Student’s idea grows into Anime Social
IN JUST A FEW years of existence, Kawaii Kon arguably has become the social event of the year for local anime fans, a place where people can show off their favorite costumes in widespread cosplay, have fun and hang out with people with similar interests.
Yet this sort of large-scale gathering happens only once a year. While there are smaller groups meeting throughout the year, there hasn't been another opportunity to bring everyone together for an event celebrating all things anime. Three days of Kawaii Kon leaves 362 days free out of the rest of the year, after all.
It was a void that home-schooled high school junior Maria Harr, president and founder of the Lost in Cosplay group, felt needed to be filled after she attended Kawaii Kon for the first time last year. Looking at postings on online forums strengthened her resolve.
"Seeing how many other people had the idea for a gathering made me wonder why there weren't any," Harr told me via e-mail. "At least none that I've heard of. Then I understood why. Someone had to step up and start one."
Thus the seeds were planted for what eventually would become the Anime Social, an evening of dancing, cosplay, anime music video screenings and a quick video game tournament. The event will be held Oct. 3, from 5 to 10 p.m. in the meeting room at the Aiea Public Library, 99-143 Moanalua Road.
While Harr's mom and the secretary/treasurer of her club advised her on some of the finer points of organizing the event, she carried out most of the legwork in putting the event together herself.
"At first I thought I wouldn't be able to do it, seeing as how I'm only in high school, but then it just happened," Harr said. "I found a place to have it, timed everything, got volunteers, decided on prizes and events, and all those minuscule details that no one but the organizer realizes have to be dealt with. And before I even noticed it, my idea had turned into a reality. Now I just have to wait for October and hope for the best."
Joining in on the fun will be the Oahu Anime Explorer gang, who will be hosting a "name that anime character" game similar to that seen on the Japanese game show "Challengers of Fire."
For those of you who missed that segment -- and how could you; the show, which airs on KIKU-TV Fridays from 8 to 9 p.m., is just must-see TV in general -- 100 people in a room, including anime fans and a few voice actors, were asked to name 100 anime characters, with $10,000 on the line. The last contestant was eliminated at character number 89, so no one won the prize.
Unlike "Challengers," there won't be $10,000 at stake. But at least there will be a winner in this game. You also won't have to go solo in this game like the "Challengers" contestants, as teams of two will be vying for the prize. Sounds like fun.
For more information, contact Harr at firstname.lastname@example.org ...
Cel Shaded, a look at the world of Japanese anime and manga, appears every Monday. Reach Jason S. Yadao