Ichibancon 8 Con Report (with Interview with Quinton Flynn)!

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In 2014, I began my career at Convention Scene with an article about Ichibancon, the Concord, NC anime convention that is now a staple of my family schedule. “Ichiban” means “number 1” in Japanese, a fitting appellation for a convention held over New Year’s Eve weekend.

We have attended since 2012, when my daughter was fourteen and stayed up all night in her bedroom watching one anime after another. Now she is nineteen, and she stays up all night in her bedroom watching one anime after another. She does have a job as a Pizza Hut deliverer, which is why she couldn’t go to the convention. This year was her first time missing Ichibancon, and I hated that for her.

I wrote in 2014 that the convention had grown. After spending its first three years at the Blake Hotel in Charlotte—which, after pissing off more Democrats than Donald Trump, was split into two hotels in 2013—Ichibancon moved to the larger, family-friendlier Embassy Suites in nearby Concord. It needs to move again. Fridays are usually the slowest days at conventions, but by 5:00pm on that Friday, this is where people were parking.

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I stuck my head into Vic Mignogna’s Q&A on Saturday, and it was less than standing-room only. A con staffer asked me to “choose another place to enjoy the presentation.” That sounds feng shui and all, but it was like telling a sardine, “You might be more comfortable at that end of the tin.” Managing growth is a problem all conventions face, and it is a good problem. Means you’re doing something right.

Ichibancon’s sister convention, Triad Anime Con, is moving this year from a hotel to the roomier Greensboro Coliseum. Ichibancon could step up to the Charlotte Convention Center, but that might be cost-prohibitive. Still, more space should be a priority in the next year or two.

Another consideration of managing growth is figuring out ways to smooth the experience for attendees. For that, Ichibancon developed its first mobile device app.

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The app was great for updates. Throughout the weekend, I got announcements for session delays and cancellations, price changes, and other things. The app was also a repository for policies and maps, relieving attendees of having to carry a program. Here, for instance, is the autograph policy.

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One criticism of the app is that I couldn’t find a master list of changes and updates. Once, I saw an update pop up, but it vanished before I could read it all, so I still didn’t know what was going on. This left me to dig through the calendar to find the change.

The best part of Ichibancon has always been its guests. We have seen Vic Mignogna there every year, and I still marvel at his star power. For a 5:00pm autograph session, his line started forming at 3:30. By 4:15, it stretched out of the room, around the corner, and down the hall. My colleague, Michaela McPherson, interviewed Vic last year, and I recommend the read.

I got a chance this year to talk to Quinton Flynn, a veteran of video game and anime voice work.

How did you get started doing voice acting?

Well, the long story short is, I got a voiceover agent in Los Angeles, and he started providing me with copy to audition. I started auditioning in a recording booth at their offices, or I would go to outside casting director offices to record me in a booth reading from copy, making it come alive on the page. Eventually, I started booking work for commercials on radio, some on TV, and then I started doing animation, where I voiced the Human Torch and Johnny in The Real Adventures of Johnny Quest. And then I replaced Nathan Lane in the role of Timon in The Adventures of Timon and Pumba.

The longer answer is that I started doing impressions as a little boy. All through school, I did theater. I was also into rock and roll, so I had rock bands, and in college, I studied radio, television, and film. Once I got out of the university, I took some local voiceover workshop classes in Cleveland. Eventually, I knew I had to bounce to one of the major cities. That city became L.A. I took some animation voiceover workshops, and in that process, made a proper demo to go around knocking on doors in Hollywood that eventually yielded me an agent who got me to that place where I started answering your question.

You also do video games. What are the differences in voicing for a video game as opposed to a TV show?

Well, in video games, it is nonlinear recording. You might show up to a session and be jumping around in the script to different time lines, and you have to kind of turn on a dime. It’s great if one has an improvisational background, which I do, and if one is easily flexible in terms of taking direction and interpretation and using their mind in the way we always did as children: pure imagination.

That is different from an animated series in that, more often than not, we record alone for a video game. It’s just me in the booth. On the other side of the glass is the engineer who is working the knobs and the buttons and the faders. There is a director and sometimes a writer and producer.

In an animated series, if it is an original one, like when I did Johnny Quest or Timon and Pumba, or when I guested on Scooby-Doo or Animaniacs, the whole cast would be in there, and we would start the script from beginning to end, so you’d have the whole story in linear fashion. We would often get the script beforehand, and we’d get to read it and know it, and we’d also have the opportunity to work off one another. So you’d have some fun organic things happening in the moment. Sometimes, we’d be allowed to improvise, and then you’d have some kind of camaraderie.

Interestingly enough, in the video game world, depending on the writers and producers and actors, but largely those in charge of the cutting and editing, they have to be very sharp and clear about the scenes they are recording separately, so that when they bring the characters together, such as Axel and Roxas in the Kingdom Hearts series, they actually sound like they are talking to one another in the same scene, and I can tell you that, listening to the playthrough on YouTube, I was even blown away. It sounded like Jesse McCartney [who voices Roxas] and I were in the same room.

But you weren’t? You recorded separately, perhaps not on the same day?

No, never. In fact, I met Jesse at a release party the first time we had done Kingdom Hearts. We had said hello in passing, but we didn’t really know who we were to each other in the game. I’ve never seen him since. And yet, the relationship and the end result is very heartwarming, and I love it.

When I was growing up, video games didn’t have voice actors, and I’m always surprised at the number of video game fans who show up at conventions.

Oh, it’s true. I’ve done a huge body of work in animation, and some like it. Then I’ve done anime, which I have a bigger fan base for. And then, as you said, I’ve done video games, and the fan base is crazy. The way these things are released nowadays, they’re making major motion picture money, topping some of the biggest films that are coming out.

I once heard that the video game industry is bigger than the motion picture industry and the music industry combined.

Yeah, they’re making money hand over fist.

When you are preparing to voice a character, how do you get into the role?

Usually, I’m given a breakdown of the character, which tells me where the character is from, the character’s age, the tone and register of the character’s voice, what his position or role is, or title, what his background is. Based on that information, I then create and develop one character for them that I believe they are asking for, and I give it my Quinton Flynn take or spin. And then I might provide them with an alternate second or third read, just to give them something different, maybe something they hadn’t thought of, something that I think does apply to the character. I might sound older or add a different dialect, just to think outside the box. It’s kind of like painting or drawing, except I do it with my voice.

How did you get started doing conventions?

About ten years ago, my friend Jeff Nimoy, who was directing me in a show called Digimon Data Squad, was invited to a convention, and I believe another actor bowed out. He and I had done lots of improv together, and we had a fantastic relationship. He asked if I’d like to go, and I said sure, I’d love to go. I didn’t know anything about these conventions, and I didn’t know if anyone was going to know me. We showed up, and the attention, the adoration, the appreciation, the gratitude, the love, the interest, and the knowledge of the fans was immense. I had no idea. So over the last ten years, I’ve gotten to go many places in the U.S., Canada, England, and Ireland, and I’ve met people from all over the world. Recently, when I was in New York City for the New York Comic Con, I met people from Egypt, Scotland, Bangkok, Dubai, and Paris. I’ve had fans from Belize and Italy contact me on the Internet. It’s mind-blowing.

Switching gears a little, I love impressionists, which I know you are. Your YouTube video in which you tell the story of Little Red Riding Hood using 30 different impressions is terrific.

How did you develop your skills as an impressionist?

That is something I started when I was a little kid. My boyhood pal Billy Russ and I used to do impressions of impressionists’ impressions. At the time on TV, we were watching Frank Gorshin, Fred Travalena, John Byner, and Rich Little. Those were the four biggies. We started doing impressions of their impressions, and I was obsessed with entertainment, so I watched the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and I would do Johnny. I also watched Dinah Shore, Merv Griffin, and Mike Douglas, who would provide us with hours of entertainment, impressionists, actors, and characters that I would kind of sponge off and recreate with my voice. Then in 1975, when Saturday Night Live hit, I watched it until the 90s solidly, and I did impressions of those characters. It’s just been a skill I’ve had and developed since I was a kid, and I have found a method by which I’ve been able to do it. Some things take work. Other things just kind of fall into place. As I tell people, the characters talk for me; I don’t talk for them.

I always wonder whether impressionists ever get feedback from the people they do. Has anyone ever commented on your impressions?

I haven’t met any face-to-face, but I once did an impression of Paul McCartney on a morning radio show, and someone close to the McCartney camp called the radio station and said, “How did you get Paul’s private number, and why did you wake him up on tour?” Then they had to tell the truth: that this was an impressionist. That did get back to Paul, and he was actually impressed.

There was another convention I was attending, and I had been on a panel doing impressions of Christopher Walken and Christopher Lloyd. I found myself on a break speaking with Christopher Lloyd. His handler had been at the panel, and he said to me, “God, I loved your panel and all your impressions. Which was your favorite?” My Christopher Lloyd/Doc Brown impression went over like gangbusters and was by far the most fun. But there I was, as close to Christopher Lloyd as I am to you, and I was thinking, Do I tell him he was my favorite? If I do, will he be honored? Or will he be upset? What if he asks me to do it? I didn’t know him well, and I was afraid he would think I was mocking him. So I didn’t tell him. But I promise you this: if I see Christopher Lloyd again, I’m gonna flat out tell him.

Okay, last question. What’s the next convention you’re going to, and acting-wise, what are you working on now?

I will be in London for their anime convention [London Anime and Gaming Convention, February 3-5]. That is my next convention. I am currently working on an animated series on the Internet called Cartoon Hook-ups, in which I voice the role of Deadpool.

I saw a picture of that series on your table, and I wasn’t familiar with it.

Right. Not a lot of people are. It is put together by a gentleman named Jared Winkler, who is a terrific writer, and he has a fantastic artist with him. These are adult-themed, sitcom-type animated episodes where different cartoon characters and sometimes video game or anime characters end up hooking up in hotel rooms. They are cliffhangers in a way because the question is, are they going to hook up? Will they be accepted, or will they be rejected? It’s a lot of fun, and I got to do Deadpool, which was a thrill for me.

Who does Deadpool hook up with?

The closest he came to hooking up was with Harley Quinn. It is one of the best, and the actress who plays Harley Quinn [Lauren Taler] is spot-on. I encourage anyone to look that up. You’ll get a big laugh.

What else are you working on?

I’m a character named Jhin on League of Legends, which is a platform game you can sign up for online. I’m also creating a show called The Snozzberries, which is about three brothers who have the same mother who was a groupie, so they all have different fathers. They were latchkey kids who ended up living in front of the TV set, and their whole life is seen through a veil or prism of popular culture. They do a musical thing that is akin to Spinal Tap meets Hedwig and the Angry Inch. It will be a combination of animation themes, sitcom themes, movie themes, and original songs along with comedy interspersed. We may start out in the clubs playing it as a show, or we may do it into a little theater venue that tours. We’re not sure yet, but we will start out shooting episodes to post online, so look out for The Snozzberries starring Quinton Flynn, Scott Vaughn, and a third brother as yet to be determined.

Quinton and me

Quinton and me

Another area of Ichibancon that has grown is artist alley. In a world that increasingly devalues the fine arts, a convention artist alley is still a place where painters, sculptors, jewelers, and other artisans can make a living. I remember when the Ichibancon artist alley had only three or four members. This year, over a dozen artists were there, offering something for everyone.

An artist at work

An artist at work

Ichibancon was one of my first conventions, and it remains one of my favorites. The venue is posh (if a little crowded), the staff is among the best I’ve worked with, and North Carolina in January is not the deep freeze that other parts of the country are. Check out Ichibancon next year. Maybe I’ll see you there!

It was great seeing Vic Mignogna again.

It was great seeing Vic Mignogna again.

This couple decided not to leave the kids in the hotel room. Understandable.

This couple decided not to leave the kids in the hotel room. Understandable.

This couple decided not to have kids. Totally understandable.

This couple decided not to have kids. Totally understandable.

A look at the Ichibancon video game room.

A look at the Ichibancon video game room.

Artist alley can be a little cozy.

Artist alley can be a little cozy.

This Cruella is a fella.

This Cruella is a fella.

Coffee, tea, or LSD?

Coffee, tea, or LSD?

I thought I was coming down with something, so I asked to see the nurse. Then I really came down with something.

I thought I was coming down with something, so I asked to see the nurse. Then I really came down with something.

Spellcheck, where are you when I need you?

Spellcheck, where are you when I need you?

Anime Boston 2015 Announces More Guests

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animeboston2015Anime Boston announces another round of guests including Yoko Shimomura, Christine Marie Cabanos, Ellyn Stern, Richard Epcar, Mona Marshall, and Michael Sinterniklaas! Meet them at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, MA on April 3-5, 2015! Tickets available now through www.animeboston.com.

Yoko Shimomura may be one of the most celebrated women in video game music today. Best known to US audiences for bringing us the music of Kingdom Hearts, she has many other instantly recognizable credits to her name including: Street Figher II, Parasite Eve, Front Mission, the Xenoblade Chronicles, Legend of Mana, and Radiant Historia.

She can be heard in the March 2013 release of Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX and the July 2013 release of Mario & Luigi: Dream Team. In August of that same year PRESS START (a video game orchestra Yoko Shimomura photoconcert) included music from her Xenoblades and Legend of Mana works in the Top 10 People’s Choice. Shortly afterward in 2014 her first independent live concert “Shimomura Yoko 25th Anniversary LIVE – THANKS!” was held at the FM Hall in Tokyo. Two extra performances were added, and all 3 critically acclaimed shows sold out! By March 2014, her second Best Of album, mem`oria, was released by Square Enix.

Her current projects span a wide variety of industries, and include composing the music for such highly anticipated titles as Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts 3 as well as teaching music and performing.


 

cmcChristine Marie Cabanos is a voice over actress based out of Los Angeles. She is most known for her roles in Anime and Video Games. Some of her most notable roles include Azusa Nakano in K-On!, Madoka Kaname in Madoka Magica, Shiemi Moriyama in Blue Exorcist, Mako Mankanshoku in Kill La Kill, Silica Sword Art Online, Minori Kushieda Toradora!, Haruka in Oblivion Island, the titular character of Squid Girl in SQUID GIRL, Minawa Ando in Mahoromatic: I’m Home, General Pisti in Magi, Michi Kondo in Lagrange, Ruka Asato in Accel World, Reina and Mew in Pokemon Origins, Filia in Skullgirls, Marie Rose in Dead or Alive: Ultimate, Chiaki Nanami in Danganropa 2, Nepgear in the Hyperdimension Neptunia series and Keina Sawaya in Aterlier Meruru.

She’s also appeared in video games such as Time and Eternity, Fairy Fencer F, Tales of Xillia 2, Ragnarok Online 2 ,Witch and the Hundred Knight and Mugen Souls Z.


Ellyn Stern is a classically trained actress, voice actress, director and writer, whose career spans from film, to television, to stage. Ellyn is widely known for her voice work and the wide range of characters she has played. She has done hundreds of characters. She started in anime with the original Robotech series – in which she played numerous characters.

Ellyn is currently working on two different Disney shows.

Ellyn is featured in the new animated feature Wrinkles, starring Martin Sheen and Matthew Bodine.

stern copyVOICED:
Martha Vist Carbine in Gundam Unicorn, Dorothy in True Crimes: Hong Kong, Masaki Kurosaki and Ichigo’s Mom in Bleach, Miyuki Goto in Noein, Jack’s Mom in MAR, Haraway in Ghost in the Shell 2 – Innocence, Rosalind in Armitage III, Himeno in Fight!! Spirit of the Sword, Sayaka in Metal Fight Miku, Moru in Vampire Princess Miyu, Hiroshis Mom in Zenki. The Great Miracle in Zentrix, Parome in Genma Wars, Keiko Misaki in Patlabor 3, Mini Pato, Digimon, BoBoBo-Bo Bo BoBo, Mobile Suit Gundam – The Movie Trilogy, Bushido Blade 2, Lupin the Third, Fighting Spirit and Technoman, Veronica Vera and other characters in Shadow Hearts, to name just a few.

Other cartoons include Wings of Honnesmise, Samurai X, Little Punk, Honey Bee Hutch, Wisdom of the Gnomes, Macross I, II, III, Tom Sawyer, Captain Schnauzer, Gigi and many others.

She has voiced lead voices in many live action feature films that have been adapted into English including Academy Award winners Cinema Paradiso, Belle Epoque, Eat, Drink, Man, Woman, Kika, Mostly Martha, Babbette’s Feast, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Fencing Master, Widow of St. Pierre,and Amores Perros, Mission Kashmir, Iron Monkey, The Emperor and the Assassin, Onmyoji-Ying-Yang Masters, Le Femme Nikita, Tae Guk Gi, Shiri, to name a few.

DIRECTED
Ellyn has recently directed the dub of Star Wars into the Navajo language, the first time a film has ever been dubbed into any Native American language.

Other films she has currently directed into English: Farewell My Queen and Delicacy.

She also directed and voiced Jade Cacoon, Aero Wings 1 and 2, Super Magnetic Neo and Galerians. Other games include Inherit The Earth and Abby.

ON FILM
Ellyn starred in Jessie’s Girls, co-starred in Duchess and The Dirtwater Fox, co-starred in Fatal Charm, and Prisoner in the Middle aka Warhead.

On television she’s done numerous shows, American Carrott, Charlie’s Angels, and recurring characters on General Hospital, Santa Barbara and Days Of Our Lives.

RECENTLY
Ellyn co-stars in Milk and Honey with Debbie Allen, produced by Idris Elba.

Ellyn is also starring in Blood on Canvas, a legal drama.

Other recent films include starring in The Waiting Room, Eldad, Both Thumbs, Electronica 2, The Other Way and IMA.

Ellyn starred as the Queen in Exit the King by Ionesco, adapted and translated by Geoffrey Rush, who won a Tony for it on Broadway in 2009.

Ellyn also played Jacqueline Kennedy at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, in We’ll Never Be Young Again, the story of JFK’s assassination, in which the horror of that day is recalled. She also starred in Mrs. Warren’s Profession as Mrs. Warren, and starred in Apple, an award winning play.

She is set to star in the play Toyer, a psychological thriller.


 

EpcarRichard Epcar is one of the hardest working men in show business, having voiced over 400 characters in games, animation and anime.
Best known as the voice of Batou in Ghost in the Shell, The Joker in several Batman games including Injustice: Gods Among Us (Fighting Game of the Year!) and Ansem in Kingdom Hearts.

He’s voted one of the Top 20 Video Game Voice Actors of all Time and Top 20 Anime Actors of all time by IMDB!

Starting out in Robotech, you’ve heard him in Legend of Korra, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, Blood Lad, Lupin the Third, Monster, Naruto, Bobobo-Bobobo, Transformers, Bleach, Kenshin, GTO, Gundam Macross, Cyber Soldier 009, Lucky Star, Digimon, X-Men, Gundam Unicorn, Babylon 5 and Power Rangers to name a few.

He’s also in tons of games including Mortal Kombat as Raiden, Final Fantasy as Gaius, Saints Row, Arkham Origins, Skyrim, Infinite Crisis as the Joker, Call of Duty-Advanced Warfare, Fire Emblem: Awakening as Walhart, MK vs D.C. UNIVERSE as the Joker and Raiden, Stargate SG-1 as Gen. Hammond, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Star Wars, Transformers, X-Com, Command & Conquer, Dead or Alive 3-D, Starcraft as Dark Templar, Dead Space, Xenosaga as Ziggy, Marvel Heroes, World of Warcraft, League of Legends as Xin Zhao, Naruto, Cowboy Bebop, Samurai Warriors, Blue Dragon, Star Ocean, Splinter Cell, Guilty Gears, .Hack, Street Fighter, Medal of Honor, Space Seige, Spec-Ops, Bayonette, Catherine, Tekken, Ace Combat and Resident Evil.

Richard has voice directed many games including Arkham Origins, Dead Island: Riptide, Blue Dragon, Shadow Hearts II, Star Ocean 2 &3, Enemy Territory, Quake Wars, Unreal Tournament 3, Jackass the Game, Smackdown vs. RAW and Dead Head Fred and voice directed many shows including Ghost in the Shell 2, Robotech: Shadow Chronicles, Almost Heroes, Jungle Shuffle, The Reef, Grand Master, Noein, Digimon, Lupin the III, Fighting Spirit, Patlabor 3, Zentrix, Azumi I & II, Fearless, Better Blue, Iron Monkey, VR Troopers, Power Rangers, Ugly Better Webisodes and Old Boy to name a few.

On camera, Richard has appeared in many shows including Warehouse 13, Memoirs of an Invisible Man, Columbo, Diagnosis Murder, Matlock, Cheers, General Hospital and a lead in the soon to be released Broken Spirits.


 

monaPlease join us in welcoming Mona Marshall to her first Anime Boston! If you haven’t heard Mona Marshall’s voice, you might be living under a rock. Mona takes prolific to the extreme and we are super excited to have her attend Anime Boston 2015!

Mona’s voice may be best known to anime fans as: Haku in Naruto, Doraemon in Doraemon, Konekomaru Miwa in Blue Exorcist, Koushiro “Izzy” Izumi in Digimon Adventure, Motoko Aoyama in Love Hina, Ryoko in Tenchi Muyo! GXP, and Toboe in Wolf’s Rain. But that’s only just the beginning of her anime credentials. She’s had leading roles in anime such as: Armitage: Dual Matrix, Carried by the Wind: Tsukikage Ran, Chobits, El Hazard – The Magnificent World, Kyo Kara Maoh, Last Exile, Magic Knight Rayearth, Rozen Maiden, and Street Fighter Alpha. All told, Mona has been in over 150 anime titles!

Mona is also well known in the video game world lending her voice to such titles as: .hack//G.U, Brave Fencer Musashi, Drakengard, Eternal Sonata, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates, Grandia III, Guild Wars Factions, Persona 3, Ratchet & Clank, Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, Suikoden V, Tales of Vesperia, and Wild Arms 4.

If that’s not enough, Mona can be heard on several prominent non-anime titles as well. She is the current voice of Sheila Broflovski, Linda Stotch, Token and Bebe’s Mom, and various others on South Park. She can also be recognized as Moki in Fraggle Rock, Tracy Milbanks in James Bond Jr., and Kat in Rambo. Mona has also had roles in many other shows such as G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero, Inspector Gadget, Jackie Chan Adventures, Jem and the Holograms, Rainbow Brite, The Smurfs, and Transformers.

Additionally, Mona was featured in Bang Zoom’s Adventures in Voice Acting and has her own TV Tropes page!


sinterniklaas

Michael Sinterniklaas is a veteran of the anime industry and has worked as a ADR Director, actor, voice actor, script writer, sound engineer, mixer and producer. In 2000, Michael founded NYAV Post, a bicoastal recording studio that has worked on over 400 anime and non-anime titles.

As a director, Michael has worked on several anime shows including: Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, Berserk, Magic Users Club, Ah! My Goddess, Samurai Deeper Kyo, Slayers Revolution, Slayers Evolution-R, Giant Robot. He’s also directed several non-anime shows including Peter Rabbit, Kappa Mikey, Robotomy, The Venture Brothers, and the Oscar nominated movies A Cat in Paris starring Anjelica Huston, Marcia Gay Harden, Matthew Modine. As well as: Ernest and Celestine starring Forest Whitaker, Lauren Bacall, Paul Giamatti, William H. Macy, Megan Mullally, Nick Offerman, Jeffrey Wright and McKenzie Foy.

Michael is also an extremely prolific and talented actor. He’s probably best known as as Dean Venture in The Venture Bros, Leonardo in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003), and Mikey Simon in Kappa Mikey, and even Funshine in The CareBears, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. He’s also voiced Netherlands in Hetalia, Xellos in Slayers Revolution and Evolution-R, Gasud in Jormungand, Jessie’s Seviper / Joshua / Kennedy in Pokémon, Man in Zetman, Lucemon in Digimon, Ivan Karelin / Origami Cyclone in Tiger & Bunny, Sarutobi Sasuke in Sengoku Basara, Sora and Utakata in Naruto, Jared / Jess in Speed Racer: The Next Generation, and Luppi / Nnoitra Jiruga in Bleach. He can also be heard as: Age in Patema Inverted, Masakazu Masaki in Time of Eve, and Takeru in FREEDOM. He has also appeared in video games such as: Final Fantasy XIII, Excom, GTA V, and the Lego Movie Game. Michael was also recently cast as a Marvel super hero but cannot disclose which one just yet…

Previously announced Guests of Honor include Greg Ayres, Christine Marie Cabanos. Richard Epcar, Kazuhiro Furuhashi, Lauren Landa, Cherami Leigh, LiSA, Cassandra Lee Morris, Haruo Nakajima, Yoko Shimomura, Ellyn Stern, Akira Takarada, and Koki Uchiyama.

View all of our Guests of Honor here.

About Anime Boston:
With nearly 25,500 attendees in 2013, Anime Boston is an annual three-day Japanese animation convention held in Boston, Mass. Anime Boston 2015 is scheduled for Friday, April 3 through Sunday, April 5 at the Hynes Convention Center and Sheraton Boston Hotel. More information about Anime Boston can be found at www.animeboston.com.

About New England Anime Society:
The New England Anime Society was founded in 2001. Based in Massachusetts, The New England Anime Society, Inc. is parent organization of Anime Boston and is dedicated to furthering public education and understanding of the Japanese language and culture through visual and written media. More information about The New England Anime Society is available at www.neanime.org.

Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn Actors Appear at Anime Boston 2015

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animeboston2015Press Release:

Voice actors Kazuhiro Furuhashi and Koki Uchiyama have been announced as Anime Boston 2015 as Guests of Honor.

Born in 1960 at Shizuoka Prefecture, Hamamatsu City, Kazuhiro Furuhashi began his career as an animator on Ranma ½, before moving onto production. His directorial debut was in 1990 with the Ranma ½ Hot Song Contest OVA.  Since then he has directed numerous works, including Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn.

His most notable directorial work includes the entire run of the popular Rurouni Kenshin, Hunter x Hunter, Le Chevalier D’Eon, Real Drive and Amatsuki.

Koki Uchiyama is a Japanese voice actor whose voice can be recognized in many popular anime characters today, including Banagher Links from Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn.

His voice can also be heard in the Kingdom Hearts Series as Roxas and Ventus, Soul Eater Evans in Soul Eater, Makoto “Smile” Tsukimoto in Ping Pong: The Animation, Kaito Tenj? in Yu-Gi-Oh! Zexal and Kei Tsukishima in Haikyu!! among many others.

About Anime Boston:
With nearly 25,500 attendees in 2013, Anime Boston is an annual three-day Japanese animation convention held in Boston, Mass. Anime Boston 2015 is scheduled for Friday, April 3 through Sunday, April 5 at the Hynes Convention Center and Sheraton Boston Hotel. More information about Anime Boston can be found at www.animeboston.com.

About New England Anime Society:
The New England Anime Society was founded in 2001. Based in Massachusetts, The New England Anime Society, Inc. is parent organization of Anime Boston and is dedicated to furthering public education and understanding of the Japanese language and culture through visual and written media. More information about The New England Anime Society is available at www.neanime.org.

CA – Talkin Toons LIVE

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talkin_toonsVoice actor Rob Paulsen welcomes Tress MacNeille and Laraine Newman to Talkin’ Toons LIVE on Tuesday November 26, 2013 at 8:00 PM at the Hollywood Improv!

Get tickets at the link!

Press Release:

The world-famous Hollywood Improv is proud to invite you to join Emmy and Annie award winner Rob Paulsen as he talks about his experiences in voice acting!

Laraine Newman is a comedienne, actress, writer and was part of the original cast of Saturday Night Live! She’s been in Curb Your Enthusiasm, Entourage and has provided voices in Wreck-It Ralph, Wall-E, Toy Story 3, Ponyo, Surf’s Up, Monsters, Inc. and more!

Tress MacNeille is best known for providing various voices in the animated series The Simpsons, Futurama, Tiny Toon Adventures, Animaniacs, Chip N’ Dale Rescue Rangers and more! Her list of video game roles include Kingdom Hearts games, Escape from Monkey Island, The Simpsons Game, and countless others!

About Rob Paulsen:
Born in Detroit, Rob Paulsen spent his childhood in Livonia and Rochester, attending Junior and Senior high school in Grand Blanc, Michigan. Rob loved cartoons like most kids but aspired to be a professional hockey player. “Fortunately, thanks to some big, strong, kid from Winnipeg who drilled me so hard my ears are still ringing, I learned around age 18 I had neither the talent nor the temperament to make a living playing hockey. So, I turned to my other passions: singing and acting.”

The goal of bringing absolute believability to a fictional character, live-action or animated, is what every actor strives for. Those who are committed to their career and who combine experience, passion and skill are likely to succeed.

Those gifted with exceptional talent who focus on maximizing their potential by finding their own niche, quickly break away from the pack. After years of honing their craft and consistently delivering memorable performances in which the character impacts an indelible image on the viewer, the public and the industry take notice, singling out the best.

“I’m getting paid to do what I got in trouble for in the 7th grade,” jests Rob, who won a Daytime Emmy in 1999 as “Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program” for Pinky and The Brain (Warner Bros.) Though nominated twice previously, the victory was especially sweet due to some formidable competition – fellow nominees Louie Anderson, Ernest Borgnine, Dennis Franz and Jeffery Tambor. In addition to his Emmy, Rob won back-to-back Annie Awards in 1997 and 1998. “I absolutely love what I do and thank my lucky stars for twenty-five years of full-time employment in this business,” he says.

“It’s a treat to portray a complex character,” Rob explains about Pinky, a goof-ball mouse with funny teeth, a head filled with clouds and an inane imagination that is punctuated with a staccato laugh. “Besides … where else could I find a job where emotional outbursts and odd exclamations like ‘Egad!,’ ‘Narf!,’ ‘Poit!,’ ‘Splonk!,’ and ‘Zort!’ are allowed and in fact, encouraged?” With over 2,000 half-hours of animation to his credit, Rob’s versatility shines in his starring roles as the voices of Yakko, Pinky and Dr. Scratch ‘n’ Sniff in the Peabody and two-time Emmy award-winning series “Animaniacs.”

Some of Rob’s other well-known animated characters include Raphael of the “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” Arthur in “The Tick,” the title role in “The Mask” (for a WHOLE lot less dough than Mr. Carrey, thank you), the title role in “Mighty Max,” Carl Wheezer in “Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius,” Jack Fenton in “Danny Phantom,” Bobble in the “Tinkerbell” series of DVDs and hopefully more to come.

Paulsen’s extensive credits include on-camera roles in numerous motion pictures including Body Double, Stewardess School, Eyes of Fire, The Perfect Match, and Warlocked. His television acting credits include guest-starring roles on MacGyver and St. Elsewhere. Additionally, he is one of the most sought-after voice actors in the commercial arena, performing in over 1000 commercial spots.

As passionate about “paying it forward” as he is about his lucrative career, Rob supports various charitable organizations, particularly those benefiting children and military veterans. Rob’s volunteer work with GOALmodels has been particularly rewarding. GOALmodels, a high school program in Reseda, California, is designed to inspire 9th graders to set goals and overcome obstacles in life. Blending his life experiences with passion for his work, his presentations are informative, entertaining and inspiring. In his leisure time, Rob enjoys golf, riding his motorcycle and occasionally lacing up his skates for another chance to relive his past glory on the rink. He spends the majority of his free time with his wife, Parrish, and their two Yorkshire terriers, Pooshie and Tala.

Hollywood Improv
8162 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90048