The Cel Shaded Report, 5/17: Rock the cosplay or comic vote

Ahhh, Anime Expo. Largest anime convention in the U.S., usually held Fourth of July weekend in Los Angeles, tons of people lining up for everything, enough that I’ll probably never go to it (Fanime’s probably the largest show I’ll ever willingly visit, thankyewverymuch … and after last year’s experience, even that is a bit iffy now).

This year is AX’s 22nd year, and along with the usual pre-con activities — guest announcements! Room expansions! Preregistration deals! — they’re currently hosting a cosplay photography contest on their Facebook page. The winner will receive $250 and a badge for AX 2014 and have their photo reprinted in the AX 2013 program guide, while the top 15 photos will be on display at this year’s convention.

Normally this wouldn’t be of much interest save for the hardest of hard-core AX devotees, but there’s a local angle to this contest: The fourth picture in the gallery was taken at Kawaii Kon, with a bunch of local cosplayers, in the Hawai’i Convention Center parking garage. Here’s the picture and the listed description:

Via the Anime Expo Facebook page. Click on the photo to jump over to Facebook and vote!

Photographer’s Name: Chris Kwock
Photo Title: Wolf Pack
Cosplay Model’s Name: Kim Mazyck, Jon Minami, Shaughnessy Birgado, Gina Maeda-Caluya, Anthony Ragil, Jolene Kanesaki
Character and series: Bertha, Beltway, Spectre, Lupo, Vector, Four Eyes / Resident Evil

As of Thursday night, when I was writing this post, Team Wolf Pack was running in 11th place with 251 votes — 15 behind Kirito & Silica from Sword Art Online in 10th, 24 ahead of the Onceler from The Lorax. Now, I freely admit that this blog can’t muster up enough votes to push Team Wolf Pack into the top spot, with this Diablo 3 Demon Hunter already at 1,241 votes. We have only a few dozen loyal readers, plus I’ve had experience pushing for something in the past, only to have it fall way, way, way, way, waaaaaaaay short of its goal. But if this post can help nudge our local cosplayers up a space, I’ve done my job.

To vote, just go to the contest page on Facebook — I’ve direct-linked the photo above to their page, or you can click here — and “like” it. You have until May 22 to vote, so have at it.

Phantom Ice Cream truckMeanwhile, over in the world of kids’ comics, Audra Furuichi’s nemu*nemu is up for a pair of awards in the 2013 Kids Comic Revolution comic awards: “Favorite Webcomic” and “Special Award for Excellence in Drawing Delicious-Looking Food” (the latter for the Phantom Ice Cream Truck strip in February 2012). Babymouse and Squish artist Matthew Holm — in town a few months ago as a guest at McCully-Moiliili Library — is also up for a few awards, including “Favorite Graphic Novel” (for Squish volume 4), “Favorite Cartoonist/Author” (with his sister Jennifer) and “Cutest Comic Character” (Babymouse).

Now, I would say to go out and vote for Audra and Matt just as I voted for them, but there’s just one small problem: I’m not a kid. Perhaps my mental age is such, what with all these anime and manga and video games and other firmly-young-adult material surrounding me at the moment, but physically, I haven’t been a kid in years. And that’s the thing: The Kids Comic Revolution awards can only be voted on by kids. And I’m not sure if anyone regularly reading this blog — save, perhaps, the librarian faction — has access to anyone in that valuable voter demographic. But if you do know any kids, send them over to mlatcomics.com/krc/kcrawards13 to vote. You can also find a PDF version of the ballot there, which you can fill out and mail in; details on where to send it are available on the site.

Poppy Hill: The saga continues

poppy hill newYup, From Up on Poppy Hill is still here, screening for a sixth week at the Kahala 8 theaters and a second at the Koolau Stadium 10. The question is whether you’ll be able to see it in Japanese; your friendly neighborhood anime/manga blogger tried on Wednesday, visiting both the Koolau theaters and the Laie Palms Cinemas, and the net result is that he has now seen it four times in English. It’s probably a good thing that Anime News Network reported on Thursday that Amazon has listings for DVD and Blu-ray/DVD combo packs from Cinedigm, the home video branch of Poppy Hill distributor GKids. (Main takeaways: Release date is Sept. 3; retail price is $29.95 for the DVD, $34.95 for the combo pack, but you can save 30 percent by preordering now; and if you’re a Blu-ray guy or gal, while you’re at it, why not throw in orders for Howl’s Moving Castle and My Neighbor Totoro, out on Tuesday.)

On the bright side, watching it that many times, one starts noticing certain subtle things about the movie. More details on that after the weekend.

Fandango showtimes!

Kahala
Friday-Saturday: 11:45 a.m.
Sunday: 12:30 p.m.
Monday-Wednesday: Noon

Koolau Stadium 10
Friday-Wednesday: 11:05 a.m. and 1:05 and 3:20 p.m.

And as always, you can buy your tickets in advance here.

Ota-cool incoming!

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.

Anime Manga Society at UH-Manoa: Meetings during Summer Session 1 are every Friday starting May 24 through June 28. in Kuykendall Hall, room 306. Screenings TBA. 5:30 to 7 p.m.

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. May 26.

Tomo-E-Ame: Friends-Drawings-Candy: We’re now in the submissions period for MangaBento’s 2013 exhibit at the Honolulu Museum of Art School, with 2-D piece that are 11 inches by 17 inches or smaller now being accepted during MangaBento meetings. Larger 2-D pieces and art in other media will be accepted on June 9 in the art school’s mezzanine gallery. As for the exhibit itself? That’s June 16-July 14.

Summer Reading Program at public libraries: Register. Read books. Win prizes. Yay! I’m pretty sure more details will emerge about special programs at the various branches in coming days, but if I may just offer this initial thought: McCully-Moiliili branch manager Hillary Chang’s already claimed the prize for coolest regular Summer Reading Program incentive EVER. LOOK AT THESE:

mccully exclusive buttons

Five nemu*nemu pins. Exclusive designs. Exclusively at McCully-Moiliili. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaant. General program runs June 2-July 6, with registration beginning May 28; check your local library for exact dates.

Future attractions

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

Oni-Con Hawaii: With guest Yuko Ashizawa, a fashion designer with Atelier Pierrot. Also featuring the Cosplay Chess Brigade and Yu x Me Maid Cafe & Host Club. Preregistration open now; $35 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.

The Cel Shaded Report, 5/2: Comics comics comics COMICS!

Iron Man 3 opens on Friday.

Star Wars Day — “May the Fourth be with you,” get it? — is on Saturday.

And comic book geekery, let’s face it, can just be downright fun.

So it is that we’ve come to the annual celebration of comics, downright fun and WOO HOO FREE STUFF known as Free Comic Book Day, happening on Saturday. It’s one of those days when even comic creators can be fans. Why, here’s team nemu*nemu, Audra Furuichi and Scott Yoshinaga, with McCully-Moiliili librarian Linnel Yamashita from FCBD 2012.

Audra Furuichi, Scott Yoshinaga and Linnel Yamashita

Of course there will be regular comics — you can scan the full list of possible giveaways (keeping in mind that not everywhere will have the full range of comics) here. Here’s a picture that Aiea Library young adult librarian Diane Masaki sent along of some of the comics that she received to distribute to the various libraries (more on that in a bit).

FCBD 2013 comics

But as the anime/manga blog of record in the Star-Advertiser blogosphere, I’d be remiss if I didn’t show you Viz’s manga contribution to the comic party: samplers from Dragon Ball (that’s the original series, showing Goku as a young boy) and Rurouni Kenshin: Restoration (Nobuhiro Watsuki’s remixed take on his samurai series, currently being serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump USA).

Dragonball and Rurouni Kenshin Restoration

FCBD_nodateSo where can you go to get your comics? Several comic book stores are participating:

  • Collector Maniacs, 3571 Waialae Ave., ste. 102A (Kaimuki)
  • Gecko Books, 1151 12th Ave. (Kaimuki)
  • Other Realms, Ward Warehouse, 1050 Ala Moana Blvd.
  • Jelly’s, 98-023 Hekaha St. (Aiea) and 670 Auahi St. (Kakaako)

If you visit any of these stores, don’t forget to throw some money at them and buy something in appreciation, too — supporting local small businesses is always a good thing.

Also participating will be 16 libraries, spread out across four islands — 10 on Oahu, three on Maui, two on Hawaii island, and one on Kauai. Not only will there be free comics available, there also will be various cosplayers from the Pacific Outpost of the 501st Legion, Rebel Legion of Hawaii and the Costumers Guild of Hawaii at some branches. You can expect anyone from Stormtroopers to Homestuck characters to superheroes to Resident Evil STARS Rebecca Chambers and Jill Valentine to show up. The appearances were coordinated by Diane, who also said, and I quote, “Don’t forget to bring your camera!” (Yes, that quote was in a press release I was handed. Yes, I actually asked her to repeat that line for me, verbatim, so I could include it in here. I’m just all about journalistic integrity like that.)

I’ve learned some rudimentary HTML coding and cobbled together a handy table with the participating libraries, addresses and phone numbers, and whether they’ll have special cosplayer appearances. (Times are subject to change.)

Address Phone number Cosplayers?
Aiea 99-143 Moanalua Road 483-7333 Yes (10 a.m. and mid-afternoon)
Aina Haina 5246 Kalanianaole Highway 377-2456 Yes (2 p.m.)
Hawaii Kai 249 Lunalilo Home Road 397-5833
Kailua 239 Kuulei Road 266-9911 Yes (noon)
Kalihi-Palama 1325 Kalihi St. 832-3466
Kapolei 1020 Manawai St. 693-7050 Yes (10 a.m.)
Liliha 1515 Liliha St. 587-7577 Yes (10 a.m.)
McCully-Moiliili 2211 S. King St. 973-1099 ***
Mililani 95-450 Makaimoimo St. 627-7470 Yes (2 p.m.)
Waimanalo 41-1320 Kalanianaole Highway 259-2610 Yes (10 a.m.)
NEIGHBOR ISLANDS
Hilo (Hawaii) 300 Waianuenue Ave. 933-8888
Kihei (Maui) 35 Waimahaihai St. 875-6833
Lahaina (Maui) 680 Wharf St. 662-3950 Yes (11 a.m.)
Makawao (Maui) 1159 Makawao Ave. 573-8785 Yes (11 a.m.)
Princeville (Kauai) 4343 Emmalani Dr. 826-4310
Thelma Parker (Waimea, Hawaii) 67-1209 Mamalahoa Highway 887-6067

And then there’s McCully-Moiliili, where there’s a series of three asterisks instead of a regular dash in its row because branch manager Hillary Chang has a whole program planned to go along with the free swagfest. At 10:30 a.m., cartoonist Ray Friesen will talk about Pirate Penguin vs. Ninja Chicken, an all-ages graphic novel series that’s actually one of the series featured in Top Shelf Comix’s Top Shelf Kids Club anthology being given out during FCBD 2013.

Between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., local anime/manga-inspired art group Pen & Ink Works will be hosting a sketch meet, demonstrations and games. Drawing supplies will be provided; just bring enthusiasm and a creative spirit. And since members Brady Evans, Tara Tamayori and Rose Dela Cruz also happen to be three-quarters of the creative team behind local manga anthology Hachi Maru Hachi, they’ll be joining writer Jordan Takemoto and talking about the process of putting the latest issue together.

Show them a manga page you’ve drawn — whether at the sketch meet or elsewhere — and you can get a postcard with some official Hachi Maru Hachi art, too. Here’s an idea of what they look like.

HMH postcards

I’ll update this post if there’s any more news of FCBD events or online giveaways, but for more on the day itself, visit www.freecomicbookday.com. And don’t forget: Be polite and stay within whatever limits each venue sets for the number of comics you can snag for free. No one likes a greedy person getting in the way.

Update 5/3, 2:40 p.m.: Freebie added to the Aiea Library festivities: Trading card packs, featuring art by some of the Comic Jam Hawaii artists.

Update 5/3, 6:30 p.m.: Lime Media Hawaii is offering free digital copies of Hawaii Star Manga Project issue #5. Visit www.limemediahawaii.com. Also, don’t forget to bring your library card if you’re visiting the libraries for your free comics.

Update 5/4, 7:15 a.m.: Over at The Beat, Heidi MacDonald has previews and recommendations for every single FCBD book available today. It’s a great guide to take on the go if you have the technological means to do so! Part 1 covers Gold sponsor books, while part 2 and part 3 cover Silver sponsors.

Also through May 5, Nao Yazawa — the manga artist whose series include Wedding Peach and Moon & Blood — is offering her 77-page autobiographical  manga, Go Go Nao-P!, for free on Kindle devices. (After that, it’ll cost $2.99.) According to Anime News Network, Yazawa has said the English version seems to be working only on Fire and Paperwhite models at the moment; I’ve tested it through the Kindle app on my iPad, and it works fine. It’s a collection of 4-koma manga that she first published on her blog starting in 2010. She even translated it to English herself, so while the sentences are a bit stilted, it’s still an impressive feat.

The last days of Poppy Hill (no, really this time)

poppy hill newI’d have to imagine that with the English dubbed version of Studio Ghibli’s From Up on Poppy Hill entering its fifth week at the Kahala 8 theaters, these are the final days for this film’s run in Hawaii. Then again, I said that in last week’s Cel Shaded Report, and we all know how that prediction fared. It’s a bit more cut-and-dry for the Japanese audio/English subtitled version that quietly landed at the Pearlridge West 16 theaters, though. You have six more chances to see it — three today, three more over the weekend — because that version is being nudged out after Sunday. (Looking at the schedule, I think it’s to free up an auditorium for another set of Iron Man 3 screenings on weekdays.) (Update 5/3, 2:40 p.m.: It’s already gone in favor of more Iron Man 3 screenings. Sadness.) Such is life, though, and I certainly applaud Consolidated for bringing in the subbed reel in the first place.

Here are your showtimes, via Fandango. Tickets can be purchased in advance here.

Kahala
Friday and Saturday: Noon and 2:10 p.m.
Sunday: 2:10 p.m.
Monday through Thursday: Noon and 2:10 p.m.

Pearlridge
Friday through Sunday: 10:30 a.m.

Ota-cool incoming!

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.

Anime Manga Society at UH-Manoa: Meets every Thursday and Friday in Kuykendall Hall, room 305. Catch Cyborg 009, Kuroko no Basket and Hanasaku Iroha on Thursdays, or Magi, Psycho Pass and Toriko on Fridays. Social time/announcements 4:30 p.m.: screenings 5 to 7 p.m.

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. May 12.

Future attractions

Maui Matsuri: Annual Japanese festival held on the University of Hawaii-Maui College campus. May 11.

Tomo-E-Ame: Friends-Drawings-Candy: MangaBento’s 2013 exhibit at the Honolulu Museum of Art School, June 16-July 14.

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

Oni-Con Hawaii: With guest Yuko Ashizawa, a fashion designer with Atelier Pierrot. Also featuring the Cosplay Chess Brigade and Yu x Me Maid Cafe & Host Club. Preregistration open now; $35 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.

The Cel Shaded Report, 4/26: Shirt tales

One of the things I was sadly negligent in talking about in this space in the past few weeks was the nemu*nemu custom Gelaskins order that Kimonokitsy Studios — artist Audra Furuichi and husband Scott Yoshinaga — was running. I actually bought a few — some for technology I don’t even have yet, but which I’m planning to buy in the next few weeks! — and threw one of ’em on when it arrived earlier this week, and then … well, if you saw what happened over on Facebook when the nemu*nemu plushie foursome arrived at the office, you can kinda guess what happened next.

Yes, Anpan and Nemu got their paws on a Gelaskinned Nintendo DSi XL.

Anpan & Nemu with DSi XL

Anpan & Nemu with DSi XL-interior

And yes, that’s the camera app that they’re playing with. Here’s the proof from their perspective.

Heyos!

… and yes, I am such a dork for taking the time to take pictures like this. But that’s okay. My inner child and I have been BFFs for … well, pretty much my entire otaku journalism career.

The reason I bring up this story is because Audra and Scott are gathering orders for another custom print job — not Gelaskins this time, but Spreadshirt T-shirts. That design above, their “7th Anniversary” style? That’s the newest design to be added to a stack that also includes King of Pizza Anpan, Danish Donut King Nemu and Galaxy Explorer Enchilada. Those join several other online-exclusive designs in a variety of colors, in styles for men, women, children and toddlers. So you definitely have options.

Group orders will be accepted through May 3; visit ow.ly/ksUwn for details on how to order. In case you’re reading this post after May 3, you can order directly at nemunemu.spreadshirt.com.

The last days of ‘Poppy Hill’

New movie poster image! This is hanging in the hallway outside the Kahala 8 Theaters. And yes, that really IS a "Coming Soon" sign underneath. Even though, y'know, it's been playing for almost a week now.I’ve been talking about From Up on Poppy Hill for several weeks now, encouraging people to go out and see it before, well, they can’t, considering the only legitimate home video option for the film to date is a Region 2 DVD with English subtitles, currently selling for about $47 on CDJapan. (Then again, considering how much Aniplex USA wants $89.98 for the Madoka Magica movies on Blu-ray at Right Stuf and Namco Bandai wants $54.99 for each one of three Idolm@ster games on iOS, perhaps that’s a relative bargain.)

We’re heading into week 4 of Poppy Hill screenings at the Kahala 8 theaters, and given the sharp cutback in the number of screenings, I feel fairly confident in saying that these will probably be your last chances of seeing this movie for a while. There are only 14 screenings over the week — less than half the number we saw these past three weeks — and if you were hoping to catch it at night, it looks like you’ve missed that opportunity.

Courtesy of Fandango, here are the showtimes:

Today and Saturday: 10:30 a.m. and 12:40 p.m.
Sunday: 12:40 p.m.
Monday through Thursday: 12:30 a.m. and 2:40 p.m.

As usual, here’s your online ticket link. I’m running a bit short on time in writing this post, so my full reflections on Poppy Hill and where it stands in the grand Ghibli canon are going to have to wait a few days. They are coming soon, though! (I hope, anyway. If office workloads are favorable. Fingers crossed.)

Ota-cool incoming!

Monster Drawing Workshop: April has been the month to learn how to design your own manga characters (courtesy of Hachi Maru Hachi artist Tara Tamayori) and how to add manga faces to them (courtesy of MangaBento). To put a neat little bow on things, perhaps you’d like to learn how to create your own monsters to harass your manga creations (or befriend them, because hey, it’s your story)? Comic Jam Hawaii has you covered in this free workshop at Aiea Library. Paper, pencils and crayons will be provided, or bring your own art supplies if you wish. Recommended for ages 8 and older. 1 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

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.

Anime Manga Society at UH-Manoa: Meets every Thursday and Friday in Kuykendall Hall, room 305. Catch Cyborg 009, Kuroko no Basket and Hanasaku Iroha on Thursdays, or Magi, Psycho Pass and Toriko on Fridays. Social time/announcements 4:30 p.m.: screenings 5 to 7 p.m.

Free Comic Book Day: The name pretty much says it all. Full details coming in next week’s Cel Shaded Report, but for now, let’s just say that there will be costumed characters aplenty, possibly at a library near you. May 4.

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. May 5.

Future attractions

Maui Matsuri: Annual Japanese festival held on the University of Hawaii-Maui College campus. May 11.

Tomo-E-Ame: Friends-Drawings-Candy: MangaBento’s 2013 exhibit at the Honolulu Museum of Art School, June 16-July 14.

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

Oni-Con Hawaii: With guest Yuko Ashizawa, a fashion designer with Atelier Pierrot. Also featuring the Cosplay Chess Brigade and Yu x Me Maid Cafe & Host Club. Preregistration open now; $35 for a three-day pass. Hawai’i Convention Center, Nov. 1-3.

Kawaii Kon 2014: Guests include voice actors Michael Sinterniklaas and Stephanie Sheh. Preregistration opens Wednesday. Hawai’i Convention Center, April 4-6, 2014.

The Cel Shaded Report, 4/11: Oni-Con Hawaii’s first date

My Wednesday night/early Thursday morning in a nutshell:

  • Went to see From Up on Poppy Hill at the Kahala 8 complex. I give it three thumbs up because newspapers play a fairly big role in the movie, and YAY NEWSPAPERS. Also, it’s a great 1960s-era Japan period piece, Goro Miyazaki actually has a good story to wrap around the lingering shots of pretty scenery this time, and I really want to see it with its original Japanese soundtrack now. But YAY NEWSPAPERS.
  • Ate dinner afterward at a fairly large national chain restaurant with a large hot pepper as its logo. Checked email. Nearly choked on bite of yummy Chocolate Chip Paradise Pie upon learning that fairly major news had broken while I was watching Umi and Shun running around trying to save their school’s run-down clubhouse.
  • Dashed home, fired up computer, ripped out original Cel Shaded Report topic for this week and began working on this post.

Oni-Con Hawaii logoWhat made me stay up into the wee hours of the morning: Oni-Con Hawaii, the new anime/manga/Japanese pop culture convention in town, finally revealed the dates and location for its first show. And for those of you who have developed your own sets of survival tips during Kawaii Kon weekend, get ready to put those into practice once again: Oni-Con’s heading to the Hawai’i Convention Center Nov. 1-3.

The announcement ends a wait of about 1-1/2 months for that information ever since the convention first announced its existence in mid-February. Some — your friendly neighborhood anime/manga blogger admittedly included — might even say that the teaser period lasted too long and started drifting into “well, are you guys really going to be able to pull something together this year?” territory. Having an announcement posted on the Facebook page about those details “coming shortly” on Feb. 27, then again promising those details “within the next week” on March 27 and then not saying anything until two weeks later, has a way of raising suspicions a bit. But the past is the past, and hopefully things will be a bit smoother going forward.

A few other notes on what I know about Oni-Con, some repeats from before, other bits new:

  • Currently confirmed as appearing at the inaugural show are Atelier Pierrot designer Yuko Ashizawa, Yu x Me Maid Cafe & Host Club (which announced this week that it would be hosting an Amnesia/Alice in Wonderland-themed event) and the Cosplay Chess Brigade.
  • Three-day passes are currently available at oniconhawaii.com/registration.html at the introductory rate of $35. No telling at this point how long that’s going to last, so you may want to get on that right away. Unfortunately for those of you who preregistered for HEXXP, you’re going to have to preregister and pay again, then pursue a refund of your HEXXP payment through other venues, as this post details.
  • Volunteers interested in … umm … volunteering can email info@oniconhawaii.com. Also still in a holding pattern is the cost for, and number of, Artist Alley tables that will be available.

More news undoubtedly to come in the next few weeks. As a friend of mine is fond of saying, things are about to get pretty interesting.

‘Poppy Hill’ extended a week

New movie poster image! This is hanging in the hallway outside the Kahala 8 Theaters. And yes, that really IS a "Coming Soon" sign underneath. Even though, y'know, it's been playing for almost a week now.More now on Poppy Hill, the newest Studio Ghibli film localized for the U.S.: The latest weekly movie time update from Fandango has arrived. For those of you who for whatever reason couldn’t make it to the first week’s worth of screenings at the Kahala 8 complex, you’re in luck: It’ll be showing for another week, at least. There are a few minor adjustments in screening times, but the number of screenings between Friday and next Thursday remains the same, at 33. Tickets are available online via Fandango. Here are those times:

Friday and Saturday: 10:40 a.m. and 12:50, 3, 5:10, 7:20 and 9:40 p.m.
Sunday: 10:40 a.m. and 12:50, 3, 5:10 and 7:20 p.m.
Monday through Thursday: 12:45, 3, 5:10 and 7:20 p.m.

Ota-cool incoming!

“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’s 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.”

Over at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii gift shop (2454 S. Beretania St.), you can also get the book ($10 general, $9 JCCH members), some spiffy exclusive “Chibi Wear” aloha shirts for men and women ($75, $67.50 JCCH members) or, for you DIYers, pre-cut yards (36 inches by 44 inches) of any of the three available fabric styles ($20 per yard, $18 JCCH members). Bishop Museum exhibit on display through April 17.

Anime Manga Society at UH-Manoa: Meets every Thursday and Friday in Kuykendall Hall, room 305. Catch Cyborg 009, Kuroko no Basket and Hanasaku Iroha on Thursdays, or Magi, Psycho Pass and Toriko on Fridays. Social time/announcements 4:30 p.m.: screenings 5 to 7 p.m.

Aiea Library Anime Club: Because attendees asked for it, librarian Diane Masaki is screening even more episodes of Black Butler this month 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.

Manga character design workshop: Learn the basics of human anatomy and character design (and how to break those rules to develop your own style) from Tara Tamayori, the artist whose two-chapter story “Eternal Blade” is featured in the Hachi Maru Hachi anthology. Workshops will be held at the Honolulu Museum of Art School (1111 Victoria St., room 200) Cost: $15, payable to the instructor at the beginning of each session. Designed for ages 12 and up. Email peninkinfo@gmail.com or call the art school at 532-8741 if you’re still interested. 1 to 4 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.). “But wait,” you say. “Isn’t Tara’s workshop on the same day? Doesn’t MangaBento usually meet in Room 200? Where are they going to go?!?” Simple … they’ll be in Room 101. Art for everyone, yay! Visit www.manga-bento.com. Next meeting: 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Monster Drawing Workshop: With April being the month to learn how to design your own manga characters (courtesy of Tara) and how to add manga faces to them (courtesy of MangaBento), perhaps you’d like to learn how to create your own monsters to harass your manga creations (or befriend them, because hey, it’s your story)? Comic Jam Hawaii has you covered in this free workshop at Aiea Library. Paper, pencils and crayons will be provided, or bring your own art supplies if you wish. Recommended for ages 8 and older. 1 to 3:30 p.m. April 27.

Other future attractions

Free Comic Book Day: The name pretty much says it all. Of course, there will probably be other things going on as well. May 4.

Maui Matsuri Festival: Annual Japanese festival held on the University of Hawaii-Maui College campus. May 11.

Tomo-E-Ame: Friends-Drawings-Candy: MangaBento’s annual exhibit at the Honolulu Museum of Art School. June 16-July 14.

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

Kawaii Kon 2014: Guests include voice actors Michael Sinterniklaas and Stephanie Sheh. Hawai’i Convention Center, April 4-6, 2014.

The Cel Shaded Report, 4/6: A bottle of Comic Jam

cjh samplerComic Jam Hawaii has been a regular part of this blog for a good portion of a year now, and for good reason: It’s been fun to see what local artists can do when they get together twice a month — at least — to socialize and draw, draw, draw.

The group is now in its third year of existence, and they’ve produced a lot of artwork in that time. I have a Nakamaboko exhibit image gallery and a quarter-inch stack of original drawings, scooped up from their year-end drawing blowout extravaganza, to prove it. And now, as another way of showcasing the group’s work from last year, a new book has been published. It’s a 9.6 MB, 64-page collection of assorted photos and sketches organized by month, and it’s a pretty good cross-section sampling of what the group is all about.  As Comic Jam Hawaii coordinator Michael Cannon writes in the introduction:

The work in this book is a random, very random, sampling of Jam pieces and photos from 2012. No criterion was established to determine what would be included. It’s just basically me going through the scans from the last year and slapping things in here from that. I am completely to blame for what is included or not. I wish I could include everything we did, but I can’t bind a 5″ thick book.

Here’s a sample page, downsized a bit to fit this blog’s format (the original pages measure around 8 inches by 10 inches):

cjh interior page

A limited number of physical copies will be available at the Comic Jam on Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. at Pearlridge Center. If you can’t make it because you have to head in to the office to put in eight hours of work helping to copy-edit a major metropolitan daily newspaper (raises hand) or for whatever other reason you may have, the book is also available for free download online; just point your browser at artildawn.com/dl/2012_CJH_book.pdf . For more information on the group, visit www.facebook.com/groups/ComicJamHawaii (Facebook login required).

Ota-cool incoming!

“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’s 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.” I checked out the exhibit for myself on Friday, and it complements the book and fleshes out the story perfectly. You even get to see some of the original photos that ended up “chibi-fied” in the book.

Plus you get to see this little beauty in person, all shiny and sparkly and ooh.

Congressional Gold Medal

Over at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii gift shop (2454 S. Beretania St.), you can also get the book ($10 general, $9 JCCH members), some spiffy exclusive “Chibi Wear” aloha shirts for men and women ($75, $67.50 JCCH members) or, for you DIYers, pre-cut yards (36 inches by 44 inches) of any of the three available fabric styles ($20 per yard, $18 JCCH members). Bishop Museum exhibit on display through April 17.

Anime Manga Society at UH-Manoa: Meets every Thursday and Friday in Kuykendall Hall, room 305. Catch Cyborg 009, Kuroko no Basket and Hanasaku Iroha on Thursdays, or Magi, Psycho Pass and Toriko on Fridays. Social time/announcements 4:30 p.m.: screenings 5 to 7 p.m.

Manga character design workshop: Learn the basics of human anatomy and character design (and how to break those rules to develop your own style) from Tara Tamayori, the artist whose two-chapter story “Eternal Blade” is featured in the Hachi Maru Hachi anthology. Workshops will be held at the Honolulu Museum of Art School (1111 Victoria St., room 200) Cost: $15 per session, payable to the instructor at the beginning of each session. Designed for ages 12 and up. Email peninkinfo@gmail.com or call the art school at 532-8741 if you’re still interested. Sunday and April 14, 1 to 4 p.m.

Aiea Library Anime Club: Because attendees asked for it, librarian Diane Masaki is screening even more episodes of Black Butler this month at the library, 99-143 Moanalua Road. In other news, I’m formally launching my “Hey! Diane! Show Summer Wars! It’s a really, really good movie! Really! And you have to see it!” campaign. Who’s in? For more information or to RSVP, call 483-7333 or e-mail aiealibraryanimeclub@yahoo.com. 3 p.m. April 13.

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.). “But wait,” you say. “Isn’t Tara’s workshop on the 14th? Doesn’t MangaBento usually meet in Room 200? Where are they going to go?!?” Simple … they’ll be in Room 101. Art for everyone, yay! Visit www.manga-bento.com. Next meeting: 1 to 4 p.m. April 14.

“How to Draw Manga Faces”: If you can’t figure out what participants are going to be learning at this workshop at Treehouse (250 Ward Ave., suite 233) presented by MangaBento, you’re really reading the wrong blog. Recommended for ages 8 and older; cost is $10, art materials included. Feel free to bring your own, too, if you prefer. And yes, this is the same workshop that was supposed to be held March 9 but canceled due to lack of interest; here’s hoping for more interest this time around. Details and a link to register are at treehouse-shop.com/how-to-draw-manga-faces-workshop. 2 to 3 p.m. April 20.

Monster Drawing Workshop: With April being the month to learn how to design your own manga characters (courtesy of Tara) and how to add manga faces to them (courtesy of MangaBento), perhaps you’d like to learn how to create your own monsters to harass your manga creations (or befriend them, because hey, it’s your story)? Comic Jam Hawaii has you covered in this free workshop at Aiea Library. Paper, pencils and crayons will be provided, or bring your own art supplies if you wish. Recommended for ages 8 and older. 1 to 3:30 p.m. April 27.

Other future attractions

Free Comic Book Day: The name pretty much says it all. Of course, there will probably be other things going on as well. May 4.

Maui Matsuri Festival: Annual Japanese festival held on the University of Hawaii-Maui College campus. May 11.

Tomo-E-Ame: Friends-Drawings-Candy: MangaBento’s annual exhibit at the Honolulu Museum of Art School. June 16-July 14.

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

Kawaii Kon 2014: Guests include voice actors Michael Sinterniklaas and Stephanie Sheh. Hawai’i Convention Center, April 4-6, 2014.

The Cel Shaded Report, 3/30: “From Up on Poppy Hill” comes down to Kahala

Wonder if this makes it "Poppy Hill" on San Francisco hill. Hard to tell from this angle.Roy Chang — Aiea Intermediate art teacher, MidWeek cartoonist, Cacy & Kiara and the Curse of the Ki’i author and friend of the blog — visited San Francisco while on vacation for a few days last week, making me (and no doubt a good number of his Facebook friends) supreeeeemely jealous by posting pictures of his Bay Area adventures. One of the pictures he posted was the one you can see to the right: a From Up On Poppy Hill poster on a light pole in the SoMa district.

Poppy Hill is the newest film from Studio Ghibli to be localized for U.S. audiences, and the first to arrive under the umbrella of GKids Films. Ghibli, of course, is the production house of My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Spirited Away, The Secret World of Arrietty, Ponyo, Howl’s Moving Castle and many, many, many other quality films over the years … and Tales From Earthsea. The less said about Earthsea, the better. It’s worth noting, though, that Poppy Hill is the first time since Earthsea that Goro Miyazaki, son of Ghibli superstar Hayao Miyazaki, has directed a feature film and critical buzz has actually been good. (Hayao Miyazaki contributed the screenplay.) The story, set in Yokohama in 1963, follows Umi and Shun, two teens drawn together in their efforts to save a rundown clubhouse at their high school from being demolished … and eventually drawn closer with the bonds of budding romance.

Here, have a trailer.

Our Bay Area friends have been enjoying Poppy Hill since Friday, but the question was whether the movie would cross the Pacific and make its way to a theater near us. On the same night that Roy posted his picture, I checked GKids’ theater listing and was pleased to learn that the film will be screening locally … Consolidated’s Kahala 8 complex in Kahala Mall, to be exact. And it’s opening next Friday, April 5.

And that is pretty much all I know about the movie’s local release at this point. I’ve been watching Fandango over the past few days to see if there have been any links to advance ticket sales or showtimes posted; none exist as of yet. (I’d expect movement on this around Tuesday or Wednesday, which is when screenings over the next week usually are added to the database.) Unless there’s some special dispensation, I’m also expecting that the version that will be screening will be the English dubbed version, as seen in the trailer above; the subtitled version seems to be appearing only at select film festivals. It’s good that the film’s even showing up here in the first place, though, so please, no complaining.

Want to learn more about Poppy Hill? Visit fromuponpoppyhill.com.

Ota-cool incoming!

journey of heroes“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’s 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. Over at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii gift shop (2454 S. Beretania St.), you can also get the book ($10 general, $9 JCCH members), some spiffy exclusive “Chibi Wear” aloha shirts for men and women ($75, $67.50 JCCH members) or, for you DIYers, pre-cut yards (36 inches by 44 inches) of any of the three available fabric styles ($20 per yard, $18 JCCH members). Bishop Museum exhibit on display through April 17.

Anime Manga Society at UH-Manoa: Meets every Thursday and Friday in Kuykendall Hall, room 305. Catch Cyborg 009, Kuroko no Basket and Hanasaku Iroha on Thursdays, or Magi, Psycho Pass and Toriko on Fridays. Social time/announcements 4:30 p.m.: screenings 5 to 7 p.m.

Manga character design workshop: Learn the basics of human anatomy and character design (and how to break those rules to develop your own style) from Tara Tamayori, the artist whose two-chapter story “Eternal Blade” is featured in the Hachi Maru Hachi anthology. Workshops will be held at the Honolulu Museum of Art School (1111 Victoria St., room 200) Cost: $15 per session, payable to the instructor at the beginning of each session. Designed for ages 12 and up. Special note: There’s already a waiting list for these workshops, so email peninkinfo@gmail.com or call the art school at 532-8741 if you’re still interested. April 7 and 14, 1 to 4 p.m.

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. April 7.

“How to Draw Manga Faces”: If you can’t figure out what participants are going to be learning at this workshop at Treehouse (250 Ward Ave., suite 233) presented by MangaBento, you’re really reading the wrong blog. Recommended for ages 8 and older; cost is $10, art materials included. Feel free to bring your own, too, if you prefer. And yes, this is the same workshop that was supposed to be held March 9 but canceled due to lack of interest; here’s hoping for more interest this time around. Details and a link to register are at treehouse-shop.com/how-to-draw-manga-faces-workshop. 2 to 3 p.m. April 20.

The Cel Shaded Report, 3/22: Atelier Pierrot’s isle return

It’s hard to believe it’s already been about one week since Kawaii Kon 2013 kicked off and five days since it ended. I’ve been alternating quite a bit these past few days between relaxing/recovering from it and wading through the virtual piles upon piles of pictures I shot over the three-day weekend. More galleries and posts are coming in the next few days. Just ran a handful of pictures for a “general cosplay” gallery through the ol’ Photoshop Elements image cleanup tools, in fact.

There was also this random picture that doesn’t particularly fit into my current gallery-organizing, but it’s one that’ll make old-school anime collectors drool with envy:

IMG_1148_edit

Yes, that’s a stack of Maison Ikkoku box sets 1-7, sitting at the Friends of the Library Hawaii State Library System table in Artist Alley. A copy of box set 5 in the series recently sold for $88.45 on eBay. Box set 7? $76.56. Let’s not even think of what a complete set, plus box set 8. recently sold for. And it’s available to borrow — $1 per box set, for a one-week period — at a friendly neighborhood library near you (as long as that library is Aiea, although you certainly can put in a remote request for it).

But we also have to start the transition away from Kawaii Kon-related items to other events on the calendar (although with the convention already announcing its 10th annual edition is arriving on April 4-6, 2014, a seed’s certainly been planted already in the back of our minds).

So today we turn our attention briefly to the fledgling convention in town, Oni-Con Hawaii, which hit a milestone in announcing its first guest for its inaugural show: Yuko Ashizawa, a designer for Gothic Lolita fashion retailer Atelier Pierrot. This is the second go-round for Atelier Pierrot in the islands, the first time being at HEXXP last year; OCH will feature an expanded presence, with a fashion show, giveaways and a tea party among the events announced so far.

Also signing on with Oni-Con Hawaii is the Cosplay Chess Brigade, the local group that started off staging a real-life cosplay chess game at last year’s HEXXP and has since pulled off a successful game at Kawaii Kon as well. If you’ve never seen a cosplay chess game in action, it’s pretty neat; I haven’t gotten to my pictures of the Kawaii Kon game yet, but I’ll certainly be posting pics of this group somewhere soon. It seems like they’re ramping up activity in the local community quite nicely.

There’s still no date or location announced for Oni-Con Hawaii, but hopefully that’ll be coming along soon. In the meantime, if you’re interested in volunteering, send all inquiries to info@oniconhawaii.com.

Ota-cool incoming!

“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.

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 email aiealibraryanimeclub@yahoo.com. 3 p.m. Saturday.

Anime Manga Society at UH-Manoa: Meets every Thursday and Friday in Kuykendall Hall, room 305. Catch Cyborg 009, Kuroko no Basket and Hanasaku Iroha on Thursdays, or Magi, Psycho Pass and Toriko on Fridays. Social time/announcements 4:30 p.m.: screenings 5 to 7 p.m.

Manga character design workshop: Learn the basics of human anatomy and character design (and how to break those rules to develop your own style) from Tara Tamayori, the artist whose two-chapter story “Eternal Blade” is featured in the Hachi Maru Hachi anthology. Workshops will be held at the Honolulu Museum of Art School (1111 Victoria St., room 200) Cost: $15 per session, payable to the instructor at the beginning of each session. Designed for ages 12 and up. Special note: There’s already a waiting list for these workshops, so email peninkinfo@gmail.com or call the art school at 532-8741 if you’re still interested. April 7 and 14, 1 to 4 p.m.

Comic Jam Hawaii: This group of collaborative cartoon artists meets every first and third Sunday of the month in front of Hot Unique Imaging on the Uptown side of Pearlridge Center. Visit www.facebook.com/groups/147779161986428 (Facebook login required). Next meeting: 1 to 4 p.m. April 7.

“How to Draw Manga Faces”: If you can’t figure out what participants are going to be learning at this workshop at Treehouse (250 Ward Ave., suite 233) presented by MangaBento, you’re really reading the wrong blog. Recommended for ages 8 and older; cost is $10, art materials included. Feel free to bring your own, too, if you prefer. And yes, this is the same workshop that was supposed to be held March 9 but canceled due to lack of interest; here’s hoping for more interest this time around. Details and a link to register are at treehouse-shop.com/how-to-draw-manga-faces-workshop. 2 to 3 p.m. April 20.

The Cel Shaded Report, 2/22: Magical lyrical cinema transformation

Madoka and Kyubey, Nendoroid style. REVEL IN THE PUDGY CUTE.We’ve known since December that the Puella Magi Madoka Magica double feature — comprising the films Beginnings and Eternal — is coming to Honolulu. It’s happening just a handful of days from now — Wednesday and Thursday, to be exact.

But let’s say you have the mindset of a typical journalist (like, say, me) and thrive on deadline pressure, taking care of business as close to the last minute as possible (not like, say, me, this time around; I made sure I bought my ticket the day the screenings were announced).

No worries. According to Taylour Chang, manager of the Doris Duke Theatre at the Honolulu Museum of Art, there are plenty of tickets still available. Theoretically, there are enough for you truly hard-core procrastinators to walk up to the theater and buy a ticket on the same day as your show of choice … but why chance it? Buy a ticket in advance, it’s easier.

So how did these films end up at the Doris Duke and not at one of the larger movie chains in town? According to Taylour, it was just a matter of having a good working relationship with the films’ distributor, Eleven Arts.

“Abbie Algar, the film curator, and I were coincidently talking about bringing more anime into our programming, and we wanted to reach out to the local anime/manga community,” Taylour told me via email. “So the offer came at a perfect time. We connected with Roy from Kawaii Kon, and the ball got rolling.”

To sweeten the pot — if four hours of Madoka Magica goodness wasn’t already good enough — the Kawaii Kon gang will be there as well, selling passes to next month’s convention during the intermission. There are also a bunch of activities planned, according to “Roy from Kawaii Kon” — senior administrator Roy Bann — but he told me via email that it really depends on who shows up:

We hope that folks will come out in cosplay and if so, we’ll hold another Cosplay Runway akin to what we did at Anime Day where we invite costumed attendees up onto the stage and have them say a few words about their costume. We also have several of our other games ready to go including the return of our Plinko board, our Monty Hall-esque First One Up game, Action Stance Pose-Off (where we bring several people on stage and have them do a pose-off of a stereotypical archetype of cartoons, anime, comics, etc), as well as our raffle where we’ll be giving away one free three-day pass each night to the audience.

Also in the “play it by ear” category right now: how those 20 limited-edition posters will be given away each night. According to Taylour, they could be handed out at the beginning or during intermission. If you’re really after a poster, you’ll want to show up early and stick around during intermission to see how that goes.

All of this goes down at 4 p.m. Wednesday and 5 p.m. Thursday at the theater, located on the Kinau Street side of the Honolulu Museum of Art. (Programming note: While the theater doors will open for seating at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, they’ll open right at 5 p.m. on Thursday — there’s an unrelated lecture scheduled at the theater before Thursday’s show.) Tickets are $20 general admission, $18 museum members. Visit www.honolulumuseum.org/events/films/13340-puella_magi_madoka_magica_parts_1_2.

Ota-cool incoming!

“Create a Comic Book”: Learn how to compose your own eight-page comic book and get storytelling tips from Michael Cannon of Comic Jam Hawaii at Aiea Library (99-143 Moanalua Road). Art supplies (paper! pencils! crayons!) will be provided, but feel free to bring your own as well if you prefer. (Heck, bring a laptop with a Wacom tablet and Manga Studio 5 if you reeeeally want to show off.) Recommended for ages 8 and up; call 483-7333 for a sign language interpreter or other special accommodations. 2 to 4:30 p.m. today.

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. Tryouts to be held at Orvis Auditorium on the lower campus of the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Don’t forget to read the rules and submit your paperwork. Presented by the UH Anime & Manga Society. 10 a.m. to 1 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.

Honolulu Festival: The 19th annual edition of this festival celebrating the cultures of Asia and the Pacific rim promises to feature all the elements that have made it so much fun for local anime/manga fans in the past: Kawaii Kon’s anime corner, MangaBento’s photo booth and games for the kids at the Hawai’i Convention Center; the parade down Kalakaua Avenue late Sunday afternoon; and to top it all off, the Nagaoka Fireworks from Niigata, Japan, on Sunday night. And don’t forget about the cultural displays — the mikoshi are always impressive — and entertainment at the convention center, DFS Galleria and Waikiki Beachwalk, too! Visit www.honolulufestival.com. March 1-3.

Comic Jam Hawaii: This group of collaborative cartoon artists meets every first and third Sunday of the month in front of Hot Unique Imaging on the Uptown side of Pearlridge Center. Visit www.facebook.com/groups/147779161986428 (Facebook login required). Next meeting: 1 to 4 p.m. March 3.

“How to Draw Manga Faces”: If you can’t figure out what participants are going to be learning at this workshop at Treehouse (250 Ward Ave., suite 233) presented by MangaBento, you’re really reading the wrong blog. Recommended for ages 8 and older; cost is $10, art materials included. Feel free to bring your own, too, if you prefer. (Heck, bring a lapto… wait, I already did that joke with the comic book workshop above. Never mind.) Details and a link to register are at treehouse-shop.com/how-to-draw-manga-faces-workshop. 10 to 11 a.m. March 9.

“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 upcoming 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. (I’ve already been told that “Mune Mune Kyun” will not be part of the proceedings.) $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. March 9.

The Cel Shaded Report, 2/15: Tabula race-a

ms5_right_5x5_FinalI think I’ve written here in the past that my artistic talents hover around those of either Anpan and Nemu or that guy who draws xkcd. But I hang around with cool artistic people with far more talent than I enough to know that (a) Wacom tablets are quite desired among digital artist types and (b) artists can work wonders with Smith Micro’s Manga Studio software. (Just look at a bunch of Audra Furuichi’s recent sketches on the nemu*nemu blog for proof of that.)

Version 5 recently hit store shelves, so to celebrate, Smith Micro’s giving away a Wacom Cintiq tablet and 25 prints signed by Ethan Nicolle, the artist who’s brought his young brother Malachai’s wild imagination to life through the webcomic Axe Cop. For a chance to win one of these little lovelies (or even the big lovely), all you need to have is a working knowledge of your name, email address and which computing platform you use more often, Mac or PC. Oh, and you have to be 21 or older. (Yes, this is a bit of a roundabout way to get you to sign up for their product mailing list. Feel free to unsubscribe sometime down the line … but be polite and stick around to hear some of what they have to say first, at least.)

You have until Feb. 28 to enter for your chance to win; visit manga.smithmicro.com/ms5contest/

Ota-cool incoming!

As promised last week, here’s your freshly beefed-up edition of what’s going on with the local anime/manga community over the next few weeks, with a number of new events of note — a few art workshops and an Alice in Wonderland visual kei party are among the highlights.

“Anime Rocks!”: The second edition of Kawaii Kon’s pre-con musical extravaganza spotlights two-time con guests Alt/Air and young rockers Emke at the Hard Rock Cafe in Waikiki, 280 Beachwalk. Also features the debut of the Kawaii Kon 2013 limited edition pin; 15% off food and drink; discounts on convention preregistration; games; and prizes. Read more about it here. 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Comic Jam Hawaii: This group of collaborative cartoon artists meets every first and third Sunday of the month in front of Hot Unique Imaging on the Uptown side of Pearlridge Center. Visit www.facebook.com/groups/147779161986428 (Facebook login required). Next meeting: 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

“Create a Comic Book”: Learn how to compose your own eight-page comic book and get storytelling tips from Michael Cannon of Comic Jam Hawaii at Aiea Library (99-143 Moanalua Road). Art supplies (paper! pencils! crayons!) will be provided, but feel free to bring your own as well if you prefer. (Heck, bring a laptop with a Wacom tablet and Manga Studio 5 if you reeeeally want to show off.) Recommended for ages 8 and up; call 483-7333 for a sign language interpreter or other special accommodations.  2 to 4:30 p.m. Feb. 23.

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. Don’t forget to read the rules and submit your paperwork. Presented by the University of Hawaii Anime & Manga Society. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 24.

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. Feb. 24.

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 www.honolulumuseum.org/events/films/13340-puella_magi_madoka_magica_parts_1_2. 4 p.m. Feb. 27 and 28.

Honolulu Festival: The 19th annual edition of this festival celebrating the cultures of Asia and the Pacific rim promises to feature all the elements that have made it so much fun for local anime/manga fans in the past: Kawaii Kon’s anime corner, MangaBento’s photo booth and games for the kids at the Hawai’i Convention Center; the parade down Kalakaua Avenue late Sunday afternoon; and to top it all off, the Nagaoka Fireworks show from Niigata, Japan, on Sunday night. And don’t forget about the cultural displays — the mikoshi are always impressive — and entertainment at the convention center, DFS Galleria and Waikiki Beachwalk, too! Visit www.honolulufestival.com. March 1-3.

“How to Draw Manga Faces”: If you can’t figure out what participants are going to be learning at this workshop at Treehouse (250 Ward Ave., suite 233) presented by MangaBento, you’re really reading the wrong blog. Recommended for ages 8 and older; cost is $10, art materials included. Feel free to bring your own, too, if you prefer. (Heck, bring a lapto… wait, I already did that joke with the comic book workshop above. Never mind.) Details and a link to register are at treehouse-shop.com/how-to-draw-manga-faces-workshop. 10 to 11 a.m. March 9.

“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 upcoming 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. (I’ve already been told that “Mune Mune Kyun” will not be part of the proceedings.) $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. March 9.

The Cel Shaded Report, 2/2: Kawaii Kountdown, version 9.0

kawaii-kon-logoAs of today, we’re about 1-1/2 months out from the ninth annual edition of Kawaii Kon … which means we’re getting that much closer to our annual three-day celebration of all things anime and Japanese pop culture. To that end, the local anime convention has been pulling out all the stops when it comes to news as of late, releasing enough news tidbits over the past week or so to fill … well, an entire Cel Shaded Report, really, minus the still-haven’t-come-up-with-a-better-name-for-it Great Calendar of Otakudom.

Let’s start with the guests. A pair of Japanese talents have been added to the roster: fashion designer MINT and singer/songwriter Iruma Rioka. MINT — no relation to this Mint — debuted in 2006 as S-INC and has since created two brands — Sixh, created in conjunction with designer Ibi, and MINT NeKO, fashions that have been based on more than 200 cat character sketches. “The fashion that MINT creates starts with a gothic aesthetic that has evolved into more decorative, ornamental ventures, emerging into an essence that is simple yet high fashion,” notes his bio on AnimeCons.com. This will be his second appearance at a U.S. anime convention, on the heels of Anime Boston last year.

If that last paragraph held any significance to you, then you could be a perfect candidate to serve as a model in the MINT fashion show. Male and female models of all body types are encouraged to apply. If you’re more a behind-the-scenes type of person and would rather serve as a volunteer hair designer or makeup artist, there are positions open as well. Application submission details are available at ow.ly/hjUTE. (Just, umm, do it quickly. They’re going to begin picking the models on Feb. 15.)

The second guest, Iruma Rioka, is another name in the ever-growing “Japanese guests that I’ve not heard a thing about before I started looking into their backgrounds for Otaku Ohana posts, but when I do, they turn out to be crazy awesome” file. She’s a self-described “fantastic singer-songwriter” who is fond of simple triple time and … you know what, let me just grab a portion of her bio from her official website and post it here:

She comes from a noted family (Rioka) which is down on their luck.
She was kidnapped by a witch because of her debt. While that time, she was creating music in the top of the tower and was waiting for the chance to get out for a long time.
Because of her long blond hair, people call her Rapunzel.
After she found a magical crow (named Nemu), she ran away from the tower. She sings and goes on a journey to makes her dreams come true.

… yeah. Umm. Just … have a music video.

If you want to hear more from Rioka, CDBaby has Secret Garden ~2nd Press~ for sale, while iTunes has her self-titled five-song EP. As with MINT, Kawaii Kon will be the second appearance for Rioka at a U.S. anime convention, her first being at Anime Central in Rosemont, Ill., last year.

That brings the guest count for Kawaii Kon 2013 to eight, with illustrator Noizi Ito; voice actors Colleen Clinkenbeard, Todd Haberkorn, Lisia Wilkerson and Johnny Yong Bosch; and Bosch’s band Eyeshine being the others announced to date. Attendees who want to spend even more time with Clinkenbeard, Haberkorn and Bosch will be pleased to know that the Guest Dinner at Hard Rock Cafe is back and happening from 6 to 8 p.m. on the first day of the convention, March 15. Cost is $65 to preregister, $80 at the door, and includes dinner and transportation to and from the convention center.

Anime Rocks 2013 flyerAnd while we’re talking abut the Hard Rock Cafe — hooray for smooth transitions! — another pre-con event will be returning to that venue for a second year: “Anime Rocks!” spotlighting local musical talent and the debut of this year’s limited-edition convention pin, happening from 2 to 5 p.m. Feb. 17 at the restaurant, at 280 Beachwalk in Waikiki. With the retirement of Eleven Staples after last year’s convention, two groups are taking the stage this year: two-time con guests Alt/Air and Emke, a quartet of youths that has been making music together since 2005. To put that in perspective, a review by this paper’s esteemed John Berger of their EP last year pegged their ages as between 11 and 15.

… yeah, they’re pretty awesome for their age. Go see all of them, buy a pin, and get 15% off all food and drink. There will also be preregistration discounts, games and prizes at the event.

Kawaii Kon is happening March 15-17 at the Hawai’i Convention Center; current rates for three-day passes are $48 general, $38 children ages 5-11. Two-day passes just went on sale, too, at $37 general, $27 children ages 5-11. As for single-day passes, those haven’t been formally put up for sale yet, but a new rate schedule recently was publicized: $25 for Friday, $30 for Saturday, $20 for Sunday. For all your presale needs, visit kawaiikon2013.eventbrite.com; general information can be had at www.kawaii-kon.org.

The great calendar of otakudom

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. Sunday.

Open Cosplay Shoot: Got a lovely costume that you want to show off and want to capture it on film … err, pixels? (The digital era: changing the way we think about things since time immemorial.) Come on out to the first large-scale open cosplay shoot of the year at the Aiea Loop Trail. Cosplayers and photographers, meet at the first restroom at the head of the trail, and go from there. Happy cosplaying/shooting! 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today.

Comic Jam Hawaii: This group of collaborative cartoon artists meets every first and third Sunday of the month in front of Hot Unique Imaging on the Uptown side of Pearlridge Center. And yes, this means that this upcoming meeting will be happening at the same time that the San Francisco Squared Sevens take on the Baltimore Nevermores (you’ll get that reference if you’ve ever read Tuesday Morning Quarterback) in the Big Game With All the Cool Commercials. Fear not; there will still be people there, happily drawing away. Visit www.facebook.com/groups/147779161986428 (Facebook login required). Next meeting: 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

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.