ACEN

SAO II photo
SAO II

Sword Art Online season 2 to premiere worldwide


Special events at AX and Japan Expo in France
May 21
// Jeff Chuang
To promote SAO season 2, Sword Art Online II, which is due out this summer, Aniplex of America is hosting a premiere screening of the first episode at Anime Expo on July 4th. It predates the screening on Japanese TV on July 5...

ACEN '14: Wake Up, Girls!

May 21 // Jeff Chuang
[The press panel was well attended, but it started late. Arriving first were Takeuchi and Yamamoto, who fielded some questions while we waited on the WUG.] Q. [To Hiroaki Takeuchi and Yutaka Yamamoto] What kind of things you watched as kids inspired you as creators now? Yamamoto: Hayao Miyazaki's works. And even before that, I read Fujiko Fujio's manga and wanted to become a manga artist at first. And there are a lot of other things that influenced me, obviously, but there's too many to name. Takeuchi: I used to work for Shueisha to produce Shounen Jump. I watched Tezuka's Astro Boy, and it was shocking, this was when I was young. I also watched Miyazaki's works, and it was shocking, again. In the '80s I watched Otomo's Akira, that that was my second shocking work that I watched. I was also very shocked by watching Oshii's Ghost in the Shell. Q: Can you tell us about the history of Studio Ordet and your future plans for the studio? Yamamoto: I established the company so I can keep a consistent staff. That's the main reason, but I don't have any specific future plans for the company. Takeuchi: Studio Ordet was created four years ago. I've produced anime for 20 years and have my own CG and animation studios. I helped create 5-6 studios in Japan. About five or six years ago I met director Yamamoto and I think he is talented. He can control many aspects of a production, from writing anime to directing live action, he can do choreography and produce music and much more. I wanted to work with him and produce his new anime. We want to produce anime and change the style of anime all over the world. This is why we created WUG. Takeuchi: WUG is special because we produced the animation and idols at the same time. The actual voice actresses appear as idols on stage. At the time there wasn't anything like this in Japan, so together we wanted to produce and develop these kinds of new style of anime, where we can work on not just the anime but also the music and live aspects. Our studio will work on these new styles of animation. Q: When creating the Wake Up Girls, did you get inspiration from AKB48 or Idolm@ster? Yamamoto: Of course I did study and watch these idol anime and real idols. I use them as a reference point so I can establish my own vision of the idols that I want to create. Q: [To Takeuchi] When you begin your careers, were you surprised to find the American market the way it was? Do Japanese creators target the American market in general? Takeuchi: About 20 years ago, I came to Hollywood and met with a lot of Americans directors and writers, and they would think that Japanese comics and animations are very cool. For example when I worked on Animatrix I talked to the Wachowski directors and they would say that their work was inspired by anime. There is a lot of positive feedback from US directors and creators. At the time it feels like there's an opportunity to produce something with American creators. These kind of things are big now, but back 20 years ago it was hard to see how things would turn out. Fans of anime/manga are all over the world, so I hope more fans will gather and make good anime and comic. Q. [To the Wake Up Girls] How do you feel about your receptions from American fans? Miyu Takagi [Miyu]: At the live yesterday, everyone is so excited! I feel the energy and everyone's excitement. I liked how no matter what I said or whta happened on stage, everyone had a happy face and laughed at what I said. Nanami Yamashita [Nanami]: When we walk pass people by the hotel or on the street, everyone is so friendly! I also hear Chicago pizza is delicious. (Takeuchi: We'll go have pizza tonight!) Minami Tanaka [Minami]: It's my first time in Chicago. I'm worried about my English, but everyone was very friendly and that made me very happy. Mayu Tanaka [Mayu]: My English is not great but my fans who were listening to me can still understand me and we still can communicate and have a good time. Airi Eino [Airi]: It's my first time oversea and I'm shy so I'm worried about being able to talk to everyone. Still  everyone accepted us warmly and even though I don't speak English much, people tried to listen to me and I am grateful. Kaya Okuno [Kaya]: It's my first time overseas, At the autograph session yesterday people called me Kayatan even tho they aren't from Japan! Even though they're not from Japan they still know my nickname, and I'm happy about that. Yoshino Aoyama [Yoppi]: What surprised me is that everyone here likes anime and a lot of people can speak some Japanese. People saying "arigato" or "konnichiwa" to me made me happy. I wanted to use my English so I would speak in English, and some would speak back in Japanese. Q. Are you similar to the characters in the anime? Yoppi: The characters are made with the same birthday, blood type and given name of each of us. So yeah there are a lot of similarities. Kaya: I play the character Kaya Kikuma, she is tall but I am short. The Kaya character is mature and I think I am like her in that aspect, so there's some similarity. Airi: The hair is different but we both have a mole right there, so they made that similar. Mayu: We have almost the same height and three sizes, and even the same looks. We are both stubborn and argue with the members in real life. In fact the arguing part got put into the anime. So for me there are a lot of similarities. Minami: People say we look the same and have similar personality, and I think so now as well. Nanami: We're both left-handed. There's a scene where she sits down and eat chips. I do the same thing. Miyu: I think we both cry easily, so that's similar. Miyu works at a maid cafe but I have never, although I would like to try some day. Q. Which do you have more fun? Live action or anime? Miyu: I think both are fun. Although for the movie, it used the same dance we did and that was put into the anime. Nanami: I like doing the live. When I record for the anime I don't see the audience as I record. I enjoy having fans in front of me cheering and the atmosphere. I like both but I like the live better. Minami: When I first started out I wanted to be a voice actor, so having to do live shows and dance worried me because I'm not sure if I could. Now I enjoy doing it and it seems I am discovering this side of me as well. Mayu: It's a hard choice. I think I like doing the lives more. It's my dream to become a voice actress so I definitely enjoy that, but having the audience in front for feedback is great. And the live show aspect is unique for WUG. Airi: It's agood question. I do like the anime a lot. The live is in front of the audience and in some way each time we do a live it's a new creation. I also like to dance and it's more me to dance in front of the audience. Kaya: I like the anime. I want to be a seiyuu and doing the recording. I work hard to do the recordings, and if the director or sound director give me feedback, I work on it. When I get to see the result of my work as I  get better. When we do the live we showcase how we can become the characters in the anime, as actresses. In that sense overall I like the anime more. Yoppi: I like the anime. In the anime it's not just us working hard, but also the other voice actors and the animation staff. People I don't even know worked hard on the anime. There are so many people who work hard to make it. There's only this one piece of work created from the effort of everyone. So I like it slightly more. Q. Pick between natto or okomonoyaki Takeuchi: I eat natto everyday when I can, so natto. Yamamoto: I'm from Osaka so I like okonomiyaki, but I ate it too often so I eat natto every day now, too. Miyu: I like these types of food like okonomiyaki, takoyaki, etc. Nanami: Okonomiyaki, because natto is sticky so it's hard to share (Yamakan: sure can share natto...) Minami: Okonomiyaki: Because you can put lots of different vegetables in it and it is nutritious.  Mayu: I'm also from Osaka so I like okonomiyaki and taokoyaki. In fact I have a hot plate so I was thinking of inviting the members for a party where we eat these things. Airi: I like natto, it's a very Japanese (wa) and I can't live without natto for breakfast. I eat it with umeboshi, and it's really good. Kaya: I like okonomiyaki because I like bonito flakes! Yoppi: I like natto. "Rice on the natto is great." It's delicious. [And that is a wrap! Special thanks to ACEN and Crunchyroll for making it possible, and Nana Lee for interpreting.]
WUG! photo
Let's hear it for Hiro, Yamakan and the Wake Up Girls!
Anime Central and Crunchyroll teamed up over the weekend and brought to the USA the anime-idol group Wake Up, Girls! I am more than excited to be able to cover them over the weekend and attend some of their events. Below...

ACEN '14 photo
ACEN '14

ACEN '14: Scenes from opening ceremony


Voice actors, DJs parade
May 20
// Jeff Chuang
Anime Central 2014 opened with a great list of guests. What's actually really unusual is that most of the guests on the roll call showed up at the opening ceremony, which seems like a good omen for a convention weekend given ...

ACEN '14: The Cosplays

May 19 // Jeff Chuang
Cosplays photo
Is that a ship daughter?
Over the weekend, midwest's cosplayers marched out en force at Anime Central 2014. Let's take a look after the jump. The trend with Titan doesn't seem to slow down, and there are a bunch of decent survey corps members roaming...


ACEN '14 photo
ACEN '14

Anime Central 2014 brings Angela, WUG, host of great guests


Waking up to the third largest anime con in North America
May 15
// Jeff Chuang
Anime Central, the third largest anime convention in the US and Canada, serves as the big bump to get things started for this year's anime convention circuit. It kicks off Friday and runs through the weekend. And big conventi...
ACEN photo
ACEN

Wake Up, Girls! to shake up Anime Central


And with Yamakan too!
Apr 14
// Jeff Chuang
Anime Central announced last Friday that seiyuu-idol group Wake Up, Girls! will be attending as guests, along with their producers--anime director Yutaka Yamamoto and producer Hiroaki Takeuchi. Naturally the WUGs will be pres...
Convention photo
Convention

ACEN announces angela as musical guest


If you watch anime, you've heard angela
Feb 05
// LB Bryant
If you've watched more than a few anime titles within the last decade you've likely heard the musical group angela perform a theme song or two. Known for their ridiculously fast lyrics and upbeat music, the duo that makes up ...
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You'll never do something as awesome as this Madoka chalk


May 07
// Brad Rice
If you've never been to a major convention before, then one of the special little sights you would have missed out on are the chalk drawings. All across the country, PepperInk does most of the major ones -- from New York Ani...
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ACEN 10: FUNi announces Eden of the East, Casshern dubs


May 16
// Brad Rice
What, you thought the only thing FUNimation was doing today at ACEN was announcing hot new licenses? Well, they also paraded out some new voice acting casts for the dubs of their upcoming titles. Casshern Sins, Corpse Princes...

ACEN 10: FUNi nabs Sora No Otoshimono, Rosario to Vampire

May 16 // Brad Rice
FUNimation Entertainment Rosario + Vampire Flower Mound, TX (May 15, 2010) – FUNimation® Entertainment today announced that it has acquired home entertainment, digital and merchandise rights for the supernatural comedies “Rosario + Vampire” and “Rosario + Vampire CAPU2” from studio GONZO.    The anime series are directed by Takayuki Inagaki (“Desert Punk” and “To Heart”) and based on the manga by Akihisa Ikeda, licensed by VIZ in North America. About Rosario + Vampire Rosario + Vampire follows the exploits of Tsukune, a teenager who finds himself rejected from the private high school of his choice. In fact, his grades are so bad he can only get into one school and it happens to be for monsters! There he meets a beautiful girl, Moka, who is a vampire with a dark secret hanging around her neck. Will Tsukune win the heart of the vampy beauty or does she just want his tasty human blood for lunch? FUNimation Entertainment will release the series on DVD starting in 2011.   FUNimation Entertainment Acquires Rideback Flower Mound, TX (May 15, 2010) – FUNimation® Entertainment today announced that it has acquired the home entertainment, broadcast, digital, mobile  and merchandise rights to the action drama “Rideback” from Madhouse Studio, Inc.    The 12-episode anime series is directed by Atsushi Takahashi (“Detroit Metal City” OVA and “Spirited Away”). About Rideback In the year 2020 an organization called the GGP has taken control of the world. In Japan, this has been met with insurgency by the university students. One of these students is Rin Ogata, a once promising ballet dancer who has suffered a career-ending injury. She stumbles across a transforming motorcycle-like robot vehicle and discovers that her unique skills, grace and agility make her a natural to ride the Rideback and fight back against the GGP. FUNimation Entertainment will release the series on DVD starting in 2011.     FUNimation Entertainment Acquires Heaven’s Lost Property Flower Mound, TX (May 15, 2010) – FUNimation® Entertainment today announced that it has acquired the home entertainment, broadcast, digital  and merchandise rights to the romantic comedy “Heaven’s Lost Property” from Kadokawa.    The 14-episode anime series is directed by Hisashi Saito (“Bamboo Blade”). About Heaven’s Lost Property A beautiful, voluptuous angel robot (angelroid) falls to earth…into the lap of a lazy high school boy. When its revealed that he is her new master and that she will grant his every request…things get a little crazy FUNimation Entertainment will release the series on DVD in 2011.     FUNimation Entertainment Acquires Gun X Sword Flower Mound, TX (May 15, 2010) – FUNimation® Entertainment today announced that it has acquired the home entertainment, broadcast, digital  and mobile rights to the sci-fi western anime “Gun X Sword” from d-rights.    The 26-episode series is directed by Goro Taniguchi (“Code Geass” among others) with character design by Takahiro Kimura (“Phantom ~ Requiem for the Phantom,” “My Bride is a Mermaid,” and “Ah! My Goddess”) and written by Hideyuki Kurata (“Bamboo Blade,” “Hellsing the Ultimate Series”). About Gun X Sword On the planet of Endless Illusion, a lone man adorned in a tuxedo roams the wild and lawless frontier...Armed with a shape-shifting sword and a powerful Mechanized Armor, Van's sole purpose in life is to find the mysterious clawed man who had murdered his bride. After saving a town from vicious outlaws, he reluctantly takes on a travel companion-a young Wendy Garret. In exchange for his help in finding her brother, she offers herself to Van as a bride, but that's the least of his worries, as more deadly enemies await! FUNimation Entertainment will release the series on DVD in late 2010.     FUNimation Entertainment Acquires Chrome Shelled Regios Flower Mound, TX (May 15, 2010) – FUNimation® Entertainment today announced that it has acquired the home entertainment, broadcast, digital  and merchandise rights to the sci-fi action anime “Chrome Shelled Regios” from Kadokawa.    The 24-episode series is directed by Itsuro Kawasaki (“Sengoku Basara” and “Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle The Movie” among others) and based on the light novel series by Shusuke Amagi and illustrated by Miyuu. About Chrome Shelled Regios In a barren future where mankind has retreated into mobile cities, a young man with a mysterious past seeks a fresh start. Reluctantly recruited into a student military unit he must once again wield his special powers in defense of his new home against the Filth Monsters that plague the wastelands. In a polluted world where cities battle over scarce resources, even students are used in the fight for survival. FUNimation Entertainment will release the series on DVD starting in late 2010.   FUNimation Entertainment Acquires Chaos;HEAd Flower Mound, TX (May 15, 2010) – FUNimation® Entertainment today announced that it has acquired the home entertainment, broadcast, digital, mobile  and merchandise rights to the action anime “Chaos;HEAd” from Madhouse Studio, Inc.    FUNimation will release the 12-episode dramatic series directed by Takaaki Ishiyama in 2011. About Chaos;HEAd Takumi lives a secluded lifestyle as a hikkikomori. One day, after chatting online with a mysterious stranger, a visit to a URL and a blog lead him to a real life murder.
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As part of their "dominate the market" strategy, FUNimation has announced six new licenses at Anime Central this year: Chaos;HEad, Rideback, Heaven's Lost Property (Sora no Otoshimono), Rosario to Vampire (and seaso...

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Check out live ACEN coverage from our buds 91.8 the Fan


May 15
// Brad Rice
As much as we'd love to be spending our bright and cheery spring weekend in Chicago, instead we're scattered to the winds. But, we've been making friends with the folks over at 91.8 the Fan, who are covering the event all wee...
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Keep the Gundam Experience going with the Universal Century panel


May 22
// Brad Rice
Did you like the Gundam Experience panel that Len posted about? Of course you did. It's Gundam, after all. I've only recently been a convert to the franchise, after Dynasty Warriors Gundam, along with rewatching Gundam Wing,...
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Watch the entire Gundam Experience panel now without having to go to a convention!


May 20
// God Len
The Gundam Experience is perhaps my favorite panel at any convention. It’s like a walk through the gardens of Gundam, smelling each Gundam flower along the way. But let’s be honest here, not many of you have th...
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Moribito returns to Adult Swim!


May 11
// God Len
Of course, the panel that I decide not to go to, the Media Blasters’ industry panel, is the only one with an important announcement; just my luck. Anyways, otaku freedom fighter Nebs did go to the panel, and told the wo...
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Anime Central 2009: The greatest fan panel in the world


May 11
// God Len
I might be a little biased here, but I believe The Gundam Experience is the best panel inside the hallowed halls of Anime Central; and perhaps any other con out there in the world. Yes, The Gundam Experience is available at o...
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Anime Central 2009 cosplay


May 10
// God Len
Convention cosplay, is there anything better than it in the world? Well, besides porn cosplay, wedding cosplay, honeymoon cosplay, surprise God Len cosplay, pin-up cosplay, kickboxing cosplay, animal cosplay, and Thanksgiving...
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Anime Central 2009 FUNimation industry panel


May 10
// God Len
FUNimation had a completely different atmosphere than its emo predecessor. This one felt like some kind of rock concert, but instead of rock music there were trailers (that had rock music) and release dates; hell I head bange...
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Anime Central 2009 ADV industry panel


May 10
// God Len
There were two important industry panels at Anime Central this year. One of these panels was incredible optimistic and happy, while the other was depressing and sad. To no surprise, the ADV industry panel was the sad one. The...
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Anime Central 2009 Fashion Show


May 08
// God Len
Fashion shows seem to be all the rage in anime conventions of this era. Anime Central of Chicago, Illinois did not want to be behind the times so they created one as well. Called “Khaotic Kouture”, it took differe...
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m.o.v.e. will be appearing at Anime Central 2009


Mar 25
// Eva Duenas
It makes me sad that they bring all these artists to anime conventions and I can't see any of them. It seems that m.o.v.e is a popular choice to bring over to the US because they've been to other anime conventions previously....
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Rhea Silvan to appear at Anime Central


Mar 20
// Brad Rice
Our friends over at Yaoi Press brought up their latest guest announcement to me, a Ms. Rhea Silvan, who will be appearing at ACEN. She's an Indonesian artist (Yaoi Press' first Indonesian guest at a con) who's responsible for...
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Podtoid-san 59: Lions, Tigers, and Cons! Oh my!


May 24
// John Martone
As the readers may or may not be aware of, its con season! We here at Japantor are taking such matters seriously, and have sent our agents out. Between Len's coverage of ACEN last week, Tim at Fanime right now, and next week ...
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ACEN 08: God Len's final thoughts


May 20
// God Len
Anime Central 2008 is finally over. For otaku in the Chicago area this convention is three days of pure bliss. Three days where one can throw away real world problems, throw away those nagging parents, bosses, and friends for...
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ACEN 08: FUNimation industry panel


May 18
// God Len
Hi, God Len reporting from the FUNimation industry panel. We have a large number of new announcements this time around to make up for Bandai’s old, but appreciated news; let's jump in. Here is the ones that have been li...
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ACEN 2008: Bandai Entertainment industry panel


May 18
// God Len
God Len here, reporting from Bandai Entertainment industry panel. I’m sorry to inform you that there are no new announcements coming from them at the moment, but there are promises of announcements next year. However, I...
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ACEN 2008, Day 1


May 17
// God Len
[Edit: Now With Pictures!!!] I have returned, surviving the first day at ACEN 2008. First things first, I have to thank God (well, another one) for giving me a press pass, because I almost died after seeing the line for regis...
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Rumors from a Japanator geisha: FUNimation to annouce Romeo x Juliet?


May 15
// John Martone
Reporting from some internet laden cave, the reporter Gia brings her speculation that FUNimation will be dusting off Ye Olde English Dictionary. Apparently this is a blitz week for FUNimation, as they've announced several tit...
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Japanator to invade Anime Central 2008, are you ready?


May 15
// God Len
I hope Anime Central can handle the amount of epic that is about to hit its shores, because Japanator is on its way! For those of you out of the loop, Anime Central will be at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare & the Donald E...
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Confirmed: Halcali to play Anime Central 2008


Jan 11
// Zac Bentz
I'm know I'm a bit late on the uptake here (I should learn to read the comments to my posts from time to time) but, as previously mentioned, the funky, poppy, hip-hop duo of Halca and Yucali aka Halcali will be making their...
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TOP TEN: God Len’s top ten list of best cosplay from Anime Central 2007!


May 16
// God Len
Here it is folks, you knew it was coming; God Len’s top ten list of best cosplay from Anime Central 2007. There were a lot of great cosplayers this year at ACEN, and for some reason there were also a lot of cross dressers...

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