Local anime fans — particularly those in West and Central Oahu — are about to lose a major source of DVDs on the island.
For the past few weeks, Suncoast Video’s Pearlridge Center store has been liquidating its inventory after losing its lease, slashing prices as it prepares to close for the final time Jan. 23. A Suncoast store at Windward Mall, as well as a sister FYE store at Ala Moana Center, will remain open.
Discounts have already reached 40 percent off new and used DVDs and toys, 30 percent off new Blu-ray discs and 25 percent off used Blu-rays, with more price cuts likely in coming days. There are also bins filled with "orange-dot clearance" items at 60 percent off, mostly DVDs from out-of-print Geneon, ADV and Bandai series.
Since this sale has been going on since before Christmas, though, there’s already not much left in terms of hard-to-find niche titles. (Your friendly neighborhood anime columnist admits he bought out a bunch of Sentai Filmworks sets, so don’t bother looking for those.) Conversely, if you’re looking for "Vampire Knight" volume 2 ($11.99 after discount) or volumes 27-32 of "Bleach" ($14.99 each), help yourself — there were plenty when I visited on Monday.
The closure leaves Best Buy and Jelly’s in Aiea, Borders Books & Music in Waikele and Pearlridge, and Walmart in Pearl City, Royal Kunia and Mililani as the only stores selling new anime in West and Central Oahu. (Jelly’s, Book-Off at Pearlridge and Toys ‘N’ Joys at the Westridge Shopping Center also sell used anime.) But many of those retailers are themselves cutting back on the anime they stock … and if the series you want isn’t from Funimation or Viz, you’ll either have to travel farther or order online.
ANIME PROPERTIES SCREEN AT ISLE THEATERS
And over the next few weeks, three films with ties to anime and manga are sure to entertain — one debuting, two others returning.
The debuting film is "Gantz," the live-action adaptation of the anime and manga series. In "Gantz" two teens are forced to compete in a deadly game controlled by a mysterious black ball, their lives hanging in the balance. The film will be shown at the Regal Dole Cannery 18 theaters in Honolulu and the Hollywood Prince Kuhio theaters in Hilo next Thursday; the Honolulu screening begins at 8:30 p.m., while the Hilo screening begins at 8 p.m. (Please note, the source material would be enough to give this film an "R" rating.) Tickets are $12.50 and can be purchased at www.fandango.com.
Returning after earlier stints at the Hawaii International Film Festival are "Summer Wars" and "Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance." I gave "Summer Wars" four stars when it played at HIFF last year, calling it "a gorgeous production with a story to back it up." It’s the story of a socially awkward teen math prodigy and how he becomes entangled with the family of his high school crush and a global technological threat. "Eva 2.0," meanwhile, is the continuing re-visioning of the anime series about teens tasked with battling the invading Angels.
Both of those films are playing at the Honolulu Academy of Arts’ Doris Duke Theatre. "Summer Wars" will be screened at 1 and 7:30 p.m. Jan. 25-30; the first four days will feature the Japanese soundtrack with English subtitles, while the final two days will feature an English soundtrack. Showings for "Eva 2.0," in Japanese with English subtitles, are at 1 and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 8-11.
Tickets are $8 general admission; $7 students, seniors over 60 and the military; and $5 Academy of Arts members. For tickets, visit bit.ly/eTk4FU or stop by the theater a half-hour before show times.