Justin’s Japan: Nippon in New York—The Legend of Zelda, Osamu Tezuka, Dir En Grey, and Hotei

The JET Alumni Association of New York hosts a special screening of Live Your Dream: The Taylor Anderson Story at Columbia University Oct. 30. (© 2012 Global Film Network. All rights reserved.)

The JET Alumni Association of New York presents a special screening of Live Your Dream: The Taylor Anderson Story at Columbia University Oct. 30. (© 2012 Global Film Network. All rights reserved.)

By JQ magazine editor Justin Tedaldi (CIR Kobe-shi, 2001-02) for Examiner.com. Visit his Japanese culture page here for related stories.

From Nintendo to manga to metal to Tarantino, November is just as colorful as the blowing leaves in the air and on the ground. Add to that a Meiji era throwback exhibition at Resobox, the destroy-all-monsters vibe of Kaiju Big Battel (just in time for Turkey Day), and a world premiere at Japan Society and you’ve got an irresistibly epic rundown.

This month’s highlights include:

Wednesday, Oct. 30, 7:00 p.m.

JETAA New York presents Live Your Dream: The Taylor Anderson Story

Columbia University, Uris Hall 301

$7 advance, $10 at the door, students free with ID

Following its New York premiere at Japan Society last July, the New York chapter of the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program Alumni Association presents an encore screening of this touching documentary film about Taylor Anderson and all the young people who travel the world trying to make a difference. Taylor was an extraordinary American who dedicated herself to teaching Japanese children in the JET program, living her dream right up to the events of March 11, 2011. Includes a post-screening Q&A session with director/producer Regge Life and Taylor’s father Andy Anderson.

Friday, Nov. 1, 8:00 p.m.

The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses Second Quest

The Theater at Madison Square Garden

$62.50-$112.50

While F. Scott Fitzgerald famously pooh-poohed second acts, second quests are an entirely different matter. Back by popular demand and presented by Jason Michael Paul ProductionsThe Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses returns to the Theater at MSG with breathtakingly new visuals and music exploring additional chapters from the Zelda franchise as well as the beautifully orchestrated four movement symphony recounting the classic storylines from some of the most popular video games in history. Take up your wooden sword and shield as a live orchestra and the Montclair State University Vocal Accord brings to life the masterpieces of legendary Nintendo composer and sound director Koji Kondo.

Thursday, Nov. 7

The Life & Works of Osamu Tezuka

Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street

$25/$20 Japan Society members, seniors and students

Best known as the creator of Astro BoyOsamu Tezuka (1928-1989) is often credited as the “Godfather of Anime and Manga” due to his prolific output, pioneering techniques, and reimagining of genres. His work redefined Japanese cartoons, transforming them into an irresistible art form, and incorporated a variety of new styles in their creation. Leaving a lasting impact on literature and film, his work also influenced a range of other artistic genres. In this special lecture, Tezuka’s works are presented by JET alum Roland Kelts (Osaka-shi, 1998-99), author of Japanamerica. This event is moderated by NYC-based cartoonist Katie Skelly. Ticket price includes a pre-event wine and Japanese hors d’oeuvres reception.

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