Spring edition of film festival screens anime
Yes, Kawaii Kon is coming up next weekend. And yes, tag-team partner Wilma J. and I have some great previews lined up to prepare for the third edition of Hawaii's own anime convention. Details on that in a little bit.
But for those of you who want a little appetizer before this three-day anime feast -- because you never can have too much anime -- look no further than the night before the convention starts, April 26, and the Louis Vuitton Hawaii International Film Festival's Spring Showcase.
Scheduled for screening at 8:45 p.m. is "Tekkon Kinkreet," the tale of two boys struggling to survive in an increasingly harsh, yet somewhat surreal, urban environment. It is an adaptation of a 1994 manga by Taiyo Matsumoto, which Viz has licensed and will be releasing later this year under its Signature line as "Black & White."
Trailers (in Japanese without English subtitles) are available at www.tekkon.net/site.html; just click on the "media" link, let the short movie play and then click on the row of masks behind the Volkswagen Beetle. A technical note: I was only able to load the "TV Spot" in the upper right corner and the "Trailer" in the lower left, and only in Quicktime, at that; perhaps you'll have better luck than I did.
The film looks spectacular, and for good reason: It's the latest effort from Studio 4C, the Japanese production house behind "Steamboy," which was a pretty film in its own right, as well as "Spriggan," "Memories" and "The Animatrix." ...
Getting into the groove of the "Strawberry Marshmallow" manga can be rather difficult. It's obvious that series creator Barasui was struggling to find his groove with drawing sisters Nobue and Chika, mischievous neighbor Miu and shy friend Matsuri in the early going, as all the character designs look similar. It can at times be difficult to tell what's going on with whom.
A little persistence helps, though, as Barasui and the series hit a quirky groove around the fourth chapter. Sure, Nobue and Chika still look a bit too similar, but the slice-of-life situations, from Miu and Chika making a birthday gift for Nobue to a trip to the beach are charmingly humorous. ...
In Sunday's D&Q
When I launched the occasionally recurring feature "Random Plugging" last year in this column, the first item to be randomly plugged was an online webcomic called "nemu*nemu." Well, the story of two girls and their talking plush pups recently celebrated its first anniversary online.
Join me in the Sunday Today section as I chat with the series creators about the comic and their plans for Kawaii Kon. ...
And next Monday ...
Wilma and I prepare anime fans (and non-anime fans, at that) for Kawaii Kon and the impending arrival of hundreds of people dressed up as their favorite characters. It's "cosplay" culture, and we'll have profiles of some of the people who love to dress up every year. ...
Cel Shaded, a look at the world of Japanese anime and manga, appears every Monday. Reach Jason S. Yadao