All posts by Krystal Kitsune

Japan LA and Little Tokyo Shops DESTROYED by Los Angeles Rioters

People took to the streets of Los Angeles on Saturday, May 31st for what began as a peaceful protest for the death of George Floyd, who died Monday after being handcuffed and pinned to the ground by Minneapolis Police Department officer, Derek Chauvin.

The protest later became violent as protesters began attacking Los Angeles Police Department squad cars and setting them on fire. The protest turned riot, later made its way to affluent areas of Los Angeles including Rodeo Drive, Little Tokyo, Melrose Ave, and The Grove outdoor shopping mall.

Local businesses and shops around those areas were looted and/or set on fire during the riot prompting a mandatory curfew on the city Los Angeles and heavy police activity.

Caught by ABC 7 Action News, shows protesters breaking into well-known anime gift shop JapanLA on Melrose ave.

 

Dozens of looters entered the premises taking whatever they could find. According to a post by JapanLA:

“They [police] finally cleared them out and arrested some of the looters. We are all crushed and deeply saddened. Thank you for all the texts. We all left at 4:30pm and our staff is home safe. I’ll send more updates soon!” They released a security camera photo that shows two suspects looting the store.

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In the past, we’ve covered a few events in this and their new Little Tokyo location.

A few shops and a pharmacy were broken into and looted in the early morning hours of May 30th, in the Little Tokyo district.


According to the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center,

“Businesses in Little Tokyo were looted last night. This was not done by protesters but by people who decided to take advantage of the grief and angst of others for their personal gain.

Brian Kito of the Little Tokyo Public Safety Association expressed concern over the close proximity of Little Tokyo to City Hall and LAPD headquarters stating,

“[It] would leave [Little Tokyo] vulnerable during civil unrest. During the L.A. riots in 1992, windows were smashed at Japanese Village Plaza, Weller Court, and what was then the New Otani Hotel on Los Angeles Street.”

Man Hunt On For Former LAPD Officer Suspected Of Shooting Police Officer
LAPD headquarters a block away from the Little Tokyo district

Gov. Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency for Los Angeles after approving Mayor Eric Garcetti’s request to deploy the National Guard. National Guard arrived at 12am on May 31st, 2020.

Los Angeles’ curfew will stay in place from 8 p.m. Saturday through 5 a.m. Sunday.

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Source: Rafu Shimpo, ABC7 Action News, Japanese American Cultural & Community Center

Zag Entertainment releases MIRACULOUS LADYBUG ART FIGURE!

Miraculous Ladybug currently has 3 seasons and going strong, and with a huge demand for Miraculous Ladybug merchandise, Zag entertainment decided to open a physical store in Santa Monca, California in April of 2019.

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Merchandise varies, from action figures and stationery to apparel and accessories. Recently, Zag entertainment added a highly anticipated product!

Miraculous ladybug fans have been pushing for Zag entertainment to produce collectible figures, rather than the basic figurine toy.  on March 13th, Zag entertainment released the VERY, first collectible figure; Ladybug & Catnoir Art Figure!

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The figure is 100% resin and stands about 16.5” inches tall, and comes with a limited-edition storage box made from real leather.

 

How much will this limited edition figure set you back? An estimated $260 (before taxes and shipping). If you have $260+ to spare, the figure can be pre-ordered online here, but hurry only 2000 pieces were made.


We’d love to hear from you, What are your opinions on the Miraculous Ladybug figure? Comment below!

Exclusive Interview with Britton A. Arey | Voice of TESS in Jak II and Jak 3

The following MAY contains spoilers from the Jak and Daxter video games series


We’ve all been there before, we’ve all at some point had a crush on a video game character, whether it was Lara Croft or Chung Li. Maybe some of us still have virtual waifus and/or husbandos. The Jak and Daxter series is one such game of the early 2000s, in which some of us discovered our very first video game crush. Many fans of the series were automatically hooked on the game’s expansive fantasy world, its plot and the game’s impressionable femme fatale characters.

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Who doesn’t love girls and guns? | Kiara, Ashlien & Tess

One such character was Tess. Tess is a character that was featured in Jak II and Jak 3, Initially introduced as a supporting character, she would gradually play an essential role in the storyline, helping Jak and Daxter through their journey. Tess also served as a love interest for Daxter.

 

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Jak II rated T for Teens: Suggestive Themes

During the events in Jak II, Tess was a rebellion spy (or Underground agent in the game) working at a local bar, gathering intel from the enemy. By Jak 3 she becomes a weapons expert, developing high-grade weapons. Although many who have played the game, know of Tess’s background story, not many are aware of the person behind the voice of the hyper-active, cheery character.

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‘Its a hobby’

Tess is Portrayed by Dr.Britton A. Arey MD, now working as a psychiatrist in Orange County in California, Britton once pursued a career in acting and in the years prior to Jak II, Britton had auditioned for a role in the hit movie Hook which features the late Robbin Williams and veteran voice actor, Dante Basco.

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Credited as Britton A. Hill in Jak II,  later to Britton A. Arey in Jak 3 after her marriage to then Jak and Daxter writer, Daniel Arey.

Join us in this exclusive voice actor interview! For the very first time, Dr.Britton Arey speaks out about her involvement in Jak II/Jak 3 revealing behind the scenes stories during the production of the game and much more!

 

Click here for a shorter version of the interview!

Stick to the end of the interview for details on how to win an autographed print signed by Britton Arey (voice of Tess) and her husband Daniel Arey, Former creative director and writer of the Jak and Daxter series!

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Scan of actual autographed print

Winner will be chosen and announced on April 1st, 2020, visit our website for our giveaway terms and conditions, https://thekitsunetwork.net/giveaways/!


Click here for more voice actor interviews!

COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak effects on Conventions

Japan’s biggest anime convention of the year, AnimeJapan was canceled four days before the event was set to take place. Prior to that, the city of Osaka canceled its annual anime festival, Nipppombashi Street Festar which draws over 200K+ people to city’s Denden Town neighborhood. All this in fear of spreading the COVID-19 virus.

Taking the seriousness of the situation into consideration, Olympic 2020 travelers have been wondering if the 2020 Olyimics will suffer the same fate. On March 3rd, an International Olympic Committee spokesperson stated, that there are no plans to postpone or move the Olympics, adding “We made a decision and the decision is the Games go ahead”. The 2020 Olympics is set to take place from July 24th to August 9th 2020 in Tokyo, Japan.

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In the U.S., the first confirmed case of the COVID-19 coronavirus disease was announced on January 21st, Since then there have been over 230 cases reported and growing. Due to fear of infection, popular industry expo, Game Developers Conference was postponed to the Summer of 2020.  GDC was supposed to take place at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA.

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California’s biggest anime convention Anime Expo is scheduled to still take place in July of this year. The SPJA (Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation) released the following statement regarding Anime Expo status:

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With the community taking its precautions, are guest cancellations are unavoidable? For now, we’ll have to wait and see.

We encourage our viewers/readers to take precautions and help reduce the spreading of the COVID-19 virus by washing your hands and keeping general germ reduction in mind when going out in public. The following are prevention guidelines by the CDC:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.

For more information, please visit the CDC website.


Sources: Link 1, Link 2, Link 3, Link 4, Link 5

Interview with voice actress, Dorothy Fahn | On-Camera interview debut!

We had the honor of interviewing voice actress, Dorothy Fahn during Ronin Expo‘s Otaku Market Gathering in Orange County! This mark Dorothy’s first on-camera interview, all other interviews she’s previously done have been in audio format only. Dorothy is known for voicing Lilymon in Digimon, Meryl Stryfe in Trigun and Chihiro Fujisaki in Danganronpa

She’s married to voice actor Tom Fahn (Voice of Agumon) and is one of four family members to become voice actors, family members include, Jonathan Fahn (Brother-in-law) and Melissa Fahn (Sister-in-law). We’re honored to share Dorothy’s on-camera, interview debut and we hope to interview the rest of the Fahn family.

Interview with: MIKE POLLOCK

Voice actor Mike Pollock has been in Radio, eBooks, and commercials, but you might recognize him in animation. He’s the Narrator of Pokemon and the notorious Doctor Eggman in the Sonic The Hedgehog franchise. He’s also done numerous other characters in anime such, Meat from Ultimate Muscle, Deus Prometh in GKid’s Promare, and most recently, Yasui in Weathering with You. 

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Subscribe to our channel to updated on upcoming interviews, such as:

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This interview will be recorded live during Ronin Expo’s Otaku Market Gathering at the source OC. For event information Click here.

Interview with voice actress, Dorothy Fhan voice of  Naru Narusegawa in Love Hina, Meryl Stryfe in Trigun, Chihiro Fujisaki in Danganronpa and much more!

Furthermore, we’ll be interview a VERY special guest at the end of this month, her voice was featured in only two games, Jak II and Jak 3 as Tess!

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We’re pleased to announce, former voice actress, Britton Arey will be on our upcoming interview list, if you have any questions for her, please submit them by commenting below or by contacting us using any of these platforms!

Sonic The Hedgehog the Movie first audience screening – Ben Schwartz “it was so special.”

Sonic The Hedgehog the movie has been an extremely anticipated film. Since 2013, rights to the film were acquired by Sony Pictures before declaring it a turnaround and selling the rights to Paramount Pictures in 2017.

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Since then, its been a crazy, wild ride, beginning with Sonic’s initial design. The first trailer was released on April 30th, 2019, which experienced extreme, negative feedback.

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Many fans went online, critiquing the character’s resemblance to its video game counterpart. In a surprising turn of events film director, Jeff Folwer and Paramount pictures decided to delay the film to redesign sonic. The film was originally set for a late 2019 release but was delayed to February 14th, 2020.

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The film was redeemed, in November 2019 when a second trailer showcasing a newly designed Sonic was released drawing positive attention from fans and media.

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With all this being said, its been a long journey for the Sonic Movie, for not only its cast and crew but also for its production team. Unfortunately, no amount of positive feedback could save visual effects and production company, Moving Picture Company Vancouver from shutting down its doors at the end of 2019. The company was responsible for Sonic’s current redesign. Their last projects were Cats and Sonic The Hedgehog.

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On Saturday, January 25th, Sonic The Hedgehog had its blue carpet, world premiere at the  Paramount Theatre in Hollywood. For the very first time, the film was screened for an audience.

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Ben Schwartz, the voice of Sonic The Hedgehog, went to Twitter to express his experience having watched the film among fans.

The film has yet to face the world’s audience and critique, after all, the redesign fixed the visual aspect of the film, now it’s up to the plot. But it seems Paramount pictures and Ben Schwartz are quite confident the film will surpass fan expectations.

Watch Sonic The Hedgehog in theaters February 14th, 2020

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Find tickets here

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Sources: NintendoEnthusiast, Twitter.

Photos Source: Rachel Luna/Getty Images North America


Sonic X Complete Series Blu-ray

Miku Expo Celebrates 5th Anniversary With U.S. 2020 Tour!

Virtual-popstar idol, Hatsune Miku is back in the U.S. for the 5th anniversary of MIKU EXPO; Miku Expo 2020 USA & Canada!

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Hatsune Miku performing at Nokia LIVE in Los Angeles during MIKU EXPO 2018.

You may remember Hatsune Miku, Megurine Luka, Kagamine Rin, and Kagamine Len made their U.S. debut at Anime Expo 2011’s Mikunopolis.

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Screenshot of “Making of Mikunopolis

Since then, they’ve been touring in and out of the U.S., having in a total of 4 concerts within the U.S. in the last 9 years; Miku Expo 2014, Miku Expo 2016 North America, & Miku Expo 2018 USA & Mexico.

Since making her first U.S. debut, Miku has landed in the mainstream media spotlight, even being featured in other U.S. media, such as ‘The late-night show with David Letterman‘ and was also the opening act for Lady Gaga’s 2014 worldwide tour, The Artpop Ball.

 

Recently, Crypton Future Media announced California tour dates which include, Coachella, San Jose, and a newly added, Los Angeles concert! L.A. tickets go on sale on January 31st!

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Anime Los Angeles 2020 |Special Musical Guests

Anime Los Angeles 2020 kicked off with the first-ever, U.S. performance of Japanese rock band, BRATS with an opening act by female rap duo, FEMM.

BRATS is a Japanese all-female rock band formed in 2011 by sisters Rei and Aya Kuromiya.  In 2018, they released their studio album, BRATS which included the theme songs from the anime series To Be Hero and the Japanese film Slavemen.

BRATS performed to an enthusiastic crowd, performing hit singles such as ‘Misery’, ‘Juuyon Sai Byou’, ‘Come to See You’ and their newest single ‘Excuser’, which was digitally released on day one of Anime Los Angeles 2020.

Vocalist Rei Kuromiya, is also a former member of Kawaii Metal band, LADYBABY which was formed by Austrian Wearstler, Ladybeard and gravure idol Rie Kaneko.

In 2015, Rei performed collectively as LADYBABY at Los Angeles’s most popular anime shop, Anime Jungle. Rei left the band in November of 2017.

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Prior to their U.S. debut, BRATS had their first live concert appearance outside of Japan at “Ambitious Girls Series 1” in Seoul, South Korea, alongside idol-metal group Broken By The Scream on January 20, 2019. Since then, they’ve been touring within Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.

Special musical guest performances also included an opening act from Japanese electronic, rap duo, FEMM. The band consists of RiRi and LuLa and they described themselves as ‘live mannequins’, in fact, FEMM stands for, Far East Mention Mannequins.

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FEMM at SOU SOU booth, J-POP SUMMIT 2015 | Photo Credit: Hirominy

In 2014, FEMM released their critically acclaimed, hit single “Fxxk Boyz Get Money”.

Later that year they released their debut studio album, Femm-Isation. Since then, FEMM has released several EPs and singles.

FEMM 80's/90's J-Pop Revival Album cover art

Their newest studio album, 80’s/90’s J-Pop Revival was released in 2017 in both audio CD and cassette. FEMM spends their time touring in Japan and overseas.

We anxiously anticipate Anime Los Angeles’ musical guests for 2021.


BRATS Anime Los Angeles 2020 performance gallery

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Sonic The Hedgehog Trailer | Easter Eggs & Cameos That You Might’ve Missed

Dr. Robotnik & Grounder

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Those who watched Saturday morning cartoons (aka SatAM) in the ’90s may remember Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic Underground. Garry Chalk was one of many voice actors from these shows, voicing Grounder in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog and Dr.Robotnik in Sonic Underground, a dystopian version of the Sonic the Hedgehog TV universe.

Garry can be seen among the government officials sitting down during a meeting discussing the ‘anomaly‘ detected. It is unclear if Garry Chalk’s character in the film is more than just a minor cameo, or if there’s more than meets the eye.

Hill Top Zone

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A road sign with ‘Hill Top Zone‘ can be seen seconds into the trailer. Hill Top Zone is the fifth Zone in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. The level is most notable for its geographical location, amidst the high peaks of West Side Island, which makes one wonder of its location within the film.

Green Hill Zone

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This one’s pretty in your face. Right at the beginning of the trailer, Green Hill Zone can be seen right before Sonic travels into our world. It is unclear if the film will explore more of this zone (or any other) as a setting.

Sonic The Hedgehog Title Screen Emblem

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The title screen emblem from Sonic The Hedgehog can be seen on Sonic’s headband. The game was originally released in 1991 for the Sega Mega Drive (Japan) and quickly became one of the most recognizable logos among hardcore Sonic fans.

Warp Rings

Many who played Sonic The Hedgehog may remember the giant ring that would appear at the end of a level and teleport the player to special stages. The film drew inspiration from this, having sonic apparently teleport from one part of the world to another. Variations of this ability have been shown throughout the games and TV series.

Misa Amane (Death Note) and Fabiola Iglesias (Black Lagoon)

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Among voice actor cameos is Shannon Chan-Kent, a Canadian based voice actress, who has voiced numerous notable characters such as Misa Amane from the hit anime series, Death Note and Fabiola Iglesias from Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail.

She is also the singing voice of Pinkie pie, Sonata Dusk and speaking voice of Silver Spoon in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

Jeff Fowler’s Gopher Broke cameo

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This film will feature the theatrical, directorial debut of Jeff Fowler, who previously worked on Gopher Broke, a 2004 short, animated film written and directed by Jeff Fowler.

The short film follows a hungry gopher who hatches a clever plan to get a quick snack but discovers that even the best-laid plans can go udderly awry. The opening title can be seen during Sonic’s exploration of the motel room.

Egg-O-Matic

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A more modern and more ‘realistic‘ version of the Egg-O-Matic can be seen through half of the trailer. Although it has not been confirmed that this is, in fact, a representation of the Egg-O-Matic, it does share some similarities.

Blur Studio

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Blur Studio, although its name is not a direct reference to Sonic’s nickname “The Blue Blur“, the studio has had ties to the Sonic The Hedgehog games before the film. Blur Studios produced several CGI animated cutscenes for Shadow the Hedgehog and Sonic The Hedgehog 2006.

According to an interview, by Di-O-Matic, Inc, with then Animation supervisor Leo Santos, “One particular challenge we had on the Sonic opening cinematic (and the Shadow the Hedgehog cinematics) is the fact that Sonic’s mouth is sometimes on the side, sometimes on the middle.” With Blur Studio’s experience with animating Sonic in the past, why was there a need to redesign?

Doctor Ovi Kintobor or Dr. Ivo Kintobor

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This one is probably a long stretch but, Jim Carrey’s portrayal of a ‘thin‘ Robotnik is similar in appearance (somewhat) to that of Doctor Ovi Kintobor, a character that appears in the Sonic the Comic series published by Fleetway Editions in the UK. The character served as a background origin story to the present day Eggman. In other comic series published by Archie Comics, Carrey’s portrayal is similar to that of, alternate universe Robotnik, Dr. Ivo Kintobor, who is kind, generous and friendly.

Needless to say, there will probably be more hidden gems within the movie. Be on the lookout and mark your calendars for February 14th, 2020! Watch the newly released trailer here:



Sonic X Complete Series Blu-ray

Spot more easter eggs? Let us know by emailing us at, Contact@TheKitsunetwork.net.