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Anime Convention Alert: Anime Expo is THIS Weekend!

I should learn to never make promises. No sooner had I posted the last “we’re coming back soon, honest!” message, then I got slammed with a huge wall of work which pretty much left me with NO free time – not enough to even watch anime. (See, that’s the problem with freelancing in a tough economy: you take what work you can get, when you can get it, and count yourself lucky because you may not be so lucky next month.)

Of course, now that I actually have a break in my work schedule, my voice is now gone thanks to a freak summer cold I managed to catch. (I suppose I COULD do a podcast now, but you probably wouldn’t like it, as I sound something like a cross between Darth Vader without his breathing mask, and a 50 year old chain smoker.)

Anyway, the voice (and my cold) are finally healing up.. and just in time too… because Anime Expo is THIS WEEKEND!!! (Time sure flies, doesn’t it?)

Yes, Anime Expo, one of the world’s largest – certainly the West Coast’s largest – anime conventions, will return to the Los Angeles Convention Center THIS WEEKEND. Actually, the dates are Thursday July 2 through Sunday July 5. Some of the awesome Guests of Honor who will be making an appearance at this convention include:

  • Hiroyuki Imaishi – Recipient of the 12th Animation Kobe Director’s Award. Mr. Imaishi has worked on Neon Genesis Evangelion, Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, and many more!
  • Daisuke Ishiwatari – Video game developer best known for creating the fighting game Guilty Gear. He also provides the in-game voice for the characters Sol Badguy and Order-Sol.
  • Yun Kouga – Revered manga artist who has garnered praise and acclaim for her current series Loveless. Ms. Kouga is also the character designer for the anime MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM 00.
  • Yosuke Kuroda – Mr. Kuroda has been involved in numerous projects including Excel Saga, Gungrave, Hayate the Combat Butler!, Hellsing OVA, Love Hina, etc.
  • Seiji Mizushima – Famed director of the upcoming theatrical version of MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM 00. Mr. Mizushima also worked on Fullmetal Alchemist, Neon Genesis Evangelion, and many more!
  • Moi dix Mois – Sound project headed by Mana, the consummate guitarist and leader of Malice Mizer.
  • Toshimichi Mori – Mr. Mori is currently working on the Aksys Games title BLAZBLUE as its director, lead artist and designer.
  • Toshiyuki Morikawa – Legendary voice actor who has in many popular anime roles, such as Bleach, Gundam X, Full Metal Panic, Initial D, Inuyasha, and many others.
  • Morning Musume – Famous not just for being the Japan’s top female group, but also for its unique approach with the shuffling of band members.
  • Yasuhiro Nightow – Creator of the highly popular TRIGUN manga that inspired the television anime series of the same title.
  • Atsushi Nishigori – Recipient of the 7th Annual Tokyo International Anime Awards. Mr. Nishigori has worked many titles and now serves as the character animation director for Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann franchise.
  • Satoshi Nishimura – The director of the highly anticipated 2009 TRIGUN movie. Mr. Nishimura has also worked on many huge and popular titles, including Black Lagoon, Rurouni Kenshin, and Street Fighter Alpha.
  • Takashi Okazaki – The creator of the popular Afro Samurai manga. Mr. Okazaki has also done illustration works for Spider-Man 2 DVD & Blade III Sound Track CD.
  • Kari Wahlgren – Kari Wahlgren was first introduced to anime audiences as the Vespa-riding, guitar-bashing Haruko in “FLCL.”
  • …and tons more industry guests!

Aside from the many GoH, fan, and industry panels, there’s also the ever-popular Anime Music Video (AMV) contest, AX Idol singing/voice acting contest, Masquerade cosplay contest, various tea and masquerade balls, gaming (both console and table-top), dances, karaoke, concerts, maid cafe, film and video rooms, and of course, the always impressive Dealers Room.

Full 4-day passes are $65 ($70 at door), or $50 ($55 at door) for a two-day pass, or $30 ($35 at door) for single-day pass. A 4-day childs pass is $30, and children 5 and under are free. Online registration is still online and is highly recommended.

For more details, including links to the online registration, and complete details on events, schedules, guests, and more, check out the Anime Expo website at

I’ll be on site during most of the convention (I’ll be getting in mid-day on the first day so will miss the first half day or so) and will do my best to bring you coverage from the convention. (I’m not making any promises, I’ll just leave it at “I’ll do my best.”) If I can, I’ll be broadcasting certain events live, either via Ustream/Stickam, or over our experimental streaming radio station, Otaku no Radio, so keep an eye on the website for more details. At the very least, I should have a post-con wrap up episode (including video highlights – if my camcorder, which was recently damaged, gets back from the repair shop in time) shortly after the convention ends.

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