‘Appleseed’ sequel among film fest fare
IT'S GREAT to be back home once more after another vacation ... thanks again to tag-team partner in fandom Wilma Jandoc for filling in for me last week.
Looks like I came back just in time, too, because these next few weeks are going to provide some pretty neat opportunities for the local community of anime and manga fans to get together. The fun starts this week with the fall edition of the Louis Vuitton Hawaii International Film Festival, kicking off Thursday and running through Oct. 28 (see cover story).
Festival organizers clearly love their anime; films screened in recent years include "Cowboy Bebop: The Movie," "Paprika," "Tekkonkinkreet," "Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles," "Steamboy" and "Galaxy Express 999."
Perhaps the most exciting news is that "Appleseed Ex Machina" will be screened at the festival a mere six days after the film debuts in Japan, at 7:15 p.m. Oct. 26. This sequel to the 2004 computer-animated adaptation of Masamune Shirow's manga features the continuing adventures of Deunan, a young female warrior, and Briareos, her cybernetically enhanced partner on the city's E.S.W.A.T. team. With John Woo as producer, expect lots of action-packed moments in this film.
While we're on the subject of manga adaptations, the classic manga "GeGeGe no Kitaro," which has been animated several times over the years (most recently in a 26-episode series that aired earlier this year in Japan), now has a live-action film to add to its pedigree, "Kitaro."
The manga's foundation remains intact, though: Kitaro, the last member of the Ghost Tribe and protector of "yokai" (Japanese folklore creatures), lives with an odd menagerie of these creatures, including a giant eyeball that was once his father, a frightening cat girl and a sand-throwing hag. In "Kitaro" he must protect a grade-school boy and his older sister from an evil spirit and his minions who are bent on capturing a powerful stone and taking over both the spiritual and physical realms. Check that out Oct. 21 at 6 p.m.
And then there's "Summer Days With Coo," an animated film that I must admit has flown completely under my radar. The plot apparently follows a boy who befriends a "kappa," or Japanese water sprite, and their adventures together. It's certainly something I'm looking forward to seeing ... and I will, as part of this newspaper's upcoming roundup of HIFF films in the HILife section. This film screens Oct. 27 at 1:15 p.m. and Oct. 28 at 1:30 p.m.
All films will be showing at the Dole Cannery multiplex; for more information, visit www.hiff.org.
Next week, I'll have several ways to celebrate what I like to call National Cosplay Recognition Day! OK, so it's known as Halloween to the rest of the world, but hey ... people going around dressed as their favorite characters? Sounds like a common activity at anime conventions, don't you think?
Cel Shaded, a look at the world of Japanese anime and manga, appears every Monday. Reach Jason S. Yadao