'Cel Shaded' scope grows with new blog


POSTED: Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A few weeks ago, tag-team partner in fandom Wilma Jandoc pointed out to me someone's comment on the Star-Bulletin online forums asking (minus a minor expletive), “;What does 'Cel Shaded' mean?”;

I addressed this question a few years ago for my second anniversary column - see hsblinks.com/cc for the full column; it's a good primer for those of you new to this column. But since I'm celebrating the fourth anniversary of “;Cel Shaded”; today with a special announcement, it's a good opportunity to look at where we've been and where we're going from here.

The name “;Cel Shaded”; refers to an art style in video games where characters look more like cartoon characters than computer-generated characters. I extended that definition to refer to the drawn characters of Japanese animation (anime) and comic books (manga). This column has been delivering anime and manga news, commentary and reviews since June 13, 2005 - to my knowledge the only weekly column in a metropolitan U.S. daily newspaper to do so.

What I've discovered over the years, though, is that one column a week is hardly enough to contain all the anime and manga news that comes down the pipeline. For every one topic that I've covered in print, there have been at least two or three others I've passed up.

And then there's the poor, often neglected “;Random Plugging”; section. In theory, it was supposed to ease the backlog of anime and manga that we have yet to review. In practice, columns kept filling up without the help of “;Random Plugging,”; and now we have a backlog of several hundred series, partial and complete, that we have yet to comment on in any form. (I wish I was exaggerating with that number.)

So it's time for the next evolution. I've referred to this development in this column and on Twitter in past weeks as “;Project B,”; and now I can reveal that the “;B”; stands for “;blog.”; I'm pleased to announce that launching today is the newest addition to the starbulletin.com family of blogs: “;Otaku Ohana,”; an expanded outlet for commentary from Wilma and myself on anime and manga. And since anime and manga fans are often video game fans, we'll be talking about the games we're playing as well.

“;Cel Shaded”; will continue, of course. It's just that there will be more of what you've read in this column these past few years, in a more timely, off-the-cuff, as-edgy-as-we-can-get-without-swearing format.

There's more to be said about “;Otaku Ohana,”; including the origins of that name - short explanation: “;otaku”; is the Japanese term adopted by U.S. anime and manga fans to describe themselves, “;ohana,”; of course, meaning family - but we can continue this discussion at the blog itself: blogs.starbulletin.com/otakuohana. See you there!

Meeting roll call

» Aiea Library Anime Club:

3 p.m. Saturday at the library, 99-143 Moanalua Road. This month, librarian Diane Masaki will be screening the first volume of “;Hell Girl.”; For more information or to RSVP, e-mail Masaki at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Follow Jason S. Yadao on Twitter at twitter.com/jsyadao or e-mail him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).