The Cel Shaded Report, 2/9: Kawaii Konversation keeps coming

kawaii-kon-logoSo you might have thought that things would settle down after the flurry of news out of the Kawaii Kon kamp … err, camp, last week.

You would be wrong.

That’s because a few days after last week’s Cel Shaded Report, news broke of another guest added to this year’s roster. So say hello to Toshio Furukawa, the Japanese voice of Piccolo in Dragon Ball Z, Freeman in Crying Freeman, Ataru Moroboshi in Urusei Yatsura, Kai Shinden in Mobile Suit Gundam, and several hundred bazillion other classic roles through the years as seen in his Anime News Network encyclopedia entry. He’s been in this voice-acting game since the 1960s, after all, and shows no signs of slowing down. Kawaii Kon will mark Furukawa’s third U.S. anime convention appearance, his most recent being at Sac-Anime in Sacramento, Calif., last month.

Meanwhile, in an announcement that probably fills anyone around the age 18-24 demographic with glee and aging 36-year-old relics like me with dread, there will now be even more convention to enjoy. In what could be considered the biggest expansion to Kawaii Kon since it moved to the Hawai’i Convention Center in 2007, part of the convention will be moving back to the Ala Moana Hotel with the advent of the Kawaii Lounge, a panel room that will have programming from midnight until 4 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. (Yes, I’m aware that the convention itself is noting that this is happening “Friday and Saturday.” I believe this is what they really meant.) Announced events so far include otaku speed dating, a pajama party and cosplay contest, and voice actor Todd Haberkorn’s “unplugged” panel.

Most formal convention events in years past have ended at midnight, so this move effectively adds eight hours of programming to an already packed schedule. Your friendly neighborhood blogger is unsure at this point whether to ask attendees to kindly keep the noise down, or to spring for several bottles of his preferred iced coffee beverage of choice to keep him awake long enough to cover some of the goings on during those late early hours.

Finally, a trio of con-related musical notes:

  • For those of you who fancy yourselves as singers, the second of three preliminary rounds for the Karaoke Kompetition is coming up from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 24, at Orvis Auditorium on the University of Hawaii at Manoa campus. Just submit this form by 11:59 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23, follow the rules on musical accompaniment as laid out on the official preliminary round page, and make your mark (hopefully in a good way and not in the style of those American Idol/X Factor/The Voice/[fill in your TV music competition series of choice here] train-wreck auditions that they always show for comedic effect). Three people will be chosen to move on to the semifinals, and out of the nine people who will be ultimately chosen — three during the previous round, the final three at an upcoming preliminary round to be announced — the winner will receive … something. (Seriously, look at the karaoke finals page. One would think a professional recording session would be included, as it has in past years, but we shall see.)
  • Eyeshine, the band led by voice actor Johnny Yong Bosch, will be filming their new music video on the last day of Kawaii Kon (Sunday, March 17), during the convention’s final hours (3-6 p.m.), in the main events room. (For those of you keeping score, this probably means closing ceremonies won’t start until 6 p.m. at the earliest. Make your dinner plans accordingly.) Want to be part of it? Stop on by. Just be sure to wear clothing with no visible logos. No cosplay will be allowed, either.
  • Advance tickets are now available for the Moonlight Magic Ball, the convention’s formal ballroom dancing event. Cost is $20, a savings of $8 over the at-the-door price. Deadline to reserve online is Feb. 28, though, so you’ll want to get on that sometime in the next few weeks.

Kawaii Kon is happening March 15-17 at the Hawai’i Convention Center; current rates for three-day passes are $48 general, $38 children ages 5-11. Two-day passes just went on sale, too, at $37 general, $27 children ages 5-11. For all your presale needs, visit; general information can be had at

Ota-cool incoming!

Yes, I think I’ve finally come upon a better name for the calendar formerly known as “The Great Calendar of Otakudom.” ‘Course, I could also end up changing this again next week or sometime down the line. You never know. It’s also a bit abbreviated this week because, well, news is happening that must be written up. Hopefully things will die down enough for me to finally write up the additions I’ve been meaning to throw in here sometime next week. We shall see.

MangaBento: This group of anime- and manga-inspired artists usually meets every second and fourth Sunday of the month at the Academy Art Center, 1111 Victoria St., Room 200. Visit Next meeting: 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Madoka Magica double feature: Watch the magical girl saga unfold in one big four-hour, two-film chunk comprising Beginnings and Eternal, Doris Duke Theatre at the Honolulu Museum of Art. Tickets are $20 general admission, $18 museum members. Visit 4 p.m. Feb. 27 and 28.

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