By Jason S. Yadao
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.