Category Archives: TKN Exclusive

Interview with Star Fox’s legendary voice actor, MIKE WEST!

Mike West was the very first voice of Nintendo’s famous canine, Fox McCloud in the hit video games series, STAR FOX!

Originally released in 1995, Star Fox quickly gain attraction as spaceship shooter game. In 1997, it was rebooted for the Nintendo 64 with higher graphics and titled Star Fox 64, which was the very first Nintendo game to have included support for the Rumble Pak, enhancing the gaming experience.

Star Fox 64 was the first Star Fox game to feature actual vocal lines, as oppose to its previous gibberish ‘vocal‘ sounds. It is here that voice actor, Mike West began his career with Nintendo and even took a 14 year ‘break‘ before coming back to voice Fox McCloud in Nintendo’s 2011 remastered game, Star Fox 64 3D for the Nintendo 3DS system. Watch our interview with Mike West below:

-GIVEAWAY-

Answer the question mentioned at the end of the interview for your chance to win an autographed print of Fox McCloud signed by Mike West!

DEADLINE TO ENTER:
October 17th 2020!

MIRACULOUS LADYBUG HOUR LONG TV SPEICAL! – United Heroez

Zag Animation recently announced a 52 minute Miraculous Ladybug special, which is set to release this Friday!

Zag Animation studio CEO, Jeremy Zag hinted the project back in 2016, stating a possible cross-over between Ladybug and two other Zag Animation properties, Pixie Girl and Ghostforce, two series that have yet to see the light of day. Will these characters be introduced in this special? highly unlikely, but the special will feature a group of super-powered individuals, never before seen.

Friends or Foes?

The special will also feature the series’ protagonists, Marinette Cheng & Adrien Agreste flying to the United States (hence the title, United Heroez) for the first time. Although this special is nearly an hour long, it is not to be confused with the Ladybug & Cat Noir Awakening movie, slated to be released in 2021.

Watch the trailer below:

Want more Ladybug? check out these awesome interviews we’ve done over the course of Miraculous Ladybug episodes:

Interview with the voice of Marinette Cheng, Cristina Vee

Interview with Ezra Weisz, Miraculous Ladybug Voice Director

Interview with Kagami Tsurugi, Faye Mata

Interview with the voice of Zag Animation Studio producer, Jared Wolfenson

Crush 40 vocalist, Johnny Gioeli Talks about the birth of Crush 40, his music, Sonic film squeal and…Bagel And Butter?

Crush 40 has affected the lives of many Sonic The Hedgehog fans, and no one knows that better than the vocalist for Crush 40, Johnny Gioeli. Johnny has been preforming since the age of 11, going on to form the 90’s rock band Hardline alongside his brother, Joey Gioeli.

During this venture, Johnny met SEGA employee, Jun Senoue and together formed what would later be known as, Crush 40. Join Johnny and us in this exclusive interview, as we speak about the origins of Crush 40, how the music was created, Johnny’s take on the Sonic movie and, as stated above, Bagel And Butter and so much more!

Fire up your Gamecube for an EXCLUSIVE Interview with Fox McCloud – Star Fox Assault!

Based in Seattle Washington, Jim Walker has been producing music since 1986. Having had his music featured in the soundtrack for the 1987 film Three O’Clock High, Jim has produced over 32 Full-Length Albums, making Jim no stranger to the recording booth.

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In 2004, Jim decided to try something different and with the help of his agent, Jim went to on to audition for the voice of one of Nintendo’s most popular character, Fox McCloud in Star Fox Assault. Star Fox Assault was released in 2005 and was the second Star Fox game to feature both shoot’em up and run ‘n’ gun shooter genres, different game modes of its original games, Star Fox and Star Fox 64.

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Though the game met with mixed reception, it went on to become a childhood favorite among Star Fox fans of today, many praising the game’s soundtrack and Fox’s English performance.

We had the honor of interviewing Jim Walker the voice of Fox McCloud in said game. Join Jim and I as we take a ride down memory lane with this exclusive interview. Listen as we take you behind the scenes as Jim explains how he got the role, his primary musical career, experiences voicing the character and other behind the scenes exclusives!

Watch til the end for a giveaway opportunity and special announcement!

Can’t get enough of Jim? Check his music by visiting his website at JVAMusic.com

A24 Checks in at The Hazbin Hotel

New York based film distributor and TV production company, A24 has announced on Friday that it will be picking up Vivienne Medrano’s The Hazbin Hotel for a full television series.

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A24 has produced critically acclaimed films such as Room staring Brie Larson and The Disaster Artist staring James Franco. A24 has also produced numerous hit comedy series such as 2 Dope Queens, and Eric Andre: Legalize Everything.

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A24 have not release anymore information regarding the show’s production nor its estimated release date.

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3 months before the pilot episode was officially released, we had the honor of speaking with Hazbin Hotel creator Vivienne Medrano during Anime Expo 2019 regarding the show’s characters, merchandise and its future, watch below:

We would like to congratulate Vivienne Medrano and her team for their hard work and well deserved, upcoming TV series. We hope that Hazbin Hotel keeps on developing into more than a TV series (Maybe a film?) and wish her and her team the best.

GKIDS ANNOUNCES ENGLISH DUB CAST FOR “LUPIN III: THE FIRST”

The Lupin the 3rd franchise created by Monkey Punch began in 1967 and has spanned a variety of manga, TV series, games, a theme park ride, and musical adaptations. It featured acclaimed director Hayao Miyazaki in his first feature film debut with The Castle of Cagliostro in 1979.  The Lupin the 3rd: The First is a highly anticipated film that marks the VERY first installment in CGI for the lauded animated franchise. In recent news, the upcoming English language dub film will feature the voices of

Lupin III – Tony Oliver
Daisuke Jigen – Richard Epcar
Goemon Ishikawa – Lex Lang
Fujiko Mine – Michelle Ruff
Koichi Zenigata – Doug Erholtz
Laetitia – Laurie C. Hymes
Lambert – J. David Brimmer
Gerard – Paul Guyet

From 2D to CGI 3D

“I’ve been looking forward to seeing Lupin III in 3DCG for a long time now. I saw the characters and story, and it looks like this new Lupin is going to have a whole new feeling to him. It’s exciting just imagining how the movie is going to turn out.”

-MONKEY PUNCH (OCT. ‘18)

An excerpt from Gkids’ Interview with LUPIN III: THE FIRST  director Takashi Yamazaki:

As soon as the project began in September 2015, the 3DCG Lupin character designs were also developed. Lupin has different characteristics between the TV series and the specials, and likewise, various options were considered for this movie.

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First, several character designers and concept artists were hired to develop about 30 different designs of Lupin in 2D. The Staff cast voted on the three most popular designs. Those were further improved until the final design was completed. Once Lupin was finalized, developing Daisuke Jigen, Goemon Ishikawa, and Inspector Zenigata was relatively easy by applying the same style.

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However, Fujiko Mine proved to be difficult. She was portrayed as a provocative lady in the TV specials with eyes slanting upwards, whereas she was cute and playful with eyes slanting down in the series. Her characteristics changed according to the staff. After many discussions about which direction to go and whether she should be slim or voluptuous, the production team decided on the current design.

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Building 3D models based on 2D concepts turned out to be challenging since small details make or break Lupin’s likeness. Two dedicated 3D modelers were building digital maquettes in ZBrush for the main characters. What resulted were completely different models, and it was hard to believe that they came from the same concept art. In the end, the one chosen was the model that was most expressive in CG animation. Attention to small details such as the sideburns and jawline were considered to finalize the 3D models.

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The new characters Laetitia, Lambert, and Gerard were developed based on Director Yamazaki’s rough sketches. Lambert’s 3D model was almost entirely developed from Director Yamazaki’s sketch. Gerard’s design was less straightforward. Ultimately, the character drawn in the animatics turned out to be well-received, so the model was developed from that design.

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What is great about 3DCG is its rich texture. The slick texture of Lupin’s leather jacket was made possible because of the medium. There were more than 10 different outfits designed for Fujiko and Director Yamazaki mentioned that it was like an upscale costume fitting. However, because of the budget, only a couple of outfits were developed. Fans can enjoy the carefully selected outfits in the film.

Special thanks to GKids for interviewing the film Director Takashi Yamazaki, and providing us with the said interview. For those interested in reading the entire interview please do so here (Lupin III: The First Press Kit PDF).

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Follow the iconic “gentleman thief”  as Lupin III returns in an action-packed, continent-spanning adventure, as Lupin III and his colorful underworld companions race to uncover the secrets of the mysterious Bresson Diary before it falls into the hands of a dark cabal that will stop at nothing to resurrect the Third Reich. The gang undertakes trap-filled tombs, aerial escapades, and daring prison escapes with the trademark wit and visual finesse that has made LUPIN THE 3RD one of the most storied animation franchises in the world, in a thrilling new caper that is sure to delight fans old and new. Watch the trailer below!

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Follow Lupin at these official social media links:


 

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

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.

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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!

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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!

Exclusive Interview with Britton A. Arey | Voice of TESS in Jak II and Jak 3

The following MAY contains spoilers from the Jak and Daxter video games series


We’ve all been there before, we’ve all at some point had a crush on a video game character, whether it was Lara Croft or Chung Li. Maybe some of us still have virtual waifus and/or husbandos. The Jak and Daxter series is one such game of the early 2000s, in which some of us discovered our very first video game crush. Many fans of the series were automatically hooked on the game’s expansive fantasy world, its plot and the game’s impressionable femme fatale characters.

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Who doesn’t love girls and guns? | Kiara, Ashlien & Tess

One such character was Tess. Tess is a character that was featured in Jak II and Jak 3, Initially introduced as a supporting character, she would gradually play an essential role in the storyline, helping Jak and Daxter through their journey. Tess also served as a love interest for Daxter.

 

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Jak II rated T for Teens: Suggestive Themes

During the events in Jak II, Tess was a rebellion spy (or Underground agent in the game) working at a local bar, gathering intel from the enemy. By Jak 3 she becomes a weapons expert, developing high-grade weapons. Although many who have played the game, know of Tess’s background story, not many are aware of the person behind the voice of the hyper-active, cheery character.

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‘Its a hobby’

Tess is Portrayed by Dr.Britton A. Arey MD, now working as a psychiatrist in Orange County in California, Britton once pursued a career in acting and in the years prior to Jak II, Britton had auditioned for a role in the hit movie Hook which features the late Robbin Williams and veteran voice actor, Dante Basco.

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Credited as Britton A. Hill in Jak II,  later to Britton A. Arey in Jak 3 after her marriage to then Jak and Daxter writer, Daniel Arey.

Join us in this exclusive voice actor interview! For the very first time, Dr.Britton Arey speaks out about her involvement in Jak II/Jak 3 revealing behind the scenes stories during the production of the game and much more!

 

Click here for a shorter version of the interview!

Stick to the end of the interview for details on how to win an autographed print signed by Britton Arey (voice of Tess) and her husband Daniel Arey, Former creative director and writer of the Jak and Daxter series!

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Scan of actual autographed print

Winner will be chosen and announced on April 1st, 2020, visit our website for our giveaway terms and conditions, https://thekitsunetwork.net/giveaways/!


Click here for more voice actor interviews!

Interview with voice actress, Dorothy Fahn | On-Camera interview debut!

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.