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Anime Expo Returns PDF Print E-mail
Written by Alejandro Chavez Special to the San Fernando Sun   
Thursday, 14 June 2012 02:54

ARIEL HIGHWIND

Dressing as a favorite anime character, called cosplay, is part of the charm of AnimeExpo

North America's largest Japanese pop culture celebration, including anime (Japanese animation) and manga (Japanese comic books), returns to the LA Convention Center June 29-July 2. For the third consecutive year, Japanese pop culture sensation Danny Choo will be the event's Master of Ceremonies. In addition to his hosting duties, Choo will be a guest speaker on Japanese Fandom and Culture at Project Anime, a conference for anime professionals. The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation, which sponsors Anime Expo, hosts the industry conference that takes place immediately prior to AX 2012.

Choo resides in Tokyo and runs a media production company. He also hosts and directs the Culture Japan television show, which is broadcast weekly on Tokyo MX TV in Japan, across the whole of Asia on the Animax Network, and in America on Mnet America. His focus is on disseminating information about Japanese culture to the world.

Choo is also creator of the character Mirai Suenaga, which has been aligned with many companies in the Japanese animation industry.

As is the case every year, luminaries from the Anime world and popular Japanese culture will attend this year's festival. Voice actors, directors, animators, singers and other features of popular Japanese culture will be highlighted.

Voice actress Jaime Marchi, who is making her debut at AX 2012, will be an Official Guest of Honor. Marchi voices the main character "Panty" in the highly popular "Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt," as well as doing voice work in "Claymore" and "Soul Eater," and other anime productions. She will participate in a meet-and-greet, do three autograph signings, and a focus panel.

Another in the list of famous anime actors scheduled to attend AX 2012 is Ryo Horikawa. Most famous for doing the original voice of Vegeta in "Dragon Ball Z," Hirkawa has been performing in movie and TV dramas since grade school. He has been acting for more than 45 years, with 28-plus years experience as a voice actor. His credits include Andromeda Shun in "Saint Seiya," Hattori Heiji in "Detective CONAN," Reinhard Von Lohengramm in the "Legend of Galactic Heroes," and Kou Uraki in "Mobile Suit Gundam 0083STARDUST MEMORY."

In addition to anime, Horikawa does frequent stage works, voice drama, games and other mediums. He is also a singer, and his latest tune is the theme song "Saiyan Brad" of "Dragonball Kai." As an AX Guest of Honor, he will participate in a meet-andgreet, autograph signing and a focus panel.

Thirteen year anime voiceover industry veteran Monica Rial has lent her voice to more than 250 anime, including Stocking in "Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt," Chane in "Baccano!" and Renge from "Oran High School Host Club." She is May Chang in "Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood," and plays Bulma in "Dragonball Z Kai." Rial is also an ADR script adaptor, and occasionally directs for Funimation Entertainment.

Anime Director Tatsuo Sato started his career as an animator and an assistant director at Asia-Do. He made his solo directorial debut with the television series "Soar High! Isami," and has since gone on to direct the televison series "Martian Successor Nadesico," and its feature film sequel "Martian Successor Nadesico: The Motion Picture - Prince Of Darkness."

Tatsuo collaborated on the avant-garde animation film "Cat Soup" with an old friend, animator/director Masaaki Yuasa. The film won double prizes in the sixth Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal, "Best Short Film" and "Film Critic's Association Prize." It also won the 2001 Agency for Cultural Affairs' "Excellence Prize" at Japan's Media Arts Festival. In the same year, Yuasa released the television animation series "Shingu: Secret Of The Stellar Wars," which was based on his own original story. Tatsuo's most recent television series is "Shigofumi," and his latest animation project is "Bodacious Space Pirates."

Anime Expo 2012 runs at the LA Convention Center from June 29 though July 2. To register, or for more information, please visit www.anime-expo.org. Connect with Anime Expo on Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 14 June 2012 02:58