‘Kaboom’: A college sex comedy sci-fi thriller

“Kaboom,” the new film from Gregg Araki, has been described as “sexy” and “silly.” It is certainly both of those things. However, it’s also suspenseful, thoughtful and surprisingly frightening.  The film is a college sex comedy sci-fi thriller and Araki does a graceful balancing act, with the disparate genre element — until he takes the […]

Panty and Stocking: This is truly my childhood

So what is “Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt”? People who haven’t looked into it are probably living under a rock, or are wholly uninterested in anime and manga or Japanese culture (why are you reading this then?), but PSG is Gainax’s (“Nadia,” “Fooly Cooly,” “Gurren Lagann,” et al. ) latest show about two anarchistic fallen […]

On mystical wings

THE BOY IN THE GARDEN   By Allen Say (New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Children, 2010, 32 pp., $17.99, hardcover)   Reviewed By Twila Tomita, Nichi Bei Weekly Contributor   If you are a fan of Allen Say, you’ll be happy to know that he has a new book, “The Boy in the […]

Hard luck Himiko

MAD AT MOMMY By Komako Sakai (New York: Arthur A. Levine Books, 2010, 40 pp., $16.99, paperback) Do you remember feeling angry with your mother? This little picture book tells the story of a bunny who is angry with his mom. She doesn’t let him watch cartoons. She always tells him to hurry up, yet […]

Away game

THE LUCKY BASEBALL: My Story in a Japanese-American Internment Camp By Suzanne Lieurance (Berkeley Heights, N.J.: Enslow Publishers, Inc., 2009, 160 pp., $14.95, paperback) Twelve-year-old Harry Yakamoto lives for baseball. Growing up in Cedar Grove, a small town in Central California with only a handful of Japanese Americans, his peers do not allow Harry and […]

Go macro like Madonna

MAYUMI’S KITCHEN: MACROBIOTIC COOKING FOR THE BODY AND SOUL By Mayumi Nishimura (Tokyo: Kodansha International, 2010, 160 pp., $29.95, hardcover) Macrobiotic lifestyles have steadily become popular and mainstream over recent years thanks to Hollywood stars, who rave of their benefits. As Madonna’s personal macrobiotic chef for seven years, Mayumi Nishimura is an expert at creating […]

API writers connect through the power of poetry

No Choice but to Follow Linked poems by Jean Yamasaki Toyama, Juliet S. Kono, Ann Inoshita and Christy Passion (Honolulu: Bamboo Ridge Press, 2010, 149 pp., $20, paperback) Four poets committed 48 weeks in 2008 to composing linked poems, in part, in celebration of Bamboo Ridge Press’ 30th anniversary. The culmination of Jean Yamasaki Toyama, […]

Fresh take on an old favorite

SIMPLY JAPANESE: MODERN COOKING FOR THE HEALTHY HOME By Yoko Arimoto (Tokyo: Kodansha International, 2010, 160 pp., $27.95, hardcover) With her new book “Simply Japanese,” Yoko Arimoto injects a breath of modern air into traditional Japanese home cooking. While Japanese cooking is often considered to be somewhat time-consuming, given its focus on serving multiple smaller […]

Nikkei recalls imprisonment

BETWEEN TWO WORLDS: My Life and Captivity in Iran By Roxana Saberi (New York: Harper, 2010, 321 pp., $25.99, hardcover) By trait, reporters are to remain objective in their pursuit of truth. What happens, then, when the journalist becomes the story? Multiracial Nikkei Roxana Saberi’s “Between Two Worlds: My Life and Captivity in Iran” provides […]

Journo sisters spill all

SOMEWHERE INSIDE: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and the Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home By Laura Ling and Lisa Ling (New York: William Morrow, 2010, 322 pp., $26.99, hardcover) At its heart, “Somewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and the Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home,” centers on relationships, namely that […]