In the dog days of summer, it’s best to escape the heat in a place that’s cozy and cool. For those into Japanese 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:
Thursday, July 30, 7:00 p.m.
Gramercy Theatre, 127 East 23rd Street
Fresh off from their recent performance at the 2015 Otakon in Baltimore, these ladies brings their infectious energy to New York with their polished ska riffs that make the likes of Madness and the Specials proud. The Osaka-based sextet’s influence in the U.S. reached an all-time high during the Warped Tour 2008, where Oreskaband hit 46 cities, a first for Japanese bands, and even collaborated with Reel Big Fish and Katy Perry, among others. Their music can also be heard on anime shows such as Naruto Shippuden and Bleach.
Friday, July 31, 8:00 p.m.
Gene Ess & Fractal Attraction
Whynot Jazz Room, 14 Christopher Street
The diverse background of guitarist Gene Ess has had a profound effect on creating his unique style. Originally from Tokyo, Japan, Ess grew up on a United States Air Force Base on Okinawa. This experience led him to be exposed to a mix of cultural influences ranging from indigenous music of Okinawa to the pop and jazz music that flowed from the clubs that catered to American soldiers. He has performed with Carlos Santana, Archie Shepp, Matt Garrison, Reggie Workman, Ravi Coltrane and Dave Liebman. His latest album, Eternal Monomyth, continues his exploration of using the voice as an instrument in a chamber group setting, and serves as a companion piece to the SESAC Outstanding Jazz Award-winning album Fractal Attraction, which garnered international acclaim and peaked at number 3 on the national jazz radio chart.
Saturday, Aug. 1, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Takeshi Sato World of Roller Art in NY
The Nippon Gallery, 145 West 57th Street
A native of Miyagi, Takeshi Sato traveled to America in his early adulthood where he taught himself mural painting. He went on to decorate walls of numerous theme parks, restaurants and other kinds of establishments. His innovative style has brought in the essence of craftsmanship into the art world, and his short but vigorous live performance shows have captured the attention of media worldwide. Now you can meet the artist himself at a special gallery exhibition that includes three live paint performances at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
Aug. 4, 5, 7, 8 & 11
Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’
AMC Empire 25, 234 West 42nd Street
Chelsea Cinemas, 260 West 23rd Street
Village East Cinema 7, 181-189 2nd Avenue
Hot on the heels of last year’s summer blockbuster, Battle of Gods, Resurrection ‘F’ is the second film personally supervised by DBZ creator himself, Akira Toriyama. The new movie showcases the return of Frieza, the galaxy’s most evil overlord. After years in spiritual purgatory, Frieza has been resurrected and plans to take his revenge on the Z-Fighters of Earth. Facing off against Frieza’s powerful new form and his army of 1,000 soldiers, Goku and Vegeta must reach new levels of strength in order to protect Earth from their vengeful nemesis. English dub version.
Thursday, Aug. 20, 7:30 p.m.
Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions
PNC Bank Arts Center, Exit 115, Garden State Parkway (Holmdel, NJ)
Brought to life by a full symphony orchestra performing all new arrangements and carefully timed visuals from recent and classic Pokémon video games, Pokémon: Symphonic Evolutions has become the must-see video game concert of the year, giving fans and newcomers of all ages a chance to experience the evolution of the Pokémon franchise like never before. Includes music from 16 Pokémon titles; $1 of each ticket goes to supporting arts education programs.
Friday, Aug. 28, 6:00 p.m.
Always: Sunset on Third Street 3
Japan Information Center Gallery, Consulate General of Japan in New York
299 Park Avenue, 18th floor
Free (email RSVP to kanako_shirasaki[at]jfny.org; photo ID required upon entry)
A special screening of the third film in the wildly popular series! In 1964, novelist Ryunosuke Chagawa (Hidetaka Yoshioka) has married Hiromi (Koyuki), and the two now share a happy life with Junnosuke (Kenta Suga), the young boy he had taken in during the first film, who is now in high school. Hiromi is also pregnant, and the family prepares to welcome a new addition to their household. One day, Hiromi discovers a telegram that Chagawa had hidden. Who sent this telegram? What is the surprising identity of this new, rival writer? And what future awaits the people of Third Street? Presented in Japanese with English subtitles.
Liberty City Anime Con
Crowne Plaza White Plains, 66 Hale Avenue
$50 for weekend pass
The best three-day anime convention (just north of) New York City, the inaugural Liberty City Anime Con features over 100 events and panels, a dozen guests and entertainers, three days of cosplay, game tournaments and anime screenings, and concerts, balls and dances. Guest performers include idol singer Reni Mimura, female J-pop group Starberry, and New Jersey-based anime, video game and J-pop cover band Moshi Moshi.
Waku Waku NYC
Various locations (Brooklyn)
“Waku Waku” is a new Japanese pop culture festival that brings together the worlds of anime, manga, music, food, film, and fashion inside Brooklyn’s Greenpoint and Williamsburg neighborhoods. Featuring exhibits, fashions, panels, screenings, and interactive events across multiple locations, Waku Waku +NYC looks to blend Japanese pop culture with Brooklyn culture—it’s Cool Japan meets New York’s coolest borough. The diverse lineup of guests include Takao Koyama, screenwriter of Dragon Ball Z; Sebastian Masuda, founder of 6%DOKIDOKI; Taku Takahashi, DJ of m-flo; and Masumi Kano, designer for Baby, the Stars Shine Bright.
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