Anaheim Anime Expo This Weekend

As anime fans and professionals gear up for New York City’s Big Apple Anime Fest on August 29-31, another festival of Japanese animation kicks off this weekend in Anaheim, Calif. The 12th annual Anime Expo will be hosted at the Anaheim Convention Center from July 3-6.

Anime Expo is the largest convention devoted to Japanese animation and manga in the United States. Hosted by the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA), the event provides a gathering place for thousands of animation enthusiasts and industry players.

Guests of honor will include animation director Atsuko Nakajima (Ranma 1/2, Taiho Shichauzo, Don’t Leave Me Alone Daisy, Haunted Junction), director Kazuhiro Furuhashi (Taiho Shicahuzo OVA, Ruroni Kenshin, Garou Densetsu TV, Hunter X Hunter), animation director/character designer Nobuteru Yuuki (The Five Star Stories, Record of Lodoss War OVA, Gunnm, Escaflowne), director Mahiro Maeda (Blue Submarine No. 6, Final Fantasy: Unlimited, The Second Renaissance (Part I & II) segments of The Animatrix), manga artist/creator Koushi Rikudo (Excel Saga, Holy Brownie, Arahabaki) and writer/director Mitsuru Hongo (Outlaw Star, Crayon Shinchan, Shamanic Princess)

The fest will include a premiere screening of Bandai’s Junkers Come Here. Based on Naoto Kine’s two-volume novel published in 1989, the film was released theatrically in 1995 and combines the talents of established anime director Junichi Sato (Sailor Moon) and the late renowned animator/director Kazuo Komatsubara (Miyazaki’s Nausicaa: The Valley of the Wind).

Other films to be screened in 35mm include, The Animatrix Sakura Wars: The Movie, Akira, Blood: The Last Vampire, Tenchi Muyo in Love, Perfect Blue, Jungle Emperor Leo, Patlabor WXIII: The Movie, Armitage III: Polymatrix, Escaflowne, Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade and Char’s Counterattack. Many of the titles will be presented in Japanese language with English subtitles.

A slate of other films will be screened on video. For a complete list of titles and special guest, visit www.anime-expo.org.