By Jason S. Yadao
For optimal effect, please press "play" on this video and let the audio play as you read through this post. (Please note, this should only be done in your personal space or with headphones.)
... how about that '80s hair? Umm. Anyway.
So. Kawaii Kon. Those of you who preregistered can pick up your passes at the convention center from 7 to 10 p.m. today; the convention itself runs from Friday through Sunday; and then you won't have to read about it again here until some point in the future when there's either a con-related announcement or your friendly neighborhood tag team in fandom, Wilma J. and/or myself, get around to writing about this year's con experiences, whichever comes first. (We're really hoping for the latter, but considering I'm usually exhausted by the end of the weekend and poor Wilma is also caught up in the whirlwind that is wedding planning, all bets are off at this point.)
There are far more stories to tell going in to Kawaii Kon than I have time to write up. One of them, about the three-year journey between the first and second issues of local manga anthology Hachi Maru Hachi and the creative talents behind its revival -- Jordan Takemoto, Tara Tamayori, Rose Dela Cruz and Brady Evans -- is in today's paper. (For those of you checking out Otaku Ohana for the first time from that article, welcome! Here's hoping I can update this blog enough times in the future to hold your interest and keep you reading it.) You can get what Brady, Pen & Ink Works, idkwhat2wear, Jon Murakami and the Hawaii State Library people have planned for the convention in that preview, too.
But there were other things that I just didn't have the place or the space to properly fit into the preview. News stories are by their nature evolutionary creatures, the final product sometimes bearing little to no resemblance to the original idea. So there are fragments lingering with no real place to go, like these comments from one of this weekend's guests, voice actor Todd Haberkorn:
Most exciting things I'm looking forward to:
-- Fresh sushi
-- Fans at the con that I haven't seen before! Fans have expressed their interest in wanting to meet me face to face one day and I'm glad that is finally getting to happen.
-- Swimming with sea life -- Sharks! Dolphins! I've got my chain mail ready to go and partly, its an excuse to get to enjoy the beautiful, crystal clear blue waters of Hawaii!
-- Fresh coconut juice -- Not coconut milk, juice! I was a fan of coconut juice before it was hip! And to get it from one of coconut's HQs is gonna be rad.
And here's a comment from Johnny Yong Bosch, answering the same question of what he's looking forward to:
This time around we didn't get a chance to extend our stay, but a stop at the beach is mandatory. I don't recall the name of the pancake place we stopped at, but we'll have to make a trip there again. ... The Hawaiian fans are very generous and supportive, we've made a few friends for life there.
There was also something Tara said during our recent interview that I thought was cute, so I'm including it here. Those of you who are either artists in Artist Alley or who have to tend to some kind of table during the convention will probably be able to relate to what she said when I asked about their con experiences every year:
I’m just stuck at my table. Like a mushroom. Slaving away, cutting out, laminating, coloring … everything I should have done beforehand.
So here we are, on the brink of the ninth annual edition of what's become the premier celebration of the local anime and manga fan community. While there may be a bit of last-minute flailing around as everyone gets ready and gets settled, it's shaping up to be a fun weekend -- albeit a bit wet, if the weather forecasts hold true.
As promised, here are a few more of those last-minute tidbits that have gotten my attention over the past few days:
- Today is the final day to get stamps in the Kawaii Kon Stamp Rally at 7-Eleven stores statewide. (I finished mine with a post-work store-hopping run through Kalihi and Iwilei a few nights ago!) If you're leaving your stamping to the last minute, I'd recommend not getting a stamp from the 7-Eleven nearest to the convention center as there is one clerk there who seems to think that the stamps only should be given out with purchase of a Red Bull product. (No purchase is actually necessary.) And if you happen to end up at the same 7-Eleven in Aiea where one of my readers asked for a new stamp card and the clerk proceeded to stamp all six spaces before handing it over, well, lucky you.
- MangaBento, one of two local groups of anime/manga-inspired artists around town these days, will be stationed in their usual corner of Artist Alley -- tables 9-12, to be exact -- and they'll be bringing their usual array of art materials and sketch sheets to the convention. Join them and draw all three days!
- The UH-Manoa Anime and Manga Society will be demonstrating their new app for Android phones and tablets -- an electronic guide to memorable anime quotes, with handy translations and explanations. It's a work in progress, with a beefier version targeted for completion by 2014. (It already looks pretty spiffy, though.) Members will also be helping Jayson Chun and UH-West Oahu students with their annual Cosplay Cafe, which of course was the featured topic of last year's Kawaii Kon preview.
- I've already profiled much of what idkwhat2wear will be selling, but Terri Dux introduced a new piece of merchandise Wednesday night that's certainly worth noting as well: Life Wallets, fabric wallets with silk-screened sketches by Karl Miyashiro lining the insides. You can see a sample of one to the right. They're cute, they're $9, and 100 percent of the proceeds will go toward helping family member Pam Dux in her continuing struggle against breast cancer. Get the full Life Wallet story at lifewallet.wordpress.com/2013/03/11/6/
Internet connection willing, I'll try to update this blog throughout the weekend. Follow me on Twitter, too, at @jsyadao, if that's your social media cup of tea. Here we go!