This weekend (September 15-16) was the Kaisen Festival at the Cosme Beitia Coliseum in Cataño, Puerto Rico. I had the opportunity of going on the Saturday and it was a delight. There is something about Kaisen that you can’t get at the larger, flashier Puerto Rico Comic Con (PRCC). Since it’s held in smaller locations across the island, it is cozier. You can easily find your friends, stalk cosplayers for a picture, and sit in the stands to just people watch. Parents and People Who Get Tired (me) find this sitting thing very convenient. Cosplayers have a place to rest yet not miss out on the onstage magic performances, singing, skits, and the random car-with-the-headlights-on announcements. At the PRCC you’d have to sit out in the halls to get a break from the crowd. Also, Kaisen has free parking and is way more wallet friendly. Of course, there are fewer vendors (I noticed a serious lack of local comic book artists this time- there were maybe three) and no visiting guests but for the price I would say Kaisen does what it does beautifully. Besides the cosplay contests and skits, they have video gaming, card play, a movie marathon and small workshops related to fan life. They have built a supportive community online and the organizers have events throughout the year to keep people entertained and excited about the next convention. Even if they don’t have something going on, they will post about fandom events from other organizations.
Tag Archives: cosplay
The Kaisen Infinity convention was held this past Saturday May 7th at the Fernando (Rube) Hernández coliseum in Gurabo, Puerto Rico. This is the main event of Paquines, a nonprofit organization of fans of comics, anime, science fiction and other hobbies on the island. (Paquines are the same people behind the Karibukai Animation Festival.) The main attractions of Kaisen (besides local retailers of fandom goodies) are the cosplay contests, gaming tournaments, model exhibits, live music, and fan skits.
Kaisen attracts people of all ages and fandoms, although most of the cosplaying (and merchandise) I saw was inspired in anime.
This was the first time Kaisen was held in Gurabo, a town in the central eastern part of Puerto Rico. The relatively new coliseum was an ideal place for this event. It was spacious, fully air-conditioned, with ample parking and a great location. People came from all over the island to enjoy the festivities.
Some highlights of the day:
An impromptu dance based on the Caramelldansen meme everybody seemed to know and I had to look up later. A lion furry started it as a solo dance and people just jumped in behind him. It was definitely a great moment of the Con. Here is a video I found on YouTube.
- Nana Cafe, a new local maid cafe, offered food and entertainment. I look forward to their restaurant opening soon to see them in their element. They even danced during skits time after being crazy busy all day.
- The huge detailed World War II and Iraq War dioramas from Museo de Figuras y Dioramas. I did find the Nazi flag and cosplay jarring however.
- Rock band Back Seat Driver gave a crowd-pleasing performance.
Another local band present that I didn’t see perform but were lovely to chat with (in spite of their name!) was Death Arrangement.
- Being amused at the innocent/sexy feel of the anime cosplay and merchandise.
- The Flash and Captain America chasing each other around the coliseum. All those who were having fun with their outfits were also fun for us to watch.
I was part of the volunteer crew; it was great to talk with fellow genre fans while we attended our duties. A shout out to Paola of Hogwarts Puerto Rico, Aiko, Lavinia, Victor, Karlo, and Alchemist for your Japanese lessons and general camaraderie!
I posted my photos in a Facebook album. Also here’s a slide show with even more pictures- another YouTube find:
This weekend the Puerto Rico Comic Con (PRCC) held its annual two-day event at the Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan. I visited on the first day. The PRCC is a small convention that is almost entirely a huge dealer’s room with comic book and toy vendors. Their best feature is that the local comic book and manga artists come in person with their new material (which they all signed for the price of the book). It was great meeting them; you could tell they love what they do. Most attendees were teens and young adults interested in anime and manga, a growing trend on the island. There were plenty of cosplayers at the event along with game tournaments and a few out-of-town guests. These included Twilight actor Chaske Spencer, anime voice actor Spike Spencer, and comic book artist Michael Golden.
Hopefully next year the convention will add more panels and have an event schedule and booth map available on site. There was only one panel with Chaske Spencer limited to 300 people a day, and it cost an additional $40 to get in (daily tix were $16). So most attendees never saw the arguably biggest star of the event, and that’s a shame. While not being a Twilight fan, I would have gone out of curiosity and who knows? Maybe I would watch the movies if I was charmed by one of the actors. Spike Spencer did have a Q&A session but it wasn’t moderated; it took place in the main dealer’s room so it didn’t have the greatest sound quality. However, the actor did his best to answer questions and entertain everyone so- disaster averted.
I got the latest local comic books and talked to many artists, so in future posts I will share my thoughts about the books and whenever possible, interview the artists and writers. I’ve posted pictures of the event on the SciFi Latino Facebook page.
UPDATE 4/26/2010: More event photos by attendees at the Paquines.com and Cinemateria forum. You must register to see them, but it’s free. Click here!