Category Archives: Photography

YOSHIKI — Immortalized In Cement At TCL Chinese Theatre


Very few can say they had their hand prints cemented on the famous TCL Chinese Theatre floor. From the early silent film star Norma Talmadge, added in 1927 to the most recent ceremonies of director James Cameron and producer Jon Landau. Now, international musician superstar YOSHIKI has been forever Immortalized at TCL Chinese Theatre, becoming the first Japanese person to do so.

Yoshiki gives a speech during the handprint ceremony.


Yoshiki is a pianist and drummer best known for forming the globally famous band X Japan, which he started with the band’s lead vocalist, Toshi in 1982. You do not have to be a fan of X Japan to see the band’s influence on Japan’s rock subculture. X Japan is often credited as the pioneer of the visual kei movement. Visual Kei, often compared to Western glam, is a movement that originated in Japan during the late 1980s, influenced by glam rock and other 1980s rock music styles. Visual Kei can be a style, music genre, or music scene.

X Japan often included a mixture of speed metal and symphonic or ballard elements within their music making them stand out from any other rock band in Japan at the time. In 1989, the band achieved their breakthrough success with their second and major debut album, Blue Blood and as a result, X Japan became an instant hit.

Five studio albums later and over 27 sold-out concerts and 16 sold-out tours, on September 22, 1997, X Japan announced that they would disband.

Yoshiki Goes Solo

As a solo musician, Yoshiki released his first solo album, the classical studio album Eternal Melody, which was performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and produced by the Beatles producer George Martin. Around this time, Yoshiki began learning about jazz improvisation and orchestration. In 1994, Yoshiki worked with Queen drummer Roger Taylor on a song he composed, “Foreign Sand,” for which Roger wrote the lyrics; the song was performed at The Great Music Experience in May of that same year.

That same year, Yoshiki also contributed an orchestral arrangement of “Black Diamond” played by the American Symphony Orchestra. The song was featured in KISS’s tribute album “Kiss My Ass“.

In later years, Yoshiki would go on to perform and collaborate on numerous musical projects with artists such as George Martin, Bono,, Jennifer Hudson, St. Vincent, Stan Lee, Roger Taylor and Brian May of Queen, Gene Simmons and KISS, Nicole Scherzinger, and recently Sarah Brightman.

New Band Formations

MIYAVI, Yoshiki & Sugizo at JRock Revolution in 2007 At The Wiltern Theatre

In July 2006, Yoshiki announced the formation of a brand new band, S.K.I.N.S. which would include JRock (Japanese Rock) stars, Yoshiki (drums, piano), Gackt (vocals, piano), Sugizo (guitar, violin) & Miyavi (guitar, shamisen). This new band was unique from the start, as it was the first Visual kei band based in the U.S., specifically Los Angeles. Uniquely, S.K.I.N.S has only performed once during their debut performance on June 29, 2007, at the Anime Expo 2007 in Long Beach, California. S.K.I.N.S has since been inactive, and no new announcements have been made.

Yoshiki would later be involved in projects that included composing the 69th Golden Globe Awards theme and composing anime and film soundtracks to Attack on Titan and Saw IV.

POKEMON X Kogei – Japan House Los Angeles


Throughout its history, the beloved Pokemon media franchise has been involved in numerous collaborations, spanning an array of industries and captivating fans across the globe. From vibrant Pokemon-themed cafes and exclusive high-end apparel collections to food collaborations, the reach of Pokemon knows no bounds. Beyond merchandise, the franchise has even ventured into the realm of video game consoles, creating special edition Pokemon-themed devices that truly immerse fans in the world they love.

With each new collaboration, the Pokemon franchise continues to amaze and inspire, inviting fans of all ages to dive deeper into its rich lore and captivating new Pokemon. Continuing to expand their artistic horizons, The Pokemon Company has joined forces with renowned artists from Japan with diverse backgrounds in the art of Kogei (Crafts), to answer the following question, ‘‘What would happen when Pokémon meets kogei (Japanese craft)?’

Work by artist KASUMI UEBA | Pottery, Hand Building overgalse enamels

Kogei, pronounced as ko-gay, is a term used in Japan to refer to the exquisite art of artisan crafts, it represents the dedication and mastery of traditional craft traditions in specific regions. Over the course of many centuries, Kogei has played a crucial role in enhancing japan’s daily lives, combining both utilitarian and aesthetic values. As time has passed, Kogei has, like Pokemon, evolved into a distinct art form using traditional methods, showcasing Japan’s exceptional diversity and artistic prowess. The profound reverence for materials, impeccable craftsmanship, and unwavering dedication are evident in numerous creations.

Under the careful curation of the National Crafts Museum in Kanazawa, Japan, and with full support of The Pokémon Company, artists crafted 70 artwork pieces using an array of materials and age-old techniques by twenty of Japan’s most skilled artisans.


POKEMON X Kogei debuted at National Crafts Museum earlier this year, and now its available in Los Angeles for all to see! The exhibition combines the elemental relationship between Pokemon and the materials used in Kogei. Similar to the various types of Pokémon such as Grass, Fire, Water, Ground (Earth), Steel (or Metal), and Electric, Koegi also incorporates these same elements with electricity added as craft has evolved in the modern times.


In homage to the mechanics of Pokemon, the exhibition is also divided into three sections; Appearance, Life and Stories, that showcase the artists’ “battle” between their craft and the Pokemon.

In the Appearance category, the artists took on the captivating task of portraying the various forms intricate details of skin or fur, lively gestures, and vivid expressions of the Pokémon.


In the Life category, artists use Pokémon into crafts used in contemporary life. These pieces often have a type of use in life.


Lastly, the Stories category, artists are tasked with weaving imaginative tales that delve into the wondrous world of Pokémon, venturing into their awe-inspiring journeys, vibrant lives, mesmerizing evolutions, and unique inherent qualities of the Pokemon games themselves.

We have hand-picked a few pieces from the exhibit’s opening night to share with you. Take a look at the photo gallery below and get a glimpse for what’s in store for you at Pokemon X Kogei exhibit. Click on the arrows to browse through the images.

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The Pokemon Company CEO, Tsunekazu Ishihara and National Crafts Museum director, Masahiro Karasawa were in attendance during the exhibition’s opening night. During a panel, those who attended, received insight knowledge on the production behind the exhibit and insight the some of the art pieces and what they represented. Towards the end of the panel, I had one lingering question, “After the art tour is over, what will happen to the wonderful art pieces?” this was their response. (Please note, Audio has some echo)
Speaker 1: Krystal (Myself) | Speaker 2: Tsunekazu Ishihar (The Pokemon Co.CEO) | Speaker 3: Masahiro Karasawa (Dir. of The National Crafts Museum)

Don’t miss this exciting, once in a life-time, exhibit and experience Pokemon like never before and best of all, its FREE! That’s right, make your reservations now HERE. After the exhibit, we highly recommend you purchase the Pokemon X Kogei guide book that gives readers an in-depth insight on the development of the exhibition and insight on each and every Kogei art piece. The book is in both English and Japanese and ONLY available in Japan but exclusively available for purchase at Japan House Los Angeles for this special exhibit! The exhibit is available now til January 7th, 2024 only at JAPAN HOUSE Gallery and is located at Level 2 of the Ovation Hollywood. 

Want more Pokemon? Check out our Amazon Our PokePicks here

or Check Our Other Articles:

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Mecha-Ude: Mechanical Arms | INTERVIEW | AX 2023 Coverage

Anime Expo 2023 – Behind The Scenes


The biggest Anime event returns to Los Angeles, Anime Expo 2023.

Fans and industry members from around the world come together to participate in this four-day celebration of anime and Japanese pop culture, jam-packed with announcements, special guests, exclusive premieres, interactive events, and more. With 300,000+ sq. ft of Exhibit Hall and 1000+ hours of programming, Anime Expo has become a must-see destination for any avid anime fan.

We got early access to the convention center as AX staff members, exhibitors, and industry staff continued building booths and sets.

Although the convention center halls were empty, hard-working SPJA staff prepared the center for its anticipated 350,000+ attendees.

In the Exhibit Hall, industry members set up their booths and get their activities ready for tomorrow, Day 0.

Our final stop was the iconic, South Lobby, where promotional booths and events are being set up.

View our FULL Behind the Scenes of Anime Expo Day -1

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Check our other articles:

“Hello Kitty Island Adventure” Launches on July 28

Interview With Jason Griffith (A Sonic Interview)

Pixiv’s Anime Expo 2023 To Host Panels Featuring Modare & Oshioshio | INTERVIEW

The Con season begins in L.A.: Anime Los Angeles 2023


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!

This interview has an on-going giveaway opportunity, visit our giveaway page for more details.

Anime Legends – Mamoru Yokota & Kenji Yokoyama

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, 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

Crunchyroll Expo 2022 | The Comeback


Anime over took San Jose this month with Crunchyroll Expo 2022! Crunchyroll Expo or CRX, returned to the San Jose Convention Center after its two year physical hiatus from the pandemic, Drawing thousands from California and out of state. Crunchyroll Expo 2022’s turnstile attendance count was an estimated 45,000!

Special guests featured included Megan Shipman, Roseline Chiang, and Dominique “King Vader” Barrett with musical guests, Burnout Syndromes, SiM and MADKID. Although we did not have time to cover CRX’s special musical guests, we did manage to get some interviews with special guests Megan Shipman, Roseline Chiang and content creator King Vader.

Spy X Family has been trending ever since its anime adaptation release back in April of this year. Anya, the 6 year old telepath and became the center of attention among Spy X Family memes. We had the chance to sit down with Anya’s English voice actor, Megan Shipman to speak about her role and the impact it has made in her career.

In a surprising announcement, CRX announced Roseline Chiang as guest of honor. Roseline Chiang is best known for voicing Meilin “Mei” Lee in Disney and Pixar’s Turning Red. Not many may know that Roseline is a huge anime fan and Crunchy Roll Expo 2022 was her very first anime convention ever! Here’s our brief interview with Roseline during CRX’22.

To wrap-up, we spoke with content creator King Vader regarding his newest film, Hood Jujutsu Kaizen, which premiered during the convention, and his reasoning behind why people love his content and his future, listen to the full audio interview below.
Interview with Writer/Director Dominque Barrett AKA, King Vader during CRX 2022

As a bonus, we managed to briefly speak with Crunchy Roll mascot Crunchyroll-Hime!

Con-goers got to enjoy a great musical lineup, industry panels, and free bike rides from and to the convention center!

Slightly lite on activities, most of CRX’s content relied on V-Tubers, which, if you were not a fan of, the convention would have seemed like it had less to offer. However, let’s not forget that CRX, like many other conventions, are recovering and emerging from a two-year-long hiatus after the pandemic.

One would argue that cons had enough to prep up to come back, but with COVID-19 mandates still active in some states, it is no wonder conventions are taking it slow and experimenting with its content. We look forward to visiting New Crunchy City next year and seeing its various content Crunchyroll will have in store!

If you wish to see our photoset from Crunchyroll Expo 2022, head on over to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account!

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Zag Entertainment releases MIRACULOUS LADYBUG ART FIGURE!


Miraculous Ladybug currently has 3 seasons and going strong, and with a huge demand for Miraculous Ladybug merchandise, Zag entertainment decided to open a physical store in Santa Monca, California in April of 2019.

Merchandise varies, from action figures and stationery to apparel and accessories. Recently, Zag entertainment added a highly anticipated product!

Miraculous ladybug fans have been pushing for Zag entertainment to produce collectible figures, rather than the basic figurine toy.  on March 13th, Zag entertainment released the VERY, first collectible figure; Ladybug & Catnoir Art Figure!

The figure is 100% resin and stands about 16.5” inches tall, and comes with a limited-edition storage box made from real leather.


How much will this limited edition figure set you back? An estimated $260 (before taxes and shipping). If you have $260+ to spare, the figure can be pre-ordered online here, but hurry only 2000 pieces were made.

We’d love to hear from you, What are your opinions on the Miraculous Ladybug figure? Comment below!

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!

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.

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!


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.

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.

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.

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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Seis Manos NOW on Netflix | ‘The Citizen Kane of Mexican Anime’ – Jorge R.Gutierrez


Seies Manos premiered at the Consulate General of Mexico in Los Angeles on September 26th. The event was developed by VIZ Media and LatinX in Animation and moderated by Executive Producer, Rob Pereyda. In attendance were the cast members of the series including, Angélica Vale, Jonny Cruz & Vic Chao.

Among those that attended the premiere were the series’ Co-Executive Producer, Daniel Dominguez; Music Producer, Carl Thiel; CEO of Powerhouse Animation, Brad Graeber; Executive Producer at VIZ Media, Rob Pereyda and special surprise guest & film director, Jorge R.Gutierrez.

During its premiere, only the first two episodes were screened, however, that was enough for film director, Jorge R.Gutierrez to state the following to the series producers,

“So this now The Citizen Kane of Mexican anime, I love it, I think its incredible, I think what you guys did is so great and funny and diverse and its just packed with heart. That was the thing that I was- usually don’t get in Kung fu movies, but this had a lot of heart and it was just beautiful, so I guess my question to you guys is, how did this happen? [. . .]”

Brad Graeber – Executive Producer & CEO of Powerhouse Animation:

” That’s a great question! So Powerhouse as a studio, we love doing fight choreography, I’m a martial arts enthusiast and student and like, I’ve always wanted to do something legit kung fu [. . .] there was not anything specific but I was like, you know, when you think about the old kung fu TV shows with David Carradine in it, there was also a mass migration of Chinese immigrants in mexico too and so it really came from that. [. . .] ” Brad replied.

” [. . .] So I got on the phone with Álvaro [Rodríguez] and uh, I sounded like a crazy person, ‘so its the 70’s and its’s kung fu, but you know, there’s monsters…’ and then Álvaro goes, he goes ‘MEXICAN ANIME!‘ [. . .] “

Thus, Seis Manos was born!

Seis Manos or its literal English translation Six Hands, is set in Mexico in the 1970s, centering on three orphaned martial arts students Jesus, Isabella, and Silencio, who join forces with a DEA agent, Brister and a Mexican Federale, Garcia to battle for justice after their beloved mentor, Master Chiu is murdered in their tiny border town. The story captives the viewer with the number of intriguing twists and turns, such as zombies, monsters, mysterious characters, magic…and the Mexican cartel?

Seis Manos features a notable voice cast highlighted by Aislinn Derbez (La Casa de las Flores) as Isabela, Mike Colter (Luke Cage) as Brister, Jonny Cruz (Overwatch) as Jesus, Angelica Vale (Jane The Virgin) as Garcia, Vic Chao (Mortal Kombat X) as Chiu, and Danny Trejo (Machete) as El Balde. All eight episodes will have English and Spanish audio and multiple subtitled language options. Most of the Spanish track is dubbed over by the same English cast members.

“SEIS MANOS offers the very best in storytelling and action, with an incredible voice cast and a unique Latin American story line rarely seen in animation,” says Brad Woods, Chief Marketing Officer, VIZ Media. “We’re thrilled to partner with Netflix and Powerhouse to share this incredible new series with fans.”

Watch the trailer

Watch Seis Manos, now available on Netflix

Seis Manos Premiere Gallery

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Alésia Glidewell – Girl Power


She is an award-winning film director, producer and web series creator. She is known for her work as a voice actress and her work in Portal. She’s none other than, Alésia Glidewell.


Pictured above during an interview we had in 2013, Alésia was born in Hawaii, to a Brazilian-American father and Japanese mother. She speaks English, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese, in addition, she spends her free time traveling the world.

Alésia’s Instagram

Alésia began her work in video games, after graduating from Emory Univerity. Wanting a breakthrough in the voice over and film industry, she moved to Seattle and spent most of her time sending out demos and attending classes. After much hard work and sacrifice, she got signed on by an agent and her career took off.

After a very successful commercial career, she booked her very first game role in 2004 as Carmalita fox and Nayla in the game, Sly 2: Band of Thieves. She later went on to voice Krystal the Fox in Star Fox Assult, released in 2005. Fast-forward to 2007, Alésia obtained recognition for her work in Portal as the facial and body model for the game’s protagonist, Chell, making her forever immortalized in a video game.


In addition, she voiced Zero Suit Samus, Knuckle Joe and reprised her role as Krystal the Fox in Super Smash Bros. Brawl in 2008. A decade later, she reprised all three roles for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, it is unclear if she had to re-record her lines or if her recordings were taken from archived recordings.

In 2013 we had the honor of interviewing Alésia Glidewell, at the time, she had just wrapped up a film she had directed and produced, Small fish. According to IMDB, its a story about two underachieving brothers who compete in a rematch against their rivals, the big shot Prussian Brothers, in the small town of Rancho Cucamonga, California. The film won best short at Hollywood Reel International Film Festival in 2014.

In 2015 Alésia and former Microsoft employee, Keri Andrews both appeared on Shark Tank, pitching the creation of You Kick-Ass. Using 3D printing technology, You kick Ass is meant to create customized superhero figures for the masses, making great personal gifts or even promotional items. The idea came to Alésia and Kari after the release of Valve’s Chell action figure which featured, Alésia’s likeness. The duo became Shark Tank success stories after walking away with an offer of $100K investment with 10% of the company from investor, Mark Cuban.


Since then, Alésia has a had huge variety of work under her belt. She became an executive producer for Wear it, To Win it, We Got issues, and The Tube’s Hautest. She also helped to create and develop a series on beauty products for Bobbi Brown cosmetics and Estée Lauder. In more recent news, Alésia has produced and directed various content for YouTubers such as, Netflix’s A Trip to Unicorn Island featuring Lily Singh and Ateyo’s Women of games: Thank u, games music video, which featured Ovilee May, Sue “Smix” Lee, Tori Pareno, and The women of Gaming & Esports. Earlier this year, she was also elected into the Producer’s Guild of America, New Media Council Board.

Alésia has proven she’s as determined as the characters she voices. With so much accomplished in the film industry, it leaves one to wonder, will she come back into video game or the voice-over industry? With a new Metroid game in the works, the timing would be perfect! However, It goes without saying, through hard work and sacrifice, Alésia Glidewell has managed to become a self-made woman, with a future that looks brighter with every project she takes on.

Find out more about Alésia Glidewell and her career by visiting her official here or check out her resume here.

Sources: Link 1, Link 2, Link 3, Link 4