March 26, 2008
News for Anime Expo 2008:
Shoko Nakagawa to appear at Anime ExpoSong Siren to Perform at Nation's Largest Convention
Anaheim, California (March 26, 2008) -- The new Japanese "It-Girl", television celebrity, blogger, voice actress and illustrator Shoko Nakagawa ("Shokotan" as her fans call her) joins the hottest line up of Anime Expo® 2008 Guests of Honors for the highly anticipated 2008 convention July 3-6, 2008 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. More information can be found on the website www.anime-expo.org.
Born in Tokyo in 1985, Ms. Nakagawa broke blog visit records in February 2008 when her blog, 'Shokotan Blog' received over one billion hits. Filled with photos and entries written in her own unique slang, this blog is arguably the most popular of the many celebrity blogs. The site, which Ms. Nakagawa updates as many as 15 times a day, garners over 1,800,000 hits a day.
Among many fields of Ms. Nakagawa's activities, music has been one of her most successful ventures. Since her singing debut in 2006, she has quickly expanded her fan base. Her single 'Sorairo Days', released in June of 2007, was chosen as the theme song to the popular TV anime TENGEN TOPPA GURREN LAGANN. Her first ever rock song, it debuted at #3 on Japan's Oricon weekly single chart. Thanks to the ever-increasing popularity of fan events held all over the country, Ms. Nakagawa had her first concert in Tokyo in December of 2007. Tickets sold out in 25 seconds, and the show drew a crowd of 2000 enthusiastic fans.
Ms. Nakagawa is also known for her extensive knowledge of anime and manga. On her blog she posts her thoughts on works that catch her interest, along with her own professional quality illustrations. In May of 2007, she chose 5 songs from over 1,500,000 requests, and released 'Shokotan☆Cover' a cover album of anime theme songs. In August of the same year, she was selected as Japan's good will ambassador at the 'World Cosplay Summit 2007', an event for aficionados of cosplay from all over the world. Her live performance at the event received rave reviews from guests, setting the stage for her worldwide popularity. The next month she followed up her hit anime song cover album with the release of 'Shokotan☆Cover 2'. The album became yet another smash hit, ranking in at #11 on the Oricon album chart.
2007 was no doubt a huge year for Ms. Nakagawa. On December 31st, she realized her dream of performing on the Kohaku Utagassen, Japan's traditional end of the year singing TV program. It was a fitting way to end an impressive year. Ms. Nakagawa took her place on stage with other artists representing the best and brightest of Japan's music stars, and received attention for her real time updates to her blog from backstage at the event.
On the first day of the New Year 2008, Ms. Nakagawa went straight from Kohaku to perform at the prestigious Countdown Japan rock festival at 3 am. Regardless of the time, more than 5,500 people turned out to see her perform live. The same day a DVD of her 2007 concert, 'Shokotan Donyoku Matsuri' was released, ranking at #5 on the Music DVD chart.
The 'Shokotan' fever shows no signs of stopping. The third book from her blog sold over 10,0000 copies, and her 4th single, 'snow tears', released on January 30th, went to #2 on the charts. The ballad showing off her vocal talents like never before, the song was selected as the ending song for the TV anime HAKABA KITARO, for which Ms. Nakagawa also voices a character. She was quite moved by this fateful collaboration as her late father, the singer Katsuhiko Nakagawa had often said, 'You can't grow up without reading HAKABA KITARO in her childhood.
On March 19th, her first full-length album "Big☆Bang!!!" was released with roaring support of her fans, the album debuted at #5 on the Oricon album chart. In support of the album, Ms. Nakagawa will kick off her much-anticipated Japan nation-wide tour in May.
About Anime Expo®
Located in Los Angeles, California - Anime Expo®, the nation's largest anime/manga convention, serves to foster trade, commerce and the interests of the general public and animation/ comics industry. This event serves as a key meeting place for the general public to express their interest and explore various aspects of anime/manga, as well as for members of the industry to conduct business. AX 2008 will be held July 3 - July 6, 2008 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Southern California. More information can be found at its website (www.anime-expo.org).
About Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation
The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA) is a non-profit organization with a mission 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®. More information can be found at its website (www.spja.org).
The statements made in this press release that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements." These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties. The Company cautions readers of this press release that a number of important factors could cause Anime Expo®/SPJA's actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in any such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, without limitation, product delays, industry competition, rapid changes in technology and industry standards, protection of proprietary rights, maintenance of relationships with key personnel, vendors and third-party developers, international economic and political conditions. The Company may change its intention, belief or expectation, at any time and without notice, based upon any changes in such factors, in the Company's assumptions or otherwise. The Company undertakes no obligation to release publicly any revisions to any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.