Category Archives: TKN Exclusive

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo by Mark C. Hanson – © Mark C. Hanson

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

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Nisei Week 2019 Parade

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.

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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).

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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.

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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!

Nisei Week 2019 parade gallery

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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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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.


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Trinity Seven: Heavens Library & Crimson Lord Advance (FREE) Screening

Did miss out on watching Trinity Seven at Anifest? We’ve got you covered! Harkins Theatres Cerritos 16 is hosting a Trinity Seven: Heavens Library & Crimson Lord advance screening on March 28th!

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Each admission ticket includes (x1) Trinity Seven Poster from Japan (While Supplies Last), (x1) Trinity Seven Postcard & (x5) Trinity Seven Collectable Limited Trading Card (5 of 9 cards: randomly selected)

Attendees will also have the opportunity to take a photo with different characters from the film

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BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

As a TKN exclusive, we are giving away FREE tickets to this event! Just type in code 328TRINITY7 during checkout for a FREE ticket! click here for the event page!