Hideyuki Kikuchi Celebrates His Birthday at NY Anime Fest


Norwalk, CT, July 21, 2008: The New York Anime Festival (NYAF) today announced Vampire Hunter D author and NYAF Guest of Honor Hideyuki Kikuchi will be celebrating his birthday at the close of the 2008 New York Anime Festival at a restaurant in Midtown Manhattan with illustrator Yoshitaka Amano, translator Kevin Leahy, and ten seats at the table reserved for his most die-hard American fans. A ticket to Mr. Kikuchi's birthday party is priced at $125, includes appetizers, salad, an entrée, dessert, birthday cake, unlimited drinks, and autographs from Mr. Kikuchi, Mr. Amano, and Mr. Leahy.

The New York Anime Festival, an anime, manga, and Japanese pop culture convention from the creators of New York Comic Con, takes place September 26th through the 28th at the Jacob Javits Center in New York, NY. Hideyuki Kikuchi turns 59 on September 25, the day before the start of the New York Anime Festival, and his birthday dinner runs from 6-8 PM on Sunday, September 28.

"We're honored to have Mr. Kikuchi celebrate his birthday with us, and we're thrilled to be able to open this dinner to his most dedicated fans," NYAF Show Manager Lance Fensterman said. "This is a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience."

The night's menu can be viewed at www.nyanimefestival.com/images/factsheet/kikuchimenu.pdf. Fans interested in attending Mr. Kikuchi's birthday dinner can purchase tickets now from www.nyanimefestival.com/en-us/tickets/583.cfm. With only ten seats available to Mr. Kikuchi's birthday party, NYAF absolutely recommends interested fans reserve their seats fast.

Hideyuki Kikuchi is one of Japan's most prolific horror novelists, writing in the tradition of horror authors including Fritz Leiber, Robert Bloch, H.P. Lovecraft, and Stephen King. Mr. Kikuchi wrote his first novel, Demon City Shinjuku, in 1982 and has since penned close to a hundred books, many of which -- including A Wind Named Amnesia, Darkside Blues, and Wicked City -- have been adapted into anime. Mr. Kikuchi is most famous for creating Vampire Hunter D, a novel series following a half-human, half-vampire swordsman through a dystopic future ruled by vampires. The D novels have been the basis for anime, manga, and video games, and Vampire Hunter D is largely responsible for introducing a generation of Americans to Japanese animation.

Yoshitaka Amano began his career at Tatsunoko Productions where he served as a character designer for animated series including Gatchaman and Casshern. After 15 years with the studio, he chose to leave the comfort of a steady job to pursue his career as an artist. As a freelance illustrator, Amano contributed covers and illustrations to novels including Hideyuki Kikuchi's Vampire Hunter D, Kaoru Kurimoto's Guin Saga, and Yoshiki Tanaka's The Heroic Legend of Arslan, teamed with Mamoru Oshii to create the film Angel's Egg, collaborated with Neil Gaiman to make the award-winning graphic novel Sandman: The Dream Hunters, and partnered with video game studio Squaresoft to create the look and feel for the company's flagship Final Fantasy series. Mr. Amano has worked with media including pencils, ink, paint, ceramic, stained glass, and fabric, and exhibitions of his work have taken place in cities including Tokyo, London, Paris, Berlin, and New York City.

Kevin Leahy is a long-time friend of horror author Hideyuki Kikuchi and the man trusted with translating the Vampire Hunter D novel series into English. Born in Boston and introduced to Vampire Hunter D on VHS while in college, Kevin was immediately struck and would, a few years later, move to Japan as an English teacher. Over 15 years have passed since then, and Kevin still lives in Japan, now with a wife, two daughters, a few pet turtles, and Mr. Kikuchi as a personal friend.

The New York Anime Festival takes place September 26-28, 2008 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in Midtown Manhattan and is organized by Reed Exhibitions, the creators of New York Comic Con. The New York Anime Festival showcases the best of anime pop culture, including the latest anime, manga, Japanese cinema, music, and games, and anime-influenced comics, animation, and films from around the world. The festival features exclusive and extensive screenings, a gala cosplay masquerade, sessions with the some of the biggest names in anime from Japan, Asia, and America, and explores the Japanese cultural experience with displays of both traditional and cutting-edge Japanese life. NYAF's partners include Bandai Entertainment, BookExpo America, Dark Horse Comics, Del Rey Manga, Kinokuniya Bookstore, New York Comic Con, Samurai Beat Radio, Subway Cinema, TheOtaku.com, and TOKYOPOP. Further information can be found at newyorkanimefestival.com.

The New York Anime Festival is operated by Reed Exhibitions, the world's leading events organizer. In 2007, Reed brought together over six million industry professionals from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today, Reed events are held in 38 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia and organized by 39 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions is part of Reed Elsevier Group plc, a FTSE-100 company and world-leading publisher and information provider. In 2006, Reed Elsevier made adjusted profit before taxation of £1,052 million on turnover of £5,398 million.

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