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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Kawaii Kon 2010 attracts UHWO students

Alex Hirata
Reader Submitted

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Girls dressed up along with others in the Kawaii Kon event

Photo By Roland Gaoiran

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This year Kawaii Kon took place at the Hawaii Convention Center near Ala Moana in April. This is a special event which involved all anime (Japanese cartoon) fans ranging from young toddlers to middle-aged that have come from all over Hawaii to gather and participate in order to celebrate the 5th anniversary of Kawaii Kon since it opened. The KK was held from April 16th to the 18th as a 3-day event.

The majority of its participants consists of high school students and college undergraduates who have been exposed to some sort of anime within their lifetime. Several UHWO students have been spotted participating in the event. They would spend the entire day shopping for goods, watching events/competition, or just go around taking pictures with other people. There was a professor from the university that was also in charge of the maid cafe that was hosted in one of the rooms during the event.

They express their spirit of being anime fans by dressing up as a favorite character from one of the anime series or just simply come to participate and purchase merchandise. Most of them come with their friends to enjoy their time together while going around each of the rooms in the convention center which is dedicated to a specific activity.

Kawaii Kon is an anime convention mainly focused on Japanese related animation and its related activities such as comics, commercial goods, and its culture. The word Kawaii in Japanese means cute or adorable while the Kon is another way of saying Con or convention. Their main focus is to spread the growth of this event to others who don't know of it and expand their network with other Japanese related industries in Hawaii.

Within the Hawaii convention, there were a variety of activities which included very artistic drawings, playing various videos with anime, live concerts with special bands that come directly from Japan, special guests interviews, cosplay (costume dress up) contests, dealer's room (room filled with commercial goods and other related products), karaoke competition, gallery arts, maid-cafe, and more.

The primary reason to participate in the Kawaii Kon is to have fun. Some people have spent as much as $600 on goods and services alone. Most people have taken the time and dedication to save up their money all year long solely just to spend on this once a year event.

Other than the various activities being held, there is a food stand where anime fans can buy their food close by, sit down and eat, and have fun. There are rules, regulations, and policies to abide by which increases people to enjoy their time there and lowering the risks of anyone getting hurt. If by any chance they do incur a small injury there was a special aid center to take care of those minor problems.