Category Archives: Events

Patrick Imbert’s ‘The Summit of The Gods’ premieres at Animation is Film Festival 2021

The newest adaptation of Jiro Taniguchi’s manga, The summit of Gods had a special screening at the Animation is Film Festival 2021 in Hollywood on October 22nd. initially announced in 2015, the film went through different creative hands before it made its way to award-winning, French animator, Patrick Imbert in 2020.

The Summit of the Gods revolves around two hikers, Makoto Fukamachi, a young Japanese reporter, and a mysterious mountain climber named Habu Joji. Fukamachi believes, Habu is in possession of George Mallory’s camera.

George Mallory is a mountain climber who, along with Andrew Irvine, attempted to climb Mount Everest in 1924 and were never seen again. The camera might reveal if Mallory and his companion really were the first to climb Everest. 27 years later, Fukamachi and Habu find themselves, cooperating to climb to the peak of Mount Everest.

Imbert is known for his work in Ernest et Célestine, April and the Extraordinary World, and his award-winning film, The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales.

Patrick Imbert at Animation is Film Festival 2021

Using 2D animation and produced by Folivari and Mélusine Productions, Patrick Imbert’s The Summit of The Gods has been praised for his realistic animation of the iconic Mount Everest.

The film is based on the manga of the same, written and illustrated by Jiro Taniguchi, itself is an adaptation of Baku Yumemakura’s 1998 novel of the same name. Yumemakura’s work has had various adaptations, including a live-action version, starring Junichi Okada, which was released on March 12, 2016. The live-action version was directed by Hideyuki Hirayama (known for, School Ghost Stories).

During the Animation is Film Festival 2021, we had the opportunity to speak with film director Patrick Imbert:

Netflix will air the film in theaters in the United States starting on November 24, 2021, and will start streaming the film on November 30, 2021.

Mamoru Hosoda’s BELLE At Animation Is Film Fest 2021

For the first time, outside Japan, Mamoru Hosoda’s newest film BELLE had a chance to capture western audiences’ hearts during the Animation is Film Festival 2021 in Hollywood!

In 1999, Mamoru Hosoda began his journey with Dejimon Adobenchā (Digimon Adventure) as his first anime directorial debut; since then, Hosoda has developed this craft and quickly became one of Japan’s most predominant figures in Japanese animation. In 2011, Hosoda founded his own animation studio, Studio Chizu.

Photo by AIF | John Salangsang

Hosoda developed his own unique and highly influential animation style, which can be seen and felt throughout his work. His works are heartfelt, beautifully animated films and convey a sympathetic aesthetic element, often relatable. In 2019, his adventure fantasy comedy film, MIRAI, was nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film. His most recent film, BELLE, premiered at the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, receiving a 14-minute standing ovation.

Mamoru Hosoda at Animation is Film Festival 2021 in Hollywood, CA

In BELLE, Hosoda visually transforms the internet, as the popular virtual world known as ‘U’. In a plot where characters face personal turmoil, isolation, a sense of belongingness, and the need to pretend to be someone else, Hosoda effectively exploits the ability to remain anonymous online and how anonymity can have its benefits and disadvantages on its users.

We had the opportunity to briefly speak with Hosoda during the Animation is Film Festival 2021 regarding his newest work and his thoughts on MIRAI’s Oscar nomination:

*The video below may contain SPOILERS* After the screening, Hosoda addressed the audience members and answered fan questions:

The film pays homage to Beauty and The Beast (specifically Disney’s version) and is composed of tantalizing visual animation with extraordinary, captivating music tracks. In addition, Hosoda mentioned working with veteran Disney animator Jin Kim as Belle’s lead character designer earlier this year. (Below are some of Kim’s BELLE concept Sketches).

One of many scenes in which the ‘ Beauty and The Beast‘ elements can be seen
Jin Kim (김상진)

Kim has worked for Disney since 1995 and is credited in over 30 Disney titles including, Zootpia, Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen, and his most recent work Raya and the Last Dragon. Adding to Kim’s involvement, Studio Chizu also teamed up with Irish animation studio Cartoon Salon to produce the background art for the popular virtual world, ‘U’.

Get ready to dive into the beautiful world of U and watch BELLE this spring! Gkids is set to release BELLE in theaters on January 14th, 2022. For more information, visit GKids.com.

Anime Expo Lite announces “Discover Little Tokyo” Event

Anime Expo Lite 2021 ticketholders will have the opportunity to partake in a special promotion event being offered by a dozens retailers and restaurants in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles!

Little Tokyo’s famous Yagura or Tower

Beginning Friday, June 25 thru Sunday, July 11, 2021, Anime Expo Lite Ticketholders are invited to discover the historic Little Tokyo district and visit each of the participating establishments listed below to receive a custom designed Anime Expo coaster.

There are 6 different full color coasters available to collect, each may be assembled to create the above artwork designed by, Collateral Damage Studios commemorating Anime Expo’s partnership this year with Hate Is A Virus.

The list of participating establishments are as follows:

Although held virtually the past two years, Anime Expo Lite 2021 marks the 30th Anniversary of the long-running annual convention. Anime Expo Lite begins on July 3-4, 2021 from 12pm – 8pm (PST).

Tickets for Anime Expo Lite 2021 are just $5 (+ processing fees) with all proceeds to benefit the Hate Is a Virus commUNITY Action Fund. Purchase your tickets here and take a trip to Los Angeles to ‘Discover Little Tokyo’ and get exclusive access to Anime Expo Lite (Live stream).

Nihon Falcom Celebrates its 40th Anniversary with A free virtual concert from Falcom jdk BAND

Nihon Falcom announced their celebration plans earlier this week. For the last 40 years, Nihon Falcom has become a prominent video game developing company within the industry alongside Square Enix.

Falcom is most notably known for the Ys, The Legend of Heroes, and Trails series. Its current company president, Toshihiro Kondo, will be making a special message during its special 40th Anniversary celebration event on June 24th.

The special event will also feature a special virtual concert from the Falcom jdk band, for all Falcom fans for free, featuring tracks spanning four decades of Nihon Falcom’s game history.

NISA (NIS America) Online Store and NGPX have team up to announce brand new merchandise going live on June 24th after the event, warping up the celebration. According to NISA Online Store, one of these ‘brand new’ merchandise will be made in limited supply.

Tune in and catch it all:
Thursday, June 24, 2021 at 10:00 PM PT (June 25 at 7:00 AM CET)
Streamed live at the New Game+ Expo Twitch and YouTube channels

Bushiroad x Little Tokyo: Eat At Little Tokyo D4DJ Event!

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.

Album Prizes:

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.

MIKU EXPO 2020 USA IS NO LONGER POSTPONED, ITS OFFICIALLY CANCELLED

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.

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 rioters took over the peaceful protest and, 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 rioters 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

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!

Tess

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!

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!

mSEE YOU THERE!

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.

LADYBABY1

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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