Kawaii-Kon 2016

Full disclosure. I’m actually not a huge anime and manga person. I grew up watching and reading western-style comics and cartoons and generally gravitate towards those. But I do love conventions and Kawaii Kon is arguably Hawaii’s biggest fan convention (short of Amazing Honolulu Comic-Con).

This was the second time covering the event for the newspaper and even though it was work, I still had a great time.

What I love about Kawaii Kon (or any fan convention really) is it’s a great opportunity for fans to let go of reality for a little while and cosplay as their favorite characters. It’s a great way to express yourself artistically.

The Kon is generally themed around Japanese animation and manga so many of the art and cosplayers one would find focus more on those characters.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t any cosplayers from video games or western comics / shows either. (So many Deadpools!)

The theme of my video was to focus on cosplayers themselves and why they decided to dress as their favorite characters.

Because I’d covered Kawaii Kon before, I worked in a much more streamlined fashion this time, electing to move fast and agile. Along with the XA-20 video camera, I tested my Canon SL1’s video capabilities for b-roll and exterior shots.

Using the DSLR was a great opportunity to test my video shooting skills since I shot mostly in manual. More than once, I had to change either the aperture or the ISO to fit the appropriate lighting, which was not particularly great.

Bringing two lenses, an 18-55 STM and a 55-200 STM covered pretty much all the range I needed, though I would’ve liked to have used the Sigma 17-50 f/2.8 (stupid $400 price tag).

Here’s where I have to make a side note.

During my video I said that the more elaborate costumes are generally bought. Unfortunately, this upset a lot of cosplayers who claim that they don’t buy their costumes but put a lot of hard work into creating them. By saying that they were bought, I apparently was undermining the legitimacy of their art.

Now, here’s the thing. I’m not a cosplayer, so I’m a bit of an outsider in that world. But I can see why someone would get upset. No one wants to feel like their artwork isn’t legitimate (except professional e-sports) so if I did offend anyone, just know I didn’t mean to do it.

Alright, apology done.

Overall, the experience was fun! There wasn’t anything really new about the convention from last year, but I had a fun enough time going around, filming various cosplayers. But sadly, with all the filming I was doing I didn’t actually have time to enjoy the convention, see any panels or do any shopping (though some of the stuff is so overpriced anyway, maybe it’s a good thing I didn’t blow my money).

Would I cover the event again next year? We’ll see.


Published by stonthat

Video Reporter and videographer at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Lover of comics, beginning photographer, master foodie.

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