To the Anime Art Contest victors go the spoils

February 2nd, 2011
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Okay, I admit it, this post probably should’ve come out more than a week ago. You’ll have to forgive me, but after the busiest period of activity for Otaku Ohana since I was crazy enough to blog through all three days of Kawaii Kon 2010, I needed to step back, take a breather and rediscover the wonders of Little Big Planet. Yeah, I know, there are even more wonders to be discovered in Little Big Planet 2 — I have the game, the download code for more cute little Sackboy costumes, a somewhat meh Sackboy plushie with an even more meh expression on his face, and some halfway decent bookends to prove it. But hey, a little bit of old-school Sackboy hopping never hurt anyone.

No, this isn’t a post about the adventures of my Sackboy. (It would be the worst post ever, with multiple accounts ending with “… and he fell into the pit for the umpteen-billionth time, and that’s when I finally gave up.”) This is, however, a recap of the recent Liliha Library Anime Art Contest awards ceremony — because while we’ve already seen the artwork in this blog, the people behind the artwork ought to be recognized as well.

And so it came to pass that on the beautifully clear morning of Jan. 22, tag-team partner in fandom Wilma J. (the camerawoman on this particular trip, whose handiwork you’ll see in the pictures throughout this post) and yours truly (tagged as a “celebrity judge” along with nemu*nemu artist Audra Furuichi in the official press release … I know I’ve been working the otaku beat for more than five years now and wrote an internationally published book, but that label still makes me blush) made our way to Liliha Library for the presentation.

So let’s journey back to the library’s conference room, the same room where Audra and I, a little over a week earlier, had judged the contest entries, now filled with chairs awaiting whoever wanted to show up — the winning artists, family and friends, curious passers-by, maybe even one or two of the millions thousands hundreds tens cherished handful of devoted Cel Shaded readers.

Before the ceremony, Audra and I worked on personalizing a Black Butler notebook that we were sending to grand prize winner Kaili Mossman, who couldn’t make it to the ceremony. Audra did a quick sketch of Anpan and Anise. (No, that money in front of Audra wasn’t to pay her for that sketch … that was for a completely different transaction.)

I, meanwhile, utilized my artistic talent of … umm … writing … stuff.

A few friends also joined us for the ceremony. There was Kawaii Kon’s newly minted co-administrator Roy Bann, on hand to present the convention’s prizes.

Anpan, Nemu and Pollo, meanwhile, just sat around and looked cute all day. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Those prizes were pretty sweet. You can see Kawaii Kon’s contribution in the foreground — a T-shirt, a lanyard, a tote bag and some limited-edition pins, for the winners and honorable mentions. Beyond that you can see the original prizes that were at stake before the pot was sweetened — the art supplies donated by Sakura of America.

I also brought in some extra review copies of anime to add to the prize pot.

Finally, at a few minutes after 10, it was time to let our eager audience in for the presentation.

It was a good turnout. Remember all those chairs from earlier? A good number of them were filled within a few minutes.

After librarian Linda Mediati took a quick roll call to see which of the winners had arrived and which may have been en route, she invited everyone to look at the display she had set up of the winning artwork on the library floor, to give some of the winners who hadn’t shown up some more time to arrive.

… at which point pretty much everyone adjourned to do just that.

This left us presenters alone to take a lovely promo shot.

After everyone returned, it was time for the formal awards presentation, starting from the grand prize winner, then the divisional winners and the honorable mentions. As I noted in an earlier post, the big winner, Kaili Mossman, was unable to join us because she had to take her chemistry SAT test. Accepting the awards on her behalf was someone who identified himself as her uncle. Audra went first, giving him the art supplies and Copic markers from Sakura.

My contribution was a complete season set of X: The TV Series (if you’ll recall my interview with Kaili earlier, you’ll remember that she loves CLAMP’s work) and the aforementioned Black Butler notebook.

And Roy handed over a Kawaii Kon prize pack along with her special prize: a full weekend pass to this year’s convention.

We then moved on to the others who were able to make it. (I’m also including shots of their winning artwork here as a reminder of what they did. As a bonus, if you click on those photos, you can also see the comments Audra and I made on each piece.)

Grades 6-7 winner: Nicole Nguyen, “Bleach in Hawaii”

Grades 8-10 winner: Madeline Bess, “My Faves Fan Art”

Grades 8-10 honorable mention: Marin Yoshino, “Miimii Works”

Quick aside: I just had to include this shot of Marin with her mom. As it turns out, her mom was the one who entered her sketches on her behalf, successfully carrying out a ninja mission to grab pages from her sketchbook. Good one, mom!

Grades 8-10 honorable mention: Joelle Takayama, “On the Roof”

Grades 11-12 honorable mention: Schyler Lai Shinde, “Monster Hunter”

A few artists were unable to make it to the ceremony: Jasmine Wong (grades 6-7 honorable mention), Chery Wong (grades 11-12 winner) and Kimberly Ing (grades 11-12 honorable mention). Linda accepted the awards on their behalf.

And there you have it … your first-ever Liliha Library Anime Art Contest winners and presenters!

There’s a rather humorous postscript to our story, though: After the ceremony, Kaili’s uncle and sister came up to chat with us about the contest, Kaili’s art, and the talent level of the young artists in general.

After they left, Marin and her mom came to chat with us as well. Apparently Marin’s mom and Linda have been friends for a while now.

“You do know who that was, right? Kaili’s uncle?” Marin’s mom said.

“No … who?” Linda replied.

“Mike Chun. You know, the president of Kamehameha Schools?”

Our collective jaws dropped. I mean, I probably should know such things, seeing as how my main duty at the Star-Advertiser is as a copy editor who regularly reads stories in the local, business and features sections, but really, none of us had any idea.

So where do we go from here? Linda’s already shared her intent to do another art contest during the summer (dates to be announced) and open it up to the entire state. So if you’re a teen (or know one) and missed out on this go-round, there will be another chance! We’re all looking forward to seeing your work.

3 Responses to “To the Anime Art Contest victors go the spoils”

  1. Tweets that mention Hawaii News - Staradvertiser.com -- Topsy.com:

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  2. Diane:

    Looks like it was a GREAT presentation program! I love the promo shot of you presenters. =-)


  3. parv:

    Thanks for the update *cough*though rather late it was*cough*.

    If I am still in|on Hawai’i by summer, I will plan to attend the award presentation ceremony.


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