[Kawaii Kon 2011] Day 0: Dawn of the Kon

April 29th, 2011

Every time one event ends, anticipation starts building for the next one. Information slowly drips out over the course of a year, and an eager fan base gobbles up every little tidbit like pieces of yummy chocolate. It’s one of the most eagerly awaited

And now, the main event — or at least preregistration for it … has finally arrived.

Of course you know I’m talking about … the 26th Hawaii World Class Wedding Expo.

… oops, sorry. I give you … the 2011 Honolulu National College Fair.

… no, sorry, getting distracted here. But seriously, this allows me to make a point: While the college fair took place only on Thursday, the wedding expo will be a factor on Friday and Saturday in terms of competition for parking at the Hawai’i Convention Center. Expo hours are 6 to 10 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday; while there will be additional parking opened up at the center, I’d strongly advise you to come early if you’re driving in.

Anyway! Back to Kawaii Kon preregistration. The registration desk opened at 7 p.m.; I arrived at 6:30 p.m., although people could line up as early as 5 a.m. Of course, that meant there were a lot of people already waiting in line.

No, a lot of people.

No, seriously, a whooooooole lot of people.

Fortunately, there were plenty of bags containing the official con program for everyone.

And they were being entertained by the sounds of music from a loop of music videos.

I chatted with Kawaii Kon chairman/founder Stan Dahlin for a bit before the registration desk opened. He told me that the goal this year was to get people in, through and on their way faster than ever before. Mission accomplished … things looked like they were running rather smoothly in the half-hour or so I spent observing the line.

There were a few things that caught my attention in the line. The first was this guy toward the front, who was advertising this nice shirt. Want one? They’ll be available from the RHS Anime Society Club in Artist Alley for $10 each.

And then there was Ivan Sanidad, a UH student who has become a familiar con sight over the years, gathering data about anime and manga fans for a sociology project. He’s back again this year, and he’ll be holding down a table in Artist Alley as well.

But enough about the lines and waiting and whatnot. If you aren’t already burnt out from all the previews I’ve written and posted over the past two weeks, here are a few last-minute bits of news as we head into the convention:

  • I’ve confirmed with Yaya Han that she herself will be in the Dealers Room, selling her cosplay accessories, and you will get to meet her in person. Her Twitter feed’s been quite abuzz about the experience, too.
  • To the list of people with connections to the Star-Advertiser and Oahu Publications who are also tied in with Kawaii Kon inĀ  some way — cartoonists Jon Murakami and Roy Chang at their booths, page designer Joe Guinto’s Shadow of the Colossus artwork being auctioned off for the benefit of tsunami relief, Wilma and I running around like headless chickens trying to take everything in — you can add our busy Buzz-ing business columnist Erika Engle, who’ll have a table in Artist Alley for the first time. Here’s what she told me via email about her handcrafted jewelry, which will include some kumihimo (Japanese braiding) pieces and colorful, chain mail jewelry:

Several of my pieces (which are not yet finally priced), are inexpensive, sparkly beaded necklaces that can double as lanyards for attendees’ KK badges and then fun necklaces for non-Kon wear. (I hope the girly, pink- and lavender-wearing Lolitas will all save a few dollars before getting to my table, near the exit.) Having said that, I do have stuff in all kinds of colors and am still building inventory.

  • Speaking of Jon Murakami, earlier this week he shared with me the regular-edition cover of Gordon Rider issue no. 5, which I’ve posted to the right. Over on the Gordon Rider: the Comic Facebook page, Jon’s also been revealing a bunch of other goodies that will be offered at the convention, including the limited-edition cover (and by the way, the 30 limited-edition copies will come with a free set of four postcards, so the sooner you make your way over to Artist Alley after it opens at 10 a.m. tomorrow, the better), some buttons, and some T-shirts, including a new red T-shirt that features a small picture of a chicken bound by rope. That’s right, folks, this may very well be the only “hen-tie” T-shirt that you can wear in public and not automatically be labeled a perv.
  • And finally: Got a Nintendo 3DS? Enable StreetPass and walk around with your 3DS in sleep mode, and you can pick up my Mii for all your Puzzle Swap and Find Mii needs if I’m in the area. If you have Super Street Fighter IV 3-D Edition with StreetPass enabled, you can also get some free Figure Points by mercilessly beating my figure team to a virtual pulp. I mean, seriously. I’ve only won one match out of seven so far. I’m flailing with finding a winning combination. Heck, I’m not even sure the combination of characters I think I’m using is even being used in matches. I don’t think I’ll figure out anything better by the time the weekend comes around. So fire away.

Check back here all weekend for coverage of all the Kawaii Kon craziness. Looks like it’s going to be another fun year. Exhausting. But fun.

One Response to “[Kawaii Kon 2011] Day 0: Dawn of the Kon”

  1. AniMatsuri:

    Yeah, got there about 18:30 to pick up my pass and the line already stretched around the corner and then some!

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