A whole lotta Ghibli goin’ on

Not shown: The part where Ponyo says she likes haaaaam. (Why yes, we used this same joke with Wilma's Ponyo review in 2012. We're all about the running gags here.)
Sosuke and Ponyo prepare for their magical boat ride. (Photo courtesy Nibariki-GNDHDDT)

Remember all those times I’ve said in the past few years that [INSERT MONTH/YEAR HERE] is going to be the best month ever for theatrical anime being screened locally? First of all, congratulations, you have a very good memory. Second, you may now forget I ever said that before, because April 2016 is claiming that title of best month ever now and forever.

The reason: Starting Saturday and running through May 5, for every day except Fridays (gotta make that new-release box office bank, after all!), Consolidated’s theaters across Oahu and their Kaahumanu complex in Kahului will be home to the Studio Ghibli Festival, screening every major Studio Ghibli film ever made. That’s everything from 1984’s Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Hayao Miyazaki’s pre-Ghibli feature that led to the creation of the studio, through 2014’s When Marnie Was There, plus the live-action Kingdom of Dreams and Madness documentary for good measure. That’s 22 good-to-great movies and Tales From Earthsea — which was kind of a disappointment for me — over roughly a month.

… yeah, I’ll just leave this meme here.

take my money meme

Most of the films will be screened two or three times each over the month, with English-dubbed and English-subtitled versions available. The more popular films — Howl’s Moving Castle, Kiki’s Delivery Service, My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away — will be shown four times each.

But the real rarity in the group is Ocean Waves (Umi ga Kikoeru), the 1993 made-for-TV movie that is the only major Ghibli project never to see wide release in the U.S. now that GKids finally picked up Only Yesterday. The film’s rights belong to Disney, which kinda has bigger fish to promote, so we probably won’t be seeing that in wide release any time soon, either. Ocean Waves will be shown exactly once — mark your calendars for 7 p.m. Thursday, April 14, and set your GPSes for the Koolau 10 complex, across from the Valley of the Temples cemetery in Windward Oahu.

Breaking down the numbers further, the big winner in terms of number of screenings is the Kapolei 16 complex, which will be showing 15 out of the 23 movies available, all of them subtitled. The Koolau, Mililani 14 and Pearlridge 16 theaters come in tied for second with 10 apiece, in both subbed and dubbed flavors at the first two and all subbed at Pearlridge.

Here’s the full screening schedule organized by theater, with GhibliWiki links in case you’d like to learn more about each movie. (Trust me, if I had to write 23 synopses and attach 23 trailers like I usually do with these previews, this post would have been posted sometime in February 2022.) Prefer to see what’s on deck chronologically? Here’s Consolidated’s “coming soon” list. Tickets, at $10 each, are available now on Fandango (except for the April 30 Kahala screening of The Wind Rises for some weird reason). Sorry, no passes are being accepted.

Kahala 8

All films dubbed; screenings at 11 a.m. Saturdays.

Castle in the Sky: April 2

Kiki’s Delivery Service: April 9

Spirited Away: April 16

Howl’s Moving Castle: April 23

The Wind Rises: April 30 (note: ticket sales not available yet)

Kapolei 16

All films subbed; screenings at 7 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind: April 4

Castle in the Sky: April 5

My Neighbor Totoro: April 7

Kiki’s Delivery Service: April 11

Only Yesterday: April 12

Pom Poko: April 14

Whisper of the Heart: April 18

Princess Mononoke: April 19

The Cat Returns: April 21

Tales From Earthsea: April 25

Ponyo: April 26

From Up on Poppy Hill: April 28

The Wind Rises: May 2

Kingdom of Dreams and Madness: May 3

When Marnie Was There: May 5

Koko Marina 8

All films dubbed; screenings at 11 a.m. Sundays.

My Neighbor Totoro: April 3

Whisper of the Heart: April 10

Secret World of Arrietty: April 24

Tale of the Princess Kaguya: May 1

Koolau 10

11 a.m. Sunday screenings dubbed; 7 p.m. Thursday screenings subbed.

Porco Rosso: April 3, 11 a.m.

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind: April 7, 7 p.m.

Pom Poko: April 10, 11 a.m.

Ocean Waves: April 14, 7 p.m.

The Cat Returns: April 17, 11 a.m.

Princess Mononoke: April 21, 7 p.m.

Tales From Earthsea: April 24, 11 a.m.

Ponyo: April 28, 7 p.m.

When Marnie Was There: May 1, 11 a.m.

Tale of the Princess Kaguya: May 5, 7 p.m.

Mililani 14

11 a.m. Saturday screenings dubbed; 7 p.m. Wednesday screenings subbed.

Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind: April 2, 11 a.m.

Castle in the Sky: April 6, 7 p.m.

Only Yesterday: April 9, 11 a.m.

Whisper of the Heart: April 13, 7 p.m.

My Neighbors the Yamadas: April 16, 11 a.m.

Tales from Earthsea: April 20, 7 p.m.

Ponyo, April 23, 11 a.m.

Howl’s Moving Castle: April 27, 7 p.m.

From Up on Poppy Hill: April 30, 11 a.m.

Kingdom of Dreams and Madness: May 4, 7 p.m.

Pearlridge 16

All films subbed; screenings at 7 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

My Neighbor Totoro: April 5

Grave of the Fireflies: April 6

Kiki’s Delivery Service: April 12

Porco Rosso: April 13

Spirited Away: April 19

My Neighbors the Yamadas: April 20

From Up on Poppy Hill, April 26

Secret World of Arrietty: April 27

The Wind Rises: May 3

Tale of the Princess Kaguya: May 4

Ward Stadium

All films subbed; screenings at 7 p.m. Mondays.

Grave of the Fireflies: April 4

Only Yesterday: April 11

Spirited Away: April 18

Howl’s Moving Castle: April 25

When Marnie Was There: May 2

Kaahumanu (Maui)

11 a.m. Saturday screenings dubbed; 7 p.m. Thursday screenings subbed.

My Neighbor Totoro: April 2, 11 a.m., April 7, 7 p.m.

Kiki’s Delivery Service: April 9, 11 a.m., April 14, 7 p.m.

Princess Mononoke: April 16, 11 a.m., April 21, 7 p.m.

Spirited Away: April 23, 11 a.m., April 28, 7 p.m.

Howl’s Moving Castle: April 30, 11 a.m., May 5, 7 p.m.

Elsewhere around town

Aiea Library Polar Bear Cafe & Friends Anime Club: Every month, I joke with young adult librarian Diane Masaki that she ought to change the name of the Anime Club to the Polar Bear Cafe & Friends Club, seeing as how the screening schedule for the past few months has consistently been two episodes of the 2012-2013 anime followed by two more episodes of something else. (April’s “friends” are the ship-gals of KanColle.) The response this time around: Crisis! Diane’s approaching the end of the Polar Bear run! And there aren’t very many KanColle episodes left, either! What will the club screen next? And what will be the next running gag for this item?!? At the library, 99-374 Pohai Place, where, yes, there’s still plenty of parking. For more information or to RSVP, call 483-7333 or email aiealibraryanimeclub@yahoo.com. 3 p.m. Saturday.

Sanrio Ala Moana Anniversary Party: Head out to Ala Moana Center and take pictures (or selfies, if you’re alone) with a giant Hello Kitty mascot character and also enjoy: Special product promotions! Free face painting and Hello Kitty hat with any purchase! And a special gift with any $75 purchase! 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.

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

The Summer of Stuff, part 1: See you at the movies

It’s never a good time to get sick, but for your friendly neighborhood anime/manga/cartooning blogger in particular, getting sick last week came at a really inopportune time. I’m still shaking the last remnants of what was diagnosed as a viral infection (the formal medical term for “yup, you’re coughing and congested; here, have some codeine and get some rest”)  I missed the Mini Comic Con at Aiea Library, which saddened me. At one point, between swigs of codeine, I even considered tweeting, “Otaku community newsmakers, please hold off on breaking any juicy news until I have a chance to get better.”

Naturally, otaku community newsmakers broke a lot of juicy news while I was sick.

So now I have quite a few announcements to catch up on — movie screenings! Special events! New convention guests! — and I’ll be starting in on it with this series of posts, “The Summer of Stuff.” Because let’s face it: If you can’t find anything that you’re interested in doing in the next few months from everything I’ve been told about, you’re doing the summer wrong.

Take this summer’s lineup of movie screenings for Japanese cultural aficionados, for instance. A lot of it is being generated by GKids, working overtime with a weeks-long presentation of animated films from around the world (that is, if your definition of “around the world” is 75 percent Japan, 25 percent France/Italy) and the wide release of When Marnie Was There. There’s also a pair of free screenings at Aiea Library in coming weeks.

Let’s go to the calendar for some dates, synopses and trailers …

Continue reading “The Summer of Stuff, part 1: See you at the movies”

‘Kaguya’ is a go for Kahala

First of all, I’d like to humbly thank all of you who offered condolences here, on Facebook and in person for my grandma’s recent passing. Truth be told, the only reason I haven’t picked up blogging again until now isn’t because I’ve been in mourning ever since the funeral last Wednesday, but because I’ve been gradually sinking deeper into the depths of what’s turned out to be one gollywhomper of a cold. I’ll probably be flopping into bed and chatting with friends on my iPad until I pass out in a fever-ridden blob after I finish this post.

kaguyaSo while there’s a lot of news to discuss that I haven’t gotten around to discussing here yet, I’ll just quickly address the most pressing item at the moment in what’ll probably be one of the shortest news posts in Otaku Ohana history. Here we go:

Remember The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, the latest film from Studio Ghibli to be translated for American audiences? The one that I said in my last post was opening on Friday at Consolidated’s Kahala 8 theaters?

Well, tickets are on sale now. Available showtimes run through Tuesday. There are English-subbed and dubbed screenings, too, yay! (The daytime screenings are dubbed; while evening screenings are subbed.)

The premiere’s been pushed up a day, too, so if you want to go see the English-subbed version at 7 p.m. Thursday, you can now do that. Want to do a cross-town double feature on Saturday with The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, the Studio Ghibli documentary screening at the Dole Cannery theaters as part of the Hawaii International Film Festival at 2:45 p.m. Saturday? You can do that with Kaguya’s evening screenings on Saturday, too.

Oh, yes, and here’s a trailer that shows off the film’s rather distinct animation style.

See you at the movies … hopefully when I heal up from this cold.

‘Kikaider’ reloads; ‘Kaguya’ comes in

kikaider reloadedIt seems a bit gauche for me to be going into full chatty blogger mode when there’s a tropical storm/likely Category 1 hurricane bearing down on our island home and something else I’ll talk about in a moment, so here are the highlights from what was supposed to be “Otaku Film Feast-ival Part 2.”

>> Kikaider Reboot had its run on Oahu extended; the movie will now be screening at Consolidated’s Kahala 8 theaters for a week starting Friday. Of course, the schedule is likely to change in case Kahala Mall decides to close in advance of Ana, but for now here are Fandango’s listed showtimes.

>> On Tuesday, film distributor GKIDS revealed that Studio Ghibli’s latest film to be translated for U.S. audiences, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya, will be opening for a limited engagement at the Kahala 8 starting Oct. 31. Exact showtimes have yet to be posted, but I’ll update you on that whenever I’m able.

And now, a quick housekeeping note: This post is dedicated to the memory of my grandma, Virginia Yadao, who died Tuesday night at the age of 88. (To answer the likely follow-up question: I’m doing fine now, probably because I’ve had many other things on my mind, but I’m definitely bringing a pile of tissues to the funeral next week.) I’m going to be taking a few days off from blogging, but I hope to be back to write about the films of interest to otaku at the Hawaii International Film Festival by late next week. In case I take longer than that to return, here’s the list of films I’m keeping an eye on so you can buy your tickets now:

Stay safe until then, folks.