DAY ZERO AT AX 2009

Day zero, or pick up your badge and pay 12 bucks for parking to do so day, was today. First thing’s first, gotta get the badge or we can’t do squat. I was anxious to get in get some sneak peeks and maybe even try to get some interviews set up for the coming days. Cool right?…wrong. The heck is up with AX? I remember my previous years having absolutely no problem coming in on press night and getting in to see the floor before the crowds swamped the place. Now I say the words “press” or “preview night” and I get the same dumbfounded look left and right. I was a bit disappointed to say the least. Paying 12 bucks to get a pass I could have easily gotten the next day was kind of pointless if there was nothing to see or do today. Got see a glimpse of the attendees though, looks like some good cosplayers this year and we hope to get a bunch of their pictures to post up! I myself am into the cosplay frenzy this year, as I try my skills at playing the violin in front of the anime crowd. That and hopefully get a few pointers on how to get into a voice acting career. I’m not going to let today give me a bad impression, maybe I spoke to the wrong people? WHO KNOWWWWS?? Tomorrow is day 1 and I’m excited about getting my convention groove on!

By Marcio Guastavino

Anime Expo® 2010 Announces Japanese Musical Artist, MELL, as an Official Guest of Honor

Anaheim, CA – May 7, 2010 – Anime Expo® is pleased to announce today that Japanese musical artist, MELL, will be an official Guest of Honor at its July convention. Anime Expo, North America’s largest anime and manga convention, is scheduled for July 1 – 4, 2010, at the Los Angeles Convention Center. MELL is scheduled to perform Friday evening, July 2, in Nokia Theater as well as participating in guest panels, meet-and-greets and autograph sessions.

MELL comes to Los Angeles as an accomplished vocalist, heavily influenced by the trance and techno genres. Her 2006 debut single, Red fraction, was a smash hit through which she rose to instant fame. MELL’s subsequent singles and debut album, MELLSCOPE, helped establish her as the successful, one-of-a-kind artist that she is today. Her unique sound and extraordinary stage performances have proven to be the driving force behind her increasingly large fan following.

“We are honored to host MELL at this year’s Anime Expo,” said Convention Chairperson Joyce Lim. “Fan support and excitement continues to grow with each 2010 Guest of Honor announcement, and we trust their reaction to MELL will be no different.”

MELL has lent her vocal talents to various anime titles, singing the openings for Rideback, Sky Girls and Black Lagoon. She is also featured on the soundtracks of Hayate the Combat Butler and KILL, a live-action feature film by Mamoru Oshii.

Japanese Musical Group AKB48 will be Official Guests of Honor at Anime Expo 2010

Anaheim, CA – April 27, 2010 – Anime Expo® is pleased to announce today that Japanese musical supergroup, AKB48, will be official Guests of Honor at its July convention. Anime Expo, North America’s largest anime and manga convention, is scheduled for July 1 – 4, 2010, at the Los Angeles Convention Center. AKB48 will perform live in Nokia Theater on Thursday, July 1, 2010, at 4:30 p.m. The members will also participate in attendee panels, meet-and-greets and autograph sessions.
The all-female musical group, created in 2005 by award-winning songwriter and producer, Yasushi Akimoto, has enjoyed much success and increased popularity over the course of their career.  In addition to releasing several popular singles and albums, the 63 members of AKB48 perform regularly to a full-house crowd at their exclusive theater in Akihabara.

Many members of the group are also featured in movies, television shows, magazines and various other special appearances.
AKB48’s latest single, Sakura no Shiori, sold an impressive 370,000 copies in its first week of release in February of 2010. Shortly after, the group released their second studio album, Kamikyokutachi, which debuted at the top spot of the Oricon album chart. It’s no secret that the spunky, fashion-forward members of AKB48 have captured the hearts of fans all over the world.

AKB48 comes to America to deliver a one-of-a-kind, powerhouse performance exclusively for Anime Expo attendees. The group members are passionate about representing and spreading Japanese pop culture to American fans. “We are delighted to welcome AKB48 as our special dream ambassadors to this year’s expo and experience the smiles they will create for our fans,” says SPJA President and CEO Michael Lattanzio. “Hosting these superstars in Los Angeles will no doubt help bridge the gap between America and Japan, and create a global culture that each of us can connect to.”

Dark Horse has good news, Bad news, and Domo news?

by Marcio Guastavino

That’s right! I haven’t missed a Dark Horse panel yet! Well, at the very least since I started going to Anime Expo. Looks like Dark Horse has a few new releases through the end of the year. Hellsing Vol. 9, a new Astro Boy Paperback, Gantz and a Ghost Talker’s Daydream (looks interesting to me). One they were very proud to announce was the upcoming release of the Ikari Shinji Raising Project. It’s a spin-off of Evangelion, but with a much more humorous outlook on it. From what they say, romance and comedy is what it’s going for. In other words, don’t think Evangelion when jumping into the reading, clear your minds people! Another announcement that was good to hear was that they actually are caught up with many of the series out in Japan. Hence why some series *coughBladeoftheImmortalcough* are taking so long to come out with new volumes. At least you can get a Domo figure and make yourself happy. They will be selling them at CoimicCon in different colors. They’re even going to have some crazy rare, you’re never going to get your hands after the con, version of Domo at ComicCon this year. If you happen to be at ComicCon then go check it out. Aside from all this other news the most important is that Berserk is still alive! BAM! AND they’re thinking of beefing up from Bi-monthly releases! That would make me a happy camper.

Thus Dark Horse some pretty good announcements this year. Unfortunately, I don’t think they’ll be passing around any more goodies for us to see. Not at the panels anyway. Apparently someone ran off with a copy of a manga that was not released yet. This is why we can’t have nice things!

CMX and Funimation at Anime Expo 08!

By Von Jared Omo

 

 

Anime Expo is done and another year we must wait to see what the anime industry has in store for us next.  This year, I had the honors of meeting with two very familiar names in the manga/anime industry today: CMX and Funimation.

CMX manga, a branch of DC Comics who publishes many known anime such as Crayon Shinchan, promoted one of their up and coming releases: Batman:Death Mask. The manga revolves around the dark crusader, Batman (whose alter ego is billionaire Bruce Wayne) and his struggle to find this new killer that has been terrorizing the city of Gotham. However, the killer has ties to Bruce’s training in Japan. Does the killer know that Bruce is Batman and did this past experience drive him to start his killing spree? The manga is done by manga superstar Natsume (creator of Togari). He debuts his unique vision of the Dark Knight with the miniseries collected in this compact, manga-sized edition! Check out http://www.dccomics.com/cmx/ for more info!

Next we go on to Funimation. Their booth showcased their upcoming releases as well. They’ve got some movies they plan to release in 2008 and here’s a list of what’s to come:

One Piece Movie: The Desert Princess and The Pirates Adventures in Alabasta – From the popular manga and the series currently airing on Cartoon Network comes the eighth movie from the One Piece tale. Six pirates may be all that stands between salvation and total destruction. The island kingdom of Alabasta is about to erupt in civil war – a war engineered by Crocodile, one of the Seven Warlords of the Sea, and his criminal organization Baroque Works. Monkey D. Luffy, his Straw Hat pirates and Princess Vivi race to the island, where the strongest warriors of Baroque Works wait to stop them.

Genghis Khan – To the Ends of the Earth and Sea — This full-scale Japanese epic follows the life of Genghis Khan, founder of the Mongolian Empire who took the throne in 1206. The film, adapted from a novel by Seiichi Morimura, covers Genghis’ life, his battles and his relationships with women. The infamous historical figure was brought to life by director by Shinichiro Sawai and stars Takashi Sorimachi, Rei Kikukawa, Mayumi Wakamura, Yoshihiko Hakamada and Kenichi Matsuyama.

Vexille — Director Fumihiko Sori and the team behind the 2004 big-screen version of APPLESEED have reunited to create VEXILLE. In addition, Paul Oakenfold of THE MATRIX RELOADED has created the score for the film written by Haruka Handa. A dark, futuristic CGI anime about illegal robotics research and set in 2067 Japan, the story follows Japan‘s isolation after the United Nations bans further research on robotic technology out of concerns of a threat to mankind. The U.S. has intelligence that Japan is developing the banned technology and dispatches a team led by a female commander named Vexille on a secret mission to determine Japan‘s ambitions.

Love and Honor — An award winning masterpiece, of sacrifice and devotion, LOVE AND HONOR weaves a timeless tale set in the waning days of feudal Japan. Directed by Academy Award® nominee Yoji Yamada (THE TWILIGHT SAMURAI) and starring Takuya Kimura (2046), LOVE AND HONOR depicts the emotional intensity of an age when respect was more valuable than riches and love cut more truly than any sword.

Shinnojo Mimura is a samurai sharing a hand to mouth existance with his beautiful wife Kayo. Frustrated by his lowly status with the castle ranks, Shinnojo dreams of better days instructing children in the way of the sword. But destiny, it would seem, has other plans…

A freak accident takes the warrior’s sight, leaving Shinnojo cursed. Losing his status and pride, his hopes and dreams, and even himself to his life of eternal darkness, only one path lies open for Shinnojo: That of the true and noble samurai.

And for you anime fans out there, Funimation is releasing Tsubasa Vol.7 on DVD! Check out the trailer at the TMEVLOG right here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r79w13gL55Q

 

iTwinkle.tv at Anime Expo!

by Angie Quidim

iTwinkle.tv was one of the many booths exhibiting at this year’s Anime Expo and got some of the attention.  The risque action/adventure hadrecently released its second webisode and has further plans to release many more.  The project is the brain child of creators Brad Strickman and Dylan Highsmith. 

Twinkle, one of the main characters from iTwinkle.tv

Twinkle, one of the main characters from iTwinkle.tv

 The duo with the overactive imagination sought to release a series with a unique look that would speak to the public with a new view of online entertainment.  “iTwinkle.tv emerged from a single concept…a televison show or movie created exclusively for the internet with the intent of being more than a show.  iTwinkle.tv aims to seta new standard of online entertainment; it aims to be an interactive  online experience.”  The creators have made the show interactive with its audience though many of the modern mediums ( Youtube, vlogs, blogs, Myspace, Facebook and other online means).  iTwinkle.tv breaks the wall and makes their characters’ stories and experiences accessible to their viewers so they can share in their larger than life world.  Much of the show’s story was inspired by comic books, anime, cartoons and videogames.   

The cast includes: Twinkle (April Billingsly), Tommy Dure (justin Alvarez), Skylar Brooks (Jill Smalley), Nikki Lyn (Fatima Hana), and Jon Weston (Ben Baur).  You can view the TME interview live at Anime Expo at our photo and videos page or view the latest webisode at iTwinkle.tv .

Attendees Leave their mark on LACC at AX 2008

Ok so I know about people leaving their mark on history but come on…..

There was a martial arts demonstration (not sanctioned) by attendees in the South Hall on the show floor.  One guy was going to flip off the pillar and left his right print.

 I am all for art and expressing yourself but this is just a nice bill that AX and the SPJA will be expecting.  It probably wont be there (its just a quick cut and patch for drywall) but it will be posted here for posterity.  Whoever put this foot into this column, this post is for you!