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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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Anime Expo 2019: The calm before the Storm

Ever wondered how the Los Angeles Convention Center looks like without thousands of Anime Expo attendees? We went to the convention center early during the week of Anime Expo 2019 and captured some of the empty rooms and corridors.

Outside the convention center during Day -1, No lines. Day -1 was dedicated to setting up AX and badge pick up for exhibitors and guests.

As seen in the photos, AX staff were still setting up in preparation for Day 0. Empty, the convention center’s size and beauty really stand out.

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Stay tuned for our upcoming article on Anime Expo 2019 and our Anime Expo 2019 interview with voice actress, Faye Mataand Hotel Hazbin creator, Vivienne Medrano! This and more coming soon!

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.

 

 

CODE GEASS: Lelouch of the Re;surrection U.S. Premiere

On April 17, 2019, Funimation hosted the Hollywood red carpet premiere of the much-anticipated anime film, CODE GEASS: Lelouch of the Re;surrection at The Montalbán Theater in Hollywood, California.

 

In attendance was Sunrise producer Kojiro Taniguchi and the talented Code Geass cast Johnny Yong Boch (Lelouch Vi Britania), Rebecca Forstadt (Nunnally), Christopher Bevins (Tamaki) & Karen Strassman (Kallen) .

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Lelouch’s Death scene as seen in S2 Ep 25 “Re;

It’s been 10 years since U.S. audiences last saw Lelouch, leaving behind questions about his supposed death at hands of Suzaku Kururugi (masquerading as Zero). Unlike the previous films, which were compilations of the series, Lelouch of the Re;surrection is a direct sequel series’ second season.

 

During the premiere, we spoke with producer Kojiro Taniguchi and the voice cast about their return to the Code Geass series:

The long-awaited film is set to release in theatres on May 5th (Subbed) and May 7th – 8th (Dubbed) tickets now on sale, click here for more information.

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Get to the theater early to receive an exclusive Lelouch postcard!*

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*While supplies last.

About Film:

He gave up his life to save the world and protect the ones he loved. The day Lelouch vi Britannia fell was the day this war-torn world found peace. Now, as his friends work to keep the peace, a terrorist attack could risk everything. Can the brilliant tactician outwit death and save them all? Or will Lelouch’s legacy fall here?


GIVEAWAY!

We are giving away the COMPLETE Code Geass Bluray collection! That’s right, A lucky winner will have the chance to own the entire CODE GEASS collection!

 

HOW TO WIN?

Good luck to everyone who enters,  you have till May 10TH to enter. Winners will be announced on MAY 11TH!


Photo gallery from Funimation’s Hollywood Red Carpet premiere of CODE GEASS: Lelouch of the Re;surrection at The Montalbán Theater in Hollywood, California.

 

The Kitsune Network would like to thank Funimation, Dylan DeMott and the talented individuals who were involved in with the production of the film. Thank You.

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!

Okamoto Kitchen Interview

Okamoto Kitchen has been around since 2015, since then, they’ve been catering to hungry anime fans across southern California.

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Recently they’ve announced and funded their newest project; their anime series based on their real-life experiences in the food truck business as portrayed by their mascot, Haru-chan!b3de41bef653527d31a2d360447b24eb_original

Okamoto Kitchen founder, Gerald Abraham, spoke to us exclusively about their newest project, their food, and future plans. Watch our exclusive interview:

Hungry For more? Okamoto Kitchen took us behind the scene in this overview video of their delicious J.F.C. (Japanese Fried Chicken) Plate.

To learn more about Okamoto Kitchen, their food & their anime project visit their official website here.


Photo gallery

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

Made In Abyss U.S. Premiere

On March 15, 2019, Sentai Filmworks hosted the Los Angeles red carpet premiere of the dark fantasy and adventure anime film MADE IN ABYSS: Journey’s Dawn at the Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE 14. Journey’s Dawn is the first film in the two-part MADE IN ABYSS compendium.

In attendance was the talented and famed anime director Masayuki Kojima, composer Kevin Penkin, music producer Hiromitsu Iijima and producer Shimpei Yamashita.

Made In Abyss television series took audiences by surprise and garnered ecstatic reviews with its disarming facade that shrouded a dark masterpiece and although the film is a compilation of the series’s episodes, however, it features brand new scenes by Kojima & Yamashita.

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We spoke with Made In Abyss film director Masayuki Kojima & the film’s music composer, Kevin Penkin during the red carpet premiere:

Watch the film dubbed on the 25th! Can’t make it?

Order the Blu-ray series here or the MADE IN ABYSS Premium Box Set

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Film synopsis:

The enigmatic Abyss is an unforgiving and deadly place. Despite the dangers, it still captures the imagination of explorers such as Riko who wishes to follow in her mother’s footsteps and trains hard to become a Cave Raider. One day, she receives news that her mother died in the Abyss, yet a mysterious note tells Riko that her mother may still be alive. Vowing to uncover the truth about her mother’s fate, Riko embarks on a journey with a humanoid robot boy name Reg. Together, they will discover if they have what it takes to survive where so many others have perished.


Photo gallery from Sentai Filmworks’ Los Angeles red carpet premiere of MADE IN ABYSS: Journey’s Dawn at the Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE 14

The Kitsune Network would like to thank the wonderful and talented people of Sentai Filmworks & Rogers & Cowan. 

Let’s go to AniFest 2019!

What is AniFest?

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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!

Why Should I attend?

Aside from special guests appearances by VampyBitMe, D-Piddy, キーング X KING!, and yours truly, AniFest will also feature musical performances by Stephanie Yanez, Tune in Tokyo, Phoebe Chan & Arcane Maid Cafe Idols. There’ll be many anime and fashion vendors, entertainment and photo ops during the event! As an added bonus, AniFest will be in partnership with Avex Pictures of Japan to host the very first U.S. screening of Trinity Seven 2*!

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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!

More information on their official website!

‘I Want to go now!’

Tickets are now on sale so grab them before they’re gone!

OR you can try your luck here! We are proud to announce that we are working alongside AniFest to bring you this special giveaway**, so enter for your chance to win a (1) ticket to AniFest 2019!

DEADLINE: MARCH 20TH at 11:59PM [PST]

*Sperate ticket required for this event
**Only one winner will be selected