Hiroshi Shimizu has had his hand in Japanese animation since 1985! He may be more well-known to Western audiences for being the key animator of 1989′s “Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland.” Other well-known titles that he has been involved with include “Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine,” (chief animation director and key animator), Hayao Miyazaki’s “Porco Rosso” and insanely popular “Princess Mononoke” (key animator), Satoshi Kon’s masterpiece “Millennium Actress” (key animator), and “Michiko and Hatchin” (chief animation director and character designer), as well as many others. We are so pleased to have him this year for AnimeNEXT!
Anime Director Sayo Yamamoto was born 1977 in Tokyo, Japan.
After graduating from Art School, she joined the Anime Studio, Madhouse. Ms. Yamamoto was soon creating storyboards for numerous shows and she had her first experience with episode directing at age 25.
Ms. Yamamoto’s full directorial debut came in 2008, with the wildly popular, Michiko and Hatchin television series. She also helped direct several episodes of Shinichiro Watanabe’s Samurai Champloo television series.
Ms. Yamamoto was in charge of costume design and the original art for Takeshi Koike’s World Record OVA. Working with Director/Animator Takeshi Koike again on his full length feature film, REDLINE, she was responsible for creating storyboards and the original background art.
In 2012, Ms. Yamamoto directed her second television series which was titled Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine.
Some other projects in which Ms. Yamamoto has been involved in include Ergo Proxy (storyboards and episode director), Psalm’s of Planets: Eureka Seven (storyboards and episode director), Evangelion 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance (storyboard), High SChool of the Dead (storyboard), and Gunslinger Girl (storyboard and unit director), just to name a few.
Greg joined the voice acting ranks through his background in IT and Engineering (no, seriously). Earning advanced degrees from Pennsylvania State University and studying drama with the Walnut St. Theatre, the Wilma Theatre, and the People’s Improv Theatre.
Greg has been performing behind the mic for over 12 years providing vocal talent for companies such as AstraZenica, DuPont, Lockheed Martin, CBS, Honda of America, and the NBA, among others. In the anime world, he’s provided voices for titles such as “Evangelion”, “Shiki”, and “Tales of Vesperia”.
To learn more about Greg, visit www.gregoryhouser.com or @ghouser on Twitter.
The Asterplace ”座・アスタープレイス”
The Asterplace is NYC based Tokyo Melodic Core & Japanese Anime Rock Band from Tokyo Japan.
“The Asterplace” means creating beautiful music as like flower blossoming every year and the origin of the name came directly from their beautiful melody of music. As the sun shines in the world, as the moonlight at the sky, The Asterplace plays music towards the world.
They have performed more than 30 conventions as honor of musical guest so far. Our “Manga Next 2012” ,Kotoricon, Zenkaikon, Tribeca film festival, Armageddicon Revolutions(OH) Brooklyn Botanic Garden Sakura Matsuri and DC Sakura Matsuri are just one of their performance experience. Furthermore they are planning tour in Germany and UK following their schedule in this year.
They create their music and stylish design works by their different background and storing spirits for artwork. Even one small stuff, even few seconds music sound, they never stop giving up until they found best quality. Their cutting-edge & mix cultured movement make people surprise always. And make your eyes can’t take off. The Asterplace’s entertainment rock show crosses over races, sexes, ages, and any borders, and it fascinates, bewitches, and leads anyone to the earnest impression. They completed their rock entertainment show with their variety of music. But it never happened same show. Because they believe in what the “LIVE” is. You will get involved their “Phenomenon” throughout the day !
The Asterplace are ;
Kota Tsukimoto :Vocal / Guitar
COHEI “The Spoken One” Hattori: Lead Guitar / Back Vocal Shusuke”Shu” Inava: Drums / Percussion
Kenji “Ninja” Terai : Bass / Back Vocal
Kiyoshi “Chinzei Style” Chinzei iano/Synthesizer/percussion/Guitar
Chipocrite, a.k.a. Paul Weinstein, uses original Nintendo Game Boy technology, often accompanied by guitar, bass guitar and/or other lo-fi sequencers, to create and perform complex audio masterpieces in a style known as “chip music” — repurposing old video game hardware and other non-traditional electronics as synthesizers. His multifaceted but catchy compositions combine the nostalgic game sounds of his childhood with modern music influences. He’s excited to be back at AnimeNEXT for his third year in a row, this time supporting the release of “8-Bit Lebowski: 100% Electronic,” a low-fi tribute to one of the greatest cult-classic films of all time and its legendary soundtrack.
Since emerging from the Philadelphia chip scene just a few years ago, Chipocrite has performed at numerous renowned events and conventions including the Vans Warped Tour, Blip Festival, MAGFest and AnimeUSA; provided soundtracks for commercials — including a nationally televised GameStop ad — as well as video games and online videos; released “Hit and Run,” which was named “Best Album – Chiptune” in Square Enix Music Online’s Annual Game Music Awards for 2011; appeared as the musical guest on popular tech-centric Web talk-show series “On The Verge” — and much more.
As a continuously developing chip musician and representative of the global chip community, Chipocrite is eager to share his unique insight into making music with “obsolete” hardware once again!
Akinori Isobe – BABY, THE STARS SHINE BRIGHT CEO
“Since I was a child, I was always genuinely happy to see girls wearing clothes with frills and lace, looking like princesses and feeling cute and pretty. I developed BABY, THE STARS SHINE BRIGHT to make clothes with that at their heart.”
“Then in 2004, I got the idea of Alice in Wonderland getting lost in a Pirate world, and started ALICE and the PIRATES as a sister brand.”
At present, BABY has stores not only all over Japan but also overseas in Paris, France and San Francisco, California.
Masumi Kano – BABY, THE STARS SHINE BRIGHT Designer
Saki Tachibana – BABY, THE STARS SHINE BRIGHT Designer
Mr. Popo and Tien Shinhan in “Dragonball Z”, Holy Roman Empire in “Hetalia”, Gluttony in “Fullmetal Alchemist”, Face McShooty and Mal in “Borderlands 2″, Jack the Ripper in “Soul Eater”, Miyamoto and M1 in “Yu Yu Hakusho”, Taruru in “Sgt. Frog”, Boo and Whitey in “Shin Chan”, Hanai in “School Rumble”, Ukyo in “Ouran High School Host Club”, Chamo in “Negima”, Babbit in “Kodocha”, Siegfried in “Kenichi”, and Hanbei in “Sengoku Basara” represent some of Chris’s favorite and best known roles.
You may have also heard him in: Case Closed, Gunslinger Girl, Basilisk, Suzuka, Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles, Black Cat, Darker Than Black, Bamboo Blade, Kaze no Stigma, Aquarion, One Piece, Big Windup!, D. Gray-Man, Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad, RIN, Speed Grapher, Oh! Edo Rocket, Summer Wars, Initial D, and Deadman Wonderland.
As an ADR Director, Chris has had the pleasure of casting/directing/asst. directing such titles as: Dragonball Z Uncut, Dragonball, Dragonball GT, Yu Yu Hakusho, Negima, Kodocha, Galaxy Railways, Baki the Grappler, School Rumble, Hell Girl, Kaze no Stigma, Bamboo Blade, Birdy the Mighty: Decode, Initial D, and Tsubasa Tokyo Revelations.
He has also had the opportunity to be a part of many popular video games. Some of his favorites were: voicing random ghouls and specters for Ghostbusters: The Video Game, as a contributing guitarist in Guitar Hero 3, and as Mega Man in Street Fighter X Tekken.
For additional information, visit “Chris Cason’s Anime Chuckle Hut” on Facebook and @Casonworld on Twitter.
Moon Stream is a new musical unit combining the forces of Japanese visual style rock with the sounds of the New York underground. Created in early 2011, Moon Stream is fronted by Satsuki (vocals, ex RENTRER EN SOI) and Tomo (guitar, echostream). These two veterans of the early visual kei explosion in Japan are now active on opposite ends of the globe.
The first half of the band’s name “Moon” is derived from Satsuki’s own name, while the latter half, taken from Tomo’s band name “echostream,” fuses to create a fresh concept for a band unlike any other – channeling the energy of the moon as a powerful musical force.
Displaying their visual and musical talent from signature rock sounds, ambient compositions, to dance rock music, their US debut launched Moon Stream into the sky.
Performing recently in Los Angeles and Paris, Moon Stream is ready to rock the east coast!!
MINT NeKO, was an umbrella designed by h.NAOTO a brand known for their one of a kind uniqueness and originality. The designer MINT entered the fashion industry in the brand S-INC in 2006. He then collaborated with another designer to create the brand “SIXH.” MINT NeKO’s style incorporates oriental silhouettes inspired by cat-like graphics. There are more than 200 cat-like characters used in his fashion, which were originated as graffiti drawn in his design books. He has given the cats life, and tells vivid stories of them through his fashion. The characters have been included in other fashion brand such as SIXH, and has music videos inspired by them. Mint has been able to incorporate cats in the world of fashion, and has collaborated with many Japanese musicians to become one of the bright up and coming young designers in Japan.
Mike Pollock is one of New York’s premier animation voice-over actors. Saturday morning cartoon viewers of FOX and The CW might recognize his voice as Meat in Ultimate Muscle:The Kinnikuman Legacy, the Mayor and Samo, the bartender, in Kirby: Right Back At Ya!, Garbageman on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dr. Eggman and Ella on Sonic X and the Sonic the Hedgehog video games, Bigoriki in Gororiki, and Langston Lickatoad in Viva Piñata. He’s also been heard as Bonaparte in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX on Cartoon Network, the interim narrator in Pokémon and Beast in the Marvel Motion comic adaptation of Astonishing X-Men. Listen for him in several upcoming projects this year. Mike also does some character work on Sirius XM Radio, as well as radio and TV commercials for Focus Factor, SunSetter Retractable Awnings, No-Doz, Comcast, Burger King, AC/DC, Verizon, and promos for HBO International. He’s also narrated a 15-hour audiobook of Jim Baggot’s ode to Physics: A Quantum Story, for Audible.com, and is the voice of several cute and cuddly animated plush toys, including “The Menacing Mummy,” for GUND.When he’s not making funny voices, he also writes comedy bits and song parodies. Please visit his web site: http://www.itsamike.com
Greg Ayres has spent the last eleven years working in an industry he had admired for years as a fan. With almost 200 credits to his name, this fan-boy has managed to get to play a variety of characters that are almost as colorful as his hair. He was thrilled to be a part of the Toonami return this summer, voicing the roles of Ganta Igarashi in Deadman Wonderland, and Heihachi Hayashida in Samurai 7. He was also thrilled to reprise his role of Son Goku in the Saiyuki Gaiden OVA’s this year. Some of his other recent roles include Sion in No. 6, Heisuke Toudou in Hakuoki, Arikawa in This Boy Can Fight Aliens, Tomoki Sakurai in Heaven’s Lost Property, and Volken in The Book of Bantorra. Other favorite roles include Chrono in Chrono Crusade, Kaoru Hitachiin in Ouran High School Host Club, Youhei Sunohara in Clannad, Yuki in The Wallflower, Leo in Ghost Stories, Satoshi Hiwatari in DNAngel, Kaworu Nagisa in The Director’s Cut of Neon Genesis Evangelion, and Negi Springfield in Negima. He can also be heard as Uesugi Kenshin in Sengoku Basara, Seikechi Tayama in Oh Edo Rocket, Hiro Hirono in ef: A Tale of Memories, Abe in Big Windup, Jr. in Xenosaga: The Animation, Tsujido in Speed Grapher, Roan in Ragnorok The Animation, Yamazaki in Welcome to the NHK, Gau Ban in Shadow Skill, Pope Alessandro XVIII in Trinity Blood, and a bunch of other titles he’ll probably forget to mention.
When he’s not in a booth with headphones on, you can usually find him sporting headphones of another variety behind “the decks”. A veteran nightclub DJ of many years, he jumped at the opportunity to play music at conventions. From packed rooms at anime conventions, to the legendary stage of The Knitting Factory (NYC), he never misses an opportunity to share his love of music with anyone who will listen.
C.R.A.Z.Y.O.T.A.K.U. was established by Benjamin Schoedel in 2004 with the sole purpose of giving attendees an unforgettable convention experience. Lead by Benjamin Schoedel (also the creator of The Official There She Is Fan Panel and As The Otaku Grows) and Maryellen Sloan, C.R.A.Z.Y.O.T.A.K.U. stands for Cooperation for the Realization of Anime Zealous Youth through the Organized Teamwork of Anime Knowledgeable Unions and runs a variety of games, from anime trivia to gaming and luck! Offering an unforgettable experience and the ability to win amazing prizes, this year they have teamed up to bring you a live music performance as well by a band from California known as Deliberate Lies! http://www.crazyotaku.com/
Karl “Uncle Yo” Custer got his convention start staffing for AnimeNEXT, and he’s finally back. New album, new fandoms, same silver
tie. Uncle Yo has traversed anime, video game and comic conventions to bring his unique brand of geek-specific stand-up back home. Yo’s
weekly podcast, “We are the Geek” and newest album, “Ecto-Kitt-Lorean,” are available now in iTunes and as Cutie Marks. Follow the con tours and reports at www.uncleyo.com.
Hiro Usuda is a freelance illustrator from Japan who previously worked as a 3DCG designer for Konami Digital Entertainment until 2006.
During the 8 years she worked for Konami, she was responsible for environmental design, 3DCG modeling, and texturing for Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Silent Hill 3, and Silent Hill 4. Other titles she was associated with include Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow and Elder Gate.
Since becoming a freelance illustrator, she’s been responsible for the main visuals and character illustrations for the Japanese server of the MMORPG game, Perfect World. Outside of the gaming industry, she has provided illustrations for numerous printed publications including the covers of the Japanese translated versions of The Elenium and The Tamuli series by David Eddings and the Safehold series by David Weber.
Her additional works include SF Magazine’s S-F Magazine Gallery (Hayakawa Publishing Corporation), a tutorial with work-in-progress in ImagineFX Issue 77, jacket and booklet art for Yggdrasill Minstrelsy CD, trading cards for Dimension Zero (Broccoli), covers for the Matsuura Junna series by Kazuhiro Uraga, special costume design for Shining Force CROSS -Reference Book- (SEGA&Hobby Japan) and more.
She has also provided illustrations for Victor Entertainment’s symphonic metal band LIV MOON.
Mike Toole writes about anime all the time. Originally a music critic and disc jockey, Mike made the mistake of emailing Animerica editor in chief Trish Ledoux in early 1996 asking what it would take to get published. Mere weeks later, his first review went to print, and he hasn’t looked back since. He’s written for the likes of Anime Insider, Sci-Fi Magazine, Otaku USA, and URB Magazine. On the pro side, he spent several years writing ad copy and building websites for the late, great Geneon. Currently, he’s a biweekly columnist and occasional onscreen host for Anime News Network, for whom he churns out about 100,000 words per year.
By now, you’ve probably met Bill Rogers at an AnimeNext convention. He’s been a guest almost every year since it began. But for those who still haven’t met him, let’s catch you up to speed.
In anime, you can hear Bill in “Assemble Insert”, “Boogiepop Phantom”, “Shingu”, “KO Beast”, “His and Her Circumstances”, “Joe vs. Joe”, “Madara”, “To Heart”, “Queen’s Blade”, “Kujibiki Unbalance”, “Magical Witch Punie-Chan”, “Gokudo”, “Comic Party”, and “The Third”. And let’s not forget Touma Seguchi in “Gravitation”, Gakushuu in “Ikki Tousen” Tanaka Souichiro in “Genshiken”, as well as Brock and 50 different creatures in the hit series “Pokémon”.
Or if video games are more your speed, try “Bullet Witch” for the X-Box360, or “m&m’s Adventure”, “m&m’s Kart Racing” and “Heathcliff: Fast and the Furriest” for the Wii. He is also the voice of Lucario in the smash hit “Super Smash Bros. Brawl” and MANY Pokémon in “Poképark” and “Poképark: Wonders Beyond”. Or grab the kids and download the storybook app “Helping Toto the Puppy” for the iPad.
2013 has been particularly interesting for Bill as well as he was involved in an audiobook production of “The Privilege of the Sword” by Ellen Kushner which was nominated for an AUDIE AWARD. He can also be heard in it’s sequel “The Fall of the Kings” which will be available later in the year. And, in the world of video games, 2013 sees (or hears) Bill in “Dungeon Hunter 4” as various monsters and nasty creatures.
You may have heard of Michele Knotz from a little well-known anime series called “Pokémon.” Now in their 16th season, Michele returned as the voice of Team Rocket’s Jessie as well as Snivy, Woobat, Minccino, Klink, Klang, Klinklang, Petilil and their evolutions. Before season 14, Michele voiced May, Nurse Joy, the Pokédex, Piplup, Manaphy, Squirtle, Bulbasaur, Chimecho, Beautifly, Masquerain, Dustox, Cacnea, and many others. She also voiced Misty for the Pokémon 10th Anniversary Special, “The Mastermind of Mirage Pokémon.” In the Pokémon Special, “Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, Team Go-Getters Out of the Gate” she voiced Chikorita. Other anime roles include Hajime Yagi in “The World of Narue,” Takako Kawashima in “Shootfighter Tekken,” Matsumoto and various additional characters in “To Heart,” Razali, Cindy, Greta, and The Fairy in “The Third,” Ogiue Chika in “Genshiken,” Koyuki Asagiri in “Kujibiki Unbalance,” Chou’un Shiryuu in “Ikki Tousen,” Tomoe and Airi in “Queen’s Blade,” and Potaru Tanaka and Inumi in “Magical Witch Punie-Chan.” As far as video games go, Michele has voiced the Pokémon Trainer, Squirtle and various other Pokémon for the Nintendo Wii’s “Super Smash Bros. Brawl,” Piplup and many others in “PokéPark Wii – Pikachu’s Great Adventure,” Snivy, Piplup and many others in “PokéPark 2 Wonders Beyond,” various characters in “Heathcliff: The Fast and the Furriest,” Alisa Bosconovitch and Roll in Capcom’s “Street Fighter X Tekken,” and Grace in “Castle Dracula.” But Michele doesn’t just work on anime and video games. She’s also a script adapter for various dubbing projects and lends her voice to many other types of work. To see all of Michele’s credits, pictures, and listen to her voice demos, check out her web site at: http://micheleknotz.com/
Tommy Yune has worked for over a decade in the comic book and video game industries. His early game development experience includes character design of the pioneering 3D fighting game FX Fighter for the Nintendo SuperFX chip and conceptual design of the award-winning Journeyman Project series. He also wrote and illustrated hit comic book titles such as Speed Racer, Racer X, Robotech, and Danger Girl: Kamikaze which were published by DC Comics’ Wildstorm and Cliffhanger labels. His first work in feature animation was creating the computer-generated opening sequence of Kevin Altieri’s Gen13.
Tommy grew up on a steady diet of anime, watching as much Prince Planet, Gatchaman and Casshan as he could in Asia and the United States. Then he shunned television and went back to being a responsible student to the delight of his parents. However, right before entering the UCLA School of Engineering, Robotech brought anime back into his life and he eventually found himself at the ArtCenter College of Design instead. His parents wept.
Tommy first worked in an official capacity for the Robotech universe by helping design Robotech.com for its launch in 2001. He has since come aboard as Harmony Gold’s creative director and oversees new development, including Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles which completed production in 2006.
While still a young college student and part-time hacker in 1998, Steve got his first job at an anime company as a digital animator. It was a dream come true for any fan who grew up on Robotech and Macross to be working somewhere in the anime industry. After slaving away through 80 hour work weeks and one really bad 100 hour work week where he started hallucinating from being awake too long, Steve called it quits and went back to Riverside where he got his B.A. in Creative Writing. Stay in school, kids!
Fresh out of college and eager to work in the anime industry again, Steve joined Harmony Gold to build the Robotech.com website, and has since co-produced and associate-produced several other projects as well, including the Macross restoration, the Robotech:Battlecry video game, the Robotech: Invasion video game, Robotech Remastered and Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles. Steve has also been featured in an anime documentary called Geeks, which he has still not had a chance to see.
Since its launch, Robotech.com has constantly been one of the busiest anime-related destinations on the internet, being the subject of a Conan O’Brien feature and mentioned on countless anime websites. You can email Steve at email@example.com to send him Robotech-related fan mail, complaints, constructive criticism and suggestions.
A graduate of the lighting design program from Emerson College, Kevin has been working in the entertainment industry for nearly 15 years. He has worked in theater production at world class venues such as the Goodspeed Opera House, the Emerson Majestic Theater, Foxwoods Casino, and the Mohegan Sun Resort which he helped open in 1996.
His television production credits include Jackass, Kids Say the Darnedest Things, Guinness Book of World Records, Krypton Factor, Farmclub.com, The 60′s as well as various television commercials. His film credits include Mystery Men, For Love of the Game, and Billy Frankenstein. Kevin has also served as Assistant VP of Production for feature film producer and New York Times best-selling author Lynda Obst.
Kevin’s first official assignment in the Robotech universe was as an audit of Robotech’s television ratings and viewer demographics during its original run in the 1980s. Kevin’s analysis of the ratings in a cost effective manner along with his years of production experience made him a natural candidate for the Robotech team.