Anime Matsuri Hawaii cancels 2016 convention

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One of the biggest burning questions of Con-athon 2016 — aside from “Can our otaku community really support six major conventions in one year?” and “Should I get the Cardcaptor Sakura Blu-ray box set or four Nendoroid figures?” — has been “What’s going on with Anime Matsuri Hawaii?”

Sure, there was the promise that they would be back this year, made — as these promises usually are — at the end of last November’s show. But while Kawaii Kon, Amazing Hawaii Comic Con, Comic Con Honolulu, HawaiiCon and Anime Ohana were announcing dates and/or fleshing out their guest lists, AMHI had … well, that promise, along with a few occasional “hi, this page is still being updated, at least!” types of updates on the Facebook fan page. And people were starting to wonder about what was going on. And wonder some more. And some more. And … well, let’s just say I broke out the popcorn (with mochi crunch and furikake!) for the most recent flare-up. I was getting a lot of behind-the-scenes, off-the-record buzz speculating on what was going on, but there really wasn’t anything formal.

That changed tonight, when AMHI co-chairman Deneice Leigh posted this statement:

In the interest of the restructuring and expansion of Anime Matsuri Houston, we have decided not to host Anime Matsuri Hawaii this year. This was an extremely difficult decision to make. However, with our anticipated growth and changes this year, it is necessary for us to give our full focus to the Houston show in order to provide our attendees with the best experience possible. We are incredibly grateful for the support and enthusiasm from our Hawaii fans and staff, and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience. John and I were honored to host our show in beautiful Honolulu, and we look forward to potentially returning in 2017.

As a thank you to everyone who has been with us, we are offering a 15% discount to Anime Matsuri Houston 2017. The discount code will be sent out to all who registered to AM Hawaii last year.

More historical perspective and analysis to come …

4 thoughts on “Anime Matsuri Hawaii cancels 2016 convention”

  1. I truly feel for the con staff gagged by their non disclosure agreements. They should have been able to disclose that the con would not hapen far earlier. The Mochi Crunch Thread has many interesting twists and turns… The important thing to remember is despite it all, they have fans that care. That there is a trifecta with AHCC 2.1 and Anime Ohana within a month of each other, and now with a new con in Nov 2017 (Supernatural Con at the HHV) the money pie shrinks badly. Kids and vendors have to pick and choose in the busy Holiday season where to spend their hard earned kala and get the best bang for the buck. Opening on Black Friday may not have been the best start for AMHI. Their staff is dedicated and the congoers certainly had fun last year. Maybe the staff can set up s series of small shows and events, and gradually bring together a local centric con that celebrates Hawaii’s comic and manga creators, cosplayers and gamers. We of good talent, and a small show would fit right into con season.

  2. Any caps of the links in the fan page? I was thinking of checkin AMHI out eventually but heard that the organizers had some scandals or something?

  3. I’m glad AMHI has folded and I fully believe their plans to “restructure and expand” AM Houston are just a polite way of saying that John and Denise have run out of people to steal from in Hawaii.

    I guess their particular brand of grifting doesn’t work that well when you’re dealing with a smaller, more closely knit community rather than being one of the millions in Houston.

    Still, quite generous of them to offer a whopping 15% off the con ticket. I know fans are just dying to spend a couple of grand flying to the mainland to witness firsthand how not to run a convention.

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