely, and maaaaaybe I'll consider serving on another panel. Maaaaaaybe.

Ota-cool! October, part 4 of 3: No tricks, more treats

October 24th, 2013

Here's the Space Battleship Yamato theatrical poster. It's being given away at screenings across the U.S. ... but not here in Hawaii. Boo, I say, BOO.Remember around the beginning of this month, when I said that the Ota-cool Incoming! calendar for October would be broken up into three parts because it was packed chock full of events? That proved to be underestimating things a bit. Thanks to the power of LAST-MINUTE EVENTS AHOOOOOY~!, this month has firmly staked its claim as the busiest month I can remember ever. Remember this as we head into November, because that month is looking pretty quiet after the 3rd, aside from the holiday craft fair season kicking into full swing.

Here now is yet even still more stuff going on over the next few days:

Space Battleship Yamato takes flight: Perhaps lost a bit amid all the Hawaii International Film Festival buzz was the announcement that the 2010 live-action adaptation of Space Battleship Yamato would have a limited-engagement run at Consolidated's Ward Stadium 16 complex. Well, that screening window has finally arrived -- it starts Friday and runs through Halloween -- and so has the showtime schedule: 12:45, 3:45, 7:05 and 10:15 p.m. daily. Tickets are available via Fandango (not to be confused with this Fandango, and don't forget, with him, you have to let the "a's" breeeathe).

Here, have a synopsis from film distributor Eleven Arts:

Year 2199. A mysterious enemy from the stars has been decimating the Earth to unlivable and irradiated conditions for the past 5 years. Humankind now lives underground with only a few more months until extinction.

A chosen few Earthlings will be saved and the rest left to perish unless the last Space Battleship Captain, Okita, can journey to another galaxy in response to cryptic coordinates sent by a distant planet. The Captainʼs dark past comes back to haunt him when the quests success depends on the brother of a fellow Captain he coldly used as a shield in battle, to save himself and his ship. This epic journey through space to save their people from extinction will push the crew to the edge of survival, and with nothing left to lose, the Space Battleship Yamato dares the universe to try and stop them.

And here's a trailer from Manga UK that serves as further proof that we here in the U.S. can't have nice things as quickly as the U.K. anymore, considering they already have the movie licensed and on home video while we don't:

Kawaii Christmas Capsule Drive: Kawaii Kon has a super-secret, super-special-awesome Christmas project coming up. It's so super-secret, I don't even know what it is, but I'm sure it'll be cool. In any event, con staff will be collecting gently loved, complete anime figures and plushies (meaning no defects, please) at the University of Hawaii at Manoa Campus Center, room 308, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Bring in three figures or more and you can get a free malasada, too, while supplies last. And for each figure/plushie donated, you can get a raffle ticket for a chance to win a free pass to Kawaii Kon X next year. Check out the event page at (no Facebook login required).

"Haunted Harajuku Halloween": Next Thursday is National Cosplay Recognition Day, more commonly known to the average layperson as "Halloween," or to a certain subset of local fandom, "the day before Oni-Con Hawaii kicks off." Con attendees ages 21 and older can get the party started early at this event at YuZu Hawaii in the Ala Moana Hotel. There's a cosplay parade at 10 p.m., a costume contest at 11 p.m. and music and dancing throughout the night. Normal entry cost is $50 (includes heavy pupus and two drink tickets), but show proof that you bought an Oni-Con Hawaii ticket (the ticket, a badge or a PayPal receipt) and you can get in for $40. 9 p.m. Call 943-1155 or visit YuZu Hawaii at their website or Facebook page9 p.m. Oct. 31-1 a.m. Nov. 1.

Fire prevention a la Ghibli

October 22nd, 2013

About a month and a half ago -- Sept. 7, to be exact -- a bunch of artists gathered on the Civic Center grounds during the First Responders Fair to paint art boards for Fire Prevention Month, using the theme of "Prevent Kitchen Fires." One of those artist groups was MangaBento, the anime- and manga-inspired young artist group featured regularly in this space.

Those boards have been up at Oahu's fire stations this month. Probably will be up for a few more days, at that. And where did MangaBento's board end up? At the corner of Leoole and Leonui streets in Waipahu, sitting near what's formally known as Honolulu Fire Department Station 12, you'll find … this.

Waipahu Fire Station

And here's the board close up.

ghibli closeup

The Totoro cast plus Howl's Moving Castle's Calcifer, advocating fire prevention? Yeah, that's a message I can get behind.

Countdown to Oni-Con Hawaii

October 19th, 2013

Oni-Con Hawaii logoPerhaps the one question I've been getting asked the most recently (after "Wait, you're actually still writing? ... You have a blog?!?") is "What is this Oni-Con Hawaii thing, and what do you expect from it?" It's been easy to say, "Well, it's an offshoot of an anime convention based in Galveston, Texas, that's been running for 10 years" ... but with less than two weeks to go to the launch of the inaugural edition, I'd be hard-pressed to find any sort of organizational influence from Texas that's been visible to the public eye aside from some sort of "Tex-aloha" vibe to most con communications ("Howdy, brah! Mahalo, y'all!") ... and a dash of mainland-style con drama (you'll need Facebook access for that link), which I can't entirely dismiss because it is floating around out there and I'm pretty sure I'd get one or two comments on this post asking about it if I didn't acknowledge it existed in some form. (If you can't see that link and are really curious about it, hit me up in comments, and I can offer you a summary there.)

Possible behind-the-scenes issues aside, the fact remains: There's some sort of anime con experience coming up shortly, so let's make the most of it and have some kind of fun, shall we? For those of you who may still be on the fence about going, perhaps a three-hour Oni-Con Hawaii preview event, happening Sunday at Ala Moana Center, will help sway you. The event will be launching Shirokiya's Ohana Sundays series, a series that will feature fun, family-friendly, free events at the store twice monthly. From 1 to 4 p.m. on the store's mall level, you can buy passes and merchandise, and the crew from Yu x Me Maid Cafe and Host Club will be serving up orders from the nearby Kulu Kulu and Brug Bakery and playing games.

There will be cosplay showcases and other events going on as well; here's the schedule:

  • 1 p.m.: "A Taste of Cosplay," presented by Oni-Con Hawaii and Babel Entertainment
  • 1:10 and 2:30 p.m.: Cosplay Runway (attendees in family-friendly costumes invited!)
  • 1:30, 2:25 and 3:30 p.m.: PRIZE GIVEAWAYS WOOOOOOO
  • 1:35 p.m.: Cosplay Chess demonstration
  • 2 and 3:10 p.m.: Mini Masquerade Theater
  • 2:50 p.m.: Ninjyasize demonstration

Oni-Con Hawaii -- the actual event itself -- is happening Nov. 1-3 at the Hawaii Convention Center; you can get your tickets at MiniQ in Aiea or any Big City Diner location, or visit

Layton in another light: Enter the "Mystery Room"

October 16th, 2013

Layton Brothers Mystery Room title screen

Today’s profile: Layton Brothers Mystery Room
Publisher: Level-5
Platform: Apple iOS (reviewed), Android
ESRB rating: N/A (but suitable for ages 12 and up)

By now it's pretty well established that we -- and by that I mostly mean "I," although tag-team partner in fandom Jason Y. is certainly no stranger to the games, either -- are huge fans of the Professor Layton and Ace Attorney (aka Phoenix Wright) series of games. So much that there was much crying (on my part) when the second Miles Edgeworth Investigations game was not released in the U.S., and much disdain (on many fans' parts) when gaming website Kotaku revealed the reason for that. There was equally much tearing of hair as Capcom remained noncommittal about the release prospects for Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney, the Nintendo 3DS game that pretty much is what the title says.

Fans such as myself might be eased somewhat in their pain with the recent release of the game Layton Brothers Mystery Room. As I commented to Jason while I was immersed in the first case, I felt like I was indeed playing a crossover of Layton and Ace Attorney. The caveat? It's only for the iOS. Yes, only for Apple mobile devices, only for the iPhone and iPad.

(At least, it was so at the time I wrote this part of my review, which, admittedly, was back in July. Now, however, being that Mystery Room was recently released for Android devices, that's kind of a moot point. But bear with me and my fangirl pain for at least the next few paragraphs.)

I will skip over the many exclamations of disbelief I used when I was made aware of that fact. Because, sadly, I have no such device. And I have no plans to buy one. Although, being as Layton- and AA-starved as I was, I had to admit I was teetering dangerously toward getting one. So much that I had to warn my husband (who is a rather staunch non-Apple user, but please don't comment on that) of the possibility.

So how, one may ask, could I have been playing the game if I don't have an iOS device? Simple: I had to beg Jason to borrow his. (I had actually been borrowing it for a different game; the release of Mystery Room was unexpected and caught me off guard. And I'm sure my fevered, delirious chats to Jason once I found out about it caught HIM off guard, as well.) He walked me through the steps of downloading and installing and BAM! I was soon back in the world of Layton.

Well, not really.


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