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November 30, 2010 > Merry anime to you

Merry anime to you

By Julie Grabowski

Those looking for a departure from the traditional fare of Christmas events and gift shopping have the opportunity to go international with a unique style of art and entertainment.

Anime is the term for Japanese animation, while manga refers more narrowly to comic books. Japan's history of animation dates back to the early 1900s, but the characteristic style of anime recognized today was developed in the 1960s. Anime began spreading to the rest of the world in the 1980s, and has become increasingly popular with Pokemon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, the 1989 film "Kiki's Delivery Service," and Hayao Miyazaki's Academy Award winning "Spirited Away" (2002).

Fremont Parks and Recreation Department and PMBQ Studios bring the vast world of anime and manga to your doorstep with their annual Holiday Anime Faire, Saturday, December 4. Now in their fifth year, the faire is packed with options for die-hard fans and those just discovering the style. Attendees can hang out in the anime viewing lounge, watch artist demos, grab a treat from the snack bar, and meet artists from Bay Area Artists Unite and Manga Start.

Attendees can also get hands-on with art and crafts activities. Button making, handmade cards, holiday ornaments, and origami are just a few of the available options. Karen Luk and Jeannie Lee of Manga Start will be leading two 45-minute art classes, providing instruction in the basic skills needed to begin drawing manga. The beginners class for ages K-5 starts at 11 a.m. with the intermediate session for high school ages and older following at 1 p.m. Classes cost an additional $5 to the admission ticket if purchased in advance or $8 at the door. This fee provides budding artists with professional-quality art materials, courtesy of Seth Cole and Sakura of America.

The faire is also the perfect shopping destination for all things manga, such as books, magazines, figurines, and plushies from a variety of exhibitors including Anime101, Anime Palace, Serenity Dream, PMBQ Studios, and Sakura of America.

Barnes and Noble will be at the faire, and offering special holiday and anime activities at their store the following day, Sunday, December 5. A portion of purchases made that day will go to support Fremont's Teen Recreation programs. Download vouchers at or mention Bookfair ID 10330090 at the register.

Created by Phuong-Mai Bui-Quang, founder of PMBQ Studios, the Holiday Anime Faire is a fun all-ages day of creating, shopping, and learning about the unique art of anime.

This year's ticket prices are operating on the buddy system; $9 will cover two people when purchased in advance or $15 for two at the door. Admission price includes a goodie bag and two activity tickets. Additional activity tickets are $1 each, to be used for art projects or snacks. Activity costs vary from one to three tickets. Advanced tickets can be purchased online at or in person at 3300 Capitol Ave., Building B in Fremont.

For faire admission use Barcode # 136626; for Beginners Manga Start Class use Barcode # 142076; Intermediate Manga Start Class use Barcode # 142077. For registration questions call (510) 494-4300. For more information on the Anime Faire call Teen Center Recreation Supervisor Rena Dein at (510) 494-4344.

Holiday Anime Faire
Saturday, December 4
10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Fremont Teen Center in Central Park
39770 Paseo Padre Pkwy., Fremont
(510) 494-4344
Admission: $9 advance; $15 at the door
Classes: $5 advance; $8 at the door

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