A Peek Into The Japanese World Of Anime

Editor’s note: Below is a special report to the Windward Islander on the March 16-18 Kawaii Kon anime convention in Honolulu, written by Le Jardin Academy seventh-graders Niki Tsubota and Alyssa Manley.

Kawaii Kon, the only anime convention in Hawaii, is an amazing event. Each year thousands of people try to make it to all three days every year. Each and every one of those people who attend has an interest in anime and/or manga. (Anime is an animation, or cartoon, while manga is a graphic novel that come in different series, and both originate in Japan).

Kawaii Kon

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Anonymous anime and manga fans getting really into their roles at the Kawaii Kon convention last month in Honolulu. Photo by Alyssa Manley.

All ages come out to the convention, from kids to adults. According to Angel, Kawaii Kon started in 2005 with 2,000-plus people attending. This year, more than 6,000 fans flocked to the Hawaii Convention Center.

I think that Kawaii Kon is really awesome because of the people there: the cosplayers, vendors, people shopping, anime fans waiting in line, supervising, and sitting in the theater laughing. When you see somebody cosplaying (dressing up as a certain anime or manga character) as a character you know or just some random costume that you think is awesome, it makes you release your inner fan-girl or fan-boy and lets you have a better time.

The cosplayers sometimes get so into their character and role-play (pretend to be a certain character from a movie or book and act out a bunch of scenes), or they cosplay and role-play in groups with their friends!

For those of us who are near broke from digging into the money we saved from doing chores and babysitting – that guy selling T-shirts, wallets and a bunch of other cool stuff keeps bugging you to buy it and, well, the experience just keeps getting better! Maybe you are trying to watch one of the many anime movies with your friends, and you hear a bunch of people laughing behind you. All of these people and more make Kawaii Kon, Kawaii Kon.

Oh, and don’t forget the actors and guests. The people whom you just want to hug as you squeal and yell out, “I LOVE YOU!” They make waiting in those never-ending lines SO worth it. Just to get a picture with them or a video of them saying a favorite quote from a movie makes the whole experience brighter. You might even beg your best friend to stand in the hourlong line just to have more of your stuff autographed.

Kawaii Kon is an amazing event that will keep you thinking about what you should cosplay as next year or what to buy or maybe even how to schedule your time better so that you can absorb every moment of the three-day weekend.

Or maybe it reminds you that you need to bring more money with you when you recall spending all of your cash before lunchtime. Oh, that reminds me, I need to go buy my next costume and look at the schedule again.