Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Kawaii Kon 2014

So this was my first year attending the Hawaii Convention Center's Kawaii Kon. If you're unfamiliar with Kawaii Kon it is basically a extremely large convention about Anime, Video games, Manga, Otaku stuff etc with guest from the mainland and Japan. The guess consist of Voice actors/actresses, artists and all sorts of talents. 

"Kawaii Kon is a 3 day Anime Convention and Conference dedicated to creating a broader awareness of, and appreciation for Japanese animation by celebrating the richness of the artform. 

Through cooperation with the community, Kawaii Kon hopes to facilitate growth of the anime, manga and related industries in Hawaii and beyond. In addition to providing a central event for fans and enthusiasts, Kawaii Kon seeks to become a vehicle for sharing and disseminating industry information. Kawaii Kon also provides the community and related industries the opportunity to network and conduct business.

Since our first convention in 2005, Kawaii Kon has grown to include thousands of annual attendees. Fans, artists and industry guests gather from all over the world for the 3-Day extravaganza.

 says the Kawaii Kon Official Home page.

When I was younger I enjoyed anime, but then I got busy with school, work, performing you know that kind of stuff. So when I attended I was so lost in what was going on. 

The first thing that I noticed was that a lot of people were in Cosplay. "Cosplay (コスプレ kosupure?), short for"costume play", is a performance art or hobby in which participants wear costumes andaccessories to represent a specific character or idea that is usually identified with a unique name," - Wikipedia
So since most people were in Cosplay I didn't feel too out of place when I wore my Kimono.

The opening ceremonies were pretty cool, everyone seemed so enthusiastic and supportive that the atmosphere was  just glowing! They also had a very famous guest there who isn't quite a real person. It's hard to explain but her name is "Hatsune Miku," she is a vocaloid. Oh gosh this is hard to explain, but it's a 3D person projected onto a special screen that makes an Anime girl with long light blue flowing hair appear as if she were really standing there in front of everyone.

I didn't even get into what I was doing there! haha Bryson (cousin) introduced me to the Convention because he had been attending for 6 years now. He told me that there is a Karaoke Competition and you know how competitive that I become. So earlier this year in March I auditioned with Sakamoto Fuyumi's Yozakura Oshichi and my audition group was then broken up into 3 top singers.

How to competition worked. January, February, and March held the Karaoke competition audition. Each group is then broken into 3 top singers, so once you pass the audition you are sent to the semi-finals at Kawaii Kon where the 9 remaining singers are then broken once again into a group of 3 singers. 

(From Left to Right) 
Judge - Cloud Cordill
Contestant - Matthew Miyasaka
Contestant - Taryn Takebayashi
Me~~~
Judge - Hannah Cordill
Judge - Alli Adachi
I won with Mononoke Hime (Anime) theme song, and Bokyo Jonkara by Hosokawa Takashi. I won such a cute gift with was what the box read as "smorkin labit." Basically it's a doll of a rabbit smoking that you could sign with a sharpie pen. My judges were Alli Adachi, Cloud Wheeler, and Hanna Cordill. My competition was two others; a beautiful young girl named Taryn Takebayashi and a young man named Matthew Miyasaka. Taryn had been trained in opera music thus she could hit the whistle register and had a awesome operatic vocal technique. Matthew had forgotten his CD so he had to sing acapella; he sang one of my favorite songs Sen no Kaze ni natte. Acapella is very hard keeping rhythm and key is very hard but he pulled it through and did an excellent job!

Kawaii Kon was awesome, Catherine Apina (Grandma), and Amy Katsumoto also came along to support me and to check everything out. Bryson and I stayed at the Ala Moana hotel and out microwave broke... but that's a different story!

Before I went to Kawaii Kon I said that I wasn't going to spend too much but on the first day I spent $200.. So much for saving money. At the end of the weekend Bryson and I both spent a collective amount of $500.
Was is worth it? YES! I will definitely be going once more next year!


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