Gude times together

gude1
Gudetama himself greets you at the entrance to the Ala Moana Eggs ‘n Things. Well, he would if he had the energy and drive to do so. Which he doesn’t. So he’s just kinda … there.

gude2Much has already been written about the special Gudetama menus at the three Eggs ‘n Things locations on Oahu. My fashionable foodie coworker Nadine Kam’s blogged about it. So has Thomas Obungen over at Frolic Hawaii. I’ve also seen a bunch of people posting their pictures of their experiences on the nation’s repository for food pics, Facebook. And now, your friendly neighborhood otaku blogger is bringing up the rear, posting pictures from his experience just as the promotion’s wrapping up this Friday.

What can I say? It’s been an interesting month.

So it recently came to pass that the Otaku Ohana Anonymous Director of Forced Social Interaction and I finally made our way to Eggs n’ Things — the Ala Moana branch; thanks; venturing anywhere in Waikiki makes my wallet nervous about how much it’s going to have to cough up in parking fees — to try the food for ourselves. Plus a portion of every sale goes to the Japan Society’s Kumamoto Relief Fund for victims of the April earthquakes, which is certainly a cause worth supporting.

gude3

… just remember, Gudetama doesn’t wake up until noon. (He always was a laid-back kind of egg.)

What you get for your money is a nice chunk of food. The “sleepy” menu, which the Director got, includes hot chocolate, a loco moco with egg (sunny side up or over easy) and a bacon blanket, and a pancake with lemon frosting, whipped cream, strawberries and chocolate sauce. I don’t have any pictures of those, because, well, you know, anonymous Director is anonymous.

I ended up getting the “lazy” menu. It starts off with some iced coffee, topped with the same cocoa-stenciled whipped cream design as the hot chocolate.

gude4

The main dish is a burger with egg (which I got over easy), lettuce, tomato, bacon and fries. The burger is quite lovely beefy; the fries, nice and crispy.

gude5

…and I took home leftovers from that, because I had to save room for the pancake. I added some pink ribbon sprinkles for an extra dollar, because doing that kicks in a donation to the Susan G. Komen Foundation in their battle against breast cancer. And supporting two causes in one meal is always a good thing.

gude6

All in all, it was a pleasant experience. There weren’t too many people for a weeknight, which meant we had enough plenty of time for staring at our phones and occasionally swapping them to share amusing Facebook posts pleasant conversation.

Now we just need someone to put together an Aggressive Retsuko karaoke package …

“Miss Hokusai” returns for a week

hokusai_opt_08
Hmmmmm. That great wave certainly looks familiar. Courtesy GKIDS Entertainment.

Miss Hokusai’s Hawaii premiere earlier this month sounded pretty sweet. As the leadoff feature for the Honolulu Museum of Art’s monthlong Japanese Cinema spotlight, this anime, focusing on the life of the lesser-known daughter to famed artist Katsushika Hokusai, O-ei, got a lovely welcome: preshow pupus, artists drawing on paper fans and auctioning them off, Darin Miyashiro playing the koto. And a good time was probably had by all.

I write “probably” here because, like most things scheduled for Saturday nights, I was working my usual night shift at the Star-Advertiser and thus couldn’t go. Fortunately for me and those of you unable to attend, though, there’s going to be another screening of Miss Hokusai … or, to be more accurate, another 33 screenings.

That’s because the movie’s playing at the Consolidated Kahala theaters in a full-on limited engagement starting today. It looks like it’s sticking around for at least a week, according to Consolidated’s site; we’ll see Tuesday whether it lingers for longer. So the standard disclaimer applies: The sooner you can see this movie, the better.

You can also see it with its English dub or original Japanese audio with English subtitles; check out the Ota-cool Incoming calendar for exact times, but in general, the dubbed version is being shown at matinees, and the subbed version has the late afternoon/evening slots.

Here, have the trailer again.

Other weekend notes

  • Haven’t seen Shin Godzilla, the latest installment in the Godzilla franchise as directed by Evangelion director Hideaki Anno, yet? You have one more chance: 12:50 p.m. Saturday at the Regal Dole Cannery 18 theaters. Get your tickets here.
  • idkwhat2wear and Kawaii Mono are going to be part of the Season’s Best Craft & Gift Fair this weekend at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall. Hours are 5-9 p.m. today, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $3, but here, have some $1 discount coupons. Also, be advised that parking late Saturday might be a little tight because of that evening’s Big Bang show. Wow. Fantastic, baby.
  • NEET, the mini con at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii that I wrote about yesterday, released a more comprehensive list of vendors a few hours after I published my post. (Oh hey, Michi’s Toy Box and artist Reid Kishimoto are going to be there, too!) You can check it out here. Wish I could attend, but alas, work calls.

Look at this stuff … isn’t it NEET …

neet-2016-posterIt doesn’t seem like it was that long ago that Taku Taku Matsuri was a part of the local otaku event scene, but it’s true: It’s been almost two years since the second event was held. A third edition was planned, but event organizer Yuka Nagaoka got sick and moved back to Japan for treatment last year, and it was put on indefinite hiatus.

Yuka’s still in Japan, and the chances of there ever being another Taku Taku Matsuri are remote at best. But it looks like we have a spiritual successor in place: NEET, a self-described “marketplace-focused event,” is taking place from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday at the Manoa Grand Ballroom, on the fifth floor of the Japanese Cultural Center. In the organizers’ own words:

We are a group of individuals dedicated to bringing quality vending opportunities to local Artists & Vendors.

We hope to offer a platform which encourages Artists & Vendors to pursue their aspiration in sustainable living through their craft.

The event name is based on the acronym used in the United Kingdom, Japan and several other regions to describe a young person, usually between the ages of 15 and 34, “Not in Education, Employment or Training.” But the event’s organizers are turning that meaning on its head. According to the event FAQ:

We chose this word because it’s a reflection of what we are. People who aren’t in school and taking a different route to accomplish our dreams of living off of our craft. We want people to not be afraid of taking risks for their dreams, and the first step is by being able to laugh about simple derogatory labels.

Also, they have a cute mascot. ‘Sup, Tomi.

neettomi_1

There will be more than 40 vendors there, from debuting greeting card seller Just Being Honest, to friends of the blog like Jon Murakami, HeadShot Heroes, Brady Evans and Michael Cannon under the Artildawn banner, to professional retailers like Hakubundo, Barnes & Noble and MiniQ. What I like about the lead-up to Friday’s event is how the NEET organizers have been taking some time daily on their Facebook page to profile one of the vendors that will be there. Check it out and find out about some vendors that you may not have known before. (I certainly learned a few things!)

Of course, you’re going to need some time to give your poor, screaming wallet a break. There will be food vendors on the first floor — Gyozilla and Bao Boys HI have been announced so far. There’s also going to be a cosplay contest at 7 p.m. — register at NeetCosplay@gmail.com with your name, age, email address and costume (and info on what show, game, or series it’s from) if that’s something you’re interested in –and entertainment from the HI Collective, all hosted by otaku emcee extraordinaire Remy Zane. If you’re into itasha, that subset of car culture where owners cover their cars in anime/manga/video game-themed vinyl stickers, there will also be a car show hosted by Tokyo Auto.

Admission (with in/out privileges) is $5; round up a group of five, and you can buy a five-pack of passes for $20. You can register online now at neethonolulu.com/pre-registration.html to save some time, too.

The Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii is at 2454 S. Beretania St.; on-site parking is available for $6 with validation. For more information, visit neethonolulu.com. And of course, for all your upcoming event reminders, don’t forget about our ongoing Ota-cool Incoming calendar to the right, up top.


Before I sign off for today, a quick note: Thank you to everyone who’s followed the blog and liked our new Facebook page ever since we went independent! This is the first time we’ve been able to see our site metrics firsthand — I’m pretty sure they kept tabs over at the Star-Advertiser; I was just too shy to ask all these years — and while we may not be drawing in hundreds of hits per day, it’s nice to see that we have a dedicated core fanbase and some pretty influential readers in their own right. We’re humbled by your support and hope we can hold your interest for a good chunk of time to come.

A banner day for us

trouble-in-paradise

I’m not going to sugarcoat it: Things have been pretty rough emotionally these past few days, saying goodbye to so many Star-Advertiser colleagues who were part of the recent layoffs. It’s been so chaotic that I feel bad about not having the time or energy to write anything in advance here about Kawaii Kon’s Anime Day at Japan Village Walk, although I did take some pictures for a few minutes there (including this one), rushed off to watch Yo-Kai Watch: The Movie (much of which takes place in the lovely Japanese village of, umm, Harrisville … oh, and Kumamon shows up, too!), came back for a few more pictures and then dashed off to work.

There is, however, some better news to share. If you’ve visited this site in the past few days, you might have noticed our new site banner, drawn by cartoonist Dave Swann. Dave’s comic, “Trouble in Paradise,” ended its 7 1/2-year run in the Star-Advertiser on Sunday.

We’re honored to showcase that banner as a permanent fixture of our blog. I’ve followed Dave’s work ever since he did supplemental comics for Will Hoover’s old “Pineapple Stew” columns waaaaaaaay back in the day at the Advertiser. Heck, I even have one of the super-rare “Trouble in Paradise” books (the cover of which is shown up top), snapping it up back way back when Borders at Ward Centre was still a thing (remember that?). It’s so rare, I’ve never seen a copy since. So to have him do something for us is pretty danged awesome.

otaohafb

Another announcement: We now have a Facebook page, where Wilma and I will be sharing links to our latest posts as well as the breaking otaku news that interests us the most, both locally and nationally. Maybe even live pictures from events, too, if I can figure out how to link that up. Like it! Share it! Say “amen!” (A certain Otaku Ohana Anonymous Director of Forced Social Interaction is so going to bop me over the head for writing that.)

Actual content that’s less about us and more about what’s going on in the community coming really soon! Like tomorrow! Promise!

A new age, a new page

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES
West Hawaii coastline as seen from the Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows, home to HawaiiCon 2016. Photo by Jason S. Yadao.

Welcome to the all-new, 100-percent-less-newspaper-affiliated Otaku Ohana! As always, I’m your friendly neighborhood otaku blogger, Jason Y.; over there playing Tsum Tsum (both regular and Marvel varieties!) and likely racking up three or four times the scores and coins I’m capable of garnering is longtime Tag-Team Partner in Fandom Wilma Win. The usual cast of characters and running gags are sticking around as well. (Aiea Library still does have plenty of parking, by the way.)

Please pardon our dust as we get settled and figure out the new toys we get to play with now that we have full control over our design and content. For starters, I think this part of the post is where I’m supposed to stick multiple garish “website under construction” animated GIFs.

construction-gif

construction-gif

construction-gif

(We are still under late-’90s web design protocol, right? No? Dang.)

In any case, we’re trying to look at and implement cool new features whenever we can find them and figure out what they do. You’ll notice one of those new features in the sidebar listed to the right (if you’re reading this on a computer, anyway) under “What’s Goin’ On?”: The Ota-cool Incoming Calendar is now an actual standing calendar. There are a number of events already populating it, from the imminent upcoming screenings of Shin Godzilla through Anime Ohana next October, and I’ll be updating and adding descriptions to the calendar as the information comes in to Otaku Ohana Central. (I’ll still be highlighting a few upcoming events here and there in blog posts, too.) You can find out a little bit about this blog in that section, too.

We’ve got a nice, spiffy new header image in the works, too. Hopefully we’ll be able to reveal that in the next week or so.

Now comes the hard part: figuring out how to fill this new space with the quality content you’ve come to expect from us over the years. Shouldn’t be a problem, of course. But new adventures always come with some degree of uncertainty, right?

Post #238

(Note from Jason: For the sake of having a complete Otaku Ohana archive here, I’m cross-posting this, the last post made on staradvertiserblogs.com, to this site. New content will be coming soonish! I just need some time to get some fresh air and food first.)

Amazing Hawaii Comic Con is hosting its Special Edition this weekend at the Hawai’i Convention Center. It’s a pretty impressive guest list, headlined by comic writer Brian Michael Bendis and featuring Chad Hardin (artist, Harley Quinn), Veronica Taylor (the original voice of Ash in Pokemon), members of the Hawaiian Comic Book Alliance and Max Mittelman, Ray Chase and Robbie Daymond (voice actors who play prominent roles in One-Punch Man and Final Fantasy XV). For tickets and information, visit amazinghawaiicomiccon.com.

But you’ll have to excuse me if I only briefly touch on that because of a bigger announcement that needs to be made: What you’re reading is the 238th post written by either me or tag-team partner in fandom Wilma Win since Otaku Ohana migrated from starbulletin.com to the staradvertiserblogs.com domain in 2012.

It is also the final post of Otaku Ohana as you’ve known it for its 7-year existence.

Sunset over Ala Moana Center as seen from the Ala Moana Hotel, March 26, 2015. Photo by Jason S. Yadao.
A sunset as seen from the Ala Moana Hotel, March 26, 2015. Photo by Jason S. Yadao.

Let me clarify at the outset that I’m not one of the 15 recently laid-off newsroom employees at the paper. (Neither is Wilma.) My primary duties at the paper are as a copy editor and page designer, and I’ll still be doing that. Recent cuts have, however, resulted in a shifting of priorities for staradvertiser.com, and those of us who write blogs were told earlier this week that most of the blogs — save for the four UH sports blogs hosted at hawaiiwarriorworld.com — would be discontinued, effective Friday, Oct. 7.

I do, however, have some good news about the future of Otaku Ohana. Shortly after that blog migration I noted earlier, I quietly reserved a space on WordPress, intending to use it as a backup in case anything ever happened to either that server or the original Star-Bulletin blog server. Things happen all the time that cause chunks of the Internet’s history to disappear forever, and I wanted to be ready for that.

Thanks to staradvertiser.com webmaster Adam Sparks and Editor Frank Bridgewater, who gave me the go-ahead to do so, I’m pleased to announce that I’ve gained full rights to house all past Otaku Ohana content and publish all future posts to that WordPress space. So yes, this blog will live on. It’ll just be updated at its new home — set your browsers and bookmarks to otakuohana.com, please — and be a 100 percent more freelance-ish endeavor.

So why am I continuing this blog away from the umbrella of Star-Advertiser branding? It’s because it’s become something more than A Thing I do in my spare time at the paper. It’s become a labor of love. A coworker once told me that he enjoys reading what I write because my style seems more like it’s written from a fan’s perspective rather than a clinical journalist’s perspective, and it’s something I’ve tried to keep intact all these years.

In the 11 years I’ve written Cel Shaded and Otaku Ohana, I’ve met so many cool people had so many wonderful experiences and had fun writing about it all. And it’s all thanks to you, the people who’ve stuck with me and Wilma over those years. We are otaku, fans of anime, manga, comics, cartooning, sci-fi, fantasy, what have you. We are ohana, a family. Granted, we can be a somewhat dysfunctional family at times — trust me, I’ve heard enough off-the-record, behind-the-scenes stories to write a book if I was that sort of person, which I’m not — but still a family nonetheless.

I just have one request: If you like the blog, now more than ever, please spread the word about it. I usually note when new posts go up on my Twitter (twitter.com/jsyadao) and Facebook (facebook.com/jsyadao) accounts. Sometimes Google+, too, if the Otaku Ohana Anonymous Director of Forced Social Interaction reminds me about it. Readership going forward is something I’m going to closely monitor to determine whether I should continue to request press credentials at most of the Con-athon shows, because I feel somewhat guilty asking if hardly anyone’s reading.

See you at otakuohana.com, space cowboys.

Summit of the manga mega-minds

This edition of Otaku Ohana is brought to you by two pens, an apple and a pineapple.

Because if I have to write this post about all the otaku activities going on at the Honolulu Museum of Art this month while I’m thinking about how there’s an pen, and there’s an apple, and UNH, now there’s an APPLE PEN, then I’m sure as heck going to have you, dear reader, stuck with that thought, too.

(It could’ve been worse. The Otaku Ohana Anonymous Director of Forced Social Interaction left me with the earworm of Pentatonix’s “Perfume Medley” during all of HawaiiCon a few weeks ago. You try walking anywhere having “Spending all, spending, spending all my time / Loving you, loving you foreeeever” lodged in your, lodged in your brain foreeeever.)

Even the exhibit entrance sign looks pretty. Photo by Jason S. Yadao.
Even the exhibit entrance sign looks pretty. Photo by Jason S. Yadao.

But I digress. There’s a lot going on at the art museum, and much of it is tied in with a major manga exhibit: “Visions of Gothic Angels: Japanese Manga by Takaya Miou.” The exhibit, ongoing through Jan. 15, is curated by Stephen Salel, the man who also assembled “Modern Love: 20th-Century Japanese Erotic Art,” the 2014-15 exhibit that brought manga artists Erica Sakurazawa and Moyoco Anno to Honolulu. From the exhibit description:

Takaya’s artwork explores themes of femininity and female identity through fantastic imagery originating from a wide variety of artistic traditions: Italian Renaissance portraits of Christian martyrs, the intricate Art Nouveau style of British illustrator Aubrey Beardsley (1872–1898), the surreal puppets of German sculptor Hans Bellmer (1902–1975), and the whimsical street fashion of Harajuku district in Tokyo.

In addition to an overview of the artist’s 25-year career, Visions of Gothic Angels: Japanese Manga by Takaya Miou focuses upon two anthologies, The Madness of Heaven (Tengoku kyō, 2001) and Map of Sacred Pain (Seishō-zu, 2001). Illustrations and short stories from these publications will be presented in a variety of formats: original drawings, printed books (tankobon), large-scale wall graphics, and digital works that visitors can read from cover to cover on iPads installed in the gallery.

Here are a few shots I took at the opening night reception in August that give you an impression of how it all looks.

Here's the entrance to the exhibit. On the near wall, you can see some of Takaya's art; the far wall contains several of her manga pages. Photo by Jason S. Yadao.
Here’s the entrance to the exhibit. On the near wall, you can see some of Takaya’s art; the far wall contains several of her manga pages. Photo by Jason S. Yadao.
An entire wall is devoted to displaying doujinshi Takaya has published over the years. Photo by Jason S. Yadao.
An entire wall is devoted to displaying doujinshi Takaya has published over the years. Photo by Jason S. Yadao.
"After a Poem by Tsukamoto Kunio" (1998) is one of Takaya's works on display. Photo by Jason S. Yadao.
“After a Poem by Tsukamoto Kunio” (1998) is one of Takaya’s works on display. Photo by Jason S. Yadao.

While Takaya won’t be appearing at the museum during the exhibit’s run — I understand she’s quite reclusive — there are those aforementioned events that the museum’s hosting. I was too busy to mention anything about last Saturday’s screening of Miss Hokusai, but here are some pictures an attendee, who wished to be identified as “fuzZz 😸,” passed along to me.

Artists hard at work at a reception held before the screening of "Miss Hokusai" Oct. 1. From left are Jon Murakami (with FIGHTING SPIRIT HEADBAND~!), Michael Cannon, Kaci Horimoto and Tara Tamayori.
Artists hard at work at a reception held before the screening of “Miss Hokusai” Oct. 1. From left are Jon Murakami (with FIGHTING SPIRIT HEADBAND~!), Michael Cannon, Kaci Horimoto and Tara Tamayori.
A fan drawn by Kaci Horimoto. It sold at silent auction for $50. (A certain blogger dork may have bid on it via proxy and won it.)
A fan drawn by Kaci Horimoto. It sold at silent auction for $50. (A certain blogger dork may have bid on it via proxy and won it.)
One of the fans drawn by Michael Cannon.
One of the fans drawn by Michael Cannon.

From 4 to 5:30 p.m. Friday at the Doris Duke Theatre, there’s going to be a roundtable discussion, “Manga in Japan, Hawai‘i, and Throughout the World,” featuring artists Brady Evans, Audra Furuichi and Jamie Lynn Lano; Kawaii Kon senior administrator Roy “Buma” Bann, and some friendly neighborhood anime/manga/comic blogger dork who may be revealing some big news about the future of Otaku Ohana during his portion of the discussion. (It’s pretty exciting!) Come get a quick primer on the industry, learn about where we draw our inspirations from, and hear why 60% of the panel adores homespun slice-of-life comedies.

Another lecture at 4 p.m. Oct. 28 will feature Bento Box artist, former manga.about.com curator and all-around U.S. manga community sempai Deb Aoki. In her talk, “Making a Living in Manga: Bento Box and Beyond,” she’ll discuss her artistic career, how she got interested in manga and the struggles of contemporary manga creators. Both her talk and our panel discussion are free. so swing by, enrich your manga fandom a bit and avoid a good chunk of what’s bound to be horrible afternoon rush-hour traffic.

Last but certainly not least, there’s the ongoing Japanese Cinema spotlight, which I’ve talked about in this space before (along with several other movies that are coming up in the next few weeks!). As a reminder, here are the remaining anime on the schedule, featuring a tribute to late director Satoshi Kon:

>> Tekkonkinkreet, 1 and 7:30 p.m. today

>> Millennium Actress, 1 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23, and 1 and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27

>> Paprika, 7: 30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23, and 1 and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25

>> Tokyo Godfathers, 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 23, and 1 and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26

Tickets are $10 general admission, $8 museum members.

The art museum and theater are located at 900 S. Beretania St.; admission to the museum is $10, with free admission every first Wednesday and third Sunday of every month. For more information, visit honolulumuseum.org.