Haruki Murakami's Cool Japan

| Aug 22, 2014

Haruki Murakami's Cool Japan

by Roland Kelts

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

by Roland Kelts

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

by Roland Kelts

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. ...

Anime/manga experts hopeful for year ahead

| Jan 9, 2014

Anime/manga experts hopeful for year ahead

by Roland Kelts

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, ...

Backlash against Miyazaki is generational

| Oct 8, 2013

Backlash against Miyazaki is generational

by Roland Kelts

If you haven’t lived in Japan, it’s hard to appreciate just how beloved are anime maestro Hayao Miyazaki and his creative hub, Studio Ghibli. Annual surveys of Japanese consumers often find that Ghibli is their favorite domestic brand, ahead of stalwarts such as Toyota ...

UrumaDelvi learn the importance of contacts

| Sep 10, 2013

UrumaDelvi learn the importance of contacts

by Roland Kelts

The husband-and-wife creative team known as UrumaDelvi has been cranking out quirky, quasi-psychedelic illustrations, animated shorts and music videos for over 20 years. They met in design school in 1988. Deciding that their married surname, Kobayashi, was too common in Japan to be memorable, ...