It was a mystery that could only be called "The Disappearance of ‘The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya.’"
Fortunately for local fans, that mystery finally has been solved. A recent update to the Consolidated Theatres website has attached a release date to the long-awaited anime feature "The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya": Oct. 29 at the Kahala 8 Theatres.
Getting to that point took a twisted journey through time worthy of the reality-altering Haruhi and her school-club companions: the alien Yuki, time-traveler Mikuru, esper Itsuki and normal student Kyon. Back in April, Bandai Entertainment announced it had picked up North American distribution of the movie. Screenings of an English-subtitled print were to begin in San Francisco starting May 21, Bandai said, followed by screenings in mid-June in Honolulu as part of Consolidated Theatres’ "Spotlight Asia" program.
I can vouch for the film showing up in San Francisco; I saw it in early June while on vacation in the area. It also showed up in Hollywood on June 24, where voice actresses Wendee Lee and Stephanie Sheh and the ASOS Brigade led by Cristina Vee signed autographs and performed before a sold-out audience. Meanwhile, mid-June came and went, and the only thing anime-related that Hawaii got at Consolidated around that time was "Toy Story 3." (Hey, it featured an extended cameo from a Totoro plushie. It counts.)
June segued into July. It was around then when I received an e-mail from reader Joey Hirai, who told me he e-mailed both Consolidated and Bandai about the movie. He received a reply from Bandai, which he forwarded along to me: "We have been going back and forth with our Hawaiian contacts trying to schedule, but some of the theaters are holding back due to the upcoming summer blockbusters. Our current talks with them have it now being placed in August or September."
Just to be sure — and as July became August, then September — I e-mailed Bandai to see whether I could nail down a specific date. A representative promised to connect me with the marketing department to provide further details.
Hey, Bandai, I’m still waiting.
Nevertheless, we now have that official date. Show times have yet to be announced, but having seen the movie, I can say this: "Haruhi" fans are in for a treat. And for those of you who aren’t "Haruhi" fans yet, better track down the "Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya" TV series. It’s essential for understanding anything in the movie.
MEETING AND MORE AT OAHU ANIME EXPLOREr
Oahu Anime Explorer will meet from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday at HMC Academy, 555 N. King St.
That’s usually all I say about the group’s meetings before moving on to the next item, but President Kell Komatsubara wanted me to pass along another note. Halloween’s coming up, and the group is planning its annual Waikiki outing for Sunday, Oct. 31: dinner at Gyu-Kaku at 4 p.m. and karaoke at GS Studio from 7 p.m. to midnight. Every table will be responsible for its own dinner bill, and the karaoke will cost $20 per person. (For added security, each attendee will receive a wristband.)
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.