A ‘Journey’ worth remembering

journey of heroesToday’s profile: Journey of Heroes
Author: Stacey Hayashi
Illustrator: Damon Wong
Publisher: Self-published
Availability: In print & readily available at www.442comicbook.com and various retailers (refer to this list posted on Facebook)

If you grew up in Hawaii, chances are about 100% that one of things imprinted upon you in school is the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the subsequent internment of Japanese-Americans following the attack. And naturally, one of the things you also hear in conjunction with that is about the 100th Battalion and the 442nd Infantry Regiment; how they were composed of all nisei (second-generation Japanese), many of whom were from Hawaii; and how they are among the most decorated units for their size and length of service.

But something that’s not often taught in schools — at least, not in my memory, and I will say that I’ve been out of high school for many years now — is what happened in the time between the Pearl Harbor attack and the creation of the 100th/442nd Regimental Combat Team and the days leading up to their entrance into actual combat. It’s usually only around the anniversary of “the day that will live in infamy,” Dec. 7, when we hold gatherings around the state to honor those who sacrificed themselves, that we hear the tales from the few remaining survivors about the horrors they experienced in the war. And even then, the stories can be few, with many veterans often reluctant to speak of those times.

The slim graphic novel “Journey of Heroes,” written by Stacey T. Hayashi and illustrated by Damon Wong, attempts to fill in that gap. And a fine endeavor it is. (It also made me finally understand why the unit is called the “100th/442nd.”)

According to a note from the author, Hayashi wanted to tell the story about the nisei units, so she met with hundreds of veterans and gathered their reminiscences with the intent of making them into a movie. Unfortunately, the difficulties of producing a film stood in the way of that project. Fortunately, this 30-page book grew out of it instead.
heroes1_small
“Journey of Heroes” is told in the first person from the perspective of an unnamed nisei soldier. (The stories, however, are based on the experiences of veteran Goro Sumida, a dear friend of Hayashi’s who died last October.) It starts off in November 1944 just after the famous Vosges assault in which the 100th/442nd had been ordered to rescue a Texas unit that had become trapped behind enemy lines — the so-called “Lost Battalion.” The nisei units managed to save the Texans after several days of fighting, suffering heavy casualties in the process. And as the remaining men are standing at attention waiting to be recognized for their bravery, the narrator describes what happened up until that point and what will happen in years beyond, switching seamlessly from past to present to future while maintaining a “flashback” mode. It sounds strange as described here, but the device works well.

It’s “only” 30 pages, which sounds awfully short for a graphic novel. And in one way it is, but in another way, it’s interminably long as you read through the history of the 100th and 442nd, the details that most people don’t often get the chance to hear about, of the pain and humiliation and struggle and the differences — even with each other — that they had to overcome.
Some 10,000 Japanese-Americans in Hawaii eagerly volunteered for 1,500 available spots in the military
Damon uses the “chibi” — Japanese for “small,” with the connotation of “cute” — drawing style, one that’s often used in Japanese manga. I initially had qualms about it, wondering how such an approach could effectively portray the grueling intensity of war, racism and more. However, I found that the “cuteness” of the people doesn’t detract from the emotion that the simply worded narration evokes. Even the use of pidgin English is well placed, serving to show the contrast between the carefree island days and the grimness of war. Married with this are realistic, stylized backgrounds and elements taken straight from history, such as the well-known photograph of the sinking of the USS Arizona; the famous front page of the extra edition of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin declaring war on Dec. 7, 1941; the gates to ‘Iolani Palace as the nisei soldiers are given a huge farewell send-off; and even smaller features such as flags, office windows and bunk beds. It all contributes to a tremendous reading experience, and I must admit I didn’t expect to be moved as I much as I was when I read the book.

Even now, after having read “Journey of Heroes” multiple times, I still choke up as I can only try to imagine the hell it was. It is intense and emotional in a rather simple way, which easily reaches out and touches the reader. We can’t help but share in their pain and feel great respect for the men who came out of it all and did not let the war and racism break them as they continued on with their lives.
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About half of the book is devoted to the soldiers’ battles and the Vosges assault, but what made the most impression on me is the recounting of the time before their deployment to the war zone in Italy. This is the part of their story that we never hear about and that contributes even more to our admiration for them. We are finally taken behind the scenes, beyond the well-publicized heroism, and we see what they went through to even get to the point at which they went to war. We read about the family struggles, about the deep-seated prejudice that went both ways, forcing some Japanese-Americans on the mainland to sneak out so they could start their military careers, sometimes against their loved ones’ wishes. We see the culture clashes when the Hawaii men meet up with mainlanders, the tension and conflicts within the units caused by different upbringings. We watch as the Hawaii and mainland soldiers are finally made to realize that it doesn’t matter where they come from — they are all Americans, they are all fighting the same war, and the enemy is not each other.

One thing that stood out at me in the entire manga was something so tiny it was easy to overlook. When discussing the values that Japanese held, the concept of “not bringing shame to the family name” was brought up. It may very well have been this ideal that led the nisei to “go for broke” and achieve more than anyone likely thought they ever would. But also, perhaps it is some kind of “shame,” perhaps it is the trauma, that keeps many veterans from speaking — both of which are understandable, and I know that I would never be able to truly comprehend what they went through that keeps them silent. We are fortunate that so many already are willing to open up and share the experiences that led to the creation of “Journey of Heroes.” I hope more veterans of the proud 100th/442nd can overcome those sentiments and share their stories for the next generation and many more beyond.

The only “gripe” I have is that this graphic novel is such a small, thin volume that it could easily be passed over on the bookshelf — it doesn’t even have its name on the very narrow spine. It would be a shame if this very worthy book were lost due to mere slimness of size. I wish Hayashi much luck in raising the support and getting the help she needs to get more books out to students. Her original goal was to split the first print run of 10,000 copies in half, with 5,000 being distributed to students and libraries and another 5,000 being sold to recoup production costs. While that strategy’s been a success — so much so that a second printing’s become a possibility — production logistics are a bit of a concern, as this comment on the book’s Facebook page would indicate.

From the once-happy-go-lucky times of prewar Hawaii, to the internment of Japanese-Americans, through the difficulties of finally becoming a true unit, to the Vosges rescue, to the liberation of a Jewish death camp, to the homecoming back in the islands after the war, and beyond — this graphic novel truly takes us on the “Journey of Heroes.”

If you want to learn more about “Journey of Heroes” and are a Star-Advertiser subscriber, please check out Gary Chun’s profile from the March 17 issue.


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.

The Cel Shaded Report, 11/24: Going sale crazy

Your tag-team partners in fandom, Wilma J. and I, are currently going crazy over preparing for a garage sale on Sunday. Professional decorum dictates that I not directly link to it here, but if you’re here on Oahu and want to come, run a search on “anime mililani garage” on Craigslist, and you’ll find all the info there.

That said, this will be one of the shorter Cel Shaded Reports of the year, and it’s covering yet another convergence of crafter friends of the blog: the Hawaii United Okinawa Association’s Winter Craft Fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow. Exhibiting at the fair will be:

  • JoH Xmas treenemu*nemu: Scott Yoshinaga and Audra Furuichi will be bringing their plush pups, prints, pins and full lineup of cool swag. (And yes, Audra is the artist. Apparently there’s been a bit of confusion in the past as to the source of all this plushie goodness. Say hi to her. Buy something and get a sketch from her. And be nice.)
  • idkwhat2wear: Terri Dux, Karl Miyashiro and the gang will have an assortment of pins and apparel available.
  • Stacey Hayashi and the Journey of Heroes graphic novel: This is the last fair that Stacey is scheduled to be at this year, so you’ll want to take advantage of this opportunity to pick up this manga-style book chronicling the achievements of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team/100th Infantry Battalion in World War II if you haven’t already. Joining her to sign books for a little while will be Eddie Yamasaki, 442nd Regimental Combat Team item chapter president. By the way, if you recall a few weeks ago, I promised I’d post a picture of Stacey’s chibi Christmas tree from the Noelani craft fair; there it is, to the right.

The Hawaii Okinawa Center is located at 94-587 Ukee St.; parking is interspersed throughout the surrounding neighborhood. Oh, and bring a canned good for the Hawaii Foodbank, too; you’ll get a free, yummy andagi for your donation.

If you’d prefer to stay in town — and have a supreme amount of patience/tolerance for crowds, because really, the number of people who converge on the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall for this event every year is insane — idkwhat2wear has a split squad and will have a booth at the Islandwide Christmas Craft & Food Expo. Look for them in booth 149 today from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

More from the anime news desk

MangaBento: This group of anime- and manga-inspired artists meets from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Honolulu Museum of Art School, 1111 Victoria St., Room 200. Visit www.manga-bento.com for more information.

The Cel Shaded Report, 11/8: The holidays are fair play

Now that Halloween and the general election are out of the way, our thoughts can now safely turn toward the holiday season. (Yes, I know, there’s still Thanksgiving, and yes, there are many things that I’m truly thankful for … but work with me here.) And with the holiday season comes the Landscape of 10,000 Craft Fairs, every last one of them guaranteed to have at a few booths selling handmade earrings, a few more booths with unofficial Angry Birds/Hello Kitty/”Gangnam Style”-inspired crafts. at least five booths selling extraordinarily yummy treats that you’ll probably end up buying way too many of, and a smattering of Tupperware/Pampered Chef/Avon-esque merchandising tables. I know this firsthand, having kicked off my own annual craft fair circuit with the Hanalani fair last weekend. (Protip: Keep an eye out for that one next year. Their bake sale always has amazing goodies.)

Craft fair season also means it’s prime time for several friends of the blog: Audra Furuichi and Scott Yoshinaga of Kimonokitsy Studios, Team nemu*nemu‘s plush pup purveyors; and Terri Dux, Karl Miyashiro and the rest of the idkwhat2wear gang, supplying buttons for my office/building security card lanyard for … umm … a bunch of years now, I just know it’s been a really long time. They’ll be hitting a bunch of fairs over the next few weeks, and this post marks the official start of the Otaku Ohana/Cel Shaded Report tracker of where exactly everyone will be.

The five-star event of this weekend has to be the 23rd annual Noelani Elementary School Craft and Children’s Fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, where nemu*nemu and idk will both be in attendance. The Noelani event also marks the formal, buy-them-and-take-them-home-the-same-day debut of the new plush pup quartet of Blue, Enchilada and LOLPup variants of Anpan and Nemu. Audra was kind enough to drop off some samples to the office, and … well, LOL Anpan and Nemu ran off to go talk to the editors in the Today section about possible coverage in print that could show up in the next few weeks, while Blue and Enchilada got some valuable on-the-job training about paper clip organization from old-school Anpan and Nemu.

Scott once told me that Nemu's specialty is organizing paper clips, while Anpan's skill is answering phones.

There’s one other Noelani exhibitor worth pointing out, but that deserves its own section of the Cel Shaded Report in a little bit. For now, I’ll say that you can find Audra and Scott and idk in the cafeteria. The school is at 2655 Woodlawn Drive in Manoa. Bring the kids and make it a family fun day, too — this event certainly looks promising on that front.

Can’t make it? The idk gang will have a quick turnaround, making an appearance at the Diamond Head Arts & Crafts Fair at Kapiolani Community College from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.  (KCC is at 4303 Diamond Head Road; look for them on the Makapuu Avenue side of the campus.) Audra and Scott’s next appearance will be at the Priory Holiday Fair at St. Andrew’s Priory (224 Queen Emma Square, downtown) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 17. And if you can’t make that, keep checking the Cel Shaded Report throughout the season for weekly updates.

Journey continues for Journey of Heroes

journey of heroesSo about that other exhibitor I mentioned earlier. Also appearing at the Noelani craft fair will be the newest friend of the blog: Stacey Hayashi, author of the Journey of Heroes graphic novel that recently was covered in this space. She’ll have a stack of books and other chibi goodies on sale, as well as a “chibi Christmas tree” on display that I promise to post a picture of if I succeed in finding a decent parking space for this event. (Yes, this is my formal declaration that I’m actually going to attempt a visit. Wish me luck.) Joining her to sign books will be Eddie Yamasaki, 442nd Regimental Combat Team item chapter president. If you can’t make it to that event, Stacey and several World War II 442nd Regimental Combat Team/100th Infantry Battalion veterans will also be observing this extended Veterans Day weekend with a second book sale/signing, this one at the U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii (2131 Kalia Road) at 10:30 a.m. Monday. For the latest updates on all things related to Journey of Heroes, visit www.facebook.com/442comicbook or www.442comicbook.com.

This update also comes with a bit of sad news. If you looked at the Journey of Heroes reception gallery featured in this space a few weeks ago, you may recall this picture of Stacey with 100th Infantry Battalion veteran Goro Sumida.

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Goro was Stacey’s “original chibi,” the man whose stories formed much of the foundation of her book. Sadly, a few weeks after this photo was taken, on Oct. 25, Goro died at the age of 92. Here’s his obituary. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family.

More from the anime news desk

Friends of the Library of Hawaii: It’s a savings countdown this weekend at the Friends’ Harbor Warehouse in Kakaako, with a wide selection of books available for $3 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, then marked down to $2 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday and finally $1 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday. If past experience at these sales holds, the chances are pretty high that you’ll come upon some used manga (both translated and untranslated) during your treasure hunt. The warehouse is located 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.

MangaBento: This group of anime- and manga-inspired artists will be meeting from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Honolulu Museum of Art School (1111 Victoria St., Room 200) … but it will not, repeat, not be a typical group meeting. Instead, the group is presenting a workshop on coloring techniques using computers. Bring your laptops and tablets. Cost is $10; no preregistration necessary. Visit www.manga-bento.com.

The Cel Shaded Report, 10/19: Manga-style local style sale file

Let’s start off this edition of the Cel Shaded Report with a quick reminder: The Hawaii Entertainment Expo, aka HEXXP, is this weekend. Here’s a post summarizing pretty much everything that’s going on, here’s the schedule, here’s the website, I’ll be popping in and out maybe today, more likely on Saturday, definitely sticking around for a good chunk of Sunday. If you’re going today, by the way, please do stop by the “How to Survive Single-Day and Multi-Day Conventions” panel scheduled for 3 p.m.; it’s hosted by Ray Nagar of Project 760 Productions, who regaled me with tales from the California anime convention circuit Thursday during what started out as a lunch outing but ended up being a five-hour conversation. That’s right, people, five hours. And I was thoroughly entertained for every minute of it. Now, Ray’s panel won’t last for five hours, but I’m sure he can fill his allotted one hour quite nicely, thank you very much.

Not much more to say beyond that, except I hope to see you there and maybe, just maybe, I’ll have a few pictures of what goes on posted here sometime between Monday and the end of the age (and with the way my non-fandom-related to-do list has been lately, it’ll probably be closer to the latter than the former).

Today, however, our focus is on local books with a twist of manga (or, in the case of one of the books profiled here, MangaBento) that have recently gone on sale or are about to hit the market. The first book is one that I profiled in this space a few weeks ago: Journey of Heroes, the graphic novel recounting the story of the all-Japanese American 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the 100th Infantry Battalion and their service during World War II. Author Stacey Hayashi invited me to a reception held for the veterans and their families before the formal debut event; here’s a small gallery of pictures (as in seven!) that I shot while I was there.

http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=122138

journey of heroesOne thing that I wasn’t able to answer with much certainty in my last post was where people could pick up a copy of this fine publication, whether locally or abroad. I recently learned that the book is available to order for $10 plus shipping and tax at 442comicbook.com/shop.html (please be patient, though, they have a lot of things to take care of at the moment). Those of you locally can buy the book in person at the Noelani Craft & Children’s Fair at Noelani Elementary School in Manoa on Nov. 10. (By sheer coincidence, the Noelani fair’s also going to be the craft fair season kickoff for the nemu*nemu crew, so that’s two reasons right there for you to go.) For the latest updates on all things related to Journey of Heroes, visit www.facebook.com/442comicbook.

As for what I think of the book? I haven’t had a chance to look closely at it yet, but I have given copies to a coworker as well as my esteemed tag-team partner in fandom. Wilma’s read it, and already she’s impressed enough to start working on a review of it. We may have a joint essay for y’all sometime down the line. My coworker, meanwhile, loved the art and the story. She also pointed out one panel that caught her eye in particular to pretty much everyone on our universal copy/design desk that night:

An exact replica of the paper's cover during that time, she tells me.

I think you can understand why she’d be giddy about it.

cacy coverThe second book is Cacy & Kiara and the Curse of the Ki’i, the new young adult novel by Aiea Intermediate art teacher, MidWeek cartoonist and occasional art portfolio/sketchbook reviewer Roy Chang. Cacy & Kiara is the story of two cousins — one a free-spirited public school gal, the other a rather buttoned-up product of a private school — who, while on a field trip to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, get flung together on an adventure of a lifetime involving an ancient Hawaiian artifact and a bunch of bad guys who want to get their hands on it. I’ve been reading through it in my spare time — chapter 8 of 38, so a more extensive review of this book will be coming down the pipeline soon as well — and my first-glance impressions are that Roy’s manga-style illustrations nicely complement the story.

You can check out Cacy & Kiara for yourself starting sometime next week at both Barnes & Noble stores; look in the children/youth “local interests” section. Or, if you’re more inclined to order digitally, you can find it at Amazon, The Islander Group and barnesandnoble.com. Retail price is $11.95. Roy also recently spoke with Pastor Danny Yamashiro on his radio program, “The Good Life Hawaii,” about the book, his story as an artist, and his newfound Christian faith; that hourlong conversation can be downloaded at ow.ly/eBkOw.

pualaniFinally, we have the book that’s worth mentioning simply for its connection to the anime/manga-inspired art group that’s mentioned frequently in this space, MangaBento. Adviser Devin Oishi has released a children’s e-book that gives a local spin to the classic “Goldilocks and the Three Bears” tale, Pualani and the 3 Mano. Pualani is the Goldilocks of this story, a surfing prodigy who, following a massive wipeout, wanders into the cave of three mano, or sharks. Full disclosure: I was one of the people who helped Devin copy-edit the book, so I’ve seen the advance proofs … and the watercolor images included within are quite lovely. Pualani and the 3 Mano is available for $5 on Kindle and its affiliated apps at ow.ly/eBnw5.

More from the anime news desk

Kawaii Kon: We’re in that part of the pre-convention calendar where guest announcements for next year start trickling out. The latest news came a few days ago, when it was revealed that the next guest joining the already announced Todd Haberkorn at next year’s event, happening March 15-17, is Colleen Clinkenbeard, a Funimation voice actor, director and line producer who’s best known as the voice of Luffy in One Piece and Riza Hawkeye in Fullmetal Alchemist. Clinkenbeard’s no stranger to Kawaii Kon, having last visited our fair island home back in 2008. For more information, visit www.kawaii-kon.org.

Hawaii International Film Festival: HIFF is wrapping up this weekend, and with it comes your last chance (for now) of seeing Eight Rangers (9:15 p.m. Saturday) and The Wolf Children Ami and Yuki (12:30 p.m. Sunday). Earlier this week, though, one screening was added to the schedule: the tale of the time-traveling bathhouse architect, Thermae Romae, now has a bonus screening at 8:30 p.m. Sunday. Readers in Hilo, get ready, because Thermae Romae is headed your way as well, at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 29. Visit www.hiff.org for most of your ticketing needs (Hilo folk will probably want to wait a few days, though.)

Rose of Versailles hits the Internet: And that’s legal, free streaming of the classic 1979-80 anime, too — no bootleg pirated uploads here. Anyway, to whet your whistle for their upcoming DVD release, Nozomi Entertainment has partnered with Viki to post the entire series online for free … in December. But the first episode, fresh off an advance screening at New York Comic Con last week, is now available, both on Viki and YouTube. Anyone who considers himself (or herself) a scholar of the anime classics owes it to himself to see this episode whenever he can.

The Cel Shaded Report, 10/4: Manga recounts 442nd heroics

File today’s featured Cel Shaded Report item in the “man, if only I had heard about this sooner, I would’ve written about this a whole lot more!” department: There now exists a locally produced manga-style graphic novel that tells the story of the all-Japanese American 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the 100th Infantry Battalion and their service during World War II.

And you can get your hands on it — and meet a bunch of cool people, including author Stacey Hayashi, artist Damon Wong and several 442nd vets — for the first time at an event downtown on Saturday.

The book is called Journey of Heroes, and it’s based on the experiences of several vets. From the book’s official site:

Stories are the foundation of our culture, the way we share our values and pass them along to future generations. Many of the documentaries and books about the famed 100th Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team speak to the enduring values, heroism, and truth of their war experiences. Few, if any, tell their story within a medium that appeals to the audience that most needs to learn from and understand these lessons: our youth.

We are producing a 30-page graphic novel that tells the compelling story of these young boys who, after battling racism at home and fascism abroad, literally saved the world.

Developing the story in this medium — a flexible, easily-consumed format — makes it eminently accessible to younger audiences (grades 7 to 12) who might otherwise never study or learn from this most important chapter in the history of Asian Americans and our country.

I haven’t seen the entire book yet, but judging by the images posted on the official site and on the book’s Facebook page,  it appears that Damon’s rendering his characters in chibi (super-deformed) style. Here’s a sample page to give you a sense of that style.

Journey of Heroes sample page

This book has a limited print run of 10,000 copies, 5,040 of which are going to schools and libraries in two states. That number seems a bit odd until you consider that 5,000 were originally allocated to schools and libraries locally, but an email from Washington state resulted in an additional 40 copies being pledged to that school as well.

So about Saturday. You can buy the book (and get it signed, too!) for $10 starting at 3 p.m. Saturday in the courtyard of the Pacific Guardian Center — the address is listed as 737 Bishop St., but think of it as the block bordered by Bishop, Queen and Alakea streets, and Ala Moana Boulevard. Cute character swag will also be available for purchase — all proceeds will go toward further efforts to preserve and perpetuate the 100th/442nd’s legacy —  and there will be a panel discussion of the stories featured in the book.

Learn more about the book at www.facebook.com/442comicbook — if anything, read through the project’s timeline (it’s available to read by Facebook members and non-members alike); it’s fascinating to see how this project has developed since January — and 442comicbook.com. With this and MidWeek artist Roy Chang’s manga-infused young adult novel Cacy & Kiara and the Curse of the Ki’i due this month, this promises to be a very good month in terms of this style of local literature.

More from the anime news desk

Pen & Ink Works: Group members Heather Matsuura and Brady Evans will be hosting “Expression Session KIDS: Drawing From the Masters of Manga,” 10 a.m. to noon Sunday at Spalding House (the former Contemporary Museum), 2411 Makiki Heights Drive. Participants ages 5-12 will learn how to create characters and lay out pages for their own manga, studying works from manga artists and pieces currently on display in the A Thousand Words or More exhibit. Cost is $15, or $10 for Honolulu Museum of Art members. Reservations required; call 237-5230 or email seng@honolulumuseum.org. Learn more about Pen & Ink Works at peninkworks.wordpress.com. And since this event ends at noon …

Comic Jam Hawaii: … you’ll have plenty of time to bring the kids over to this cartoon art group’s inaugural Comic Jam at Pearlridge Center. Sit down, draw a bit, collaborate with a bunch of talented people and have a fun art-filled afternoon. 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday SUNDAY (Update 9:45 p.m. 10/4: date corrected; blast my aged, addled brain >_<) on the Uptown side of the mall, in front of Hot Unique Imaging. Visit www.facebook.com/groups/147779161986428/ (Facebook login required).

JManga: School Rumble is now in the online manga publisher’s catalog. Yes, I know, it’s part of the bigger news that Kodansha’s signed on to provide content to Jmanga, and that also joining School Rumble will be Code:Breaker, Pumpkin Scissors, Princess Resurrection, Pastel and The Yagyu Ninja Scrolls, and that those six series haven’t been seen since the Del Rey Manga imprint morphed into the Kodansha Comics imprint, but … School Rumble! I enjoyed it! I have a copy of volume 1 autographed by Jin Kobayashi to prove it! So go buy some points from jmanga.com and read it already.