10 Awesome Costumes That Wowed Us at Kawaii Kon 2018

Anime, comic and video game fans were decked out in amazing outfits this weekend at the Hawai‘i Convention Center.

Thousands of fans turned out for the huge annual anime convention Kawaii Kon this past weekend at the Hawai‘i Convention Center. Whether they were competing in tabletop, video or board game competitions, selling or purchasing artwork and plushies created by local Hawai‘i artists, or taking photos and getting autographs from guests, attendees enjoyed three epic anime-filled days.


SEE ALSO: Kawaii Kon 2018


“This year, we also had quite a few official industry [anime production companies] come out to Kawaii Kon, such as Aniplex and FUNimation,” says convention CEO Faisal Ahmed, “which was especially exciting because no other events in Hawai‘i get official presences from these major companies.”


As usual, many convention attendees dressed up as their favorite characters from anime, manga, comics, movies and video games. Here are our Top 10 favorites:


10. Jon Minami as Briareos Hecatonchires and Megan Enos as Deunan Knute, Appleseed

Photos: Tien Enga

One’s a cybernetic sniper, the other’s a feisty hostage rescue agent. As operatives of the Extra-Special Weapons and Advanced Tactics paramilitary team in the fictional utopian island of Olympus, Briareos and Deunan are responsible for keeping the peace in the Appleseed anime and manga series. To bring these characters to life, Jon Minami is rocking Briareos’ signature helmet, armor and gigantic rifle, while Megan Enos has the wig and uniform (and sassy personality) locked down.


9. Byron Furukawa as Totoro, My Neighbor Totoro


Byron Furukawa brings director Hayao Miyazaki’s famous forest spirit to life with this Totoro costume, which he slips on and off over his head like a gigantic egg-shaped mu‘umu‘u. Part-raccoon, cat and owl, Totoro is a cuddly, curious creature that conventiongoers got to interact with all weekend through Furukawa’s giant oval suit.


8. Paul Johnson as Pyramid Head, Silent Hill and Amber Hosler as Espeon, Pokémon

Pyramid Head

Paul Johnson had to balance on stilts under his robes to dress up as the terrifying Pyramid Head from the Silent Hill game series, while simultaneously carrying an insanely long sword. Luckily, Amber Hosler as the Pokémon Espeon, with loose purple fabric sleeves and leggings, was able to keep an eye out for him. They’re an unconventional duo for sure, but they nicely pulled off their respective costumes.


7. Brittany Itsuno as Mega Lucario, Pokémon


As the mega evolved form of Lucario, a fighting/steel-type Pokémon capable of reading and manipulating the aura of other Pokémon or people, Brittany Itsuno created this costume complete with its furry, crimson-tipped appendages, pawlike feet and large spiked gauntlets. We love the use of various fabric and that mysterious, elegant blue mask!


6. Tanisha Bowker as Odogaron, Monster Hunter

Monster Hunter

Tanisha Bowker’s armor is inspired by Odogaron, fierce and fearsome monsters in Monster Hunter that scour the poisonous Rotten Vale for carrion to feed on. The sleek red shoulder and leg guards, chest plate, rope belt and white-tipped spear are spot-on. Nicely done!


5. James Ishizaki as Infernape/Monkey King, Pokémon/Journey to the West


East meets West in Ishizaki’s costume—literally, with this outfit that’s a mashup of Infernape, a fire/fighting type Pokémon, and Sun Wukong, the magically powerful and mischievous Monkey King from the classical 16th-century Chinese novel, Journey to the West. Made of ethylene-vinyl acetate foam (think of interlocking tile floormats used in martial arts dojos and CrossFit gyms), fur fabric and yellow-colored contact lenses, Ishizaki has merged two similarly headstrong characters into one memorable costume creation.


4. Raiden Barrientos as Hanzo (Variant), Overwatch


The master Japanese bowman assassin from the video game Overwatch returns in 2018, this time in a “lone wolf” costume skin. Raiden Barrientos portrays a variation on the original game character, this time with Kabuki-inspired face paint, red pants, boots, gauntlets and an Eastern conical farmer’s hat. But he’s no farmer; watch out for sonic arrows from that storm bow!


3. Apotheosis Cosplay as Nidalee, League of Legends

League of Legends

Apotheosis Cosplay dressed up as Nidalee, a master tracker and shapeshifting headhunter from the video game League of Legends, covered in metallic armor and armed with a tri-tipped javelin and epic leg gauntlets—with claws! On top of this incredibly detailed armor, her makeup is clean and flawless (a truly impressive feat considering the difficulty of getting into costume, taking photos with fans and not sweating like crazy).


2. Jada Serrano as Revali, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Legend of Zelda

Jada Serrano portrays Revali, an ally in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, known for his flamboyant and arrogant style matched only by his skillful bow and flight abilities. With massive furry wings and giant headpiece, this costume can’t be easy to wear or move about in but its unmistakable colorful presence makes it more than worthwhile. Revali was an audience favorite at the costume contest and a character of great affection wherever Serrano went at Kawaii Kon.


1. Trey Carter in Blademaster Armor, Monster Hunter

Monster Hunter

In the role-playing video game series Monster Hunter, players use loot and goodies gained from completing quests and slaying menacing monsters to craft items, weapons and “blademaster” body armor. Trey Carter built this impressive suit resembling an electric wolflike “zinogre” in the game, complete with a samurai-inspired helmet, neon blue shingle plates of armor and dual jagged claw blades. We wouldn’t want to have to go up against Carter in the game!




Correction on March 7, 2018: An earlier version of this story mispelled Jada Serrano’s last name.