JQ Magazine: Nippon in New York — Sailor Moon, Liberty City Anime, Meg Okura

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.

In the dog days of summer, it’s best to escape the heat in a place that’s cozy and cool. For those into Japan-related cultural events, this month offers a diverse selection of film premieres and live music—all in the comfort of indoor air conditioning.

This month’s highlights include:

VIZ Media

Aug. 4, 6

Sailor Moon SuperS: The Movie

E-Walk 42nd Street 13, 247 West 42nd Street

Empire 25, 234 West 42nd Street

$12.50

Sailor Moon, the beloved Guardian of Love and Justice, returns to the big screen for a special theatrical event! In the series, Usagi Tsukino is a clumsy but kindhearted teenage girl who transforms into the powerful Sailor Moon. Meeting allies along the way who share similar fates, Usagi and her team of planetary Sailor Guardians fight to protect the universe from forces of evil and total annihilation! The classic anime’s third movie, Sailor Moon SuperS is presented along with the never-before seen in theaters short, “Ami’s First Love.” All features are presented uncut and true to the original Japanese version, with English dubbed (Aug. 4) and subtitled (Aug 6) screenings available. 

Micah Joel Photography

Aug. 11-12

Play NYC

Manhattan Center, 311 West 34th Street

$25.50-$33.00

PLAY NYC is New York City’s first and only dedicated games convention. The weekend will feature three floors of playable games for all consoles, PC, virtual reality and mobile devices from studios large and small and developers old and new. Games will include indie projects with some larger triple A titles. Get access to some of the biggest games coming later this year and discover many you’ve never even heard of. PLAY NYC celebrates every facet of gaming in a way that only the Big Apple can by uniting players, developers and industry pros at a games event like no other.

GKIDS

Aug. 12-13, 15

Grave of the Fireflies

E-Walk 42nd Street 13, 247 West 42nd Street

Empire 25, 234 West 42nd Street

$12.50

In this special 30th anniversary screening, Studio Ghibli’s Grave of the Fireflies has been universally hailed as an artistic and emotional tour de force. As the Empire of the Sun crumbles upon itself and a rain of firebombs falls upon Japan, the final death march of a nation is echoed in millions of smaller tragedies. This is the story of Seita and his younger sister Setsuko, two children forced to fend for themselves in the aftermath of fires that swept entire cities from the face of the earth. Their struggle is a tribute to the human spirit. Directed by Academy Award-nominated Isao Takahata and presented in its digitally remastered and restored format, Grave of the Fireflies is one of the rare films that truly deserves to be called a masterpiece. English dubbed (Aug. 12, 15) and subtitled (Aug. 13) showings are both available for this engagement. 

© Itami Productions/New Century Producers

Wednesday, Aug. 15, 7:00 p.m.

Tampopo

Socrates Sculpture Park

32-01 Vernon BoulevardLong Island City

Free

Directed by Juzo Itami, this classic “Noodle Western” is an exploding piñata of gags on two eternal favorites—food and sex. Ramen joint owner Tampopo embarks on her relentless quest for the perfect noodle, with plenty of tangents on how to cook a delicious rice omelet before the night watchman comes in; how to enhance bedroom delights with a raw egg; and how dreams of yam sausage can assuage the aftereffects of a bullet fusillade. Don’t miss the film that Michael Sragow of Film Comment calls “Gleefully sensual and inventive. A garden of sensual delights that plays like a romp through a surreal amusement park. Creates a culinary empire of the senses while entertaining an audience like crazy.” Includes bossa nova tunes from Masafumi Sakai preceding the film.

Courtesy of Renireni.com

Aug. 17-19

Liberty City Anime Con

New York Marriott Marquis, 1535 Broadway

$40-$60

The best three-day anime convention in New York City (entirely run by fans for fans) returns for its fourth year featuring over 100 events and panels, three days of cosplay, game tournaments and anime screenings, concerts, balls and dances. This year’s special guests include singer TiA (Naruto), Japanese Vocaloid IA, and local idol favorite Reni Mimura!

Courtesy of Jazz.org

Monday, Aug. 20, 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Meg Okura & the Pan Asian Chamber Jazz Ensemble

Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, 10 Columbus Circle

$35, $25 students

Violinist, vocalist, composer, bandleader, and 2018 Chamber Music America grant recipient Meg Okura returns for a special live performance presenting Ima Ima, her fourth album of original works with the Pan Asian Jazz Ensemble, the ten-piece jazz chamber group that Okura has used to blend the sounds of East and West for more than a decade. Joining the multicultural ensemble is trumpeter Tom Harrell, a singular voice in contemporary jazz who has been named “trumpeter of the year” multiple times by DownBeat, recorded on over 260 albums, and worked with a long list of greats as both soloist and composer. With Okura’s broad stylistic range and compositional prowess, he makes a perfect addition to this award-winning ensemble.

© Tomihiko Morimi, KADOKAWA/NAKAME COMMITTEE

Aug. 21-22, 7:00 p.m.

The Night is Short, Walk on Girl

AMC Lincoln Square 12, 1998 Broadway

E-Walk 42nd Street 13, 247 West 42nd Street

Empire 25, 234 West 42nd Street

$12.50

From the visionary mind of director Masaaki Yuasa (Mind Game, Adventure Time’s “Food Chain”) comes The Night is Short, Walk on Girl, a comedy about one epic night in Kyoto. As a group of teens go out for a night on the town, a sophomore known only as “The Girl with Black Hair” experiences a series of surreal encounters with the local nightlife…all the while unaware of the romantic longings of Senpai, a fellow student who has been creating increasingly fantastic and contrived reasons to run into her, in an effort to win her heart. All screenings are presented in Japanese with English subtitles.

Want to stay in the loop on future eventsFollow Justin on Facebook and Twitter.