Japan has long held the rapt attention of the wired generation, from the technological innovations to the bouncy j-pop to the hagakure, the mysterious code of the samurai. The most popular import to grab the imaginations of the gaijin is anime, Japanese animated cartoons.
Perhaps the best-known anime film to contemporary viewers is Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away, winner of the Academy Award for Best Animated Film and Japan's highest-grossing movie, period. Miyazaki is a master, and Spirited Away's jawdropping design and unforgettable characters have earned it more than two dozen major awards worldwide. Miyazaki, though, is just the most recent overground anime sensation: if you grew up in the '60s, '70s, '80s, or even '90s, you'll recognize names like Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion, Speed Racer, Robotech and Card Captor Sakura.
At once recognizable by the large, evocative eyes of the characters, anime can range from sweet, childhood nostalgia (My Neighbor Totoro, Catnapped) to hyper-violent cyberpunk (Ghost in the Shell, Akira) to elegaic, breathtaking ruminations on mortality (Grave of the Fireflies). All of it is characterized by striking visuals, complex and layered stories, and more imagination than a dozen DreamWorks productions.
Mechacon will feature multiple viewing rooms for continuous anime overload, as well as the world premiere of Transformers: The Movie ' Reconstructed, featuring Optimus Prime, Megatron, and rest of those giant shape-shifting robots that you thought you had forgotten.
Mechacon is more than anime, however: The organizers promise a broad sampling of Japanese culture, including art displays, costume contests, karaoke, and informative panels on bonsai, origami, calligraphy, swordsmanship, and Japanese professional wrestling. Catch a whiff of cherry blossom time, go super sayan over the vendors' tables, or just gawk at the costumes: you won't find more pure imagination packed into one place.
Mechacon runs Friday, Aug. 26-Sunday, Aug. 28, at the Lafayette Hilton (1521 W. Pinhook Rd., 235-6111). For more info or to purchase tickets visit www.mechacon.com.
Local and state agents Thursday night raided The Keg, the popular college bar located in the area known as The Strip, leading to the (at least) temporary closure of the venue.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, April 18, 2014:
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Time and time again, the Lafayette Parish School Board shows an overwhelming tendency toward idiocy, but Wednesday night’s contentious discussion over Northside High School’s teen mother program tops the list of dumb discussions.
C & C Technologies, HIT Fitness, R3 Sciences, the Acadiana Symphony Association and the United Way of Acadiana recognized for innovation.
“The accomplishment of this goal within the next ten years is not only critical for the region to effectively compete with other regions for residents and businesses, but also to provide an amenity for everyone in Acadiana to enjoy.”
Education Superintendent John White says a continued push to try to keep Louisiana from using tests associated with the Common Core education standards are creating "a state of chaos" for public school teachers.
The Acadiana Symphony Orchestra has decided to end its traditional Independence Day spectacular known as Red White & Boom.
Under the deal, Teche shareholders would get 1.162 shares of IberiaBank for each share of Teche stock.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to use $210 million in surplus and one-time money to help balance next year's budget received the backing Thursday of the State Bond Commission, support that was needed for the maneuver to work.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
State wildlife and fisheries agents have arrested a 39-year-old man accused of stealing crawfish.
An East Feliciana Parish lawmaker has jettisoned his proposal to make it harder for a condemned prisoner to appeal a death sentence.
Senators advanced a proposal Wednesday that would let the governor remove New Orleans-area levee board members for violating what he considers to be public policy, despite concerns it would introduce political meddling into state flood protection.
The must have pieces this season
Dave Perkins, LCG Comp Plan honored along with local architects and designers at the 2014 INDesign Awards
Greg Manuel’s Lafayette-based residential development company is taking advantage of exponential industrial growth in Lake Charles.
Longtime Lafayette retailer ventures online.
It’s not how aggressive or conservative you are — it’s planning for risk that matters most.
Thanks to cutting-edge digital technology, more and more consumers are banking on ATMs and mobile phones.
Regional bank bids farewell to Downtown May 30
ABiz takes a look back at the most noteworthy moments for the local banking industry over the last year.
Most experts say short-term interest rates will be unchanged through 2014, but long-term rates are inching up.
Largest recruitment event in Acadiana returns May 21 to the Cajundome Convention Center
A lawyer’s ad should only be a starting point, as there is much more to consider when seeking quality representation.
Thanks to the inaugural 2012 INNOV8, a design for lifting heavy objects was brought to market.
The annual juried competition recognizes excellence in architecture, interior design and historic preservation in Lafayette and the five surrounding parishes.
Cypress Bayou GM hosts open house.
New hires, promotions, transfers in Acadiana business
The scion of a landmark Four Corners restaurant climbs back into Lafayette’s culinary scene as franchisee for a popular burger chain.