Guests of Honor

Lex & the Con Artists

May 16, 2019

LEX & The Con Artists are a group of friends in the Bay Area who love anime, games, and music. We are huge nerds and thrilled to be playing at FanimeCon!

LEX & The Con Artists are the full-band version of LEX the Lexicon Artist, a nerdcore hip-hop artist currently based in Oakland, California. A graduate of UC Berkeley, LEX began the project in 2016 by writing and performing original songs inspired by her multicultural  upbringing, her psychology education, and popular culture. Since then, LEX has become a mainstay performer at anime, gaming, and technology conventions across the country, connecting to thousands of fans with her relatable songs about nerd culture and personal identity. LEX and The Con Artists have played at Music And Gaming West (MAGWest) in Santa Clara, and Music And Gaming Festival (MAGFest) in Maryland. LEX herself has performed at the Official SXSW Nerdcore Showcase, and toured nationally with rapper and Adult Swim veteran mc chris.

LEX & The Con Artists are (from left to right):

Audie Reyes Jr. – Guitar
Chris Songco – Bass, Vocals
LEX the Lexicon Artist – Vocals
Jay Kim – Violin
Ben Visini – Drums

Phoenix Ash

Phoenix Ash

May 16, 2019

Phoenix Ash is America’s own Japanese Rock band. As the sole Americans on the influential Plug Records label in Japan, Phoenix Ash is breaking musical and cultural barriers, fusing the essences of Japanese and American rock with their unique brand of infectious melodies and heart pumping anthems.

Phoenix Ash’s debut Japanese album Cross the Blue is available from all major retailers across Japan. This two disc set contains a mix of the band’s original J-Rock anthems as well as Japanese rock covers from anime and TV.

After establishing themselves as a mainstay of video game and Japanese animation conventions across the West Coast, Phoenix Ash prepared for their next big leap: into Asia. Signing with legendary producer Yoshinobu Toida (X Japan, GLAY, DaizyStripper) and Plug Records, the band launched its debut Japanese album and performed two Japanese tours, including a guest appearance by guitarist Cameron with pop icon Arashi Moritomo.

Phoenix Ash’s next studio album, entitled VOICES is slated for release on May 24, 2019. Whether it be in the U.S.A. or in Japan, Phoenix Ash is leaving a wake in the world of high energy hard rock that can’t be ignored! We are proud to welcome back Phoenix Ash as our MusicFest Guests of Honor for their second time performing at FanimeCon!

Jad Saxton

April 18, 2019

Jād (jade) Saxton is a voice actor and ADR Director with over 150 roles in anime and video games. She is best known for her roles as Kanna in Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, Carla in Fairy Tail, Yuki in Wolf Children, Young Nico Robin in One Piece, Koneko in High School DxD, Hatchin in Michiko & Hachin (Toonami), Faris in Steins; Gate, Haruna in Is This a Zombie?, Sena Kashiwazaki in Hagani, Adèlie in Space Dandy (Toonami), Mira in Dimension W (Toonami), Nona in Death Parade, and Akatsuki in Log Horizon.

As a FUNimation ADR director Jād has helmed the loveable Interviews with Monster Girls, Touken Ranbu-Hanamaru, and The Silver Guardian!
She also lends her voice to video games playing Maeve in Paladins, Expelled Hel in Smite, and as a Time Patroller in Dragon Ball Xenoverse 1 and 2.

Jād has also voiced characters in Love Tyrant, My Hero Academia, Himouto! Umaru-chan, KanColle, JCode Geass: Akito the Exiled, Akiba’s Trip, Puzzle & Dragons, Monster Hunter Stories RIDE ON, Keijo!, Danganronpa, Servamp, Chaos;Child, The Silver Guardian, Izetta: The Last Witch,  Handa-Kun, Garo the Animation, Grimgar, Ashes and Illusions, Terror in Resonance, Gangsta, Tokyo Ghoul,  Show By Rock!, Strike Witches, Soul Eater, Baccano!, Ghost Hunt, Rolling Girls, No-Rin,  Date A Live II, Lord Marksman and Vanadis, Nobunagun, Rage of Bahamut: Genesis, Kamisama Kiss, Psycho-pass, Last Exile: Fam The Silver Wing, Karneval, Mass Effect: Paragon Lost, Shangri-La, A Certain Magical Index, B Gata H Kei – Yamada’s First Time, and Okami-san & Her Seven Companions.

Social Media:
https://www.facebook.com/jadsaxton/
https://twitter.com/jadbsaxton

Chris Patton

April 15, 2019

Chris Patton has been lending his voice to characters in anime, video games, and audiobooks for more than 20 years! Some of his most notable roles include Greed in Fullmetal Alchemist, Asura in Soul Eater, Sousuke Sagara in the entire Full Metal Panic! franchise, Turles in the Dragon Ball Z franchise, Eiji in Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale, and Hajime in the now-infamous dub of Ghost Stories.

After spending the first decade or so of his acting life in live theater productions, Chris happened upon a casting call for voice actors for a company in Houston, Texas called ADV Films. An audition or two later, Chris became part of the ADV stable of regular actors and was soon caught up in the anime explosion of 2003-2006, a time in which he was spending almost every day of the week, all day, at ADV Films voicing everything from leads to inanimate objects!

Soon, of course, this lead to a cross-pollinated career voice acting for Funimation in Dallas, where he would land some of his most iconic roles, which he’s very grateful for to this day. Now, he lives in Los Angeles, where he voices everything from the occasional RPG to foreign language titles for Netflix, and continues to work in live theater. All in all, Chris’ voice appears in nearly 300 anime titles, 150 audiobooks, and numerous video games, commercials, industrials, and more. He’s even been the voice of an exhibit at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts!

His favorite roles include Fakir in Princess Tutu, Ayato in Diabolik Lovers and Diabolik Lovers 2: More Blood, Gawain in Fate/Stay: Extra, Kliff in Fire Emblem Echoes and Heroes, and many more. In the realm of adaptation, Chris has written the dub scripts, in part or whole, for Hamatora, Gravion Zwei, and Gantz. In the world of live theater, he’s an award-winning director of productions of Green Day’s American Idiot, Silence! The Musical, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

In his spare time, Chris is a retrowave/goth DJ, a roller coaster nerd, and an avid reader. He lives in Los Angeles with his boyfriend (who fronts a punk rock band called Girlfiend) and their two cats, Jynx and Nox.

Instagram: @chris_patton_again

Toshihiro Kawamoto

April 09, 2019

Animator. Character Designer. Director. Cover Artist. Studio Bones co-founder Toshihiro Kawamoto has taken on many roles throughout his career. Kawamoto has worked on many beloved anime series including Cowboy Bebop, My Hero Academia, Fullmetal Alchemist, Ouran High School Host Club, Mobile Suit Gundam, and many more. For his first year at FanimeCon, he is excited to talk about his most recent work as animation director for the movie, Eureka Seven: Hi-Evolution.

D-Piddy

April 07, 2019

Cosplaying and attending geek-centric social gatherings since the release of Hello Kitty: Roller Rescue on Nintendo’s short lived GameCube, D-Piddy’s unique take of the morally ambiguous Deadpool has infused levity and multi-fandom awareness to a character many fans have admired for years. After starting his YouTube channel in late 2012, D-Piddy now creates content that spans various genres within pop culture, sometimes even collaborating with the likes of Marvel, 20th Century Fox, Funimation, Bandai Namco Entertainment, and many more!

Destined to save the world, D-Piddy now travels the universe on his trusty robot unicorn, the Mikazuki 5, always on the lookout to discover new meanings to life and pursuing knowledge, adventure, and love. Nowadays you can also find him playing his favorite video games on Twitch. You can find D-Piddy in the Artist Alley or at one of the many panels he’ll be hosting at FanimeCon.

D-Piddy’s Social Media:
YouTube: Main Channel (D Piddy) https://www.youtube.com/user/MercWithTheMoves
YouTube: Second Channel (D-Piddy #2) https://www.youtube.com/dpiddy2
Twitter: https://twitter.com/_dpiddy
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/_dpiddy/

THE BEAT GARDEN

April 03, 2019

FanimeCon would like to welcome THE BEAT GARDEN as our MusicFest 2019 Guests of Honor!

This amazing quartet of three vocalists and one DJ formed in August 2012 after vocalists U, REI and MASATO met in Osaka. They released two albums, WILL in 2015 and AIR in 2016, before DJ SATORU joined the group in late 2015. They performed multiple sold-out concerts at venues and festivals across Japan before releasing their first major label single, “Never End” with Universal Sigma.

Their second single “Promise You” was featured on many radio programs, eventually becoming so popular that the band was featured on the Radio On-Air Chart and reached Number 1 on Billboard’s Airplay Chart. Soon after they released their major label debut album I’m, which placed fifth on the Oricon Daily Ranking Chart. The album also included their song “Walk This Way” which became the second opening theme for the popular anime Rage of Bahamut: Virgin Soul.

In 2018, the band organized their first live event, KOKOROZASHI ALIVE. Soon after came their single, “Sonna hibi ga tsuduiteiku koto” and a solo concert, which quickly sold out.

THE BEAT GARDEN has started 2019 off with a bang by releasing their latest album Message on March 20th and embarking on their largest solo tour since they started making music, including their performance at FanimeCon!

Social Media:
http://thebeatgarden.com
https://twitter.com/TBG_account
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1o4SbQvLYpqYZlUKPRWaRQ

Gilles Poitras

March 20, 2019

Retired librarian Gilles Poitras grew up in California where he was not only geographically closer to Japan than most of the U.S., but also was exposed to many things Japanese. From the wooden toys he bought at the corner store, to sharing Botan Rice Candy with friends, to eating curry made with S&B curry powder, he had no idea that any of it was from Japan. He became a fan of world cinema in high school and in college this led him to explore what little was known in English about anime. In 1990, he received a phone call from a friend who had discovered a new student club at U.C. Berkeley devoted to anime—Cal Animage Alpha—and began attending their meetings. He was hooked.

Since then, 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 was a member of 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. In fact, he’s even been a guest at FanimeCon through the majority of its 25 years as a convention! He’s also taught day-long workshops for librarians, introduced anime films at the Smithsonian, and even taught an eight-week course on the subject for Pixar staff. Gilles even once 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 does research on Japan. When he can save enough vacation time and money, he visits Tokyo—a city is he so interested in that he has been called a Tokyo otaku by a friend who lives there. Currently, he is working on three books at a far too slow pace.

VampyBitMe

March 13, 2019

Known by her cosplayer name VampyBitMe, Linda Le originally came from a small town in Oklahoma before moving to California. She was discovered by Kotobukiya and Danny Choo after being featured in OTACOOL 2, and since then her costumes have been a worldwide success! She has been featured on Marvel.com, as well as partnering with Capcom, Bandai, DC, and various game companies in order to bring characters to life through cosplay. Recently featured on CNN’s “24 Hours in the Life of a Worldwide Cosplayer,” she also works part-time for the Japanese company Banpresto World Figure Colosseum as the official marketing rep for One Piece and Dragon Ball Z figures. Linda continues to travel the world, talking about armor making, building Gundam models, and creating new artwork. She loves meeting passionate people and enjoys streaming her passions on Twitch. She can’t wait to be back to FanimeCon this year to share her love of cosplay with you all!

Social Media:
Twitter: twitter.com/VampyBitme
Twitch: twitch.tv/vampybitme
Instagram: instagram.com/vampybitme
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VAMPYBITME/

The Dex!

March 06, 2019

Alex Faciane and PokéKellz are the main creative force and hosts behind The Dex, a long-running informative YouTube channel all about Pokémon, from biology and anthropology to kooky conspiracy theories! Inspired by the likes of Bill Nye and Alton Brown, The Dex is a family-friendly take on Pokémon trivia and battle strategy that’s enjoyed all over the world.

Alex Faciane is a writer, host, journalist, and comedian who’s worked everywhere from MatPat’s Game Theory to Myspace. He also currently appears as a co-host on Super Beard Bros, Scary Game Squad, Multiplayer Mayhem, Star Wars: New Canon Book Club, and the Chilluminati Paranormal Podcast, along with writing, producing, and starring in original content at ThatOneVideoGamer. He also appears as “Ronik” in the video game boss-driven boyband Big Bad Bosses on their album Power Overwhelming, with music and lyrics by Shovel Knight and OK K.O. composer Jake Kaufman.

Kellz is a practicing registered veterinary technician at an emergency specialty animal hospital in Los Angeles by day. She is also seasoned improv comedian with 10 years of performing experience at ComedySportz Los Angeles, along with her extensive principal character voiceover work all across the internet, from the hit show Smosh Babies to the Kickstarter-funded cartoon series Obituary, animated by Studio Yotta.

Social Media:
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheNationalDex

Alex Faciane:
Instagram: @FacianeA
Twitter: @FacianeA
YouTube: YouTube.com/SuperBeardBros

Kellz:
Instagram: @PokeKellz
Twitter: @PokeKellz