Roland Kelts

For Roland Kelts's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Disney's 'Big Hero 6' animates a bridging of cultures

| Oct 24, 2014

Disney's 'Big Hero 6' animates a bridging of cultures

This week’s Tokyo International Film Festival is hot on animation, featuring screenings of the collected works of Hideaki Anno, creator of the epic franchise, “Neon Genesis Evangelion,” and 3-D shorts directed by Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto, producer of “Donkey Kong” and “Super Mario Bros.” But ...

New markets may save Japan's manga exports

| Sep 26, 2014

New markets may save Japan's manga exports

The North American manga business took a beating last decade. After peaking around 2005-06, the lethal storm of oversaturated shelves, a collapsing U.S. financial industry and the bankruptcy of major American bookstore chain, Borders, left publishers and distributors in a panic. Downsizing, restructuring and ...

Haruki Murakami's Cool Japan

| Aug 22, 2014

Haruki Murakami's Cool Japan

I was in New York last week to host a launch event for the English translation of Haruki Murakami’s latest novel, “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage.” My good friend and Murakami translator Ted Goossen, professor at York University in Toronto, joined ...

Anime industry reunified at expo, satellite events

| Apr 11, 2014

Anime industry reunified at expo, satellite events

AnimeJapan 2014, the rebranded and reunified annual industry trade show, exceeded organizers’ expectations last month, hosting 110,000 producers, publishers, journalists, cosplayers and public visitors. What a relief. Since 2010, the anime industry’s political divisions meant two separate shows: one in Chiba called the Anime ...

Masuda's mission to take Harajuku art global

| Mar 13, 2014

Masuda's mission to take Harajuku art global

New York is not a city one automatically associates with the Japanese concept of kawaii — lovably, irresistibly, dependably cute. But if Sebastian Masuda, the so-called “king of kawaii,” has his way, the mean streets of “Goodfellas” may one day emanate a candy-colored glow. ...

The symbiotic relationship between anime and games

| Feb 13, 2014

The symbiotic relationship between anime and games

Japan excels at making you play. From its flower arrangements to tea ceremonies to karaoke, nothing much happens until you get into the game, and a big part of Japan’s appeal to non-natives is its invitation to engage. Tourists and expats gleefully bear floats ...

Anime/manga experts hopeful for year ahead

| Jan 9, 2014

Anime/manga experts hopeful for year ahead

Aside from Hayao Miyazaki’s sudden departure from filmmaking in September, the anime world saw some potentially hopeful developments in 2013. As I reported here, the government’s multibillion-yen Cool Japan Fund was launched last summer, after years of empty promises. Following the lead of Crunchyroll, ...