The gift

December 13th, 2009

I’ve been good friends with tag-team partner in anime/manga fandom Wilma Jandoc for my entire time working at the Star-Bulletin — 8-1/2 years, to be exact. We’ve chatted with each other a lot over the years about anime, manga and video games … so much so, in fact, that were it not for all those conversations, Cel Shaded and Otaku Ohana likely wouldn’t exist, and the Rough Guide to Manga probably would have been written by someone else. That’s right — we’ve talked about it so much, I finally thought, “All this good material can’t go to waste … we must put this into print.” And bingo: We now have the only weekly anime/manga column and the only anime/manga blog to be hosted by a major daily metropolitan newspaper in the United States (to my knowledge, anyway … if anyone has any evidence to the contrary, please let me know). As much as I’ve accomplished as an anime and manga columnist over the years, she’s really the trailblazer at the Star-Bulletin, having been a part of the original rotation (and the resident anime/manga go-to writer) for the Sunday Drawn & Quartered column when the paper began publishing independently under Black Press in March 2001.

But there’s a reason why I’ve called Wilma my tag-team partner in anime/manga fandom all these years: She has another loving partner in her life, that being her longtime boyfriend, Zarli Win. Zarli’s made a few cameos in our co-bylined work, once in 2005 in a story we did about the Kamen Rider V3 DVD box set, another time in 2007 when he helped shoot some pictures for our 2007 Kawaii Kon cosplay preview-o-rama.

The three of us — and a room crammed full of their friends — were at a karaoke party Saturday night. At least, it seemed like your typical karaoke party at the outset — microphones were passed around, Wilma sang “Eyes on Me” from the Final Fantasy VIII soundtrack (quite well, I might add), and I sang “Komm, Susser Tod” from the End of Evangelion soundtrack (partially butchered, and might I say man, that thing was in a lower key than I thought it would be in). Then Zarli took the microphone and started singing “Wrapped Around My Finger” by the Police.

D'awwwww.And then he stopped midway through.

And he presented a small, brown box to her.

A box with a sparkly ring inside.

To which she teared up a bit, then playfully slapped him. (And then kissed him, of course.)

And so, as of 11 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009, my tag team partner in fandom was officially engaged to her future tag team partner in life. Quite frankly, I could not be happier. I was so thrilled, in fact, that I stayed up later than I usually do to write this quick tribute to a good friend — two good friends — and share our collective happy news with you, our readers. I think this is the fastest Otaku Ohana post I’ve written and posted to date — about 45 minutes from start to finish — and that’s because I was just buzzing with thoughts on what to write during my drive home.

Thank you for reading our work all these years.

And congratulations, Wilma and Zarli.

3 Responses to “The gift”

  1. Kimonostereo:

    Congratulations Wilma and Zarli! What a nice surprise!

  2. Erika Engle:

    Nice write-up for an even better event! To Wilma, who I know, and Zarli, who I’ve not yet met — I told Jason you two should get married at Kon! It’d be a first for Kawaii Kon, right? (I’m only partially kidding.) Even if you don’t do that, I’m so happy for you and wish you a long, blissful future together.

  3. Otaku Ohana | The greatest of these is love | Otaku Ohana | | Honolulu, Hawaii:

    [...] really good photographer around local cosplay circles. Longtime readers of Otaku Ohana may remember this post that I wrote shortly after the events of the evening. Here's one of the only shots I've ever gotten [...]

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