POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Jan 20, 2011
LAST UPDATED: 2:10 a.m. HST, Jan 20, 2011
It was a task that would be daunting for anyone to carry out: Take more than 100 pieces of artwork drawn by 50 or so teen artists, then decide which four pieces are worthy of lavishing with praise and fabulous prizes.
Yet when Linda Mediati, young-adult librarian at Liliha Public Library, asked "nemu*nemu" artist Audra Furuichi and your friendly neighborhood anime columnist to help judge the entries from last month's Anime Art Contest, we were happy to take up the challenge.
And it was a challenge. It was so difficult for us to pick only four winners, in fact, that we ended up also picking five "honorable mentions," supplementing Mediati's art-supply prizes with review copies of anime DVDs and swag donated by local anime convention Kawaii Kon.
While Mediati intended the contest to be for Oahu residents, she ended up making one exception for a neighbor island entrant. Good thing she did, too, because that entrant, Kamehameha Maui sophomore Kaili Mossman, was awarded the grand prize. Several of her pieces could have won, but it was her ensemble piece, "A Midsummer Night's Dream — HI Style," that impressed us with its composition, variety of expressions and overall demonstration of skill.
I contacted Mossman via e-mail, where she told me she "let out a scream and was literally jumping for joy" after receiving the congratulatory message from Mediati. "I had thought that the highest I could get was third place, since there are other artists in Hawaii who are much better than me," she wrote. "Winning grand prize was an absolutely wonderful surprise! It was a terrific way to end the day."
Mossman has been drawing as far back as she can remember but began refining her style in third grade, when she began reading the manga her relatives sent her from Japan. Her current favorites include the CLAMP manga series "xxxHolic" and "Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle," and the anime "Baccano."
"Midsummer" is one of a series of drawings Mossman has done as an active member of her school's drama club. It features the cast members as the characters they played. "Our director and our costume designer wanted to add a Hawaiian twist to the play, so the cast members were given rather unique costumes for a play set in Athens," she said. "For example, the fairies became hula dancers and the mechanicals became plantation workers." (Mossman herself is shown wearing a cow cap in the upper left.)
Other winning artists:
» Grades 6-7: Nicole Nguyen, "'Bleach' in Hawaii" (winner), Jasmine Wong, "Untitled 'Pokemon' piece" (honorable mention)
» Grades 8-10: Madeline Bess, "My Faves Fan Art" (winner), Joelle Takayama, "On the Root," and Marin Yoshino, "Miimii Works" (honorable mentions)
» Grades 11-12: Chery Wong, "Folding Cranes" (winner), Kimberly Ing, "Fairy Tale Tea Party," and Schyler Lai Shinde, "Monster Hunter" (honorable mentions)
Want to see the winning pieces for yourself and meet some of the artists? Come to the library around 10 a.m. Saturday, when there will be a short awards presentation. If you can't make it, visit bit.ly/eNQCvX, where pictures and additional material will be posted over the next few days.
» 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.