Category Archives: Cons

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: 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!

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.

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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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Anime Expo 2019

In its 28th year, Anime Expo once again welcomed 115,000* attendees from across the world.

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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.

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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 inside the convention, not out. Their statement was later retracted. The earthquake’s epicenter location was Ridgecrest, California.

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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.

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Photo Credit: Ax2D Photography

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.

_DSC0070-(2)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.

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Hazbin Hotel official poster

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!

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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.

“A story of adventure, mystery, and tragedy. Follow a brave group of heroes as they try to save the world.” as the game’s Kickstarter states.

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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.

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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.

On June 21st, Auragon games launched a Kickstarter funding campaign with the goal of 10K, and after 45 days, the project was successfully funded.

UntitledThere 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.

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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.

_DSC0788For 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?

*115,000 unique, 350,000 turnstile 


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Ronin Expo 2019 Interviews | Hiroshi Nagahama & Reuben Langdon

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We had the honor of interviewing actor Reuben Langdon and famed anime director, Hiroshi Nagahama during Ronin Expo 2019 in Little Tokyo, California. Ronin Expo is an annual anime festival located in the heart of the Los Angeles Japanese community, Little Tokyo!

Hiroshi Nagahama, began his career at Madhouse Studio as a mechanical designer for ‘The Cockpit’, after leaving Madhouse, he became a freelancer. He later went on to direct the highly acclaimed anime series, Mushishi. In recent news, Nagahama was working alongside writer Stan Lee to co-create, The Reflection an anime series surrounding individuals who have superpowers after coming in contact with a mysterious light. More on this in our interview with Hiroshi Nagahama below:

Reuben Langdon is known for voicing Dante (Devil May Cry series), Ken Masters beginning with Street Fighter IV various others. Aside from voicing characters, he’s also a well-known motion capture actor, doing motion capture for Chris Redfield in Resident Evil Code Veronica, 5 & 6. In addition, Langdon is also a stuntman, filmmaker and on-camera actor, working on well-known film titles such as,  The Medallion, Spider-Man 2, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Night at the Museum 2, Ant-Man, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Avatar. In recent news, Langdon was involved in a life-threating armed assault, earlier this year, while filming a documentary in Guatemala, Mexico. This and more in our interview:

We would like to thank Ronin Expo staff for providing the services we needed to execute these interviews. Special thanks to Lisle Wilkerson for interpreting our interview with Nagahama.

We’ll see you at Ronin Expo 2020!

For our 2018 Ronin Expo coverage click here. For updates on Ronin Expo please visit, https://www.ronin-expo.org/

 

Sonic Revolution 2019

Sonic Revolution is SoCal’s only Sonic The Hedgehog annual convention, although not officially endorsed by SEGA, it provides the best service to ensure Sonic fans get a great sonic experience!

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Sonic Revolution was held on June 9th at The Sage Resturant and lounge in Whitter, California with Sonic Team Racing as this year’s theme.

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Although the convention was small, it had so much to offer! From an artist ally to a small bar area!

Special guests included Evan Stanley, Ryan Drummond, Sasso Studios, Alan Denton, Greg Hahn, and Bill & Sam Freiberger among others.

During the convention, we got the chance to sit down and speak with voice actor Ryan Drummond, the first actor to voice Sonic in a video game! Watch as we speak about his career origins and more!

Sonic Revolution had various guest panels, raffles and a cosplay contest, where fans got the chance to win sonic figures and more.

With word getting around, it goes without saying Sonic Revolution will continue to grow! We’ll return for more of that Sonic experience and bring you more content with the return of Sonic Revolution come 2020! If you’re a Sonic The Hedgehog, this is the place to be at!

Photo gallery from Sonic Revolution 2019 held at The Sage Resturant and lounge in Whitter, California.

 

Resident Evil II REmake Interview with Nick Apostolides and Jolene Anderson

Anime Pasadena returned for its 2nd run, Anime Pasadena 2019, held on April 20th at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, CA!

 

During the convention, we had the pleasure of interviewing voice actors, Nick Apostolides & Jolene Anderson the voices of Leon S. Kennedy and Ada Wong in the Resident Evil II Remake.

 

Watch as Nick and Jolene tell their stories from their time filming and recording their lines for the game!

The Kitsune Network would like to thank YouTube user, Story Mode for providing the in-game footage and game cut scenes for this interview.


GIVEAWAY

We are giving away an (1) AUTOGRAPHED Resident Evil II Remake print signed by Nick Apostolides (Leon S. Kennedy) & Jolene Anderson (Ada Wong)!

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ACTUAL PRIZE PRINT (Print size Approx.: 11×8.5’in)

HOW TO WIN?

Good luck to everyone who enters, you have till May 19TH to enter. Winners will be announced on MAY 20TH!


Photo gallery from Anime Pasadena 2019 held at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, California.

 

 

AniFest 2019

The annual anime festival kicked off at the Cultural Arts Center in Torrance, California on Saturday, March 23rd, 2019

With the success of last year’s event, it’s no surprise that AniFest returned with a bang! With not only more attendees but also with more guests and performing acts!

Cosplay guests included D-Piddy, Ruiriupanda, VampyBitMe, Rinmieru, Paprika Mari and yours truly, to name a few.

Anifest had over 10+ performers including the Taiko Collegiate, Stephanie Yanez x Plasmic, Voia, Manatsu Project & Candy Bomber.

One of many performances were the Röli Angels, an idol group from Japan. They performed during Anifest’s very own, Arcane Maid Cafe.

The Roli Angeles performing the hit-song, A Cruel Angel’s Thesis:

During the festival, we stopped by Sanyo Foods’ Sapporo Ichiban booth, where representatives gave FREE ramen samples by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto to all attendees.

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Ramen Maid Astolfo

Sapporo Ichiban will be uploading all the photos they took with cosplayers during AniFest, keep your eye out for their album here.  Sapporo Ichiban has now uploaded their AniFest photos, you can view them here. For deilcous ramen, visit their online store here.

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AniFest ticket winner!

Before I leave you with our wonderful AniFest photo gallery below, I’d like to mention the winner of our AniFest ticket giveaway, Romy! Hope you enjoyed your time at AniFest! Missed out? There’s always next year, that’s right, AniFest returns for another fantastic year in 2020, See you there!


Photo Gallery

Special thank to:

Beari King, Drew and the rest of the AniFest team for making this festival extraordinary!

Fate/Grand Order U.S.A. Tour 2019

For the first time ever, American fans of Fate/Grand Order got a chance to experience the fantastic world of the mobile game thanks to the Fate/Grand Order U.S.A. Tour 2019, hosted by Aniplex of America.

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The tour made its first stop in Los Angeles, California with a special two-day event held at the California Market Center. The celebration began on February 23rd and continued the next day, February 24th.

Fate/Grand Order U.S.A. Tour featured a plethora of attractions including many immersive photo-op areas, a Challenge Quest Battle Zone, and a “Learning with Manga” Kigurumi Greeting Stage where fans can catch a glimpse of the Female Protagonist.

Upon entering the event, fans glimpse of the large-scale Fate/Grand Order Monument, which captures an iconic scene from the game’s story that is sure to pull at any fan’s heartstrings.

The Fate/Grand Order U.S.A. Tour 2019 also had a mesmerizing Noble Phantasm Exhibit featuring life-size weapons from the game including both Jeanne d’Arc and Jeanne d’Arc (Alter)’s flags, Nero Claudius’s Aestus Estus, Gilgamesh’s sword, Ea, Leonardo da Vinci’s staff, and the unveiling of the never-before-seen Sakata Kintoki (Rider)’s Golden Bear and Altria Pendragon (Alter)’s Excalibur Morgan.

The event also featured summon special guests Noriko Shitaya (voice of Sakura Matou), Satoshi Tsuruoka (voice of Arash, Gilles de Rais, Caligula, and Spartacus), and FGO PROJECT’s Creative Producer, Yosuke Shiokawa, for special panels on the Main Stage.

Fans attending the Los Angeles event were also the first ones to get their hands on exclusive tour merchandise, as well as products from other vendors selling Fate merchandise.

For fans who were unable to make it to the Los Angeles event, don’t worry the Fate/Grand Order U.S.A. Tour 2019 plans to head to Anime Central (Rosemont, IL), Anime Expo (Los Angeles, CA), and Anime Weekend Atlanta (Atlanta, GA) throughout 2019, before making its final stop at Anime NYC (New York, NY) in November.

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Fate/Grand Order U.S.A. Tour 2019 Schedule:

  • Fate/Grand Order U.S.A. Tour 2019 in Los Angeles (February 23- 24, 2019) California Market Center (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Anime Central (May 17-19, 2019) Hyatt Regency O’Hare and the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center (Rosemont, IL)
  • Anime Expo (July 4- 7, 2019) Los Angeles Convention Center (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Anime Weekend Atlanta (October 31 – November 3, 2019) Renaissance Waverly & Cobb Galleria Center (Atlanta, GA)
  • Anime NYC (November 15-17, 2019) Javits Center (New York, NY)

For information about the schedule and updates, please visit the official Fate/Grand Order Tour website here.


Fate/Grand Order U.S.A. Tour 2019 Photo gallery

Interview with: Ezra Weisz

Fans may recognize him for his work as the voice director on B: The Beginning, The Sky Crawlers, and recently, Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir. He’s also provided the voices of Kaname Kuran (Vampire Knight), Junketsu (Kill La Kill) & Yylfordt Granz (Bleach).

Ladies & gentlemen, its Ezra Weisz!

We had the honor of interviewing Ezra Weisz during Anime Los Angeles 2019! Intrigued by his involvement in the Miraculous Ladybug series, we asked Ezra on some insight on what goes on behind the scenes of Miraculous Ladybug! All this and more on our interview: