“Anohana,” more “Madoka” and “Eva 3.0” coming to Oahu

October has traditionally been the best month for local fans to catch top-notch anime on the big screen, what with the Hawaii International Film Festival bringing in some of the latest and best films (and in recent years, select classics from yesteryear).

This year, though? Looks like we’re going to have two months of big-screen anime awesomeness to look forward to: October … and right now, as film distributor Eleven Arts has quietly turned this month into a three-film anime feast.

anohanaWe already knew that Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo was coming here, to the Ward Stadium complex on Oahu and the Kaahumanu 6 theaters on Maui on Saturday and next Tuesday, then to the Honolulu Museum of Art’s Doris Duke Theatre Jan. 29-31. (From what I understand, free tickets are still available for anyone with Kawaii Kon three-day passes from 2013 or who have preregistered for 2014; see this post for details.) We also knew that Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day: The Movie was heading to the Kaahumanu 6 theaters on Jan. 22 and 25, seemingly skipping Oahu and getting me to casually contemplate whether I should fly out to see it.

I never did buy that plane ticket. Probably a good thing, too, because a quick check of the official movie site reveals that yes, Honolulu, you’ll be getting some Anohana love as well. Same days as Maui, too, albeit at different times: 7 p.m. on Wed., Jan. 22 and 2 p.m. on Sat., Jan. 25, both at the Ward Stadium complex. Tickets are $15 for each showing.

Madoka Magica: Rebellion is also returning to Oahu, too, for those of you who might have missed the screenings last month at the Doris Duke. That’s happening … right now, in fact, as the film is in the middle of a limited engagement at the Pearlridge West theaters. While the Rebellion website lists it as running through Jan. 16, I’ve only been able to confirm it through Thursday, so the sooner you catch it, the better. Showtimes are at 11:30 a.m. and 2:05, 4:40, 7:15 and 9:50 p.m.; tickets are at standard prices ($10.50 general, $8 matinee screenings before 4 p.m., $7.50 seniors 60 and older, $8 military with valid ID, $8.50 students with valid IDs, and I’m not even going to mention the “children ages 3-11” price here, because children that age shouldn’t be watching this movie anyway).

And then there’s Evangelion 3.0, the movie that’s starting to approach “if you want to see it in theaters, you probably will somehow” levels in terms of the number of screenings these next few weeks. A total of 35 screenings have been added, to be exact, at the Pearlridge West theaters starting Friday and running through the 16th. Showtimes are at 12:20, 2:45, 5:15, 7:45 and 10:05 p.m., and here’s your ticket link (ticket pricing structure is the same as Rebellion).

See you at the movies, folks. Indulge in some popcorn while you’re there, too. C’mon, you deserve it.

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.)

[Kawaii Kon 2013] Con artistry

One of the things I love about Kawaii Kon is that it’s a venue where artists inspired by the anime and manga that the convention promotes all weekend can show off their work. Heck, there’s an entire room dedicated to that purpose — Artist Alley — and for pretty much its entire nine-year existence, Kawaii Kon has posted on a certain date that tables are available for sale, and they’ll promptly sell out faster than it’ll take for you to read this sentence. Next year, Artist Alley’s moving downstairs to one of the convention center’s larger Kamehameha rooms … where tables will probably sell out faster than it takes for you to read this sentence when they go on sale.

This post is dedicated to all the pretty artwork that I saw during this year’s convention. It’s art so nice that I knew I wouldn’t be leaving the convention without a few pieces in tow. This year, in fact, actually marked a first for me: I came out of Kawaii Kon 2013 having bought more original artwork than anime-related toys. Granted, I’ve managed to cut down my toy purchases over the years to an occasional Nendoroid figure or stuff from my favorite series (get me anything related to Haruhi Suzumiya, Lucky Star, Yotsuba&! or Puella Magi Madoka Magica, and I’ll love you for life). But still … quite unusual.

I was also fortunate enough to be the recipient of some gift art pieces. The first was this drawing of Akemi Homura and Madoka Kaname, two characters from Puella Magi Madoka Magica, by Audra Furuichi.

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Yes, this is the same picture that you can see in the “10 Memorable Moments” post up on Honolulu Pulse. She threw it in with the trio of pretty art pieces I was already buying — Botcha Duck and Anpan, Kana and Nemu, and Yotsuba from the “Going Green” trio — because there was a minor flaw: A small piece of tape accidentally landed on Madoka’s cheek as Audra was drawing it. I showed it to several people, and no one noticed the small tear until I pointed it out. It’s still a really nice, clean piece.

There was also this cartoon card that Comic Jam Hawaii coordinator Michael Cannon whipped up while he was hanging out with cartoonist Jon Murakami at his table.

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There may be a picture of me with this card floating around on the Internet somewhere. But here’s Michael, Jon and Jon’s lovely assistant Gwen with it in Artist Alley. (Jon’s also holding a copy of his new comic, The Ara-Rangers issue 1, now on sale online!)

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It’s been a while since I last embedded a Flickr gallery within a post, so here’s a refresher course on how this works: 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: www.flickr.com/photos/sumiyoshi/sets/72157633093007134/

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

Oh yes. In case you’re wondering about where the pretty art from con guest Noizi Ito fits in to all this, there’s a whole other post in me that’ll talk about that. She deserves her own post. Because she came up with the character designs for Haruhi Suzumiya. So she’s awesome like that.

The Cel Shaded Report, 2/22: Magical lyrical cinema transformation

Madoka and Kyubey, Nendoroid style. REVEL IN THE PUDGY CUTE.We’ve known since December that the Puella Magi Madoka Magica double feature — comprising the films Beginnings and Eternal — is coming to Honolulu. It’s happening just a handful of days from now — Wednesday and Thursday, to be exact.

But let’s say you have the mindset of a typical journalist (like, say, me) and thrive on deadline pressure, taking care of business as close to the last minute as possible (not like, say, me, this time around; I made sure I bought my ticket the day the screenings were announced).

No worries. According to Taylour Chang, manager of the Doris Duke Theatre at the Honolulu Museum of Art, there are plenty of tickets still available. Theoretically, there are enough for you truly hard-core procrastinators to walk up to the theater and buy a ticket on the same day as your show of choice … but why chance it? Buy a ticket in advance, it’s easier.

So how did these films end up at the Doris Duke and not at one of the larger movie chains in town? According to Taylour, it was just a matter of having a good working relationship with the films’ distributor, Eleven Arts.

“Abbie Algar, the film curator, and I were coincidently talking about bringing more anime into our programming, and we wanted to reach out to the local anime/manga community,” Taylour told me via email. “So the offer came at a perfect time. We connected with Roy from Kawaii Kon, and the ball got rolling.”

To sweeten the pot — if four hours of Madoka Magica goodness wasn’t already good enough — the Kawaii Kon gang will be there as well, selling passes to next month’s convention during the intermission. There are also a bunch of activities planned, according to “Roy from Kawaii Kon” — senior administrator Roy Bann — but he told me via email that it really depends on who shows up:

We hope that folks will come out in cosplay and if so, we’ll hold another Cosplay Runway akin to what we did at Anime Day where we invite costumed attendees up onto the stage and have them say a few words about their costume. We also have several of our other games ready to go including the return of our Plinko board, our Monty Hall-esque First One Up game, Action Stance Pose-Off (where we bring several people on stage and have them do a pose-off of a stereotypical archetype of cartoons, anime, comics, etc), as well as our raffle where we’ll be giving away one free three-day pass each night to the audience.

Also in the “play it by ear” category right now: how those 20 limited-edition posters will be given away each night. According to Taylour, they could be handed out at the beginning or during intermission. If you’re really after a poster, you’ll want to show up early and stick around during intermission to see how that goes.

All of this goes down at 4 p.m. Wednesday and 5 p.m. Thursday at the theater, located on the Kinau Street side of the Honolulu Museum of Art. (Programming note: While the theater doors will open for seating at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, they’ll open right at 5 p.m. on Thursday — there’s an unrelated lecture scheduled at the theater before Thursday’s show.) Tickets are $20 general admission, $18 museum members. Visit www.honolulumuseum.org/events/films/13340-puella_magi_madoka_magica_parts_1_2.

Ota-cool incoming!

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

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

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

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

Comic Jam Hawaii: This group of collaborative cartoon artists meets every first and third Sunday of the month in front of Hot Unique Imaging on the Uptown side of Pearlridge Center. Visit www.facebook.com/groups/147779161986428 (Facebook login required). Next meeting: 1 to 4 p.m. March 3.

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

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.

The Cel Shaded Report, 1/19: Noizi Ito? FANBOY SQUEEEEEEEE~~~

Yep, Noizi Ito designed all of these characters. Taken in front of the New People complex in San Francisco's Japantown district in May 2010, when this movie was playing there and I actually had thoughts of reviewing it. (Never did.)Last week, while I was in the middle of working on assorted posts related to the Liliha Library Anime Art Contest (and yes, part 3, featuring pictures from the awards ceremony last Saturday, is still coming — probably in the next week or so), Kawaii Kon made one of the most awesomest guest announcements EVER.

You’ll have to excuse me for dropping any veneer of journalistic objectivity in favor of pure fanboyish glee, because that announcement just happens to involve Noizi Ito, illustrator and character designer for The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Ito also did the character designs for Shakugan no Shana, but OMG WHO CARES THIS IS THE WOMAN WHO CAME UP WITH THE LOOKS OF HARUHI, MIKURU, YUKI, KYON AND EVERYONE ELSE IN THAT SERIES. The few dozen of you who’ve stuck around to read this blog regularly know that I have a thing for anything related to Haruhi and will mention that fondness in this space pretty much every chance I get. (It’s been just as much of a running punchline here as, you know, that book.) I love how recognizably distinct she made each of the characters look in that series. This will be Ito’s second American anime con appearance; her first was at Sakura-con in Seattle in 2010.

Here’s a “Drawing With Wacom” video of her in action.

Ito joins voice actors Johnny Yong Bosch (who’ll also be bringing his band, Eyeshine), Todd Haberkorn, Colleen Clinkenbeard and Lisle Wilkerson as guests for this year’s show, scheduled for March 15-17 at the Hawai’i Convention Center. To register, visit kawaiikon2013.eventbrite.com.

I should also note that the Kawaii Kon room rates at the Ala Moana Hotel for this year have been posted, and they’re quite favorable: $125 per night in the Kona Tower, $149 in the Waikiki Tower. The lowest kamaaina rates you’ll get on the hotel’s website at the moment by contrast are $165 Kona, $195 Waikiki, so that’s quite the deal, I must say. You can find a reservation link at www.kawaii-kon.org/hotel/

The great calendar of otakudom

A bit delayed this week — blame a combination of “mental health preservation holiday”-related lethargy and the usual big horking pile of stories to copy-edit and/or lay out at work — so some of these events may either be going on right now or be finished by the time you read this.

Otaku Fair at Shirokiya: Hosted by Hakubundo Bookstore with volunteers from the University of Hawaii at Manoa Anime Manga Society. Pick up art books, Japanese-language manga, posters and assorted character goods.  (I swung by there on Wednesday, and it looked like there were a lot of things related to One Piece, Dragon Quest slimes and Hatsune Miku.) Now through Jan. 27.

Aiea Library book sale: Book sales are really a media treasure hunt — you never know what you’re going to find. There could be an out-of-print manga volume that you need to complete your collection, or a Pokemon strategy guide in Japanese, or something completely different that you totally want right now. Find your passions here. Presented by the Friends of the Aiea Library and the Aiea Community Association at the library, 99-143 Moanalua Road. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. today.

“Friends, Books, Music … The Sale!”: You know all that stuff I wrote about the Aiea Library sale above? Apply it to this sale, presented by the Friends of the Library of Hawaii, except on a waaaaaaay bigger scale. Visit the Friends’ warehouse in Kakaako, which is ewa (west) of the UH medical school; just go makai (south) on either Forrest Avenue or Keawe Street to the end, and you’ll be there. Visit www.friendsofthelibraryofhawaii.org. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and Sunday and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday.

Aiea Library Anime Club: This month, librarian Diane Masaki is screening the always popular Black Butler, which beat out Summer Wars in a fan poll. (Quick blogger commentary: Don’t get me wrong, I love Black Butler, but over Summer Wars? Are you kidding me? Boo, you heathens. Boooooo.) For more information or to RSVP, call 483-7333 or e-mail aiealibraryanimeclub@yahoo.com. 3 p.m. next Saturday at the library, 99-143 Moanalua Road.

MangaBento: This group of anime- and manga-inspired artists usually meets every second and fourth Sunday of the month at the Academy Art Center, 1111 Victoria St., Room 200. Visit www.manga-bento.com. Next meeting: 1 to 4 p.m. Jan. 27.

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 http://www.honolulumuseum.org/events/films/13340-puella_magi_madoka_magica_parts_1_2 4 p.m. Feb. 27 and 28.

The Cel Shaded Report, 1/9: A familiar festival for the new year

It’s become a bit of a tradition here at Otaku Ohana to kick off the year talking about the annual Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii’s New Year’s Ohana Festival, and for good reason: Not only are there a bunch of activities that appeals to the Japanophile in all of us — mochi pounding and other cultural demonstrations! Entertainment! Games for the kids! Maximum ono grindage with food trucks and booths galore! — it also serves as the natural launching point for a number of groups and businesses with ties to the local anime and manga fan community.

There are a few notable gaps in this 20th annual edition of the festival — local art group Pen & Ink Works is taking a break until Kawaii Kon, and if the website (or lack thereof) is any indication, things aren’t looking good for another year of HEXXP (you’ll recall that Oahu Anime Explorer was handing out info at last year’s Ohana Festival … and yes, I have heard the murmurings that the show is kaput; I’m just waiting to hear confirmation on what’s next if that is, indeed, the case). But there’s still a nice lineup of people who will be attending, including:

Suicchi ON! ONE! TWO! THREE! ...Kawaii Kon: Staff members from the annual anime convention will be on hand for all your convention preregistration needs … and you may stand a good chance of winning a prize at their booth as well.

JN Productions and Generation Kikaida: Autograph sessions with Kikaida star Ban Daisuke and performances by Kikaida & Friends (at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.) are the order of the day, along with the University of Hawaii Pep Band and the other usual trimmings that come with a Generation Kikaida party: picture-taking, Kikaida-oke and discounted merchandise. Spend $100 or more and get the Kikaida vol. 1 DVD for free; spend $200 and up and get a Kamen Rider V3 case for your iPhone 4 as well (sorry, cutting-edge iPhone 5 adopters and all of you with Android phones).

MangaBento: This group of anime/manga-inspired artists will be holding their first meeting of the year at the festival, sketching activities and photo booth props likely in tow.

Yu x Me Maid Cafe & Host Club: The group formerly known as Animaid Cafe Hawaii will have their giant Jenga set and other casual games set up at their booth. Also, I’ve said this before about them and I’ll say it again until the end of this blog, but as inevitable as death, taxes, and President Obama and his family vacationing in Kailua in late December, this dance will probably show up sometime as well.

This is a promotional image Audra shared on the nemu*nemu Facebook page. It is also the CUTEST THING EVER (until her next drawing, of course).nemu*nemu: Artist Audra Furuichi and her husband, Scott Yoshinaga, will be selling their line of super-cute plush pups and other assorted swag from the popular webcomic. (Side note: Read Audra’s “Heyo 2013! State of the Comic” post on the nemu*nemu website. Then support them in whatever way you see fit. It’s not easy to provide “free” entertainment in this day and age, and with their strategy of staying local save for the Toronto Comics Art Festival in mid-May, they need all the backing they can get.)

Journey of Heroes graphic novel: Author Stacey Hayashi will be bringing books, chibi T-shirts and other chibi goods based on the characters in this manga-style chronicle of the achievements of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team/100th Infantry Battalion in World War II.

Interested? It’s all happening from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the center at 2454 S. Beretania St. and nearby Moiliili Field. Parking is available at the UH-Manoa lower campus parking structure, with a free shuttle running between UH and the center. (Tip: Get there before 1 p.m. to take advantage of free parking; there’s a Wahine basketball doubleheader at the Stan Sheriff Center starting at 2:30 p.m., and I believe the 1 p.m. cutoff is to allow the parking guards a 90-minute window to swoop in and charge the attendees for those games.)

For more information, visit www.jcch.com.

The great calendar of otakudom

New this year to the Cel Shaded Report is this weekly feature that will highlight all of the events on my radar that may be of interest to local fans. It’s kinda like “More From the Anime Desk,” except featuring events that are more than a week out (and with more of an emphasis on events, period). Don’t be surprised if the title of this feature changes next week, by the way; I’m … not exactly enthusiastic about it.

Otaku Fair at Shirokiya: Hosted by Hakubundo Bookstore with volunteers from the University of Hawaii at Manoa Anime Manga Society. Pick up art books, Japanese-language manga, posters and assorted character goods.  (I swung by there on Wednesday, and it looked like there were a lot of things related to One Piece, Dragon Quest slimes and Hatsune Miku.) Now through Jan. 27.

Liliha Library Anime Art Contest 2012 Winners Reception: Fifty-five entries, 13 winners. Join Liliha young adult librarian Linda Mediati, Audra, Kawaii Kon senior administrator Roy Bann and myself as we honor those winners in a ceremony at the library, 1515 Liliha St. (And if you want to see the pretty artwork that we saw in this year’s contest, stay tuned … I’m going to be working on that two-part post immediately after I put this post to bed.) 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

Aiea Library book sale: Book sales are really a media treasure hunt — you never know what you’re going to find. There could be an out-of-print manga volume that you need to complete your collection, or a Pokemon strategy guide in Japanese, or something completely different that you totally want right now. Find your passions here. Presented by the Friends of the Aiea Library and the Aiea Community Association at the library, 99-143 Moanalua Road. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Jan. 19.

“Friends, Books, Music … The Sale!”: You know all that stuff I wrote about the Aiea Library sale above? Apply it to this sale, presented by the Friends of the Library of Hawaii, except on a waaaaaaay bigger scale. Visit the Friends’ warehouse in Kakaako, which is ewa (west) of the UH medical school; just go makai (south) on either Forrest Avenue or Keawe Street to the end, and you’ll be there. Visit www.friendsofthelibraryofhawaii.org. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 19-20 and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Jan. 21.

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 http://www.honolulumuseum.org/events/films/13340-puella_magi_madoka_magica_parts_1_2 4 p.m. Feb. 27 and 28.