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.
WaPo Watergate editor Ben Bradlee dies; Clintons stump for Dems; Liberians stranded and more national and international news for Wednesday, October 22, 2014.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Law firm unveils newly renovated 200-year-old building.
UL grad named web developer at BBR Creative
Lafayette-based emergency department staffing and management company raises $120 million in senior credit facilities through GE Capital, Healthcare Financial Services.
High-rise apartment building, parking garage, hotel and retail part of new development.
A common thread runs through many of those we oppose: Enshrining in the Constitution protections on programs and their funding sources has had a disastrous effect on Louisiana’s most important economic development engine.
"I am extremely disheartened by the political machines that are attempting to hijack my efforts along with others that advocate for children."
Landrieu, who is fighting to keep her seat for a fourth term, said that Ebola is serious and precautions should be taken, but she accused Republicans of using the virus outbreak in West Africa to "create fear" here at home.
The number of Louisianans with jobs continued to set records in September, but the state's unemployment rate kept rising as new job seekers keep entering the market.
Three bedroom cottage or three bedroom ranch
Sheer lace perfection
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Louisiana is drowning, quickly.
Law enforcement agencies are participating in a "Louisiana Heroin Summit," designed to address the recent rise in heroin use and drug-related deaths around the state.
State education officials are preparing to release performance scores for public schools and public school districts.
Saints coach Sean Payton is starting a new week by emphasizing, repeatedly, the many good things he noticed during New Orleans' latest loss.
We will be offering our recommendations on the constitutional amendments tomorrow.
Three bedroom in Lawtell or two bedroom in Rayne
Fall's new darling
The justices did not comment in leaving in place lower court rulings that dismissed the lawsuits against BP and other companies involved in the worst U.S. offshore oil spill.
White registration is down by 7,700 voters while black registration has shot up by 7,100 voters.
Even though it had been rumored for months, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu finally pulled the trigger recently on a major campaign shakeup that moved control over to a few Big Easy insiders.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Louisiana's health department says it will seek law changes to stop billing sexual assault victims for exams and tests.
An investment group led by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets will buy the Louisiana power company Cleco for $3.4 billion.
It wasn’t the historic slashes to higher ed funding or the ensuing tuition spikes that recently had LSU’s student body and faculty riled up in collective outrage.
"I feel it is appropriate to speak up when there are topics that are being bandied about with little or no factual data to back them."
Will $400 be enough for the re-election campaign of LPSB's Hunter Beasley to overcome two years of holding our school system hostage and hurting the education of our children all because of a personal dislike of the superintendent?
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham said Friday he expects his playing status in Detroit to be decided by coach Sean Payton on Sunday, shortly before the game.