13 for ’13: The Liliha Library Anime Art Contest winners

Last time in Otaku Ohana: This was happening.

OK, this picture was actually after we had already figured out who won and were trying to figure out what we liked about each of the winners. But it DOES look like we're still evaluating the pieces, right?

That’s Kawaii Kon senior administrator Roy Bann on the left, nemu*nemu artist Audra Furuichi on the right. Behind the camera taking this picture was your friendly neighborhood anime/manga blogger. And the three of us were busy picking winners for the 2012 Liliha Library Anime Art Contest … which, as we established in the last post, would be the last one.

A comment from Audra to someone last night on Facebook reminded me that I haven’t said in this space why the contest is going three-and-out. It’s a combination of factors, really — it takes a lot of work for Liliha young adult librarian Linda Mediati to coordinate and run the event, sponsors aren’t as generous as they used to be, and the number of entries declined between the second and third contests. Three cheers for Linda for putting this together these past few years, though, and here’s hoping that someone else picks up the ball and runs with it sometime down the line (hint, hint, people reading this blog who have the power to organize such things — there are a lot of eager young artists out there, and you know you already have three candidates as judges … *points at myself, Audra and Roy*).

But let’s get back to the matter at hand, celebrating the talented students whom the three of us picked as this year’s winners. As I noted on one of the pictures in the contest gallery that went up yesterday, there was a theme  that contestants were supposed to follow this year: “Books: Imagination at Work.” Some did. Many more did not.

We ended up creating four divisions: “General, Grades 6-8”; “Comic Page”; “General, Grades 9-12”; and “Theme.” There were three winners in each category for a total of 12, plus one lucky 13th entrant, the grand prize winner, picked out of the “theme” pool.

I’m not going to draw out the suspense any longer than I have to, so here it is: this year’s grand prize winner, by eighth grader Isabella Iwasaki.

The 2012 Liliha Library Anime Art Contest winner, a hand-drawn piece by eighth grader Isabelle Iwasaki.

There were a lot of great entries, but this particular one stood out to the three of us for its simple elegance, how it embodied the theme just with two figures: the girl reading the book, and her imagined self as a glammed-up rock star. It’s a simpler composition than the grand prize winners that Audra and I have picked in the past, but certainly just as effective.

A few other trivia notes before I launch into the standard Flickr photo gallery: Two people earned the distinction of winning honors in all three contests — Nicole Nguyen, who won the Grades 6-7 division in seventh grade for her piece “Bleach in Hawaii” and took first place in the “Best Color, Grades 6-8” division in eighth grade with “Miss Alice“; and Joelle Takayama, who earned an honorable mention as a sophomore with “On the Roof” and took first place in the “Best Color, Grades 9-12” division as a junior with “Magician.” Here’s Nicole’s piece from this year’s contest, which took third place in the “General, Grades 9-12”  division.

Hand-drawn piece by Nicole Nguyen.

And here’s Joelle’s piece, which earned first place in the “Theme” division.

Hand-drawn piece by senior Joelle Takayama.

Also triggering my “hey, this name looks familiar!” senses: Ming Qi Vinci, the girl who organized “Anime for Charity: A Mini-Convention” in Kaneohe back in October 2011. She’s actually entered several times as well, but this is the first time she’s actually won — second place in the “General, Grades 9-12” division, for this piece.

Digital piece by senior Ming Qi Vinci.

Three familiar names out of 13 winners … that tells me there’s a lot of fresh talent out there. An encouraging sign, to be sure.

And now, the gallery of winners’ artwork.


Again, congratulations to all of the winners! A reminder: If you’d like to come meet these talented students — and the panel of judges, including myself — you can do so today (Saturday) at the library, 1515 Liliha St., at 10:30 a.m. If you can’t make it, though, sit tight — I’m bringing tag-team partner in fandom Wilma J. along for the ride, and we’ll be chronicling what happens at the winners’ ceremony in this blog soon.

The Anime Art Contest’s last roundup

The flyer for the 2012 Anime Art Contest.Back in the days when music used to be awesome — you know, the ’80s — there was a popular song that had the line “If this is it, please let me know.”

Last Thursday, when nemu*nemu artist Audra Furuichi, Kawaii Kon senior administrator Roy Bann and I were looking at the entries for the 2012 Liliha Library Anime Art Contest, young adult librarian Linda Mediati, let us know that … well … that was it. After this third go-round of getting to evaluate some of the  best anime-inspired student art in the state (well, okay, mostly on Oahu, with a few glorious exceptions), our services would no longer be needed. This edition of the contest would be its swan song.

“Well, it was a good run,” Audra said. Indeed, it was. Sure, the number of entries received was down from previous years — 55 total. But at least it was much better than the number I had heard when I posted my appeal for more entries a few weeks ago — 12.

Thus, while the tables weren’t completely covered in entries as in the past, it still looked pretty darned impressive.

This is what 55 entries looks like. This is also what Audra, left, Linda, Audra's husband Scott Yoshinaga, and Roy look like looking at 55 entries.

It took 2-1/2 hours for us to choose what ended up being 13 winners. Once again, the quality of entries made it difficult for us to pick. This post, in fact, highlights all the entries that didn’t win, yet still deserve to be seen.

But before we get to the by-now-standard Flickr photo gallery, I should mention that this year’s contest ended up being a bit more … personal for me.

It’s because of this picture.

And yet no one ever does any pictures of people reading the Star-Advertiser. Le sigh.

It was a bit personal for all of us, really. I believe the exact words spoken were, “Look, they’re trying to butter us up!” Indeed, that picture was the only one out of all the entries to prominently feature Audra’s creations, plush pups Anpan and Nemu. So as I had all afternoon, I dutifully troddled over to take a picture, then flipped it over to record the name and grade of the artist.

That picture was done by eighth grader Sieri Kuranishi. Sieri loves drawing, lovebirds, her black yowling scratchy kitty, Choco Babies candy, Vocaloids and playing Hatsune Miku: Project Diva F on the PlayStation Vita. And I know all of these intricate details about her because I’m her cousin.

Now, before anyone cries foul, full disclosure: I did reveal my conflict of interest to the others, and I pretty much let them decide the fates of that picture and the other two that she entered. Well, OK, this was actually her formal second entry:

Sieri Kuranishi (8th)-02

But I couldn’t help but notice that this was on the back as well.

Pretty good for a "rough sketch," if you ask me.

So you could say that fandom now officially runs into another generation in my family. Of course, if you ever asked her if she’d take over writing Otaku Ohana for me down the line, she’d probably just roll her eyes and walk away. Because, you know, I’m old and weird and like to have all of my anime and manga on physical media instead of just downloading everything off the Internet and all that. (Also, she’s totally tsundere. Still adore her, though.)

But enough of my rambling; let’s get to the other highlights from the non-winning entries in this year’s contest, presented in handy Flickr gallery form.


Next time in Otaku Ohana: The winners! Also, a reminder: If you want to come meet the winners and see their winning entries in person, stop by Liliha Library, 1515 Liliha St., at 10:30 a.m. Saturday. We’ll be there handing out the prizes, too!

The Cel Shaded Report, 11/2: Anime Art Contest turns 3

The last time I saw Liliha Library young adult librarian Linda Mediati was at Kawaii Kon in March. She was wearing a cute Totoro hoodie.

This picture of Linda reminds me that we've yet to post much of anything on Kawaii Kon 2012. I still have faith that we will. Eventually.

I know, it’s an unusual observation to start off the first post in this space in two weeks, but it’s an observation with a point. It was at Kawaii Kon that Linda assured me that the library’s Anime Art Contest, the one where we’ve celebrated young artists like winter 2010 winner Kaili Mossman and summer 2011 winner Caytlin Yoshioka, would be returning for a third go-round this year. When, exactly, she wasn’t sure at the time. But she’d certainly let me know.

The weeks passed, and spring turned into summer. True to her word, she gave me and my judging partners a heads-up around July on when the range of dates would be. Summer meandered into autumn. And earlier this week, a press release rattled into my inbox confirming those dates that entries would be accepted.

Guess what? The first day for submissions … was Nov. 1. As in yesterday.

So hey, teens in grades 6-12?




… okay, so you actually have until Dec. 31 to submit that anime/manga-inspired artwork. But it’s always good to get a head start on things (says the blogger who works better under last-minute deadline pressure, but do as I say, not as I do). Besides, the first 100 entrants will get a free manga instructional booklet, and freebies are always nice. As for prizes, there’s a whole pile of merchandise coming from sponsors Sakura of America, Kawaii Kon, Hawaiian Graphics and Smith Micro Software Inc., including Pigma Sensei pens, Copic markers, Anime Debut Studio and Manga Studio software and Canson Manga Fanboy Pocket Novels.

Here’s a bit of inspiration for you would-be entrants (and a reminder for the handful of you who’ve managed to stick with this blog for so long): Kaili’s winning entry from 2010 …


… and Caytlin’s winning entry from 2011.

612-GPW Caytlin Yoshioka (10) Victorian Dream

Liliha Library is located at 1515 Liliha St.; you can pick up more information about the contest there or drop off completed pieces. Or you can call 587-7577. Now get those teens started on their artwork. I can’t wait to see what they come up with this year.

More from the anime news desk

cacy coverRoy Chang’s Cacy & Kiara library tour: Learn about the creative processes behind Cacy & Kiara and the Curse of the Ki’i, the new young adult novel by Roy, an Aiea Intermediate art teacher, MidWeek cartoonist and friend of the blog. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday at Kapolei Library, 1020 Manawai St. Call 639-7050. Can’t make that? He’ll also be at Salt Lake-Moanalua Library, 3225 Salt Lake Blvd., at 3 p.m. Wednesday. Call 831-6831.

To whet your drawing whistle for the Anime Art Contest, there are two art-related events taking place on Sunday. Unfortunately, both of them are happening at the same time, so you’ll have to pick one. Can’t go wrong with either one, though.

Comic Jam Hawaii: Sit down, draw a bit, collaborate with a bunch of talented people and have a fun art-filled afternoon, 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Pearlridge Center, on the Uptown side of the mall, in front of Hot Unique Imaging. Visit www.facebook.com/groups/147779161986428 (Facebook login required).

Pen & Ink Works: This group of anime- and manga-inspired artists is getting together for a Sketch Meet from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Honolulu Museum of Art School, 1111 Victoria St., room 102. Bring your sketchbooks, get some drawing advice from senior members, and get ready for a fun afternoon. Visit peninkworks.wordpress.com.