Anime Expo to Host Good Smile, Sanzigen, Max Factory Heads
posted on by Lynzee Loveridge
Anime Expo announced on Tuesday that it will host Good Smile Company president Takanori Aki, former Gonzo computer-graphics department head and SANZIGEN founder Hiroaki Matsuura, and Max Factory CEO Max Watanabe as industry guests during the July 4-7 event in Los Angeles. All three guests are scheduled to attend the Good Smile Company, Ultra Super Pictures & Max Factory panel with Steins;Gate and Black Rock Shooter illustrator huke on Thursday, July 4.
Takanori Aki serves as president of Good Smile Company, a major producer of sculpted anime and video game figures. The company's products include the popular Nendoroid line. He has served as an executive producer on a number of anime series including Black Rock Shooter, CANAAN, D.C.III ~Da Capo III~, Dog Days, Hanasaku Iroha - Blossoms for Tomorrow, Senki Zesshō Symphogear, and Tears to Tiara.
Hiroaki Matsuura was the head of Gonzo's computer-graphics department where he worked on Kaleido Star, Vandread: The Second Stage, Shangri-La, SaiKano, and Kiddy Grade. In 2006, he formed his own company SANZIGEN and worked on Mobile Suit Gundam 00, Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, Asura Cryin', 009 RE:CYBORG, and Black Rock Shooter. In 2008, SANZIGEN, Studio Trigger, LIDEN FILMS, and Ordet animation studios joined Good Smile Company in forming the Ultra Super Pictures group. Matsuura serves as the representative director of Ultra Super Pictures.
Max Watanabe is CEO of figure company Max Factory, which produces the popular Figma figure line with Good Smile Company as the distributor. Watanabe has been famous among model-making circles for years for his intricate builds of existing kits and scratchbuilt models.
Previously announced guests of Anime Expo include Precure singer Aya Ikeda, Production I.G founder Mitsuhisa Ishikawa, producer Nobuhiro Kikuchi, director Kazuchika Kise, Japanese rock band Porno Graffiti, Attack on Titan producer George Wada, Kick-Heart director Masaaki Yuasa, voice actress Megumi Han, animation director and character designer Keigo Sasaki, voice actor Kazuhiko Inoue, screenwriter Mari Okada, character designer Noizi Ito, visual kei musical acts Kaya and Moon Stream, and director Kazuhiro Furuhashi. Host Danny Choo, DJ RAM RIDER, cosplayer Alodia Gosiengfiao, and voice actors Eric Vale, Christopher R. Sabat, Kyle Hebert, and Johnny Yong Bosch will also attend.