James Kaposztas was the creator of the world’s first known anime music video in 1982 at age of 21. His death was confirmed Sunday via Twitter, by Michael Pinto co-founder and publisher of Anime.com.
According to an interview Kaposztas gave with AnimeCons TV, Kaposztas created the very first AMV by hooking up two video cassette recorders to each other and edited most of the violent scenes from Space Cruiser Yamato (released in the US as “Star Blazers“) to “All You Need Is Love” by The Beatles. A second version of the video would later be uploaded to his YouTube channel, stating that “[. . .]the Original was damaged”. This newer version is lacks The Beatles’ song due to YouTube copyright infringement rules, however in two year old comments, Kaposztas suggests to “To get an idea of how the AMV would have played out, try playing “All You Need is Love” from a audio source, and sync it up to the beginning of active video. Then play both Audio and Video source.”
According to Pinto, Kaposztas played a key role in supporting early anime events in New York City and Philadelphia. He added, he was among the few cosplayers at the time, who would often cosplay as Captain Avatar (Captain Jūzō Okita) from Space Cruiser Yamato (Star Blazers.) Kaposztas would later be involved with Otakon as part of their staff for 22 years, according to his Linkedin profile.
According to the same Linkedin profile, Kaposztas’ love for anime and video editing lead him to pursue a profession in audio visual editing for over two decades.
Since James Kaposztas’ 1982 AMV, the art of AMVs has been evolving throughout the years, with elaborate editing from its editors and in more recent years, AMVs are being used to promote and distribute original music. We do not think James Kaposztas knew that his creation would lead to a worldwide phenomenon that would be integrated into hundreds of anime conventions throughout the U.S., with some even holding AMV competitions.
May James Kaposztas rest in peace; his legacy never forgotten.
2023 kicked off for Californian Otakus with Anime Los Angeles 18 held from January 4th through 8th, at the Long Beach Convention Center. The LBCC has been ALA’s home for the past 3 years, since 2018. Anime Los Angeles had over 12K+ attendees and over 20 guests who included voice actress Kayleigh McKee, anime influencer Kaho Shibuya And japanese animators Mamoru Yokota & Kenji Yokoyama, among others.
During the convention we sat down to speak with guest of honor, Kayleigh McKee. Kayleigh is best known for playing the fan favorite character Yuta Okkotsu in the hit anime movie Jujutsu Kaisen 0, as Pina in Netflix’s highly successful BEASTARS, and as Testament in the classic fighting game Guilty Gear Strive. She is one of few Transgender women in professional voice over blazing a new path in the realm of acting for anime, cartoons, and games. Watch our exclusive interview with Kayleigh, as we discuss about her role in Guilty Gear Strive as Testament!
Where would anime be without its legendary animators; during ALA 2023, we had the opportunity to speak with Japanese animators Mamoru Yokota & Kenji Yokoyama about their working in the anime industry for over 25 years. Mamoru Yokota has been involved in a great number of shows mainly as animator, but also as producer, character designer, illustrator and game director. As animation director, he’s best known for multiple episodes of Death Note, NARUTO Shippuden, and 2020’s Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai. He was also one of the animation directors for ONE PIECE STAMPEDE and most recently, ONE PIECE FILM: RED.
Kenji Yokoyama made his very first appearance at anime convention, after more than 40 years of dedication in the industry as a noted animator. Mr.Yokoyama. has worked on Gatchaman II and F, Dragon Ball Z, Dr. Slump, Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai, Jigoku Sensei Nūbē and SLAM DUNK, Toriko throughout 1970s and 1990s additionally, he has worked on One Piece in the last 25 years and most recently, in Yashahime.
We apologize for potato audio quality.
Anime Los Angeles 2023 Cosplay, Ani-Ambiance & More
Our coverage of Anime Los Angeles 2023, would not be complete without cosplay photos! During our Journey at this year’s ALA, we collaborated with cosplay photographer Jonathcon Photography. Check out his work at this year’s ALA 2023 with these amazing con photos!
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Jonathcon Photography has been taking on any & every cosplay photo gig during Anime Conventions for the last two years. He’s often known for being a fan’s photographer, not only scouting the perfect locations for shoots but also researching the subject and material source of each cosplay. If you’re interested in hiring him as your personal cosplay photographer in or outside of convention, visit his official Instagram at, https://www.instagram.com/jonatcon_photos/ and sent him a direct message to schedule your next, spectacular cosplay photoshoot!
Thank you for reading our article, for more interviews visit our interview page
For those following the anime convention scene in Los Angeles, CA; Ronin Expo announced earlier this year that had to postpone its June event until further notice due to changes in the venue’s service policies. Recently they announced that Ronin Expo has found a new venue within the Little Tokyo district.
Since 2017 Ronin-Expo is an Anime and Asian culture convention targeting both new and veteran convention-goers. The convention is designed to feel like an festival featuring artists, exhibitors, live performances, and guests of honors and special in-door panels. Past featured guests include voice actors, Sarah William,Reuben Langdon and Japanese anime director, Hiroshi Nagahama.
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.
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.
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.
The Nisei Week Parade was held in Los Angeles on August 10th, 2019. Originally a 7-day festival celebrating first American born Japanese in Los Angeles.
Although the festival is no longer confined within a week nor is it exclusively targeted to ‘niseis‘, (the first American born Japanese) it is a celebration of Japanese American culture and history in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles.
Nisei week has over the years diversified giving the surrounding community “[…]the opportunity for people of all backgrounds to celebrate Japanese heritage and culture.“. as stated by Michelle Suzuki, Nisei Week Foundation president in 2006. To learn more about Nisei week and its cultural significance, visit their official website here.
Here some of our highlights from the parade
J-pop band, Bishonen
Band members; Ryuga Sato, Yuto Nasu & Hidaka Ukisho. Represented by Japan’s male idol talent agency, Johnny & Associates (also known as, Johnny’s).
Montebello-Ashiya Sister city program representatives
Montebello-Ashiya Sister city program
Over fifty years after an international agreement between the two distant cities, one in the United States, and one in far-off Japan, the international sister city agreement between Montebello and Ashiya, Japan, continues to be vital and strong. Created to help people understand and implement tolerance of cultural differences and an awareness of people’s qualities and attributes.
Northern California Cherry Blossom Queen and Princesses
Princess Nami Katie Saito, Princess Elena Harumi Nielsen, Princess Stephanie Reiko Gee, First Princess Naomi Leilani Furukawa, Queen Yuki Nishimura.
2019 Nisei Week Queen & Court
Princess Ariel Mei Imamoto, Princess Emily Yuiko Ishida, First Princess Mia Masae Lopez, 2019 Nisei Week Queen Juli Yoshinaga, Miss Tomodachi Kara Chizuru Ito, Princess Marika Kate Gotschall, and Princess Kayla Sachiko Igawa.
Entertainment Hobby Shop Jungle
Osaka based, anime retail store, Anime Jungle! Jungle has everything from Anime and Tokusatsu merchandise include toys, figures, DVDs, Apparels to rare anime figures!
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?
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!
Nagahama sketching for fans
Reuben Langdon signs a slice of pizza for a fan
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.
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!
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.
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.