Written by Chris Kwock (@kwock)
Lots of people think of Hawaii as a tropical destination to head to for vacations and beaches and beautiful landscapes. But they also have a very strong geek/cosplay community who like everyone else likes to get together at conventions to show off their geekdom with others of like minds. Onicon Hawaii just finished, and this isn’t to be confused with the Onicon that takes place in Texas. They made a jump across the pond and brought in a first year con to Hawaii. Cosplayers were very happy about this because it just rolled right along after Halloween; suddenly there are 4 days of dressing up! This was definitely a good way to get their much needed fix as sometimes it is hard to travel to other cons. It was a very small con as expected of a first year: 2 panel rooms, 1 vendor room, a maid café, a video game room, and a main events room. I think it surpassed everyone’s expectations, including the organizers. Unfortunately they had a small registration desk (not too much of a problem as they weren’t too busy) but they closed a little early on some days and they ran out of badge holders and programs from what I was told.
Friday was really slow and there wasn’t too much going on that interested me, I was really worried that it was going to be the trend for the whole con. Thankfully it picked up on Saturday. Even on Sunday there was a decent amount of cosplayers that showed up. I attended a few cosplay gatherings that took place and was able to do a couple shoots which made me feel a little better. You can check them out on my page here.
They had a few panels that went on over the weekend…again I’m not too much of a panel person but I was also covering the convention so did I attend a couple. I went to see Michael Tatum; if you’re like me and don’t know who he is, he does a lot of Hetalia voice acting and is very animated and really got the crowd going. It was a packed room and people had to stand on the edges.
Unfortunately there weren’t too many out of state vendors in the dealer’s room. The main ones they had were Babel and Atelier Pierrot (a lolita brand). There were a lot of local vendors which I’m glad that the local support is there. The big draw for the con similar to their Texas one was Uematsu and The Earthbound Papas! For any of you who don’t know Uematsu is, he has done lots of the music for Final Fantasy. A great local band EMKE opened for them. This young group does a lot of Japanese music and has some rock influence as well as a love of One Direction.
Overall I think they did really well for their first year. I got to hang out with some good friends, did photo shoots some of which can be seen here, and made a bunch of new friends as well. Yes, there were first year issues but no con is absolutely perfect. I’m looking forward to attending again next year and hope to see what else they have in store for us.
Meanwhile checkout a preview of this shoot I did with cosplayer, Elendriel. She did amazing work constructing her cosplay!
Check out the rest of my photos here.