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Otakon 2004
Opening Ceremonies

by George Phillips,
On a hot, humid Friday afternoon, hours after the first panels, and hours before some fans would walk through the registration lines, Opening Ceremonies kicked off, signaling the official start of the 11th Otakon. Terry Chu, this year's Convention Chairperson, said that the “spirit of the fans [that] produces Otakon.”

Ichiro Okouchi

Tatsuo Satō

Yutaka Minowa

Yuzo Sato

Images courtesy of and © Kevin Lillard

Following Terry's brief introduction, two "Otaku Olympics" announcers spoke to Opening Ceremonies attendees about proper convention etiquette and introduced the guests. This year, guests came from Japan, Hong Kong, the United States and Sweden.

Guests this year include:
Koge Donbo, creator of Digicharat, Tiny Snow Fairy Sugar and many more series.

Yutaka Minowa, character designer of Vampire Hunter D, with production credits on Lodoss War and Five Star Stories.

Ichiro Okouchi, writer for Azumanga Daioh, Turn A Gundam, and Stellvia.

Tatsuo Satō, whose career in anime began in 1989, and who worked on Akazukin Cha Cha and Kare Kano as screenwriter. He also contributed heavily to Martian Successor Nadesico.

Yuzo Sato, who worked in the anime industry with Osamu Tezuka and continues to work on new projects to this day.

Hong Kong film director Ching Siu Tung, best known in North America for the coordination of fights in Xiaolin Soccer.

Swedish cartoonists Little Gamers!.

Fred Perry was ill and thus absent from Otakon.

Professor Matt Thorn, translator of many Viz titles including Nausicaä.

Luci Christian, ADV Films voice actress know for Yukari in Azumanga Daioh, Amelia in Slayers, and more.

Lianne Sentar writer and freelance manga adaptor, having previously worked on several Sailor Moon novelizations.

Richard Epcar, Voice of Batou, from Ghost in the Shell and Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex.

Chuck Huber, FUNimation voice actor, known for Android 17, and various voices on DB, DBGT, Lupin III and Case Closed. He could not attend opening ceremonies.

Monica Rial, ADV Films and FUNimation voice actress, known for her work as Nyamo from AzuDai, Hyatt from Excel Saga, and Amy from Case Closed.

Chris Sabat, voice actor and director for many of FUNimation's works, including Piccolo and Vegeta from DBZ, Daisuke from the Lupin III movies, and Kuwabara from YYH. He could not attend opening ceremonies.

Writer Matt Boyd, and artist Ian McConville, of the webcomic series Mac Hall.

Chris Patton, an ADV Films voice actor known for his work as Sousuke Sagara from Full Metal Panic! and Shun from Saint Seiya.

David Lister, creator of the webcomic Paradox Lost.

Following the opening ceremony, the band angela performed the opening theme to Stellvia of the Universe. Unfortunately, technical glitches delayed the performance of the song.

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