Press Releases

July 14, 2011

News for Otakon 2011:

Otakon releases a flood of guest announcements

Baltimore, MD (July 7, 2011) - Join Otakon and FUNimation Entertainment as they present the world premiere of the subtitled Fullmetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos movie. See the next installment of the Fullmetal Alchemist franchise just weeks after its theatrical release in Japan.

In the lost holy land of Milos,
The Elrics search for the truth behind an unknown form of alchemy.
What secrets are hidden in Milos?
Riddles must be solved,
And dangers faced,
Before Ed and Al can find the truth.

Director and Otakon Guest of Honor Kazuya Murata will be attending this exclusive screening and the Q&A panel afterwards. Kazuya Murata is also known for his directorial work in many other titles such as Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, Eureka Seven, Dennou Coil, Gunsmith Cats, Planetes, Pokemon, Steel Angel Kurumi, and many more.

Baltimore, MD (July 7, 2011) - Kylee to perform on Sunday at Otakon 2011.

Kylee is a singer and currently lives in Arizona. Born to an American Father, and a Japanese mother, Kylee is the product of music without borders.

Kylee sang the National Anthem at an NBA game when she was only 11 years old, and at 15, she became the youngest artist to perform at SUMMER SONIC. She's the new generation Pop Icon, full of extraordinary and unprecedented experiences, But by day, she's your average high school honor student.

In March 2010, Kylee made her major label debut with "Kimi ga Irukara", the theme for her big screen debut in Dareka ga Watashi ni Kiss wo Shita.

In July 2010, she released her 2nd single "missing / IT'S YOU" that spread through the blogosphere like wildfire and became a smash hit.

The success was followed by the release of her 3rd single "Everlasting" - the main theme of the movie Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn episode 2 and has achieved #2 on the USEN request chart.

Finally coming home to perform in America, Kylee made her network debut on NBC's Today show May 12th and 13, 2011, with NBC's TODAY show calling Kylee a "Real Hannah Montana".

On July 13th, she will release her new single "NEVER GIVE UP!"

She will be performing on Sunday afternoon at Otakon 2011.

Baltimore, MD (July 11, 2011) - Otakon 2011 will host Hetalia World Series premiere with guests from both Japan and the US.

The hilarious international incidents keep coming in Hetalia World Series! All of your fave Allied guys and Axis boys are back, and this time they're bringing a bunch of brand new characters to the party!

First of the Japanese guests is Bob Shirohata. Mr. Shirohata is very excited to be visiting his North American fans coming all the way from Japan for Otakon 2011. He has directed various well loved series such as Gravitation, Diamond Daydreams, Let's Dance With Papa and the smash hit series, Hetalia Axis Powers, Hetalia World Series and Hetalia the Movie - Paint it, White!. Mr. Shirohata will be appearing at FUNimation Hetalia World Series premiere/Q&A panel, his focus panel and at autograph sessions throughout the weekend.

Our second Japanese guest is Akira Sasanuma. Mr. Sasanuma has lent his voice to many wonderful anime and game titles over the years. Some of his most well known roles include Link from the Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess and Super Smash Bros., Dearka Elsman in the Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Series, and as Austria in the internationally beloved Hetalia Axis Powers, Hetalia World Series and Hetalia the Movie - Paint it, White!. Mr. Sasanuma is excited to meet with his North American fans attending Otakon 2011 at the Hetalia premiere and Q&A Panel as well as at his focus panel and autograph sessions throughout the weekend.

Our first US guest is Scott Sager. Scott started in the Anime industry as an ADR engineer at FUNimation recording Dragonball Z, then moving on to other shows including Yu Yu Hakusho, Speed Grapher, Samurai 7 and Mongolian Chop Squad. He left the company for a couple of years to design two expansions of the Yu Yu Hakusho trading card game and serve as Score Entertainment's Organized Play Manager before returning to FUNimation. Coming back as an ADR engineer, he quickly transitioned into a directing position working on such fan-favorite shows as One Piece, Strike Witches and Hetalia Axis Powers.

Our second US guest is Scott Freeman. Scott has been working at Funimation roughly six years as a voice actor on over 50 shows. A few of the roles he can be heard as include Britain from Hetalia (as Britain), Yuuji Sakamoto in Baka and Test, Kazuki Sakuraba in Ga-Rei: Zero, Yasopp and Kamakiri in Pirates: One Piece, Harvar D. Éclair in Soul Eater, and Dominio Rixerio in Chrome Shelled Regios.

The third US guest is Patrick Seitz. Patrick is definitely what you'd call a character actor, having voiced roles like Germany in Hetalia, Simon in Durarara!, Agni in Black Butler, Sloth in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Chosokabe Motochika in Sengoku Basara, Grimmer in Monster, Nekozawa in Ouran, Isshin Kurosaki in Bleach, George in Paradise Kiss, Dhaos in Tales of Phantasia, Koshiro in Koi Kaze, Lee Linho in ROD the TV, and Luke Valentine in Hellsing and Hellsing Ultimate.

The last US guest to round out the Hetalia group is J. Michael Tatum. Discovered by Funimation in 2005, he was cast as Rikichi in 2005's Samurai 7. Tatum has had a slew of roles, most notably France in Hetalia, Kyoya Otori in Ouran High School Host Club and Sebastian Michaelis in Black Butler. Other characters include: Doumeki in XXXHolic, Jiro Mochizuki in Black Blood Brothers, Isaac Dian in Baccano!, Komui Lee in D-Gray Man, Dororo in Sgt. Frog, Ryosuke Takahashi in Initial D, Lawrence Kraft in Spice and Wolf, Zarbon in Dragon Ball Z Kai, and Scar in Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood.

Baltimore, MD (July 11, 2011) - Otakon 2011 to host Noboru Ishiguro who will Premiere Angel ScandyS along with Seiyuu Orine Fukushima, Momoka Ohara, and Chiaki Shimogama along with a Saturday concert.

Angel ScandyS is a comedy about three normal girls, three demons, and three angels, trying to become idols.

So just why are angels and demons trying to become idols? It's because a certain man's soul got double booked for heaven and hell due to a system error! This man was the Principal of Lilliard Music School, the school that's produced countless stars. As soon as he died, the evil chairman of the board took over the school. The original Principal won't rest in peace without taking his school back. So he is refusing to go to heaven or hell!

The angels and demons don't know what to do, until the Principal says that he will give his soul to whoever does more to help him take back his school. The angels and demons are interested in becoming idols to begin with, so they gladly accepted! Now the angels and demons are going through idol training on Earth!

Otakon is proud to welcome director Noboru Ishiguro back to our convention. Ishiguro is best known as a director, with some of his notable titles including Space Battleship Yamato, Macross, Megazone 23, Astro Boy (1980), Legend of the Galactic Heroes, and Tytania. Ishiguro drafted the story for Megazone 23 based on his personal views of government, having seen his own mislead with lies and obfuscation to lead the people to war. Ishiguro also founded his own studio, Artland, in 1978. He currently remains a part of the studio as Chairman, while also pursuing his love of directing. Fans meeting Ishiguro at Otakon will also have the chance to his new directorial project: Angel ScandyS!

Orine Fukushima is not only an accomplished voice actress, artist, and producer; she's also the CEO of Water Orion, Inc, the voice talent firm she founded. As a voice actress Fukushima has starred in Yanbo, Ninbo, Tonbo as Yanbo, Let's Go Anpan-man! as Monaka, Ponta, and Kumata; Initial D as Saori; and Berserk as Young Guts. On the video game side, she's been Yayoi Dojima in the Ryu Ga Gotoko/Yakuza series; young Ryo Hazuki in Shenmue; and President Elizabeth Winters in Vanquish. Fukushima will also be a voice actress in the upcoming anime project, Angel ScandyS!

Momoko Ohara is relatively new to the voice acting world, with his first role being Yu in the 2007 series Minami-ke. She reprised the character in the follow-ups to that series, Minami-ke: Okawari and Minami-ke: Okaeri. Ohara's characters tend to be on the young side and since Minami-ke, she's been Nao in Kanamemo; Miyashita in Mitsudomoe; young Shizou in Durarara!; Nicola in Jewelpet Tinkle; and Osamu Momochi in Level E. In her upcoming project, Angel ScandyS, Ohara will be playing Grill, a tomboy devil with the heart of a shounen manga hero.

Otakon is also proud to welcome Chiaki Shimogawa to this year's convention. Shimogawa is a relative newcomer with her first starring role being Edward Thomas in 2009's Before Green Gables, an anime adaptation of the prequel to Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables. Later that year, she voiced Hiro-kun in Yumeiro Patissiere for a few episodes. Shimogawa will be voicing schoolgirl Tsuzumi Usui in Angel ScandyS, bringing her vibrant voice to a character with a cheerful outlook on life.

Baltimore, MD (July 13, 2011) - K-ON! invades Otakon 2011!

K-ON! English voice actresses Stephanie Sheh (Yui), Cristina Vee (Mio), Cassandra Lee Morris (Ritsu), Shelby Lindsey (Mugi) join cosplayer/singer Karrie Shirou for a special mini-concert featuring the Japanese songs from K-ON! season one. Join them at their first ever Otakon performance!

Best known for her voice-acting work in Naruto as Hinata, Bleach as Orihime, and Eureka 7 as Eureka, Stephanie is a voice actor, voice director, ADR writer, and producer. Her credits include Mamimi in "FLCL" which she also produced, Mikuru in The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Akira in Lucky Star, Guu in Hare and Guu, Kirie in Girls Bravo, to name a few. Stephanie's most recent role is Yui in the Bandai-distributed K-ON!.

Cristina Vee is an anime and video game voice actress residing near Los Angeles, California. She has starred in anime such as Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha as the titular character, Rozen Maiden as Kanaria, The Familiar of Zero as Louise, Aika in Aika R-16, and Mio Akiyama in K-ON. Other anime roles include parts in Kannazuki no Miko, Hare + Guu, and The Blade of the Immortal.

Cassandra Lee grew up playing in the concrete jungle of New York City. One of her first anime roles was also her scariest: Yubel in Yu-Gi-Oh GX. Luckily, her next two roles as twins Leo and Luna for Yu-Gi-Oh 5D's were much tamer. Her current role as Ritsu on K-ON! is by far her favorite. Other roles include Mayu in Kurokami, Uppi in Slayers Revolution, and Saki in DuRaRaRa! She now lives in Los Angeles, where she gets lots of sun but not enough beach.

Shelby Lindley is relatively new to the world of anime, though not a stranger to voice over work. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she started acting professionally in theater at the age of 9. Her work in anime can be heard on the shows Tweeny Witches, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, and K-ON. Shelby is currently working as the English voice of Tsumugi on the anime series K-ON! as well as the webseries for LIV Doll's LIV Friends as Sophie. She wishes everyone a wonderful time here at Otakon!

Baltimore, MD (July 13, 2011) - Otakon welcomes back producer and honorary Otakon staff, Masao Maruyama!

The founder of Madhouse Studios, Masao Maruyama has had a hand in the Japanese animation industry for almost forty years. Maruyama was born in 1941 in the Miyagi Prefecture. After graduation from Hosei University, he went to work for Mushi Production. He later went on to help produce Unico, based on a story by Osamu Tezuka, of Astro Boy fame. In 1972, Maruyama had a direct hand in the establishment of the burgeoning new animation studio Madhouse and led the team as a creative producer for many years.

No matter the wide range of mediums in which Madhouse Studios dealt including television, OAV, and theatrical release, Maruyama brought the same level of quality to every production. Regardless of the subject matter, Murayama always brings something new to the table, and he is internationally known for exceptional animation. Maruyama is also acknowledged for his eye in finding young talent to bring into Madhouse; under his creative guidance, talents like Satoshi Kon and Atsuko Ishizuka flourished.

Since Madhouse's inception, Maruyama has produced an amazing library of animation including Barefoot Gen, Dagger of Kamui, Record of Lodoss War, Vampire Hunter D, Ninja Scroll, Cardcaptor Sakura, Trigun, Perfect Blue, X, Boogiepop Phantom, Chobits, PitaTen, Abenobashi Maho Shotengai, Gungrave, Gunslinger Girl, Black Lagoon, Kiba, Nana, Tokyo Tribe 2, Beck, Monster, Highlander: Search for Vengeance, Devil May Cry, Death Note, RAINBOW and Red Line.

Maruyama has also overseen production of critically acclaimed films such as Paprika and The Girl Who Leapt Through Time.

Baltimore, MD (July 13, 2011) - Atsuhiro Iwakami travels from Japan to present his latest work Puella Magi Madoka Magica at Otakon 2011.

Madoka Magica

She has a loving family and best friends, laughs and cries from time to time...
Madoka Kaname is an eighth grader of Mitakihara middle school who lived a normal life
One day, she had a very magical encounter
She doesn't know if it happened by chance or by fate yet.
This is a fateful encounter that can change her destiny-
This is a beginning of a new story of the world of magical girls and witches.

In addition to Madoka Magica, producer Atsuhiro Iwakami has worked on many hit Aniplex titles including The Garden of Sinner, Bakemonogatari, Oreimo, Kannagi just to name a few. He is currently working on the new series Fate/Zero which will be premiered in October in Japan. After the Madoka Magica premiere screening on Friday, he will speak in person about the show and behind the scenes.

Baltimore, MD (July 13, 2011) - Nobuo Uematsu to make Special Appearance on Friday July 29th of Otakon 2011.

Mr. Uematsu will appear by special arrangement with Distant Worlds, in a Q&A session on Friday July 29th, followed by a charity autograph session. This special autograph session will require a donation of at least $20 to the Japanese Red Cross for ongoing relief efforts in Japan.

Nobuo Uematsu is one of the most celebrated composers in the video game field. He has achieved global recognition for his work on the FINAL FANTASY series that has been performed by world-class orchestras around the world. Nobuo Uematsu has been recognized as a major contributor in the increasing appreciation and awareness of video game music. A prime example is the FINAL FANTASY VIII theme song, "Eyes on Me," composed and produced by him. His song featured Hong Kong pop star Faye Wong and sold a record 400,000 copies. It also won "Song of the Year (Western Music)" at the 14th Annual Japan Gold Disc Awards in 1999, which was the first time in history that music from a video game had attained this illustrious honor. The music from the game series has grown to such notoriety, Nobuo Uematsu was named as one of the "Innovators" in Time Magazine's Time 100: the Next Wave Music feature.

Baltimore, MD (July 13, 2011) - Otakon 2011 to host editor Toshihiro Fukuoka.

Toshihiro Fukuoka is the Chief Executive Editor of "ASCII Weekly Magazine" and an Editor at "Tokyo Kawaii Magazine," both from the ASCII Media Works publishing company.

Mr. Fukuoka has played an active role in introducing Japanese anime and pop trends through these magazines including publishing a major feature on Hatsune Miku in Tokyo Kawaii Magazine.

He is the producer of MIKUNOPOLIS 2011.

In addition, he is now writing World Otaku Report with Danny Choo.

Baltimore, MD (July 13, 2011) - Otakon welcomes back writer Peter S. Beagle.

Peter S. Beagle was born in 1939 and raised in the Bronx, where he grew up surrounded by the arts and education: both his parents were teachers, three of his uncles were gallery painters, and his immigrant grandfather was a respected writer, in Hebrew, of Jewish fiction and folktales. As a child Peter used to sit by himself in the stairwell of his apartment building, making up stories. Today, thanks to classics like "The Last Unicorn", "A Fine and Private Place", and "Two Hearts," he is a living fantasy icon.

Peter has written many teleplays and screenplays, including the animated versions of The Lord of the Rings and The Last Unicorn, plus the fan-favorite "Sarek" episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. His nonfiction book "I See By My Outfit" is considered a classic of American travel writing, and he is also a gifted poet, lyricist, and singer/songwriter. He currently makes his home in Oakland, California.

Already a famous book and movie, in 2011 The Last Unicorn also became a bestselling graphic novel from IDW Publishing.

Otakon 2011 will be held July 29 - 31 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Maryland.

ABOUT OTAKON AND OTAKORP, INC.: Now entering its eighteenth year, Otakon is an annual celebration of Japanese and East Asian popular culture, and also one of the largest gatherings of fans in the United States. Otakon celebrates popular culture as a gateway to deeper understanding of Asian culture, and has grown along with the enthusiasm for anime, manga, video games, and music from the Far East. Since 1999, Otakon has been held in Baltimore, Maryland; currently, Otakon is one of Baltimore's few large, city-wide events, drawing over 29,000 individual members for three days each year (for a paid attendance of over 80,000 turnstile attendees). Otakon is a membership-based convention sponsored by Otakorp, Inc., a Pennsylvania-based, 501(c)3 educational non-profit whose mission is to promote the appreciation of Asian culture, primarily through its media and entertainment. Otakorp, Inc. is directed by an all-volunteer, unpaid staff - we are run by fans, for fans.

For more information about Otakorp, Inc., see
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