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DIY Totoro Highlights at Anime Boston’s Artists Alley

25 Apr Totoro Kimono

There’s never a shortage of Totoro crafts at Anime Boston! This years DIY Miyazaki highlights are featured below: A hand-painted (and home-sewn) kimono by Hanabi Kimono, and plushies by Sam and Rae Crafts.

Totoro Kimono

Handpainted on gingham nursery cloth. Note the soot sprites on the belt!

Totoro Kimono detail

Wonderful flair on the left hip.

Totoro Plushie

Totoro is my spouse's spiritual guide

More Totoro plushies

All of them eminently huggable.

Disney’s Anime Connection: Hayao Miyazaki

8 Apr
Kiki's Delivery Service cosplay at Anime Boston 2009

Kiki's Delivery Service cosplayer at Anime Boston 2009

Why yes, the advent of anime con season has got me a little more anime-obsessed than usual! So it’s not surprising that this week’s Jentasmic! at StudiosCentral encourages Disney fans to explore the works of Hayao Miyazaki. Disney has released several Miyazaki films, including production of the English dub tracks, providing a real service to those of us who frequently introduce others (especially families) to anime.

The Family That Geeks Together, Keeps Together

5 Apr
Anime Boston 2007, with Dan Hess and my son

Anime Boston 2007, with Dan Hess and my son

Wondering what I’m up to when I’m not geeking out about Disney? Well, I just might be geeking out about anime, or nerdcore, or even sneaking in a little tabletop gaming. And now that convention season is upon us, I’m writing a whole lotta powerpoint slides.

If you’re interested in any of these aspects of geek culture, swing by my family’s Facebook page: The Family That Geeks Together. We’ll be presenting our signature panel at Anime Boston 2011 this year, as well as a couple others; information is on our Facebook events page, plus one more panel I’m on at Anime Boston this year.

If you’re at Anime Boston, ConnectiCon, or PortCon this year, come say hello! I’m always easy to spot at these cons: Just look for the middle-aged lady with the short bleached blonde hair. There’s rarely more than one.

Another Anime Boston 2011 Panel: Get Offa My Lawn!

18 Mar

I’ve just agreed to serve on one more Anime Boston 2011 Panel: Get Offa My Lawn, in which us old geezers school the young’uns on how good they have it these days.

Back in my day, we had three anime shows, and we found them by turning the UHF dial. And we liked it that way.

(Which three, you might ask? Well, Kimba, Speed Racer, and Astro Boy of course.)

So . . . if you’re interested in Japanese animation or just plain want to watch a bunch of people running around Boston in awesome costumes, or if you’re intrigued by any of the other panels I’m involved with, mark your calendar for April 22-24, 2011. The old geezer panel is currently scheduled for 5pm on the 22nd, but schedules are subject to change.

Even if you don’t make it to any of my panels, I’m pretty darn easy to spot: Just look for the middle-aged lady with short blonde hair, glasses, and (most likely) carrying a Tokidoki bag or Totoro backpack. Even just the middle-aged part narrows the crowd down a whole lot.

My Anime Boston 2011 Panels: Hello Kitty Theme Park, Family Geekdom

23 Feb

Dear Daniel at Sanrio Puroland

Hello Kitty's boyfriend (husband?) Dear Daniel, in the Sanrio Puroland afternoon parade

Long-term readers of this blog might just remember that my favorite non-Disney theme park is Sanrio Puroland, the five-story indoor Hello Kitty theme park I visited in 2002.

Sanrio Puroland is located in Tama City, about 30 minutes outside Tokyo. You can take the subway there, if you don’t mind traveling through a good number of stations where the signs are written only in Japanese and Chinese characters. Luckily, I had a Japanese friend in Tokyo who gave me excellent directions, and my then-five-year-old son and I found our way there with little difficulty (the rest of the family decided to spend the day in Tokyo rather than visiting Hello Kitty’s homeland . . . gee, I can’t imagine why!).

This April, at Anime Boston 2011, I’ll be presenting a session titled, “Hello Kitty Holyland: A Personal Journey.” From the not-yet-published Anime Boston 2011 program guide:

Sure, you love Hello Kitty, but did you know she has her very own fivestory indoor theme park in Tama City, a quick commute from Tokyo? And have you ever considered making the ultimate Sanrio pilgrimage? Come to this panel to hear first-hand stories of my journey to this site where gaijin rarely tread with my then-five-year-old son, and watch the super-hard-to-find Sanrio animated and live action video that inspired three generations of my family to cross the Pacific.

If you’re going to be at Anime Boston, stop by to say hello! I’m also presenting as part of The Family That Geeks Together:

Ever wonder about this anime stuff your kids are into? Worried you could never understand all these crazy shows? Wish you could clue the parents into how great your favorite shows are, or why you spend all your free time editing AMVs and haunting costume shops? An actual family – two parents & a 14-year-old – talk about their shared love of anime and cosplay, offering tips on bridging the generation gap from either side. Bring your frustrations and questions, and come away with practical ideas for how to make anime cons a new family tradition.

Detailed information about both these panels, as well as my husband‘s panel on Anime and the Japanese Experience of  War, is available on our family Facebook page.

Cosplay at Anime Boston 2009

27 May
Scout Trooper with kitty ears

Hmm, didn't I meet his brother at ConnectiCon last year?

Methinks this is the caterpillar from the book, not the movie. Supercool.

Methinks this is the caterpillar from the book, not the movie. Supercool.

No, I was not expecting to see Darkwing at an anime festival....but I was glad I did.

You never know who you'll run into at these conventions. Like, maybe even Darkwing Duck.

I still haven't played Kingdom Hearts, but I recognize this character for sure.

I still haven't played Kingdom Hearts, but I recognize this character for sure.

How do I love Totoro? Let me count the ways.

How do I love Totoro? Let me count the ways.

Kiki, from another great Miyazaki film: Kiki's Delivery Service.

Kiki, from another great Miyazaki film: Kiki's Delivery Service.

Disney Cosplay Pictures from Anime Boston 2008

26 Mar

Is this not the most amazing Davy Jones costume you’ve ever seen? Well, outside of Industrial Light and Magic, that is? This guy was in the shopping mall right outside Anime Boston, flocked of course by the paparazzi.

There aren’t too many people cosplaying Disney characters at anime conventions . . . after all, they are anime conventions, dedicated to Japanese animation. But there are usually a few. For some reason, there are usually too many Jack Sparrows, and I quickly lose count. There’s always a bunch of Kingdom Hearts cosplayers, probably far more than I would recognize as I haven’t played the game myself. I was particularly impressed by this woman’s costume , though, especially since it was a player-created character. I also saw a few women dressed as Snow White or Sleeping Beauty . . . but only caught a snapshot of the cosplayer pictured here.

There’s always a few Miyazaki characters too, and some of these folks are familiar to Disney fans, since Disney distributes Miyazaki’s films in the United States. There were a few people dressed up as Totoro this year, but my favorite Miyazaki cosplay at AB08 was this young woman, cosplaying the main character from Kiki’s Delivery Service. (And I must say, she looked way cuter as Kiki than I did when I cosplayed that character in 2004!)

It’s definitely been brought to my attention that Disney fans think it’s pretty weird that some of us anime fans dress up as our favorite characters. Um, people, about those glass houses? I do believe that plenty of Disney costumes come in grown-up sizes . . . and I do believe they get bought. We anime fans just don’t feel the need to confine our dress-up time to Halloween.

And hey, while I’m posting pictures . . . I now have rock-solid, photographic evidence that there’s at least one person in the world who listens to MouseGuest Weekly, and who is neither related to me nor on the show themself! Here’s the picture of our MouseGuest Micro-Meet. Thanks for coming to meet up with us, Chris!

MouseGuest Mini-Meet: Saturday 3/22 at Anime Boston

18 Mar

I’m always surprised that there’s not more crossover between Disney fans and anime conventions. After all, both Disney Parks and anime cons are places where full grown adults let their inner children run rampant. Both are heavily infested with wanna-be pirates, and with girls in princess dresses . . . though at the anime cons those girls tend to be a good bit older, and not always actually female. Which is, perhaps, part of the reason why I always feel right at home.

Dan Hess (of MouseGuest Weekly and Venis Productions) is one of only two of my friends from the Disney Digerati who I’ve actually met in person, and it’s because he and I both attend AnimeBoston, which is this coming weekend. And we figured hey, since we’ll both be in town, why not see if any MouseGuest listeners want to get together for lunch?

We’re meeting up for lunch with at least one listener (hi Chris!) at the Au Bon Pain in the Prudential Center Mall, at noon on Saturday. We picked this spot because it’s technically outside the convention, so you don’t have to register . . . but the people-watching should still be fabulous (many convention-goers will be dressed as their favorite anime characters). If anybody else is interested in getting together, drop me a note or just show up! We’ll be glad to see you.

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