Archive for the ‘anime’ Category

The Great Otaku Calendar of All the Things, June edition

June 10th, 2016
By



Before I get too far into this month's event roundup, a quick shout-out is in order to Joelle Lee and the rest of her Moanalua High School team -- mentioned in this space last month -- which made it to the finals of the Vans Custom Culture contest. While they didn't take home the $50,000 top prize for their school's art program, they did earn a $4,000 runner-up prize, as well as an additional $15,000 for being chosen as the Journeys "Local Attitude" award winner. Nice job, everyone!

OK! Let's take a look at what's coming up for the rest of this month:

Fighting Spirit 2015

MangaBento presents "MaidenCraft": It's the sixth eighth annual show -- one at the former Contemporary Museum, seven at the current Honolulu Museum of Art School location! -- by the group of anime- and manga-inspired artists. Some of the young artists who had pieces in the first few shows have gone on to nice professional careers elsewhere. MAN, I feel old. But I digress. Last year's show, "This is Fighting Spirit" (part of the layout of which is shown above), featured a number of pieces focused on a shonen (boys' manga) theme; it's the girls' turn with this year's show, "MaidenCraft." Honolulu Museum of Art School (1111 Victoria St.), second-floor gallery. Opening reception, 2-4 p.m. Sunday; show runs through June 24.

Friends of the Library of Hawaii 69th Annual Book Sale: Lovers of print media, this is your sale. (Not just books, too; there are CDs, DVDs and even artwork available.) Lovers of comics and manga, this is even more your sale this year, as one of the big promo points is a larger inventory of comics and manga, priced at the holy-cats-that's-really-low price of $1 each. There are also more cookbooks than usual, which means that if you stick my mom and I in there on the first day, we may not emerge until the last day. Heck, we may have to empty our bookshelves now so that we can fill them back up again. Free. McKinley High School cafeteria (1039 S. King St.), June 18-26.

hello kitty truck

Hello Kitty food truck in Honolulu: Sanrio may be getting more in tune with the real world's jaded/bitter tone -- consider their last two most notable characters have been Gudetama the unmotivated egg and Aggressive Retsuko, the harried red panda office lady who blows off steam with death metal karaoke -- but at least they'll always have their iconic cat-who's-not-a-cat, Hello Kitty, as the face of their company. To that end, there's been a Hello Kitty food truck touring the country, selling mini cakes, cookie sets, macarons and exclusive merchandise at every stop. This month, it's Hawaii's turn, so the truck's (presumably) hopping on a boat and floating on over here to spread its special brand of happiness. In front of the Sanrio Store at Ala Moana Center, June 17-19.

Neko Cafe: If you like your cats to be shorter than five apples tall and less cartoon-like, Mori by Art+Flea will be the place to visit for Hawaii's first cat cafe.  You know those places in Japan where you can stop off for a cup of coffee with a side of cuddles with feline friends? Same concept. Morning Glass Coffee will be providing the noms and drinks for both humans and animals, the Hawaiian Humane Society will be providing the cats -- all of which will be up for adoption, by the way, in case any of them capture your heart and refuses to let go -- and several artists from the Art+Flea community will be selling cat-inspired works. Ward Warehouse, 1050 Ala Moana Blvd., unit 1550, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. June 25.

Aiea Library Polar Bear Cafe & Friends Anime Club: Every month, I joke with young adult librarian Diane Masaki that she ought to change the name of the Anime Club to the Polar Bear Cafe & Friends Club, seeing as how the screening schedule for the past few months has consistently been two episodes of the 2012-2013 anime followed by two more episodes of something else. (June's "friends" remain the ship-gals of KanColle.) It hasn't happened yet. And it probably never will, now that she's running out of Polar Bear episodes. Sigh. At the library, 99-374 Pohai Place, where, yes, there's still plenty of parking. For more information or to RSVP, call 483-7333 or email aiealibraryanimeclub@yahoo.com. 3 p.m. June 25.

Anime Matsuri Hawaii cancels 2016 convention

June 6th, 2016
By



20151129_130820

One of the biggest burning questions of Con-athon 2016 -- aside from "Can our otaku community really support six major conventions in one year?" and "Should I get the Cardcaptor Sakura Blu-ray box set or four Nendoroid figures?" -- has been "What's going on with Anime Matsuri Hawaii?"

Sure, there was the promise that they would be back this year, made -- as these promises usually are -- at the end of last November's show. But while Kawaii Kon, Amazing Hawaii Comic Con, Comic Con Honolulu, HawaiiCon and Anime Ohana were announcing dates and/or fleshing out their guest lists, AMHI had ... well, that promise, along with a few occasional "hi, this page is still being updated, at least!" types of updates on the Facebook fan page. And people were starting to wonder about what was going on. And wonder some more. And some more. And ... well, let's just say I broke out the popcorn (with mochi crunch and furikake!) for the most recent flare-up. I was getting a lot of behind-the-scenes, off-the-record buzz speculating on what was going on, but there really wasn't anything formal.

That changed tonight, when AMHI co-chairman Deneice Leigh posted this statement:

In the interest of the restructuring and expansion of Anime Matsuri Houston, we have decided not to host Anime Matsuri Hawaii this year. This was an extremely difficult decision to make. However, with our anticipated growth and changes this year, it is necessary for us to give our full focus to the Houston show in order to provide our attendees with the best experience possible. We are incredibly grateful for the support and enthusiasm from our Hawaii fans and staff, and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience. John and I were honored to host our show in beautiful Honolulu, and we look forward to potentially returning in 2017.

As a thank you to everyone who has been with us, we are offering a 15% discount to Anime Matsuri Houston 2017. The discount code will be sent out to all who registered to AM Hawaii last year.

More historical perspective and analysis to come ...

Ota-cool Incoming: The merry, merry month of May

April 29th, 2016
By



If April was the month of anime, with Kawaii Kon and Consolidated Theaters' Studio Ghibli Festival capturing the attention of local otaku, then May has to be the month where comic culture takes center stage. The Hawaii Comic & Toy Expo kicks it off, Amazing Hawaii Comic Con puts a nice little bow on it, and there's Free Comic Book Day and a smattering of comic artist appearances in between to keep us all busy.

But that's not to say it's all comics; anime/manga fans have some events to look forward to this month as well -- a new movie, idkwhat2wear's annual clearance sale and the return of an annual festival on Maui are just some of the events to look forward to in the next few weeks. I'll go into greater detail on some of these coming attractions in future posts, but there's a really busy weekend coming up, so let's get around to that right now:

Islandwide Spring Crafts and Food Expo: Otherwise known as "the craft fair where idkwhat2wear unloads ALL THE THINGS." See, every year there's one show where Karl Miyashiro and Terri Dux blow out their discontinued T-shirt styles at $6 per shirt. These are styles that usually sell for $19-$21 apiece, so yeah, that's a pretty healthy chunk of savings change. This photo posted to the idk Facebook page reveals they have ... oh, a few shirts.

13015602_10153367361886784_3389696133795402742_n

Please save Terri from impending cotton-crushing doom and buy some shirts; they'll be at booth 705. While you're at the show, go visit Kawaii Mono with their line of origami jewelry, charms and more at booth 408. Admission: $5 general, $4 military families and seniors ages 65 and older, free for children ages 13 and younger. (Be warned: With The Book of Mormon still at the concert hall and comedian Kevin Hart in concert at the arena Saturday and Sunday, parking in the neighborhood is going to be tight.) Blaisdell Exhibition Hall (777 Ward Ave.); 4-9 p.m. today, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.

12799257_1038858139491309_3144862761216137121_n

Hawaii Comic & Toy Expo: Yes, there will be comics, toys and collectibles being sold by more than 40 dealers. But there will be special featured guests in the house, too. Guest of honor Scott Williams is a local boy and University of Hawaii alumnus who's worked as an artist and inker for Marvel and DC, frequently collaborating with talents like Jim Lee and Frank Miller. Joining him at the show will be local artists Jon Murakami, Kevin Sano, Christopher Caravalho, Andy Lee and HeadShot Heroes. Admission: $3. Ala Moana Hotel (Hibiscus Ballroom), 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.

Comic Jam Hawaii: This group of collaborative cartoon artists meets every first and third Sunday of the month at Pearlridge Center; this time around, they'll be in the center court on the Downtown side of the mall. Visit www.facebook.com/groups/ComicJamHawaii (Facebook login required). Next meeting: 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Also worth noting: The Friends of Aiea Library will be holding a book sale at the library (99-374 Pohai Place) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday; there will be plenty of parking. And where there may not be anything directly related to otaku culture at this year's Hawaii Book and Music Festival, at the Civic Grounds near Honolulu Hale downtown, it's still worth checking out anyway. Because local literature and music never go out of style. That runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Elsewhere around town

Maui Matsuri: A kickoff celebration for Maui's annual celebration of Japanese culture -- featuring taiko performances, karate demonstrations, coloring contests and Hello Kitty -- will be at the Queen Kaahumanu Center (275 W. Kaahumanu Ave., Kahului) from 6:30 to 9 p.m. today. It's just a little taste of what will be happening a little over a week from now at UH-Maui College, with food booths, entertainment, and contests for cosplayers, video gamers and artists inspired by the anime/manga art style. Maui residents, go check out mauimatsuri.com and register for some of those contests now! Presented by the Japanese Cultural Society of Maui. Saturday, May 7, 2-9 p.m.

174851_848428_30

Free Comic Book Day: It's almost time for the Annual Comic Book Summer Blockbuster Movie to be released to millions of eager American fanpeeps (*cough*goTeamIronMan*cough*), which means it's also time for your annual enticement to visit your local comic book store/distributor of choice and pick up a whole stack of free books. Various locations statewide; Saturday, May 7.

Mother's Day: Don't forget about your mom. She helped shape you into the person you are today. Also, eat your veggies and don't slouch, dear. Sunday, May 8.

13063407_10154182303734529_7781381833196818440_o

Free Isabelo appearances: The founder of Live Free Die Free (LFDF) Comics; creator of The Contraptor, a steampunk-inspired tale about a Secret Service agent looking for his brother's murderer and the conspirators behind President Lincoln's assassination; and artist behind the "Steam Royals" series of pop culture icons reimagined with a steampunk twist will be appearing at Other Realms (1130 Nimitz Hwy, suite C140) on Free Comic Book Day and on Wednesday, May 18, and Enjoy Comics in Hilo (45 Pohaku St., unit 201) on Sunday, May 15. He'll also be at Amazing Hawaii Comic Con ... see below for some more details about that show.

Joe Rubenstein on Maui: The longtime artist/inker best known for his work on Chris Claremont and Frank Miller's four-issue Wolverine miniseries in 1982 and his inking on The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe for more than 20 years will be visiting Maui Comics and Collectibles in Kahului (333 Dairy Road, unit 102). Get your autographs and commissions there! Wednesday, May 18.

harmony_sPV02_006

Project Itoh: Harmony: In this theatrical anime being released stateside by Funimation Films, a mass suicide has rocked the globe, but there's something about the motives behind the event that seem eerily similar to what Tuan Kirie and her friends attempted when they were teens. Is her old friend Miach Mirie behind the deaths? And if so, how could she be, considering she supposedly died all those years ago? Hmm. Consolidated Ward Stadium 16 theaters, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 17, and Wednesday, May 18. (I must say, May 18 is shaping up to be a really busy day.)

Cosplay Figure Drawing: Join Mangabento's Devin Oishi as he leads a six-session series on figure drawing with a key twist: All of the models will be cosplayers. Students can cosplay and interact with the models as well. It's a fun, informative way to brush up on skills including visual measurement, selecting materials and anatomy. Cost: $150; preregister at https://secure.honolulumuseum.org/auxiliary/Reserve.aspx?p=260. Honolulu Museum of Art School (1111 Victoria St.), room 200; 6-9 p.m. Fridays starting May 20 through June 24.

Amazing Hawaii Comic Con: It's the second stop of the unofficial official Con-athon 2016! This year's edition may not have Stan Lee, but it does count among its guests Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman, DC Comics everything extraordinaire Jim Lee, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman, and amazing/astonishing/uncanny/fill-in-your-own-adjective-here X-Men writer Chris Claremont. They're also targeting us otaku this year, with guests who've done voice work for Dragon Ball Z (Sean Schemmel, the voice of Goku! Chris Sabat, the voice of Vegeta! Chuck Huber, the voice of Android 17!) and Street Fighter. Hawai'i Convention Center, Friday, May 20-Sunday, May 22.

The Con-athon 2016 players, part 1: Kawaii Kon

April 7th, 2016
By



Welcome to the starting line of Con-athon 2016, this year's gauntlet of six major anime/sci-fi/fantasy/comic conventions on two islands and a whooooooole buncha smaller events in between. "Con-athon," short for "con marathon," started off as an internal reference among me and a few other friends and grew to the point that Gordon Rider/Ara-Rangers/Star-Advertiser "Calabash" cartoonist Jon Murakami and his lovely assistant, Gwen, printed up some T-shirts for a bunch of us who attended most, if not all, of those events, distributing them at last year's "finish line" of Anime Matsuri Hawaii.

conathon

So yeah, it's totally a thing.

Over the next few months or so -- I was going to try to do these profiles over a week, but holy cats, this entry's been brewing longer than the Ghibli Festival post -- I'll be profiling the key entrants in Con-athon 2016. Amazing Hawaii Comic Con, Comic Con Honolulu, HawaiiCon, Anime Ohana, Anime Matsuri Hawaii and a few other smaller events will get their turns in time. But of course, we must start with the con that's staring at us in the face right now: Kawaii Kon.

(more…)

A whole lotta Ghibli goin' on

March 30th, 2016
By



Not shown: The part where Ponyo says she likes haaaaam. (Why yes, we used this same joke with Wilma's Ponyo review in 2012. We're all about the running gags here.)

Sosuke and Ponyo prepare for their magical boat ride. (Photo courtesy Nibariki-GNDHDDT)

Remember all those times I've said in the past few years that [INSERT MONTH/YEAR HERE] is going to be the best month ever for theatrical anime being screened locally? First of all, congratulations, you have a very good memory. Second, you may now forget I ever said that before, because April 2016 is claiming that title of best month ever now and forever.

The reason: Starting Saturday and running through May 5, for every day except Fridays (gotta make that new-release box office bank, after all!), Consolidated's theaters across Oahu and their Kaahumanu complex in Kahului will be home to the Studio Ghibli Festival, screening every major Studio Ghibli film ever made. That's everything from 1984's Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Hayao Miyazaki's pre-Ghibli feature that led to the creation of the studio, through 2014's When Marnie Was There, plus the live-action Kingdom of Dreams and Madness documentary for good measure. That's 22 good-to-great movies and Tales From Earthsea -- which was kind of a disappointment for me -- over roughly a month.

… yeah, I'll just leave this meme here.

take my money meme

Most of the films will be screened two or three times each over the month, with English-dubbed and English-subtitled versions available. The more popular films -- Howl's Moving Castle, Kiki's Delivery Service, My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away -- will be shown four times each.

But the real rarity in the group is Ocean Waves (Umi ga Kikoeru), the 1993 made-for-TV movie that is the only major Ghibli project never to see wide release in the U.S. now that GKids finally picked up Only Yesterday. The film's rights belong to Disney, which kinda has bigger fish to promote, so we probably won't be seeing that in wide release any time soon, either. Ocean Waves will be shown exactly once -- mark your calendars for 7 p.m. Thursday, April 14, and set your GPSes for the Koolau 10 complex, across from the Valley of the Temples cemetery in Windward Oahu.

Breaking down the numbers further, the big winner in terms of number of screenings is the Kapolei 16 complex, which will be showing 15 out of the 23 movies available, all of them subtitled. The Koolau, Mililani 14 and Pearlridge 16 theaters come in tied for second with 10 apiece, in both subbed and dubbed flavors at the first two and all subbed at Pearlridge.

Here's the full screening schedule organized by theater, with GhibliWiki links in case you'd like to learn more about each movie. (Trust me, if I had to write 23 synopses and attach 23 trailers like I usually do with these previews, this post would have been posted sometime in February 2022.) Prefer to see what's on deck chronologically? Here's Consolidated's "coming soon" list. Tickets, at $10 each, are available now on Fandango (except for the April 30 Kahala screening of The Wind Rises for some weird reason). Sorry, no passes are being accepted.

Kahala 8

All films dubbed; screenings at 11 a.m. Saturdays.

Castle in the Sky: April 2

Kiki's Delivery Service: April 9

Spirited Away: April 16

Howl's Moving Castle: April 23

The Wind Rises: April 30 (note: ticket sales not available yet)

Kapolei 16

All films subbed; screenings at 7 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind: April 4

Castle in the Sky: April 5

My Neighbor Totoro: April 7

Kiki's Delivery Service: April 11

Only Yesterday: April 12

Pom Poko: April 14

Whisper of the Heart: April 18

Princess Mononoke: April 19

The Cat Returns: April 21

Tales From Earthsea: April 25

Ponyo: April 26

From Up on Poppy Hill: April 28

The Wind Rises: May 2

Kingdom of Dreams and Madness: May 3

When Marnie Was There: May 5

Koko Marina 8

All films dubbed; screenings at 11 a.m. Sundays.

My Neighbor Totoro: April 3

Whisper of the Heart: April 10

Secret World of Arrietty: April 24

Tale of the Princess Kaguya: May 1

Koolau 10

11 a.m. Sunday screenings dubbed; 7 p.m. Thursday screenings subbed.

Porco Rosso: April 3, 11 a.m.

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind: April 7, 7 p.m.

Pom Poko: April 10, 11 a.m.

Ocean Waves: April 14, 7 p.m.

The Cat Returns: April 17, 11 a.m.

Princess Mononoke: April 21, 7 p.m.

Tales From Earthsea: April 24, 11 a.m.

Ponyo: April 28, 7 p.m.

When Marnie Was There: May 1, 11 a.m.

Tale of the Princess Kaguya: May 5, 7 p.m.

Mililani 14

11 a.m. Saturday screenings dubbed; 7 p.m. Wednesday screenings subbed.

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind: April 2, 11 a.m.

Castle in the Sky: April 6, 7 p.m.

Only Yesterday: April 9, 11 a.m.

Whisper of the Heart: April 13, 7 p.m.

My Neighbors the Yamadas: April 16, 11 a.m.

Tales from Earthsea: April 20, 7 p.m.

Ponyo, April 23, 11 a.m.

Howl's Moving Castle: April 27, 7 p.m.

From Up on Poppy Hill: April 30, 11 a.m.

Kingdom of Dreams and Madness: May 4, 7 p.m.

Pearlridge 16

All films subbed; screenings at 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

My Neighbor Totoro: April 5

Grave of the Fireflies: April 6

Kiki's Delivery Service: April 12

Porco Rosso: April 13

Spirited Away: April 19

My Neighbors the Yamadas: April 20

From Up on Poppy Hill, April 26

Secret World of Arrietty: April 27

The Wind Rises: May 3

Tale of the Princess Kaguya: May 4

Ward Stadium

All films subbed; screenings at 7 p.m. Mondays.

Grave of the Fireflies: April 4

Only Yesterday: April 11

Spirited Away: April 18

Howl's Moving Castle: April 25

When Marnie Was There: May 2

Kaahumanu (Maui)

11 a.m. Saturday screenings dubbed; 7 p.m. Thursday screenings subbed.

My Neighbor Totoro: April 2, 11 a.m., April 7, 7 p.m.

Kiki's Delivery Service: April 9, 11 a.m., April 14, 7 p.m.

Princess Mononoke: April 16, 11 a.m., April 21, 7 p.m.

Spirited Away: April 23, 11 a.m., April 28, 7 p.m.

Howl's Moving Castle: April 30, 11 a.m., May 5, 7 p.m.

Elsewhere around town

Aiea Library Polar Bear Cafe & Friends Anime Club: Every month, I joke with young adult librarian Diane Masaki that she ought to change the name of the Anime Club to the Polar Bear Cafe & Friends Club, seeing as how the screening schedule for the past few months has consistently been two episodes of the 2012-2013 anime followed by two more episodes of something else. (April's "friends" are the ship-gals of KanColle.) The response this time around: Crisis! Diane's approaching the end of the Polar Bear run! And there aren't very many KanColle episodes left, either! What will the club screen next? And what will be the next running gag for this item?!? At the library, 99-374 Pohai Place, where, yes, there's still plenty of parking. For more information or to RSVP, call 483-7333 or email aiealibraryanimeclub@yahoo.com. 3 p.m. Saturday.

Sanrio Ala Moana Anniversary Party: Head out to Ala Moana Center and take pictures (or selfies, if you're alone) with a giant Hello Kitty mascot character and also enjoy: Special product promotions! Free face painting and Hello Kitty hat with any purchase! And a special gift with any $75 purchase! 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.

Comic Jam Hawaii: This group of collaborative cartoon artists meets every first and third Sunday of the month at Pearlridge Center; check their Facebook page for where in the mall they'll be meeting. Visit www.facebook.com/groups/ComicJamHawaii (Facebook login required). Next meeting: 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.