If you've ever wondered what all those wide-eyed characters of "Dragon Ball Z," "Card Captors" and dozens of other cartoon curiosities were about, today's your lucky day.
The University at Buffalo, in collaboration with the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, presents a smorgasbord of activities and screenings surrounding that curious and increasingly popular form of expression known as anime.
Susan Napier, a Tufts University professor and expert on anime's proliferation through American popular culture, will give a speech titled "Anime and Visual Culture" at 2 p.m. today at UB. And at 6:30 tonight, Napier will head over to the Albright-Knox to introduce Satoshi Kon's film "Millennium Actress" as part of the "Year of Japan" presentation. Napier is also the author of the book "Anime from Akira to Princess Mononoke: Experiencing Japanese Animation."
Also featured at the Albright-Knox will be an exhibition of anime costumes -- known as "cosplay" -- courtesy of UB's Anime Club, a Kendo demonstration, tea ceremony and storytelling session with Rochester author Rafe Martin.
For more information, visit www.buffalo.edu or call 645-5000.
-- Colin Dabkowski