Archive for the ‘Cel Shaded’ Category

Ota-cool Incoming: Mini con carnival, 2014 edition

September 5th, 2014
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August was a month dominated by news about anime movies, with three of them -- Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, My Neighbor Totoro and Naruto: Road to Ninja -- arriving in the state. This month, news tidbits about small anime-related events have been filling my "what to talk about in Otaku Ohana" inbox (well, that and that interview with Kyle Hebert that I talked about a few posts ago, which I'll finally get around to transcribing when my birthday staycation kicks in around the middle of next week ... fingers crossed). Here's what's happening in coming weeks ...

cristina veeThe first stop on our tour of mini cons is a return visit to Taku Taku Matsuri, where organizer Yuka Nagaoka has found a new guest of honor for her event postponed from August: voice actor Cristina Valenzuela, better known as Cristina Vee. (That's her on the right.) Some of Vee's more prominent anime roles include Mio in K-ON!, Homura in Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Rei/Sailor Mars in Viz's new Sailor Moon English dub, and Alisa Bosconovitch in Tekken: Blood Vengeance. She's also voiced various characters in video games including the BlazBlue franchise, Skullgirls and Ar Tonelico. This will be her first con-related visit to Hawaii.

Summer Taku Taku Matsuri: In Fall! is happening Sat., Nov. 22; the GoFundMe campaign with $10 presale tickets and $20 ticket/T-shirt packages will run through Oct. 25 at www.gofundme.com/dbi0fc.

This week, details also began emerging about the fifth annual Mini Con, the anime con in the handy petite size at McCully-Moiliili Public Library. Library manager Hillary Chang's rounded up her by-now standard roster of all-star artists ready to meet and greet patrons -- Gordon Rider artist Jon Murakami, nemu*nemu artist Audra Furuichi, Crazy Shirts designer and Kikaidaverse fan artist Kevin Sano, and the Hachi Maru Hachi creative crew. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sat., Sept. 27, at the library, 2211 S. King St.

Audra designed a set of virtual flyers that double as mobile phone wallpapers; click the thumbnails below to download art from, from left, Jonathan Pinches' "You Are Not Alone" (from Hachi Maru Hachi vol. 3), Jon and Kevin.

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Last but certainly not least is Kawaii Kon's third annual Anime Day at Windward Mall in Kaneohe. Nothing really new to report on this front, but I'd still imagine Kawaii Kon's usual assortment of games, art events, cosplay contests, free anime screenings and a mini Artist Alley will be the order of the day. You'll probably be able to get discounted three-day passes for next year's convention (March 14-16) as well. The latest news on that can be found on the Facebook event page, https://www.facebook.com/events/912506692099432/.

Other Ota-coolness

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.

Downtown Pearlridge globe portalRandom Ingress portal of the post: If you missed the first installment in this new recurring feature in all my "Ota-cool Incoming!" calendar posts, here's my profile of the portal "Ringy Dingy." Today's spotlight: "Down Town Pearlridge Globe."

Those of you who have been around at least as long as I have remember a time when the two halves of Pearlridge Center were called "Phase I" and "Phase 2." I'm not sure when exactly it happened, but there was some point where someone probably said, "Hey! Let's make this center more contemporary and stuff!" So the side anchored by Liberty House and JCPenney became "Uptown Pearlridge," and the side anchored by Sears became "Downtown Pearlridge." Uptown was the more distinguished, sophisticated side. Downtown was the side with a splash of urban flair, all neon signs and a giant video screen hanging over that side's central hub. And the monorail ... well, I'm sorry, but that thing looked like what happens before and after someone ingests certain mind-altering substances, with half of it looking like a yellow taxicab and the other half covered in splashy, colorful graffiti.

Well, the monorail's all one uniform design now, the screen's gone, and you'd be hard-pressed to find much distinguishing the two sides. This Ingress portal, stationed right around where Comic Jam Hawaii regularly meets, features one of the leftover relics of the era. It's usually well-contested, but if it's a Comic Jam Sunday, you can pretty much expect the Face of Hawaii Ingress (tm) will be making it Resistance blue. After which someone else will come along and make it Enlightened green again. Circle of life, people. Circle of life.

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. Sept. 14.

10636109_561435233979790_6832920851635999729_nArashi in concert: Tickets are still available to see the five-member boy band in concert at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 19 and 20 at Ko Olina's Naia Lagoon 3, and they're still $150 per ticket ($75 for children under 15)? Or would we be better off heading over to Shirokiya and its pop-up Arashi Shop to get  and calling it a day? Pick them up exclusively at Ticketmaster.com, and be sure to check out Tom Moffatt Productions' Facebook event page to see all the rules and procedures involved. (Key elements to note are that there's a four-ticket limit, sales are limited to customers in the United States and Canada, and you're going to have to bring the credit card you used to order the tickets to the show itself.) Don't want to shell out that much, or can't make it to the concert? The pop-up Arashi Shop is open now at Shirokiya, featuring CDs "and other items not normally available in Hawaii."

Kikaider Reboot screenings on Oahu: Shotaro Ishinomori's tale of the android Kikaida and his battles against Professor Gill and DARK has been revamped and prettied up for a new generation, and Honolulu -- home to some of the most die-hard Kikaida fans on the planet -- will be the first place people in North America can see it. (Yes, I know we're on a rock in the middle of the Pacific, thousands of miles from North America. But the Kikaider Reboot USA Facebook page is calling this the "North American Premiere," so I'm running with that.) The film will be running for a week -- Oct. 10-16, to be exact -- at Consolidated's Ward Stadium complex. Showtimes have yet to be announced, but here, have an English-subtitled trailer to tide you over until that info comes through.

Local manga exhibit crosses over to JCCH

May 1st, 2014
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One of the highlights of last year's otaku calendar was "Crossing Cultures: The Art of Manga in Hawaii," an exhibit curated by Pen & Ink Works founder Brady Evans that traced the history of manga locally, from its origins in Japan to its influences on the local fan community. I spotlighted it twice in this space during its run, once before it opened, once before it closed. It was a great opportunity to look at original artwork from the featured artists and learn about their creative processes.

I'm still trying to figure out how they let this dork in the building to be part of the exhibit, though.

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CrossCul-JCCH-Invitation-1But let's say you weren't able to make it out to see the exhibit last year. It happens; maybe you were too busy during the time it was up between Sept. 6 and Oct. 2, or maybe the drive over the Koolaus to the Windward side didn't agree with you. Fortunately for you, there's a second chance coming up to see it, as the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii over in Moiliili hosts its revival starting Saturday. (Members and invited guests can get a sneak peek at 5:30 p.m. Friday, with Brady leading a walkthrough at 6 p.m.)

Brady recently told me that there's been a healthy chunk of new content added to the exhibit to make a visit worthwhile to those of you who did visit last year. The highlights:

  • Kyunyo, the doujinshi artist featured in the Kawaii Kon section last year, is getting her own spotlight space this year. Pages from her latest work, "Define" -- inspired by the anime series Magi -- and a copy of the book itself will be on display.
  • Last year's exhibit had a "Guide by Cell" feature, where visitors could call a number and hear some of the artists talk about their work. New recordings have been added, so this year, you can listen to Audra Furuichi (nemu*nemu), Jordan Takemoto and Tara Tamayori (Hachi Maru Hachi) and Stacey Hayashi (Journey of Heroes) along with last year's lineup of Brady, Rose Dela Cruz (exhibition label illustrator), Jon Murakami (Gordon Rider), Roy Chang (Cacy & Kiara and the Curse of the Ki'i) and Patsy Iwasaki and Avery Berido (Hamakua Hero).
  • Roy and Audra have painted new murals. Here, have some photos Brady took of their work in progress.

  • The Kikaida section has been beefed up, with more memorabilia -- including vintage Kamen Rider, Go-Ranger and Kikaida figurines! -- from Scott Shinsato on display.
  • The Alphonse Elric and Persona Teddy costumes have been retired in favor of Voltron, also by the same artist. You might have seen it walking around Kawaii Kon last month.
  • "Meet the Artist/Author" sessions include Patsy and Avery (both of whom are flying in from Hawaii island!) to talk about Hamakua Hero (May 17. 2-3 p.m.) and Stacey talking about Journey of Heroes (May 24, 2-3 p.m.) There's also going to be a Comic Jam & Artists Showcase with the artists from Comic Jam Hawaii from 1 to 3 p.m. May 31.

The exhibit runs through June 7 at JCCH (2454 S. Beretania St.), The community gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays; admission is free. Ingress players, there's a portal on site as well as several others within walking distance (all of which consistently hit max-level 8 under Resistance control, sigh). For more on the exhibit, visit hawaiimanga.com.

Ota-cool Incoming!
(special weekend of May 3-4 edition)

The return of "Crossing Cultures" is just one of the events happening in what's turned out to be a really busy weekend not just for events with an element of otaku-ness in them, but in general. Unrelated to our discussion here, there's Spam Jam, AARP's paper-shredding event in Aiea, a craft and gift fair at Recreation Center 5 in Mililani, a neighborhood garage sale in Waipahu mauka of the Leeward Y, near Waipahu Uka Neighborhood Park ... yeah, there's a lot of stuff going on. And that doesn't even count the fact that Sunday's Star Wars Day (May the 4th, get it?). Here are the highlights.

Ninth Annual Hawaii Book & Music Festival: It's going to be a busy weekend for Brady and some of the other "Crossing Cultures" artists/authors, as Hawaii Manga -- with Brady, Stacey, Roy and the Hachi Maru Hachi gang -- will have a booth as part of the annual celebration of local authors and musicians. Swing by the festival's Author's Pavilion around 4 p.m. Sunday and you can see Brady, Stacey and Jon talking about the exhibit and manga in Hawaii, too. On the Civic Center grounds near Honolulu Hale; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

FCBD_nodateFree Comic Book Day: Stefanie Nakasone did a good job in our print edition (subscription required) summarizing what's going on, but for those of you who don't want to click through, here's a quick, Twitter-attention-span summary: Saturday. Free comics. Four stores (Westside Comics and Games, Gecko Books, Collector Maniacs, Other Realms), 17 libraries (12 on Oahu, plus Hilo and Thelma Parker Memorial on Hawaii island, Kihei and Lahaina on Maui, and Princeville on Kauai). Go get some (keeping in mind that not all of these books will be available at all locations).

And now, courtesy of The Face of Hawaii Ingress (tm), Diane Masaki, here's who's showing up where for Free Comic Book Day at the libraries. Unless otherwise noted, all appearances will be at 10 a.m.:

Aiea: Hellboy, Powergirl, Supergirl, White Power Ranger, maybe Cyclops
Aina Haina: Batman and Kamen Rider
Kalihi-Palama: Angel (X-Men: First Class edition), Neil Gaiman's Sandman, maybe Cyclops
Mililani: Wolverine (plus two surprise guests), Batman, maybe Luigi
Lahaina: Scout Trooper from the 501st Imperial Legion
Kapolei: Members of the 501st Imperial Legion (2-4 p.m.)
Salt Lake: Member of Team Rocket, Jubilee, maybe Cyclops

idkwhat2wear T-shirt blowout: The (take a deep breath here) 17th Islandwide Spring Crafts and Food Expo for Mother's Day (aaaaaand exhale) is also happening this weekend. I mention this here is because frequent anime con exhibitor/friend of the blog idkwhat2wear will be clearing out T-shirts at this event for $5 each. To drive this point home, this picture appeared on the idk Facebook page late Wednesday afternoon.

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... yeeeeeaaaaah, that's a lot of shirts.

Find them in booth 705 at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall. $4 general admission, $3 military members and seniors 65 and older, free for children ages 13 and under. 4-8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.

Kodomo no Hi: Sure, Children's Day is technically on Monday, but Sunday's as good a time as any to welcome back a JCCH event that skipped last year. Jon will be exhibiting at this event, and MangaBento will have a booth set up with various activities for the kiddies. Audra's also going to be there to promote the Crossing Cultures exhibit from 11 a.m. to noon. They'll be part of a day that will also feature entertainment, cultural and martial arts demonstrations, the traditional children's kimono dressing and a keiki kendama tournament. (Your friendly neighborhood anime/manga blogger once tried one of those kendamas at the behest of the Otaku Ohana Anonymous Director of Forced Social Interaction. It ... didn't go very well.) At the center, 2454 S. Beretania St.; admission is free. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

Hawaii Comic & Toy Expo: More than 20 dealers will be on hand to happily take all the money you have ... umm, I mean, heartily encourage and nourish your various collectible and comic passions. Also in attendance will be artists Sam Campos, Andy Lee, Theodore Lee, Kevin Sano and Kanila Tripp. Admission is $3; children under 5 are free. Visit www.hawaiicomictoyexpo.com. Ala Moana Hotel (Garden Lanai room), 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; locations within the mall may vary. Visit www.facebook.com/groups/ComicJamHawaii (Facebook login required). 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Season of giving, season of sales

November 28th, 2013
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Isle-born Stan Sakai, creator of the comic book Usagi Yojimbo and longtime letterer for Groo the Wanderer, is highly regarded as one of the Really Nice Guys in the comic industry. Tag-team partner in fandom Wilma J. and I found this out firsthand back in 2006, when we sent him a bunch of questions for a Kawaii Kon preview article and he sent back enough material to write that article, an online-exclusive supplement with his travel journal and artwork that ended up gracing our weekend section cover for our con coverage that year. He's been a guest at two Kawaii Kons -- 2006 and 2009 -- and I'm sure anyone who sat in on one of his panels would agree that he's quite an engaging fellow. Here's a picture of him at Kawaii Kon '09 with a sketch of Usagi, his most famous creation.

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What many people probably didn't know, though, was that around two years before Stan's first Kawaii Kon appearance, his wife, Sharon, had been diagnosed with a benign meningnoma brain tumor. And while radiation treatment and regular MRIs seemed to keep it in check in subsequent years, according to Stan, it started growing aggressively again in 2010.

The story since then, from Stan's post to his Facebook page on Tuesday:

She has facial paralysis on the left side (everything happens on the left side). The paralysis includes her throat, vocal chords, and it has even deteriorated her neck bones. She had lost almost 40% of her body weight in a year. She is undergoing chemotherapy. Doctors don't see any end in sight for this. There are complications because of the tumor, medications, or just coincidence--diabetes, high blood pressure, rapid heart rate, compromised immune system. She has a tracheostomy tube for breathing and a G-tube connected to her stomach for a liquid diet. She can take nothing through her mouth. She is bed-bound, but we try to give her daily physical therapy--walking a couple hundred feet with a walker and/or sitting in a wheelchair.

She had been in the hospital and nurse care from April to September, but we are glad she is home. She requires 24 hour care, so daughter Hannah and her family moved in with us. This includes 18 month old grandson Leo, and another grandchild due in February/early March.

While there have been regular updates on Sharon's condition on Stan's page, friends and colleagues have largely shown their support by sharing their thoughts, prayers and well-wishes with the couple. Now, however, a more formal campaign to help pay for the mounting medical bills has emerged: CAPS, the Cartoon/Comic Art Professional Society, is organizing a charity art auction and is now soliciting donations from artists worldwide. The actual auction itself will be announced at a later date. Artists, you can find a form that you can download, fill out and send in with your contribution at www.garageartstudio.blogspot.com/2013/11/help-stan-sakai.html. If you aren't artistically inclined but still want to donate to the cause ... well, this part of the post was where I was supposed to write that you could go to that same Garage Art Studio post and donate via PayPal, but the link is broken at the moment. Stay tuned either here or to my Twitter feed for any further updates.

To Black Friday and beyond!

This special holiday shopping edition of the Ota-cool Incoming! calendar, spotlighting one special anime-themed shopping event and craft fairs where regular local anime con vendors like idkwhat2wear, Bit of Sugar and Team nemu*nemu, Audra Furuichi and Scott Yoshinaga, will be selling stuff over the next few weeks, is unofficially brought to you by "Black Friday vs. Cyber Monday," a classic nemu*nemu comic strip from 2009.

Can't make it to any of these events? Vendor websites are linked in the paragraph above. It should be noted that nemu*nemu has their holiday sale running through Dec. 16 (might I recommend the $25 e-book bundle with all six volumes, freshly recolored volumes 2-4 and introductions by industry luminaries including a certain friendly neighborhood anime/manga blogger?). Audra's taking commission requests, to boot; I've always had to restrain myself from buying every single piece Audra's ever drawn, so now's your chance to have that very same conundrum of choosing what you want to buy. Meanwhile, over at idk's site, you can only buy their shirts at the moment, but every order comes with two randomly chosen buttons.

BLACK_FRIDAY_FrontArt+Flea Presents "Totoro Black Friday": The monthly "destination for creatives, by creatives" takes a Ghibli turn this month. Shop for one-of-a-kind handcrafted items from dozens of vendors. and celebrate the works of Hayao Miyazaki, to boot. Swing by the Photo Ops Hawaii photo booth or watch Andy Lee of Charisma Industries work his drawing magic live, too! Admission: $3, but you can take $1 off if you come dressed as your favorite Ghibli character and another $1 if you bring a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots. Fresh Cafe (831 Queen St.); 5-10 p.m. Friday.

27th Islandwide Christmas Crafts and Food Expo: With idkwhat2wear and Bit of Sugar. Admission: $4 general, $3 military families and seniors 65 and older, free for children 12 and under. Neal Blaisdell Center Exhibition Hall; 4-9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.

Hawaii United Okinawa Association Winter Craft Fair: With idkwhat2wear (yup, it's a split-squad weekend for them!), the nemu*nemu crew and all the fresh-out-of-the-fryer andagi and other tasty Japanese treats that you can afford to eat. Admission: Free, but $5 will get you into the banquet hall (where idk and nemu*nemu are) 30 minutes before the formal opening time. Hawaii Okinawa Center (94-587 Ukee St., Waipio Gentry); 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

"An Evening in Waipio": With idkwhat2wear. Think of it as like the Winter Craft Fair mentioned above -- right down to the $5 early-bird offer -- except in the dark of night. Hawaii Okinawa Center; 5:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 11.

Moanalua High School Winter Craft Fair: With idkwhat2wear, the nemu*nemu crew and Bit of Sugar. Admission is free, but bring your walking shoes if you're not there at the crack of dawn waiting for parking, because you'll probably be hiking from somewhere in the surrounding Salt Lake neighborhood. At the high school, 2825 Ala Ilima St.; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 14.

Honolulu Gift Fair: Stacey Hayashi, author of the 100th Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team graphic novel Journey of Heroes (now heading into a second printing!), will be one of the vendors in attendance. Admission is free. Blaisdell Exhibition Hall; 3-9 p.m. Dec. 20, 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Dec. 21 and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 22.

Ota-cool Incoming! for August 2013

August 1st, 2013
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Surprise! It's August already, and 2013 is just whipping on through. Seems like only yesterday that I was pondering whether to start marathoning all of the Marvel Comics movies that I haven't seen to prepare myself for Iron Man 3 (for the record, that's Iron Man 2, Captain America, Thor and The Avengers ... yes, I'm just as behind on my live-action movie watching as I am with my anime watching and manga reading, sigh) ... and before I realized it, I had missed the theatrical run of not only that, but also Star Trek: Into Darkness AND Man of Steel. AND I'm going to have to hurry to catch Monsters University, too. I did manage to catch Despicable Me 2 (human characters were okay, Minions were awesome) and Pacific Rim (human characters were okay, Jaegers versus Kaiju were awesome), though, so at least there was that.

The summer movie blockbuster season may be winding down, but it seems like the Ota-cool Incoming! calendar is heating up, with no less than five, count 'em, five events taking place over the weekend starting on Friday. I think this pretty much covers all the high points for the next few weeks; of course, if anything new worth noting arrives here at Otaku Ohana Central, I'll try to let you all know as soon as my schedule allows.

To the calendar!

Close-up detail of Julie Feied's "Tomo-e-Ame," which will be part of the exhibit. Yes, if you've been paying attention, this was part of MangaBento's exhibit as well.

'90s Anime Art Exhibit: The Loading Zone (47 N. Hotel St.) in the Chinatown art district is hosting this artistic tribute to the days of Evangelion, Escaflowne, Sailor Moon, Cowboy Bebop and countless other series that I've loved that now officially qualify as "vintage" anime. Sigh. MangaBento "Tomo-e-Ame" participating artists Julie Feied, Devin Oishi and Dennis Imoto will have work in this exhibit, as will artist Chanel Tanaka.

From 7 to 11 p.m. Friday, as part of First Friday, there will be music by VJ Christian Berg, a dance performance by Blank Canvas, a fashion show presented by Visual Kei Dark Castle at 9 p.m., and Aloha Beer Company specialty beer on tap.

From 7 p.m. to midnight Aug. 9, you can meet the artists and enjoy an improv show by Mr. Aaron Presents from 8 to 10 p.m. and a cosplay contest at 10 p.m.

Both events will feature caricatures by Andy Lee and an art workshop; cover at each event is $5. And if you can't make either event, the exhibit itself will be up through Aug. 26. Gallery hours are 3 to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, or by appointment. Visit www.facebook.com/events/205760262908791 (no Facebook login required).

Aiea Library Anime Club: Young adult librarian Diane Masaki will be screening episodes of Hetalia Axis Powers at the library, 99-143 Moanalua Road. For more information or to RSVP, call 483-7333 or e-mail aiealibraryanimeclub@yahoo.com. 3 p.m. Saturday.

Kawaii Kon Beach Day: Watermelon smashing! Sand-castle building contests! Watermelon smashing! The Cosplay Runway! Watermelon smashing! A game of Capture the Flag! And did I mention the watermelon smashing? Indulge your inner Gallagher and have some fun in the sun at Magic Island Beach Park. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

Comic Jam Hawaii: They're baaaaaack! After a one-month break, this group of collaborative cartoon artists is back at Pearlridge Center for their regular first-and-third-Sunday-of-the-month gatherings at Pearlridge Center. As usual, locations within the mall may vary; visit www.facebook.com/groups/ComicJamHawaii (Facebook login required). Next meeting: 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Summer Smash 2013: It's the island's biggest Airsoft shoot-em-up event of the summer, presented by Impact Games and Ash Bash Productions at Hawaii All-Star Field off Nimitz Highway (someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that's the patch of land just after the entrance to the Disabled American Veterans Hall). So how did this make it into Ota-cool Incoming!? Kawaii Kon will be there, preregistering attendees for the 2014 convention (preregister at Summer Smash, get an exclusive patch!) and hosting a cosplay contest, to boot. (I'm kinda hoping one team shows up as Social Welfare Agency Special Ops Section 2. Just because.) For more information on the event and where to register, visit www.facebook.com/events/357207584390708/ (no Facebook login required). Sunday.

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. Aug. 11.

Taku Taku Matsuri: A summer festival with an anime/manga slant featuring food, games, artists and vendors selling all sorts of cultural swag, photo shoots, live music, and the Cosplay Chess Brigade and Yu x Me Maid Cafe and Host Club, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 25 at Hawaii Kotohira Jinsha-Hawaii Dazaifu Tenmangu (1239 Olomea St.). Volunteers also needed; training sessions are at 1-3 p.m. Sunday and 10 a.m.-noon, 1-3 p.m. and 4-6 p.m. Aug 18. Meet at Hawaii Kotohira Jinsha-Hawaii Dazaifu Tenmangu for that, too.

Future Attractions

Mini Con 2013: The comic con in the handy petite size returns for its fourth year at McCully-Moiliili Library, 2211 S. King St. nemu*nemu artist Audra Furuichi has already confirmed her participation ... and the date also happens to coincide with Star Wars Reads Day, so could a tie-in with that be forthcoming, too? Hmm. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 5.

Oni-Con Hawaii: Guests include Yuko Ashizawa, a fashion designer with Atelier Pierrot; Final Fantasy series composer Nobuo Uematsu and his band, the Earthbound Papas; Hiroshi Takahashi, voice of Ryu in the later Street Fighter games, Eiji Kikumaru in Prince of Tennis and Japan in Hetalia; and Sana, visual kei musician. Also featuring the Cosplay Chess Brigade and Yu x Me Maid Cafe & Host Club. Preregistration open now; $45 for a three-day pass. Hawai'i Convention Center, Nov. 1-3.

Kawaii Kon 2014: Guests include voice actors Michael Sinterniklaas and Stephanie Sheh and professional cosplayer Leah Rose. 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.

The Cel Shaded Report, 6/14: Bento box weekend

June 14th, 2013
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To get the obvious first thought out of your mind right away: No, Bento Rakugo is not, as I first thought when the offer came in from my freshly minted Otaku Ohana Anonymous Director of Forced Social Interaction, a new place in town where you can pick up a plastic box with some teriyaki chicken, assorted tsukemono and rice with a nice dusting of furikake and an ume stuck in the middle.

What Bento Rakugo is, though, is a nifty local troupe that shares humorous stories in the style of traditional Japanese rakugo. In rakugo, a single storyteller sits on a pillow before an audience and creates a compact narrative world -- sometimes with multiple characters -- with just a few intonation shifts and a paper fan and a cloth as props.

Here's what it looked like at Waipahu Library on Wednesday.

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It's a show that can appeal to audiences young and old, people who may wander into the room just curious about what's going on and friendly neighborhood anime/manga blogger trying to huddle incognito in the back alike. If the format holds for future performances, artistic director/group co-founder/emcee Yasu Ishida will introduce the concept of rakugo and perform some magic tricks, then the storytellers will go up and perform three to four stories, all within the span of an hour that passes way too quickly. They're a bit like long-form jokes building up to a big punch line, but the storytelling aspect adds so much more depth to it.

Here's what it looks like in action with one of the Bento Rakugo players who also showed up at the Waipahu performance, Serina Dunham.

Love her voice. I feel like she could be a great anime voice actor, in the vein of, say, Hilary Haag. But I digress.

Bento Rakugo has two more performances this weekend on Oahu -- 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Aiea Library (99-143 Moanalua Road) and 3 p.m. Sunday at Kaneohe Library (45-829 Kamehameha Highway). Then it's the neighbor islands' turn -- Molokai Library on Monday, Mountain View and Kona libraries on Hawaii island on June 26, Lanai Library on June 27, and Keaau and Naalehu libraries on Hawaii island on July 17. Check with those libraries for times. And if you want to learn more about the group, visit bentorakugo.wix.com/home.

By sheer coincidence, this weekend is a big one for another group with "bento" as part of its name: MangaBento.

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Sunday -- which also happens to be Father's Day, so best wishes to all you dads out there -- is opening day for the anime/manga artist collective's annual exhibit, Tomo-E-Ame: Friends-Drawings-Candy. I've seen some of the setup pictures that the group's been posting to its Facebook page, and the display area looks very similar to previous years. (You can find my recap of last year's Nakamaboko exhibit here, here and here.) I, for one, can't wait to see the new artwork and share it with you in my annual series of Flickr galleries

The group will be hosting an opening reception from 2 to 5 p.m. in the Art School's mezzanine gallery ... and as those of you who are veterans of the opening reception circuit know, such events mean there will be food. In this case, your servers will be coming from Yu x Me: Maid Cafe and Host Club, cosplaying as characters from Adventure Time. And they will be serving, among other delectables, bacon-wrapped meat "cupcakes" with a mashed potato "frosting." If that doesn't say "perfect food item to share with Dad on Father's Day afternoon," I don't know what does.

If you can't make it to the reception, you have through July 14 to see the exhibit. As I mentioned in last week's Cel Shaded Report, you can visit Tomo-E-Ame as a free complement to the Lethal Beauty: Samurai Weapons and Armor exhibit over in the Honolulu Museum of Art. For more information, visit www.manga-bento.com.

Ota-cool incoming!

Anime Manga Society at UH-Manoa: Meetings during Summer Session 1 (through June 28) in Kuykendall Hall, room 306. Screenings TBA. Fridays, 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Aiea Library Anime Club: This month, librarian Diane Masaki is screening Summer Wars at the library, 99-143 Moanalua Road. For more information or to RSVP, call 483-7333 or e-mail aiealibraryanimeclub@yahoo.com. 3 p.m. Saturday.

Comic Jam Hawaii: This group of collaborative cartoon artists is on the road again for its second meeting in June, heading to Aiea Library (99-143 Moanalua Road) to put their own spin on the young adult summer reading program theme, "Beneath the Surface." They're taking July off, so this will be your last chance to jam with a bunch of talented artists for a while. Visit www.facebook.com/groups/ComicJamHawaii (Facebook login required). Next meeting: 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 22.

Friends of the Library of Hawaii 66th Annual Book Sale: Every summer for about a week, the McKinley High School cafeteria turns into an oasis for fans of classic media like books, CDs, DVDs, videotapes ... you know, all that stuff that people say the digital age is steamrolling over. Cherish the classics and support the Friends, I say. FLH members get two days' worth of preview sales, June 20 and 21; Hawaii State Federal Credit Union members can join in on the preview sale fun on June 21; for the rest of us, the sale runs June 22-30. Visit www.friendsofthelibraryofhawaii.org/index.php/fundraising/annual-booksale and start planning your trip.

Future attractions

Dave Thorne Celebration of Life: Remembering the life and work of the "father of Hawaii cartooning" with a gathering at Bay View Golf Course (45-285 Kaneohe Bay Drive). July 27, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Taku Taku Matsuri: A summer festival with an anime/manga slant at Hawaii Kotohira Jinsha-Hawaii Dazaifu Tenmangu. Aug. 25.

Oni-Con Hawaii: Featuring guests Yuko Ashizawa, a fashion designer with Atelier Pierrot, and the return of Nobuo Uematsu and the Earthbound Papas in concert. Also featuring the Cosplay Chess Brigade and Yu x Me Maid Cafe & Host Club. Preregistration open now; $40 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.