AX2004: Chigira, Okochi and Ishida Added as Guests of Honor


Largest Anime and Manga (Comic Book) Convention in the
U.S. Takes Over the Anaheim Convention Center from
July 2-5

Anaheim, California (May 24, 2004)— “Anime fans are
anxiously anticipating the largest and most
electrifying Anime Expo ever,” said Jennifer Pon,
chief executive officer of The Society for the
Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA). “And we're
thrilled to announce the addition of Japanese
animation favorites such as director Koichi Chigira,
screenwriter Ichiro Okochi and J-pop songstress Yoko
Ishida as Guests of Honor at Anime Expo 2004 (AX2004),
set for July 2-5 at the Anaheim Convention Center.”
More information is available at

Koichi Chigira's directorial credits include such fan
favorites as Full Metal Panic, Last Exile and Tokyo
Babylon. Blue Sub #6 won critical praise for its
extraordinary use of CG graphics and Mr. Chigira is
also credited for storyboarding episodes from Gundam W
and Full Metal Panic, among others. Ichiro Okochi has
worked on screenplays for shows the likes of Azumanga
Daioh, Rah Xephon, and Angelic Layer, as well as the
Turn A Gundam Movies.

And courtesy of AX2004 sponsor Geneon, this year's
convention will be graced with the songs of Guest of
Honor Yoko Ishida. Since the launch of the Para Para
Max soundtracks and the debut last year of her
successful "Sweets" album, singer Yoko Ishida has
continued to grace new anime titles with her
enthusiastic, gentle and upbeat vocals, most recently
with the opening theme song, Treasure on Ai Yori Aoshi
Enishi and an English language song, Walking Through
the Empty Age for Texhnolyze. Fans will get the
chance to meet the lovely and super-nice Ishida-san as
she talks about her singing experience and answers
fan's questions.

For the first time ever, in an effort to promote
Japanese culture and art, AX2004 will be hosting a
3-day Japanese festival event. During each of the
three days, a raffle will be held and proceeds will be
donated to a local charity organization. Anime Expo
will generously match a percentage of each day's
proceeds. The Japanese festival will feature games and
food organized by local and international

AX2004 serves to foster trade, commerce and the
interests of the animation and comics industry by
serving as a key meeting place for members of the
industry to conduct business. Sponsors include Viz
Comics, Animerica, ADV Films, Geneon, Tofu Records,
Newtype USA and Anime Network. Sponsor hotels include
Anaheim Hilton, Anaheim Marriott, or Anaheim Coast
Hotels. The cost to attend the three-day expo is $45;
One Day Pass: $25; Two Day Pass: $40; Children: $20
(12 years and under; 5 and under free if accompanied
by member). Parental advisory: Some anime and manga
content contains adult themes.

The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation
(SPJA) is a non-profit organization with a mission
to popularize and educate the American public about
anime and manga as well as provide a forum to
facilitate communication between professionals and

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