Manga theme rules night at Arts Academy
This week in Cel Shaded, we're going to get cultural. Granted, the fact that you're watching anime and reading manga already implies that you're in tune somewhat with Japanese pop culture.
But everyone needs a taste of the finer arts in their lives, such as the items on display at the Honolulu Academy of Arts. And to make seeing that art a whole lot more attractive to anime and manga fans, there's "manga," the March edition of the academy's ARTafterDARK program, taking place from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday. Its focal point is the current exhibit "Pathways: The Evolution of Japanese Buddhist Prints," woodblock prints spanning a period of 700 years, which could be considered the ancestors to today's manga.
Cosplayers should dress in their finest so they can take part in the cosplay contest, taking place from 6 to 8 p.m. with an awards ceremony planned for 8:30 p.m. Bari Bari 13 will be on hand to rock the place with its local Japanese stylings, while DJs Kentaro (aka Duck), Slant and xhift will be laying down the beats.
Japanese cuisine and drinks from E&O Trading Co. will be available during the event, and drinks will be served up at the Yoyogi Park Bar by mixologist Joey Gottesman, who promises a special cocktail for the night.
All of the academy's galleries will be open as well.
For a complete list of activities, visit tinyurl.com/2ansvh. So go out there, have some fun and appreciate some art at the same time ...
More tastes of manga
Two DC Comics imprints with manga ties have samples of their latest projects posted on MySpace. The first chapter of CMX's version of "Crayon Shinchan" is available at tinyurl.com/2cr4qg, while the first 10 pages of "Batman: Death Mask," the Batman manga by Yoshinori Natsume, is available at tinyurl.com/34stpm.
Of course, if you wanted a heartier sampling of "Shinchan," there's always the premiere issue of PiQ, the much-ballyhooed replacement for Newtype USA magazine. But that's another topic for another column ...
Last year, Seven Seas Entertainment rolled out its Strawberry manga imprint, focusing on yuri, a genre that spotlights girl-girl relationships. Among the initial titles was one with the somewhat clunky name of "Tetragrammaton Labyrinth."
That's not the only intriguing element of the volume I looked at, though. The story revolves around Meg, a nun, and Angela, her eternally youthful companion with whom she shares a strange, strong bond. Together, they battle the demons that plague mankind -- Meg through the power of God, and Angela through ... umm ... whatever the source of the power she possesses comes from. It's clear it's not of this world, but beyond that it's anyone's guess.
While the yuri element does make its presence felt at times, it largely stays out of the way in favor of a good action story. Things could change in future volumes, but for now, enjoy the story on its own merits and not because of the imprint ...
Cel Shaded, a look at the world of Japanese anime and manga, appears every Monday. Reach Jason S. Yadao