Halloween season offers a bounty for anime fans


POSTED: Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Your humble columnist has been reporting on anime and manga news since June 2005 — or, in terms of today's column topic, for four Halloweens and a fifth one on the way next Saturday.

Yet for all that time, I can't remember a year as chock-full of fan-related events leading up to and including Halloween as this year. Beginning Saturday, there will be five gatherings celebrating what I like to call National Cosplay Recognition Day.

Kicking off the festivities on that day will be the University of Hawaii at Manoa Anime and Manga Society, which will be hosting its annual Halloween party. Featured events include Anime Death Metal Karaoke, a cosplay contest, Zombie Tag 2.0, a Zombie Apocalypse and, of course, video games and anime screenings all around.

I'd call it mature-rated, so recommend this event for the college-age crowd and older only. The party runs from 6 to 11 p.m. at Kuykendall Hall, Rooms 306-310, on the UH-Manoa campus,

Oct. 30 brings this year's installment of the Toys N' Joys cosplay contest in Kaimuki. Preregistration, which is free, is open for the event and runs through the 29th; registering on the day of the contest costs $10, so suggest taking the free route. Early registration nets you a “;15 percent off everything anime”; coupon ... and considering how much that stuff costs these days, any discount is welcome.

The contest runs from 6 to 9 p.m., with contestant check-in starting at 5 p.m. As long as the costume is anime- or video game-related, it's eligible. This year, the grand prize winner will receive their choice of a Sony PSP Go, a Nintendo DSi, a Sony PlayStation 3, a Microsoft Xbox 360 or a Nintendo Wii.

The store is at 3632 Waialae Ave.; for more information (and more prizes!), visit http://www.hsblinks.com/12m.

Halloween starts off with Liliha Public Library's ”;Teen Cosplay and Anime Movie”; eventreally this time; sorry about the error earlier this month — from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in the library's meeting room. Just as a reminder, this event will feature a cosplay contest, refreshments and anime screenings. The library is at 1515 Liliha St.

From 3:30 to 5 p.m., make your way over to the Kikaida Halloween Bash at Shirokiya at the Ala Moana Center. “;Kikaida”; actor Ban Daisuke will join the Kikaida Brothers and other costumed Japanese superheroes at the event for photos and autographs, and participants are encouraged to join the costume parade. And what Kikaida party would be complete without karaoke and drawings for cool series-related swag? For more information, visit http://www.generationkikaida.com.

Finally, there's the annual Oahu Anime Explorer Waikiki gathering, starting in front of Gyu-Kaku (307 Lewers St.) at 6 p.m. for individual photos and then moving on to dinner at 7 p.m. After that? You'd have to bet karaoke at GS Studios is on the schedule, although the walking-around-Waikiki portion of the program is likely out ... for the simple reason that it's getting nigh impossible to actually walk around Waikiki on Halloween night. Visit http://www.oahuanimeexplorer.com.



“;Astro Boy,”; the computer-animated adventure of one of late manga artist Osamu Tezuka's most famous creations, arrives in theaters on Friday. But perhaps the story's too tame for your taste. In “;Drawn & Quartered”; in the Sunday Today section, I'll be looking at a more mature, alternate take on a classic “;Astro Boy”; story: Naoki Urasawa's manga “;Pluto.”;


Jason S. Yadao is the author of Rough Guides' “;The Rough Guide to Manga,”; now available. For more anime and manga news and commentary, check out “;Otaku Ohana”; at blogs.starbulletin.com/otakuohana. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/jsyadao or e-mail him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).