[OhayoCon happens at the Hyatt Regency and Greater Columbus Convention Center, from Friday, January 18th to Sunday, January 20th.]
Reporting by Charles Cassady, Jr.
Why would any self-respecting Clevelander drive down to a place like Columbus in mid-January. Oh yeah, job opportunities. They might still have some.
And they also have OhayoCon. This is an annual fan expo in the state capitol devoted to Japanese animation and manga. The name, in fact, is a play not only on the word “Ohio” but the Japanese greeting “Ohayo!,” which means more or less “good morning” (“ohio,” in Japanese, meanwhile, means “economically depressed.” I think).
OhayoCon is where Japanimation fans and fiends can mingle, see the latest releases, buy gear from a variety of anime and Japanese pop-culture merchants, view an “Artists Alley” of manga and anime renditions, play games and dress up in costume as their cross-cultural favorites in the notorious “cosplay.”
Yes, cosplay, always a photo opp. Ash and Pikachu from Pokemon gets a bit old; try for the two cyborg brothers in Full Metal Alchemist, if you really want to impress the girls. If there were any girls (sigh). Not that there won’t be otaku fanboys cosplaying as girls, though - at least you saddoes can fall back on that. In fact, the declared theme of this 2013 edition of OhayoCon is “zombies,” and the website says costumes are not required (what does that say for the general appearance and odor of an average anime fan?). But for those who are into the zombie thing, High School of the Dead is a recent anime-zombie hit, while the far less serious Is This a Zombie? more has to do with a revenant schoolboy with fast-healing powers and his busty harem of vampire-ninja girlfriends; no cannibalism or rotting.
Actual manga and anime-oriented greats are booked as guests, prominently the Japanese rock star Kazuha Oda and voiceover actress Tiffany Grant, who provides the English-language voice of Asuka in the popular Evangelion series. Tiffany Grant will be “roasted” at OhayoCon, which sounds like fun unless one remembers the theme of zombies.
OhayoCon happens at the Hyatt Regency and Greater Columbus Convention Center, from Friday, Jan. 18 to Sunday, Jan. 20. A weekend pass, available Friday only, is $55 per person. Reduced single-day rates apply Saturday and Sunday. For more information, to online to http://ohayocon.org.