North Carolina's Animazement to Host Toshiyuki Watanabe, Sōichi Noguchi

posted on by Kyle Hallmark
May convention to also donate to Kumamoto earthquake relief efforts

North Carolina's Animazement convention announced on Thursday that it will host composer Toshiyuki Watanabe and astronaut Sōichi Noguchi at its 2016 convention.

Watanabe is a Japanese composer, arranger, record producer, and educator who studied composition and arrangement for classical music and jazz at Berkley College of Music in Boston. He currently serves as a professor of music and sound design at Senzoku Gakuen College of Music, where he teaches composition and arrangement for pop songs and soundtracks. Watanabe has worked on soundtracks for Japanese television drama series such as Mori Motonari, Toshiie to Matsu, Nonchan no Yume, Karin, Dondo Hare, and Ohisama. He has also composed music for anime including Space Brothers, Ginga Hyōryū Vifam, The Irresponsible Captain Tylor, and Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince. Watanabe will perform a Space Brothers symphonic concert featuring music from the show with the Duke University String School at the convention.

Noguchi is an astronaut and the president of the Association of Space Explorers. He has served as a crew member aboard the space shuttle Discovery as well as multiple missions aboard the International Space Station. In 2012, Noguchi voiced himself as a guest role in the Space Brothers anime. In 2010, JAXA posted a photograph of Noguchi on the International Space Station wearing the signature red-arrow-on-white shirt of Susumu Kodai, the main character of the classic anime Space Battleship Yamato. In addition to Noguchi Animazement is hosting JAXA PR specialist Akane Takahashi.

Animazement also announced this month that it will partner with a number of charities for its 2016 convention, and will donate to causes such as relief efforts for the Kumamoto earthquake.

Other previously revealed guests include voice actress Aya Hirano (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya's Haruhi Suzumiya, Fairy Tail's Lucy Heartfilia, Lucky Star's Konata Izumi), animator Shingo Adachi (character design and animation director for entries in the Sword Art Online and Wagnaria!! franchises), Aniplex producer Shinichiro Kashiwada (producer for Sword Art Online, Saekano: How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend), all-female ska band Oreskaband, voice actor Yuu Mizushima (Voltron's Isamu Kurogane, Magical Angel Creamy Mami's Toshio Ohtomo), MAPPA CEO and founder Masao Maruyama, voice actress Keiko Han (Mobile Suit Gundam's Lalah Sune, Pokemon's Prof. Uchikido Sailor Moon's Luna), and mechanical illustrator/designer and voice actor Hidetaka Tenjin (mechanical art for various entries in The Super Dimension Fortress Macross franchise, voice actor for Goreinu in Hunter × Hunter). Other guests include translators Trish Ledoux and Toshifumi Yoshida, voice actresses Lauren Landa and Erica Lindbeck, and voice actors Kyle Hebert and Erik Scott Kimerer.

The convention will take place at the Raleigh Convention Center in Raleigh from May 27-29.

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