Monday, March 25, 2013

Kawaii Kon 2013

In what is probably the most impulsive thing I've ever done, we bought tickets to go to Hawaii last weekend for a convention.   Specifically, Honolulu's Kawaii Kon anime convention.

To our credit, tickets were at a pretty much all-time low of $330 dollars (after taxes and such).  You can't beat that. And for further justification, it's always good for Sak to see his parents and family, right? :)

So we flew out Friday morning, and arrived in the afternoon in time to grab some lunch, check into the Ala Moana hotel, and stand in line for con registration.  Now, based on Fanime's 6 hour line, and Otakon's 2 hour line, I figured we'd be standing in line for at least an hour. (For reference, Kawaii Kon is about 1/4 of the size of fanime, this year there were about 7,000 attendees.)

But, not so! Here was our reg line:
Yeah, that would be, what, 2 or 3 people ahead of us?! 
 I fell in love at once.  And basically this trend continued all weekend. No lines for anything! And if there was a line, it wasn't that bad at all, and even if we were in the back, we still got in. Loooove.

The convention center was beautiful, and quite large.  The convention barely used a quarter of the premises, so there's plenty of room to grow (which I hear they will be doing next year, yay!).

Fun fact: the convention center was also used as the "airport" in LOST.

 My favorite room was the video theater. Because it was an actual theater layout, with tiered seating.  So nice not to have to worry about a tall or costumed head sitting in front of you!  We got there an hour early for their AMV contest (always our convention favorite), but of course that wasn't needed. So we watched a documentary on Taiko drumming in Hawaii while we waited, haha. The AMVs were really well done (better than last year's Fanime, shocking!), but I think it's because you don't have to be present to win. Most of the winners submitted online and never actually attended the con.  Which I liked for the wider range of entries, but I feel like there should have been a "local" or "attendee" award to be fair to those that did spend money to come.

They had the usual rooms - panels, videogaming, table top, artist alley and dealer hall.

Taken in AA on the last day - it was full though!
Something new, they had impromptu art contests! I'm too chicken for contests but it looked fun!
Concert in the main hall
Random water cooler - loved that it had a cozy, hahaha.
I didn't take too many pictures of cosplayers, and there weren't actually all that many.  We did a casual cosplay of Plusle and Minun from Pokemon since I didn't want to bring anything too weird in our carry-on luggage! Imagine the TSA having to go through a full costume? Haha!

This Dalek was the best :)

The 501st was there too! I've never seen them officially represented at a con before, so that was cool.  They were allowing little kids to try and shoot the stormtrooper guy with a nerf gun :)
Cardboard was actually a very popular cosplay construction material!

Anyway, I don't think it'd be possible to have a better located convention.  First of all, it's Hawaii. Insta-points. Secondly, it's so centrally located.  There's the convention center, hotel (with microwave and fridge), gigantic Ala Moana Mall (and amazing food court and restuarants and grocery stores of awesomeness), and the BEACH. All within one block or so from each other.
Loco moco, complete with orchid!
Breadfruit at the con
Sign to not eat that breadfruit
I didn't buy too much stuff there though, since I planned to use up all my remaning carry-on space for more important things..*cough* food *cough*.  But I did get a little bit of cute swag (mostly for my sis):
Had to buy the sticky tabs. My name and all, lol.

The hard rock pin was made as the official pin of the convention.
Anyway, I thought this convention was amazing, especially given how small it was.  I definitely want to make this an annual thing, if the finances and vacation time are there. And it was pretty clean! There were lots of kids there, and most conventions aren't very family-friendly (bad language, lots of skin, etc).  This one was though, kinda refreshing!

Anyone want to go with us next year? Haha!


  1. I will always accept an invitation to Hawaii :) Looks like a great time, and I'm glad you were able to get away on short notice!

  2. WHAT! So jelly!!! Hawaii... sigh. Looks like a fun time! :) That koala in a teacup is so cute!! :)

  3. This looks AWESOME!!! You had me at Hawaii, but I love the family-friendly aspect of it. And I have to say, last-minute trips are awesome because there's no antsy waiting for travel day to arrive! =) The Loco Moco picture made me drool.

  4. awesome trip! $330 is pretty unbeatable. glad you guys had a great time!

  5. Gah. Absolutely jealous. Sounds like you had a lot of fun! I didn't think it was really small; I saw the posts on Tumblr and it looked HUGE.

    Can't wait for next year, once I start living in San Diego and will finally have access to Comic-Con and AnimeExpo. :D

    Speaking of events, will you go to SF's Sakura Festival this year? :D

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