Anime Los Angeles has been bringing top hit musical guests such Stephanie Yanez, Raj Ramayya, and Lolita Dark in 2019 followed by, Japanese electronic dance music duo FEMM in 2020. This year’s musical guest was KAZAH!
Kazha is a rock band founded by Japanese singer-songwriter Kazuha Oda and guitarist Hideki Matsushige in 2009. Since the release of their first album, Overture (2010) they’ve been touring around the U.S. making headlines in U.S. Anime Conventions such as Nan Desu Kan and Anime Los Angeles.
Kazha has also shared the stage with national artists such as George Lynch, Tracii Guns, LA Guns, Y&T, Tantric, and Trapt. Moving their base of operations to Memphis, TN in 2015, they’ve been featured on local broadcasts such as WREG News Channel 3, Channel 24, and WMC Action News 5.
We had the honor of interviewing lead vocalist, Kazuha Oda, and hearing her story behind the formation of KAZHA!
Bushiroad and popular Japanese anime shop, Anime Jungle have teamed in order to help support small business in the Little Tokyo district in Los Angeles, California.
Bushiroad known for its popular card game, Cardfight!! Vanguard and the music media franchise BanG Dream! They have teamed up with local businesses in the Little Tokyo area to, not only promote their latest project D4DJ -(Dig Delight Direct Drive DJ) but to also help out businesses that are suffering during the COVID19 pandemic.
D4DJ -(Dig Delight Direct Drive DJ) is a new music media franchise created by Bushiroad. It features the creative talents of Japanese novelist and scriptwriter,, Kō Nakamura (Crying 100 Times, Tori Girl) and Takaaki Kidani as the executive producer. The franchise will focus on DJing and remixing different music genre with electronic dance music.
Much like BanG! Dream, It consists of a rhythm game D4DJ Groovy Mix, music CDs, an anime series and an upcoming manga series. An English version of the rhythm game is currently in development and set to be release in 2021. Bushiroad announced worldwide streaming of the anime series via Funimation, Crunchyroll, and Sentai Filmworks, with plans for a Blu-ray release by Funimation in the future. You can watch episode 1 via D4DJ’s official YouTube channel here.
The event will offer customers the chance to get D4DJ novelty items for every $10 spent at participating stores and restaurants white supplies last. Participating stores are listed on Anime Jungle’s official event page.
D4DJ Novelties Include, D4DJ promo poster and D4DJ band sticker (Each participating store/restaurant will carry different stickers of different D4DJ and BanG! Dream bands).
In addition, customers also will receive a chance to win a CD album prizes by uploading the receipt from your store visit(s) in Little Tokyo during this event! Receipt must be within 10/23 – 11/8/2020 and can be uploaded here.
D4DJ 1st Album – 「Direct Drive!」& Poppin’Party 2nd Album: Breakthrough!」
*There will be 1 Winner per Album.*
Please note only one receipt per entry. Duplicate receipts will not be accepted. Participants may enter as many times as they wish as long as they submit a different receipt. For more information on the terms and conditions, visit the official event website here. Please follow all COVID19 prevention guidelines, each store will have a customer limit.
Crypton Future Media has just announced the official CANCELLATION of Hatsune Miku’s North American Tour, MIKU EXPO 2020 USA & Canada. Earlier this year, CFM announced its postponement due to the COVID19 pandemic, however they reconsidered and have decided to cancel the tour all together.
They posted the following message on their official Facebook page
According to their Facebook post, CFM is currently redirecting their efforts towards new ways of engaging with Hatsune Miku fans across the world, and hope to be able to announce their upcoming plans with fans soon.
As stated above, contact your ticket vendor for refund details. CFM are still working on refunds, therefore, refund option may not be readily available, we suggest you continue to check your ticket vendor account, as this status may change.
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.
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.
LuLa (FEMM) performing at Anime Los Angeles 2020
BRATS performing at Anime Los Angeles 2020, their first performance in the U.S.
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.
Rei Kuromiya performing at Anime Los Angeles 2020
Rei Kuromiya during LADYBABY concert in Los Angeles in 2015
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.
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.
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.
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.
In its 28th year, Anime Expo once again welcomed 115,000* attendees from across the world.
Japanese pop culture fans, both locally and internationally, traveled to the Los Angeles Convention Center for annual Anime Expo (Commonly known as, AX) held from July 4th thru 7th, including a pre-night show on the July 3rd.
Reports that Anime Expo’s contract with the Los Angeles Convention Center had expired, created rumors of Anime Expo moving to another venue by 2020. We can officially confirm that Anime Expo will definitely return to the Los Angeles Convention Center for 29th Anime Expo in 2020, as stated in their website and the back of the Anime Expo 2019 program books.
The Great Anime Expo Earthquake
In an unforeseen turn of events, two earthquakes occurred during Anime Expo 2019, one during Day 2, July 4th at 10:02AM PTD (4.0 magnitude) and the second during Day 3, July 5th at 8:19PM PTD (7.1 magnitude). During the first earthquake on the morning of July 4th, ABC 7 Action News had mistakenly stated that the Los Angeles Convention Center was being evacuated as a precaution. In reality, it was Anime Expo attendees waiting to get insidethe convention, not out. Their statement was later retracted. The earthquake’s epicenter location was Ridgecrest, California.
The following day, July 5th at 8:19PM a second earthquake, with a magnitude of 7.1, struck Ridgecrest, California once more. The earthquake was felt by AX attendees, which some taking to social media to post videos of their terrifying experience while inside the convention center.
Guests of Honor, Faye Mata
This year, Anime Expo featured 22 Guests of Honor, among them, voice actress Faye Mata.
Mata has voiced numerous characters including, Aqua; Konosuba, Fukaziroh; SAO: Gun Gale Online, Katie Killjoy; Hazbin Hotel, Astolfo; Fate/Apocrypha and most recently Petra in Fire Emblem: Three Houses. We had the pleasure of having an exclusive interview with Faye Mata, Join us we speak about her career, character roles, and other upcoming projects.
This year Anime Expo featured over 400+ vendors among them animator, Vivienne Medrano better known by her pseudonym, Vivziepop.
Vivziepop is famously known for creating the hit series, HAZBIN HOTEL. Following her huge viral success with her YouTube video, which features JayJay, a character from another of Vivzie’s creations titled, Zoophobia, lipsyncing to Ke$ha’s Die Young. This video helped her gain a large audience early in her career as an animator.
She began her working on Hazbin Hotel during her High school years, designing characters such Alastor, one of many main characters of the series. It wasn’t until 2016, that she initially announced Hazbin Hotel, which was originally titled, People Like Us. We caught up with Vivziepop during the last day of Anime Expo and she gave us an insight into the series’ production and its future.
The series is set to be released sometime during October 2019, although the exact date is yet to be announced. Follow Vivziepop’s Twitter account for more updates and details.
RGP Games, anyone?
We decided to cover a few things from this year’s Entertainment Hall booth, beginning with Fate/Grand Order 2019 Tour. As you may remember, the Fate/Grand Order 2019 Tour began back in February of this year…
…and continued throughout Anime Expo 2019. Their booth featured an interactive photo-op station and the opportunity to play the tabletop game, Fate/Grand Order duel. Type-Moon representatives also handed out Fate/Grand Order 2019 player guides.
The Fate/Grand Order tour continues with its next stop being at Anime Weekend Atlanta 2019 in October, for more information visit their official here.
Staying inside the Entertainment Hall, we stopped by Auragon Games’ booth as they promoted their newest game, Hiraethia!
Hiraethia is a new RPG puzzle game developed by Auragon Games, a new independent game developing company based off Texas. Auragon Games founder, Sunny Chai and Hiraethia character designer, Tin Liu spoke to us gave us an overview on Hiraethia.
We got to play the game during its promotion demo at Anime Expo and although we did not explore much of the storyline, we can see it becoming quite popular among mobile RPG fans. As Chai stated in our interview, what sets the game apart is the fully animated character scenes. It’s one of the few games out there, that features hand-drawn, fully animated attack sequences. As you may know, most games go with the traditional visual novel animation. In addition, the game also features a puzzle mini-game within the main game itself, in which, the player must strategically match ‘tiles‘ accordingly to create stronger and more powerful attack combos. It is when these attacks are performed that the fully animated sequences appear.
Furthermore, the game also features a collaboration with YouTube gamer, LilyPichu as a playable character in the game. Auragon games have not released much about their character’s background, therefore not much is known about lily nor the role she’ll play in the game, storywise.
There is currently no date set for the game’s release, other than ‘it’ll be out on the market before the end of 2019.‘ Want to know more,? head over to their official website to learn more about the game and merchandise.
Anime Expo 2020
Anime Expo ended with an unusually finish. It’s a well-known fact that Anime Expo sale badges for the coming year, hours before the current year convention is over. Things were a bit different this year, with Anime Expo announcing that badges for Anime Expo 2020 would not be sold on-site and instead, sold online.
A limited number of early bird 4-day badges will go on sale beginning on August 16th 2019. Early bird price is $75 (not including fees) for a 4-day badge. Once all the early bird badges sell out, 4-day badges will be available for $85 (not including fees) and continue rising monthly as Anime Expo 2020 gets closer. In another surprising move, Anime Expo has also stated they will no longer hold a Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales.
For more information regarding Anime Expo 2020 badge please go to their official website here. Now that Anime Expo 2019 has long been over, its time to prepare for Anime Expo 2020. Will you be there?
AniFest is a yearly anime convention and festival dedicated to celebrating the arts and culture of Japanese animation. Cosplayers, vendors, partners, sponsors, performers, and event producers all come together in one day to bring you the best that an anime convention has to offer, but without the high price!
There’ll plenty of activities to part take during this 8-hour event such as Anisong Dance Festival Event, AniFest Cosplay Showcase, Itasha Anime Car Showcase, Pine Wind Japanese Garden Experience & more. (See their official schedule here for more information). All this and more at AniFest! Held at the Torrence Cultural Arts Center in Torrence, CA on March 23rd 2019, in just 16 days!
Miku’s last LA appearance was during Miku Expo 2016, now she’s back again with Miku Expo 2018. This year’s theme: “Can’t Make A Song!!” by beat_shobon.
As you read this, Miku Expo is still on going with tours left in New York, NY & Mexico City alongside Miku’s first european concerts beginning on December 1st in Paris, France, followed by, Cologne, Germany & London, United Kingdom.
Miku Expo 2018 (excluding San Jose/Austin) song list:
-I’ll Miku Miku You (For Reals) | Miku (ika)
-Thousand Cherry Blossoms | Miku (Kurousa-P)
-Ghost Rule | Miku (DECO*27)
-Ageage Again | Miku (Mitchie M)
-Meltdown | Rin (iroha(sasaki))
-Law-evading Rock | Len (Neru)
-Doctor=Funk Beat | KAITO (Nyanyannya)
-Lover’s Suicide Oblivion | MEIKO (OPA)
-Glow | Miku (keeno)
-Through The Night | Miku (Slushii)
-Romeo and Cinderella | Miku (doriko)
-Envy Catwalk | Miku (Tohma)
-Can’t Make a Song | Miku (Moi)
-Double Lariat | Luka (Agoaniki-P)
-8HIT | Rin, Len (Wonderful☆Opportunity)
-Remote Control | Rin, Len (Wonderful☆Opportunity)
-Gemini | Rin, Len (Dixie Flatline)
-Nyanyanyanyanyanyanya! | Miku (daniwellP)
-Satisfaction | Miku (kz)
-Whimsical Mercy | Miku (Hachioji-P)
-Luka Luka Night Fever | Luka (samfree)
-World is Mine | Miku (ryo)
-Rain of Cherry Blossom Petals | Miku (halyosy, absorb)
-Decade | Miku (Dixie Flatline)
-DUNE | Miku (Hachi)
-Miku | Miku (Anamanaguchi)
-Tell Your World | Miku (kz)
-Melt | Miku (ryo
F.Y.E. Let’s Paint Miku Event
Following the concert in Los Angeles, electronics store. FYE (For Your Entertainment) in collaboration with Crypton Future Media INC organized an in-store event where Hatsune Miku fans were to purchase a blank Miku figurine and participated in various artistic activities such as, figure painting, coloring and Japanese traditional Chigiri-e (Art made with coloured paper that is torn to create images, and may resemble a water colour paintings.)
Once the figure was painted, it was then filmed for an upcoming video alongside the colouring sheets & Chigiri-e which were kept by Crypton Future Media INC for said upcoming video.
Here’s our Miku Expo 2018 video:
Thanks for reading my post, due to time restrictions, I couldn’t take as many photos as I wanted to before the concert began in LA. I do hope you enjoyed our video. Be on the lookout for our Anime Expo 2018 post, coming soon!
Join us at the Torrance Cultural Arts Center this May 5th 2018 for the first ever Anifest!
AniFest is a brand new one-day Anime Festival where you can find all the great things of a convention but with a matsuri twist, right in Torrance California! Take a look around to see all the great things you can do, and for only $15! Get your ticket here: AniFest.org/tickets. See you there!
With the anticipation of FINAL FANTASY XV, we couldn’t resist taking a trip down to Square Enix in El Segundo, Los Angeles!
This was the first time we’ve EVER visited their offices, needless to say, we were very excited. However, due to sensitive production work, we were unable to see the production offices, but the lobby was filled with Square Enix history! Take a look:
Take a look at our small video from this awesome trip:
Are you a fan of Life Is Strange? Here’s YOUR chance to win this amazing, one-of-a-kind, Life Is Strange VideoPak!
This is a reusable mini tablet with 2 pre-loaded Life Is Strange videos. You can use a standard USB charging cable to charge and add limited videos of your own via your PC!