ALL THE THINGS April approaches

The “big dog” has a fair amount of company this year.

We’ve known for almost a year now that annual anime squeefest convention Kawaii Kon has been locked in for April 7-9. (Yes, that’s a little over a month away. You have my permission to start flailing in panic and/or glee now.) They’ll have voice actors from popular American shows like Steven UniverseLegend of Korra and Avatar: The Last Airbenderanime voice actors like the voice of Ayano in Lucky Star (*squee!*); and Japanese bands and fashion and a wide variety of other events that I’m hoping to write up in further detail soonish in my long-in-coming-but-gimme-some-more-caffeine-first Con-athon 2017 preview post.

But this year is the first one I can remember in the Kawaii Kon era where those of us in the anime fan community who aren’t already committed to panels/Artist Alley tables/dealers room booths/volunteer staff work are going to have some serious choices to make on whether we want to hang around the con or break away for a bit to catch something else. I’m calling it ALL THE THINGS April. Consider what else has already been announced surrounding that weekend:

April 5, 8 and 10: The Kizumonogatari trilogy plays out. It was a little over a year ago that Kizumonogatari Part 1: Tekketsu screened at Consolidated’s Ward and Mililani theaters. In that movie, audiences were introduced to Koyomi Araragi, a nondescript high school student who was once bitten by a powerful vampire and is only now regaining most of his humanity, but must now help a number of girls afflicted by “oddities.” Part 2, Nekkutsu, featured Koyomi taking on a trio of vampire hunters so he could reassemble the limbs of — yes, this is actually her name — Kiss-Shot Acerola-Orion Heart-Under-Blade, the vampire who helped him. And now here we are at part 3, Reiketsu, in which Kiss-shot is reassembled and Koyomi is juuuuuuuuust about to regain his humanity. Of course, one does not merely walk in to a movie and regain his humanity …

Reiketsu is debuting at Consolidated’s Ward and Kapolei theaters with screenings at 11 a.m. April 8 and 7 p.m. April 10. But for those of you who need a refresher and/or missed Tekketsu and Nekkutsu, Consolidated’s offering a chance for you to catch up with a double feature, also at Ward and Kapolei, starting at 7 p.m. April 5. (Be ready to budget about 2-1/4 hours of your time.) For tickets, visit consolidatedtheatres.com/programs-and-events and set the month to “April” and the event type to “Anime.”

April 7: Your Name has its first confirmed screening date. Consolidated Theatres quietly confirmed on its Facebook page Wednesday night that Makoto Shinkai’s Oscar-ignored masterwork will be playing at its Kahala 8 complex. The announcement was a bit of a surprise — Funimation Films has yet to list any theaters on its Your Name site — and there are no specific showtimes (and thus no online ticket sales) or any indication that it’ll be playing beyond the 7th. Still, though, we’re one step closer to another chance at seeing a movie that drew raves when it played at the Hawaii International Film Festival a few months ago.

vgl_high_res_logo_finalApril 7-8: Video Games Live concerts play at the Blaisdell. Remember the Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses concert a few weeks ago? This is just like that experience, except with a wider variety of video game soundtrack selections played by the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra and 100 percent more Tommy Tallarico. Tallarico is an accomplished video game music composer in his own right, best known for his soundtracks to the Earthworm Jim series and Advent Rising. Here’s his biography. He’s also the co-founder of Video Games Live, which has been playing in concert halls across the country and around the world since 2005. As a blurb on the VGL website puts it: “It’s the power & emotion of a symphony orchestra mixed with the excitement and energy of a rock concert and the technology and interactivity of a video game all completely synchronized to amazing cutting edge video screen visuals, state-of-the-art lighting and special on-stage interactive segments with the audience.”

Tickets — from the $29 cheap seats all the way up to the front-of-house $79 seats — are still available, but with more than 80 percent of the seats already sold for both nights according to Ticketmaster’s seating maps, you’re going to want to get in on the action fairly soon. Visit blaisdellcenter.com/ai1ec_event/video-games-live-2.

The boys, the beasts and the dystopian societies

Last week was supposed to be the week that we here in the 808 state would get to see the English dub of one of the last Studio Ghibli films yet to see wide release in the United States, Only Yesterday. If you looked at the official website’s theater listing through last week, it insisted Feb. 26 would be when the movie opened at the Consolidated Kahala 8 theaters, followed by a March 18 opening at the Palace Theater in Hilo.

Well, the Hilo date remains the same. Tickets ($8 general, $7 students and seniors) for the five-day run are on sale now, in fact. Oahu, though? Apparently you’re going to have to wait until March 11 at the earliest to see it. And that’s not even factoring in how, as I was looking up the ticket information for Only Yesterday early last week, I found out the movie will also be part of Consolidated Theaters’ Studio Ghibli Festival, where every Ghibli movie ever will be playing across all of Consolidated’s theaters on Oahu and Maui for about a month starting in April.

So we’ll save our discussion of the Ghibli stuff for my next post. For now, though, let’s turn our attention to the other anime-related movies of March. It was already shaping up to be a busy month with three movies on the docket — two from Funimation, one from Aniplex.

Kizumonogatari Part 1: Tekketsu

Those of you who follow anime closely — or at least more closely than I’ve been able to as of late — know that there have been a lot of series with the -monogatari suffix attached to them as of late: Bakamonogatari. Nisemonogatari. Nekomonogatari Black. Hanamonogatari. And so on. All of them focus on Koyomi Araragi, a nondescript high school student who was once bitten by a powerful vampire and is only now regaining most of his humanity. Now, however, there are a number of girls afflicted by “oddities” whom he must help.

The franchise is based on a series of light novels by Nisio Isin; the third novel in the series and the one that recounts Koyomi’s origin story of sorts, Kizumonogatari, is available now in English from Vertical. The book is now being adapted into a movie trilogy, and that’s the journey we’re embarking on starting with Part 1: Tekketsu.

Consolidated Ward Stadium 16 and Mililani 14: Japanese with English subtitles, 7:30 p.m. today and 11 a.m. Saturday

The Boy & the Beast

This movie, the latest project from director Mamoru Hosoda (The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Summer Wars, Wolf Children) to be translated and released in the United States, appeared at the Hawaii International Film Festival in November. It features Kyuta — yet another loner anime protagonist! — embarking on an adventure-filled journey with Kumatetsu, a supernatural beast also isolated in an imaginary world.

Consolidated Kahala 8: Friday and Saturday — English dubbed, 11:10 a.m. and 1:50 p.m.; Japanese with English subtitles, 4:30, 7:10 and 9:50 p.m. Sunday — dub 1:50 p.m.; sub 4:30 and 7:10 p.m.

Regal Dole Cannery: Friday-Monday — English dubbed, 12:30 and 3:50 p.m.; Japanese with English subtitles, 7 and 10 p.m.

Psycho Pass: The Movie

You’ve seen two seasons’ worth of Akane Tsunemori fighting crime in a dystopian future society while rising from being a rookie inspector in Unit One of the Public Safety Bureau’s Criminal Investigations Division to leading the unit. (Or maybe you haven’t. Just roll with me here.) In this movie, set two years after the end of the second season, Japan has begun exporting the technology used to power the society-monitoring Sibyl System to countries worldwide. There’s certainly nothing that could go horribly wrong with that to spur Akane and her unit to action … right?

Consolidated Mililani, Ward, and Pearlridge: English dubbed, 7:30 p.m. March 15 and 16

Elsewhere around town

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