By Jason S. Yadao
The reasons for me to visit Windward Mall have admittedly dwindled over the past few years. First, the Borders store closed last year; then the Suncoast Video store followed suit earlier this year. Earlier this month, we learned that the Marukai Discount store there will be shutting down as well. That pretty much leaves Ben & Jerry's, Ono Cheese Steak, the theaters and a GameStop ... and it would take something reeeeeaaally good going on at one of those to convince me to make my way out there.
Or, of course, you could just put on an Anime Day, like the one that Kawaii Kon is hosting on Sunday.
"Basically, the idea is taking just a small 'slice' of Kawaii Kon and bringing it to the Windward side," Roy Bann, Kawaii Kon senior administrator, told me in an email. Looking at the lineup of activities, it's a small slice all right ... if you think of it like a small slice of the lemon crunch cake at the Alley Restaurant at Aiea Bowl, which is a thick wedge packed chock full of awesome. And even better, it's absolutely free to attend! Here's a list of what you can see and do on Sunday:
- A mini dealers room/Artist Alley will feature stuff for sale from idkwhat2wear and steampunk accessories from Mad House Mind Works, among others.
- A stamp rally with select Windward Mall merchants will give you the opportunity to win special prizes, including a three-day pass to Kawaii Kon 2013.
- Local artist group MangaBento will be hosting a photo booth with props to help you look like you're in a living manga panel.
- The other local artist group, Pen & Ink Works, will be offering a "make your own manga" activity as well as drawing contests throughout the day.
- Comic Jam Hawaii will have artists collaborating on cartoons from 10 a.m. to noon.
- The Hawaii Video Gaming League will be hosting a Tetris tournament.
- Yu x Me: Maid Cafe & Host Club, freshly rebranded from their former identity as Animaid Cafe Hawaii, will be hosting a panel at 11:30 a.m. and performing several dances on stage. ("Mune Mune Kyun" performance? Probably a lock.)
- Also on stage: "Cosplay Runway," a showcase of several talented cosplayers in these fair islands of ours.
- Kaneohe Library will be showcasing some of the anime and manga available to borrow there.
Add to that an anime theater where you can watch a few series and games to play throughout the day, and you have a whole bunch of activities guaranteed to please any anime fan and regular Kawaii Kon attendee. Special rates for con passes will be available, too. It's all happening from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the mall, at 46-056 Kamehameha Highway in Kaneohe.
More from the anime news desk
Cacy & Kiara on tour: Author/Aiea Intermediate art teacher/MidWeek cartoonist/friend of the blog Roy Chang will be promoting his book Saturday on the Perry & Price Show live from Jade Dynasty Seafood Restaurant. Your friendly neighborhood blogger confesses that he had no idea that Perry & Price moved to Jade Dynasty, having last listened to their live show regularly back when it was in the Hanohano Room, 30 stories above the beach in the Sheraton Waikiki, then noting their subsequent moves to John Dominis and Jimmy Buffett's in Waikiki. But I digress. No word on exactly when in the show Roy will be on, so you'll just have to listen to the show on KSSK 590 AM or 92.3 FM between 8 and 11 a.m. and hope for the best.
Comic Jam Hawaii: This group of collaborative cartoon artists is going to be everywhere this weekend. Anime Day aside, they're also going to be at Liliha Library (1515 Liliha St.) from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, and they're going to be holding down their regular slot in front of Hot Unique Imaging, on the Uptown side of Pearlridge Center, from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. My hand would be falling off after just an hour of drawing, if not sooner, so I really have to give props to the artists who end up showing up at all three events. Visit www.facebook.com/groups/147779161986428 (Facebook login required).
Hello Kitty designer visits: Swing by Shirokiya at Ala Moana between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. today through Sunday, and you can meet, and get an autograph from, lead Hello Kitty designer Yuko Yamaguchi. Take pictures with Hello Kitty, learn how to make cute lunchboxes, get a cute character manicure and just bask in the glory of super-sugary Sanrio CUTE. Be one of the first 50 people in line each day, and you could even get a $5 gift card for Hello Kitty beauty products at Sephora.
idkwhat2wear: Terri Dux, Karl Miyashiro and the gang are sitting out this weekend's batch of craft fairs. (So are nemu*nemu's Audra Furuichi and Scott Yoshinaga.) But they'll be back in action Tuesday at Wabi Sabi's Christmas in Honolulu Craft Fair from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii, 2454 S. Beretania St., in the fifth floor ballroom. Adopt a "musubi angel," and you can get in early at 4 p.m.