Archive for the ‘artsy’ Category

The Cel Shaded report, 12/16: Over 9,000 updates

December 16th, 2011

No, the title of this post isn’t referring to how many posts I’ve written here in Otaku Ohana. (Heck, these days it seems like I’m lucky to post nine updates in a month.) Rather, it reflects the fact that a lot of news came down the ol’ pipeline since the last time I wrote something here a little over a week ago. And a good chunk of it had ties to this mindless Dragon Ball Z-related video that’s been racking up millions of views on YouTube since October 2006:

Indeed, you’ll be seeing a lot of Vegeta at Kawaii Kon next year … or at least hearing a lot of him, as news broke early Tuesday morning that the local anime convention had added three more guests to its roster. So you’ll likely see Ryo Horikawa, the Japanese voice of Vegeta, crossing paths with Christopher Sabat, Vegeta’s English voice in the Funimation dub, sometime during the March 16-18 weekend. I can guarantee you right now that someone will ask them to say … oh, you know, that phrase. The one in the video above. I can also guarantee that it will not sound quite the same, since the video uses the original DBZ English dub from a Vancouver, Canada, studio, voiced by Brian Drummond … who will not be appearing at Kawaii Kon.  And while I’m on a roll with the guarantees, I’ll promise that around the 582nd time that question gets asked, I will wish for a giant monster to appear, flog the questioner with a giant carrot and gobble him or her up, all while singing “Stand By Me.” You know, like this.

Some more fast facts on the three guests:

Horikawa: He’s definitely someone who’ll appeal to fans of the old-school; some of his other notable anime roles include Heiji Hattori in Detective Conan (that’s “Harley Hartwell” for all you Case Closed fans), Andromeda Shun in Saint Seiya and Reinhard von Lohengramm in Legend of the Galactic Heroes. Video game fans will recognize him as Edward Falcon in the Power Stone games and — for devoted importers — Dunban in the forthcoming-in-the-U.S.-but-already-out-in-Japan-and-Europe Xenoblade Chronicles. This is his third U.S. anime convention appearance; he also appeared at Anime Expo in 2005 and Sakura-con in Seattle in 2010.

Sabat: One of the more versatile voice actors on the U.S. DBZ crew, Sabat also is the voice of Yamcha and Piccolo in that series. The rest of his resume is quite impressive, too, covering a wide span of generational favorites: Armstrong in Fullmetal Alchemist, Kurogane in Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle, Kuwabara in Yu Yu Hakusho, Giroro in Sgt. Frog, Zoro in One Piece, and Jigen in Lupin III. This is Sabat’s second visit to Kawaii Kon; his first visit was in 2007.

Kenichi Miya: Compared with the other two, not much is known about Miya. What follows is Anime News Network’s complete encyclopedia listing for him:

Cast in:
C – Control – The Money and Soul of Possibility (TV) as Entre (ep 5)
Yu-Gi-Oh 5D’s (TV) as Dragan

… that’s it.

Apparently he’s also had roles in Case Closed and Xenoblade Chronicles, although those roles are minor enough that no character names have been listed anywhere on the Internet. I’m curious to see how Kawaii Kon will present Miya’s panels throughout the event.

To recap the current guest roster: It’s these three guys, plus artist Yoshitaka Amano, voice actors Vic Mignogna, Johnny Yong Bosch and Lisa Ortiz, and musical guests EyeShine, Bosch’s band. Kawaii Kon is March 16-18 at the Hawai’i Convention Center; current registration rates for three-day passes are $40 general admission for ages 12 and up and $30 children ages 5-11. From now through Jan. 4, enter the discount code “december-news” and save an additional $5. Visit

More sparks for nemu*nemu Kickstarter

With 10 days left as of this writing, the Kickstarter-fueled pledge drive to fund a print copy of volume 6 of nemu*nemu stands at $5,907. A respectable number, to be sure, but still a ways to go to the goal of $10,000. Since the last time I checked in with the project in this space, Audra Furuichi and Scott Yoshinaga have thrown in a few additional incentives, including:

  • A straight-up preorder of the new book ($20 paperback, $45 hardcover).
  • Access to one of the most closely guarded secrets of the nemu*nemu universe: the revelation of the real name of Anise’s Hanshin Flyer-loving rival, to this point known only as Nemesis. Also comes with a PDF of the book, a digital wallpaper set, a thank-you email from the pups and your name in the credits ($25).
  • A portrait of you drawn by Audra in any media and any style. You get the original drawing as well as digital files suitable for use as your Twitter and Facebook avatars. Also comes with PDF and paperback copies of the book, the wallpaper, the email and the acknowledgement ($100).

There’s plenty of cool swag available for devoted nemu*nemu fans, at a variety of price points. Heck, there’s enough here to convert anyone who happens to love cute things into a fan, too. But it’s going to take a group effort for everyone to get everything, so stop by and give whatever you see fit to give. Deadline’s Dec. 26 at 11:49 p.m. Hawaii time, so get cracking.

Other news and notes

  • The Aiea Library Anime Club meets at 3 p.m. Saturday at the library, 99-143 Moanalua Road. This month, librarian Diane Masaki will be doing what an (admittedly feeble and probably doomed from the start in retrospect) Eventful write-in campaign couldn’t accomplish: screening Trigun: Badlands Rumble here in Hawaii. And for free, to boot! And with free pizza, salad, drinks and cookies! Take that, theatrical run meanies! For more information or to RSVP, call 483-7333 or e-mail
  • I missed talking about this the first time it happened earlier this month, but I’m not going to let it pass without mention again: Cartoonist Jon Murakami (friend of the blog, draws “Calabash” for our fair paper) and a bunch of local artists will be at Whole Foods Market at Kahala Mall from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday for TOMS Style Your Sole, where you can buy pairs of TOMS shoes for $49.99 and have the artists draw on them. Wearable original artwork … now that sounds like a fun Christmas gift. As a good karma bonus, for every pair of shoes purchased, TOMS will donate a pair to a child in need. Stop by the Whole Foods Market Kahala Facebook page for pictures of the last event and details.
  • We’re counting down the final days of the existence of Sean’s Shop (formerly Mechahawaii) in Kaimuki, which is scheduled to shut down Dec. 28. I’ll have more about this next week, since I sat down for an extended conversation with owner Sean Akita earlier this week, but for now, I’ll mention that he’s holding a 20 percent off sale on everything remaining in the store. (If you haven’t been there in a while and have a picture in your mind of what was there, though, be warned: There’s much less than you remember.) Sean’s Shop is at 1126 12th Ave., Unit 105.
  • All Viz digital manga available on and the Viz iOS app (for iPod Touches, iPads and iPhones) are up to 20% off through Jan. 8. Now might be a good time to pick up a few favorites digitally for cheap, including as-yet-unavailable-in-print volumes of Bleach, Naruto and One Piece. Of course, if you have an Android device, feel free to grouse over the lack of an official Viz app.

An update on Dave Thorne

December 5th, 2011

Much has happened since we last checked in with Dave Thorne, the cartoonist who draws the “Thorney’s Zoo” comic for our fair publication, on Thanksgiving Day. For those of you just joining us, a quick recap: Dave was hospitalized Nov. 8 for emergency surgery for a torn aorta and has been recovering ever since, also dealing with trouble breathing along the way.

Since then, many notes of well-wishes from around the world have been posted at the “Dave Thorne Get Well Page” (note: must be signed in to Facebook to view). Many cartoons of elephants have been posted, including this collaboration by 10 artists:

But perhaps the best news of all is that Dave is recovering quite nicely, according to several status updates posted by fellow cartoonist Jon Murakami and members of the Thorne family. On Nov. 30, Dave underwent a successful tracheotomy and has since made the transition from the intensive care unit to the critical care unit to a private room.

And then there was this encouraging note posted by Dave’s son, Randy, Sunday evening:

Update: 12/4/11: Today has been an incredible day! Heard my father’s voice for the first time today. First time he has spoken in 3 weeks!!! And for a Thorne not to be able to talk, man that’s like torture! There is a small valve that keeps the air from his vocal cords, so most of the time he communicates by sign language, however today they loosened it so he could talk. His voice started out sounding like a frog then evolved into Minnie Mouse. The doc says that he will eventually get his old voice back, but it will take a little more time and effort, and he has to build up his stamina also. He was able to breathe unassisted also for about 3 hours and the PT had him sit up for the first time also, however he quickly got dizzy and had to lay back down….baby steps. He looks great and last night he told us that after we had left the hospital, although he couldn’t sleep, he felt 100% better and was joking with the doctors and nurses….hmmm anyone surprised about that???

Again, a huge Mahalo Nui Loa to all of you out there sharing your prayers and positive thoughts. They are working! WE are witnessing a miracle before our eyes! Bliss, bliss, bliss! Thank you spirit! Aloha!

Great news for anyone who’s a fan of Dave. I know I’ll keep praying for his continued recovery.

The Cel Shaded report, 12/1: Kickstart your heart

December 1st, 2011

If you pay attention to Twitter feeds and spend a reasonable amount of time on the Internet as much as I do, you’ve no doubt heard of Kickstarter, the crowdsourced fundraising website that gives all sorts of projects, from magazines to chocolate bars, the chance to go from dream to reality with the help of people willing to invest a bit to make them happen.

Perhaps the largest notable effort to cross my otaku-blogging radar in recent months has been Digital Manga Publishing’s successful effort to raise $10,000 to reprint Swallowing the Earth by Osamu Tezuka. There was also the Sailor Moon live-action fan-made movie that technically broke a whole slew of copyrights but got funded anyway, which — coincidence of coincidences! — just got posted to YouTube. (I have yet to watch that myself. Somehow I get the sense that my 21 minutes would be better spent reading the manga or watching episodes from my treasure trove of long-out-of-print Sailor Moon DVDs. But if any of you should brave it and find it to actually be tolerable, please, let me know.)

Which brings us to KimonoKitsy Studios. If you’ve read this blog for a reasonable amount of time, you know KimonoKitsy is the nemu*nemu crew of Audra Furuichi and Scott Yoshinaga, bringing plush pup cuteness to the Internet thrice weekly since 2006. The fifth collection of nemu*nemu strips, Out of This World, was released earlier this year, and it’s a gorgeous book, with larger pages than the other four volumes and strips printed in glorious full color.

But larger pages and glorious full color cost money. Lots of money. Sure, it would be easy to take the route that more publishers are taking these days and go with digital editions exclusively, but Audra and Scott don’t want to do that. There are quite a few people still out there who still value words and pictures printed on sheets of dead trees, after all. That’s why they’re calling on readers and nemu*nemu fans alike to help them raise money to print next year’s as-yet-untitled sixth volume the same way. As of this writing, the nemu*nemu Kickstarter has raised $2,205 toward its $10,000 goal. Certainly nice, of course, but there’s still a ways to go.

There are bonuses for everyone who invests, too. For as little as $1, you can get a personal thank-you email from Anpan and Nemu, a digital desktop/wallpaper set and your name in the e-book edition of volume 6. The bonuses scale upward from there with higher investment levels, with the digital edition of the book, signed copies of the print edition, sketches, trading cards, and even original artwork getting tossed into the mix. You can see a complete list at the link I referenced in the last paragraph.

You have until Dec. 26. Get cracking, people. Every little bit helps.

Crafting craziness continues

Speaking of Audra and Scott, they’re taking the week off from craft fairs this week. It was a break already built in to their schedule, but it’s probably a good thing, since Audra’s been battling a cold since last weekend’s Islandwide Christmas Crafts & Food Expo. (Here’s hoping for your continued recovery, Audra!)

The idkwhat2wear crew will be out and about for the next few days, though, visiting the Holiday Craft and Gift Fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Mililani Mauka Recreation Center 5 (95-1101 Ainamakua Drive) and Evening in Waipio from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Hawaii Okinawa Center (94-587 Ukee St.). Admission to both events is free. For more information, visit

License news-o-rama!

Word of one property going out of print and another going back into print emerged from the Sentai Filmworks camp this week. Going out of print — and somewhat in the “wow, that was actually still in print? I thought that died when ADV disappeared into some murky legal vortex!” department — is the original Neon Genesis Evangelion TV series, with its 24 episodes of old-school anime goodness and two episodes that have pretty much powered every single Evangelion remake and reimagining ever since. Will it ever return? There may be enough used copies floating around to make it unnecessary, but with Funimation already holding rights to the Rebuild of Evangelion movies, picking up and reissuing Eva TV — and on Blu-ray, perhaps? — is certainly a viable option.

Returning from licensing limbo, meanwhile, is Grave of the Fireflies, Isao Takahata’s incredibly sad tale of a teenage boy and his younger sister suffering in the ruins of a ravaged World War II-era Japan. Sentai Filmworks is the third label under which the film has been released; Central Park Media guided it through VHS and DVD incarnations, while ADV managed to bring it up for a quick breath of air before dragging it into that aforementioned legal vortex. Look for digital streaming this winter, with a remastered DVD release next year.

Finally, Aniplex USA announced today that it will be releasing the first 13 episodes of Fate/Zero in a Blu-ray box set that comes with the original soundtrack and a drama CD. Release date: March 7. Cost: $498.98 retail price, $369.98 online at Right Stuf — or, if you’re calculating, more than $1 for each of the 330 minutes of anime you’re getting with this set. Fate/Zero fans, your selling of rights to your first-born and vital organs to pay for a set that contains only the first half of the series begins … now.

Other assorted news & notes

A lot has happened in the two days or so that I’ve been writing this post, so let’s get right into the roundup:

  • There’s something to be said about the long-term survival of the Pokemon film franchise, which has been reliably churning out regular installments ever since Pokemon: The First Movie — Mewtwo Strikes Back bowed in Japan in 1998 and the United States in 1999. (Holy cats, has it really been that long? I can still remember when getting a holofoil Mewtwo trading card for the Pokemon Trading Card Game with ticket purchase was a huge deal.) The franchise disappeared from U.S. theaters after Pokemon Heroes in 2003, but it’s making a comeback for a two-day run: You’ll get to see Pokemon the Movie: White — Victini and Zekrom on the big screen at Consolidated’s Ward, Mililani, Kapolei, Kahala and Pearlridge theaters on Saturday and Sunday. As a bonus (or maybe a drawback, depending of what kind of audience you prefer to see your movies with), all of the showtimes are skewed toward matinee screenings, the earliest at 10:30 a.m., the latest at 1:10 p.m. Saturday or 1:45 p.m. Sunday. Here are the showtimes for Saturday and the showtimes for Sunday.
  • Condolences to voice actor Dan Green, best known as the voice of Yami Yugi in the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise, whose wife died Friday after giving birth to twins, a boy and a girl. Fans can find a place to share their condolences, as well as links to make donations to provide for the future care of the twins, at the Dan Green Guestbook.
  • To end this post on a brighter note: Congratulations are in order for Rachael “Masakocha” Ing, December’s Featured Cosplay Photographer for the Month over at Rachael, as some of you who are up on your Cel Shaded history, may recall, was one of the first people I ever profiled in my first column in 2005 as a member of the art collective Monkey-AME who has since gone on to become a really good photographer in the San Francisco Bay area. There’s a lovely, lengthy profile and samples of her work posted here.