Ota-cool Incoming!: The Cel Shaded stopgap edition

No Cel Shaded Report this week — right now most of my free time is going toward writing my annual Kawaii Kon preview article, which you’ll see both in print in the Star-Advertiser and online on Friday. I’m pretty happy with the focus of this year’s article, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading about what I learned about it next week. Time willing, I’ll have a few final notes about Kawaii Kon here next week after I wrap up that project.

I don’t want to let the blog languish in the meantime, so here, have this week’s edition of “Ota-cool Incoming!” This week, one event gets canceled, while a new cosplay party for the 18-and-over set pops up on Kawaii Kon Friday. A few other new things popping up on the radar, too!

“How to Draw Manga Faces”: This MangaBento workshop originally scheduled for 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday has been canceled. Please don’t show up. Of course, considering only one person signed up, the chances are pretty high that you weren’t planning on going anyway. Still sad, though.

“Journey of Heroes” graphic novel: If you have yet to pick up this this manga-style book chronicling the achievements of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team/100th Infantry Battalion in World War II — and you really should get it; author Stacey Hayashi and artist Damon Wong did a great job with it — it’ll be available for sale at the Bishop Museum gift shop. It’s a tie-in with the exhibit “American Heroes: Japanese American WWII Nisei Soldiers and the Congressional Gold Medal,” which also looks like it’s worth checking out. Now through April 17.

812587_328719173911738_1727988771_o“Court of Hearts”: Visual Kei Dark Castle has been around for just a few months, but this themed dance party presented by Nephilim Hall Productions has already made inroads in courting local fans of visual kei, J-rock and goth loli fashion. This event at The Loft Gallery & Lounge (115 N. Hotel St., #2) features an Alice in Wonderland theme, a lolita/kodona fashion show and contest, and special guests Yu x Me: Maid Cafe & Host Club. $10 for ages 21 and up; $15 ages 18-20. Visit www.facebook.com/pages/Visual-kei-Dark-Castle/301847309932258?fref=ts (no Facebook login required). 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday.

Kawaii Kon’s Karaoke Kompetition preliminary round: Show off your vocal chops for a chance to be one of nine participants in Kawaii Kon’s annual karaoke contest, with a chance to win … well … something. Presented by the University of Hawaii Anime & Manga Society. 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 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. Sunday.

“The Gibson Ball”: Speaking of Nephilim Hall Productions, they’re also presenting this party, named in honor of sci-fi author William F. Gibson and celebrating his contributions to steampunk and cyberpunk, at SoHo Mixed Media Bar (80 S. Pauahi St.). There will be an alcove for cosplay photo shoots, and DJs Nightfox, Dark Cloud, Shadowfaxxx and Black will be playing the very best in dark electro, industrial and EBM beats. Normal entry fee is $10; bring your Kawaii Kon pass and save $5. 9:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. March 15.

Comic Jam Hawaii: This group of collaborative cartoon artists meets every first and third Sunday of the month on the Uptown side of Pearlridge Center. This month, with Easter displays up, they’ll be meeting in the first floor center court area, conveniently located near cupcakes, caffeine and soft-serve ice cream. (This is for real this time. The last meeting was in the old place due to a communications mix-up.) Visit www.facebook.com/groups/147779161986428 (Facebook login required). Next meeting: 1 to 4 p.m. March 17.

Aiea Library presents Wreck-It Ralph: Because any movie that (a) spawned a retro arcade cabinet in Fix-It Felix Jr., (b) resurrected Q*Bert and his friends and foes for a supporting role and (c) has AKB48 on the soundtrack (before, of course, this happened and pretty much ruined AKB48 for me forever) is must-see cinema. Free screening at the library, 99-143 Moanalua Road. Plus with free popcorn and juice? Bonus! 5:30 p.m. March 21.

Aiea Library Anime Club: This month, you wanted more Black Butler, so you’re getting more Black Butler from librarian Diane Masaki. Club meets 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. March 23.

The Cel Shaded Report, 1/19: Noizi Ito? FANBOY SQUEEEEEEEE~~~

Yep, Noizi Ito designed all of these characters. Taken in front of the New People complex in San Francisco's Japantown district in May 2010, when this movie was playing there and I actually had thoughts of reviewing it. (Never did.)Last week, while I was in the middle of working on assorted posts related to the Liliha Library Anime Art Contest (and yes, part 3, featuring pictures from the awards ceremony last Saturday, is still coming — probably in the next week or so), Kawaii Kon made one of the most awesomest guest announcements EVER.

You’ll have to excuse me for dropping any veneer of journalistic objectivity in favor of pure fanboyish glee, because that announcement just happens to involve Noizi Ito, illustrator and character designer for The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Ito also did the character designs for Shakugan no Shana, but OMG WHO CARES THIS IS THE WOMAN WHO CAME UP WITH THE LOOKS OF HARUHI, MIKURU, YUKI, KYON AND EVERYONE ELSE IN THAT SERIES. The few dozen of you who’ve stuck around to read this blog regularly know that I have a thing for anything related to Haruhi and will mention that fondness in this space pretty much every chance I get. (It’s been just as much of a running punchline here as, you know, that book.) I love how recognizably distinct she made each of the characters look in that series. This will be Ito’s second American anime con appearance; her first was at Sakura-con in Seattle in 2010.

Here’s a “Drawing With Wacom” video of her in action.

Ito joins voice actors Johnny Yong Bosch (who’ll also be bringing his band, Eyeshine), Todd Haberkorn, Colleen Clinkenbeard and Lisle Wilkerson as guests for this year’s show, scheduled for March 15-17 at the Hawai’i Convention Center. To register, visit kawaiikon2013.eventbrite.com.

I should also note that the Kawaii Kon room rates at the Ala Moana Hotel for this year have been posted, and they’re quite favorable: $125 per night in the Kona Tower, $149 in the Waikiki Tower. The lowest kamaaina rates you’ll get on the hotel’s website at the moment by contrast are $165 Kona, $195 Waikiki, so that’s quite the deal, I must say. You can find a reservation link at www.kawaii-kon.org/hotel/

The great calendar of otakudom

A bit delayed this week — blame a combination of “mental health preservation holiday”-related lethargy and the usual big horking pile of stories to copy-edit and/or lay out at work — so some of these events may either be going on right now or be finished by the time you read this.

Otaku Fair at Shirokiya: Hosted by Hakubundo Bookstore with volunteers from the University of Hawaii at Manoa Anime Manga Society. Pick up art books, Japanese-language manga, posters and assorted character goods.  (I swung by there on Wednesday, and it looked like there were a lot of things related to One Piece, Dragon Quest slimes and Hatsune Miku.) Now through Jan. 27.

Aiea Library book sale: Book sales are really a media treasure hunt — you never know what you’re going to find. There could be an out-of-print manga volume that you need to complete your collection, or a Pokemon strategy guide in Japanese, or something completely different that you totally want right now. Find your passions here. Presented by the Friends of the Aiea Library and the Aiea Community Association at the library, 99-143 Moanalua Road. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. today.

“Friends, Books, Music … The Sale!”: You know all that stuff I wrote about the Aiea Library sale above? Apply it to this sale, presented by the Friends of the Library of Hawaii, except on a waaaaaaay bigger scale. Visit the Friends’ warehouse in Kakaako, which is ewa (west) of the UH medical school; just go makai (south) on either Forrest Avenue or Keawe Street to the end, and you’ll be there. Visit www.friendsofthelibraryofhawaii.org. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and Sunday and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday.

Aiea Library Anime Club: This month, librarian Diane Masaki is screening the always popular Black Butler, which beat out Summer Wars in a fan poll. (Quick blogger commentary: Don’t get me wrong, I love Black Butler, but over Summer Wars? Are you kidding me? Boo, you heathens. Boooooo.) For more information or to RSVP, call 483-7333 or e-mail aiealibraryanimeclub@yahoo.com. 3 p.m. next Saturday at the library, 99-143 Moanalua Road.

MangaBento: This group of anime- and manga-inspired artists usually meets every second and fourth Sunday of the month at the Academy Art Center, 1111 Victoria St., Room 200. Visit www.manga-bento.com. Next meeting: 1 to 4 p.m. Jan. 27.

Madoka Magica double feature: Watch the magical girl saga unfold in one big four-hour, two-film chunk comprising Beginnings and Eternal, Doris Duke Theatre at the Honolulu Museum of Art. Tickets are $20 general admission, $18 museum members. Visit http://www.honolulumuseum.org/events/films/13340-puella_magi_madoka_magica_parts_1_2 4 p.m. Feb. 27 and 28.

The Cel Shaded Report, 12/21: Now dash away, dash away, dash away all

Another quick Cel Shaded Report for this week — working on a year-in-review post (or several) that hopefully will see the light of day next week, assuming there aren’t any other big breaking news stories or the world hasn’t ended due to Mayan apocalypse. Speaking of breaking news stories that aren’t related to anime, manga or cartooning, if you have some time to browse, please check out our special section on Sen. Daniel Inouye. Many good people spent long hours putting that section together this week and on short notice — a bunch whose names aren’t in the paper, at that — so kudos to all of them.

Also: Merry Christmas! Tag-team partner Wilma J. and I wish all of you and yours the best this holiday season.

This week

tokyo godfathersAiea Library Anime Club: 3 p.m. Saturday at the library, 99-143 Moanalua Road. This month, librarian Diane Masaki is going holiday festive in screening Tokyo Godfathers, the story of three homeless men who find an abandoned newborn on Christmas Eve. For more information or to RSVP, call 483-7333 or e-mail aiealibraryanimeclub@yahoo.com.

MangaBento: This group of anime- and manga-inspired artists meets from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Honolulu Museum of Art School, 1111 Victoria St., Room 200. Visit www.manga-bento.com for more information.


Liliha Library Anime Art Contest: Ten days left for submissions in this year’s contest — deadline is Dec. 31 — with its theme of “Books: Imagination at Work.” Audra Furuichi has all the details you need over on the nemu*nemu blog, so get to it and get to creating.

Kawaii Kon: Applications for fan panels are now being accepted at www.kawaii-kon.org/events/panels through Jan. 1 for next year’s convention, happening March 16-18. As an added incentive, if you are approved for three hours’ worth of panels, you and an eligible co-host can get free three-day passes to the convention.

Madoka Magica double feature: 4 p.m. Feb. 27 and 28 at the Doris Duke Theatre at the Honolulu Museum of Art. Tickets are $20 general admission, $18 museum members. Visit http://www.honolulumuseum.org/events/films/13340-puella_magi_madoka_magica_parts_1_2

The Cel Shaded Report, 9/14: Franky goes to HEXXPywood

One Piece vol. 39. That's Franky behind Luffy.“Yao Kazuki.”

It was last Saturday morning, just a handful of hours before Manga Swap was about to kick off, when I first heard the name. At the time, my mind wasn’t really registering what it meant. Tag-team partner in fandom Wilma J. and I were busily setting up this and this. Plus my would-be information giver and name-dropper, Yoshiki Takahashi from the Hawaii Entertainment Expo (HEXXP), was wheeling his own cart of stuff from the elevators to the HEXXP table at the time.

“Wait, what? Who?” I said.

“Yao Kazuki. He’s the last guest. You know, Franky from One Piece.”


And so, six days after the announcement debuted at Manga Swap — and with our wallets a bit fuller, our storage boxes a bit emptier, and our sanity lost and found again (well, sorta, on that last one) — I finally have the time and energy to write and confirm that, yes, seiyuu (Japanese voice actor) Kazuki Yao is one of the last guest announcements for HEXXP 2012. Yao is, as mentioned earlier, best known as the voice of One Piece‘s Franky, the cyborg leader of the Franky Family group of ship dismantlers who becomes a valuable member of Luffy’s Straw Hat Pirates. He’s also voiced the hypnotist Marine Jango and the cross-dressing Baroque Works agent Mr. 2 Bon Kurei in the series. Other characters he’s voiced include Koichiro Iketani in Initial D, Marco in Gunslinger Girl, Hideki Kurohagi in the recent Wolverine anime and Ginji Kawai, Sasami’s dad, in Magical Project S. (Yes, folks, if there is ever an excuse to shoehorn Magical Project S into a post, and doing so is actually relevant, I will do it.)

Yao will perform Friday night as part of the “Seiyuu Meets Visual Kei” concert … which, of course, means that someone with visual kei chops had to join him. And so the final final guest announcement is Sana, current guitarist for Kain, former guitarist for Mask and someone who’s a bit difficult to find any English-language info on via Google. This translated interview from 2007 on Shattered-Tranquility.net, however, would indicate that Sana enjoys Giorgio Armani perfume, French movies, Hayao Miyazaki and making stray cats run away. So there is that.

Recapping the rest of the guest list:

  • Angel Anatomy, musical duo with a style that’s “ambient, classical, industrial, and a touch of opera”
  • Akiakane, noted Nico Nico Douga/YouTube utaite (cover artists who perform Vocaloid songs and other anime/video game /J-Pop pieces)
  • Atelier Pierrot, a clothing brand known for its EGL (elegant gothic lolita) styles
  • Andy Lee, modern zen painter and illustrator who’s done work for DC and Marvel Comics
  • Livetune, music mastermind behind the Hatsune Miku Re:package and Tell Your World albums
  • DJ MaRia, Avex Entertainment’s resident DJ for House Nation, “the most famous house music party in Japan”
  • N.S.D.P., J-rock band
  • Royalvana, online purveyors of Japanese GAL fashion
  • Nobuo Uematsu, music composer for many games in the Final Fantasy franchise, who’ll be performing with his band, the Earthbound Papas
  • Joji Yoshida, local actor

Major events at HEXXP include the World Cosplay Summit regional qualifying round on Oct. 21, and a Macross 30th Anniversary exhibit and maid cafe service from AniMaid Hawaii throughout the weekend. For those of you who don’t quite feel like you have what it takes to enter the WCS qualifier, you can take part in the just-announced Costume Masquerade cosplay contest on Oct. 20. Want to know exactly what to do when? Why, the complete programming schedule just got posted Thursday night. (For starters, if you’re an Earthbound Papas fan, be prepared to have a late Sunday.)

HEXXP is taking place Oct. 19-21 at Aloha Tower Marketplace. Yes, that means that HEXXP’s Friday night will run right up against the Slopes of Diamondhead Hui’s annual “Crazy, Sexy, Ghoul” Halloween party/Make-A-Wish Hawaii fundraiser. Yes, contingency plans are in the works. Yes, with a reported 3,000 people attending CSG 2011, that will make getting navigating that area for the latter part of HEXXP’s programming verrrry interesting.

For more information or to preregister, visit www.hexxp.com.

More from the anime news desk

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

Kikaida at Shirokiya: Aaaaaaaallllll the way back in 1662, Shirokiya opened its first store in Tokyo. Fast forward through 350 years of business ebbs and flows, and things have pretty much come full circle as far as the number of stores that exist in the world is concerned: There is one store left, and it’s the one with the Book-Off, the KZOO satellite studio, the yummy Saint Germain’s blueberry muffins and the second-floor foodie’s paradise at Ala Moana. (Raise your hand if you remember the Shirokiyas at Pearlridge and on Maui. Now, as I’m on the cusp of celebrating my birthday on Saturday, please join me in feeling old.)

The store’s been celebrating its 350th anniversary since August, but an event coming up on Sunday brings another anniversary into the mix: 40 years of Japanese superheroes in Hawaii. Which means it’s time for another recent Shirokiya tradition — a good old-fashioned Generation Kikaida party — to make an encore appearance. There will be stars (Kikaida‘s Ban Daisuke! Kamen Rider V3′s Miyauchi Hiroshi!) signing autographs, balloons, photo ops and “Kikaida-oke.”

For more information, visit www.generationkikaida.com. Oh, and if you have a moment, read Chad Pata’s story, “Kikaida: At Home in the Islands,” in our sister publication, MidWeek. It’s quite good.

Mini-Con 2012: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 22 at McCully-Moiliili Public Library, 2211 S. King St.  I hope to post at least one post on the topic next week (and look for the Kalakoa brief in Saturday’s Today section!), but nemu*nemu artist Audra Furuichi posted this on the Mini Con Facebook event page, and I just had to share it because OMG SO CUUUUUUTE:

Mini Con 2012 flyer

Katamari Damacy gets webcomic treatment: Word out of ShiftyLook, the webcomics portal devoted to resurrecting obscure Namco video game properties, is that Katamari Damacy, that wonderfully quirky game that Wilma and I both adore that involves the Prince of All Cosmos rolling up everything in said cosmos into giant balls to be turned into stars, is going to become a regular comic. It debuts on Monday; Destructoid has a preview. Suffice it to say that with that, the upcoming Klonoa being drawn by The Big O/Mega Man Megamix manga artist Hitoshi Ariga, the upcoming Mappy web animation, and my current faves Bravoman, Dragon Spirit, Rocket Fox and Wonder Momo, ShiftyLook’s become quite the hotbed of artistic talent … and a must-stop site in my daily web wanderings.

The Cel Shaded Report, 7/20: Beach blanket Tokyo Babylon

Otaku culture is fundamentally based around indoor activities. Sure, you see fans venturing outside every once in a while for sketch meets and cosplay shoots, but for the most part they stay indoors to watch their anime, indoors to play their video games, and indoors to curl up and read some manga.

kawaii-kon-logoAnd so, it’s time for Kawaii Kon’s annual reminder that going outdoors can be fun for anime and manga fans, too. The local anime convention is hosting its third annual beach day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Ala Moana Beach Park. Much of what I wrote about last year’s beach day still applies — pack a lunch, smash a watermelon, build a sand sculpture, enter a beach cosplay contest, here’s a map of beach day site Pavilion 28AB — along with a few new twists:

  • The water-battling weaponry has been upgraded, so instead of water balloons, be prepared for all-out water gun warfare. Bring one for yourself. Maybe a few for your allies, too, if you’re the type of person who builds alliances. Unless you’re the lone wolf Golgo 13 type, in which case I suppose you wouldn’t.
  • You can get a prize just by showing up in beach-themed cosplay (while supplies last, of course).
  • The best sand sculpture earns a three-day pass to Kawaii Kon 2013.

For any updates (and to join in the discussion, if you’re so inclined), visit www.facebook.com/events/241922289244420/

Anime around town

Aiea Library Anime Club: 3 p.m. Saturday at the library, 99-143 Moanalua Road. This month, librarian Diane Masaki will be screening the first few episodes of Ah! My Goddess: Flights of Fancy. For more information or to RSVP, call 483-7333 or e-mail aiealibraryanimeclub@yahoo.com.