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Ohayocon attracts thousands for animé celebration in snowy Columbus

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Even with harsh winter weather, including snow-covered roads and Arctic-like winds, nothing could stop an estimated 14,000 from gathering in Columbus for the fourteenth annual Japanese animation (animé) and pop culture extravaganza, Ohayocon. From Jan. 24 through Jan. 26, The Greater Columbus Convention Center played host to the first big animé convention of 2014, warming up an otherwise cold January weekend. A weekend filled with entertaining panels, two nights of pulse-pounding raves, and a two-level Dealer's Room where fans could purchase everything from pieces of art to rare action figures and collectibles.

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Even with snow and ice covering the paths to the convention center, that didn't stop thousands from dressing up as some of their favorite animé, video game, and pop culture characters. Tying in with the theme of "magical girls," attendees dressed up as characters from hit series, such as "Sailor Moon," "Madoka Magica," and the very popular "Attack on Titan." There were even a few dressed as Princess Anna and Elsa the Snow Queen from Disney's "Frozen," which added a hint of irony to the wintry weather that took place throughout the weekend. (Check out some of our favorite cosplays in our Ohayocon Slideshow to the left of the article.)

Among the three days of otaku-fueled excitement, Ohayocon also warmed things up for attendees with their annual comedy roast, where one of their attending guests gets put in the hot seat and gets grilled by some of their closest friends and associates. This year, voice actor/director Jerry Jewell was the honoree to get roasted, and as roaster J. Michael Tatum will tell you, the annual Ohayocon roast is always a great way to start off the three-day weekend. "I think the roast was a huge success," Tatum said, hugging fellow roaster Emily DeJesus. "A very good time was had by all, and if you haven't had the pleasure of attending one, you should really go to one of these things."

If you happen to miss this year's Ohayocon, now's the best time to start making plans for Ohayocon '15, which is set to take place the weekend of Jan. 30, 2015.

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