NYC – X-Men Shojo at Japan Fair

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Raina Telgemeier & David Roman sign on August 23rd

Raina Telgemeier & David Roman sign on August 23rd

From the Medium at Large blog:

What are you doing Sunday, August 23? Going to NYC’s first Japanese Street Fair! The “NYC Japan Fair” runs from 11 AM to 6 PM on Sunday, August 23 from 43rd to 44th Street on Madison Avenue and includes over 40 booths featuring traditional Japanese foods including miso-marinaded beef, roasted mochi, and okonomiyaki, as well as companies including Marukome, Hisamitsu America Inc., Ajinomoto, Otafuku Foods, and Kikkoman.

And NYAF will be there, too!

NYAF will have a booth (where 44th meets Madison), and we’ll be giving out posters, chopsticks, and all kinds of swag throughout the day, but that’s not all. We’ve got two very special surprises from our friends at Del Rey Manga. (Actually, they’re not really surprises as I’m revealing them right now.)

First up, Raina Telgemeier and David Roman – authors of Del Rey Manga’s X-Men: Misfits – will be stopping by the NYAF Booth, hanging out and signing books from 1-3 PM. If you’re unfamiliar with X-Men: Misfits, it’s a shoujo-tastic manga take on the X-Men. Really.

Second, anyone who visits the NYAF Booth all day long will be entered to win a Del Rey Manga Instant Library – that’s 50 free books from Del Rey Manga! Yes, 50 free volumes of manga!

So, there you go. I just took care of your plans for August 23. Come on down to the NYC Japan Fair to meet Del Rey’s Raina Telgemeier and David Roman, NYAF’s Peter Tatara, and probably a gaggle of NYAF Maids. You’re welcome.

For more details on the NYC Japan Fair, follow it on Twitter (@NYCJapanFair) and read its blog (http://nycjapanfair.blogspot.com/). For up-to-the-minute reports from the NYC Japan Fair, follow NYAF on Twitter (@NY_Anime_Fest).

Cencoroll Premieres at New York Anime Festival

August 7, 2009 by  
Filed under Anime, Convention News, New York

ANIPLEX’S CENCOROLL PREMIERES AT NEW YORK ANIME FESTIVAL

US Premiere Of Film Drawn By One Man

Norwalk, CT, August 6, 2009: The New York Anime Festival (NYAF) today announced it will host the US Premiere of Aniplex’s Cencoroll animated motion picture. The 2009 New York Anime Festival, an anime, manga, and Japanese pop culture convention from the creators of New York Comic Con, will take place September 25-27, 2009 at the Jacob K. Javits Center and features Yoshiyuki Tomino — the Director of Mobile Suit Gundam — and Yui Makino — the voice of Sakura in Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle — as Guests of Honor.

Cencoroll

Cencoroll

Cencoroll is a 30-minute movie created entirely by one man, award-winning artist Atsuya Uki. Uki originally created a Cencoroll short in 2007 and distributed the animation via the internet. Overwhelmed by the praise and support of fans of this original short, Uki decided to single-handedly create a full film which will debut later this month in theaters in Japan — and debut in the USA at NYAF this September. Cencoroll is the story of a provincial Japanese town under attack by a mysterious monster, and the young girl — Yuki — and boy — Tetsu — who hold the secret to fighting back: a strange and even-more-mysterious pet called Cenco. For more information and footage of Cencoroll, please visit the film’s official site (www.cencoroll.com).

“The New York Anime Festival is honored to premiere Cencoroll in the USA,” NYAF Show Manager Lance Fensterman said. “NYAF screened the original Cencoroll short at our first show in 2007, and we count ourselves as very fortunate to now revisit this world and present the American premiere of the full film.”

Cencoroll’s USA Premiere will take place on Friday, September 25 at 9 PM EST in the ANA Theater inside the New York Anime Festival. To learn more about Cencoroll and Aniplex’s other upcoming titles, fans are encouraged to attend Aniplex’s panel at 6:30 PM on September 25 in Panel Room 4 at NYAF.

For more information on NYAF or to purchase tickets, please visit the show’s official site (www.nyanimefestival.com). For the latest announcements, please visit NYAF’s official blog (www.mediumatlarge.net) or follow NYAF on Twitter (www.twitter.com/NY_Anime_Fest).

ABOUT ANIPLEX INC.:

ANIPLEX Inc. (headquartered in Tokyo, Japan) is a leading provider of anime content and music production and distribution in Japan. Established as Sony Pictures Entertainment Visual Works Inc. in 1995, as a joint-venture between Sony Pictures Entertainment (Japan) Inc. and Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc., it became ANIPLEX, Inc. in 2003 after the company became a subsidiary completely owned by Sony Music Entertainment Japan. ANIPLEX Inc. has introduced a variety of properties including such hits as Gurren Lagann, Fullmetal Alchemist, Rurouni Kenshin (Samurai X), R.O.D -THE TV-, and Blood+, all of which are licensed and distributed worldwide. The company launched ANIPLEX of AMERICA in Los Angeles, CA in 2004 to handle licensing and co-production business in North and Latin America. In 2005, the company established A-1 Pictures, currently the largest and most technically advanced animation studio in Japan.

ABOUT THE NEW YORK ANIME FESTIVAL:

The New York Anime Festival takes place September 25-27, 2009 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in Midtown Manhattan and is organized by Reed Exhibitions, the creators of New York Comic Con. The New York Anime Festival showcases the best of anime pop culture, including the latest anime, manga, Japanese cinema, music, and games, and anime-influenced comics, animation, and films from around the world. The festival features exclusive and extensive screenings, a gala cosplay masquerade, sessions with the some of the biggest names in anime from Japan, Asia, and America, and explores the Japanese cultural experience with displays of both traditional and cutting-edge Japanese life. Further information can be found at newyorkanimefestival.com.

ABOUT REED EXHIBITIONS POP CULTURE GROUP:

The Pop Culture Group at Reed Exhibitions owns and operates the New York Comic Con (NYCC), the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2), and the New York Anime Festival (NYAF). New York Comic Con was launched in 2006 and quickly became a dominant presence in the pop culture world of public events. In 2009, 452 companies exhibited at NYCC for a total of 84,000 square feet of paid exhibit space, and it has been ranked by Crain’s New York Business as the second-largest annual event in NYC. C2E2, which will debut April 16 – 18 at Chicago’s McCormick Place Convention Center, is modeled after NYCC and will provide fans the opportunity to meet and greet their favorite writers, creators, and artists, as well as to see, hear and learn about the latest and greatest in comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, video games, toys, movies, and television. The Pop Culture Group also operates the recently-launched UFC Fan Expo in partnership with the UFC – the world’s leading professional mixed martial arts organization – and it formed a strategic partnership with Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) in 2008 and will work closely with PAX on the launch of PAX East in Boston in 2010.

Yui Makino Added to NYAF as a Guest of Honor

June 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Anime, Convention News, New York

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VOICE ACTRESS YUI MAKINO TO APPEAR AT NY ANIME FESTIVAL

NYAF Guest Of Honor Is The Star Of Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle

Norwalk, CT, June 29, 2009: The New York Anime Festival (NYAF) today announced its second 2009 Guest of Honor — voice actress and singer Yui Makino. The 2009 New York Anime Festival, an anime, manga, and Japanese pop culture convention from the creators of New York Comic Con, will take place September 25-27, 2009 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in Manhattan, and Ms. Makino joins Yoshiyuki Tomino — the Director of Mobile Suit Gundam — as a Guest of Honor. Ms. Makino will appear at the event in panels, autograph sessions, and a special concert.

Yui Makino

Yui Makino

Yui Makino is best known for the role of Princess Sakura in the Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle anime and manga franchise. Tsubasa, created by the lengendary manga studio CLAMP, is the story of Princess Sakura and archaeologist Syaoran and their search for magical feathers containing Sakura’s lost memories. The Tsubasa anime began broadcasting in 2005 and has since been followed by a feature film and two miniseries. The anime is available in the USA through FUNimation, and the manga is published by Del Rey Manga.

Text Box: Yui Makino B.G.B COMPANY Co., LtdBut while fans may know Ms. Makino mainly through the role of Sakura, Tsubasa is just the start of Ms. Makino’s voice acting career, and her voice can be heard in the roles of Aiko Tokosumi in Bokurano, Honoka Kawai in Sora Kake Girl, and Misaki Nakahara in Welcome To The NHK, among others.

Further, an accomplished singer, Ms. Makino has contributed opening and ending themes to series including ARIA (Undine, Euforia, and Spirale), Sousei No Aquarion (Omna Magni), Welcome To The NHK (Modokashi Sekai no Ue de), as well as Tsubasa (Amrita and Synchornicity).

“We’re honored to welcome Ms. Makino to the New York Anime Festival,” Show Manager Lance Fensterman said. “Ms. Makino gave voice to one of the most beloved characters in anime today, and we’re eager to share this voice with her fans across NYC and the USA.”

Anime News Network — the largest anime news website in the world — has published a new interview with Ms. Makino simultaneously with this announcement. When asked by Anime News Network if she had a message for her American fans, Ms. Makino said, “I’m so excited to meet all of you that it’s hard to contain my excitement. I will work hard to prepare for the show so I can give you all the best possible performance I can offer. Let’s enjoy our time together!”

The full interview is now online at AnimeNewsNetwork.com.

Yui Makino’s concert will take place on Saturday, September 26 at the Jacob Javits Center. Details about her panels and autograph sessions are forthcoming. The New York Anime Festival will announce additional guests, VIP packages, contests, and programming throughout the summer. For more information about the New York Anime Festival, please visit NYAF’s official website (www.newyorkanimefestival.com) and blog (www.mediumatlarge.net). For more information on Yui Makino, please visit her personal blog (www.bgbcom.com/makino-yui/) and view her personal thoughts on YouTube (www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dz4ao56AlWw).

ABOUT YUI MAKINO:

Yui Makino was born January 19, 1986 and took up the piano at the age of four. Her piano skill was discovered by movie director Shunji Iwai when she was only seven-years-old, and, later, between ages 8 to 17, she played piano solos in three of Iwai’s films. Ms. Makino made her debut as a singer in 2005 with “Omna Magni,” produced by Yoko Kanno, the ending theme song to the anime series Sousei No Aquarion. In April of the same year, Ms. Makino also made her debut as a voice actress, starring as Sakura in the Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle series on NHK Educational TV.

In 2005, Ms. Makino released “Amrita,” the theme song to the Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle movie, as well as “Undine,” the opening theme of the TV Tokyo anime ARIA the ANIMATION, coupled with its insert song, “Symphony.” This release reached #25 on the Oricon chart. In 2006, Ms. Makino released two songs from the TV Tokyo anime ARIA the NATURAL, the theme song “Euphoria” and insert song “Amefuribana.” They reached #18 on the Oricon chart. In 2008, Yui released “Spirale,” the opening theme to the TV Tokyo anime ARIA the ORIGINATION. Coupled with the anime’s insert song, “Yokogao,” the single reached #20 on the Oricon chart. This same year, Ms. Makino performed her first solo concert at the Fuchuno Mori Geijutsu Gekijo Wien Hall in Tokyo.

Ms. Makino released her second album — the self-titled Makino Yui — in March 2008. The album reached #22 on the Oricon chart, and she graduated from the Tokyo College Of Music this same month.

Yui Makino’s blog (www.bgbcom.com/makino-yui/) was launched in February 2009. The blog attracts 40,000-70,000 readers daily. It is the second-most-read voice actor blog in Japan and the third-most-read pop-rock blog in the country.

ABOUT THE NEW YORK ANIME FESTIVAL:

The New York Anime Festival takes place September 25-27, 2009 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in Midtown Manhattan and is organized by Reed Exhibitions, the creators of New York Comic Con. The New York Anime Festival showcases the best of anime pop culture, including the latest anime, manga, Japanese cinema, music, and games, and anime-influenced comics, animation, and films from around the world. The festival features exclusive and extensive screenings, a gala cosplay masquerade, sessions with the some of the biggest names in anime from Japan, Asia, and America, and explores the Japanese cultural experience with displays of both traditional and cutting-edge Japanese life. Further information can be found at newyorkanimefestival.com.

ABOUT REED EXHIBITIONS:

The New York Anime Festival is operated by Reed Exhibitions, the world’s leading events organizer. In 2007, Reed brought together over six million industry professionals from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today, Reed events are held in 38 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia and organized by 39 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions is part of Reed Elsevier Group plc, a FTSE-100 company and world-leading publisher and information provider. In 2006, Reed Elsevier made adjusted profit before taxation of £1,052 million on turnover of £5,398 million.

NYAF Announces Yoshiyuki Tomino as a Guest of Honor

June 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Anime, Convention News, New York, Top Stories

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Press Release:

YOSHIYUKI TOMINO GUEST OF HONOR AT NYAF

Director Of Gundam Celebrates Saga’s 30th Anniversary In NYC

Norwalk, CT, June 22, 2009: The New York Anime Festival (NYAF) today announced that legendary Japanese director Yoshiyuki Tomino will attend its 2009 event as a Guest of Honor. The 2009 New York Anime Festival, an anime, manga, and Japanese pop culture convention from the creators of New York Comic Con, will take place September 25-27, 2009 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in Manhattan. Mr. Tomino’s most prolific work, Mobile Suit Gundam, premiered in 1979, and he will appear at the New York Anime Festival to sign autographs and speak about his history, philosophy, and experiences connected with Gundam’s 30-year history.

Yoshiyuki TominoYoshiyuki Tomino, born November 5, 1941 in Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture in Japan, began his animation career at Mushi Productions where he scripted and storyboarded the classic anime series Astro Boy. Going on to direct, Mr. Tomino has overseen numerous series including Aura Battler Dunbine, Brain Powerd, Overman King Gainer, and The Wings of Rean. His longest-lasting legacy is Mobile Suit Gundam, a genre-breaking series first broadcast in 1979, which is noted for defining the current realistic portrayal of robots in Japanese animation. The original Mobile Suit Gundam series has been followed by numerous sequels and spin-offs, and the saga continues today with its latest entry — Mobile Suit Gundam UC (Unicorn) — debuting this winter in Japan.

“The New York Anime Festival is honored to welcome one of the legends of Japanese animation,” NYAF Show Manager Lance Fensterman said. “There is now a generation that’s been born and raised with Gundam, and we very much want to bring Mr. Tomino and these American fans together to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of his iconic series.”

To join in Gundam’s 30th Anniversary celebration, Anime News Network — the largest anime news website in the world — has published a new interview with Mr. Tomino simultaneously with this announcement. When asked by Anime News Network if he had a message for his American fans, Mr. Tomino said, “I only have feelings of gratitude in my heart towards fans that have taken an interest in my works, even if just for a moment. I am truly grateful. So, as long as I can create works, I hope to invoke that sense of realism through anime and similar visual and expressive media. I believe that the symbolic expressive abilities of anime will always present new opportunities, so I look forward to what the younger generation will produce.”

The full interview is now online at AnimeNewsNetwork.com.

For more information about the New York Anime Festival and Mr. Tomino’s roll in it, visit NYAF’s official website (www.newyorkanimefestival.com) and blog (www.mediumatlarge.net). The New York Anime Festival will announce additional guests, screenings, concerts, and special events throughout the summer and fall. Tickets are on sale now.

ABOUT THE NEW YORK ANIME FESTIVAL:

The New York Anime Festival takes place September 25-27, 2009 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in Midtown Manhattan and is organized by Reed Exhibitions, the creators of New York Comic Con. The New York Anime Festival showcases the best of anime pop culture, including the latest anime, manga, Japanese cinema, music, and games, and anime-influenced comics, animation, and films from around the world. The festival features exclusive and extensive screenings, a gala cosplay masquerade, sessions with the some of the biggest names in anime from Japan, Asia, and America, and explores the Japanese cultural experience with displays of both traditional and cutting-edge Japanese life. Further information can be found at newyorkanimefestival.com.


ABOUT REED EXHIBITIONS:

The New York Anime Festival is operated by Reed Exhibitions, the world’s leading events organizer. In 2007, Reed brought together over six million industry professionals from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today, Reed events are held in 38 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia and organized by 39 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions is part of Reed Elsevier Group plc, a FTSE-100 company and world-leading publisher and information provider. In 2006, Reed Elsevier made adjusted profit before taxation of £1,052 million on turnover of £5,398 million.

World Cyber Games USA National Final at NYAF

May 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Anime, Convention News, Gaming, New York

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new-york-anime-fest-logoworld_cyber_games_logoSamsung

WORLD CYBER GAMES USA NATIONAL FINAL TO BE HELD AT NEW YORK ANIME FESTIVAL

Over 200 of America’s Best Gamers to Compete for Spots on WCG’s TEAM USA

Norwalk, CT, May 20, 2009: The World Cyber Games (WCG), the recognized leader for global video game competitions, and The New York Anime Festival (NYAF), an anime, manga, and Japanese pop culture convention from the creators of New York Comic Con, today announced a partnership that will welcome America’s very best gamers to the 2009 New York Anime Festival — September 25-27 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York, NY.

200 of the best gamers in America will battle it out on nine different gaming titles for one of the coveted thirteen spots on TEAM USA and the chance to take home a share of more than $100,000 in cash and prizes. Members of TEAM USA will then travel to Chengdu, China to take on the world’s best gamers from 70 other countries at the WCG 2009 Grand Final.

The World Cyber Games is a year-long international gaming tournament widely renowned as the ‘Olympics’ of the Video Games, and has been certified as the “World’s largest video game festival” by the Guinness Book of Records with 1.5 million gamers from 74 countries. The WCG’s latest innovation, WCG Ultimate Gamer, is an 8-episode reality TV show that just finished airing on the Sci Fi channel. Winner Mark Smith has earned the grand prize of $100,000, the ultimate Samsung Electronics package, and a contract to represent the WCG at events worldwide.

“We are extremely proud to partner with Reed Exhibitions — the very best in event entertainment,” said Aaron Smolick, Director of Marketing with the WCG. “The WCG is elevating eSports to the next level in North America and proving once again that we are the most significant competitive circuit in the World.”

Gaming fans will be able to see several elite competitors live at this year’s WCG USA National Final as several returning members of last year’s WCG TEAM USA as well as the cast of the Sci Fi Channel’s WCG Ultimate Gamer will be gaming all weekend on the industry-leading Samsung high definition TVs, monitors and mobile phones. PC, Console and Mobile games featured in the WCG USA 2009 tournament include:

· Half-Life®: Counter-Strikeâ„¢ 1.6 (5 v. 5 Team FPS )
· Starcraft®: Brood Warâ„¢: (1 v. 1 RTS)
· WarCraft® III: The Frozen Throneâ„¢ (1 v. 1 RTS)
· FIFA Soccer 09 (1 v. 1 Sports)
· Carom3D (1 v. 1 Casual)
· Red Stone (4 v. 4 Team MMORPG)
· Gears of War 2® (4 v. 4 Team FPS) US title only
· Guitar Hero® World Tour (1 v. 1 Music)
· Virtua Fighter® 5 (1 v. 1 Fighting)
· Asphalt 3: Street Rules (1 v. 1 Racing)
· WiseStar (1 v. 1 Strategy)

“We are very excited to partner with the World Cyber Games,” said Lance Fensterman, Show Manager of the New York Anime Festival. “Our attendees hunger for video games, and the WCG will provide fans with the best of the best. The WCG National Final is a unique event that we are honored to host.”

“Samsung has been the worldwide partner of the World Cyber Games since 2000 and is pleased to continue our support of the global competition that brings the passion of gaming to life,” said David Steel, senior vice president of strategic marketing for Samsung Electronics America. “The participants and fans of the World Cyber Games are some of the most technologically-savvy individuals around and we want them to experience the best technology Samsung has to offer while competitively gaming.”

The New York Anime Festival dates and hours are:

· Friday, September 25 | 1:00 PM – 7:00 PM
· Saturday, September 26 | 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
· Sunday, September 27 | 10:00 AM – 5:00PM

Registration for the 2009 WCG USA Championship Tournament is still open. US citizens are invited to visit www.wcg.com/usa to register for this year’s tournament and to obtain more information about the WCG USA Championship tournament, the WCG Ultimate Gamer and TEAM USA. The WCG global market registrations are locally driven; international players should consult their home country’s respective WCG website, which can be reached via links on www.wcg.com.

For more info about attending the New York Anime Festival, including ticket information, please go to www.newyorkanimefestival.com.

ABOUT THE WORLD CYBER GAMES
The World Cyber Games (www.wcg.com) is the premiere global e-Sports tournament and festival, with about 800 players from 78 countries participating at WCG 2008 Grand Final. Founded in 2000 and credited with launching the professional careers of many of the planet’s top competitive video game players, the World Cyber Games uses a year-long tournament format, which begins with online, regional and national competitions in each country. National finalists then convene to compete in the ultimate international tournament in e-Sports, The World Cyber Games Grand Final, where each country’s best players battle for the largest and most prestigious prizes in competitive gaming. The WCG 2009 Grand Final will be held in Chengdu, China.

ABOUT THE NEW YORK ANIME FESTIVAL:
The New York Anime Festival takes place September 25-27, 2009 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in Midtown Manhattan and is organized by Reed Exhibitions, the creators of New York Comic Con. The New York Anime Festival showcases the best of anime pop culture, including the latest anime, manga, Japanese cinema, music, and games, and anime-influenced comics, animation, and films from around the world. The festival features exclusive and extensive screenings, a gala cosplay masquerade, sessions with the some of the biggest names in anime from Japan, Asia, and America, and explores the Japanese cultural experience with displays of both traditional and cutting-edge Japanese life. Further information can be found at newyorkanimefestival.com.

ABOUT REED EXHIBITIONS:
The New York Anime Festival is operated by Reed Exhibitions, the world’s leading events organizer. In 2007, Reed brought together over six million industry professionals from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today, Reed events are held in 38 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia and organized by 39 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions is part of Reed Elsevier Group plc, a FTSE-100 company and world-leading publisher and information provider. In 2006, Reed Elsevier made adjusted profit before taxation of £1,052 million on turnover of £5,398 million.
ABOUT SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS AMERICA, INC.
Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (SEA), based in Ridgefield Park, NJ, is a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. The company markets a broad range of award-winning consumer electronics, information systems, and home appliance products, as well as oversees all of Samsung’s North American operations including Samsung Telecommunications America, LP, Samsung Semiconductor Inc., Samsung Electronics Canada, Inc. and Samsung Electronics Mexico, Inc. As a result of its commitment to innovation and unique design, the Samsung organization is one of the most decorated brands in the electronics industry. The company was ranked #6 in the Electronics Industry segment in Fortune Magazine’s “Most Admired Companies 2008,” and named as one of Fast Company’s “Fast 50 Most Innovative Companies of 2008.” Among popular BusinessWeek rankings, the company ranked #26 in the publication’s “Most Innovative Companies of 2008″ and #21 in the “100 Best Global Brands” for 2007. Samsung Electronics Co, Ltd. is also a top patent holder, ranking second overall in the U.S. in 2007. Please visit www.samsung.com for more information.

New York Anime Festival Mascot Contest

April 16, 2009 by  
Filed under Anime, Convention News, New York

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Press Release:

NEW YORK ANIME FESTIVAL 2009 OFFICIAL MASCOT CONTEST ONLINE
Mascot Contest Sponsored By TheOtaku.com And Del Rey Manga

Norwalk, CT, April 15, 2009: The New York Anime Festival (NYAF) today announced its 2009 mascot contest has gone live on partner website theOtaku.com. The 2009 New York Anime Festival, an anime, manga, and Japanese pop culture convention from the creators of New York Comic Con, will take place September 25-27, 2009 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in Manhattan, and it is now accepting original character designs from fans and attendees, with the winning art to be featured as NYAF 2009′s official mascot throughout the show. Contest prizes include tickets to the New York Anime Festival and 50 manga from sponsor Del Rey Manga.

Between now and April 29th, theOtaku.com, Del Rey Manga, and the New York Anime Festival welcome artists and anime fans from around America to think about what “Anime” and “New York City” mean to them and draw these thoughts into an original character. Once all the entries have been received, theOtaku.com, Del Rey Manga, and the New York Anime Festival will select ten finalists to be put on display at the New York Anime Festival booth at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Sakura Matsuri (May 2nd and 3rd). Sakura Matsuri attendees will then vote for their favorite, with the character receiving the most votes crowned the New York Anime Festival’s 2009 mascot.

The 2009 New York Anime Festival mascot will grace the convention’s program guide and appear on signs throughout the event. Additionally the winner will be profiled in the New York Anime Festival’s program guide beside their mascot, receive a copy of all of the New York Anime Festival’s 2009 merchandise, and take home 10 weekend passes. Further, sponsor Del Rey Manga will be providing the winner an instant collection — 50 volumes of manga.

The contest’s nine finalists will each receive one weekend pass to the New York Anime Festival and series starter packs from Del Rey containing the first volumes of Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, Orange Planet, and Yokai Doctor.

To enter the contest and for official rules, please visit theOtaku.com.

“The anime world is a thriving, talented community,” New York Anime Festival Show Manager Lance Fensterman said. “We relish every opportunity to involve this community and make them a part of the show. The fans who come to NYAF aren’t just passive attendees. Instead, through participation in contests, special events, and our online networks, they become active contributors making NYAF happen.”

“One of theOtaku.com’s primary missions is to empower its community of otaku artists and give them new opportunities to grow and gain recognition” said Adam Ghahramani, publisher of theOtaku.com. “We are thrilled to be working with NYAF and Del Rey, two industry giants, to create a contest that will push our artists’ creativity to the limit, as well as bestow upon one talented member an amazing portfolio piece… and a truckload of manga.”

Tickets to NYAF are available now, and the con will be announcing guests, VIP packages, additional contests, and programming throughout the spring and summer. For more information about the 2009 New York Anime Festival, please visit the show’s official website (www.newyorkanimfestival.com) and blog (www.mediumatlarge.net).

ABOUT THEOTAKU.COM:
TheOtaku.com is an industry-friendly social media website for artists and writers who are fans of anime, manga, and video games. The site reaches nearly half a million unique visitors a month and hosts the portfolios of tens of thousands of creative otaku.

ABOUT DEL REY MANGA:
Del Rey Books (delreybooks.com) was founded in 1977 as an imprint of Ballantine Books, a division of the Random House Publishing Group, under the guidance of the renowned Judy-Lynn del Rey and her husband, Lester del Rey. Del Rey publishes the best of modern fantasy, science fiction, and alternate history. Ballantine Books is an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group, which is a publishing group of Random House, Inc, the US publishing company of Random House, the trade book publishing division of Bertelsmann AG, one of the world’s leading international media companies. In 2004, it expanded by launching Del Rey Manga (delreymanga.com), which has grown to be a major force in the US graphic novel field. Bestselling titles include Tsubasa, Negima, xxxHolic, and The Wallflower.

ABOUT THE NEW YORK ANIME FESTIVAL:
The New York Anime Festival takes place September 25-27, 2009 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in Midtown Manhattan and is organized by Reed Exhibitions, the creators of New York Comic Con. The New York Anime Festival showcases the best of anime pop culture, including the latest anime, manga, Japanese cinema, music, and games, and anime-influenced comics, animation, and films from around the world. The festival features exclusive and extensive screenings, a gala cosplay masquerade, sessions with the some of the biggest names in anime from Japan, Asia, and America, and explores the Japanese cultural experience with displays of both traditional and cutting-edge Japanese life. Further information can be found at newyorkanimefestival.com.

ABOUT REED EXHIBITIONS:
The New York Anime Festival is operated by Reed Exhibitions, the world’s leading events organizer. In 2007, Reed brought together over six million industry professionals from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today, Reed events are held in 38 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia and organized by 39 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions is part of Reed Elsevier Group plc, a FTSE-100 company and world-leading publisher and information provider. In 2006, Reed Elsevier made adjusted profit before taxation of £1,052 million on turnover of £5,398 million.

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