Press Releases

June 17, 2011

News for Anime Expo 2011:

Anime Expo announces production team behind "Last Exile -Fam, The Silver Wing-" as guests

LOS ANGELES (June 16, 2011) -- In conjunction with the highly-anticipated world premiere of "LASTEXILE -Fam, The Silver Wing-," Anime Expo 2011 announces the production team behind the latest chapter in the popular "LASTEXILE" series as Guests of Honor. Fans of the series will have a chance to meet and hear from Koichi Chigira, Makoto Kobayashi, Takaaki Suzuki from GONZO and Hiroyuki Birukawa from flyingDOG at Anime Expo, when it returns to the LA Convention Center from July 1 - 4, 2011.

Acclaimed anime director Koichi Chigira is a frequent GONZO collaborator. Mr. Chigira is the director of such hits as "Full Metal Panic!," "Gate Keepers," "LASTEXILE," "The Tower of DRUAGA -the Aegis of URUK- or -the Sword of URUK-," "Tokyo Babylon," "Tokyo Babylon 2," and "Brave Story."

From production design to mechanical design to directing, Makoto Kobayashi has played many roles in the mechanized world of anime. Fans recognize his unique artistic touch from such classics as "LASTEXILE," "Space Battleship Yamato Fukkatsuhen," "Mobile Suit Gundam Z," "Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ," "SAMURAI 7," "Trinity Blood," "The Tower of DRUAGA -the Aegis of URUK- or -the Sword of URUK-."

Takaaki Suzuki is known as a creator who has developed the military, world and science fiction settings for "LASTEXILE," "GUNxSWORD," "Strike Witches" and "Strike Witches 2." He has written scripts for some of these titles and has also worked as a planning assistant for "Witchblade." In addition to his contributions in the anime world, Mr. Suzuki is the creator of the popular novel series "The Witches of Africa."

Anime producer Hiroyuki Birukawa is one of key forces behind the success of the first LASTEXILE series. He is also well known as the producer for "Linebarrels of Iron," "The King of Braves GaoGaiGar Final" (OVA), "THE QWASER OF STIGMATA" series, "GUNxSWORD," "Betterman," "Metal Fighter Miku," and "Generator Gawl."

In addition to the LASTEXILE production team, the roster of Anime Expo 2011 Guests of Honor includes Japanese pop trio Kalafina; singing sensation Maon Kurosaki; Japanese TV Host and blogger Danny Choo; electronic dance act Nirgilis; voice actress and singer Miyuki Sawashiro; voice actor Vic Mignogna; anime director Seiji Mizushima; voice actors Toshiyuki Morikawa and Taliesin Jaffe; video game developer Sohei Niikawa; Crypton Future Media CEO Hiroyuki Itoh and Producer Wataru Sasaki; Vocaloid songwriter Onyx Kobayashi and manga artists Izumi Matsumoto and Fred Gallagher. Anime Expo has also announced Hatsune Miku as its first ever Virtual Guest of Honor. Themed the "Year of the Fan," Anime Expo 2011 will fully immerse guests into the world of Japanese animation, manga (comic books), music and fashion. Anime Expo is a non-stop marathon of Japanese pop culture that's been likened to Halloween in July.

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About Anime Expo
Held annually in Los Angeles, Anime Expo is North America's largest anime and manga celebration. Anime Expo gives fans the rare opportunity to meet and hear from some of the most famous anime, manga and musical artists from Japan and get into the action through everything from costume play, karaoke and video competitions to exclusive screenings, non-stop video gaming competitions and the wildly popular Masquerade, in which fans transform themselves into their favorite characters through creative costuming, accessories and make-up and put on their own show before an audience of thousands. AX 2011 will be held July 1 - July 4, 2011 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. To register or for more information, please visit

About the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation
The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to popularize and educate the American public about anime and manga, as well as provide a forum to facilitate communication between professionals and fans. This organization is more popularly known by its entertainment property, Anime Expo®. For more information, please visit