Tag Archives: Photography

Dante Basco’s From Rufio to Zuko

You may recognize him as Zuko from the hit animated series Avatar The Last Air Bender or maybe even recognize him from Steven Spielberg’s Hook featuring the late, Robbin Williams.

Dante Basco is an actor, voice actor, poet and now an author, releasing his first book, From Rufio to Zuko, a journey into Basco’s personal acting career from an American-Filipino perspective living in the small, industrial town of Pittsburg, California. The book not only covers his career but also, some of his poetry skills as well.

_DSC0534

During a book tour event at Barnes and Nobel at The Grove, Basco spoke about his experience being part of the Avatar cast,

_DSC0463

“When I originally auditioned for Zuko, I asked them, ‘is this like Danny Zuko or something?‘ I have no clue where the name [Zuko] comes from. The funny thing about Avatar is, [. . .] I go there [Nickelodeon Studios] they give you this script that’s like an anime inspired, epic tail of like martial arts, four-elements — and you’re like, ‘this ain’t Nickelodeon‘, you’re like reading the script and you’re like, ‘is this some Disney XD movie, what is this?’

He goes on,

[. . .] Who’s is this dude? He has a ponytail, he got a scar on his face, chasing this Avatar dude, always yellin’. The whole first season, he’s like ‘honor, honor, honor‘ I’m like, what am I doing? and then all of a sudden, it changed. When I read the script and find out how he got the scared, it was like ‘Who IS this dude?‘.

Crazy things started happening; I remember we were at Sundance [Film Feastival], and I ran into Jason Issac, who plays Genernal Zhao in the show and the older Malfoy in the Hary Potter movies [Refering to Lucius Malfoy] and he was like “Dante! That cartoon we did, WT-f??” you know? because it started to become this phenomenal thing, a CARTOON we did, you know? And this was before comic cons started popping up.”

Basco also went back in time to relive his experience with Robbin Williams on the set of Hook,

“He was like everyone’s favorite uncle, you know, I have a lot of great memories with Robin. Like poetry actually, the Poetry lounge I always, to me in my heart, I’m always connecting it to Robin Williams. [. . .] I grew up a fan like everyone else, [. . .] When I watch Dead Poet Society it was like; It blew my mind. [. . .] We would be able to sit in the make up room, I’m getting my hair done, he’s getting his hair done and we would talk about poetry because he knew how much I love poetry. He’d tell me about his favorite poets and I’d tell about my favorite poets; He was big supporter of me being a poet.”

Remembering Williams, Basco explains,

“When I got to work with him, He’s great! Like, Everything you think Robin is gonna be, the fastest, wittiest, craziest dude in the world, he is! Running 10,00000 miles an hour, so amazing, he’s a god. He IS the Genie from Aladdin, THAT’S who he is. He comes in the room and magic is going to happen just because he’s there and it always does.”

Basco also holds the title of voicing the very first Asian-American (Chinese-American) hero, Jake Long in Disney’s animated series, American Dragon: Jake Long.

Pick a copy of Dante Basco’s newest book, From Ruifo to Zuko now available at your local bookstore, or…

GIVEAWAY

Basco fans now have the opportunity to win this SIGNED copy of Dante Basco’s book, From Rufio to Zuko! All you have to do is share this post on ANY social media platform using #FromRufioToZukoTKN. The winner will be announced on Dec 1st on our FACEBOOK page.

Anime Expo 2019: The calm before the Storm

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.

_DSC0608

Stay tuned for our upcoming article on Anime Expo 2019 and our Anime Expo 2019 interview with voice actress, Faye Mataand Hotel Hazbin creator, Vivienne Medrano! This and more coming soon!

Ronin Expo 2019 Interviews | Hiroshi Nagahama & Reuben Langdon

download

We had the honor of interviewing actor Reuben Langdon and famed anime director, Hiroshi Nagahama during Ronin Expo 2019 in Little Tokyo, California. Ronin Expo is an annual anime festival located in the heart of the Los Angeles Japanese community, Little Tokyo!

Hiroshi Nagahama, began his career at Madhouse Studio as a mechanical designer for ‘The Cockpit’, after leaving Madhouse, he became a freelancer. He later went on to direct the highly acclaimed anime series, Mushishi. In recent news, Nagahama was working alongside writer Stan Lee to co-create, The Reflection an anime series surrounding individuals who have superpowers after coming in contact with a mysterious light. More on this in our interview with Hiroshi Nagahama below:

Reuben Langdon is known for voicing Dante (Devil May Cry series), Ken Masters beginning with Street Fighter IV various others. Aside from voicing characters, he’s also a well-known motion capture actor, doing motion capture for Chris Redfield in Resident Evil Code Veronica, 5 & 6. In addition, Langdon is also a stuntman, filmmaker and on-camera actor, working on well-known film titles such as,  The Medallion, Spider-Man 2, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Night at the Museum 2, Ant-Man, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and Avatar. In recent news, Langdon was involved in a life-threating armed assault, earlier this year, while filming a documentary in Guatemala, Mexico. This and more in our interview:

We would like to thank Ronin Expo staff for providing the services we needed to execute these interviews. Special thanks to Lisle Wilkerson for interpreting our interview with Nagahama.

We’ll see you at Ronin Expo 2020!

For our 2018 Ronin Expo coverage click here. For updates on Ronin Expo please visit, https://www.ronin-expo.org/

 

AniFest 2019

The annual anime festival kicked off at the Cultural Arts Center in Torrance, California on Saturday, March 23rd, 2019

With the success of last year’s event, it’s no surprise that AniFest returned with a bang! With not only more attendees but also with more guests and performing acts!

Cosplay guests included D-Piddy, Ruiriupanda, VampyBitMe, Rinmieru, Paprika Mari and yours truly, to name a few.

Anifest had over 10+ performers including the Taiko Collegiate, Stephanie Yanez x Plasmic, Voia, Manatsu Project & Candy Bomber.

One of many performances were the Röli Angels, an idol group from Japan. They performed during Anifest’s very own, Arcane Maid Cafe.

The Roli Angeles performing the hit-song, A Cruel Angel’s Thesis:

During the festival, we stopped by Sanyo Foods’ Sapporo Ichiban booth, where representatives gave FREE ramen samples by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto to all attendees.

Krystal-Kitsune_2
Ramen Maid Astolfo

Sapporo Ichiban will be uploading all the photos they took with cosplayers during AniFest, keep your eye out for their album here.  Sapporo Ichiban has now uploaded their AniFest photos, you can view them here. For deilcous ramen, visit their online store here.

_DSC0040
AniFest ticket winner!

Before I leave you with our wonderful AniFest photo gallery below, I’d like to mention the winner of our AniFest ticket giveaway, Romy! Hope you enjoyed your time at AniFest! Missed out? There’s always next year, that’s right, AniFest returns for another fantastic year in 2020, See you there!


Photo Gallery

Special thank to:

Beari King, Drew and the rest of the AniFest team for making this festival extraordinary!

AniManga 2018

AniManga (Not to be confused with AniManga held in Melbourne, Australia) is a summer oriented, 3 day anime convention held at Fairplex in Pomona, California. AniManga, Founded in 2017, is combines Anime & Manga AND gaming into a fun weekend and was first held on August 3rd – 5th 2018.

DSC_0509-(2)
AniManga’s Entrance

A relatively low-key convention, AniManga began with a slow start however it rapidly picked up on Saturday with many cosplayers and guests joining the fun.

DSC_0516
AniManga’s interactive Inflatable Wrecking Ball & Maze Game

For those whom never been to Fairplex, Fairplex is compose of different ‘halls’ and sections. AniManga was held in Hall 4 which is a fairly big hall:

AniManga’s voice actor Guests included: Max Mittelman, Kyle McCarley, Zach Aguilar & Josh Grelle.

DSC_0519(2)
Me, Zach Aguilar & Cosplayer: Mystic Taku

While at there, we had the honor of interviewing voice actor Josh Grelle:

Overall, our experience at AniManga was good. It began slow and picked up Saturday. Only time will tell if they’ll become bigger and better. We will most definitely return next year. Take a look at their website for upcoming detail for AniManga 2019.

ANIME EXPO 2018

Anime Expo 2018 was a complete success!

AX18Day1.jpg For the 27th time, Anime Expo came back with full force from July 4th – July 8th drawing fans from 70 different countries. This year over 110,000 people attended Anime Expo, thats 2,342 more attendees than in Anime Expo 2017, making a local economic impact of $100 million to the city of Los Angeles.

Although Anime Expo went off without a hitch, there were a few slight inconveniences.

Before Anime Expo even began, they were altered to a possible threat made against AX and its attendees. According to Anime New Network, the threat was made by a man who allegedly stated via text, “These cons are due for a high school shooting, by a high school kidd [sic]. I’m working on a case at the moment. Shit u [sic] not.” although he did not specifically stated Anime Expo as a target, Anime Expo responded by promptly by ‘alerting local law enforcement to take appropriate actions in accordance with their procedures.‘ in a statement the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA) said:

“Just as in 2017, we are working with security teams and local law enforcement, including K9 teams and traffic control officers, to maintain the safety of our event. Additionally, as previously announced, we are utilizing RFID badges for AX this year and will have security checks at each entrance. We encourage attendees to check our mobile app and maps to get familiarized with the various designated entrances.”

Thankfully, AX came and went without incident. Although the seriousness of this threat wasn’t felt among con goers; With public shootings happening all over the country on a daily basis, ‘indirect’ threats such as these, should NOT be taken with grain of salt. Though it may be a slight inconvenience, security checks at AX do their job by preventing such incidents to ever happen. If you would like to read more details on this situation please read Anime News Network’s article here.

20180703_153714

Moving on to more lighter but heated topics:

Los Angeles suffered a huge heat wave during day 2 & day 3 of Anime Expo with temperatures reaching up to 108°. Although the convention center had functioning air conditioning, outside the heat was unbearable. Mailing AX badges eliminated “LineCon” or the long tedious, on-site registration line. Attendees were still not happy about waiting in line to get inside the convention center due to bag checks. Attendees also took to social to suggest that Anime Expo should cap their tickets due to overcrowding.

Untitled-1

Do agree that Anime Expo should cap their badges? leave a comment below, we’d love to hear your opinions.

Be as it may, the heatwave was no match for hard working, determined cosplayers, whom in the middle of the scorching sun, went all out in their cosplays. Check these awesome cosplays:

We interviewed some of these wonderful cosplayers and this is what they had to say, about why they attended Anime Expo 2018 and how we dealt with the heat weave:

Before I jump on to a different topic, a HUGE  shoutout to these guys at Alove yogurt, who, in the middle of the scorching sun, passed out these delicious yogurts to con goers

DSC_0087
Thanks guys! (Peach Flavor was the best!)

In addition to the 110K attendees,  over 150 guests and industry made appearances including, Go Nagai, Hiromi Wakabayashi, Mari Okada, Sean Danconia, Santa Inoue, and SUSHIO. Booths also held guest appearances as with, Project Sekai who had Nekopara’s creator, Sayori in attendance for fan autographs.

Sayori---NekoPara-(1)
Since taking photos of Sayori was prohibited, here’s her signature dedicated to me, Krystal.

The Exhibit & Entertainment Halls also featured more than 524 Exhibitors (74 Exhibitors more than AX 2017) Among them was AnimePls, a new Anime brand that is dedicated to bringing you exclusive merchandise from various anime series including: Hatsune Miku, Attack On Titan, Yugioh, My Hero Academia & Aggretsuko! Check their booth from AX 2018.

Near the end of Anime Expo; Funimation and LootCrate collaborated on an AX Afterparty held at the Globe Theater in Downtown Los Angeles during the night of Day 3.

Attendees able to receive a free goodie bag which contained Loot Crate exclusives

DSC_0164


There were so many things that went down at this year’s anime. From newly produced anime series to exclusive Anime Expo events and merchandise. If you missed out this year, don’t worry, Anime Expo will be back in 2019! Tickets are now on sale! For now enjoy our entire Anime Expo 2018 photoset:

Special Thanks to:

  • Anime Expo & Anime Expo Press Staff
  • The Anime Pls Team
  • Cosplayer, Mystic Taku
  • Luis Alexander &
  • My wonderful assistant, Vincent Reyes

Aggretsuko X Amoeba Music

Aggretsuko collaborated at hollywood’s iconic music store, Amoeba Music!DSC_0256(2)

All attendees received Aggretsuko SWAG plus whatever fans bought: Amoeba X Aggretsuko shirt OR Amoeba tote bag:

Here’s our photoset + small event video:

Want to meet AGGRETSUKO?

Aggretsuko’s DEN of RAGE has been EXTENDED!!! The RAGE will continue at Sanrio Japanese Village until 5/28/18!!! More information here.

AGGRETSUKO APPEARANCE DETAILS: 
-Friday, May 25th – 6pm to 9:30pm
-Saturday, May 26th – 12pm to 4:30pm
-Sunday, May 27th – 12pm to 4:30pm

原田ちあき (Harada Chiaki): In-Store Event

Artist Chiaki Harada (原田ちあき), made a special in-store appearance at Fickle Wish in Little Tokyo Los Angeles.

20171111_212125
Chiaki Harada’s first Los Angeles appearance at Fickle Wish

Chiaki is a well known Japanese artist based off Osaka, Japan. She specializes in “Bad Mouth” art style and usually draws girls crying while saying terrible or depressing phrases such as:

 

These were the many items people were able to purchase at the event, alongside the first ever English translated Harada Chiaki artbook:

 

Chiaki has done numerous artworks and collaborations, with the last one being in Osaka, japan, when she collaborated with Cosplay cafe, メルカフェ X Hadara Chiaki. She created this artwork for the collaboration:

41d250b5.jpg

Chiaki Also has her own manga out titled, “Chiaki Harada’s Suspicious Diary” which is available for purchase on her site or on Amazon.

Chiaki Harada's Suspicious Diary (Cover)
Chiaki Harada’s Suspicious Diary (Cover)

The following are photos from the event:

 

Did you miss out this event? Want Chiaki Hadara Merch? Visit Fickle Wish at, Ficklewish.com! Find out about more Fickle Wish events by Liking their facebook page.

Follow Chiaki’s artwork via Twitter, instagram and website!

Zootopia’s ‘The Big Donut’ in Real life?

That’s right! This past weekend, as you may have heard, Zootopia won ‘ANIMATED FEATURE FILM’ at the 2017 Oscars!

faf
Via Oscar.Go.com

How did Disney celebrate? By making ‘The Big Donut’ come to life!

CR&A Custom, Inc, Disney & Randy’s Donuts all collaborated in making ‘The Big Donut’ a reality. The fantastic graphic was made and printed by CR&A Custom, Inc and was displayed at famous Randy’s Donuts in Inglewood, California near LAX.

DSC_0958
‘The Big Donut’ came to life!

During this ‘event’ Disney also celebrated of the one-year anniversary of Zootopia & had a FACEBOOK LIVE Q&A with Nate Torrance (Clawhauser) and  Oscar®-winning director Rich Moore at Randy’s!

aaaaaa
(Nate Torrence & Rich Moore) Watch the FULL Q&A on the OFFICIAL ZOOTOPIA FACEBOOK PAGE

Although we did not personally cover the Q&A session, we did decide to go down there and cover this fantastic anniversary. Naturally, I cosplayed none other than…

JUDY HOPPS! 

Huge Zootopia donut, LIVE Q&A; What else was there, you ask? How about:
The Big Donut’s Donut!

67676
Here’s a close up: its like it popped out from the movie!
ezgif-2-3973a700fb.gif
Yummy! Watch out event coverage video here
932
Via Nerdist.com

For those who don’t know, “The Big Donut” was actually inspired by Randy’s Donuts. Over the past decades, Randy’s Donuts has been known as a famous landmark & film location. its known to have been featured (On location/cameo) in various famous scenes from several successful Hollywood movies/TV Shows such as:

Californication, Iron Man 2, Mars Attacks!, Earth Girls Are Easy & Zootopia

Zootopia-Big-Donut-Concept-Art
© Disney – Zootopia Concept Art of The Big Donut
The ‘The Big Donut’ banner is, unfortunately, no longer up for display. We unsure if they will ever put it back up, however If you didn’t get a chance to see it, take a look here:

Check out our awesome video on this fantastic event!


Next time you’re in Cali or live nearby, hop on by Randy’s Donuts, you won’t be disappointed. …er squished by a huge donut.

zootopia-big-donut-03022017
Via Nerdist.com

Randy’s Donuts is located at:

805 W Manchester Blvd, Inglewood, CA 90301

 

 

 

SWORD ART ONLINE: Ordinal Scale – Hollywood Red Carpet Premiere

Sword Art Online final had its first ever, feature film!

Sword Art Online the Movie: Ordinal Scale.  8bbe42364740afa159097c78c43eeac41487640598_full.jpg

Aniplex & Eleven Arts held a red carpet premiere in Hollywood, California at the famous Egyptian Theater!

DSC_0190.JPG
Fans waiting outside theater. Some are holding freshly bought SAO merch

The exclusive event SOLD OUT within 48 hours after tickets were on sell. With anime’s popularity, its no wonder it sold out quickly! Hundreds of fans gathered for this exclusive one-day event, some came in cosplay.

Fans were also able to buy new SAO merch at the ‘SAO store’ Aniplex staff set up

The event was filled with special guests, such as:

Other surprise guests included:

After the screening, special guests had a Q&A session set up by Aniplex. You can read some of the questions that were asked here, Anime News Network.

ezgif-2-e9d400271e.gif
Yui’s special appearance at the event
DSC_0531
Me (Krystal Kitsune) at Red carpet premiere with Kirito & Asuna

For those who missed this fantastic event, you can still catch the movie in theaters THIS Thursday; March 9th 2017. Tickets on sale here. Catch some of the highlights of this event down below.

We’ll be posting an event video soon, so stay tuned!