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Amano Attends San Francisco Center Opening Next Week

posted on by Egan Loo

New People,” the new cultural entertainment center in San Francisco's Japantown neighborhood, is holding its grand opening next week with anime and game designer Yoshitaka Amano, Eisner-nominated manga creator Yūichi Yokoyama, screenings of all three 20th Century Boys films, Hello Kitty, Japanese musical and fashion guests, and more. The grand opening is part of Japantown's J-Pop Summit Festival 2009 that week.

According to the event organizers at New People, Amano will make his only American appearance this year at the center's Superfrog Gallery on August 15. Amano designed and illustrated the Final Fantasy role-playing game series, the Vampire Hunter D novels and anime video, the experimental film Angel's Egg, the seminal superhero team anime Gatchaman, and many other classics. In addition to his Deva Loka USA exhibition, Amano who hold a discussion panel and a limited autograph session.

Yūichi Yokoyama, the Eisner Award-nominated creator of New Engineering and Travel, will showcase his latest alternative manga release, Outdoor. He will hold a live painting performance at the corner of Post and Buchanan Streets and an autograph session on August 15.

That same day, Viz Pictures will show the first live-action 20th Century Boys film as the inaugural screening of New People's new Viz Cinema theater. Viz Pictures licensed Yukihiko Tsutsumi's entire film trilogy, which is based on Naoki Urasawa's award-winning suspense manga about a group of childhood friends' struggle with an apocalyptic cult. 20th Century Boys 1: Beginning of the End will run from August 15 to August 27. The second film, 20th Century Boys 2: The Last Hope will follow from August 21 to August 28. The third film, 20th Century Boys 3: Redemption, will premiere in Japan and in San Francisco on the same day — August 28 — and run until September 3. (The film will actually open in Japan on August 29; besides the timezone difference, Japanese films traditionally open on Saturday instead of Friday.) There will also be a free outdoors screening of Tetsuya Nakashima's live-action Kamikaze Girls film on August 14.

The Japan Nite event organizers will host a "Girls Rock Explosion" with a free outdoor mini-concert on August 15, followed by a full regular concert at Yoshi's Jazz Club on August 16. The noodles, TsuShiMaMiRe, Red Bacteria Vacuum, and the collaborative Harajuku Kawaii Experience by 6%DOKIDOKI Girls and Omodaka will headline the concerts. Before the New People grand opening, the Black Peace Now elegant gothic fashion brand will host an autograph session and a private loung party with the vocalist Hakuei of the Penicillin rock band (Kindaichi Shounen no Jikenbo, Sekushi Commando Gaiden: Sugoiyo! Masaru-san) at the Japantown Street Fair on August 9.

Other guests include J-Pop Summit Festival 2009 co-chair and Sanrio cultural icon Hello Kitty, and model Misako Aoki and designer Kumiko Uehara from the Baby, the Stars Shine Bright fashion boutique. 50 customers at New People's Baby, the Stars Shine Bright store will be invited to a tea soirée on August 16 with the two guests from Japan.

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