A whole lotta Ghibli goin’ on

Not shown: The part where Ponyo says she likes haaaaam. (Why yes, we used this same joke with Wilma's Ponyo review in 2012. We're all about the running gags here.)
Sosuke and Ponyo prepare for their magical boat ride. (Photo courtesy Nibariki-GNDHDDT)

Remember all those times I’ve said in the past few years that [INSERT MONTH/YEAR HERE] is going to be the best month ever for theatrical anime being screened locally? First of all, congratulations, you have a very good memory. Second, you may now forget I ever said that before, because April 2016 is claiming that title of best month ever now and forever.

The reason: Starting Saturday and running through May 5, for every day except Fridays (gotta make that new-release box office bank, after all!), Consolidated’s theaters across Oahu and their Kaahumanu complex in Kahului will be home to the Studio Ghibli Festival, screening every major Studio Ghibli film ever made. That’s everything from 1984’s Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Hayao Miyazaki’s pre-Ghibli feature that led to the creation of the studio, through 2014’s When Marnie Was There, plus the live-action Kingdom of Dreams and Madness documentary for good measure. That’s 22 good-to-great movies and Tales From Earthsea — which was kind of a disappointment for me — over roughly a month.

… yeah, I’ll just leave this meme here.

take my money meme

Most of the films will be screened two or three times each over the month, with English-dubbed and English-subtitled versions available. The more popular films — Howl’s Moving Castle, Kiki’s Delivery Service, My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away — will be shown four times each.

But the real rarity in the group is Ocean Waves (Umi ga Kikoeru), the 1993 made-for-TV movie that is the only major Ghibli project never to see wide release in the U.S. now that GKids finally picked up Only Yesterday. The film’s rights belong to Disney, which kinda has bigger fish to promote, so we probably won’t be seeing that in wide release any time soon, either. Ocean Waves will be shown exactly once — mark your calendars for 7 p.m. Thursday, April 14, and set your GPSes for the Koolau 10 complex, across from the Valley of the Temples cemetery in Windward Oahu.

Breaking down the numbers further, the big winner in terms of number of screenings is the Kapolei 16 complex, which will be showing 15 out of the 23 movies available, all of them subtitled. The Koolau, Mililani 14 and Pearlridge 16 theaters come in tied for second with 10 apiece, in both subbed and dubbed flavors at the first two and all subbed at Pearlridge.

Here’s the full screening schedule organized by theater, with GhibliWiki links in case you’d like to learn more about each movie. (Trust me, if I had to write 23 synopses and attach 23 trailers like I usually do with these previews, this post would have been posted sometime in February 2022.) Prefer to see what’s on deck chronologically? Here’s Consolidated’s “coming soon” list. Tickets, at $10 each, are available now on Fandango (except for the April 30 Kahala screening of The Wind Rises for some weird reason). Sorry, no passes are being accepted.

Kahala 8

All films dubbed; screenings at 11 a.m. Saturdays.

Castle in the Sky: April 2

Kiki’s Delivery Service: April 9

Spirited Away: April 16

Howl’s Moving Castle: April 23

The Wind Rises: April 30 (note: ticket sales not available yet)

Kapolei 16

All films subbed; screenings at 7 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind: April 4

Castle in the Sky: April 5

My Neighbor Totoro: April 7

Kiki’s Delivery Service: April 11

Only Yesterday: April 12

Pom Poko: April 14

Whisper of the Heart: April 18

Princess Mononoke: April 19

The Cat Returns: April 21

Tales From Earthsea: April 25

Ponyo: April 26

From Up on Poppy Hill: April 28

The Wind Rises: May 2

Kingdom of Dreams and Madness: May 3

When Marnie Was There: May 5

Koko Marina 8

All films dubbed; screenings at 11 a.m. Sundays.

My Neighbor Totoro: April 3

Whisper of the Heart: April 10

Secret World of Arrietty: April 24

Tale of the Princess Kaguya: May 1

Koolau 10

11 a.m. Sunday screenings dubbed; 7 p.m. Thursday screenings subbed.

Porco Rosso: April 3, 11 a.m.

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind: April 7, 7 p.m.

Pom Poko: April 10, 11 a.m.

Ocean Waves: April 14, 7 p.m.

The Cat Returns: April 17, 11 a.m.

Princess Mononoke: April 21, 7 p.m.

Tales From Earthsea: April 24, 11 a.m.

Ponyo: April 28, 7 p.m.

When Marnie Was There: May 1, 11 a.m.

Tale of the Princess Kaguya: May 5, 7 p.m.

Mililani 14

11 a.m. Saturday screenings dubbed; 7 p.m. Wednesday screenings subbed.

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind: April 2, 11 a.m.

Castle in the Sky: April 6, 7 p.m.

Only Yesterday: April 9, 11 a.m.

Whisper of the Heart: April 13, 7 p.m.

My Neighbors the Yamadas: April 16, 11 a.m.

Tales from Earthsea: April 20, 7 p.m.

Ponyo, April 23, 11 a.m.

Howl’s Moving Castle: April 27, 7 p.m.

From Up on Poppy Hill: April 30, 11 a.m.

Kingdom of Dreams and Madness: May 4, 7 p.m.

Pearlridge 16

All films subbed; screenings at 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

My Neighbor Totoro: April 5

Grave of the Fireflies: April 6

Kiki’s Delivery Service: April 12

Porco Rosso: April 13

Spirited Away: April 19

My Neighbors the Yamadas: April 20

From Up on Poppy Hill, April 26

Secret World of Arrietty: April 27

The Wind Rises: May 3

Tale of the Princess Kaguya: May 4

Ward Stadium

All films subbed; screenings at 7 p.m. Mondays.

Grave of the Fireflies: April 4

Only Yesterday: April 11

Spirited Away: April 18

Howl’s Moving Castle: April 25

When Marnie Was There: May 2

Kaahumanu (Maui)

11 a.m. Saturday screenings dubbed; 7 p.m. Thursday screenings subbed.

My Neighbor Totoro: April 2, 11 a.m., April 7, 7 p.m.

Kiki’s Delivery Service: April 9, 11 a.m., April 14, 7 p.m.

Princess Mononoke: April 16, 11 a.m., April 21, 7 p.m.

Spirited Away: April 23, 11 a.m., April 28, 7 p.m.

Howl’s Moving Castle: April 30, 11 a.m., May 5, 7 p.m.

Elsewhere around town

Aiea Library Polar Bear Cafe & Friends Anime Club: Every month, I joke with young adult librarian Diane Masaki that she ought to change the name of the Anime Club to the Polar Bear Cafe & Friends Club, seeing as how the screening schedule for the past few months has consistently been two episodes of the 2012-2013 anime followed by two more episodes of something else. (April’s “friends” are the ship-gals of KanColle.) The response this time around: Crisis! Diane’s approaching the end of the Polar Bear run! And there aren’t very many KanColle episodes left, either! What will the club screen next? And what will be the next running gag for this item?!? At the library, 99-374 Pohai Place, where, yes, there’s still plenty of parking. For more information or to RSVP, call 483-7333 or email aiealibraryanimeclub@yahoo.com. 3 p.m. Saturday.

Sanrio Ala Moana Anniversary Party: Head out to Ala Moana Center and take pictures (or selfies, if you’re alone) with a giant Hello Kitty mascot character and also enjoy: Special product promotions! Free face painting and Hello Kitty hat with any purchase! And a special gift with any $75 purchase! 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.

Comic Jam Hawaii: This group of collaborative cartoon artists meets every first and third Sunday of the month at Pearlridge Center; check their Facebook page for where in the mall they’ll be meeting. Visit www.facebook.com/groups/ComicJamHawaii (Facebook login required). Next meeting: 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

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.

madoka

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.
  • HOLY CATS ARE YOU NOT LISTENING 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 http://ow.ly/qZZ1z; Rebellion-only tickets, at http://ow.ly/qZZ62. 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.)

“Poppy Hill’s” subtle seeds

poppy hill poster v3Let’s get the news out of the way first: From Up on Poppy Hill is going into its seventh week of screenings at the Kahala 8 theaters. From Friday through next Thursday, it’ll be showing there daily at 11 a.m. It’s now managed to outlast the local theatrical runs of Scary Movie 5, The Big Wedding, and some movie called Peeples, and it’s lasted more than three times as long as Goro Miyazaki’s previous Ghibli film, Tales From Earthsea, did at the Ward theaters.

I’ve had the … privilege? … of watching Poppy Hill on my own dime four times. I’d hoped that at least one of those times would be in Japanese, but nope … always in English, every single time. For those of you keeping score, that’s a whole lot of repeat viewings of the trailers for Epic (meh), Despicable Me 2 (yay Minions!), Monsters University (yay Mike and Sully!), Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2 (yay colorful, imaginative venues!) and Turbo (which I believe pushes the tally of CGI family films released by Hollywood this year to 500 bazillion).

When you see it as often as I have, you start noticing subtle things here and there, neat little details that make the movie that much cooler. I’ve shared some of my favorite bits below. Suffice it to say there are numerous spoilers for those of you who haven’t seen the movie yet, but if you have, they’ll make for some neat things to look for in a repeat viewing, whether at the Kahala or later this year on home video.

1. Ooh. Girls. Dur hur hur hur.

It’s pretty obvious from the first time that Umi and Sora set foot in the Latin Quarter that girls have been a rare sight there for quite a while. The two Astronomy Club boys out in front comment on it, and Shiro, the student council president, offers to accompany Sora out when Umi and Shun decide to stay back for a while. Umi eventually leaves when the various clubs are called to a meeting on the first floor. As she’s heading out the door, though, just before the scene changes, you can barely hear someone say, “Hey, look! X chromosome!”

2. If at first you don’t succeed, squeak and honk ’til you do

Sure, there’s quite a bit of important dialogue that goes on between Umi and Shun in the Archaeology Club/Latin Quarter Weekly room. But if you listen carefully to the background noise during their first meeting, you can also hear two people — one on a xylophone, one on a recorder — practicing musical scales. The highest note, though, seems to be elusive for that poor recorder player, the clear top tone on the xylophone followed by a high-pitched squeak that doesn’t quiiiiiiiiiite reach the same heights. Persistence does pay off, though, as in a later visit, we finally hear the notes match … and even later, if you listen carefully to the music mix on “The Indigo Waves,” the song that everyone sings in the Latin Quarter, you can hear a recorder providing some of the instrumental backing.

3. The eating machines of Coquelicot Manor

Umi’s younger brother Riku, as we see in the movie’s opening minutes, is a growing boy with an appetite to match. Sachiko, the boarding house’s resident starving artist, is always happy with a plate of food in front of her (even if her spaciness does cause her to misidentify things every now and then, thinking the bag of beef jerky that Umi’s mom brings back from America is a pork product). Put them together, and you get a situation like the one during Miki’s going-away party: A new platter of something — I’m going to assume it’s some lovely sashimi slices, although it’s really hard to say — arrives, and Sachiko hurriedly switches out the empty platter in front of herself and Riku with the full one. But for every one piece Sachiko snags with her chopsticks, Riku manages to sweep up five or six.

Growing boy, indeed.

4. A quiet Giant homage

Poppy Hill is a cinematic love letter to the Japan of 1963, with the era’s architecture, the run-up to the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo and Kyu Sakamoto’s “Ue O Muite Arukou” — the song we know here in the U.S. as “Sukiyaki” — being the most obvious nods. There’s also a more subtle tribute, though: When Shun comes home from Miki’s party, his dad is watching a baseball game. Listen carefully, and you can hear the play-by-play announcer describing an at-bat where a player named Nagashima, batting for the Giants, strikes out. Later, as Umi, Shun and Shiro are waiting outside the Tokyo office of the high school chairman, Tokumaru, three men walk by talking about Nagashima and his MVP potential. (One guy’s a bit confused, though, saying he’ll score a lot of goals.)

It turns out this Nagashima guy was a big deal in Japan in 1963. In fact, he’s Shigeo Nagashima, the Yomiuri Giants’ other big star during the time that another player who may be more familiar to hard-core baseball fans, worldwide home run leader Sadaharu Oh, played for the team. Looking at that Wikipedia article I linked with his name as well as this Japan Times article from last month, when he and more recent baseball star Hideki Matsui were announced as this year’s joint recipients of the Japanese prime minister’s People’s Honor Award, you can see just how much of a big deal he was over his career — 1958 Central League Rookie of the Year, six batting titles, five Central League MVP awards, five Japan Series MVP awards, 13 Central League championships and 11 Japan Series championships. It was in 1963 that he snagged one of those Central League MVP awards and Central League and Japan Series championships.

Oh yeah, I should also mention that he retired in 1974, took over as Giants manager and won five more Central League titles and two more Japan Series titles. Makes you wonder what he could have done major leagues in the U.S. had the Japanese exodus — the one that’s included players like Hideo Nomo, Ichiro Suzuki, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Yu Darvish — happened during his era instead.

5. The parting shots

So everyone’s sung “The Indigo Waves,” Tokumaru’s announced that the Latin Quarter will be preserved, Umi and Shun are about to get the definitive final words about their fathers, and we’re heading headlong toward our “happily ever after” ending. But there are two things of note in the closing minutes. First, when everyone’s celebrating over saving the Latin Quarter, one of the things that gets tossed up is a daruma, that round, red doll typically used to wish for a certain goal. And second — and I’m giving tag-team partner in fandom Wilma J. credit for spotting this detail before I did — there’s a certain plaque on the Koyo Maru, the ship captained by Onodera, that the camera lingers on for a few seconds.

The plaque has one word on it.

“GHIBLI.”

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.

Even MORE on ‘Poppy Hill’: The unexpected venue

I thought I was done talking about From Up on Poppy Hill at least until next week’s Cel Shaded Report … that is, until fate and one of my few dozen loyal readers intervened, sending along a tidbit that I couldn’t possibly hold on to until next week.

This tweet came in from T.N., aka @ArcturusFlyer, Friday afternoon:

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Here’s the website of the Laie Palms Cinemas. I know I’ve been working in news for close to 12 years now, but I completely missed the story about how this two-screen complex stayed in business after the last owner that I remembered for ’em, Wallace Theaters, left the island. But indeed, Don and Alice Nielsen took over in 2009, spruced up the place, started screening mostly G, PG and a few PG-13 movies, and they’ve managed to make a go of it ever since.

And now they’re screening Poppy Hill. Go fig. How cool is that?

So if you’re looking for a nighttime Poppy Hill screening — and don’t mind driving all the way out to Laie to do so and buying your tickets there, because you certainly aren’t going to find them on Fandango — it looks like the perfect opportunity has arrived. Looks like it’ll be there until Wednesday; here’s the schedule:

Saturday: 3:45, 6:45 and 9:45 p.m.
Sunday: Closed (being Laie, it’s to be expected; the whole town shuts down on Sundays, given its close proximity and ties to the Mormon Church there)
Monday-Wednesday: 6:45 and 9:45 p.m.

And, of course, it’s still screening at the Kahala 8 and Koolau Stadium 10 theaters. But you already knew that.

The Cel Shaded Report, 5/10: ‘Poppy Hill.’ Again. Yup.

poppy hill newFrom Up on Poppy Hill — the film that, if you don’t know it’s the latest Studio Ghibli film to reach U.S. shores by now, you clearly haven’t been reading this blog — opened on April 5 at the Consolidated’s Kahala 8 theater complex. Two other movies opened their nationwide runs on that day: the Evil Dead remake and the Jurassic Park 3-D-make.

Here we are, five weeks later. Evil Dead was apparently bad enough that it’s already gone from theaters. (You know it’s bad when two films that debuted before it, G.I. Joe: Retaliation and The Croods, are still being screened around town.) Jurassic Park was designed for a brief theatrical run before popping up on 3-D Blu-ray. And Poppy Hill? Despite all my prior predictions that it would be leaving soon, it’s still there, with Umi’s flags wishing passing boats a pleasant journey flapping for at least one screening daily.

So now that we’ve established that I’m more psycho than psychic, I’ve concluded that if I don’t make any more predictions on whether Poppy Hill will stay or go, maybe it’ll just quietly walk away on its own. Not that we want it to leave, of course, but seeing as it’s already pretty much defied all my expectations on its longevity at Kahala, I’m willing at this stage to just let it do whatever it wants.

Oh yes, and good news for those of you who missed out on the Japanese-with-English subtitles version of Poppy Hill (as your friendly neighborhood anime/manga blogger sadly raises his hand, as that’s the main reason why there still isn’t a review up of that movie yet, *sob*): You have another chance, as Consolidated’s Koolau Stadium 10 theaters in Kaneohe — that’s at the Temple Valley Shopping Center at 47-260 Hui Iwa St. — will be screening that version over the next week. Better get down there quickly to watch it, though, because Star Trek Into Darkness opens next week. And as Iron Man 3 proved last week, theaters kinda like making money over screening niche anime. Just sayin’.

Fandango showtime time!

Kahala
Friday-Sunday: 10:40 a.m.
Monday through Wednesday: 11:45 a.m.

Koolau Stadium 10
Friday-Wednesday: 12:15, 2:30 and 4:45 p.m.

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

Ota-cool incoming!

We’ve hit a bit of a pre-summer lull as far as events for the otaku community are concerned. But that’s okay … more time to watch anime and read manga, right?

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.

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 19.

Future attractions

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, 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.