Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Haruhi Day at Kinokuniya with John Fuller

Guess what is happening on Saturday October 18, 2008 in NYC? Haruhi Day at Kinokuniya bookstore, and it is also the Japanese bookstore's one year anniversary at its current location. I got a chance to interview Mr. John Fuller, the Store Manager, about the importance of the event and what it is all about.

So, how did this whole event get started? "Actually, it just kind of fell that way. We have our anniversary on 10/20 and had plans to celebrate" and at the same time, Yen Press was looking for an "auspicious" day to have as Haruhi Day. Originally, Yen Press wanted to have the event on Halloween, which would might have been after the time the manga is release, "but we have a Japan Society event on 11/1." So, with such a tight schedule, what would have been the next best day? Even though it would be before the release, "the next most interesting day was during our One Year Anniversary celebration." Why you ask? "We liked it because Haruhi is important to our manga and anime customers and we felt it appropriate to have something special for them to tie in with our anniversary."

Now some of you might not feel that such a release or the anniversary as being important, especially if you are not a fan or have no interest, but there is some importance to both things. If any of you attend anime conventions, seen cosplayers or talk to anime fans, one might be able to see that there is a "growing fan base" or knowledge of Haruhi. "Yen Press received the rights to distribute Haruhi in English here and this is the launching party. We're celebrating a new launch and a one year anniversary together." Even though it is the launch party for the manga, Fuller gave me a heads up: "The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya 1 is actually not released yet but shall be shortly. Anyone who pre-orders during the event will receive a free copy of Yen's Manga anthology when they receive their book." So, remember to pre-order your book guys!

Ok, I am sure some of you might be asking "Why put those two together? What does an anniversary have to do with a manga?" Maybe some of you might be asking "Aren't they two different things? How you gonna celebrate both at the same time?" Even though the two occasions are slightly different from one another, "we thought they could work well with each other. Haruhi Day during Kinokuniya's One Year Anniversary is a confirmation how important the manga/anime market has become for Kinokuniya. On top of that, the added promotion and attention helps both events."

Now fans of Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya or anyone who is interested, here are the reasons why you should attend the event:
"It's a great chance to get together with like minded cosplayers. We will also have plenty of prizes and discounts going on all weekend (10/18 through 10/21). In addition to the Haruhi raffle on 10/18, we are taking names for the store anniversary raffle which will be drawn on 10/21. All the way around there are some nice prizes to win.
We're also doing some special give-aways during Haruhi Day and separately for the Anniversary event (10/19 thru 10/21). A number of partner companies (including Kintetsu Internatonal, Seiko Instruments, Viz Media, Fuentes, Del Rey Manga, Kodansha, New York Anime Fest, Samurai Beat Radio, Columbia University Press, Tuttle Publishing, Palgrave Macmillan, Rinstudio and Chronicle Books) have donated prizes and/or give-aways for the Kinokuniya Anniversary. So, it might be worth it to come on Haruhi Day and then again on any day during the rest of the anniversary as well (through the 21st) to get different stuff. (We'll be closing an hour early on the 21st, though, so please keep that in mind.)"

Now you got your reasons, let's see what you can expect:
A fun day to get together and come in costume. There will be Haruhi video playing and a Yen Press panel talking about how Haruhi will soon be released here in English and giving some background. There are some nice give-aways, including a collectible Haruhi snap bracelet, that will go to people who come in costume during the event as well. We will also be giving a 10% discount on manga and anime all day. Cafe Zaiya will also be giving out a free treat with purchase during Haruhi day. During the remaining Anniversary period (10/19-10/21), Cafe Zaiya will be giving a 10% discount on food purchases."
Discounts! Everybody LOVES discounts!

So, what is the store hoping to happen that day? "
I hope we get a good turnout and to see people enjoying themselves. If we sell a lot of manga and anime on top of that, Great!" All you fans out there go out and make it the best Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya turnout ever!

Flyer from
Kinokuniya bookstore. Click on it for more information about the event.
© 2008 Linda Thai

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