POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Apr 14, 2011
Kawaii Kon might be 15 days away and dominating everyone's attention right now — and, yes, I'll have plenty of details about that in my final two "Cel Shaded" columns — but the Hawaii Entertainment Expo (HEXXP) is planning a few things worthy of mention as well.
The other local pop-culture convention with a link to anime culture has been quite busy since the last time I talked about it in late January, and it looks like there will be plenty of opportunities for people to get involved aside from just attending the show.
I mentioned back in January that HEXXP will mark the Hawaii debut of the AniMaid Cafe, a maid cafe staged by a group that has held similar events at several conventions in California, including Anime Los Angeles, Anime Expo and AM2 (formerly Club 2 the Max). What's new since then is that sign-ups are now open for anyone interested in training to be one of the volunteer maid servers. There's a need for both male and female servers, so don't let the word "maid" sway your decision.
An added benefit: Completing training as a server here will qualify you to be a server anywhere AniMaid runs its events. (Granted, you'll have to pay increasingly high airfares to get to those other events, but it's a nice perk nonetheless.)
Applicants must be at least 18, attend all training sessions (dates to be announced) and provide their own maid or host uniform. The sign-up form is available at bit.ly/giBmg0.
HEXXP also announced another musical guest: ALSDEAD, a band that blends Western heavy-metal influences with the stylings of visual kei, the Japanese movement where band members often use makeup and have flamboyant hairstyles and costumes. Not only will the band be playing in concert, they'll also be filming their new music video at the convention.
HEXXP itself will be on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 at the Blaisdell Exhibition Hall; visit www.hexxp.com to pre-register.
Most of the time I'm on a computer, I keep a Twitter feed open to see what's on people's minds (in 140 characters or fewer, of course). A few people on my feed are based out of Japan, so you can imagine it was crazy the night the 9.0-magnitude earthquake — and the subsequent cascading disasters — took place more than a month ago. I was reminded on Sunday that Japan still needs our help when my Twitter feed lit up again late in the evening with those same people tweeting about a 7.1-magnitude aftershock.
There are many worthy benefit efforts going on around town, but if you've somehow managed to sidestep all of them, here's another one to consider. About a month ago, freelance manga editor and "All About Manga" blogger Daniella Orihuela-Gruber set up what would become the "Anime and Manga Bloggers for Japan" campaign, with donations benefiting Doctors Without Borders and Shelter Box USA. A number of anime and manga blogs joined in to promote the campaign, and it quickly reached the $4,000 mark after one week.
But the pace has cooled since then, and the total amount raised has been stuck at $4,738.34 for a while now. It's a respectable total, but there's just something about nonrounded numbers that bothers me. … I'd love to see that amount hit a nice, round $5,000 or even higher. Donate at www.bloggers4japan.com.
» Oahu Anime Explorer: 6 to 9:30 p.m. April 23 at HMC Academy, 555 N. King St. Visit www.oahuanimeexplorer.com.
» MangaBento: This group of anime- and manga-inspired artists meets from 1 to 4 p.m. April 24 at the Academy Art Center, 1111 Victoria St., Room 200. Visit www.manga-bento.com.