[Kawaii Kon 2010] Train of memories

April 25th, 2010

It’s been a week already since Kawaii Kon ended, yet here at Otaku Central it feels like the memories haven’t really stopped flowing yet. Part of it is because tag-team partner in fandom Wilma Jandoc and I are still sharing little moments here and there; part of it is because of all of the video and picture galleries that are popping up around the Internet; and part of it is because I still have hours and hours of panel audio to sort through. I’m hoping to get a few panel write-ups posted by the time I fly off to FanimeCon next month — yes, people of San Jose, Calif., I’ll be vacationing in your fair city around Memorial Day weekend. So buy up those Super Eurobeat CD compilations from the Bay Area Kinokuniyas now, because in all likelihood they won’t be there after I leave. Just sayin’.

When I returned to the office on Thursday, I heard a common question from a number of coworkers: “Hey! We read your blog! We saw the pictures! So where’s the picture of you and Wilma cosplaying?” I kept everyone happy by showing them this then-unpublished picture on my laptop. But for those of you who don’t work here, here’s that heretofore missing piece of our con-going story:

That would be Wilma in a lolita-style dress and me dressed up as Maxwell, the main character in the Nintendo DS game Scribblenauts. Upon seeing this picture, Gary Chun, the official editor of Cel Shaded and Drawn & Quartered, told me, “Umm, no offense, but Wilma looks cuter.” I … would have to agree.

As far as I can tell, the LoLpups! Flickr stream from nemu*nemu‘s Audra Furuichi and Scott Yoshinaga is the only online source I know of to capture all three of the outfits I wore over the weekend. For the record, the costumes were a loose tribute to their plush pup creation Nemu on Friday; Maxwell on Saturday; and … ummm … cosplay photographer Jason Nishi on Sunday. Umm, yeah. That’s it.

A few more examples of cosplay better than mine:

Giant Totoros wandering the hallways are always awesome.

As are giant Final Fantasy cactaurs.

And so are couples who dress up as Pokemon’s Team Rocket and dress up their uber-cute baby as Meowth.

In fact, let’s just confirm this right now: On the heels of the recent release of Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver, and a future with Pokemon Black and White in store, we love our Pokemon. And our Ash and Misty cosplays.

Also, when your cosplay’s good enough to have no less than Appleseed director Shinji Aramaki want to take a picture of it, you chose a really nice outfit.

Then there was a cute moment that I missed seeing in person but heard about at closing ceremonies. At the “Ask an Anime Character” panel on Saturday, Derick Ching proposed to his girlfriend, Tina Harwood. The big moment, shown above, was captured by YouTube user straytracer and shared with the world with their blessing. Congratulations, Derick and Tina!

Speaking of things missed, if you weren’t able to attend Friday’s opening ceremonies, embedded above is a high-quality version of the opening AMV (anime music video). Just insert fangirlish screaming at the beginning with Vic Mignogna’s turn as Vampire Knight’s Zero and when Pikachu and Edward Elric show up in the video, and it’ll be just like you were watching it live in the main events room!

Another moment from the opening ceremonies that doesn’t seem to have been posted on YouTube — until now, by yours truly! — was this quick Vic Mignogna-led audience tribute to voice actress Wendy Powell, who was celebrating her birthday over the weekend. I certainly hope this clip meets with her approval, as she spent most of her panel Saturday repeating the assertion that she hate hate hate hate hates YouTube because of the way some of her not-for-YouTube stories have nevertheless made their way to the video service. (That was also the reason she cited for pulling out of the “uncensored” 18-and-older panel with Johnny Yong Bosch later that Saturday.) She said it often enough that some enterprising video editor could have started an entire YouTube meme around it. (No one has. Yet.)

While it was Powell’s first time in Hawaii, artists Robert and Emily DeJesus returned to Kawaii Kon after taking a year off due to the death of Robert’s sister. It was great to have them back — they raised money for the Hawaii Foodbank throughout the weekend, and I had a nice chat with Robert on Sunday about various video games. And while they took home one passenger — that is, indeed, a plush panda from PMBQ Studios that Emily was clutching during Sunday’s closing ceremonies — they’ll probably bring another passenger next year. Emily’s pregnant.

Finally, I have to compliment the various artists who contributed once more to the annual art auction and banner. There were some nice pieces available for anyone who wanted to bid on them, as seen above …

… and for those who wanted to create their own memories for free, there was that option as well.

And I must say, there were some really nice memories from this year.

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