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Cosplayers dress the part at Jerusalem manga and anime convention

Cosplayers at the Harucon 2017 anime and manga fan convention in Jerusalem are seen on March 12, 2017. Some 3,500 people came out for the event. (Mainichi)

JERUSALEM -- Manga, anime and game characters took over the halls of the ICC Jerusalem International Convention Center here on March 12 as some 3,500 people came out for the Harucon 2017 Japanese pop culture fan convention.

    This year's event -- timed to coincide with the Jewish Purim holiday, when revelers wear costumes and masks -- is Harucon's 10th, and featured special guests Toshio Furukawa and Shino Kakinuma, both famed voice actors.

    Cosplayers also mounted the stage to compete for the title of best homemade outfit, with even Japanese Ambassador to Israel Koji Tomita strutting his stuff as "One Piece" manga and anime series main character Monkey D. Luffy. One 20-year-old local expressed gratitude to the Japanese ambassador, and said they hoped to visit Japan one day.

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