Archive for May, 2011

Pitching for ‘Cross Game’s’ success

May 28th, 2011
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Today’s profile: Cross Game vols. 1-2
Author: Mitsuru Adachi
Publisher: Viz
Suggested age rating:
Teen 13+

I can’t remember exactly when I fell in love with baseball.

Maybe it was when my dad took me to see the old Hawaii Islanders of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League in the early ’80s.

Maybe it was when Kaiser High grad “El Sid” Fernandez was a part of the pitching staff that helped the 1986 New York Mets win the World Series — yes, the same Series that featured Bill Buckner’s infamous bobble of Mookie Wilson’s ground ball that ended up tormenting Boston Red Sox fans for another 18 years.

Whenever it was, I know that fandom was firmly entrenched in time for me to taunt one of my friends about his love of the Atlanta Braves, and another friend about having a cousin who was just about the only light-hitting, bench-warming University of Hawaii Rainbow on a team full of heavy hitters, in the early ’90s. It’s only grown ever since  (steroid era notwithstanding). Give me any game, from the youngest Little League levels where the coaches lob underhanded pitches to their team’s batters to the major leagues and Felix Hernandez firing a fastball straight down the middle, daring Jose Bautista to knock it out of Safeco Field, and I’ll watch it.

If anything in those last few paragraphs made any sense to you, then congratulations, Cross Game — the focus of this month’s Manga Movable Feast, hosted by Derik Badman over at The Panelists – is your manga. Go out, buy it now, you’ll totally love it. And considering Viz is bringing it out stateside in nice, fat omnibus editions — three have been released so far, covering what would’ve been seven normal-sized volumes — there’s a whole lot to love. Yet there’s more than just the sport known as the “national pastime” to love about this series … there’s love itself.

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The Cel Shaded report, 5/26: California dreamin’

May 26th, 2011
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FanimeCon, one of Northern California’s largest anime conventions, is taking place this weekend in San Jose, Calif.

Remember a few weeks ago, when I mentioned that I was jealous of anyone who could attend the Maui Matsuri? Suffice it to say that I’m really really really jealous of anyone able to attend Fanime this weekend. Unlike the Maui Matsuri, I actually did attend Fanime for the first time last year. I loved the experience so much, I would’ve liked to have gone again this year as well. But alas, Kawaii Kon and Fanime were less than a month apart this year, and I’d much prefer to space out my precious vacation time throughout the year rather than take two lengthy vacations so close to each other, so that was that.

There’s actually a nice 808-state connection with the event this year, what with nemu*nemu‘s Audra Furuichi and Scott Yoshinaga returning for another year in the dealer’s room and the idkwhat2wear gang making their mainland con debut in Artist Alley. Friends of the blog Rachael Ing and Jaymee Masui will probably be there as well, Rachael running around shooting many pretty pictures of cosplayers, Jaymee holding down a Artist Alley table.

For those of you who’ve only experienced Kawaii Kon, I cannot emphasize enough: Kawaii Kon is a nice enough convention as it stands, but if you consider yourself a real fan of anime and manga, you owe it to yourself to make it to at least one large mainland convention in your lifetime. Fanime is juuuuuuuuust a tad bit bigger than Kawaii Kon, as this shot outside the McEnery Convention Center can attest.

Like, say, a little over three times bigger. There were more than 16,000 attendees last year, after all. It makes for a neat dynamic in the surrounding neighborhood during con weekend as cosplayers cross the street going to and from nearby hotels. It’s like an impromptu cosplay parade.

And those costumes? Impeccable. Check a few of them out — along with some other Fanime thoughts (and some actual news, about other things going on locally!) after the break.

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A Liliha Library art contest update

May 23rd, 2011
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Reader parv wrote in last week on the heels of the Liliha Library Anime Art Contest announcement asking about whether mail-in entries would be accepted. A quick emailed question to librarian and grand contestmeister Linda Mediati netted this response:

I will accept mail-in entries. Each artwork must be labeled with:

Entrant’s full name
Entrant’s mailing address
Entrant’s phone number
Entrant’s email address (if available)
Entrant’s grade (current graduates may still enter)
A title for the piece

Mail-in entries can be addressed to me:

Linda Mediati
Young Adult Librarian
Liliha Public Library
1515 Liliha St.
Honolulu, HI 96817

Linda didn’t mention it, but I’m also 99.44 percent sure that this contest is for people in Hawaii only. As much as we love our friends in the upper 49 states, judging that many more entries would probably take more time than it takes for me to prepare one photo-blog post. Considering I haven’t gotten around to some stuff from mid-March yet, that’s a long time. (I’ve been taking free time here and there to work on those, I swear!)

Coming up later this week: The Cross Game Manga Movable Feast. Seeing as how it combines two of my passions in life — baseball and manga — you know I wouldn’t miss participating in that.