"Umm, Jason," some of you may be saying right about now. "Iselle and Julio are inbound. A lot of events around town are being postponed, including JCCH's own Summer Craft and Collectibles Fair and Gift Wrapping Workshop on the same day. Will there be a festival left to attend?"
The simple answer is "yes ... God willing." The official statement from Taku Taku Matsuri organizer Yuka C. Nagaoka, posted to the event's Facebook page Tuesday:
About the Hurricane that is approaching Hawaii.
Because we hear from different weather websites and channels different information, we cannot say exactly what is going to happen on August 9th.
That is why, for now, it will happen as planned.
HOWEVER, if it does become a threat and dangerous for people to come, we will have to cancel.
If we have to cancel, we will figure out a way to properly refund everyone that has paid for the kickstarter and online tickets.
Please everyone, please be safe.
And another statement by Yuka, posted Wednesday:
We have received a phone call from the venue, Manoa Grand Ballroom. We were told to make the final decision by Friday morning.
So, if by Friday we see that it will be unsafe for the event this Saturday, we will cancel.
However, if it looks like it will be ok, we will chance. Of course, if the situation suddenly becomes dangerous, we will cancel ASAP.
More than anything, please, everyone be safe.
It looks like any final word will be coming Friday; I'll update here with any changes, power and an Internet connection willing.
So it's status quo for now here at Otaku Ohana Central (albeit one with plenty of extra water, batteries and other assorted emergency kit items on hand and portable gaming systems charging up). And that status quo dictates that I share with you what you can expect to get for your $15 ticket ($13 if you buy online at takutaku.ticketleap.com/summer-taku-taku-matsuri/; go go gooooooooo).
Among Yuka's postings these past few days was the long-awaited event schedule; here it is, with some additional comments from me.
10 a.m.: Registration opens.
11 a.m.-noon: Opening ceremony and raybaboon performs. If you've never heard of raybaboon's work before ... well, I don't blame you, because I had to look up his music as soon as the announcement was made. (And yes, despite the teaser image in that link and the one I used to the right, it does sound like it's a man who does the music.) It's going to be his debut performance in the United States. Here's his Soundcloud page; his vocals sound very ... contemplative and moody, somewhat airy. I guess that would be the best way of describing it. The accompanying instrumentals certainly defy your expectations of what instrumentals usually sound like. If you ever wondered why I've done more anime/manga reviews over the years and not music reviews ... well, the preceding sentences are why.
11 a.m.-6 p.m.: Artist/vendor room is open. Vendors include Star-Advertiser "Calabash" artist Jon J. Murakami; friends of the blog Terri Dux, Karl Miyashiro and the idkwhat2wear gang; beadsprite purveyors Dinnercrew Crafts; Plus Won Armory, which handcrafts foam and wooden blades; alexisxstetic, an artist who makes hair bows, small top hats and baby accessories; Roseanne Chan, who's selling 3D Fiber Mascara by Younique; and The Rambling Scholar's steampunk jewelry.
While you're thinking of shopping, swing by Last Outpost Hawaii's 602 Club, a Star Trek-themed cafe in the style of the maid/cosplay cafes at other events. Will bootleg Romulan Ale be served (*cough*here'sthepassword*cough*)? Will some poor, hapless red shirt be killed off every hour? You betcha.
Noon-1:30 p.m.: King of Tokyo. In case you're keeping score, we're now 0-for-2 on scheduled events that I knew about before the announcement was made. You young'uns and all your newfangled flippy-dippy thingies! This article on boardgaming.com can explain this card/dice game featuring monsters battling it out over Tokyo and the world much better than I can at this point. Take that, giant-size the board and have people -- maybe even cosplayers -- act out what's going on, and you have what'll be happening during this block. You know, it's kinda like Cosplay Chess.
1:30-2:30 p.m.: Princess of Tennis. In her first scheduled formal appearance locally since moving to our fair state, artist and jamieism.com blogger Jamie Lynn Lano talks about her experiences living in Japan and working for a little over a year as an assistant to manga artist Takeshi Konomi on The Prince of Tennis. Her book detailing those experiences will also be available for purchase! (Also, if you have a job to offer her or a cat-friendly, $500/month living space to rent, I think she'd love you forever.)
2:30-3:30 p.m.: Cosplay Chess. The Cosplay Chess Brigade brings its live-action role-playing chess game and giant board to Taku Taku Matsuri. You know, it's kinda like giant-sized King of Tokyo.
3:30-5 p.m.: Kyle Hebert panel. He was one of the highlighted announcements when Taku Taku Matsuri launched its Kickstarter campaign earlier this year, and now the voice actor best known for his roles as Kiba in Naruto, Kamina in Gurren Lagann, the older version of Gohan in Dragon Ball Z and Ryu in the newer Street Fighter games is here to answer questions like:
- "Out of all the roles you played, who's your favorite character?"
- "Can you have [INSERT NAME OF CHARACTER HERE] say [INSERT EITHER LINE FROM SHOW OR SOMETHING FROM STEAMY FANFIC THAT THE CHARACTER WOULD NORMALLY NEVER SAY HERE]?"
- "Ya wanna try this Spam musubi I bought from the 7-Eleven up the street?"
You have two days. Please try to come up with something more original.
5-6 p.m.: Kyle Hebert autograph session.
6-8 p.m.: Cardboard Mega-Brawl. Take a bunch of enterprising people, give them some cardboard and some time to fashion armor out of it, then send them into one-on-one battle with giant foam noodles. If that sounds like fun, there's still space for one person in the men's division and all four slots in the women's division; sign up here. Also featuring DJ A-Wolf's styling of fight background music. (Remember, folks, Guile's theme goes with everything.)
8-10 p.m.: Screening of Jackie Claxton and the Battles From Beyond. Part of the Jackie Claxton Project, this film introduces Jackie, a girl who has to save humanity and the universe from the supernatural forces that threaten it. A Q&A session will follow.
10 p.m.: It's over! A pinata will subsequently be sacrificed to the special events gods.
Also planned but not on the schedule: the Not So Ordinary (Flash) Costume Contest(s). No, you don't have to dress up as DC Comics' Flash, nor should you come dressed in a raincoat and nothing else. It looks like there's going to be at least one spontaneous cosplay contest happening throughout the day, judged by cosplayer Uncanny Megan. So cosplayers, be on your guard at all times. It could pay off.
See you all on Saturday ... I hope.