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 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

A month of super-duper Saiyans, Totoros and ninjas

Back when I was in my formative years as an anime fan in the early 2000s and wanted to get out to watch anything animated coming out of Japan, it wasn’t easy to catch anime in theaters. The Hawaii International Film Festival had a few, and on occasion one or two might have shown up at the Varsity or Wallace’s Restaurant Row art house complex (anyone remember when those were actual things?) (of course you do; I mean, wow, some of you reading this are old enough to remember the older Japanese theaters, which is way cool), but those were few and far between.

The month we’re entering now shows just how much things have changed. This month brings word of three anime features screening in local theaters this month, including — whoa! — the first time I can recall in a long time, if ever, that several Hawaii island theaters are included in a limited-run anime screening.

The film that’s getting this relatively widespread distribution is Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, otherwise known as “that Dragon Ball Z movie for which they were carrying around the poster everywhere Ryo Horikawa, the Japanese voice of Vegeta, appeared during Kawaii Kon 2013.” Here he is with panelists Lisle Wilkerson and Pali Kaaihue … and that poster.

Ryo Horikawa at Kawaii Kon 2013

One of the gods of Battle of Gods is Beerus, the God of Destruction who has the power to make everyone drunk and post incriminating selfies of themselves on various social media outlets. (A portion of that last sentence may be more what I imagine a character described as “Beerus, the God of Destruction” to be and not reflect reality.) Beerus is on his way to Earth, which means it’s up to you-know-who to input his “God mode” cheat code and face him.

That’s right.


… no, of course it’s Goku. Much screaming and KAMEHAMEHA~!-ing and sock-biff-powing and explosions will likely ensue, and … well, you probably know what you’re in for with a Dragon Ball Z-series movie, so you’re either already eager to check it out or moved ahead to look at the details of the My Neighbor Totoro screenings a bit further down.

So when can you see Battle of Gods? The first big day is Tuesday, when four theaters — Consolidated’s Ward Stadium 16 complex on Oahu and the Kaahumanu 6 complex in Kahului, and Regal’s Makalapua Stadium 10 complex in Kona and Prince Kuhio 9 complex in Hilo — will be showing it at 7 p.m. The Kona and Hilo theaters will also have screenings at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Tickets for those screens are available on Fandango.

The film then moves on for an longer run starting Aug. 9 at the Honolulu Museum of Art’s Doris Duke Theatre. The showtimes:

  • Sat., Aug. 9: 1 p.m.
  • Sun. Aug. 10: 5 and 7:30 p.m.
  • Tues., Aug. 12 through Thurs., Aug. 14: 1 and 7:30 p.m.

Tickets — at $10 general, $8 museum members — are available at

Around the middle of this month, Consolidated’s Kahala 8 theaters will host screenings of My Neighbor Totoro as part of the ongoing “GKIDS: Animated World” series of animated features “for kids of all ages” … which I just learned about while writing this post Thursday night, so I’m a bit sad about missing features like The Secret of Kells, A Cat in Paris and Tales of the Night. Totoro will screen Sat. Aug. 16, at 11 a.m., Mon., Aug. 18, at 3:30 p.m. and Tues., Aug. 19, at 11:30 a.m.; presale tickets are available now on Fandango.

Finally, for you Naruto fans, your favorite orange jump-suited ninja and his friends are back for their latest big-screen adventure, Road to Ninja — Naruto the Movie. It’s a movie that seems to hearken back to his roots; here’s the synopsis:

RoadToNinja NarutoTheMovieLong ago, a mysterious masked shinobi unleashed the Nine-Tailed Fox onto the Village Hidden in the Leaves to spread chaos and destruction. But the Fourth Hokage, Minato Namikaze, and his wife Kushina Uzumaki sealed the Tailed Beast into their newborn son Naruto to save the village, foiling the shinobi’s plan.

Years later, Naruto and his friends succeed in driving away the infamous Akatsuki, who have mysteriously returned from the dead. Upon returning to the village, the young shinobi are praised by their families for completing a dangerous mission. Reminded of how alone he is, Naruto begins to wonder what it’s like to have parents, when a strange masked figure appears before him – the same masked shinobi responsible for the death of his parents!

Road to Ninja has thus far been confirmed for screenings at the Ward Stadium 16 theaters at noon Sun., Aug. 31, and 7 p.m. Sept. 1; tickets for the Aug. 31 showing are already available on Fandango.

Also this weekend

Get Pop-Cultured at Barnes & Noble: Another weekend, another set of artist appearances and Kawaii Kon-hosted activities at the Ala Moana store. The fun kicks off Saturday at 1 p.m. with appearances by MidWeek cartoonist/Cacy & Kiara and the Curse of the Ki’i author Roy Chang and artist Theo Lee (one of the featured artists in our Sakai Project profile (subscription required to read) on Sunday!). That will be followed by cosplayers dressed as Marvel Comics characters at 2 p.m.; Kawaii Kon’s “Iron Cosplay” costuming-on-the-fly event at 3 p.m.; and Comic Jam Hawaii’s Marvel sketch session at 5 p.m., where artists will draw various characters and the pieces will be raffled off to lucky patrons at the end of the hour.

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 (Facebook login required). Next meeting: 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

As for last weekend …

Remember that Kids Inc. Business Showcase I wrote about in my last post, where I highlighted Joelle Lee and her “Joelle’s Custom Artwork” booth? I swung by Windward Mall and commissioned her to draw a caricature of me, and boy, did she ever deliver. I happened to be wearing a chibi Attack on Titan shirt at the time, so she drew me as one of that series’ soldiers.

Joelle Lee caricature 7-26-14

And here’s Joelle herself with the finished product.

Joelle Lee at Windward Mall

I liked the drawing so much, I’ve been gradually uploading it as my new avatar on pretty much all the social media networks I’ve been frequenting. (Except Instagram. I kinda like that “me with Doraemon plushie” look.) I would highly recommend getting something from her if she sets up another booth sometime in the future … I’ll definitely try to keep tabs on when/if she makes another appearance.

Springing forth with HIFF and anime

HIFF_HKU_logo_BLUEHaving covered the Hawaii International Film Festival in both its spring and autumn incarnations for a number of years now, I can pretty much recite the mantra by heart: There’s always something for fans of anime and anime-related films to love at HIFF.

Now usually, when a fresh film schedule is released, I take a few minutes to scan through it, note everything that might be of interest to you, dear Otaku Ohana readers, then research them and post a handy-dandy guide to what’s available. This year’s Spring Showcase, running April 4-10, is a little different: HIFF Programming Director Anderson Le emailed me with a list of two films worth highlighting — Ghost in the Shell: Arise — Border 1 & 2 and Blue Bustamanteas well as a ticket discount code, which we’ll get to in a little bit.

Shorewood Blu-ray OcardLet’s tackle the obvious choice first. Ghost in the Shell: Arise is the latest in a long line of adventures for Motoko Kusunagi, with this OAV series serving as a prequel to her later exploits and chronicling the beginning of her career with Public Security Section 9. Border 1 & 2 comprise the first two parts of the four-part series. Funimation licensed the series last year; these two episodes are actually available on what they’re calling the “Japanese Blu-ray Collector’s Edition,” each episode available with a slew of special features and retailing for … brace yourself … $69.98 each. Sure, discounts are available at the usual Internet retail sites, and a cheaper release is coming sometime later this year, but let’s face it: A HIFF ticket will probably be the cheapest way you’ll be able to legally watch this for now. Plus you get it on the big screen! Ghost in the Shell: Arise will screen in Japanese with English subtitles at 9 p.m. Thurs., April 10, at the Regal Dole Cannery theaters.

Blue Bustamante, by contrast, is probably not something I would have picked up on first glance, being a film from the Philippines. A closer look at the plot, though, has Japanese culture at its core: George Bustamante and his family move from the Philippines to Japan hoping it’ll improve their lives, but when he gets fired from his job, he’s forced to take a job as a stuntman in a tokusatsu (live-action superhero) series … and he has to hide his new job from his family to save face, to boot. The film will screen in Tagalog with English subtitles at 6 p.m. Sun., April 6 (perhaps something to see to cap off your weekend at Kawaii Kon?) and 4 p.m. Mon., April 7, also at the Dole theaters.

Tickets are usually $12 each, but as I mentioned earlier, Anderson also sent along a ticket discount code for your online purchasing convenience. Use the code “SPRING2014” at checkout, and you can get your tickets for these shows (or anything screening at the Dole theaters, I believe) for $8 each. Better hurry and use that, though … it expires at midnight April 4.

For more information on the HIFF Spring Showcase, visit

Longer stay for Short Peace

If you blinked and missed the one-night-only screenings of Short Peace, the four-short-film package presented by Katsuhiro Otomo, earlier this month, no need to despair: Distributor Eleven Arts recently added a few more dates to the schedule. Short Peace will return to Consolidated’s Ward theaters on Oahu and Kaahumanu theaters on Mon., April 21, at 7 p.m., then moving on to the Doris Duke Theater at the Honolulu Museum of Art on Thurs., May 1, and Friday, May 2.

Ticket links for all screenings and times for the Doris Duke screenings aren’t available yet, but you may as well go ahead and mark your calendar now in case you’re interested. And again, if you can’t make those dates, the shorts will be available exclusively on the PlayStation Network later this year. You can catch up on what Short Peace is all about by reading the tail end of my earlier post about the film or visiting

Evangelion: Death and rebirth … of a screening

eva3_posterB_B1_org_OK_RGBThe most intriguing mystery hovering over January’s screenings of Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo at the Doris Duke Theatre has been solved.

A brief recap: As I noted in my last post, online ticket sales for Eva 3.0 went on sale in the past few days, but with one notable gap — the screening scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Jan. 30 (one of three to be in Japanese with English subtitles, one of five overall) had already sold out. To thicken the plot, when I posted a link to that post in my usual social media circles, I got a response from Brady Evans, who works at the Honolulu Museum of Art. He told me that the screening was sold out before he even posted the ticket page on the museum’s website.

Question is, who would buy out the entire theater like that? Industry staff, looking for a Hawaii vacation? Overeager fanboys, with their shrines to Asuka, Rei and Mari? Overeager fangirls, hoping for more story shreds to fuel their Shinji x Kaworu boys’ love fanfics? And were some combination of all those factions camped out in front of the theater box office, waiting for the second someone hung out an “ON SALE NOW” sign?

Turns out the explanation is a lot simpler: Kawaii Kon bought out that particular showing. And as their just-released December newsletter points out, they’re opening the doors and letting in any three-day badge holders from  Kawaii Kon 2013 and/or already preregistered for the anime con’s 10th anniversary edition next year at no additional cost. (First come, first served, of course.) Here’s how attendees can claim their tickets:

  • Email; include your full name and a picture/scan of your 2013 badge or 2014 registration confirmation.
  • Bring your ID and badge/confirmation to the theater on Jan. 30 — again, for the 7:30 p.m. screening only.

That’s it! Easy peasy. I should note that the Doris Duke Theatre has a listed seating capacity of 280, so you’ll want to get on that sooner rather than later.

Not registered yet for 2014? Current three-day pass rates are $52 general admission (ages 13 and up), $42 children ages 5-12. If you really want to splurge, VIP packages for singles and couples, including a three-night stay at the Ala Moana Hotel, T-shirts, special 1oth-anniversary lanyards and priority in seating and various queues, also remain available ($655 singles, $752 couples). There also will be opportunities to win tickets at the various Madoka Magica: Rebellion screenings later this month and the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii’s Ohana Festival on Jan. 19.

For all things Kawaii Kon, keep watching this space or visit

Evangelion 3.0: You can (now) buy tickets

It seems these days that if a theatrical screening that may be of interest to local anime fans has Eleven Arts attached to it, it’s a reasonably safe bet that it’ll be making its way to Hawaii eventually. That’s proven to be the case with features including The Mystical Laws, the Madoka Magica trilogy and the live-action Ryujin Mabuyer and Space Battleship Yamato.

The cover to Dark Horse's "Evangelion: Shinji Ikari Raising Project" vol. 1. Also an accurate visual portrayal of the popularity of Eva characters.The latest movie to follow this trend: Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo, the third of four films designed to sell more Asuka/Rei/Mari merchandise refresh the story of Neon Genesis Evangelion, perhaps this time with an ending that makes more sense and/or doesn’t leave Asuka to go crazy, Rei to get big and everyone to die. Here’s the official synopsis to recap where we are in the saga:

Fourteen years after the third impact, Shinji awakens to a world he does not recognize and his body has not aged a single day. Earth lies in ruins and those he once fought valiantly to protect have cruelly turned against him. Nerv is nothing but a distant memory. Trapped in a harrowing cycle of death and rebirth, Shinji continues to courageously battle the angels—even as the world spirals down towards what could be a tragic end.

After a brief, two-screening run at the Hawaii International Film Festival in October, Eva 3.0 is back for more, beginning with a three-day run at the Honolulu Museum of Art’s Doris Duke Theatre next month. Tickets for that Jan. 29-31 engagement recently went on sale, in fact.

… aaaaaaaand the screening at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 30 promptly sold out.

It’s definitely a downer for people who wanted to see this movie in Japanese with English subtitles and can only see movies on weekday evenings, to be sure. The only other subtitled screenings are at 1 p.m. Jan. 30 and 31, while both screenings on Jan. 29 — at 1 and 7:30 p.m. — will introduce the English dubbed version to Hawaii audiences. Perhaps it isn’t an optimal situation for fans who prefer their anime subbed, but, well, it is what it is. Tickets are $12 general admission ($10 art museum members) and can be purchased at

If you can’t make any of those screenings, don’t despair just yet: There are screenings planned for Consolidated’s Ward Stadium 16 theaters and, for those of you who may be reading this blog on Maui, Consolidated’s Kaahumanu 6 theaters in Kahului. Those times and dates have yet to be determined, so just sit tight.

While we’re talking about movie screenings, there are still tickets remaining for all screenings of Madoka Magica: Rebellion, in both three-film marathon and single-film servings, at the Doris Duke Theatre. For Madoka fans who may still be on the fence, there’s a little more incentive to lure you out: There will be drawings for replica shikishi, or autograph boards, with artwork from character designer Ume Aoki at every screening. You can get a closer look at some of the designs — and marvel at how much people are willing to pay for what are supposed to be giveaway items! — on this eBay page.

Contract renewed for “Madoka Magica” (and “Poppy Hill,” too)

It’s been a few weeks since I wrote anything in this space. Can you blame me, really: October was super-busy on the local anime/manga fandom front, and thinking about what went right and what needed improvement with Oni-Con Hawaii was enough to send my brain fleeing to the comforts of Candy Crush Saga and other video games in my mile-high backlog. Probably a good thing that November’s been fairly quiet by contrast.

Another thing I did during my impromptu vacation: picking up this cutest of cute cuties, Nendoroid’s “maiko” version of Madoka Kaname from Puella Magi Madoka Magica, preordered from MiniQ in Aiea.


This leads to a natural segue: Around eleven months ago, I wrote in this space about Madoka Magica: Beginnings and Eternal, talking about how those two movies were going to arrive at the Doris Duke Theater at the Honolulu Museum of Art in February and retell the entire Madoka Magica epic in one big magical-girl-and-Witch-filled four-hour lump. The double feature arrived, I sat down and watched it all with the Otaku Ohana Anonymous Director of Forced Social Interaction, and — spoiler text follows, highlight the black box if you’re familiar with the franchise or don’t mind being spoiled — everybody died over and over and over again. And it all looked oh so very pretty.

Since then, the third movie that I said was in the works, Rebellion, has been released. Sure, Eternal seemed to tie the story up with the equivalent of one of Madoka’s giant pink bows, but nevertheless there’s more story content coming down the pipeline. And it’s heading back to the Doris Duke Theater next month, in single-serve showings or — for those of you who either really love yourselves some Madoka Magica and/or have only the day after Christmas free from work like a certain friendly neighborhood anime/manga blogger does — one big magical-girl-and-Witch-filled six-hour lump (and yes, there are intermissions).

So what will you be getting out of your investment? Kotaku had a tag-team discussion about Rebellion, building from general impressions all the way up to major spoilers, from which I gleaned the following points:

  • Do not watch the trailer.
  • No, seriously, do not watch the trailer.
  • … but hey, guess what, everybody dies over and over and over again again. And it all still looks oh so very pretty.

poppy hill poster v3All it’ll cost you is $16 for just Rebellion or $32 for the trilogy marathon; if you’re an art museum member, the cost drops to $15 or $30. The marathon starts at 3 p.m. Dec. 26, while individual showings are at 1 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 27, 28 and 29. Marathon tickets are available at; Rebellion-only tickets, at One note: While the ticket pages say the films are recommended “for ages 6 and up,” I’d recommend against taking anyone younger than age 13. Things can get pretty grim and child-unfriendly, let’s just say.

In non-Madoka Magica-related movie news, the Doris Duke Theater will also be hosting the one-showing-only return to the big screen of From Up on Poppy Hill, known around these parts as “the Studio Ghibli movie that I saw five times in theaters hoping to catch the English-subtitled reel, all for naught.” The screening, at 11:50 a.m. Dec. 22, will be part of the art museum’s Family Sunday festivities which means you can catch it for a very family-friendly price — $3 adults, $1 children ages 13 and under — and check out museum exhibits for no additional cost. (Tickets aren’t available online, though, so show up at the theater and let first-come, first-served rules take over.)

The Cel Shaded Report, 6/6: Summer of samurai

samurai series copy

There was a time, back in the “before your tag-team partners in fandom existed and/or were aware of such things” days, when there were local theaters with names like Toyo and Nippon that regularly screened Japanese movies for eager matinee audiences.

The Toyo Theatre, sadly, has been demolished, replaced by a rather nondescript credit union complex. The Nippon, well, info on that one’s harder to come by; I think it used to be on the corner of Beretania and Keeaumoku streets, where a gas station sits now, but don’t quote me on that. The point is that we’ve reached that point in the modern day where we can look back on that time — usually with a sepia-tone filter, perhaps with a song like Kyu Sakamoto’s “Ue o Muite Arukou (Sukiyaki)” playing in your mind as a “HEY! NOSTALGIA~!” cue a la From Up on Poppy Hill — with a wistful longing for that bygone era.

It’s with that in mind that the Honolulu Museum of Art, in conjunction with its incoming exhibit Lethal Beauty: Samurai Weapons and Armor, will be hosting “The Sword and the Screen: A Summer Samurai Film Festival” later this month, spotlighting films by noted directors Akira Kurosawa, Kihachi Okamoto and Masaki Kobayashi at the Doris Duke Theatre. And to sweeten the deal for local anime fans, Kawaii Kon — in its second collaboration with the art museum, on the heels of the successful two-night run of the Madoka Magica movies in February — will be screening select episodes of Samurai 7 before most of these movies for the price of absolutely free.

Now, you’re going to have to pay to see the movies themselves. You’ll also have to pick up the DVDs or Blu-rays or find some (legal!) streaming sites to finish up the rest of Samurai 7, but you could conceivably catch almost the entire first half of the series on the big screen for free. Of course, if you really want to score some extra good karma points, you’ll pay to stick around and catch the classic samurai movie that will screen afterward. (Plus you get $2 off the ticket, so you can see what normally would be a $10 movie for the museum member price, $8. Good times.)

Samurai 7 cover. The Blu-ray collection. Because that's how I roll.

Episodes 1 and 2: Sat., June 22, 2:30 p.m. (before Samurai Rebellion at 4 p.m.) and 6 p.m. (before Kill! at 7:30 p.m.)

Episodes 3 and 4: Sun., June 23, 2:30 p.m. (before The Hidden Fortress at 4 p.m.)  and 6 p.m. (before Harakiri at 7:30 p.m.)

Episodes 5 and 6: Tues., June 25, 6 p.m. (before Samurai Rebellion at 7:30 p.m.)

Episodes 7 and 8: Wed., June 26, 6 p.m. (before Yojimbo at 7:30 p.m.)

Episodes 9 and 10: Thurs., June 27, 6 p.m. (before Kill! at 7:30 p.m.)

Episodes 11 and 12: Tues., July 2, 6 p.m. (before The Hidden Fortress at 7:30 p.m.) and Wed., July 3, 6 p.m. (before Sword of Doom at 7:30 p.m.)

If your schedule only allows for early afternoon screenings and you don’t need to see the anime, you can catch 1 p.m. showings of Kill! (June 25),  Sword of Doom (June 26), Yojimbo (July 2) and Harakiri (July 3) There’s also the classic Kurosawa film that inspired Samurai 7 in the first place, The Seven Samurai, which will kick off the film festival at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 21, with an opening reception from 6 to 7:30 p.m. (Seven Samurai tickets are $15 general admission, $12 museum members; food from Nippon Bento also will be available for purchase in the lobby.)

All of this, as I mentioned earlier, is linked to an exhibit running in the museum proper of pieces that include full suits of armor, helmets, warrior hats, face masks, long and short swords, daggers and rifles — 63 works from 30 master craftsmen in total, ranging from the 13th through the 20th centuries. The exhibit just opened on Thursday and runs through Aug. 18; general admission is $10 adults, $5 children ages 4-17 through June 30 (after that, children up to age 17 get free admission). And hey, if you’re in the area between June 16 and July 14, why not head around the corner to check out the MangaBento exhibit at the art school? (Details on that in Ota-cool Incoming! below.)

The Doris Duke Theatre is at 901 Kinau St.; the art museum at 900 S. Beretania St. For more information on the films and exhibits, visit

Ota-cool incoming!

(“***” indicates entries added this week.)

Visual Kei Dark Castle presents “A Tribute to Malice Mizer”: Celebrate the music and the style of the ’90s visual kei band fronted at one time by Gackt. Dress up in your best Malice Mizer-inspired or goth-lolita outfit, and you could win a $50 certificate to Tea Farm Cafe. Cover is $5 for those 21 and older; $10 for those 18 to 21. Loft Gallery & Lounge in Chinatown, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday.

Tomo-E-Ame: Friends-Drawings-Candy: MangaBento’s 2013 exhibit at the Honolulu Museum of Art School (1111 Victoria St., room 200); final art submissions (in any media) will be accepted Sunday in the art school’s mezzanine gallery. Opening reception is on June 16, and the exhibit itself runs through July 14.

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

Aiea Library Anime Club: This month, librarian Diane Masaki is screening Summer Wars at the library, 99-143 Moanalua Road. For more information or to RSVP, call 483-7333 or e-mail 3 p.m. Saturday, June 15.

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

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

Future attractions

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

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

Oni-Con Hawaii: Featuring guests Yuko Ashizawa, a fashion designer with Atelier Pierrot, and the return of Nobuo Uematsu and the Earthbound Papas in concert. Also featuring the Cosplay Chess Brigade and Yu x Me Maid Cafe & Host Club. Preregistration open now; $40 for a three-day pass. Artist Alley applications also being accepted (it’s $110 per table, which includes two three-day passes). Hawai’i Convention Center, Nov. 1-3.

Kawaii Kon 2014: Guests include voice actors Michael Sinterniklaas and Stephanie Sheh. Preregistration open now; $37 for a three-day pass for children ages 5-12, $42 general admission. Hawai’i Convention Center, April 4-6, 2014.

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

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 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 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 (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 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 (no Facebook login required). 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. March 9.