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Otakon to Host Kenji Horikawa, Nobuhiro Kikuchi, Kazuki Higashiji, TakaOtacraft, Masao Maruyama

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
P.A. Works staff will showcase studio's 15th anniversary exhibit

Maryland anime convention Otakon announced last Thursday and Friday that it will host Kenji Horikawa, Nobuhiro Kikuchi, and Kazuki Higashiji of anime studio P.A. Works; producer Masao Maruyama; Shiro Dogu and Shunsuke Wada of TakaOtacraft; and the P.A. Works 15th Anniversary Exhibit.

Horikawa founded the P.A. Works studio and serves as its CEO and producer. Kikuchi serves as manager and producer at the same studio. Higashiji is a background art director, and has directed backgrounds for P.A. Works and other projects. The P.A. Works 15th Anniversary Exhibit will include production artworks and production items for such anime as True Tears, Angel Beats!, Hana-Saku Iroha, The Eccentric Family, SHIROBAKO, Charlotte, and Kuromukuro. The exhibit will also feature P.A. Works' collaborations with various local governments in Japan. P.A. Works previously showed the exhibit at Anime Expo in July.

Dogu is a former programmer who eventually joined his family business as a metal craftsman and caster. Wada is a former CG designer who now works as an engraver as part of his family business. Both are part of the TakaOtacraft group of craftsmen that fuses otaku culture with the traditional craftsmanship of Takaoka. The group will showcase some of their art features during the convention, including a piece made exclusively for Otakon based on P.A. Works' Kuromukuro.

Maruyama was involved in the establishment of MADHOUSE in 1972. Since then, he has nurtured talents such as Tetsuro Araki, Atsuko Ishizuka and the late Satoshi Kon. Among the anime he has produced are Unico, Ninja Scroll, Card Captor Sakura, Monster, Death Note, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Paprika, Redline, and Supernatural the Animation. Maruyama left MADHOUSE in 2011 to form MAPPA. This year's appearance will mark his 14th appearance at Otakon.

Otakon will be held at the Baltimore Convention Center from August 12-14. The convention will also host: singer MICHI; voice actor Kazutomi Yamamoto; voice actress Yui Makino; producer Koji Morimoto and Kinema Citrus' Muneki Ogasawara; Under the Dog scriptwriter Jirō Ishii; rock band ALL OFF; voice actors and actresses Zach Aguilar, Ray Chase, Robbie Daymond, Aaron Dismuke, Caitlin Glass, Erik Scott Kimerer, Lauren Landa, Michael Liscio, Jr., Max Mittelman, Sarah Natochenny, Lisa Ortiz, Haven Paschall, Alyson Leigh Rosenfeld, Sonny Strait, and Alexis Tipton; director Kazuki Akane; director Kasumi Fukagawa; producer Yoshitaka Kawaguchi; director LeSean Thomas; and the "Man at Arms: Reforged" online show.

The Otakon Matsuri street festival will be held on August 11 at Baltimore's West Shore Park. Persona series rapper Lotus Juice and singer Shihoko Hirata, as well as Naruto singer Diana Garnet will perform at Otakon Matsuri.

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