Tag Archives: Los Angeles

One Piece Film: RED Premieres at AiFF 2022

One Piece Film Red served as the centerpiece film at this year’s Animation is Film Festival and for the first time fans had the opportunity to experience film in English dubbed, two weeks ahead of its official U.S. theater release.

The film is directed by Goro Taniguchi, who previously directed the 1998 OVA, One Piece: Defeat The Pirate Ganzak! OVA and was the very first time the One Piece manga had been animated, making Taniguchi the first person to animate Luffy. According to the Japanese website, Mantan-Web, Taniguchi stated that he wanted to express a One Piece that has never been seen before and that he will show it in One Piece Film: Red. According to Shinji Shimizu, a staff of Toei Animation and producer of One Piece anime, One Piece Film: Red is the only One Piece film that Eiichiro Oda has actively participated in the most.

The film has been released in Tokyo, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Taiwan, and most recently at New York Comic Con 2022 with a massive New York Times Square billboard takeover.

NYC Times Square Sample – Press Release

Now for the first time ever, fans got to experience the film in English dubbed during this year’s Animation is Film Festival 2022, and we had the opportunity to catch with some of the cast and speak on this new anime film phenomenon:

As of 23 October 2022, the film has grossed ¥17.36 billion in Japan making it the highest-grossing film of the franchise and the highest-grossing film of 2022 in Japan. Worldwide the film has earned over US$144.7 million in eight countries making it the 13th highest-grossing Japanese film of all-time.

The film’s theme song “New Genesis” by Ado is currently number 48 in the Top 100 Global charts on Apple Music. The film is set to be released on the 4th of November 2022, if you haven’t purchased your tickets, now’s the time, you can purchase here.

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Article cover photo by, John photography.

Loundraw Interview: SUMMER GHOST – Animation is Film 2022

Popular illustrator, Loundraw had his debut film premiere during this year’s Anime Expo 2022, & recently during this year’s Animation Is Film festival, we had the opportunity to interview Loundrawabout his debut film, Summer Ghost

The film is produced by Loundraw’s company Flat Studio, with scripts written by Hirotaka Adachi, and music composed by Akira Kosemura, Itoko Toma, Guiano, and Hideya Kojima.

Summer Ghost was released in Japanese theaters on November 12, 2021, by its distributor Avex Pictures. GKIDS and Shout! Factory is set to release the film in North America on November 1, 2022, on Blu-ray and digital platforms. The film is available to preorder via Prime Video.

Loundraw is an Illustrator who made his professional debut in his teens with a cover illustration for Gara Nagata’s Hoshi no Nemuru Mizuumi e -Ai wo Sagashi ni-. He also worked on the covers of various novels, such as Keigo Higashino’s Koi no Gondola and Yoru Sumino’s Kimi no Suizou wo Tabetai.

You can preorder Loundraw’s newest English-translated work Vivy Prototype a light novel by Tappei Nagatsuki & Eiji Umehara, HERE.

Summer Ghost is now available by GKids Films on Blu-ray and Prime Video

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EVANGELION:3.0+1.01 THRICE UPON A TIME – IN US THEATERS FOR THE FIRST TIME

GKIDS is collaborating with Fathom for Exclusive Event Showings of the Finale of the Historic “EVANGELION” Property. GKIDS will bring the highly anticipated fourth and final installment of the new theatrical “Rebuild” editions of the EVANGELION franchise to theaters nationwide. In partnership with Fathom Events, screenings will only be on December 6th, 8th, and 11th.

Tickets will be available beginning November 2nd at FathomEvents.com, GKIDS.com/EVANGELION and participating theater box offices.

EVANGELION:3.0+1.01 THRICE UPON A TIME was released in Japanese theaters in 2021, where it was a critical and box office success becoming the highest-grossing film of the year with ¥10.28 billion (~$85 million) at the local box office. The release marks the first time the film will be available in theaters in North America since its domestic release in Japan. The film has won numerous awards, including, The 45th Japan Academy Film Prize, Tokyo Anime Awards, and Best Original Screenplay and Director (Hideaki Anno) categories at the Tokyo Anime Film Festival.

Created by Hideaki Anno, the NEON GENESIS EVANGELION franchise is considered one of the most influential animated sagas of all time. Since the 1995 premiere of the original television series, the story of teenager Shinji Ikari has remained one of the most iconic titles in animation history and a global pop culture phenomenon.

Last year, GKIDS released the original twenty-six-episode television series, NEON GENESIS EVANGELION, as well as the films EVANGELION: DEATH (TRUE)2 and THE END OF EVANGELION on Blu-ray and digital download-to-own for the first time in North America. GKIDS also handles North American distribution for creator Hideaki Anno’s prior series, NADIA: The Secret of Blue Water.

Film Synopsis

From legendary director Hideaki Anno, EVANGELION:3.0+1.01 THRICE UPON A TIME is the fourth and final installment of the REBUILD OF EVANGELION films, bringing an epic conclusion to the story of Shinji and his fellow Eva pilots, with the stunning visuals and thought-provoking storytelling that has made EVANGELION a global pop culture phenomenon.

Misato and her anti-NERV group Wille arrive at Paris, a city now red from core-ization. Crew from the flagship Wunder land on a containment tower. They only have 720 seconds to restore the city. When a horde of NERV Evas appear, Mari’s improved Eva Unit 8 must intercept. Meanwhile, Shinji, Asuka, and Rei (Provisional Name) wander about Japan.

During an interview by Moshi Moshi Nippon in July 2021, Evangelion creator and director Hideaki Anno, gave a message for the film’s international release on Amazon Prime Video,

Photo: Moshi Moshi Nippon | https://www.moshimoshi-nippon.jp/479515

“Not only Evangelion, but my work basically deal with themes unique to Japan, aimed at people who grew up in Japan. I am really grateful and honoured that such works are seen and loved by people all over the world. Thank you so much for supporting Evangelion, and I hope you enjoy the film”

– Hideaki Anno via Moshi Moshi Nippon | July 2021

Tickets will be available beginning November 2nd at FathomEvents.com, GKIDS.com/EVANGELION and participating theater box offices.

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‘A SILENT VOICE’ Celebrates 5th Anniv – AX Cinema Nights

A SILENT VOICE is celebrating its 5th anniversary with limited engagement screenings beginning on Wednesday, October 12th, at nearly 300 theatres, as part of AX Cinema Nights. Brought to you by Anime Expo, Iconic events & distributed by Eleven Arts, this partnership marks the next installment of AX Cinema Nights.

Based on the best-selling manga series by Yoshitoki Ōima, A SILENT VOICE is the poignant and moving story of Shōya Ishida, a school bully, and Shōko Nishimiya, a young girl with a hearing disability. Their story begins in sixth grade when Shōko transfers to Shōya’s elementary school and quickly finds herself bullied and isolated. Years later, the tables turn, and Shōya finds himself isolated and alone. A SILENT VOICE depicts the struggles and challenges of adolescence alongside coming of age outside the norm.

The film was produced by the acclaimed studio Kyoto Animation, directed by Naoko Yamada (K-On!, Tamako Market, ) and written by Reiko Yoshida, featuring music by Kensuke Ushio. The film grossed over $31.6 million worldwide and received a Best Animated Film nomination from the Japanese Film Academy upon its initial release in 2017.

The English dub cast includes renowned voice actors including Robbie Daymond (as Shoya Ishida), Lexi Marman Cowden (as Shoko Nishimiya), Kristen Sullivan (as Yuzuru Nishimiya), Graham Halstead (as Tomohiro Nagatsuka), Kira Buckland (as Naoka Ueno), Melissa Hope (as Miyoko Sahara), Amber Lee Connors (as Miki Kawai), Max Mittelman (as Satoshi Mashiba), Michael Sinterniklaas (as Kazuki Shimada), and Sara Cravens (as Miyoko Ishida).

AX 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 brings passionate fans together for immersive and unforgettable community experiences.

Relive the experience by purchasing your tickets here.

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ПЕРЕМОГА: VICTORY FOR UKRAINE – Graphic Novel Anthology | TOKYOPOP

August 24th, marked the anniversary of Ukraine’s independence (in commemoration of the Declaration of Independence of 1991), and in honor of the occasion, manga publisher, TOKYOPOP is proud to announce, ПЕРЕМОГА (PEREMOHA): VICTORY FOR UKRAINEa new full-color graphic novel anthology by Ukrainian creators that debuted digitally on August 24th with a print release on September 27th 2022.

You purchase the graphic novel in digital or print format here:

A portion of the proceeds will go to Razom for Ukraine – (“Razom” meaning “together” in Ukrainian), a non-profit Ukrainian-American human rights organization established to give direct support to the people of Ukraine in their pursuit of a democratic society with dignity, justice, and human and civil rights for all.

Sample page, Ep 1

A web landing page for ПЕРЕМОГА (PEREMOHA): VICTORY FOR UKRAINE also has been created by TOKYOPOP, that features a heartfelt, personal message from TOKYOPOP founder, Stu Levy, as well as excerpts and bios for the creators. All that and more here.

About ПЕРЕМОГА (PEREMOHA): VICTORY FOR UKRAINE;

The war comes to readers (for ages 12+) in nine stories that humanize the conflict in Ukraine in a unique and emotionally lasting way with a focus on the heroism of the Ukrainian people and military in the face of overwhelming forces. Witness the struggles of brave defenders in cities like Kiev, Mariupol, Kherson, and Snake Island, and how the utter insanity and irony of the war is told from the standpoint of a looted Ukrainian washing machine, and a humble farm tractor that wants to steal Russian tanks.

What if your family, your hometown, your entire way of living were threatened by force? That’s what the people of Ukraine faced when Putin’s Russian army invaded their sovereign land, displacing millions of refugees and causing an international crisis threatening democracy across the globe. But the Ukrainian people refused to cave – and these 9 stories weave the greater tale of their resistance – and fight for Victory!

The stories in PEREMOHA: VICTORY FOR UKRAINE include:

Episode 1: The Ghost of Kiev – the now legendary story of an invincible ace Ukrainian fighter pilot – the Ghost of Kyiv – a man who protected hundreds of thousands of Kyivans, their children and homes during the first 30 hours of a massive attack on the city when he shot down 6 Russian planes

Episode 2: The Witch – Witches hold a distinct and storied place in Ukrainian culture. Witness how Russian soldiers bent on terrorizing the civilian population find more than they bargain for when they meet a vengeful Ukrainian witch on a deserted road.

Episode 3: Azov-Stal – This story is about the Azov regiment, the marines, border guards and policemen; who held out against incredible odds in the long-suffering city on the shores of the Sea of ​​Azov; about the people who became hostages of the bloodthirsty military machine of the Russians.

Episode 4: Looters – The looting of the Russian army and the ironic fate of a Ukrainian washing machine

Episode 5: Zmiinyi Island 13 –The now iconic battle for Snake Island, where a band of brave Ukrainian solders defied the Russian navy and the proclaimed the legendary phrase that the world now knows – “Russian Warship F…ck Yourself.”

Episode 6: Throughout the Centuries – Ordinary Ukrainians take up arms against the Russian army using ancient earthen ramparts called the Snake Walls, built during the time of Kyivan Rus by Princes Volodymyr the Great and Yaroslav the Wise in the 9th and 10th Centuries to defend their lands from attacks from the southeast by nomadic tribes. In WW2, they were part of the defense lines against the Nazis and today they have helped to slow down and menace the advance of the invading Russian army.

Episode 7: Brave Little Tractor – An inspiring about an unlikely hero – a brave Ukrainian farm tractor that steals Russian army tanks

Episode 8: Cyber Kherson – An inspiring story of a new breed of Ukrainian rebels using technology to continue the struggle for democracy under brutal Russian occupation in the city of Kherson, located near Crimea and the eastern Donbas region.

Episode 9: The Price of Victory – How ordinary people in Ukraine went to war to defend their home, families, freedom, and fight for the right to live in their own free country and determine their own futures.

“VICTORY FOR UKRAINE grew out of tremendous upheaval caused by the invasion and my personal experience hosting some displaced families at my home in Berlin where I now reside,” says Stu Levy, Founder/CEO of TOKYOPOP.

Stu Levy – Founder and CEO of Tokyopop

Levy continues, “As I learned more about what was happening, we connected with the talented Ukrainian creators, artists and writers that brought the book to life. These stories are vignettes, originally created and published to inspire the people of Ukraine, but they will leave a lasting impression on readers around the world. The stories are steeped in the realities of the war but depicted in a very relatable way. We invite readers to discover this book and to stand for victory and freedom with the people of Ukraine.”

You can purchase the digital copy or preorder the print version below,

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Introducing Anime Expo CHIBI! | Brand New AX Coming this November!

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 Chibi coming soon.

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Nahoko Uehashi’s ‘THE DEER KING’ | NOW IN THEATERS

From acclaimed studio Production I.G, and directors Masashi Ando and Masayuki Miyaji comes THE DEER KING.

In the aftermath of a brutal war, former soldier Van toils in a mine controlled by the ruling empire. One day, his solitary existence is upended when a pack of wild dogs carrying a deadly and incurable disease attack, leaving only Van and a young girl named Yuna as survivors. Finally free, the pair seek out a simple existence in the countryside but are pursued by nefarious forces. Intent on protecting Yuna at all costs, Van must uncover the true cause of the plague ravaging the kingdom—and its possible cure.

The Deer King is a sweeping fantasy epic that marks the directorial debut of acclaimed animator, Masashi Ando who worked with famed Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke) and with directors Satoshi Kon (Paprika, “Paranoia Agent”) and Makoto Shinkai (your name.). The film is also co-directed by Masayuki Miyaji who is best known for directing the 2009 series “Xam’s: Lost Memories” and work on Studio Ghibli films such as “My Neighbors The Yamadas”.

The film is based on the original book series, by author Nahoko Uehashi. The book series has printed 2.2 million copies in Japan to date. Uehashi is one of Japan’s most well-known and popular children’s writers, and has won numerous awards, including the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Award. She’s an associate professor at a Japanese university, and has a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology and studies indigenous peoples in Australia.

Uehashi’s other works, Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit and The Beast Player have had anime adaptations in 2007 and 2009, with The Beast Player getting a manga adaptation as well.

Author, Nahoko Uehashi

Currently, Uehashi’s most popular, English-translated work is The Beast Player and be purchased on Amazon.

Distributed by Gkids Films, watch THE DEER KING now playing in select theaters nationwide, find the closest theater near you, by visiting the film’s official website www.THEDEERKING.com

Anime Expo – SPINOFF CONVENTION COMING THIS NOVEMBER

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.

Smaller-Scale “anime expo” Focused on Exhibit Hall and Artist Alley to
be Hosted at Ontario Convention Center November 12-13, 2022

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
Los Angeles Convention Center two days before day zero

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.

For more updates on anime expo Ontario, visit the official Anime Expo website.

Ronin-Expo 2022 REturns & REscheduled!

For those following the anime convention scene in Los Angeles, CA; Ronin Expo announced earlier this year that had to postpone its June event until further notice due to changes in the venue’s service policies. Recently they announced that Ronin Expo has found a new venue within the Little Tokyo district.

Artist Ally at Ronin Expo 2018

Since 2017 Ronin-Expo is an Anime and Asian culture convention targeting both new and veteran convention-goers. The convention is designed to feel like an festival featuring artists, exhibitors, live performances, and guests of honors and special in-door panels. Past featured guests include voice actors, Sarah William, Reuben Langdon and Japanese anime director, Hiroshi Nagahama.

The event is now scheduled for August 13th, 2022 at its new home at The Terasaki Budokan Center in the Little Tokyo District, tickets are still available for purchase here. Special guests include voice actors, Mela Lee & Richard Epcar with performances by Origami Flagship, Ryujin Taiko & Burai.

Follow RONIN EXPO for more updates and announcements on updating panels, events and guests!

Anime Expo Announced the First ever ‘AX Cinema Nights’ with the screening of ‘RYOMA! THE PRINCE OF TENNIS’

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.

Cover of Prince of Tennis manga Volume 1 as released by Shueisha on January 7, 2000 in Japan. Cover by Takeshi Konomi

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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