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Anime Expo Hosts Touhou Creator ZUN, Character Designer Akira Yasuda

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Also: Star Ocean staff, Production I.G, live-action Ghost in the Shell producer, Touhou dōjin & Yomawari: Night Alone directors

NIS America announced on Wednesday that it will bring Touhou Project creator ZUN, Touhou Genso Rondo: Bullet Ballet director Yuro Kyoya, Touhou Genso Wanderer director JYUNYA, and Yomawari: Night Alone director and lead designer Yu Mizokami to the Anime Expo convention.

In addition, Anime Expo announced on Wednesday that it is hosting the staff of Square Enix's Star Ocean 5: Integrity and Faithlessness game including Akira Yasuda, Hiroshi Ogawa, and Shūichi Kobayashi; Maki Terashima-Furuta from Production I.G, joined by producer Ari Arad; Maidreamin maid cafe chain's Ayame, Hinata, and Mariru; and Japanese artistic pole dancer momoMc.

ZUN is the sole member of Touhou Project creator Team Shanghai Alice, and independently produces the main installments of the Touhou series of bullet hell shooters as a character designer, graphic artist, composer, and programmer. Yuro Kyoya is a member of dōjin circle CUBETYPE, which developed the Touhou Genso Rondo: Bullet Ballet game. JYUNYA is a member of dōjin AQUASTYLE, which developed the Touhou Genso Wanderer game. NIS America is releasing both games in the west.

Yu Mizokami is a developer in Nippon Ichi Software (the parent company of NIS America), joining in 2013 to join the development of the Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance and htoL# NiQ: The Firefly Diary games. She began development on Yomawari: Night Alone in 2014. NIS America is releasing the game in the west.

Yasuda is a former employee of Capcom, and drew character designs and illustrations for iconic game franchises such as Street Fighter II, Darkstalkers, X-Men: Children of the Atom, and Breath of Fire. He also worked on character designs for Turn A Gundam and Bodacious Space Pirates, and provided mechanical designs for Overman King Gainer, Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion, and Gundam Reconguista in G.

Ogawa has worked on notable tri-Ace projects, including Valkyrie Profile and Infinite Undiscovery. He also worked on Star Ocean: The Second Story and Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, and worked as a battle system designer in Final Fantasy XIII.

The Star Ocean 5: Integrity and Faithlessness staff will have a Meet and Greet session on July 1, and will participate in a Star Ocean fan gathering and launch party for the game. They will also participate in a Star Ocean panel on July 2, and Yasuda will have autograph sessions from July 1-3.

Kobayashi has worked as a producer for Square Enix on such titles as The Last Remnant, Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, Star Ocean: The Last Hope, and the Gunslinger Stratos: The Animation anime series. He has also worked on Grandia III, Valkyrie Profile, and Radiata Stories, and is credited as planning manager on Chō Soku Henkei Gyrozetter.

Terashima-Furuta has worked as a producer or executive producer on such anime projects as Love Hina, Immortal Grand Prix, Blood: The Last Vampire, Halo Legends, FLCL, Mao-chan, Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror, and Eden of the East.

Arad was a producer on Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, and is currently a producer in the upcoming live-action Ghost in the Shell film.

Both Terashima-Furuta and Arad will participate in a Production I.G panel, which will discuss Toonami's planned sequel project to FLCL, the Perfect Bones collaborative anime project between Project I.G and Netflix, and the live-action Ghost in the Shell film.

Ayame, Hinata, and Mariru are the three top maids of the Maidreamin maid cafe restaurant. The Maidreamin maid cafe chain began in Akihabara in 2008, and now has 17 locations. They will participate in the convention's Maid Cafe event, appearing in the first two shows each day at 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

monoMc is an artistic pole dancer who has won the Grand Award Winner of the 2015 International Pole Theater Japan, Comedy category and Pole Battle Tokyo, SEXY category awards. She is the "Official Pole Dancer" of Club ageHA. She will participate in the convention's Night Cafe, appearing at the convention at 7:00 p.m. on July 1, 9:00 p.m. on July 2, and 11:00 p.m. on July 3.

Anime Expo will celebrate its 25th anniversary this year from July 1 to July 4 in Los Angeles. The convention will also host Vampire Hunter D and Final Fantasy artist Yoshitaka Amano; Mega Man co-creator and comcept founder Keiji Inafune; director Makoto Shinkai; Blue Exorcist creator Kazue Kato; My Hero Academia director Kenji Nagasaki, and English dub actors Justin Briner and Chris Sabat; visual novel scenario writer Kōtarō Uchikoshi; producer Reo Kurosu; Your Lie in April manga creator Naoshi Arakawa; singer Michi; voice actress Chika Anzai; voice actor Junichi Suwabe; Monster Musume creator OKAYADO; Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto creator Nami Sano; BONES studio president Masahiko Minami; Castlevania: Symphony of the Night designer Koji Igarashi; Macross creator Shoji Kawamori; P.A. Works CEO, founder, and producer Kenji Horikawa; musician TeddyLoid; FLCL 2 guests Kazuya Tsurumaki and Mayumi Shintani; voice actor Tetsuya Kakihara; minori producer nbkz (Nobukazu Sakai); CLOCKUP illustrator Shigeo Hamashima; Anju Inami, Rikako Aida, Nanaka Suwa, Arisa Komiya, Kanako Takatsuki, and Ai Furihata from the Love Live! Sunshine!! idol group Aqours; and One-Punch Man anime director Shingo Natsume, voice actor Makoto Furukawa (Saitama) and opening theme song performers JAM Project.

Other musical guests include Eir Aoi, Luna Haruna, Minami, Sphere, T.M. Revolution, Yoko Ishida, DJ Kazu, FLOW, OLDCODEX, and Dancing Dolls.

The convention will also host a P.A. Works 15th Anniversary Exhibit in the Entertainment Hall, presented by Horikawa. Additionally Anime Expo will host a "Cowboy Bebop Jazz Cat Experience" performance event, the world premiere of Shinkai's newest film your name. (Kimi no Na wa.), and the the premiere of the first English-dubbed episode of the One-Punch Man anime. Aniplex USA will also premiere the English dub of ERASED at the convention.

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