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Nippon in New York: ‘Ghost in the Shell,’ Kishi Bashi, Luna Haruna at AnimeNEXT

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After an unusually chilly spring, it’s finally starting to feel like summer. Enjoy some seasonal events this month that celebrate the best of both fine art and pop art.

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This month’s highlights include:

Wednesday, May 28, 10:00 p.m.

The Hard Nips

The Bowery Electric, 327 Bowery

$5

An all-female quartet that delivers riff-heavy, post-punk anthems, Each of the Hard Nips came to live in New York at different times, from different parts of Japan. And, as conspired by the ever-dexterous hand of fate, they were to cross paths and become fast friends. They quickly formed a cult-like bond whose rituals all included drinking a lot of alcohol and uncontrollably running their mouths. The wine flowed like Kool-Aid and, somehow, they found themselves buying into the delusion that they were capable of forming a kick-ass rock band. Witness the next chapter in their story, with support from Shakes and the Johnnys.

Thursday, May 29, 7:30 p.m.

Ghost in the Shell: Arise – Borders: 1 & 2

AMC Loews Village 7, 66 Third Avenue

$10

In the first two parts of this highly anticipated prequel series of the anime sensation Ghost in the Shell, it’s the year after the fourth World War and cyborg/hacker Motoko Kusanagi finds herself wrapped up in the investigation of a devastating bombing. But she’s not the only one looking for answers—as she delves deeper into the mystery of who is behind the attack, a specialized team unlike any before begins to take shape.

Friday, May 30, 7:00 p.m.

MIKA Samba Jazz Trio

Somethin' Jazz Club, 212 East 52nd Street, 3rd floor

$12

New York-based samba jazz pianist and recording artist Mika Mori returns to midtown’s venerable Somethin’ Jazz Club, supported by Rafael Barata (drums) and Eduardo Belo (bass). A native of Rio de Janeiro, Barata brings the bossa nova, Belo brings the bottom, and Mori knits it all together, evoking the warm, soothing strains of Ipanema and beyond to kick off the weekend in style.

Wednesday, June 4, 9:00 p.m.

Kishi Bashi

The Bowery Ballroom, 6 Delancey Street

$18 advance, $20 day of show

Having collaborated and toured with indie strangelings of Montreal, Regina Spektor, and Sondre Lerche, singer, violinist, and composer, K Ishibashi (aka Kishi Bashi), embarks on a epic orchestral solo project. His solo live show is a dazzling array of looping and vocal/violin gymnastics. K is also singer of the NYC synth rock band Jupiter One. With support from Philadelphia’s own self-described pure pop group Buried Beds.

June 5 & 7

Chistopher Rouse’s Symphony No. 4 with violinist Midori

Avery Fisher Hall, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza

$39-$69

A world premiere of NY PHIL BIENNIAL! Maestro Alan Gilbert conducts the New York Philharmonic with Osaka-born Midori (who herself made her debut at the age of 11 with the Philharmonic 31 years ago under the direction of Zubin Mehta), the program will feature the New York premiere of Peter Eötvös’ DoReMi, the world premiere of Christopher Rouse’s Symphony No. 4, and a special piece to be selected through EarShot National Orchestral Composition Discovery Network.

June 6-8

AnimeNEXT 2014

Garden State Convention Center, 50 Atrium Drive, Somerset, NJ

$45-$60

The largest independently organized anime convention in the New York/New Jersey metropolitan area. AnimeNEXT features Japanese creators of anime and manga, voice actors, musical acts, artists, vendors and exhibits, events, panels, workshops, and gaming. This year’s musical guest is Tokyo’s Luna Haruna, who made her major debut in 2012 with the song “Soraha Takaku Kazeha Utau,” the ending theme song for the second season of anime series Fate/Zero. Her latest single, “Snowdrop,” was featured as the ending theme song the second season of Monogatari. Don’t miss her first-ever performance on the East Coast!

Thursday, June 12, 6:30 p.m.

New York Japan CineFest 2014

Asia Society, 725 Park Avenue

$12, $10 seniors/students, $8 Asia Society members

Co-presented by Asia Society and Mar Creation, Inc., this annual event highlights some of the most exciting new voices in cinema. These six award-winning shorts, including live action and animation, offer rich insight into the imagination and creative impulse of emerging filmmakers (some of whom will be in attendance!). This year’s newest contribution is director Takahide Hori’s Junk Head 1, a Best Animation Film Award winner of the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival. After a conflict between humans and clones, the clones have been driven far below to the lower levels of the city. Now, 1,200 years later, humans are sending a research pod down below to study the clones' habitat.

Sunday, June 15, 6:00 p.m.

J-Summit New York – Japan Earthquake & Tsunami Relief Fund vol. 21

The Bowery Electric, 327 Bowery

$15 advance, $18 at the door

Celebrate Father's Day by raising a complimentary beverage (included in the ticket price) by contributing to a good cause and enjoying some live music. On the bill: Mayuka Ezure with Ako Ando, Kazha from Japan, LUST, Nob, Rover, Ruco, Showji, and more!

Wednesday, June 18, 8:00 p.m.

Man with a Mission

The Studio at Webster Hall, 125 East 11th Street

$12

Are they human? Are they wolves? Purportedly created as the "ultimate life form" by a doctor named Jimi Hendrix (natch) and with names like Tokyo Tanaka (vocals), Kamikaze Boy (bass), Jean-Ken Johnny (guitar), DJ Santa Monica (disc jockey), and Spear Rib (drums), Man with a Mission’s trademark feature is that all of the members wear differently designed wolf masks during both their concerts and their music videos. Since their last area performance at Highline Ballroom in December, the band returns for this intimate appearance with support from AM Aesthetic.

Saturday, June 21, 9:00 a.m., main event 3:00 p.m.

2014 All American Open International Karate Championships

Hunter College Sportsplex, 695 Park Avenue

$30-$80

The international karate organization Kyokushinkaikan ushers in summer with the All American Open International Karate Championships! Nearly 100 competitors are scheduled to compete, including renowned Kyokushin fighters: "The Spanish Eagle" world heavyweight champion Alejandro Navarro; "French Connection" 2012 European super heavyweight champion Djemar Belkhoudja; and local favorite, the "NY Giant" U.S. super heavyweight champion Daniel Milicevic--all poised to upset the four-time defending All American Champion, "Iron Man" Zahari Damyanov.

June 25-29

Hiromi: The Trio Project featuring Anthony Jackson & Simon Phillips

Blue Note Jazz Club, 131 West 3rd Street

$20-$45

Hiromi returns with The Trio Project, which DownBeat magazine proclaimed as "one of the most exciting groups working in any genre today." Featuring bassist Anthony Jackson (Steely Dan, Paul Simon, Chick Corea) and drummer Simon Phillips (Toto, the Who, David Gilmour), the engagement will celebrate the release of her newest recording, Alive, her ninth album as a leader. Mentored by the legendary Ahmad Jamal, the Hamamatsu-born pianist/composer has created music that grows with every performance, moves easily beyond stylistic genres, exhibits an awareness of the entire jazz tradition, and adapts to the contributions of her fellow bandmates.

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