Otaku Ohana

Kawaii Kon reaches out to Oni-Con Hawaii attendees

September 14th, 2014

This post is coming to you from Otaku Ohana Mobile HQ, a different room at the Ala Moana Hotel than in April, yet with the same lovely view of the yacht harbor between the Hawaii Prince Hotel and another building, the name of which I still wouldn't be able to tell you without Googling it first.

kawaii-kon-logoThe last time your friendly neighborhood anime/manga blogger stayed here, as you might have figured out if you deigned to click on that link above, was for Kawaii Kon. This time? It's just a humbler staycation retreat, some time to relax and catch up and plot out a few more work-intensive posts for down the line. And yet somehow, Kawaii Kon has managed to generate some news that's drawn me back to the keyboard sooner than I expected. It feels somewhat ... appropriate, in a way.

On Sunday afternoon, Kawaii Kon posted a rather lengthy update to its Facebook page. The big big news, which I won't be going into much detail here because we barely have enough time to cover all things anime/manga/cartooning, never mind adding sci-fi to the mix, is that the dates for sister sci-fi spinoff Hoku Kon have been set. The preview day will be Dec. 7 at the Doubletree Alana Waikiki's Pikake Room, while the full convention is happening July 24-26 at the Hawai'i Convention Center. (Side note: I haven't really heard anything bad coming out of the just-completed first edition of HawaiiCon, the sci-fi convention on Hawaii island held over the weekend, so it looks like we may have another winner there. They have dates for next year, too: Sept. 10-13.)

But then there's the matter of the final two paragraphs, which directly addresses the silent elephant in the room on the local convention scene: Oni-Con Hawaii. Right now, given what we've seen in May (original post here, reactions here) and in August, I'd be very surprised to see anything emerge from the brand this year ... or ever again, for that matter. Here's what Kawaii Kon had to say about the situation:

On another note, last year when we heard that Oni-Con Texas expanding their convention to Hawaii under the title of OniCon Hawaii, we wished them the best of luck in their new adventure. As a first year convention, OniCon Hawaii did an admirable job overcoming many challenges. Right now it looks like there may not be another OniCon Hawaii this year and we think that is unfortunate for the fans. As much as a convention puts in work to make a successful event, the fans too put in a lot of effort and planning as well. 

While we don’t have any contact with the main organizers of OniCon Hawaii, we at Kawaii Kon wanted to see if there was anything we could do for the fans that were looking forward to OniCon Hawaii 2014. What we came up with was this: If you pre-registered for OniCon 2014 and bring proof to our Windward Mall Anime Day on October 11, 2014 we will give you a free DVD (while supplies last).

So, would-have-been Oni-Con attendees (or even those of you who've been keeping an eye on this whole situation from afar): What do you think of the offer? I'd love to hear your reactions, whether in comments below or over on Facebook.

4 Responses to “Kawaii Kon reaches out to Oni-Con Hawaii attendees”

  1. Christina:

    What DVDs are these? You know what would be super cool is if Kawaii Kon offered a discount on their entrance tickets.


  2. William Doc Grant:

    I agree! Or a discount if you were planning to become a vendor. The only proof many attendees who paid cash have is a pair of unused tickets give out by the Onicon prereg booth, run by the mainland Onicon rep when I went there, no reciepts, just tickets you bring with you to the 2014 badge pick up for the 2014 show. They offered 3 days for 20 bucks ahead.


  3. Steve Okubo:

    Those who know me know that when I get involved in public events, it's always for the benefit of those who come to see it. During my years as a suit actor at local appearances and live shows for Toei's tokusatsu
    superheroes (Kikaida, Kamen Rider, Inazuman, etc), it was always solely for the smiles we brought to our keiki (both young and old) when they got to meet their heroes.

    Those who are involved in the anime/cosplay world, locally, know my situation with the parent Oni Con, but with OniCon Hawaii 2013, as with the suit acting gigs, it was always for the benefit of our wonderful local fans...it was all about the attendees and we worked our hardest to give them the best convention we could. The fans always came first.

    It is my belief that you should love people, not use them.

    While this DVD offer does seem like a nice gesture from a convention that owes nothing to anyone who pre-registered for what they saw as a competing event, I have a couple of thoughts on the matter.

    One is, as others have mentioned to me, I hope this DVD (or, more likely, selection of DVDs) being offered are good titles that people actually would seek after and not just some old, dead promo stock that they have no way to get rid of anyway. If it's the latter, then their offer makes for good media coverage and superficial image enhancement, but doesn't really benefit anyone else. Kawaii Kon definitely has the means and the contacts to make this giveaway DVD something really good. Let's hope the DVD title(s) will be good ones and not something as disappointing as their "awardless" Cosplay Masquerade of 2014.

    But, if Kawaii Kon really wants to "reach out" to the OniCon Hawaii pre-registrants, a better gesture of goodwill and, really, of giving back to those who've supported Kawaii Kon for 10+ years, would be to do as we did, at OniCon Hawaii 2013. We didn't need to either, but we arranged, with one of our partners, to honor pre-registrations from the defunct HEXXP, as a show of goodwill to our local fans, to show that we cared about them. All they had to do was show the proof of their HEXXP pre-registration, and we gave them a pass equal to what they bought. It certainly cost us some in ticket sales, but to me, it was well worth it, if we could make a bad situation better for those fans.


  4. joshua:

    Steve,

    I don't think I ever once saw anything from Oni-con last year that said you would honor pre-reg for HEXXP, where was that announcement made?


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