Kawaii Kon grows for 2006
The second annual Kawaii Kon anime convention at the Ala Moana Hotel may be a little less than half a year away, but planning has been in motion ever since the last day of this year's event in April.
At the end of that show, organizers hosted an open forum where attendees could make suggestions on what they wanted to see next year. They wanted more stuff -- more rooms screening anime, more dealers selling various anime and manga tchotchkes, more video games, more, more, more.
Ask, and you shall receive: Kawaii Kon 2006 will have a larger main video room, more exhibitors and a separate video game room, according to convention co-founder Stan Dahlin.
This growth can be credited to increased interest in next year's show.
"(Pre-registration) is up from the previous year by a large amount -- 150 to be exact," Dahlin wrote to me via e-mail. "Last year by this time we were at 25 pre-reg members. We are expecting as much, if not more, than what we had this past year. To accommodate this larger attendance we have reserved nearly the entire meeting space floor of the Ala Moana Hotel."
As for the industry guests, ADV producer David Williams -- free giveaways and his notorious "Suck Bunny" in tow -- voice actress Jennifer Sekiguchi, and artist Robert DeJesus and his wife, Emily, are confirmed as returning guests. Vic Mignogna (the English dub voice of Edward Elric in "Fullmetal Alchemist") and "Usagi Yojimbo" artist Stan Sakai will be putting in first-time appearances.
More guests and activities are sure to be announced in coming months; Dahlin hinted to me that talks are ongoing with other potential guests. A question-and-answer session with the Kawaii Kon directors is scheduled for Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m. at the Ala Moana Hotel's second-floor Carnation Room for people who want to get the latest lowdown. Or check www.kawaiikon.com for updates.
, a look at the world of Japanese anime and manga, appears every Monday. E-mail Jason S. Yadao at firstname.lastname@example.org