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 …