Guests Of Honor


Takami Akai

Posted by | May 12, 2014

Born in 1961 at Yonago, Tottori, Mr. Akai would garner attention for his character design in the opening animation of the 20th Annual Japan National SF Convention (while a student at Osaka University of Arts). In addition, he directed live-action special-effects works such as “Yamata no Orochi no Gyakushū” as part of the amateur video production group DAICON FILM. The main staff of DAICON FILM went on to form GAINAX in the early 1980s.

Mr. Akai’s first works at GAINAX include such works as the company’s first PC game “Dennou Gakuen (CYBERNETIC Hi-SCHOOL)” and the trailblazing life simulation game “Princess Maker” series. In recent years, Mr. Akai can be found at the pop-culture festival “Yonago Eiga Jihen” (held in his hometown). Mr. Akai can be found directing and performing other roles for the event’s symbolic work “Daitokusatsu Kyohen Negiman” as well as working on original animation and producing.



Posted by | May 12, 2014

Noir has been featured in films as an actress and has narrated a variety of commercials. She also formed the musical unit, maRIONnetTe (with Yoshihito Onda, former producer/bassist of JUDY AND MARY) and Nobara Takemoto (novelist) for the anime series The Mystic Archives of Dantalian’s ending theme song (“yes, prisoner”). She is currently busy as the Marketing Director of GAINAX and writing the scenario for the comic, Sadon desu, serialized in Weekly Young Magazine. The illustrations for Sadon desu are drawn by Kyo Hatsuki.

This will be Noir’s first appearance at FanimeCon.


J. Michael Tatum

Posted by | April 18, 2014

Mr. Tatum was discovered by Funimation warhorse and visionary ADR director Christopher Bevins who cast him as Rikichi in 2005’s Samurai 7. Having been involved in voice acting for nearly a decade, Mr. Tatum’s career has placed him in some prominent roles that fans might recognize (Sebastian Michaelis from Black Butler, France from Hetalia: Axis Powers, Dr. Gel in the currently airing Space Dandy, and as Sir Hammerlock in the video game Borderlands 2).

In 2010, Mr. Tatum teamed up with Terri Doty and Stephen Hoff to launch That Anime Show. All episodes of this colorful, often diabolically unhinged interview web-based chat show can be downloaded on their official website. Ever the workaholic, Mr. Tatum can also be found in upcoming releases such as Attack on Titan and Psycho-Pass. If you’re wondering what the “J” stands for, Mr. Tatum has said that “it stands for whatever you’d like it to”.

We are excited to have J. Michael Tatum in attendance to his first FanimeCon.


Kira Buckland

Posted by | April 17, 2014

Ms. Buckland began voice acting at the age of sixteen, voicing flash animations and games before winning Anime Expo’s Voice Actor Idol competition in 2007. Since moving from her hometown of Anchorage, Alaska to Southern California, she has made her mark in the voice acting world and her name can be found in the credits of many anime titles (Blue Exorcist, Accel World, LaGrange, Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, and 5 Centimeters Per Second). Along with anime titles, she is credited for many video game voices (Skullgirls – as the final boss, Bloody Marie, Castle Crashers, Hyperdimension Neptunia V, Inazuma Eleven, Mugen Souls, Time and Eternity) and it was recently announced that she will play Hiyoko Saionji in Dangan Ronpa 2: Goodbye Despair.

A prolific cosplayer, Ms. Buckland will fit right in with the crowd at FanimeCon 2014. FanimeCon is thrilled to have Kira Buckland in attendance and looks forward to her interactions with fans.


Chantal Strand

Posted by | April 16, 2014

Ms. Strand got her start at a young age, doing stunts on Look Who’s Talking Now and then quickly moved into principle and leading roles (The Outer Limits, The Commish, and Air Bud). Despite her start in stunts, she is more known for her voice over roles in popular cartoons (Cassie in Dragon Tales, Bijou/Mia/Natalie in Hamtaro, and Gemini Stone/Pi/Bernard in Sabrina: the Animated Series), the Gundam Seed franchise (Lacus Clyne), and a few other notable works (Mandy/Duchess Morbucks in Powerpuff Girls Z).

In 2002, Ms. Strand was nominated for Best Supporting Performance in a Feature Length Drama and later that year, she received honors for contributing to the Emmy award-winning The New Adventures of Madeline (going on to play the title character in two feature films). These days, she spends her time voicing Diamond Tiara on the television series My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. We are sure that FanimeCon attendees and staff are excited to have Chantal Strand at FanimeCon 2014 where she will interact with fans, sign autographs, and participate in a panels.


Raj Ramayya

Posted by | April 15, 2014

The Indo-Canadian singer, composer, and lyricist has a storied history in the anime industry, having worked with some musical luminaries in the field, including Yoko Kanno (as a member of The Seatbelts). Mr. Ramayya has worked on a few different properties, including Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell, and Wolf’s Rain. He also has a number of tracks for Konami’s Bemani series of games, including songs in Beatmania IIDX, Guitar Freaks, and Drummania. His band, The Beautiful Losers, has been used on various MTV shows in the US, and for commercials in Japan for the NTT Docomo and Animal Planet.

FanimeCon is proud to have Raj Ramayya as a musical guest along with HOME MADE KAZOKU to rock this year’s MusicFest.


Hiroyuki Kanbe

Posted by | April 04, 2014

Debuting in 1988 as an animator, Hiroyuki Kanbe has worked on over 50 different titles and has a storied career in production on countless anime titles with his directorial debut on 2009’s VIPER’S CREED. Kanbe has also designed monsters for DEVIL SURVIVOR2 the ANIMATION, done storyboarding for Space Battleship Yamato 2199, Inari, KonKon, Koi Iroha, and noitaminA’s Silver Spoon.

With credits in Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, YuYu Hakusho, Evangelion, Rurouni Kenshin, and Afro Samurai, Hiroyuki Kanbe has had a hand in producing some of the most memorable franchises in existence. But it is with his most recent directorial effort, on the fan favorite series, Ore no Imoto Ga Konnani Kawaii Wake Ga Nai that he was thrust into notoriety.

As a first time FanimeCon guest, we’re excited to have Hiroyuki Kanbe in attendance and are excited for his interaction with FanimeCon attendees. Programming for Hiroyuki Kanbe will be available at closer to the convention.



Posted by | April 03, 2014

HOME MADE KAZOKU (formed in 1996) has been around for nearly two decades, and exploded on to the scene while on the country-wide Japan Club Tour in 2004. That year they signed on with the recording company, Ki/oon Records/Sony Music Entertainment Japan, Inc. and also released their first single, “SUMMER TIME MAGIC”. Anime fans will recognize HOME MADE KAZOKU from their music in various anime titles such as Eureka 7 (“Shonen Heart”), Naruto (“Shooting Star”), the theme song of Naruto Shippuden: the Movie (“NO RAIN NO RAINBOW”), and many more.

MICRO (“Small MC”), KURO (“Medium MC”), and DJ U-ICHI (“Large DJ”) released their first full album, “ROCK THE WORLD” in 2004 where it entered the Oricon charts at number 5, and remained in the top 20 for eight straight weeks. With 10 released albums and 20 singles, they have drawn numerous fans to their shows in Japan performing to sell-out audiences, including their own annual music festival called KazokuFes. Along with celebrating their 10th anniversary with their first ever best hits album (titled KAHOU~THE BEST OF HOME MADE KAZOKU), HOME MADE KAZOKU will also conclude their national tour in Japan right before they fly to FanimeCon.

FanimeCon is very excited to have HOME MADE KAZOKU and looks forward to their performance at this year’s MusicFest event as the headlining act. Programming information for HOME MADE KAZOKU will be available at as the convention draws near.


Hiroyuki Yamaga

Posted by | April 03, 2014

Hiroyuki Yamaga continues to be a much honored guest of FanimeCon (since 1997) and will return to FanimeCon 2014 to host panels where he will discuss GAINAX and answer our attendee’s eager questions. He is credited for such titles as Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi (director), Mahoromatic (director), Royal Space Force: Wings of Honneamise (director and writer), and will be writing/directing Aoki Uru (announced at the Tokyo International Anime Fair 2013).


Gilles Poitras

Posted by | April 03, 2014

Gilles is best known to previous FanimeCon attendees as a returning Guest of Honor, his works that have been published in NewType USA, Otaku USA, or by his three released books: The Anime Companion, Anime Essentials, and The Anime Companion 2. He continues to be the Access Services Librarian at Golden Gate University and continues to stay up-to-date on all things manga, anime, and Japan.