Archive for the ‘artsy’ Category

The Cel Shaded Report, 3/29: A sketching situation

March 30th, 2012

Okay, so the “Let’s move Otaku Ohana to a new domain name!” operation isn’t exactly going as smoothly as we expected. Not the posts, mind you; we’ve been posting quite happily as of late. It’s just you may have noticed that none of it’s being promoted on the front page or the blog roll. To that end, we’re going to be cross-posting opening-paragraph previews of our new blog posts here on for the time being that’ll point you to our new home at, so that those of you seeing this blog for the first time or haven’t checked back in a while know that we still exist. Thanks for your continued readership!

One of the neat things about local anime and manga fandom is how it’s spawned an entire generation of people eager to whip out their sketchbooks and draw things inspired by the series that they love. I’ve seen that talent manifest itself in the Liliha Library Anime Art Contest for the past two years now, MangaBento’s art exhibits, and the Artist Alley at Kawaii Kon and HEXXP, and the art’s been really, really nice.

Well, it’s time once again to nurture that talent. Pen & Ink Works has a neat event coming up from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday to do just that — a Sketch Meet where artists can hang out, participate in some drawing games and trade tips with one another.

Read more …

Introducing Otaku Ohana, version 2.0!

February 27th, 2012

Ever since tag-team partner in fandom Wilma J. and I were handed the keys to our own little corner of the Star-Bulletin blogging kingdom in June 2009, we’ve had one mission in mind: to provide as much exposure as we could to anime, manga, and the local and national fan communities that power those industries. Otaku Ohana, as I explained back then, was meant to be an extension of my print column, Cel Shaded:

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.

Fast forward several years to the present. Some things have changed: Cel Shaded now exists only as an online extension to Otaku Ohana; the Star-Bulletin merged with the Honolulu Advertiser and became the Star-Advertiser; and it seems like our coverage is leaning more toward coverage of the local fan community. Other things haven’t: That review backlog still remains at several hundred series, mostly as the free time that Wilma and I have has evaporated before our very eyes. (We’re really trying to do more reviews this year, though! Really!) And, of course, Otaku Ohana’s been housed on the last regularly updated outpost of the domain,

Until today.

Following the lead of fellow blogger Nadine Kam and her Fashion Tribe — and after kicking the tires and making sure everything is in working order — I’m pleased to announce that all updates for Otaku Ohana going forward will be made on our shiny new site (which actually looks exactly like our old site, but ehh, details, details), All our old content won’t be going anywhere; it’ll still be archived at for the foreseeable future.

I wanted to write a post about all the possible name changes we could’ve given the blog in its new phase, including:

  • Otaku Ohana 2: Electric Boogaloo
  • Otaku Ohana: Now With Bears (a nod to the Xbox 360 sequel to Kinectimals)
  • Super Otaku Ohana Turbo Hyper Championship Edition

Wilma groaned and put the kibosh on the idea immediately.

So I’ll just say this: Don’t forget to point your browsers and update your bookmarks and RSS feeds to reflect our new home on the web. Regular programming will begin shortly. We thank you for your continued patronage. And since the first-ever post in Otaku Ohana ended, for some weird reason that rests with 2009-era me, with a random link to a music video about some plants and some zombies, I’ll end this post with an equally random link to a journalist interviewing a wrestler in the Nintendo Wii game Rhythm Heaven Fever.

Yes, that new tune’s firmly wedged itself in my brain, too.

The Cel Shaded Report, 1/6: Ohana Festival fun time

January 6th, 2012

After a brief hiatus — well, okay, maybe calling a 21-day space between reports a “brief” hiatus is relative — the Cel Shaded Report is back, baby, and ready for a whole new slate of weekly news reports for 2012.

Of course, we have to kick off the year in Cel Shaded the same way local fandom’s traditionally started it in recent years: with the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii’s New Year’s Ohana Festival. Spread out between the JCCH facility at 2454 S. Beretania St. and Moiliili Field, the festival features entertainment, food (with a food truck rally this year, ooh), games, activities for attendees of all ages and all sorts of lovely trinkets to purchase.

Several groups with anime/manga ties will be taking part in the festivities. Out on Moiliili Field, you’ll find:

  • Oahu Anime Explorer: The local anime club will be sharing information on the Aiea Library Anime Club, the Liliha Library Manga Club and the Hawaii Entertainment Expo. Addendum, 1/7, 8:30 p.m.: You can also enter at their table to win a PC Gamerz party pass for 10 people, or one of 10 day passes to PCG’s Aiea and Kaneohe locations.
  • Mangabento: This group of anime- and manga-inspired artists will be joining forces with Oahu Anime Explorer this year, offering pages of line art to color and giant props perfect for photo ops.
  • Kawaii Kon: It’s hard to call any celebration of local Japanese culture complete without having these guys as a part of it. Learn more about the 2012 edition of the local anime convention and sign up for a chance to win some cool prizes … including a three-day pass to this year’s event. Oooh.
  • Pen & Ink Works: The other group of anime- and manga-inspired artists will be joining forces with Kawaii Kon, manning a table where anyone can stop by and write or draw in a paper ema wish tablet. In traditional Japanese culture, ema are the small wooden plaques on which Shinto worshipers write their prayers and wishes and hang them up for the gods to receive them. (At this event, you get to keep your wish tablet, though.) Bring your own art, and you can have it critiqued by the artists, too.

Also attending will be the nemu*nemu crew, Audra Furuichi and Scott Yoshinaga. Fresh off their recent Kickstarter fund drive success — you’ll see a print edition of volume 6 of their plush pup comic in mid-March at Kawaii Kon, yay! — they’ll be selling their plushies, prints, charms, buttons and other swag at the JCCH building, in the fifth-floor ballroom, near the entrance. And speaking of cute things, Hello Kitty will be roaming around the JCCH gift shop. That’s right. Hello. Freakin’. Kitty. If that doesn’t get you out there, I’m not sure what will.

The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Your best bet for getting there is to park in the UH-Manoa lower campus parking structure and catch the shuttle in front of the law school, on Dole Street. Or just take the bus. Public transit’s always good.