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.
The Latin Music Festival returns to Parc International this Saturday, Oct. 4, from noon to 10 p.m.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration has renegotiated contracts for six LSU hospital privatization deals, hoping to reach a compromise with federal health officials that will keep Medicaid dollars flowing to the privatized patient services.
Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu is defending her record on gun rights, seeking to rebut sharp criticism from the NRA in a state where the right to bear arms is given special constitutional protection.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Citizens, you have less than a week to register to vote in the Nov. 4 election. Remember, if you don’t vote you can’t complain about the outcome. Well, you can but it’s kind of hypocritical.
After being forced out by its former landlords last year, the community garden has a new location and a 10-year lease.
The party says it has hit a milestone, reaching 10,000 registered voters in the state.
Defensive captain Junior Galette is disgusted by the Saints' sluggish start.
The use of $60 million in Louisiana's public school financing formula to pay for nearly three dozen charter schools violates the state constitution, a statewide teachers' union claimed Monday in a lawsuit.
Security breach at White House; Bejing won't back down from protesters; pressure on third-graders and more national and international news for Tuesday, September 30, 2014.
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Lafayette Regional seeking new leadership after longtime director Greg Roberts’ June resignation.
February trial date indicates parties were unable to negotiate a settlement.
T&T show behind the scenes
Four bedroom in Breaux Bridge or four bedroom in Opelousas
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Gov. Bobby Jindal has been viewed as a health care policy wonk, and he's tried to build on that image ahead of a likely 2016 presidential campaign, positioning himself as the candidate with substantive ideas.
Jerry Jones watched what he called the best effort he's seen in 25 years as owner of the Dallas Cowboys in the first half, and that was before Tony Romo had the longest scramble of his career and DeMarco Murray finished off yet another 100-yard game.
Two of the most recognizable women in Republican politics, Sarah Palin and Mary Matalin, have been heavily involved in Louisiana’s current election cycle.
Even though the Louisiana Democratic Party has thrown its support behind former Gov. Edwin Edwards’ congressional bid, national Democrats are not expected to follow suit.
“[Mike] is no longer the energetic ADA that his recent ad is trying to portray. I just think Mike needs to get the hell out.” — Kermit Harson, DA Mike Harson’s brother
The New Orleans Saints have listed Jonathan Goodwin as questionable for Sunday night's game in Dallas, raising the prospect that second-year pro Tim Lelito will start at center for the first time.
The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981 and bottomed at 488 in 1999.
The state labor department figures released Friday show the initial claims decreased to 2,068 from the previous week's total of 2,071. For the comparable week a year earlier, there were 2,494 claims.
Museum of Fear opens its 2014 season with more scares than ever before.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The endorsements keep coming for District 9 LPSB candidate Jeremy Hidalgo, who picked up his fifth vow of support Thursday, this time from the Chamber’s political action committee.
Three bedroom traditional Broussard house or two bedroom Lafayette townhome
Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter will be out knocking on doors this weekend with anti-abortion activists encouraging people to vote against his colleague, Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu.