A month ago, we mention Anime Expo Ontario, which is a planned, second Anime Expo convention on smaller scale to held at Ontario’s Convention Center in Ontario, California. In a recent announcement, the SPJA has changed Anime Expo Ontario to Anime Expo Chibi, we can only assume people were getting Ontario, CA, and Ontario, Canada confused, or maybe the SPJA figured “Anime Expo Chibi” was a better representation of the planned convention; after all, its Anime Expo…on chibi-er scale.
According to the announcement, Anime Expo Chibi will focus on showcasing the exhibit hall and artist alley and center on ‘having fun‘. For those interested, Anime Expo Chibi has opened pre-registration forms for both Artist Alley and Exhibitor Hall. Please read all the instructions on the form before submitting your information.
Anime Expo Chibi’s attendee registration will begin on September 6, 2022 at 12PM PT. More updating on Anime Expo Chibicoming soon.
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During the closing ceremonies, the SJPA thanked all attendees for coming to Anime Expo 2022 and introduced the very first ‘anime expo ontario’ in California.
Introduced as “anime expo” (all lower case letters), a smaller-scale spinoff convention that will allow fans an additional opportunity to celebrate Japanese pop culture this November in Ontario, California.
The event, which will be focused primarily on the exhibit hall and artist alley experience, will take place November 12-13, 2022 at the Ontario Convention Center; ticket sales will be announced in the upcoming months.
“Seeing our Anime Expo family once per year simply isn’t enough, which is why we’re incredibly excited to bring the brand-new ‘anime expo’ event to Ontario, California,[. . .]Anime Expo 2022 was a success, and we look forward to carrying that positive momentum into this smaller-scale show that provides a unique, more intimate opportunity for fans of Japanese pop culture to come together a second time this year.”
– Ray Chiang, CEO of SPJA
The first in-person Anime Expo since 2019 welcomed fans back to the Los Angeles Convention Center with over 1,000 hours of programming, including Japanese musical guests SG5 and Travis Japan, renowned DJs Steve Aoki and TeddyLoid, and Guests of Honor including Studio MAPPA CEO Manabu Otsuka and JUJUTSU KAISEN Script Writer Hiroshi Seko, as well as Ranking of Kings Director Yosuke Hatta and Animation Producer Maiko Okada of WIT Studio; Mika Akitaka, the creator of Anime Expo’s iconic mascot, MAX, also joined in the festivities in honor of the event’s 31st year.
Anime Expo will once again return in-person to the Los Angeles Convention Center next year from July 1-4. Ticket sales for Anime Expo 2023 will be announced in fall 2022. Ray added,
“After three long years away from the Los Angeles Convention Center, it was incredibly important to all of us at SPJA that our community be welcomed home with a truly unforgettable convention experience and, thanks to all the participants–including exhibitors (small and big alike), artists, industry and sponsors–and the incredibly hard work and dedication shown by each and every volunteer and staff member, we’re proud to say that this year’s show not only met, but exceeded our expectations. We can’t wait to show you what we have in store for next year!”
– Ray Chiang, CEO of SPJA
Anime Expo celebrated its 31st annual convention by returning to the Los Angeles Convention Center live and in-person, bringing together fans and industry professionals for the largest celebration of Japanese pop culture in North America. Hosted by The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA), the sold-out four-day convention saw attendees from over 70 countries descend upon the city of Los Angeles to generate an estimated positive economic impact of over $100 Million for local hotels and businesses. Anime Expo fans that were unable to attend Anime Expo 2022 also had the opportunity to catch a glimpse of AX virtually through Anime Expo Lite through Twitch and YouTube.
Anime Expo & Iconic events have partnered up to bring anime fans the first ever AX cinema Nights featuring a new full-length anime film adventure, RYOMA! THE PRINCE OF TENNIS!
What is AX Cinema Nights?
AX Anime Expo Cinema Nights is an in-person movie event series celebrating the best new and classic anime films by bringing them to theaters across North America. Leveraging the brand power of Anime Expo, the largest Japanese culture event in North America, AX Cinema Nights will bring passionate fans together for immersive and unforgettable community experiences. Beginning with the newest addition to The Prince of Tennis franchise.
“Over the course of Anime Expo’s 31-year history, one of the greatest lessons we’ve learned is that anime has an incredible gift for bringing people together. [. . .] That’s why we’re so thrilled to team up with Iconic Events and Eleven Arts to kick off AX Anime Expo Cinema Nights with Ryoma! The Prince of Tennis and create even more opportunities for anime fans nationwide to grow their communities and share their love of the artform with friends both new and old.”
– Ray Chiang, CEO of Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA).
RYOMA! THE PRINCE OF TENNIS is a new feature film about tennis prodigy Ryoma Echizen and is based on the acclaimed manga series, The Prince of Tennis, and its sequel, The New Prince of Tennis, written and illustrated by renowned manga author, Takeshi Konomi. This will be the franchise’s first ever CG film and features an all-new story that takes place between the original manga series’ timeline and its sequel. Creator Takeshi Konomi personally supervised the film’s production and wrote the music and lyrics for all the featured songs.
Eleven Arts is very excited to be a part of this partnership with Iconic Events Releasing and Anime Expo’s AX Cinema Nights to bring forth a new theatrical experience for anime fans to enjoy [. .. ] We are honored to kickstart this experience with Ryoma! The Prince of Tennis , a title from such an iconic franchise.
-Ko Mori, CEO and President of Eleven Arts
Inspired by his tennis champion father, Ryoma is determined to take his game to the next level and train in the US. But in the middle of an intense tennis battle to save his classmate Sakuno from dangerous villains, they somehow find themselves transported to the past, just as Ryoma’s father is about to face his final championship match at the US Open – when he was mysteriously forced to retire. The innovative 3D digital animation brings the magnificent and colorful world of The Prince of Tennis to life on the big screen in this captivating film.
Over 60 million copies of The Prince of Tennis manga have been sold since the series debuted in 1999 in Shueisha’s Weekly Shōnen Jump magazine. The sequel rekindled the series in 2009 in Shueisha’s Jump Square magazine. Over the past 20+ years, the blockbuster franchise has spawned a hit anime series, animated feature films, live action films, stage plays, radio shows, music collaborations, and video games.
Ryoma! The Prince of Tennis is a quintessential and beloved property among anime and manga fans. We are excited to join with Anime Expo and Eleven Arts to present this exciting film to American audiences as part of AX Cinema Nights, and to expand our anime theatrical programming and continue the collaboration with Anime Expo.
-steve Bunnell, CEO of Iconic Events Releasing.
Screenings will take place beginning May 12 at theaters nationwide. On-sale dates and theaters will be announced shortly.
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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!
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:
Tsurumaru Udon(main menu only) 333 South Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
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).
Anime Expo announced that Lucasfilm will bring a galaxy far, far away to Anime Expo Lite this July with Star Wars: Visions – Sneak Preview panel!
Join host Chastity Vicencio and Lucasfilm executive producers, Jacqui Lopez, James Waugh Josh Rimes and Qubic Pictures’ Co-Executive Producer, Justin Leach and Kanako Shirasaki for an inside look at Star Wars: Visions before the series debuts on Disney+ later this year.
Star Wars: Visions is an upcoming anthology of animated shorts celebrating Star Wars through the lens of the world’s best anime creators and storytellers.
According to Kathleen Kennedy, President of Lucasfilm Ltd, Star Wars: Visions “[is an] anthology collection [that] will bring ten fantastic visions from several of the leading Japanese anime studios, offering a fresh and diverse cultural perspective to Star Wars.”
The upcoming novel Ronin written by Emma Mieko Candon, will tie into one of the shorts. Ronin is set to release on October 12, 2021. There is no current release date for Star Wars: Visions.
Full Panel Details:
Star Wars: Visions – Sneak Preview Date: July 3, 2021 / 3:00PM PST Duration: 30 minutes
Tickets to access this year’s Anime Expo Lite programming are $5 each, with all proceeds benefiting the Hate Is A Virus commUNITY Action Fund. After the stream concludes on July 4th, ticketholders can re-watch the content, as well as access additional programming, on a VOD basis from July 5th -16th, 2021.
Japan’s biggest anime convention of the year, AnimeJapan was canceled four days before the event was set to take place. Prior to that, the city of Osaka canceled its annual anime festival, Nipppombashi Street Festar which draws over 200K+ people to city’s Denden Town neighborhood. All this in fear of spreading the COVID-19 virus.
Notice on cancellation of Anime Japan 2020
Notice on cancellation of the 16th Nihonbashi Street Festa
Taking the seriousness of the situation into consideration, Olympic 2020 travelers have been wondering if the 2020 Olyimics will suffer the same fate. On March 3rd, an International Olympic Committee spokesperson stated, that there are no plans to postpone or move the Olympics, adding “We made a decision and the decision is the Games go ahead”. The 2020 Olympics is set to take place from July 24th to August 9th 2020 in Tokyo, Japan.
In the U.S., the first confirmed case of the COVID-19 coronavirus disease was announced on January 21st, Since then there have been over 230 cases reported and growing. Due to fear of infection, popular industry expo, Game Developers Conference was postponed to the Summer of 2020. GDC was supposed to take place at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA.
California’s biggest anime convention Anime Expo is scheduled to still take place in July of this year. The SPJA (Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation) released the following statement regarding Anime Expo status:
With the community taking its precautions, are guest cancellations are unavoidable? For now, we’ll have to wait and see.
We encourage our viewers/readers to take precautions and help reduce the spreading of the COVID-19 virus by washing your hands and keeping general germ reduction in mind when going out in public. The following are prevention guidelines by the CDC:
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
Stay home when you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
The long wait is finally over! HAZBIN HOTEL made its premiere on Oct 28th!
The pilot episode “That’s Entertainment” was released on YouTube by its creator, Vivienne Medrano (Vivziepop). The episode was an instant hit, getting over 7M views in nearly two weeks. During an interview we had with Vivienne Medrano, she spoke about having the series air on a major studio network, depending on how well the pilot episode is received and what type of deal they are offered.
Though the pilot episode became an instant hit among fans, the future of the series is still up in the air. Medrano and her team want to develop an entire season of Hazbin Hotel but for this, as Medrano puts it in our interview, they would need a bigger budget, suggesting a Kickstart campaign to help create an entire season.
Many may know about the characters inside the amazing world of Hazbin Hotel, but very few know who is their voices are. It goes without saying that Hazbin Hotel has a unique and original concept to the story, the same could be said about the cast.
Jill Harris As Charlie the Princess of Hell
Born on 1994 in Clarksville, Tennessee, Jill began her voice acting career with her first game, Loren The Amazon Princess as Myrth. She went on to become a regular voice actor for Funimation projects such as SSSS.Gridman, Overlord III, Black Clover & KanColle: Kantai Collection.
Charlie’s singing voice is Britsh singer and actress, Elsie Lovelock.
Monica Franco As Vaggie, Charlie’s love interest.
According to her IMDB profile, she’s worked on various web series such as JonTron, Final Fantasy VII: Machinabridged, Vampire Pixel in the Neon City alongside, HotDiggedyDemon’s Luigi’s Day Out and Pony.Mov
Michael Kovach As Angel Dust, a resident of Hell and former gay porn star.
According to his IMDB profile, Kovach began his professional career in 2014 with his first project being, Danganwrestling as Monokuma, Goldust & Paul Heyman. He later went on to voice numerous characters in video games such as Lucid9: Inciting Incident, Highway Blossoms, and an upcoming 3D platformer/puzzle game, Billie Bust Up.
Edward Bosco As Alastor, also know as ‘The Radio Demon’
Born on 1986 in Chicago, Illinois, Edward began his career with MMORPG video game, Vindictus. He went on to voice Aharah in Dust: An Elysian Tail and in later years worked on Bang! Zoom Entertainment projects such as Sword Art Online, Hunter x Hunter, Gods Eater Burst and B: The Beginning.
Alastor’s singing voice is voice actor, Odell Atkinson.
Other voice actors include Joshua Tomar (Tom Trench), Krystal LaPorte (Cherry Bomb), and Vivienne Medrano (additional voices).
During Anime Expo 2019, we interviewed voice actress Faye Mata voice of Katie Killjoy, who spoke with us about her career and her role in Hazbin Hotel.
Now that pilot episode is completed and released, its only matter of time before it gets picked up by a major network or if, Vivienne and her team will continue to Self-produce the series with the help of loyal fans. For more updates, exclusive Hazbin Hotel content and other exciting news, follow Vivienne on Twitter. Watch the pilot episode below, make to read till the end of this article for a special giveaway:
In the meantime, fans can rejoice in Hazbin Hotel merchandise that is now available. Pins, sketchbooks, and shirts are all available on VivziePop’s official SharkRobot account.
Share our post on social media and Win!
Just share this post on ANY social media platform using #HazbinHotelTKN, and you’ll be automatically entered to win this, Portrait of Angel Dust Pin designed by artist, CalMoray. The winner will be announced on Dec 1st on our FACEBOOK page.
Don’t wanna wait? You can purchase the very limited stock, portrait of Angel pin, on Vivziepop’s shop here.
PROMARE marks the very first feature film from Studio TRIGGER, founded by former studio Gainax animator and director Hiroyuki Imaishi. Imaishi credits include the award-winning TV series GURREN LAGANN and critically acclaimed KILL la KILL.
GKIDS and Fathom Events bring PROMARE to U.S. theaters nationwide for special event screenings on September 17th and 19th, followed by a theatrical release in New York and Los Angeles on September 20, 2019. For more information and to purchase movie tickets, visit their PROMARE’s ticket website here.
GKIDS has announced the English voice cast for PROMARE. The film will feature the voices of Billy Kametz (NEON GENESIS Series), Johnny Yong Bosch (BLEACH, AKIRA, MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS), Crispin Freeman (MIRAI), and Alyson Leigh Rosenfeld (POKEMON, YU-GI-OH!), among others.
English Voice Cast
Billy Kametz – Galo Thymos Johnny Yong Bosch – Lio Fotia Crispin Freeman – Kray Foresight Alyson Leigh Rosenfeld — Aina Ardebit Neil Kaplan — Vulcan Haestus Erica Lindbeck — Heris Ardebit Kari Wahlgren — Lucia Fex Steve Blum — Ignis Ex Mike Pollock — Deus Prometh John Bentley — Varys Truss Billy Bob Thompson — Remi Puguna Matt Mercer — Gueira Yuri Lowenthal –Meis Melissa Fahn — Biar Colossus
PROMARE Synopsis is as follows:
Thirty years has passed since the appearance of Burnish, a race of flame-wielding mutant beings, who destroyed half of the world with fire. When a new group of aggressive mutants calling themselves “Mad Burnish” appears, the epic battle between Galo Thymos, a new member of the anti-Burnish rescue team “Burning Rescue,” and Lio Fotia, the leader of “Mad Burnish” begins. PROMARE uses a bold cel-shaded visual style to tell a blistering action-adventure story and is the spiritual successor to many of director Hiroyuki Imaishi’s former works.
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.
Gallery Nucleus held a special exhibition in honour of Mamoru Hosoda works, featuring artwork from his various filmed such as Wolf Children, The Boy and the Beast, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, and more recently, Mirai.
Check out Hosoda’s inspiration for drawing here. Brought to you by GKIDS Films.