Stars of Gainax's Gurren Lagann to Appear at NYAF


Norwalk, CT, July 31, 2008: The New York Anime Festival (NYAF) today announced Gurren Lagann stars Tony Oliver, Kyle Hebert, and Steve Blum will all attend its 2008 event as Featured Guests. 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. Tony Oliver is directing the English-language version of Gurren Lagann, Mr. Hebert is featured as the voice of Kamina, and Mr. Blum provides the voice of the genius mechanic Leeron.

Gurren Lagann, created by anime powerhouse studio GAINAX (Evangelion, Gunbuster, Wings of Honneamise), is a 27-episode science fiction series centering on the story of Simon and Kamina, youths from an underground village who become embroiled in a conflict with surface "Beastmen" who pilot humanoid machines known as Gunmen. It's a story that starts buried deep beneath the soil and travels into the farthest reaches of the heavens. Gurren Lagann won "Best Television Series" and "Best Character Design" at the 2008 Tokyo Animation Fair. It airs every Monday at 11 PM EST on the SCI FI Channel.

"Gurren Lagann is shaping up to be one of the biggest shows of the year," NYAF Show Manager Lance Fensterman said. "It's only fitting that we should bring its stars together in the biggest city in America. We're pleased to provide this opportunity.”

Gurren Lagann is being released in the US by Bandai Entertainment, with its English-language dialogue supervised by Bang Zoom! Entertainment. Mr. Oliver, Mr. Hebert, and Mr. Blum's appearances are thanks to the tremendous cooperation of Bandai and Bang Zoom! Entertainment. Tickets to the New York Anime Festival are available now at

A veteran of the voice over business, Steve Blum cut his vocal teeth on shows like Guyver and Giant Robo and has since been involved with hundreds of shows and given life to some of anime's most memorable characters. Steve's credits include Toonami's robotic host TOM, Cowboy Bebop's Spike Spiegel, Digimon's Guilmon, Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children's Vincent Valentine, Ghost in the Shell's Laughing Man, and Naruto's Orochimaru. He can right now be heard as Leeron in Gurren Lagann.

Kyle Hebert is a Los Angeles-based voice actor famous for voicing Kiba in Naruto, Aizen in Bleach, and the teenage Gohan in Dragon Ball Z. He can also be heard as Falman in Fullmetal Alchemist, Munei in Ghost in the Shell, Tomitake in When They Cry, and Bael and Dagon in Devil May Cry 4. Kyle is currently starring as Kamina in Gurren Lagann.

Tony Oliver's first foray into television voice acting was the role of Rick Hunter in the groundbreaking anime series Robotech. Following Robotech, Tony joined Saban where he helped create the mega hit Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. Tony served as development producer, wrote the pilot, and directed voice over sessions. In 1999, Tony left Saban to further concentrate on anime voice acting and directing with some of his recent titles including .hack//GU, Eureka Seven, Daigunder, and -- most recently -- Gurren Lagann.

Bandai Entertainment, Inc. is a subsidiary of Namco Bandai Holdings (USA) Inc. and the premier distributor of Japanese animation on DVD and programming for television broadcast in North America. Titles include Code Geass Lelouch of Rebellion, Gurren Lagaan, Lucky Star, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, Sword of the Stranger, Cowboy Bebop, Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Gundam 00, and many more.

Headquartered in Burbank, California, Bang Zoom! Entertainment, Inc. is a leading and award winning full service audio post production studio working in the fields of feature films, television, electronic entertainment, anime, and direct to home entertainment projects. Founded in 1993, Bang Zoom! Entertainment, Inc. maintains operations in the US with three buildings, six recording/mixing stages, and just under 200 staff of actors, writers, directors and technicians. Bang Zoom! Entertainment, Inc. is committed to carrying out innovative projects that contribute to the promotion of global cultural awareness. More information about Bang Zoom! Entertainment, Inc. and its products can be found on the company's website, which is located at

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 Anime News Network, Bandai Entertainment, BookExpo America, Del Rey Manga, DigitalLife, Free Arts NYC, Japan Society, Karaterice, Kinokuniya Bookstore, New York Comic Con, Samurai Beat Radio, Subway Cinema,, TOKYOPOP, VIZ Pictures, and the World Cosplay Summit. Further information can be found at

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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