Dawn of an anime con: Aloha, Anime Matsuri Hawaii

Today in Otaku Ohana, we’re considering the countdown, that string of ever-declining numbers that leads to the launching of a spaceship, the naming of the top something of something, a victory in sports, a new year, breaking the walls doooooown, whatever you prefer. One of the first posts in Otaku Ohana version 1.0, in fact, was about a countdown. (Now that I think about it, I don’t think I ever figured out what that countdown was counting down to. That’s going to bother me now.)

In any event, countdowns build anticipation. We see them all the time. And hey, there just happens to be one with local implications running right now.

Here’s what you’ll see right now at hawaii.animematsuri.com (albeit with more time off the clock).

Screen shot 2015-03-10 at 2.15.54 PM

Indeed, as this and a teaser video posted on Anime Matsuri founder/chairman Deneice “Trinity” Leigh’s Facebook page have revealed, we’re getting another anime convention in Honolulu: Anime Matsuri Hawaii, an offshoot of a Houston-based con that, since it began in 2007, has grown into the city’s largest anime con and the ninth largest in North America. Here’s what we know so far:

  • It’ll be held sometime in November
  • It has a website, dedicated Twitter and Facebook accounts and links to the parent con’s YouTube and Instagram accounts

… that’s pretty much it for now. The countdown for the website’s formal launch leads to 9 p.m. Sunday, when I’d expect we’d see the when and where and maybe even who’s showing up to this shindig.

It remains to be seen on which end of the convention spectrum Anime Matsuri Hawaii will land. Kawaii Kon, of course, has been around for a decade, and HawaiiCon, the sci-fi convention on Hawaii island, is looking very strong going into its second year. (I mean, heck, they announced Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry’s son, Rod, as a guest on Tuesday.) But on the flip side, the Hawaii Entertainment Expo (HEXXP) lasted only three years with modest attendance before folding. And we can’t forget about the last longtime anime con from Texas that showed up in Hawaii, Oni-Con, which staged one event before dissolving into a haze of mysteries and silence. With the arrivals of Hoku Kon in July and the Amazing Hawaii Comic Con in September, we’re also about to see whether the crossover fan base for anime/manga, comic and sci-fi culture can support five conventions in a year, four on one island. If you’re one of those people who can attend all five, I salute your enthusiasm (and humbly ask if you can send me some reports and pictures, because I certainly don’t have the time/money/energy to do so).

I’ll see about getting some answers from the people involved in the weeks ahead. For now, though? I have some interviews I need to transcribe. Pretty good ones, too. It’s the crazy busy season here at Otaku Ohana Central, and we’re trying our best to get stuff out to y’all.

4 thoughts on “Dawn of an anime con: Aloha, Anime Matsuri Hawaii”

  1. Anime Matsuri gives me a reason to visit Honolulu twice a year. As for cons like Hoku Kon & Hawaii Con, they need to be on my side of Hawai’i to even bother to think about them.

    1. @parv: Not sure if I asked you this before — if I did, I apologize — but is HawaiiCon, based in Waikoloa, too far a haul for you? Just curious. You’re around Hilo, yes?

  2. With a name similar to my handle, I’ll have to attend this!

    Other than that, this reminds me of a time maybe 10 years back when it seemed like every major network and a few minor ones had a TV show filmed here at about the same time. Nearly all of them were cancelled in 1 season or less with the lone survivor(LOST) going the distance.

    No doubt with attendance numbers Kawaii Kon keeps pulling off each year, people are starting to pay attention. I think the really smart ones in the future will try what Hawaii Con did and hold their conventions on islands that are NOT Oahu. Lots of stars make their home on Kauai & Maui for instance.

  3. In short, no, yes, & yes. I personally don’t care to drive more than 30-45 minutes. For any longer, I would need a mighty compelling reason, say substantial anime related content. (HawaiiCon is currently focussed on sci-fi AFAIC, with few anime things on the side.)

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