Fire prevention a la Ghibli

About a month and a half ago — Sept. 7, to be exact — a bunch of artists gathered on the Civic Center grounds during the First Responders Fair to paint art boards for Fire Prevention Month, using the theme of “Prevent Kitchen Fires.” One of those artist groups was MangaBento, the anime- and manga-inspired young artist group featured regularly in this space.

Those boards have been up at Oahu’s fire stations this month. Probably will be up for a few more days, at that. And where did MangaBento’s board end up? At the corner of Leoole and Leonui streets in Waipahu, sitting near what’s formally known as Honolulu Fire Department Station 12, you’ll find … this.

Waipahu Fire Station

And here’s the board close up.

ghibli closeup

The Totoro cast plus Howl’s Moving Castle‘s Calcifer, advocating fire prevention? Yeah, that’s a message I can get behind.

Ota-cool! September: Manga’s story, our story

Welcome to this month’s edition of Ota-cool Incoming! … which technically should have come out a few days ago, ideally before Sept. 1, so that I could have gotten one more Comic Jam Hawaii meeting in here. What can I say; work the past few nights, ever since I last posted something here, has been cah-ray-zy.

Art of Manga flyerThis month’s spotlight event is one for which yours truly served as an adviser: “Crossing Cultures: The Art of Manga in Hawaii.” The exhibit, at Gallery ‘Iolani on the Windward Community College campus, is a journey through the history of manga locally, from its origins in Japan through its influences on the local fan community.

There’s a veritable who’s who of local artists and writers spotlighted, including Audra Furuichi (nemu*nemu), Roy Chang (Cacy & Kiara), Jon Murakami (Gordon Rider), Marisa Torigoe (“Children of Aumakua” from the Hawaii Star Manga Project), Stacey Hayashi and Damon Wong (Journey of Heroes), Patsy Y. Iwasaki and Avery Berido (Hamakua Hero), Tara Tamayori (“Eternal Blade” from Hachi Maru Hachi) and Kyunyo (“Emperor’s Seal”). All of this is curated by Brady Evans, Pen & Ink Works founder and Hachi Maru Hachi contributor.

The number of special activities tied in to this exhibit could probably fill an average Ota-cool Incoming! calendar by themselves. Start with the opening reception, running from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday. Every Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. for the duration of the exhibit will feature the curator’s walk-through and artist talks, where you can meet some of the participating artists. And as part of the Windward Hoolaulea (10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 28), the Honolulu Printmakers will be hosting a hands-on manga printmaking activity from noon to 2 p.m., and the gallery will be open on what will be the only Saturday it’ll be open for the exhibit’s run.

If you can only make it out to see the exhibit, it runs through Oct. 2; there’s an area where you can sketch to your heart’s content, so at least you’ll have that. Gallery hours are 1-8 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays and 1-5 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.

After the break: the rest of this month’s highlights! And stuff beyond that, too! Continue reading “Ota-cool! September: Manga’s story, our story”

Ota-cool Incoming! for August 2013

Surprise! It’s August already, and 2013 is just whipping on through. Seems like only yesterday that I was pondering whether to start marathoning all of the Marvel Comics movies that I haven’t seen to prepare myself for Iron Man 3 (for the record, that’s Iron Man 2, Captain America, Thor and The Avengers … yes, I’m just as behind on my live-action movie watching as I am with my anime watching and manga reading, sigh) … and before I realized it, I had missed the theatrical run of not only that, but also Star Trek: Into Darkness AND Man of Steel. AND I’m going to have to hurry to catch Monsters University, too. I did manage to catch Despicable Me 2 (human characters were okay, Minions were awesome) and Pacific Rim (human characters were okay, Jaegers versus Kaiju were awesome), though, so at least there was that.

The summer movie blockbuster season may be winding down, but it seems like the Ota-cool Incoming! calendar is heating up, with no less than five, count ’em, five events taking place over the weekend starting on Friday. I think this pretty much covers all the high points for the next few weeks; of course, if anything new worth noting arrives here at Otaku Ohana Central, I’ll try to let you all know as soon as my schedule allows.

To the calendar!

Close-up detail of Julie Feied's "Tomo-e-Ame," which will be part of the exhibit. Yes, if you've been paying attention, this was part of MangaBento's exhibit as well.

’90s Anime Art Exhibit: The Loading Zone (47 N. Hotel St.) in the Chinatown art district is hosting this artistic tribute to the days of Evangelion, Escaflowne, Sailor Moon, Cowboy Bebop and countless other series that I’ve loved that now officially qualify as “vintage” anime. Sigh. MangaBento Tomo-e-Ameparticipating artists Julie Feied, Devin Oishi and Dennis Imoto will have work in this exhibit, as will artist Chanel Tanaka.

From 7 to 11 p.m. Friday, as part of First Friday, there will be music by VJ Christian Berg, a dance performance by Blank Canvas, a fashion show presented by Visual Kei Dark Castle at 9 p.m., and Aloha Beer Company specialty beer on tap.

From 7 p.m. to midnight Aug. 9, you can meet the artists and enjoy an improv show by Mr. Aaron Presents from 8 to 10 p.m. and a cosplay contest at 10 p.m.

Both events will feature caricatures by Andy Lee and an art workshop; cover at each event is $5. And if you can’t make either event, the exhibit itself will be up through Aug. 26. Gallery hours are 3 to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, or by appointment. Visit www.facebook.com/events/205760262908791 (no Facebook login required).

Aiea Library Anime Club: Young adult librarian Diane Masaki will be screening episodes of Hetalia Axis Powers at the library, 99-143 Moanalua Road. For more information or to RSVP, call 483-7333 or e-mail aiealibraryanimeclub@yahoo.com. 3 p.m. Saturday.

Kawaii Kon Beach Day: Watermelon smashing! Sand-castle building contests! Watermelon smashing! The Cosplay Runway! Watermelon smashing! A game of Capture the Flag! And did I mention the watermelon smashing? Indulge your inner Gallagher and have some fun in the sun at Magic Island Beach Park. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

Comic Jam Hawaii: They’re baaaaaack! After a one-month break, this group of collaborative cartoon artists is back at Pearlridge Center for their regular first-and-third-Sunday-of-the-month gatherings at Pearlridge Center. As usual, locations within the mall may vary; visit www.facebook.com/groups/ComicJamHawaii (Facebook login required). Next meeting: 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Summer Smash 2013: It’s the island’s biggest Airsoft shoot-em-up event of the summer, presented by Impact Games and Ash Bash Productions at Hawaii All-Star Field off Nimitz Highway (someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I think that’s the patch of land just after the entrance to the Disabled American Veterans Hall). So how did this make it into Ota-cool Incoming!? Kawaii Kon will be there, preregistering attendees for the 2014 convention (preregister at Summer Smash, get an exclusive patch!) and hosting a cosplay contest, to boot. (I’m kinda hoping one team shows up as Social Welfare Agency Special Ops Section 2. Just because.) For more information on the event and where to register, visit www.facebook.com/events/357207584390708/ (no Facebook login required). Sunday.

MangaBento: This group of anime- and manga-inspired artists usually meets every second and fourth Sunday of the month at the Honolulu Museum of Art School (1111 Victoria St., room 200). Visit www.manga-bento.com. Next meeting: 1 to 4 p.m. Aug. 11.

Taku Taku Matsuri: A summer festival with an anime/manga slant featuring food, games, artists and vendors selling all sorts of cultural swag, photo shoots, live music, and the Cosplay Chess Brigade and Yu x Me Maid Cafe and Host Club, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 25 at Hawaii Kotohira Jinsha-Hawaii Dazaifu Tenmangu (1239 Olomea St.). Volunteers also needed; training sessions are at 1-3 p.m. Sunday and 10 a.m.-noon, 1-3 p.m. and 4-6 p.m. Aug 18. Meet at Hawaii Kotohira Jinsha-Hawaii Dazaifu Tenmangu for that, too.

Future Attractions

Mini Con 2013: The comic con in the handy petite size returns for its fourth year at McCully-Moiliili Library, 2211 S. King St. nemu*nemu artist Audra Furuichi has already confirmed her participation … and the date also happens to coincide with Star Wars Reads Day, so could a tie-in with that be forthcoming, too? Hmm. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 5.

Oni-Con Hawaii: Guests include Yuko Ashizawa, a fashion designer with Atelier Pierrot; Final Fantasy series composer Nobuo Uematsu and his band, the Earthbound Papas; Hiroshi Takahashi, voice of Ryu in the later Street Fighter games, Eiji Kikumaru in Prince of Tennis and Japan in Hetalia; and Sana, visual kei musician. Also featuring the Cosplay Chess Brigade and Yu x Me Maid Cafe & Host Club. Preregistration open now; $45 for a three-day pass. Hawai’i Convention Center, Nov. 1-3.

Kawaii Kon 2014: Guests include voice actors Michael Sinterniklaas and Stephanie Sheh and professional cosplayer Leah Rose. 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.

“Tomo-e-Ame” part 3 + Ota-Cool Incoming: The return!

IMG_2999

As I promised a few days ago, it’s time now to delve into the most substantive part of Tomo-e-Ame, this year’s MangaBento exhibit: the 2-D artwork posted around the gallery. Missed my earlier posts? Here’s part 1, featuring the gallery layout, and part 2, with the 3-D pieces.

This, however, is where things get a little tricky. If you delve into the actual gallery hosted on Flickr and look at the captions (which I must admit is a more difficult task ever since the site was redesigned a few months ago), you may have noticed that the information I have is either vague or nonexistent. If you or anyone you know has any additional information on those pieces, please let me know! I’d love to give credit where credit’s due.

http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=124984

You have through Saturday to see the exhibit in person at the Honolulu Museum of Art School, 1111 Victoria St.. I’d definitely recommend stopping by if you have a chance. If you can’t make it, though? There are more art events in store in coming weeks. Which brings us to the return of …

Ota-cool incoming!

The eagle-eyed readers among you may have noticed that the last Cel Shaded Report, along with Ota-Cool Incoming!, came almost a month ago. Truth be told, there really hasn’t been all that much over the past month or so to talk about, and it just seemed like I’d be forcing myself to ramble about that not-much-of-anything every week. And that wouldn’t be fun for any of us.

So the Cel Shaded Report is in semi-retirement — maybe it’ll come back someday; we’ll see how I feel — but the Ota-Cool Incoming! calendar has been refilled with a fresh batch of upcoming events, plenty to keep local anime and manga fans busy in coming weeks.

Anime Manga Society at UH-Manoa: Meetings during Summer Session 1 are Fridays through Aug. 9 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. Sunday.

pen and ink works logo

Pen & Ink Works: Time for a summer Sketch Meet! This one, at Kaimuki Library (1041 Koko Head Ave.), will feature a short tutorial by the Hachi Maru Hachi artists, and copies of the local manga anthology also will be available for sale. A portion of the sales will benefit the Friends of the Kaimuki Public Library, so buy multiple copies. Because, y’know, we love libraries around these parts. Paper and pencils will be provided; parental supervision is advised for children under 12. Visit peninkworks.wordpress.com. 2 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

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). I’ve been monitoring the buzz on the Dave Thorne Tribute Page (Facebook login required), and it looks like a fair number of cartoonists worldwide will be attending. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. July 27.

mini mini taku taku

Mini Mini Taku Taku Water Gun Fight!!!: Somehow my mind wants to read this as “Mini Mini Taku Taku Water Gun Water Gun Fight!!! Fight!!!” My mind also works in really weird ways sometimes, because that revised name is also unnecessarily long. In any case, it’s a water gun fight at Ala Moana Beach Park, brought to you by the people who are organizing Taku Taku Matsuri in August (see Future Attractions). It’s also scheduled for a six-hour block of time. Better bring lots of waterproof sunscreen. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 27.

’90s Anime Art Exhibit: The Loading Zone (47 N. Hotel St.) in the Chinatown art district is hosting this artistic tribute to the days of Evangelion, Escaflowne, Sailor Moon, Cowboy Bebop and countless other series that I’ve loved that now officially qualify as “vintage” anime. Sigh. Tomo-e-Ame participating artists Julie Feied and Dennis Imoto will have work in this exhibit, as will artist Chanel Tanaka. From 7 to 11 p.m. Aug. 2, as part of First Friday, there will be music by VJ Christian Berg, a dance performance by Blank Canvas, a fashion show presented by Visual Kei Dark Castle at 9 p.m., and Aloha Beer Company specialty beer on tap. From 7 p.m. to midnight Aug. 9, you can meet the artists and enjoy an improv show by Mr. Aaron Presents from 8 to 10 p.m. and a cosplay contest at 10 p.m. Both events will feature caricatures by Andy Lee and an art workshop; cover at each event is $5. And if you can’t make either event, the exhibit itself will be up Aug. 2-26. Gallery hours are 3 to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, or by appointment. Visit www.facebook.com/events/205760262908791 (no Facebook login required).

Aiea Library Anime Club: No meeting this month, but next month librarian Diane Masaki will be screening episodes of Hetalia at the library, 99-143 Moanalua Road. Stockpile your supplies of celebratory pasta until then. For more information or to RSVP, call 483-7333 or e-mail aiealibraryanimeclub@yahoo.com. 3 p.m. Aug. 3.

Kawaii Kon Beach Day: Watermelon smashing! Sand-castle building contests! Watermelon smashing! The Cosplay Runway! Watermelon smashing! A game of Capture the Flag! And did I mention the watermelon smashing? Indulge your inner Gallagher and have some fun in the sun at Magic Island Beach Park. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 3.

Summer Smash 2013: It’s the island’s biggest Airsoft shoot-em-up event of the summer, presented by Impact Games and Ash Bash Productions at Hawaii All-Star Field off Nimitz Highway (someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I think that’s the patch of land just after the entrance to the Disabled American Veterans Hall). So how did this make it into Ota-cool Incoming!? Kawaii Kon will be there, preregistering attendees for the 2014 convention (preregister at Summer Smash, get an exclusive patch!) and hosting a cosplay contest, to boot. (I’m kinda hoping one team shows up as Social Welfare Agency Special Ops Section 2. Just because.) For more information on the event and where to register, visit www.facebook.com/events/357207584390708/ (no Facebook login required). Aug. 4.

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; $45 for a three-day pass. Hawai’i Convention Center, Nov. 1-3.

Kawaii Kon 2014: Guests include voice actors Michael Sinterniklaas and Stephanie Sheh and professional cosplayer Leah Rose. 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.

MangaBento’s “Tomo-e-Ame”: The second handful

MangaBento fans

You remember the drill from last time — this week we’re looking at MangaBento’s Tomo-e-Ame exhibit; part 1 is here — so let’s jump right back into things with a look at some of the 3-D pieces in the exhibit. They’re certainly outnumbered by pieces done in 2-D media, but they have their charms.

Here’s the Flickr gallery. Watch for part 3 … mmmmm, probably around Friday morning at the latest.

http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=124984

MangaBento’s “Tomo-e-Ame”: The first handful

Tomo-e-Ame through the eyes of Cait Sith. Or someone behind Cait Sith with a camera, anyway.

It’s summertime, which means it’s time for what’s become an annual ritual of sorts for me: visiting the Honolulu Museum of Art School and its second-floor gallery to chronicle MangaBento’s exhibit and share what this group of anime- and manga-inspired artists created with the Intarwebz at large.

This year’s exhibit, Tomo-e-Ame: Friends-Drawing-Candy, is up through the end of this week at the art school, located at 1111 Victoria St., just around the corner from the museum proper. In case you can’t make it out there by then, though, no worries — your friendly neighborhood anime/manga blogger is here to showcase all the exhibit highlights. And just like last year’s roundup, it’ll be presented in three parts. Part one, featuring the gallery layout itself, is in this post; parts 2 and 3, spotlighting the 3-D and 2-D pieces, respectively, will arrive later this week.

So! Let’s get Flickr-ing! To start the slideshow, just press the “play” button in the middle of the frame below. Pause and restart using the button on the lower left. If you want a larger view, click on the icon on the lower right; in that full-screen view, you can also see the captions I’ve written for each picture (using the “Show Info” link) or slow down the automatic scrolling (using the “Options” link). Finally, if you’re viewing this blog on an iOS device (iPad/iPod Touch) and can’t view Flash plug-ins, or if you just want to skip all the slideshow fiddling and go straight to the gallery, here’s the direct gallery link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sumiyoshi/sets/72157634422614006/with/9099046928/

http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=124984

The Cel Shaded Report, 6/14: Bento box weekend

To get the obvious first thought out of your mind right away: No, Bento Rakugo is not, as I first thought when the offer came in from my freshly minted Otaku Ohana Anonymous Director of Forced Social Interaction, a new place in town where you can pick up a plastic box with some teriyaki chicken, assorted tsukemono and rice with a nice dusting of furikake and an ume stuck in the middle.

What Bento Rakugo is, though, is a nifty local troupe that shares humorous stories in the style of traditional Japanese rakugo. In rakugo, a single storyteller sits on a pillow before an audience and creates a compact narrative world — sometimes with multiple characters — with just a few intonation shifts and a paper fan and a cloth as props.

Here’s what it looked like at Waipahu Library on Wednesday.

rakugo

It’s a show that can appeal to audiences young and old, people who may wander into the room just curious about what’s going on and friendly neighborhood anime/manga blogger trying to huddle incognito in the back alike. If the format holds for future performances, artistic director/group co-founder/emcee Yasu Ishida will introduce the concept of rakugo and perform some magic tricks, then the storytellers will go up and perform three to four stories, all within the span of an hour that passes way too quickly. They’re a bit like long-form jokes building up to a big punch line, but the storytelling aspect adds so much more depth to it.

Here’s what it looks like in action with one of the Bento Rakugo players who also showed up at the Waipahu performance, Serina Dunham.

Love her voice. I feel like she could be a great anime voice actor, in the vein of, say, Hilary Haag. But I digress.

Bento Rakugo has two more performances this weekend on Oahu — 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Aiea Library (99-143 Moanalua Road) and 3 p.m. Sunday at Kaneohe Library (45-829 Kamehameha Highway). Then it’s the neighbor islands’ turn — Molokai Library on Monday, Mountain View and Kona libraries on Hawaii island on June 26, Lanai Library on June 27, and Keaau and Naalehu libraries on Hawaii island on July 17. Check with those libraries for times. And if you want to learn more about the group, visit bentorakugo.wix.com/home.

By sheer coincidence, this weekend is a big one for another group with “bento” as part of its name: MangaBento.

665456_4744792900474_448085781_o

Sunday — which also happens to be Father’s Day, so best wishes to all you dads out there — is opening day for the anime/manga artist collective’s annual exhibit, Tomo-E-Ame: Friends-Drawings-Candy. I’ve seen some of the setup pictures that the group’s been posting to its Facebook page, and the display area looks very similar to previous years. (You can find my recap of last year’s Nakamaboko exhibit here, here and here.) I, for one, can’t wait to see the new artwork and share it with you in my annual series of Flickr galleries

The group will be hosting an opening reception from 2 to 5 p.m. in the Art School’s mezzanine gallery … and as those of you who are veterans of the opening reception circuit know, such events mean there will be food. In this case, your servers will be coming from Yu x Me: Maid Cafe and Host Club, cosplaying as characters from Adventure Time. And they will be serving, among other delectables, bacon-wrapped meat “cupcakes” with a mashed potato “frosting.” If that doesn’t say “perfect food item to share with Dad on Father’s Day afternoon,” I don’t know what does.

If you can’t make it to the reception, you have through July 14 to see the exhibit. As I mentioned in last week’s Cel Shaded Report, you can visit Tomo-E-Ame as a free complement to the Lethal Beauty: Samurai Weapons and Armor exhibit over in the Honolulu Museum of Art. For more information, visit www.manga-bento.com.

Ota-cool incoming!

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

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 www.facebook.com/groups/ComicJamHawaii (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 www.friendsofthelibraryofhawaii.org/index.php/fundraising/annual-booksale 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.

[Kawaii Kon 2013] The final countdown! (dada daaah da, dadadada daaah)

For optimal effect, please press “play” on this video and let the audio play as you read through this post. (Please note, this should only be done in your personal space or with headphones.)

… how about that ’80s hair? Umm. Anyway.

kawaii-kon-logoSo. Kawaii Kon. Those of you who preregistered can pick up your passes at the convention center from 7 to 10 p.m. today; the convention itself runs from Friday through Sunday; and then you won’t have to read about it again here until some point in the future when there’s either a con-related announcement or your friendly neighborhood tag team in fandom, Wilma J. and/or myself, get around to writing about this year’s con experiences, whichever comes first. (We’re really hoping for the latter, but considering I’m usually exhausted by the end of the weekend and poor Wilma is also caught up in the whirlwind that is wedding planning, all bets are off at this point.)

There are far more stories to tell going in to Kawaii Kon than I have time to write up. One of them, about the three-year journey between the first and second issues of local manga anthology Hachi Maru Hachi and the creative talents behind its revival — Jordan Takemoto, Tara Tamayori, Rose Dela Cruz and Brady Evans — is in today’s paper. (For those of you checking out Otaku Ohana for the first time from that article, welcome! Here’s hoping I can update this blog enough times in the future to hold your interest and keep you reading it.) You can get what Brady, Pen & Ink Works, idkwhat2wear, Jon Murakami and the Hawaii State Library people have planned for the convention in that preview, too.

But there were other things that I just didn’t have the place or the space to properly fit into the preview. News stories are by their nature evolutionary creatures, the final product sometimes bearing little to no resemblance to the original idea. So there are fragments lingering with no real place to go, like these comments from one of this weekend’s guests, voice actor Todd Haberkorn:

Most exciting things I’m looking forward to:

— Fresh sushi
— Fans at the con that I haven’t seen before! Fans have expressed their interest in wanting to meet me face to face one day and I’m glad that is finally getting to happen.
— Swimming with sea life — Sharks! Dolphins! I’ve got my chain mail ready to go and partly, its an excuse to get to enjoy the beautiful, crystal clear blue waters of Hawaii!
— Fresh coconut juice — Not coconut milk, juice! I was a fan of coconut juice before it was hip! And to get it from one of coconut’s HQs is gonna be rad.

And here’s a comment from Johnny Yong Bosch, answering the same question of what he’s looking forward to:

This time around we didn’t get a chance to extend our stay, but a stop at the beach is mandatory. I don’t recall the name of the pancake place we stopped at, but we’ll have to make a trip there again. … The Hawaiian fans are very generous and supportive, we’ve made a few friends for life there.

There was also something Tara said during our recent interview that I thought was cute, so I’m including it here. Those of you who are either artists in Artist Alley or who have to tend to some kind of table during the convention will probably be able to relate to what she said when I asked about their con experiences every year:

I’m just stuck at my table. Like a mushroom. Slaving away, cutting out, laminating, coloring … everything I should have done beforehand.

So here we are, on the brink of the ninth annual edition of what’s become the premier celebration of the local anime and manga fan community. While there may be a bit of last-minute flailing around as everyone gets ready and gets settled, it’s shaping up to be a fun weekend — albeit a bit wet, if the weather forecasts hold true.

As promised, here are a few more of those last-minute tidbits that have gotten my attention over the past few days:

  • Today is the final day to get stamps in the Kawaii Kon Stamp Rally at 7-Eleven stores statewide. (I finished mine with a post-work store-hopping run through Kalihi and Iwilei a few nights ago!) If you’re leaving your stamping to the last minute, I’d recommend not getting a stamp from the 7-Eleven nearest to the convention center as there is one clerk there who seems to think that the stamps only should be given out with purchase of a Red Bull product. (No purchase is actually necessary.) And if you happen to end up at the same 7-Eleven in Aiea where one of my readers asked for a new stamp card and the clerk proceeded to stamp all six spaces before handing it over, well, lucky you.
  • MangaBento, one of two local groups of anime/manga-inspired artists around town these days, will be stationed in their usual corner of Artist Alley — tables 9-12, to be exact — and they’ll be bringing their usual array of art materials and sketch sheets to the convention. Join them and draw all three days!
  • Life Wallets! Courtesy idkwhat2wear.The UH-Manoa Anime and Manga Society will be demonstrating their new app for Android phones and tablets — an electronic guide to memorable anime quotes, with handy translations and explanations. It’s a work in progress, with a beefier version targeted for completion by 2014. (It already looks pretty spiffy, though.) Members will also be helping Jayson Chun and UH-West Oahu students with their annual Cosplay Cafe, which of course was the featured topic of last year’s Kawaii Kon preview.
  • I’ve already profiled much of what idkwhat2wear will be selling, but Terri Dux introduced a new piece of merchandise Wednesday night that’s certainly worth noting as well: Life Wallets, fabric wallets with silk-screened sketches by Karl Miyashiro lining the insides. You can see a sample of one to the right. They’re cute, they’re $9, and 100 percent of the proceeds will go toward helping family member Pam Dux in her continuing struggle against breast cancer. Get the full Life Wallet story at lifewallet.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/6/

Internet connection willing, I’ll try to update this blog throughout the weekend. Follow me on Twitter, too, at @jsyadao, if that’s your social media cup of tea. Here we go!

Ota-cool Incoming!: The Cel Shaded stopgap edition

No Cel Shaded Report this week — right now most of my free time is going toward writing my annual Kawaii Kon preview article, which you’ll see both in print in the Star-Advertiser and online on Friday. I’m pretty happy with the focus of this year’s article, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading about what I learned about it next week. Time willing, I’ll have a few final notes about Kawaii Kon here next week after I wrap up that project.

I don’t want to let the blog languish in the meantime, so here, have this week’s edition of “Ota-cool Incoming!” This week, one event gets canceled, while a new cosplay party for the 18-and-over set pops up on Kawaii Kon Friday. A few other new things popping up on the radar, too!

“How to Draw Manga Faces”: This MangaBento workshop originally scheduled for 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday has been canceled. Please don’t show up. Of course, considering only one person signed up, the chances are pretty high that you weren’t planning on going anyway. Still sad, though.

“Journey of Heroes” graphic novel: If you have yet to pick up this this manga-style book chronicling the achievements of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team/100th Infantry Battalion in World War II — and you really should get it; author Stacey Hayashi and artist Damon Wong did a great job with it — it’ll be available for sale at the Bishop Museum gift shop. It’s a tie-in with the exhibit “American Heroes: Japanese American WWII Nisei Soldiers and the Congressional Gold Medal,” which also looks like it’s worth checking out. Now through April 17.

812587_328719173911738_1727988771_o“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 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. $10 for ages 21 and up; $15 ages 18-20. Visit www.facebook.com/pages/Visual-kei-Dark-Castle/301847309932258?fref=ts (no Facebook login required). 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday.

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. Presented by the University of Hawaii Anime & Manga Society. 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

MangaBento: This group of anime- and manga-inspired artists usually meets every second and fourth Sunday of the month at the Honolulu Museum of Art School (1111 Victoria St., room 200). Visit www.manga-bento.com. Next meeting: 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

“The Gibson Ball”: Speaking of Nephilim Hall Productions, they’re also presenting this party, named in honor of sci-fi author William F. Gibson and celebrating his contributions to steampunk and cyberpunk, at SoHo Mixed Media Bar (80 S. Pauahi St.). There will be an alcove for cosplay photo shoots, and DJs Nightfox, Dark Cloud, Shadowfaxxx and Black will be playing the very best in dark electro, industrial and EBM beats. Normal entry fee is $10; bring your Kawaii Kon pass and save $5. 9:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. March 15.

Comic Jam Hawaii: This group of collaborative cartoon artists meets every first and third Sunday of the month on the Uptown side of Pearlridge Center. This month, with Easter displays up, they’ll be meeting in the first floor center court area, conveniently located near cupcakes, caffeine and soft-serve ice cream. (This is for real this time. The last meeting was in the old place due to a communications mix-up.) Visit www.facebook.com/groups/147779161986428 (Facebook login required). Next meeting: 1 to 4 p.m. March 17.

Aiea Library presents Wreck-It Ralph: Because any movie that (a) spawned a retro arcade cabinet in Fix-It Felix Jr., (b) resurrected Q*Bert and his friends and foes for a supporting role and (c) has AKB48 on the soundtrack (before, of course, this happened and pretty much ruined AKB48 for me forever) is must-see cinema. Free screening at the library, 99-143 Moanalua Road. Plus with free popcorn and juice? Bonus! 5:30 p.m. March 21.

Aiea Library Anime Club: This month, you wanted more Black Butler, so you’re getting more Black Butler from librarian Diane Masaki. Club meets at the library, 99-143 Moanalua Road. For more information or to RSVP, call 483-7333 or e-mail aiealibraryanimeclub@yahoo.com. 3 p.m. March 23.

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

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

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

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

Ota-cool incoming!

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

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

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

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

Kawaii Kon’s Karaoke Kompetition preliminary round: Show off your vocal chops for a chance to be one of nine participants in Kawaii Kon’s annual karaoke contest, with a chance to win … well … something. Don’t forget to read the rules and submit your paperwork. Presented by the University of Hawaii Anime & Manga Society. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 24.

MangaBento: This group of anime- and manga-inspired artists usually meets every second and fourth Sunday of the month at the Honolulu Museum of Art School (1111 Victoria St., room 200). Visit www.manga-bento.com. Next meeting: 1 to 4 p.m. Feb. 24.

Madoka Magica double feature: Watch the magical girl saga unfold in one big four-hour, two-film chunk comprising Beginnings and Eternal, Doris Duke Theatre at the Honolulu Museum of Art. Tickets are $20 general admission, $18 museum members. Visit www.honolulumuseum.org/events/films/13340-puella_magi_madoka_magica_parts_1_2. 4 p.m. Feb. 27 and 28.

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

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

“Court of Hearts”: Visual Kei Dark Castle has been around for just a few months, but this themed dance party presented by Nephilim Hall Productions has already made inroads in courting local fans of visual kei, J-rock and goth loli fashion. This upcoming event at The Loft Gallery & Lounge (115 N. Hotel St., #2) features an Alice in Wonderland theme, a lolita/kodona fashion show and contest, and special guests Yu x Me: Maid Cafe & Host Club. (I’ve already been told that “Mune Mune Kyun” will not be part of the proceedings.) $10 for ages 21 and up; $15 ages 18-20. Visit www.facebook.com/pages/Visual-kei-Dark-Castle/301847309932258?fref=ts (no Facebook login required). 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. March 9.