Yu Asakawa, Danny Choo, Kanae Muraki and Tara Knight to Attend NYCC 2012 Courtesy of the Japan Foundation


Yu Asakawa, Danny Choo, Kanae Muraki and Tara Knight to attend Courtesy of the Japan Foundation

Japan FoundationNorwalk, CT, September 12, 2012: New York Comic Con (NYCC) is today proud to announce the Japan Foundation, an organization built to foster cultural exchange and mutual understanding between Japan and other countries, will participate in this year’s NYCC with three events and four guests, showcasing the popular culture of Japan in the heart of New York City. New York Comic Con takes place October 11 – 14, 2012 at NYC’s Javits Center, and NYCC is honored to welcome the Japan Foundation’s guests – Yu Asakawa, Danny Choo, Kanae Muraki and Tara Knight – to its roster of already-announced guests including Brian K. Vaughan, Mike Mignola, Christopher Lloyd, Joshua Gates and Anne Rice.

2012 will be the third year the Japan Foundation participates in New York Comic Con, and it will be representing Japan and encouraging the discovery of Japanese culture this year with more events and guests than ever before.

Ms. Yu Asakawa is a popular seiyuu (voice actress) and singer from Tokyo. Her list of credits includes Love Hina (Motoko Aoyama), School Rumble (Itoko Osakabe), Vandread (Jura Basil Elden), Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 (Priss S. Asagiri), Azumanga Daioh (Sakaki), Gravion (Mizuki Tachibana), Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII (Shalua) and Final Fantasy XIII (Lebreau). She also provided the voice of Crypton Future Media’s Vocaloid virtual singer Megurine Luka, and she will be speaking at New York Comic Con on Friday about her career, becoming the voice of a Vocaloid and singing as Luka in both Japanese and English. For more on Ms. Asakawa, follow her on Twitter at @Julia320, where she tweets in English to her international fans.

Mr. Danny Choo resides in Tokyo and runs a media production company where he produces Culture Japan, a portal including a website, television show and products that focus on spreading information on Japan around the world. Danny speaks at conferences and universities worldwide on Japanese pop culture and consumer generated media and his activities are regularly featured in web, print and media outlets worldwide such as CNN, BBC, NHK and G4TV. Danny has also been known to dance around Tokyo dressed as a Stormtrooper. Danny will be speaking at NYCC on Saturday about discovering Japanese culture, moving to Tokyo and spreading Japanese pop culture to the world. Danny will also share his tips for studying Japanese for those wishing to follow his path.

On Sunday at NYCC, Crypton Future Media, the creators of Vocaloid singers Hatsune Miku and Megurine Luka, will speak about the Vocaloid software’s success and bringing the Vocaloids to the USA. This panel will feature the behind-the-scenes story of virtual singer Hatsune Miku with Kanae Muraki, Director of Global Development for Crypton Future Media, and Tara Knight, producer of Mikumentary — an upcoming series of short documentaries focusing on the Hatsune Miku phenomenon. Crypton will make a special announcement as part of this panel.

“We’re very, very excited to see the Japan Foundation expand its participation in New York Comic Con,” notes Lance Fensterman, Group Vice President for ReedPOP and Show Manager for NYCC. “For three years now, the Japan Foundation has brought a little bit of Tokyo to New York City, and each year, attendees have only wanted more. We know fans will be very pleased to meet Ms. Asakawa, Mr. Choo and the staff at Crypton, and we hope that the Japan Foundation’s panels will inspire our attendees to read more about Japan, learn its language, and ultimately visit the land that’s given the world Hatsune Miku and so much more.”

Full details about the Japan Foundation’s panels will be revealed soon, as well as dates and times for autograph sessions with Ms. Asakawa and Mr. Choo.

Tickets for New York Comic Con 2012 are currently available for purchase at www.NewYorkComicCon.com. Companies interested in exhibiting at New York Comic Con should contact Larry Settembrini atLarry@ReedPOP.com . Other information about the show, as well as news about ReedPOP, which organizes a range of pop culture events, is available at facebook.com/NewYorkComicCon and twitter.com/NY_Comic_Con . Previously announced guests at New York Comic Con include: Anne Rice, Sean Astin, Joshua Gates, Geoff Johns, Jim Lee, Joe Quesada, Axel Alonso and Brian K. Vaughan, among others. Officials note that many more guests will be announced over the coming weeks and fans should keep their eyes on NYCC’s website for additional announcements.

ABOUT THE JAPAN FOUNDATION: The Japan Foundation was established in 1972 by special legislation in the Japanese Diet and became an Independent Administrative Institution in October 2003. The mission of the Japan Foundation is to promote international cultural exchange and mutual understanding between Japan and other countries. The Japan Foundation activities, aiming comprehensive and effective development of its international cultural exchange programs, consist of following three major categories: (1) Arts & Cultural Exchange, (2) Japanese Studies and Intellectual Exchange and (3) Japanese-Language Education Overseas. The Foundation maintains its headquarters in Tokyo and operates through a network of 22 overseas offices in 21 countries worldwide. The Japan Foundation is represented by two offices in the United States — one in New York and the other in Los Angeles.

ABOUT REEDPOP: ReedPOP is a boutique group within Reed Exhibitions which is exclusively devoted to organizing events, launching and acquiring new shows, and partnering with premium brands in the pop culture arena. ReedPOP is dedicated to producing celebrations of popular culture throughout the world that transcend ordinary events by providing unique access and dynamic personal experiences for consumers and fans. The ReedPOP portfolio includes: New York Comic Con (NYCC), Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2), Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) East & West, Star Wars Celebration, Fantasy Football Fest and the UFC Fan Expo. The staff at ReedPOP is a fan based group of professionals producing shows for other fans, thus making them uniquely qualified to service those with whom they share a common passion. ReedPOP is focused on bringing its expertise and knowledge to world communities in North America, South America, Asia and Europe.

TO – Megaman Signing

Hitoshi Ariga signs on Thursday, August 26th at 7PM
The Japan Foundation, 131 Bloor Street West, 2nd Floor
Free to attend, RSVP Required!
RSVP at (416) 966-1600 ext. 103
or online, http://www.jftor.org/whatson/rsvp.php
Presented by UDON Entertainment, The Beguiling, A&C Games, and The Japan Foundation

TORONTO—The Beguiling, Canada’s Premier Comic Book Retailer is proud to team with UDON Entertainment and The Japan Foundation to welcome Hitoshi Ariga, the hugely popular and respected manga creator of MEGA M AN MEGAMIX (the official manga of the phenomenally popular Mega Man video games) to Canada for the very first time! Mr. Ariga will make a very rare North American appearance at Mega Man! Megamix! Megavent!, a special event held in Mr. Ariga’s honour to celebrate the launch of his manga for English-language audiences at The Japan Foundation on Thursday, August 26th at 7pm. Please note, while this event is open to the public an RSVP is required.

With over 30 million Mega Man videogames sold worldwide, the character is easily one of the most popular and recognizable game characters in the world! MEGA MAN MEGAMIX, the new manga series written and drawn by Hitoshi Ariga and published by UDON Entertainment, is the official manga chronicling the stories of these games—and the stories behind the stories as well! The second volume of MEGA MAN MEGAMIX is scheduled to debut at the event, and volume 1 will also be available. In addition to the popular manga ser ies, Hitoshi Ariga is an acclaimed character designer and graphic designer for video games and creator of many manga series.

“We’re truly honoured to welcome Ariga-San to Toronto,” said Christopher Butcher, event organizer and Manager of The Beguiling. “His work is very energetic and passionate, and it’s fantastic to see the games I remember investing so many hours into brought to comics! I think both fans of Mr. Ariga’s work on the MEGA MAN MEGAMIX manga, and fans of the Mega Man video games in general, are very fortunate to be able to meet him and will enjoy the event.”

The doors will open for the event at 7pm, with the event beginning at 7:30pm. Mr. Ariga will give a short presentation (In Japanese, with an English-language interpreter), and following the presentation he will take questions from his fans and the audience, and will sign autographs for all in attendance. Manga and Artbooks featuring Mr. Ariga’s work will be available for sale at the event courte sy of The Beguiling. Classic Mega Man video games and gaming equipment will be available to play and for sale courtesy of A&C Games in Toronto.

Because of the popularity of Mr. Ariga’s work, the organizers will be capping attendance at 100 participants. To attend, please RSVP at (416) 966-1600 ext. 103 or online at http://www.jftor.org/whatson/rsvp.php.

UDON Entertainment: UDON is an award-winning Canadian-based art collective formed in 2000 to provide high-quality creative services to the entertainment industry. Our client list reads like a “Who’s who” of the business, and includes Alliance/Atlantis, Capcom, DC Comics, Hasbro, Konami, Marvel Comics, Nintendo, Random House, ToyBiz, and Wizards of the Coast amongst others. In addition to client work, UDON is a diverse publisher producing comics, manga, and artbooks for all ages and audiences. http://udonentertainment.com/

The Japan Foundation: The Japan Foundation aspires to the role of catalyst for international exchange throughout the world, presenting valuable and appealing aspects of Japanese culture to other countries and promoting mutual understanding with peoples around the world. In addition to organising and supporting Japan-related events, a large portion of The Japan Foundation, Toronto activities involves the administration of its grant programs, grouped under three main areas: Arts and Cultural Exchange, Japanese-Language Education, and Japanese Studies and Intellectual Exchange. http://www.jftor.org/

The Beguiling: Founded in 1987, The Beguiling has set a new standard in Canada for comics and graphic novel retail. Showcasing the largest selection of alternative, underground and avant-garde graphic story telling in the country, The Beguiling has a worldwide reputation for excellence. Visit us online at http://beguiling.com.

A & C Games: We have the largest selection of rare and old school video games in Toronto! Buying, selling, and trading Video Games, Consoles, and Accessories for every generation of gamer! Visit us downtown at 706 Spadina Ave. (Just south of Bloor) or online at http://www.acgamesonline.com/.