Crowds of people in costume will fill the Wohl Auditorium at Bar Ilan University in Ramat Gan on Sunday, February 28 – but these revelers will have much more than Purim on their minds. They will be participating in Harucon – the annual conference of the Israeli Anime and Manga community. The name Harucon is derived from combining the Japanese Haru (spring) and the English con – short for conference. The program for the day will include lectures, workshops, booths with artwork, and other activities, but in the Purim spirit, cosplay (from costume play) will be the main event of the day.
Over 1,500 people attend the conference each year, the numbers growing from year to year as Anime grows in popularity. The ages range from grade school children accompanied by their parents, to adults, but most are teens. The conference is not supported by any government funding or commercial investors and relies on volunteers from the community.
At Harucon you can learn how to build your own armor, discuss the joys and frustrations of fanfiction, show off your costume and learn how to create a better one next year. A complete schedule (in Hebrew) can be found on the Harucon website. Advance ticket purchase (at the Comikaza store, Dizengof Center) is recommended.