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POSTED: Thursday, April 02, 2009

Not as mainstream as Halloween, cosplay nevertheless presents gawkers and camera boys and girls with an eyeful of out-of-this-realm fashion conceived for fantasy characters brought to life by those who dwell in the world of imagination.

               

     

 

KAWAII KON 2009

        » Place: Hawaii Convention Center
       

» Time: April 10 to 12

       

» Tickets:

       

3 Day Memberships
        Adult (ages 13 & up) - $50
        Child (ages 6 to 12) - $40
        2 Day Memberships
        Adult (ages 13 & up) - $35
        Child (ages 6 to 12) - $25
        1 Day Memberships
        Adult (ages 13 & up) - $25
        Child (ages 6 to 12) - $15

       

» Information: www.kawaii-kon.org

       

Hundreds of cosplayers will descend on Hawaii Convention Center April 10 to 12 during the 5th annual Kawaii Kon. The event is a celebration of anime, manga and video games, with workshops, collector galleries, and game playing, but simply strolling among the many colorful characters promises to be entertaining.

At a 5th anniversary celebration for Mechahawaii Saturday night, owner Sean Akita hosted a cosplay event that allowed individuals to test their costumes in advance of Kawaii Kon.

Brandon Morishita arrived straight from Power Edge, an Airsoft store, so he was dressed in military gear like a “;Rainbow Six”; video game character.

He's a volunteer for Kawaii Kon and while he does dress up in the spirit of the event sometimes, he'll be working security detail this year and said wearing a costume can be cumbersome.

Kiana Yasana borrowed her costume of Bridget from “;Guilty Gear,”; from a male friend who had worn it to Kawaii Kon last year. (Crossplaying is no biggie in the cosplay world due to the vast numbers of feminine-looking male characters in anime.)

Yasana said she was never big on dressing up, but after attending the first Kon, “;I felt like it was fun. Now, if my friends didn't go, I would still go by myself.”;

She said she doesn't dress up every year because of the expense and planning involved in getting every element of the character correct, down to colored contact lenses that cost $40 to $80. At last year's Kon, many had spent $300 to $500 on their costumes.

“;After Kon I start thinking about what I want to be the next year, but what I want doesn't always happen,”; Yasana said. “;I have to look at the money, look at the people who know how to sew, because I can't sew.”;

Although she's comfortable with dressing up for Kawaii Kon, she doesn't consider herself a cosplayer like those who actually get into character.

“;I think it's weird if you're trying to be someone else.”;

After all his years in the related business of model building and collectibles, Akita said cosplayers still catch him off guard as well.

“;I see all kinds of characters and it kind of freaks me out a little. They act like totally normal people, but once in costume, they're not a normal person.

“;I've dealt with some customers who don't get out of character, but it's the same with every hobby. There's always gonna be that one avid, passionate hobbyist.

“;But that's what we want to do. I'm trying to promote model building, but the store motto is to create, inspire, innovate never imitate and help others to keep the hobby alive and well.”;