Film festival loads up anime for the spring


POSTED: Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Anime- and manga-related films are back in full force at the Hawaii International Film Festival. And this year, with the festival's 12th annual Spring Showcase running April 3 to 9, the event is also a perfect lead-in to Kawaii Kon, running April 10 to 12.

This edition of the film festival features the latest revamp of a longtime anime franchise, a new movie from the director of “;Ghost in the Shell,”; and a pair of live-action films based on a manga series that older fans really ought to be reading now that it's available in English. Those films are:

» ”;Neon Genesis Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone.”; Those of you who have seen the TV series by now know the basic setup: Shinji Ikari is recruited to pilot one of the biomechanical Eva units against invading Angels. Many familiar characters are back as well. So how will the series canon be revamped ... again? With this being the first of a series of “;Evangelion”; movies, the answer only begins to be revealed here. Screens at 3 p.m. April 5.

» ”;Sky Crawlers.”; The latest anime feature directed by Mamoru Oshii features pilots genetically altered to never age, and the international conflicts they settle through aerial skirmishes. But the way the story plays out is not quite that simple in an Oshii film. Screens at 6 p.m. April 5 and 9 p.m. April 8.

» ”;20th Century Boys”; and ”;20th Century Boys: Chapter Two: The Last Hope.”; These films, the first two in a trilogy, are based on a manga series by Naoki Urasawa that Viz recently started releasing in the United States. In 1969 a group of boys formed a secret alliance, complete with a special symbol, and vowed to defend the world when they were older. Well, 20 years later, they have largely forgotten that promise ... that is, until a mysterious cult starts using the symbol ... and a rash of mass killings begins.

The first film screens at 6:30 p.m. April 6 and 3 p.m. April 7; the second screens at 6:15 p.m. April 7 and 3 p.m. April 8.

Tickets are on sale now for HIFF members, while sales to the general public begin on Friday. Tickets are $10; $9 for students, seniors, children and military; rates for groups greater than 10 are $8 each. For more information, visit



Those who want to show off costumes before Kawaii Kon will get a chance to do so from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday as part of Mechahawaii's Fifth Anniversary Bash.

Sean Akita, Mechahawaii owner, will be offering specials throughout the evening.

In addition, there will be a first-come, first-served cosplay contest, with a limit of 20 contestants. Sign-in and picture taking is from 6 to 7:30 p.m., with voting from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. and the winner announced around 8:45 p.m.

Mechahawaii is at 1126 12th Ave., Unit 105, in Kaimuki; for information, e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


”;Cel Shaded,”; a weekly look at the world of Japanese anime and manga, appears every Tuesday. Follow Jason S. Yadao on Twitter at or e-mail him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).