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).
Bushiroad and popular Japanese anime shop, Anime Jungle have teamed in order to help support small business in the Little Tokyo district in Los Angeles, California.
Bushiroad known for its popular card game, Cardfight!! Vanguard and the music media franchise BanG Dream! They have teamed up with local businesses in the Little Tokyo area to, not only promote their latest project D4DJ -(Dig Delight Direct Drive DJ) but to also help out businesses that are suffering during the COVID19 pandemic.
D4DJ -(Dig Delight Direct Drive DJ) is a new music media franchise created by Bushiroad. It features the creative talents of Japanese novelist and scriptwriter,, Kō Nakamura (Crying 100 Times, Tori Girl) and Takaaki Kidani as the executive producer. The franchise will focus on DJing and remixing different music genre with electronic dance music.
Much like BanG! Dream, It consists of a rhythm game D4DJ Groovy Mix, music CDs, an anime series and an upcoming manga series. An English version of the rhythm game is currently in development and set to be release in 2021. Bushiroad announced worldwide streaming of the anime series via Funimation, Crunchyroll, and Sentai Filmworks, with plans for a Blu-ray release by Funimation in the future. You can watch episode 1 via D4DJ’s official YouTube channel here.
The event will offer customers the chance to get D4DJ novelty items for every $10 spent at participating stores and restaurants white supplies last. Participating stores are listed on Anime Jungle’s official event page.
D4DJ Novelties Include, D4DJ promo poster and D4DJ band sticker (Each participating store/restaurant will carry different stickers of different D4DJ and BanG! Dream bands).
In addition, customers also will receive a chance to win a CD album prizes by uploading the receipt from your store visit(s) in Little Tokyo during this event! Receipt must be within 10/23 – 11/8/2020 and can be uploaded here.
D4DJ 1st Album – 「Direct Drive!」& Poppin’Party 2nd Album: Breakthrough!」
*There will be 1 Winner per Album.*
Please note only one receipt per entry. Duplicate receipts will not be accepted. Participants may enter as many times as they wish as long as they submit a different receipt. For more information on the terms and conditions, visit the official event website here. Please follow all COVID19 prevention guidelines, each store will have a customer limit.
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.
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).
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.
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!
In its 28th year, Anime Expo once again welcomed 115,000* attendees from across the world.
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.
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 insidethe convention, not out. Their statement was later retracted. The earthquake’s epicenter location was Ridgecrest, California.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
There 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.
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.
For 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?
JAM are bringing several of their students from their art college in Japan over to Los Angeles for a ONE DAY fundraiser event. If this is anything as their first fundraiser, last year’s, there’ll be freebies from JAM (Art samples books, DVD Animation demos, ETC) in addition, you’ll be able to purchase art, hangout with manga students, watch live drawings, get your a portrait drawing, photo ops and more!
Last year, we stumbled on their first fundraiser by chance and had so much fun, we figured we’d share this event for more anime fans to join the fun!
Inside Miyako Hotel – Ballroom
Self portrait from JAM student artist
Splatoon sketch made by JAM student artist
See you there! & as always, we’ll be bring coverage from the event.
Gudetama’s origins begin with a character design contest held by Sanrio back in 2013, coming in 2nd to Kirimi-chan.
Fastword to 2018, Gudetama’s creator/designer, AMY (Emi Nagashima) visits the Sanrio store in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, making this her first visit ever.
Gudetama fans stood in line to receive a signed drawing of Gudetama from AMY.
As AMY made a special appearance in Los Angeles, Aggretsuko creator/designer visited the Sanrio store in San Francisco for the continuation of Aggretsuko’s Den Of Rage event.
With Gudetama & Aggretsuko becoming instant stars & both characters getting their own TV series (Gudetama: TBS & Aggretsuko: Netflix), it’s only a matter of time before Sanrio develops yet another super cute and adorable character we can all be be obsessed with.
Here’s our photoset from AMY’s visit:
AMY at work
AMY signs a Gudetama book for a fan
AMY and I
Gudetama and I
Gudetama & my assistant, Vincent
Take a look at out video as well:
Who’s your favorite SANRIO character? Comment below!
Ronin-Expo was held on June 02 of 2018, at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles.
So what is Ronin-Expo, you may ask? Ronin-Expo is a celebration of Asian culture, this includes anime, video games, movies, & even a bit history of Japan itself. What makes this expo so interesting though, is the fact that it’s in the center of Little Tokyo district in the city of angels (Los Angeles). This makes it a diverse spot for Ronin Expo to be in, as attendees can further explore Little Tokyo by visiting the surrounding museums and local restaurants.
Here are some more pictures from the event including: cosplayers, event guests, attendees and staff members.
Felt like you missed out? Don’t worry, Ronin Expo will return spring 2019, so mark your calendars and take a trip to Little Tokyo, Los Angeles & make sure to stop by Ronin-Expo!
As we attend RONIN-EXPO 2018, we had the pleasure of interviewing voice actress, Sara Williams! [Don’t forget to check out our related giveaway, details below!]
You may recognize her voice as, Jinx (League of Legends), Midari Ikishima (Kakegurui – Compulsive Gambler), Peacock (SkullGirls), Lisbeth / Rika Shinozaki (Sword Art Online series), Nonon Jakuzure (Kill La Kill), Berserker of Black (Fate/Apocrypha) & most recently as Felix Argyle (RE: Zero)
Me & Sarah Williams during the interview
Watch as Sarah speaks about her career and how she voice a few of her most recent characters:
Sarah Williams & I
Vincent Reyes (My assistant) & Sarah Williams
Felix Argyle Giveaway!
Thanks for reading/watching our interview with Sarah Williams, now here’s your chance to WIN an autographed print of Felix Argyle!
All you have to do is, leave a comment on the interview video & subscribe to our YouTube Channel! Refer to our Giveaway rules for more information.
DEADLINE IS JULY 1ST 2018
Special thanks to RONIN-EXPO & Danny Gonzalez for the opportunity to attend RONIN EXPO!
In honor of Aggretsuko newest Netflix series, Little Tokyo’s Japanese village Sanrio store set up an ‘office’ pop up with Aggretsuko herself in furson!
One the first of the event, attendees were given this holographic limited edition pin:
MISSED OUT?EVENT is still ongoing, check the dates below!
Check our photoset from the event:
I was reunited with my favorite metal girl:
AFTER MAY 12TH Aggretsuko will NOT be making an appearance at Little Tokyo’s Sanrio store, however, the pop-up office will still be there until MAy 16th alongside limited official Aggretsuko merch!
DEN OF RAGE event has been extended through May 28th! New Aggretsuko appearance dates are as follows:
-Friday, May 25th – 6pm to 9:30pm
-Saturday, May 26th – 12pm to 4:30pm
-Sunday, May 27th – 12pm to 4:30pm