Guests of Honor

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Sky Williams

Posted by | April 29, 2016

Sky Williams is a comedic entertainer and gamer on Twitch and YouTube, most known for his videos and commentary on League of Legends. He also streams, plays, and blogs about other games like the Super Smash Bros. series, games that he loves, and other things going on around him. In addition to video blogging, Mr. Williams uses his comedic talents to do stand-up comedy and was a finalist in Flappers’ Uncle Clyde’s Comedy Contest. FanimeCon is excited to welcome Mr. Williams as a guest of honor!

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Yoshihiro Watanabe

Posted by | April 28, 2016

Born in Niigata, Japan on July 4th, 1971, Yoshihiro Watanabe is an animator, character designer, and mechanical designer. His character design credits include Haganai, Heaven’s Lost Property, and Soul Link. Mr. Watanabe has also provided mechanical designs for series such as Please Teacher!, DearS, Minami-ke, Silent Mobius, and many more. Mobile Suit Gundam and Transformers have been credited as his inspirations, and aside from anime, he has also provided R18 game illustrations under the name “Moo°C Dan” (pronounced “mood-dan”). FanimeCon will be his first event overseas and we are happy to have him!

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Cristina Vee

Posted by | April 24, 2016

Cristina Vee is a voice actress from Los Angeles, CA. Since getting her first large anime roles in 2007, Cristina has voiced over 100 characters in both animation and video games. Anime fans know her as Mio Akiyama in K-ON!, Alisa Bosconovitch in Tekken Blood Vengeance, Homura Akemi in Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Morgiana in Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, the eleven Honoka sisters in Netflix’s Knights of Sidonia, Killua Zoldyck in Hunter x Hunter, Fujiko Mine in Lupin III: Jigen’s Gravestone, Hawk in The Seven Deadly Sins, Kotori Minami in Love Live!, Izumi Shimomura in AJIN, and Riruka Dokugamine in Bleach. She is the new voice of Sailor Mars in her favorite show, Sailor Moon Crystal! She voices Marinette Dupain-Cheng/Ladybug in Nickelodeon’s Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug and Cat Noir. She also makes appearances in Sword Art Online, Naruto, Kill la Kill, Fate/Zero, Doraemon, Accel World, and Squid Girl.

On the video game scene she is popular for her voice work as Noel Vermillion and the Murakumo Units in the Blazblue series; Compa in the Neptunia series; Lian Shi in Dynasty Warriors; Cerebella in Skullgirls; Riven the Exile in League of Legends; Nova in Tales of Xillia 2 (“Pay your debt!”); Shantae in Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse and Shantae: Half-Genie Hero; Four in Drakengard 3; Karna and Bani in Ys: Memories of Celceta; Serina in Conception II; and Cinque in Final Fantasy Type-0 HD.

Beyond voice acting she has a large YouTube following for her singing. She provides vocals to songs in Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why’d You Steal Our Garbage!? and Shantae: Half-Genie Hero. She currently casts and directs Skullgirls and is recognizable to eSports fans for hosting IGN’s IPL 4 and 5.

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Daisuke Sakaguchi

Posted by | April 14, 2016

Daisuke Sakaguchi is a voice actor affiliated with Aoni Production. Perhaps best known for his portrayal of Shinpachi Shimura in the Gintama series which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, Mr. Sakaguchi’s long list of credits also include Jacuzzi Splot (Baccano!), Xeno (World Trigger), Uso Ewin (Mobile Suit Victory Gundam), Satoshi Fukube (Hyouka), and Leonardo Watch in the recent hit Blood Blockade Battlefront. He is an animal lover and even holds a Level 3 Dinosaur Exam Certification from Animal Planet Japan. FanimeCon is excited to welcome Mr. Sakaguchi as a guest of honor!

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Gilles Poitras

Posted by | April 13, 2016

Gilles was raised in the Northern Central Valley of California. As a child he played with Japanese wooden toys bought at the corner store, watched girls at school do origami, and played various games that none of the kids knew were from Japan. In high school he became a fan of world cinema, and when he was in college this led him to explore what little was known in English about anime. One day in 1990 he received a phone call from a friend who had discovered a new student club at U.C. Berkeley, Cal Animage Alpha, devoted to anime. For years he regularly attended and became completely hooked on anime and manga.

He has written three books on anime: The Anime Companion, Anime Essentials and The Anime Companion 2. He has also written for NewType USA and Otaku USA. Gilles also sat on the senior board of Mechademia. Over the years he has done presentations on anime for various Japan-US friendship groups, public libraries, the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, and conventions. He has also presented all day workshops for librarians, introduced anime films at the Smithsonian, and even taught an eight week course on the subject for Pixar staff. Most recently he foolishly agreed to encapsulate the history of manga and anime from 1960 to the present as a one hour presentation for the San Francisco Public Library. A video of that event is online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdHrYZtjLys.

In his spare time Gilles reads manga, watches anime, and researches about Japan. When he can save enough vacation time and money, he visits Tokyo – a city he is so interested in that he has been called a Tokyo otaku by a friend who lives there. Currently he is working on two books at a far too slow pace.

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Masaya Matsukaze

Posted by | April 04, 2016

Masaya Matsukaze is an actor and voice actor affiliated with Aoni Production. His acting career began in 1997 when he portrayed Mega Blue in the Super Sentai series Denji Sentai Megaranger. His voice acting credits include Kyoya Ootori (Ouran High School Host Club), Zoisite (Sailor Moon Crystal), Gaelio Bauduin (Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans), Shin Hyuuga Shaingu (Code Geass: Akito the Exiled), Teru Mikami (DEATH NOTE), and Illumi Zoldyck (HUNTER x HUNTER). Game enthusiasts will recognize him as Ryo Hazuki in the Shenmue series, a role he will be reprising thanks to the success of the recent Kickstarter campaign. Mr. Matsukaze will also be starring as Yasuhiro Hagakure in the Danganronpa stage play later this year. FanimeCon is proud to be his first event appearance outside Asia!

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Da-iCE

Posted by | March 29, 2016

Da-iCE (pronounced “Dice”) consists of five members, each representing one side of a six-sided dice (their fans represent the sixth side). The intentional “a-i” in the band’s name means “love” in Japanese.

Yūdai, previously the lead vocalist of an a capella group, Sōta, who was working as a solo vocalist, and Taiki, Tōru, and Hayate, who were working as dancers, met in January of 2011 and started working together, seeking to establish a new style of vocal group.

They hired famous dancers both within and outside of Japan to help them, and incorporating the choreography they learned, they focused with determination on performing at a world-class level– doing over 100 live shows a year at venues as varied as clubs to stadiums.

In 2012 they opened for their agency’s AAA tour to much acclaim, then received a flood of offers to perform many large-scale music festivals, fashion events, and magazines.

In December of the same year their 1st mini album “Da-iCE” achieved a ranking of 15 on the Oricon Daily Ranking Chart, and the song “Splash” from that album ranked 1st on the Recochoku Ringtone Daily Chart.

Their 1st indie single “I’ll be back,” released on Wednesday, June 5, 2013, achieved a ranking of 14 on the Oricon Weekly Ranking Chart (and went as high as 12 on the Daily Ranking Chart).

The fact that they were able to get two songs ranked 1st consecutively on the Recochoku Ringtone Daily Chart was considered unprecedented for indie artists and quite notable.

It goes without saying that they worked on their visual appeal from their indie days, but Yūdai also possesses an earthy voice, cultivated by his experience in a capella– a voice that wraps one up in a deep embrace, while Sōta possesses a set of feminine vocal chords with an unusually high tone, or “baby” voice, and the interweave of the two of them results in a four-octave range with an overwhelming presence that you just didn’t feel with other vocal dance groups.

In July of 2013, they announced that they were planning to debut early in 2014. They were then selected to be the special opening act of the “SIGMA FES. 2013~U-EXPRESS LIVE AUTUMN~” held on Saturday, September 14, 2013.

In October, they implemented the previously unheard-of plan of letting their fans decide their debut song by nationwide voting. This became a popular topic of discussion on social media and they gathered over 10,000 votes. The votes determined that their debut song would be “SHOUT IT OUT,” a song that they often opened their live shows with; a song that was thought of as being representative of Da-iCE as their “starting song.”

According to plan, they debuted under UNIVERSAL SIGMA (of the music label Universal Music Japan) on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 with the single that over 10,000 votes had decided– “SHOUT IT OUT”, and it shot up to 2nd place on the Oricon Daily Ranking, achieving 4th place on the Weekly Ranking, a spectacular debut.

They followed up their debut with the release of their 2nd single “TOKI” on Wednesday, April 9th, which also achieved a ranking of 3rd on the Oricon Daily Ranking and 5th on the Weekly Ranking.

Their 3rd single, “Hush Hush,” released on Wednesday, August 27th, achieved a ranking of 3rd on the Oricon Daily Ranking and 8th on the Weekly Ranking, netting them 3 consecutive singles in the top 3 of the Daily Ranking and top 10 of the Weekly Ranking.
On Wednesday, October 15th they released their 1st album “FIGHT BACK,” which included the 3 singles they released after their debut, achieving a ranking of 1 on the Oricon Daily Ranking and 3rd on the Weekly Ranking.

The next year, they released their first ballad single “Mō Ichido Dake (Just One More Time)” on Wednesday, January 7, 2015, which was ranked 2nd on both the Oricon Daily Ranking and Weekly Ranking.

Continuing on, they simultaneously released their 2nd single of 2015, “BILLION DREAMS” and their 2nd LIVE DVD “Da-iCE LIVE TOUR PHASE 3 ~FIGHT BACK~” on Wednesday, April 15th, with “BILLION DREAMS” achieving a ranking of 1 on the Oricon Daily Ranking and 4 on the Weekly Ranking, and a first-time iTunes Weekly Album Ranking of 1.

In May they started their nation-wide tour “Da-iCE Live House Tour 2015 – PHASE 4 -” and followed up their “Akasaka BLITZ Performance – 2DAYS” final performances on Wednesday, July 29th and Thursday, July 30th with the release of their 6th single “Everybody” on Wednesday, August 12th. “Everybody” got ranked 1 on the iTunes Weekly Album Ranking and 3 on the Oricon Weekly Ranking.

In November they released their 4th single of 2015 and 7th overall single “HELLO,” ranking in at 2nd on the Oricon Daily Ranking, 3rd on the Weekly Ranking, and 1st on the iTunes Weekly Album Ranking.

In the same month, they started their “Da-iCE Live Houst Tour 2015-2016 -PHASE 4 HELLO-,” a continuation of their nationwide tour “Da-iCE Live Houst Tour 2015 – PHASE 4 -” that had ended in July. Through this tour they got a strong turn-out of approximately 30,000 people.

On January 6, 2016 they released their much-awaited 2nd album “EVERY SEASON”, achieving a rank of 1 on the Oricon Daily Ranking. On the Weekly Ranking, they got around 50,000 more points than they ever had before, netting them a 2nd place ranking.
Progressing quickly onwards, on Wednesday, April 6th, they simultaneously launched their 8th single “WATCH OUT” and their 3rd LIVE DVD “Da-iCE Live House Tour 2015-2016 -PHASE 4 HELLO- .”

Starting in July, they will be holding their first Hall Tour across Japan, culminating in a performance at the Tokyo Nippon Budōkan on Tuesday, January 1, 2017, which has been a long-term goal and a dream come true for them.

Befitting their meteoric rise, they were awarded the 2015 29th Japan Gold Disc Award for “Best 5 New Artist.” Furthermore, in Japan they are getting attention on TV and radio programs, magazines, and social media, etc with the catchphrases “Attractiveness Rating is high with a score of 75 (literally, “Facial Deviation Score of 75”)” and “The Prettiest of the Pretty Boys (literally, the “Tokyo University student equivalent in the pretty-boy world”).”

To learn more about Da-iCE, please visit their official website, Facebook page, or watch their music video for “Watch Out” or “Back to the Future“.

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Aicosu

Posted by | March 14, 2016

Aicosu, the couple cosplay team of Sheila & Sylar, have been cosplaying collectively for eight years. With over 100 cosplays and 50 conventions made and attended, they focus on bringing more than just cosplays to the community. They are well known for answering any and all questions to those beginning or even advanced in Cosplay and hope to teach new things in their panels and programming. Aicosu can be found on the convention floors, at their workshops, or at their table and are always open to discussing everything from cosplay construction to which Dragon Age game was the best.