Kawaii Kon quietly updates 2008 guest list
IT'S AMAZING sometimes to see what news sneaks past your intrepid anime columnist while he's on vacation.
Case in point: Kawaii Kon and its guest list for next year's anime convention, which was updated late last month while I was off-island.
A bit of poking around revealed that a voice actress will be making her first Kawaii Kon appearance next year: Colleen Clinkenbeard, the voice of Riza Hawkeye in "Fullmetal Alchemist," Eclair in "Kiddy Grade" and Monkey D. Luffy in the new FUNimation dub of "One Piece."
Also announced was the return of Kawaii Kon veterans Monica Rial and David Williams from ADV Films, as well as artists Robert and Emily DeJesus. All four have been guests since the beginning of Kawaii Kon -- 2005, to be exact -- and are popular with local fans, so it makes sense to have them back.
They join a roster that includes Studio Tavicat artists Rikki Simons and Tavisha Wolfgarth-Simons and voice actress / singer Mari Iijima.
There is some more recent news out of the Kawaii Kon camp, namely that the official hotel has also been announced for next year. Once again, the Ala Moana Hotel will be serving in that capacity. Convention rates will be $139 a night for single or double occupancy, and $179 for larger rooms.
Kawaii Kon will be held April 18-20 at the Hawaii Convention Center; for more information, visit www.kawaii-kon.org ...
Halloween's on Wednesday, which can only mean one thing on the retail calendar: Come Thursday, it's time to stash all the pumpkins, scarecrows and assorted things that go "bump" in the night and deck those aisles with boughs of holly, snowmen and giant inflatable Santa Clauses.
It's in the spirit of seasonal crossover that I looked at an advance proof of volume 1 of "Presents," the 1993 horror manga by Kanako Inuki. Inuki's series of short stories features Kurumi, a girl turned satanic Santa Claus after she didn't receive any presents for her 10th birthday.
When she shows up offering someone a present, that person -- or anyone who may have wronged him or her -- had better watch out, because unimaginable calamity is sure to follow. One girl who gives a classmate tainted skin care products is horrifically scarred in return. Another girl who is greedy and demands all the presents at a party for herself gets her wish granted -- but not in the way she might have liked.
If there's anything that can be learned from "Presents," it's that karma has a way of biting people on the butt when they most deserve it.
I wasn't a big fan of Inuki's "School Zone" when I reviewed it earlier this year. "Presents," with its rapid-fire, short-story format, works much better; if a reader doesn't like one story, he or she can easily find another one to read.
CMX will release the first of three volumes to stores ... well, any day now. Fans of unsettling Japanese horror stories would do well in hunting down a copy ...
Cel Shaded, a look at the world of Japanese anime and manga, appears every Monday. Reach Jason S. Yadao