Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale Premiered at Anime Boston 2017

This past weekend saw Anime Boston, the northeast’s largest convention dedicated to anime, manga, and Japanese culture, held at the Hynes Convention Center. Several thousand otaku, the majority of which in cosplay, braved the cold and snow to mingle with their fellow fans. On Friday, a band named The Beach Episode, greeted con-goers with renditions of popular anime, video game, and cartoon theme songs such as The Legend of Zelda.

One of the highlights of this year’s show was the grand premiere of the English dub of the eagerly anticipated movie Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale. Following the events of the popular television series, SAO: Ordinal Scale finds protagonists Kirito, Asuna, and their friends once again playing a video game, but this time instead of immersing themselves in a digital realm a new technology allows for enhanced reality where players engage in combat in the real world against virtual foes. Naturally, a sinister plot threatens them once again.

Special guest Cherami Leigh was on hand for a Q&A session in which she discussed her ten years of working in the voice acting industry. When asked about her experience making this movie and reprising the role of Asuna, Ms. Leigh said, “She goes through a lot of changes in the movie and her relationship with Kirito grows. You kind of see how much of a positive effect being in SAO series affected her.”

She went on to say that it spoke to real life issues in that many fans of games and animation are misunderstood by others in their lives who do understand their passion. “I think that something for people, specifically parents, who don’t think that games or anime can positively affect someone. There are things you learn about yourself, gain confidence levels, and things you didn’t know you had in when you’re playing once you step outside of yourself and realize, “I can do this.” A lot of the characters in the series realize this in the movie. So I hope that it opens people’s eyes that aren’t as accepting of anime or games.”

Cherami Leigh: voice of Asuna in Sword Art Online

In discussing the themes of technology taking over one’s life Ms. Leigh said, “But at the same time there’s that cautionary tale that’s been very prevalent with SAO of being careful with what technology is now able to do, like getting trapped in this virtual world or what it might do to our brains and the crazy things that happen. It’s definitely scary but it’s really cool and I was excited to work on it.”

She also mentioned that the recording sessions gave her a rare opportunity to collaborate with the Japanese creators, “I watched it subbed and met the creative team from Japan and they were able to guide me in some of my recording sessions which is very rare to have the director, Tomohiko Ito, present. He told me about the process of recording in Japan and there were a couple of moments he said he wanted to be sure were exactly right for this version. It was great to have our English writer/director, Alex von David, and the Japanese creative team working together.”

Fellow voice actor Patrick Seitz, who plays Agil in SAO, was also a guest of Anime Boston 2017. He said following the screening, “The SAO fans were really hyped for this movie. It’s great to see that reaction and that the fanbase is still so strong after all these years. I liked that the movie was an original story continued the series and not a rehash of previous episodes.”

Ms. Leigh was quick to point out that one does not have to any prior knowledge to enjoy the movie. “They did a really great job with the movie because you don’t have to have seen the entire series in order to watch (it). “You can pick up with the movie and they’ll do some exposition to catch you up on what you might have missed. My husband hadn’t seen much of the series when he watched the movie (in its original Japanese) and it didn’t affect his awareness or catching up with the story at all.”

Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale hits theaters on April 22, 2017. For further information, please go to their website: sao-movie.net/us

 

 

Anime Boston 2017 Schedule Announced

Anime Boston, the largest anime convention in New England, hits town this weekend and just in time has released the full event schedule for signings, screenings, cosplay events, fan panels, and more: www.animeboston.com/coninfo/schedule

Highlights include:

 

Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale Debuts at Anime Boston 2017

Anime Boston 2017 will host the the English dub premiere of SWORD ART ONLINE THE MOVIE: ORDINAL SCALE before its North American tour. Be one of the first to watch this amazing dub on the big screen before it’s released anywhere! After the screening, AB 2017 guests Cherami Leigh (Asuna), Michelle Ruff (Sinon), and Patrick Seitz (Agil) will take center stage and for a special Q&A session!

About Sword Art Online:
The animated TV series Sword Art Online is based on author Reki Kawahara’s light novel (winner of the 15th Dengeki Novel Award Grand Prize) in which the protagonist Kirito fights to survive in the mysterious next-gen VRMMORPG called “Sword Art Online.” Since the first volume of the novel was published in April 2009, the series has proved extremely popular, with cumulative sales exceeding 12.5 million units in Japan and 19 million worldwide, spawning two TV anime adaptations, video games, comic books, and merchandise.

Story of Sword Art Online the Movie -Ordinal Scale-:
In 2022, the world of virtual reality was upended by the arrival of a new invention from a genius programmer, Akihiko Kayaba, called NerveGear. It was the first full-dive system, and with it, came endless possibilities to VRMMORPGs.

In 2026, a new machine called the Augma is developed to compete against the NerveGear and its successor, the Amusphere. A next-gen wearable device, the Augma doesn’t have a full-dive function like its predecessors. Instead, it uses Augmented Reality (AR) to get players into the game. It is safe, user-friendly and lets users play while they are conscious, making it an instant hit on the market. The most popular game on the system is “Ordinal Scale” (aka: OS), an ARMMORPG developed exclusively for the Augma.

Asuna and the gang have already been playing OS for a while, by the time Kirito decides to join them. They’re about to find out that Ordinal Scale isn’t all fun and games

Several New Guests Announced for Anime Boston 2017

Anime Boston, the largest anime convention in New England, has announced several new guests to appear at the Hynes Convention Center, Boston, Mass, on March 31 through April 2, 2017.

Kyle Colby Jones has been in the anime industry as a director, writer, producer, and actor since 2007. He began his dubbing career at ADV Films and currently works at Sentai Filmworks.

Some of his more notable recent anime series include Akame ga Kill, Parasyte, My Love Story, Log Horizon, Monthly Girls Nozaki-kun, No Game No Life, Fate/kaleid, Gatchaman Crowds, Outbreak Company, Muv-Luv, Super Sonico, Sunday Without God, and Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon.

Kyle has directed several classic titles as well, including Saint Seiya, Air, Kanon, Madlax, Kino’s Journey, Diamond Daydreams, Phi-Brain, and the stupendously amazing Papuwa.

Bryson Baugus is a voice actor, singer, and stage actor from Texas. He has worked primarily with Sentai Filmworks in Houston, and his credits include Child Gelsadra in Gatchaman Crowds Insight, Young Suna in My Love Story, Akutagawa in When Supernatural Battles Became Commonplace, and Hikaru in RE: Hamatora. His voice has also been used in the shows Chaika – The Coffin Princess, Dramatical Murder, Log Horizon 2, and Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun.  He was just recently announced as the voice of Bell in Is It Wrong To Try To Pick Up Girls In A Dungeon and Kou Mukami in Diabolik Lovers II: More Blood.  This is his first convention appearance.

Greg Ayres has spent the last fourteen years working in an industry he had admired for years as a fan. With over 200 credits to his name, this fan-boy has managed to get to play a variety of characters that are almost as colorful as his hair. He’s thrilled to splash into the role of Nagisa Haruki in Free Eternal Summer, and equally as excited to “kill” as MonoKuma in Danganronpa, and Doug in Gangsta.

He was thrilled to be a part of the Toonami re-launch in the roles of Ganta Igarashi in Deadman Wonderland, and Heihachi Hayashida in Samurai 7, and even more thrilled to follow that up with the following summer’s thriller Another as Kouichi Sakakibara.  His most recent roles include Frost in Dragon Ball Z Xenoverse 2, Clear in Dramatical Murder, Satoru Asahina in From the New World, Kenji Nakanishi in Say I Love You, Sion in No. 6, Heisuke Toudou in Hakuoki, Tommyrod in Toriko, Arikawa in This Boy Can Fight Aliens, Tomoki Sakurai in Heaven’s Lost Property, and Volken in the Book of Bantorra.

Lisa Ortiz is a New York based veteran voice actor, director, and producer. Her career as a voice over artist began under the shroud of an attempted auto larceny gone awry.  No really, ask her yourself.  She’ll tell you.

She is most well known for her roles as Lina Inverse in Slayers and Amy Rose in Sonic the Hedgehog, but she began her career as the high elf Deedlit in Record of Lodoss War. Since then she has gone on to record dozens of anime, series, audio books, video games, and films both as a voice and as a Producer, Director, and Adapter.

She is currently the director of Pokemon XY and has worked on the show in various capacities over the years since the Indigo League. From Misty’s older sister Daisy, to Sabrina, to Flannery, to Oshawatt, to Fletchling, Litten, and present day gym leader Korrina.

She can currently be heard as Noembelu in Street Fighter V, as well as on the Nickelodeon Show Royal Academy, amongst others. Her favorite roles include: Serenity Wheeler in Yu-gi-oh; Tony Tony Chopper in One Piece; Shiori in Revolutionary Girl Utena; Rina in Time of Eve; The Devil in Gangstar 4; Musa/Icy in Winx Club; Azalyn in The Irresponsible Captain Tylor; and Tsubasa Shibahime in His and Her Circumstances.

Shingo Natsume has directed many anime, including television series Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei and the theatrical film Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos.

He has also directed Hori-san to Miyamura-kun, Space Dandy, and One Punch Man.  His latest directorial work is ACCA: 13-Territory Inspection Dept.

“Natsume-san is the director of two of the hottest titles in the past few years, Space Dandy and One Punch Man. We’re honored to have the opportunity to present Natsume-san to his fans in Boston, and to give them the opportunity to talk to him!” said Victor Lee, Convention Chairman.

Robbie Daymond is a Native-American Voice Artist, Actor, and Performer based in Los Angeles. He works in traditional animation, anime, commercials, film, television, audiobooks, and videogames for companies such as: Nickelodeon, Disney, Warner Brothers, Cartoon Network, Discovery Kids, NBC, 20th Century Fox, Marvel, Bang Zoom!, Lucas Films, Activision, Square Enix, Volition Games, Studiopolis, VIZ, Aniplex, SyFy, Random House, and many more.

After booking his first major anime role in 2014 as Tuxedo Mask in Sailor Moon, he has had the opportunity to play several lead and supporting roles in anime series such as: Mumen Rider in One Punch Man, Mitsuki in Boruto, Joe Kido in Digimon Adventure tri., and Ren Tsuruga in Skip Beat.  He can also be heard in: Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, The Seven Deadly Sins, Naruto Shippuden, Tales of Zestiria the X, Cyborg 009, K, Fate/Stay Night: Unlimited Blade Works, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, Sword Art Online 2, Magi; the Adventures of Sinbad, Durarara!!x2, Charlotte, Lupin the Third, Aldnoah Zero, Your Lie in April, Glitter Force, Rock Lee & His Ninja Pals, and he continues to reprise his role of Mamoru in Sailor Moon Crystal. There are also a few others coming up that he can’t mention quite yet…

“I’ve spoken to Robbie several times, all over the country. A talented actor, he’s also one of warmest people I’ve ever met, and his fans are going to love him! It’s exciting to finally have him here, at Anime Boston!” said Victor Lee, Convention Chair.

Patrick Seitz is primarily known for his work as the guy who yells out “Super Electromagnetic Shrapnel Cannon!” in Code Geass. Seitz’s body of other, lesser work stretches back to the year 2000. When he’s not busy playing Love Live: School Idol Festival, Patrick Seitz gets paid to voice guys who A) yell a lot, B) wear an eyepatch, C) have an accent, or D) sport a cool haircut. Have your doubts? His anime credits include: Gamagoori from Kill la Kill; Dio from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure; Franky from One Piece; Laxus from Fairy Tail; Keith from Attack on Titan; Motochika from Sengoku Basara; Senji from Deadman Wonderland; Isshin and Kenpachi from Bleach; Germany from Hetalia; Agni from Black Butler; Simon from Durarara!!; Kunzite from Sailor Moon; Sky High from Tiger & Bunny; Luke Valentine from Hellsing and Hellsing: Ultimate; and JP from Redline. Grimmer from Monster; and Nekozawa from Ouran High School Host Club don’t really fit any of those categories, but they’re cool, so they’re on the list!

On the video game side of the equation, Patrick’s credits include: Helvar in For Honor; Hector and Draug in Fire Emblem: Heroes; Ragna in the BlazBlue series; Garrosh Hellscream and Arthas Menethil in World of Warcraft; Scorpion in the last few Mortal Kombat games; Artanis in StarCraft II; Kog’Maw, Lucian, and Renekton in League of Legends; Kana Rua in Pillars of Eternity; Basilio in Fire Emblem: Awakening; Samson in Skullgirls; Chopin in Eternal Sonata; Riptide, Hot Head and Chomp Chest in the Skylanders series; and create-a-character voices in Dragon Ball Xenoverse; and The Sims 4.

Added Victor Lee, ”We’re happy to have Patrick at Anime Boston again so soon! His involvement with some of the most important titles in anime and in video games, makes him one of the true greats in the industry!”

About Anime Boston: With nearly 27,000 attendees in 2016, Anime Boston is an annual three-day Japanese animation convention held in Boston, Mass. Anime Boston 2017 is scheduled for Friday, March 31 through Sunday, April 2 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, Inc.: 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.

Anime Boston 2016 Guest List Announced

000000_anime-boston-2016Anime Boston, the largest anime convention in New England, has announced its guest lineup for their March 25 – 27 show! Coming all the way from Japan are Director Kyohei Ishiguro, Character Designer Yukiko Aikei, Producer Masao Maruyama, and Voice actors Toshio Furukawa and Shino Kakinuma. Their work encompasses many of the most popular anime movies and television shows including Mobile Suit Gundam, Sailor Moon, Fist of the North Star, Dragon Ball Z, Death Note, Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere, and many more. This a rare opportunity for North American fans to meet these artists as they make few US appearances, some are even making the trip for the first time!

Also appearing are several of the voice actors who dub Japanese anime into English including Tony Oliver (Robotech, Lupin the III), Eric Vale (Dragon Ball Z, One Piece), Carrie Keranen (Your lie in April, Kill la Kill), Erica Lindbeck (The Seven Deadly Sins, Your lie in April), Max Mittelman (Transformers: Rescue Bots, The Seven Deadly Sins) Patrick Seitz (Naruto: Shippûden, Sailor Moon Crystal), Monica Rial (Dragon Ball Z Kai, Soul Eater), Todd Haberkorn (Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, The Legend of Korra) and Greg Ayres (Neon Genesis Evangelion, Samurai 7). Guests will be available for autographs and photos with fans but in order to maximize everyone’s experience Anime Boston has laid out a set of guidelines on their website.

Anime Boston additionally features an art track where artists sell commissions, manga, zines, and prints with Featured Artists who conduct panels and workshops. This year’s Featured Artists are Eric Proctor, Nightengale Needles, Kel McDonald, Trevor Mueller, and Rich Pellegrino.

As in past years, Anime Boston 2016 will present many popular events including a masquerade, an anime music video contest, video programming rooms, an artists’ alley and art show, karaoke, game shows, video games, manga library, formal and informal dances, and much more. Dealers’ room will be located in the cavernous Halls A and B of the Hynes Convention Center selling manga, anime DVDs, t-shirts, prints, and collectibles.

About Anime Boston:
Anime Boston is an annual three-day Japanese animation convention held in Boston, Mass. Anime Boston 2016 is scheduled for Friday, March 25 through Sunday, March 27 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.

Anime Boston 2014 Announces Five New Guests of Honor

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Anime Boston is proud to announce five new Guests of Honor for the 2014 convention! Please join us in welcoming Wendee Lee, Kyle Hebert, Cristina Vee, Patrick Seitz, and Tom Wayland!

 

Wendee Lee is an American voice actress. While she has done voice work for many video games as well as several episodes in the Power Rangers franchise, she is particularly known in anime. With 240 credits to her name, she is one of the most prolific English voice-over actresses in history.

 

Kyle Hebert is a Los Angeles-based anime and video game voice actor whose credits include Wreck-It Ralph/Street Fighter (Ryu), Naruto (Kiba), Bleach (Aizen, Ganju), League of Legends (Ezreal, Jarvan, and Graves) and Gurren Lagann (Kamina). He is best known as the Narrator and Teen Gohan from the Funimation dub of Dragonball Z. His current roles include Tenkai Knights (Commander Beag) and Digimon Fusion (Dorulumon, Ballistomon). Other fan faves include Blue Exorcist (Bon Suguro), Fire Emblem Awakening (Frederick, Validar), Fullmetal Alchemist (Vato Falman), Tales of Symphonia (Richter Abend) and Star Ocean (Dias, Arumat, Crow).

 

Cristina Vee is a voice actress from Los Angeles, CA. Since getting her first large anime roles in 2007, Cristina has voiced over 100 characters in both animation and video games. Anime fans know her Mio Akiyama in K-ON!, Alisa Bosconovitch in Tekken Blood Vengeance, Homura Akemi in Madoka Magica, Louise in The Familiar of Zero, and Morgiana in Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, to name a few.

 

Patrick Seitz’s anime roles include Franky in One Piece, Sky High in Tiger & Bunny, Germany in Hetalia, Agil in Sword Art Online, Senji in Deadman Wonderland, Simon in Durarara, Laxus in Fairy Tail, Sloth in FMA: Brotherhood, JP in Redline, Agni in Black Butler, Motochika Chosokabe in Sengoku Basara, Nekozawa in Ouran High School Host Club, Isshin Kurosaki in Bleach, and Grimmer in Monster.

 

Tom Wayland

Tom Wayland is proud to have made a long and successful career out of his most favorite things – acting, directing, and making raucous, loud rock and roll music. Tom has produced and/or directed hundreds of anime programs such as Now & Then, Here & There, Revolutionary Girl Utena, Alien Nine, The World of Narue, Ichi the Killer, Mew Mew Power, Magical Do Re Mi, GI Joe, and currently serves as the voice director on the hit series Pokemon.

About Anime Boston:
Anime Boston is an annual three-day Japanese animation convention held in Boston, Mass. Anime Boston 2014 is scheduled for Friday, March 21 through Sunday, March 23 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 an organization 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.