By Jason S. Yadao
This weekend’s movie buzz may be all about the Rock, a CIA agent on the run, horrible disappointments now rendered in 3-D and the further adventures of sparkly vampires and shirtless werewolves, but we here at Otaku Ohana have pretty much written off all of that in favor of lo0king forward to what’s happening next weekend: the debut of the latest Studio Ghibli film to hit American shores, The Secret World of Arrietty.
While the last Ghibli film to make it to the U.S., Tales From Earthsea, lasted in theaters about as long as it’ll take you to read this sentence, Disney appears to have much more confidence in Arrietty. So much so, in fact, that the film’s bowing in more than 1,200 theaters, the most of any Ghibli film to date (the previous high was Ponyo in 2009, which opened at more than 900 theaters). Even though a first-time director, Hiromasa Yonebayashi, is at the helm, there’s a solid pedigree behind it: Toshio Suzuki produced as always, Hayao Miyazaki handled the planning and screenplay, and it’s based on the classic Mary Norton novel The Borrowers. Plus, the promotional stills coming out of the film just have that lovely Ghibli sheen all over them. Here, have a picture of Shawn (renamed from the original Japanese “Sho”) and Arrietty:
While there aren’t a whole lot of details as of now as to where Arrietty is showing — Consolidated hasn’t even acknowledged the film exists on its website yet, although posters spotted at the Ward and Pearlridge complexes would seem to indicate that those two sites will be showing it, at least — there are a few sites where advance tickets are already being sold. At least one midnight showing has been confirmed, at the Regal Dole Cannery theaters as Thursday rolls over into Friday. If you don’t feel like staying up that late, the only other theater selling advance tickets as of now is the Regal Windward Stadium 10 complex, for showings at 12:55, 3:15, 5:35, 7:55 and 10:15 p.m. Feb. 17-20. I’ll have more updates on showtimes here as they’re warranted.
Anime around town
MangaBento: This group of anime- and manga-inspired artists meets from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Academy Art Center, 1111 Victoria St., Room 200. Visit www.manga-bento.com.
Aiea Library Anime Club: 3 p.m. Saturday at the library, 99-143 Moanalua Road. This month, librarian Diane Masaki will be screening Howl’s Moving Castle, the perfect Ghibli appetizer for Arrietty. For more information or to RSVP, call 483-7333 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kawaii Kon: Final orientation meeting for volunteer staff members will be held at 11 a.m. at Kakaako Waterfront Park. You have to attend two meetings to qualify as a volunteer, so if you’ve only attended one so far, this is your last chance. Visit http://www.kawaii-kon.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=7083.
Whole Foods Market Kahala: Yes, Whole Foods does have something going on that may be of interest to anime fans, even though it’s not directly related to anime: the “Style Your Valentine” event, where you can buy a pair of TOMS shoes and have local artists, including friend of the blog and Star-Advertiser Calabash cartoonist Jon J. Murakami, customize them for you. And as the flyer I linked to notes, for every pair you buy, TOMS will donate a pair to a child in need. Check it out Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. near Kahala Mall’s center stage.