By Jason S. Yadao
Hey, regular Otaku Ohana readers: Jason Genegabus over at our entertainment website, Honolulu Pulse, asked me to write something wrapping up this year's Kawaii Kon, and I was happy to oblige. You can find that write-up, "Kawaii Kon 2013: 10 Memorable Moments," here: http://www.honolulupulse.com/sa/kawaii-kon-2013-10-memorable-moments
There were far more than 10 memorable moments, of course. I hope to share more of what I saw in the days and weeks ahead. But yesterday morning, as I was browsing through my Facebook news feed, one post in particular -- made to the Kawaii Kon page -- caught my attention. And had I known about it when I was writing the Pulse article Sunday night, it easily would have made my list.
The story is by cosplayer Jayson Semetara; the picture, by Mark Parel. Here it is, reprinted in full:
Kawaii Kon weekend is always fun and joyous with lots of happy memories, but I think this pic tops them all.
While waiting for friends during their Pokemon shoot, this woman was walking around the convention center with her grandpa and stopped in front of me. The man suffers from dementia, and according to the woman his memory is slowly slipping away. However, when he saw me in my Gatchaman costume, he stopped and smiled at me, even shook and held my hand tightly. He even slightly said "Gatchaman!" to me. After taking the photo, his smile was really big, as if he was meeting a celebrity. Later that day, I bumped into the woman again, and she thanked me for the photo op. She said she never saw her grandpa smile that big in months and that he was humming the theme song after leaving.
....it's memories like this that make me want to put on a costume.
As of this morning, the post had garnered 66 "likes" on Jayson's Facebook page and 170 on Kawaii Kon's page, and had been shared dozens of times. Mark added in comments: "I had to take that photo. The sparkle in his eyes and his genuine smile should make everyone understand why we cosplay..."
Confession time: There are times every now and then when I wonder why I keep writing this blog. There are times when I wonder if there is anyone out there reading my words, aside from the few hard-core readers that I know I have. (Quick side note: Hi, Parv and Dan! Nice meeting you over the weekend! Hope you had a good time!) And then stories like these come along, and I remember once again that I do this because I love sharing stories like these.
Heroes do walk among us. Jayson's certainly one of mine.