JQ Magazine: Nippon in New York — Anime films, Final Fantasy Live, Yoshiki at Carnegie Hall

By JQ magazine editor Justin Tedaldi (CIR Kobe-shi, 2001-02). Justin has written about Japanese arts and entertainment for JETAA since 2005. For more of his articles, click here.

Start 2017 off right by heading down to your local concert hall, cinema, or arts center for some fantastic new year’s fare. Whether you enjoy movies, travel, or orchestral performances classic video games, treat yourself and catch a break from the cold.

This month’s highlights include:

GKIDS

GKIDS

Now playing through Jan. 5

Ocean Waves

IFC Center, 323 Sixth Avenue

$15 

New 4K restoration! Rarely seen outside of Japan, Ocean Waves is a subtle, poignant and wonderfully detailed story of adolescence and teenage isolation. Taku and his best friend Yutaka are headed back to school for what looks like another uneventful year. But they soon find their friendship tested by the arrival of Rikako, a beautiful new transfer student from Tokyo whose attitude vacillates wildly from flirty and flippant to melancholic. When Taku joins Rikako on a trip to Tokyo, the school erupts with rumors, and the three friends are forced to come to terms with their changing relationships. As the first Studio Ghibli film directed by someone other than studio founders Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata, these new screenings of Ocean Waves are paired with Ghiblies: Episode 2, a unique 25-minute short film from Studio Ghibli, featuring several comedic vignettes of studio staff as they go about their day. Utilizing new animation techniques and software that would then be deployed on the production of My Neighbors the Yamadas, Ghiblies: Episode 2 made its North American debut in December 2016. Presented in Japanese with English subtitles.

GKIDS

GKIDS

January 5 & 9, 7:00 p.m.

Princess Mononoke: 20th Anniversary

AMC Empire 25, 234 West 42nd Street

$15.99

A two-night event! Princess Mononoke, the classic animated film from groundbreaking writer/director Hayao Miyazaki and the legendary Studio Ghibli, returns to movie theaters in celebration of the beloved historical fantasy’s 20th anniversary and director Miyazaki’s birthday. The first Studio Ghibli film to receive an uncut U.S. theatrical release, Princess Mononoke returns to cinemas subtitled on Jan. 5 at 7:00 p.m. and English-dubbed on Jan. 9 at 7:00 p.m. The celebration will include a special bonus screening of the music video directed by Hayao Miyazaki, Chage and Aska’s “On Your Mark”!

Courtesy of Publictheater.org

Courtesy of Publictheater.org

Jan. 5-9

Club Diamond

The Public: Martinson Hall, 425 Lafayette Street

$25, $20 members

Part of the 2017 Under the Radar Festival! Tokyo, 1937: An American silent film about a Japanese immigrant is introduced by a celebrated narrator whose existence is being threatened by the impending arrival of the talkies. Ten years later, he will survive under U.S. occupation as a street performer, desperately attempting to finish this story. Admiration and resistance, dreams and survival, Club Diamond is a modern take on the immigration tale. Its creators are Nikki Appino, an award-winning filmmaker, Saori Tsukada, who has been described as a “charismatic mover” (Backstage) and a “startlingly precise dancer” (The New York Times), and has been developed in collaboration with violinist Tim Fain.

© Naoshi Hattori. Courtesy of Aichi Arts Center

© Naoshi Hattori. Courtesy of Aichi Arts Center

Jan. 6-7, 7:30 p.m.

17th Contemporary Dance Showcase: Japan + East Asia

Japan Society, 333 East 47th Street

$30, $25 Japan Society members. 

The 17th installment of this wintertime favorite event places a focus on duos! The evening features the following artists: In JJbro’s Jimmy & Jack, narration guides this kinetic story of two boys coming into their own (Korea, North American Premiere). Co. Un Yamada offers an original interpretation to Igor Stravinsky’s famed composition Les Noces (The Wedding) (Japan, North American Premiere). B DANCE’s muscular and fluid Hugin/Munin, choreographed by Po-Cheng Tsai, draws inspiration from Norse mythology (Taiwan, North American Premiere). In Theatre’s Tschüss!! Bunny, choreographed by Yen-Cheng Liu, offers a whimsical perspective on themes of death and rebirth (Taiwan, North American Premiere). And movements by choreographer/dancer Akiko Kitamura morph under the audiovisual architecture of Canada-based media alchemist Navid Navab (Japan, World American Premiere). The Jan. 6 performance is followed by a MetLife Meet-the-Artists Reception.

05 FUNimation

FUNimation

Jan. 10-12, 14

One Piece Film: Gold

City Cinemas Village East Cinema, 181-189 Second Avenue

$15

The Straw Hat pirates are hitting the big screen once again in an all-new, high-flying adventure! The popular series that has captivated fans all over the world (and celebrates its 20th anniversary this year) unfolds a new saga in this highly anticipated film. The glittering city of Grantesoro, a land of entertainment beyond the laws of the government, is a sanctuary for the world’s most infamous pirates, Marines, and filthy rich millionaires. Drawn by dreams of hitting the jackpot, Captain Luffy and his crew sail straight for the gold. But behind the gilded curtains lies a powerful emperor whose deep pockets and deeper ambitions spell disaster for the Straw Hats and the New World alike. All screenings are dubbed in English.

Courtesy of BR Public Relations

Jan. 12-13, 7:30 p.m.

Yoshiki Classical Special featuring Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra

Carnegie Hall, 881 Seventh Avenue

$40-$105

Although known as the founder of Japan’s biggest rock band, X Japan, Yoshiki is a classically trained multi-instrumentalist, composer, and musician. Having composed the 2012 Golden Globe Awards theme song, he has also composed and performed an orchestral piece and piano concerto to commemorate the Japanese Emperor’s 10th anniversary of his reign. Yoshiki’s most recent album, Yoshiki Classical, features collaborations between Yoshiki and legendary Beatles producer Sir George Martin, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and Quartet San Francisco. Now, the artist makes his Carnegie Hall debut with the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Yuga Cohler. These shows promise to kick the new year off to an unforgettable start!

Courtesy of Spice.eplus.jp

Courtesy of Spice.eplus.jp

Saturday, Jan. 15, 7:00 p.m.

ONE OK ROCK

Terminal 5, 610 West 56th Street

$27.50 advance, $33 at the door, $150 VIP

Formed in 2005, ONE OK ROCK has performed mainly at live concerts. The group fuses different music styles like emo, rock and metal into their own, with their sound and frenetic live performances supported by enthusiastic young fans. After performing at every rock festival all over the Japan during the summer of their debut, their first album entered the chart at number two in October 2011. Then, in autumn, they had nationwide concert tour, and performed to 24,000 fans at a sold out show in Yokohama Arena for two days at the end of the tour. Don’t miss one of Japan’s biggest rock exports as they return for their latest North American string of concerts.

FUNimation

FUNimation

Jan. 19; 21-23

Sailor Moon R: The Promise of the Rose

City Cinemas Village East Cinema, 181-189 Second Avenue

$15

Sailor Moon comes to the big screen in her first dazzling movie! Uncut and for the first time in theaters, Join Sailor Moon on an adventure to save not only the world, but also her true love! This limited engagement also includes the North American debut of the original theatrical short, Make Up! Sailor Guardians, and exclusive extras. A special bonus gift will be given to ticket holders while supplies last. All screenings are dubbed in English.

Courtesy of Publictheater.org

Courtesy of Publictheater.org

Tuesday, Jan. 24, 7:00 p.m.

Monday Michiru

Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette Street

$18

Monday Michiru, so named to reflect both her Japanese and American-Italian heritages, started her music endeavors studying classical flute, then expanded to singing and songwriting. Her 1987 debut in Japan was not in music, but as an actress, which garnered her Best New Actress awards allowing her to expand her career acting in movies, stage theater and television, as well as hosting her own video programs and modeling for major commercial ads. Since her 1991 solo record debut, Monday has consistently released albums on an annual basis both for her solo works as well as a featured guest on various artists’ projects internationally. Her musical style runs the gamut from house to jazz to Latin to soul, an undefinable hybrid that is undeniably hers.  Her return to Joe’s Pub celebrates the new release of a double CD compilation of previous works entitled Portraits in Time: 2002-2013.

Courtesy of Cdn.travelpulse

Courtesy of Cdn.travelpulse

Jan 27-29

The New York Times Travel Show

Jacob K. Javits Center, 655 West 34th Street

$20-25

Calling all travel professionals: Find a comprehensive conference tailored to you! Over 8,000 travel professionals, including 900 media professionals, are expected attend the latest incarnation of this exciting annual event. Get the latest information you need to help you sell more travel to your clients. You’ll find over 40 destination specific seminars and focused niche topics from cruising to family travel, exclusive trade only exhibition hours, and an industry reception. Also perfect for travelers looking for their next global destination!

11 Square Enix Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved

Square Enix Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved

Saturday, Jan. 28, 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.

Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy

New Jersey Performing Arts Center, 1 Center Street (Newark)

$41.50-$99

The international concert phenomenon featuring Nobuo Uematsu’s stirring music from one of the most popular video games of all time returns with an exciting new program! Conducted by Grammy Award winner Arnie Roth, with more than 100 musicians on stage including the Distant Worlds Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, this show is a multimedia feast for the eyes and ears, featuring breathtaking HD video direct for Square Enix! Susan Calloway, featured vocalist on the main theme of Final Fantasy XIV: Answers, will be featured, and master composer Uematsu will also take the stage for these extra special engagements. The same repertoire will be performed in both afternoon and evening concerts on Jan. 28.

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