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Exclusive: Anime Expo Hosts Akira Creator Katsuhiro Otomo (Update)

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Manga artist Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, director Hiro Kaburagi, scriptwriter Ryota Kosawa, Wit Studio president George Wada also attend

Anime Expo revealed to ANN on Monday that manga creator Katsuhiro Otomo will attend this year's convention as a guest.

Staff also announced on Thursday that the convention will host manga artist Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, director Hiro Kaburagi, scriptwriter Ryota Kosawa, and Wit Studio president and CEO George Wada this year. They will appear at a Wit Studio panel on July 4 at 10:30 a.m, and they will also be available for autograph sessions. Kaburagi and Kosawa will make their first oversees convention appearances at the event.

In addition, Granblue Fantasy game producer Yuito Kimura and director Tetsuya Fukuhara will appear at a panel on July 6 at 6:30 p.m. Illustrators PICPICGRAM (Ninja Girl and the Mysterious Army of Urban Legend Monsters!) and hoshi will return to the convention. Fakku will host adult manga artist Michiking in a Q&A panel at the convention. MAPPA CEO Manabu Otsuka, MAPPA chief producer Makoto Kimura, and BlockPunk CEO Julian Lai-Hung will also discuss a new platform for anime creators at a panel on July 6 at 10:00 a.m.

Otomo began his career as a manga creator on such works as Domu, Kibun wa mō Sensō, and his most famous title internationally, Akira. He then branched into animation by directing part of the Robot Carnival omnibus and a feature film adaptation of his own Akira story. He directed other anime projects such as the Memories omnibus, the Gundam: Mission to the Rise event short, and the Steamboy feature. He also collaborated on Harmagedon, Roujin Z, Spriggan, Metropolis, Freedom Project and Hipira: The Little Vampire.

Sadamoto launched his career as a manga artist at Akita Publishing. He co-founded the anime studio Gainax in 1984. He worked as a character designer for anime such as Royal Space Force - The Wings of Honnêamise and Nadia - The Secret of Blue Water. Sadamoto designed the characters in the original Neon Genesis Evangelion television anime series from Gainax, as well as Hideaki Anno and Khara's ongoing film revamp of the story. He also completed the manga version of Neon Genesis Evangelion in 2014, more than 18 years after he started. Sadamoto is currently serializing the Archaic Smile manga.

Kaburagi has directed anime such as Kimi ni Todoke, Hozuki's Coolheadedness, My Little Monster, and 91 Days. Kosawa has provided scripts for the 60-sai no Love Letter manga, Air Bound anime film, and Parasyte and Always: Sunset on Third Street live-action films. Wada founded Wit Studio in 2012 after working as a producer at Production I.G He has produced anime such as Attack on Titan, Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, and The Ancient Magus' Bride.

This year's Anime Expo will take place from July 4 to 7 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The event will hold an audition with the upcoming Shikizakura television anime's staff for an English-speaking role in one episode of the series. Other guests include actor Ryō Kitamura, manga creator Bisco Hatori, Love Live! Sunshine!!'s Aqours group (without Arisa Komiya), singer Kanako Ito, composer Yoshihiro Ike, artist Utako Yukihiro, illustrator Hao, voice actresses Saya Horigome and Asuka Itou, producers Hiroyuki Omori and Takamitsu Sueyoshi, Street Fighter producer Yoshinori Ono, illustrator Sayori, and Studio Saizensen founder Toshinobu Kondō.

Sentai Filmworks will host a premiere of the Uta no Prince Sama Maji Love Kingdom anime film during the event. Sekai Project will premiere the first episode of the Nekopara television anime during the event.

Update: Appearance details of Sadamoto, Kaburagi, Kosawa, and Wada added.

Sources: Email correspondence, Anime Expo's website (link 2)

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