Anime Matsuri Announces 2009 Guests

Anime Matsuri gearing up for an eventful Easter weekend!

Houston, TX, January 16th, 2009: On April 10th-12th, Anime Matsuri celebrates its third year anniversary with an exciting lineup of guests, panels and events. Anime Matsuri is proud to announce our 2009 guest list which includes Crispin Freeman, Quinton Flynn, Stephanie Young, Luci Christian, Chris Patton, Blake Shepard, Cynthia Rothrock, DJ Heavygrinder, Misako Rocks!, Matt Miller, Lillyxandra, Binkx, and Gren. The final round of guests will be announced shortly including the anticipated unveiling of our main events act.
In addition to all the voice talents, industry guests and artists, the legendary Cynthia Rothrock makes her first appearance at a Texas convention hosting various panels on martial arts and asian movies. DJ Heavygrinder is hosting Club AM, the ultimate anime rave party.
Anime Matsuri has expanded its convention space to over 100,000 sq ft including an outdoor anime theater, the addition of cultural games and events, and the Dragonball Evolution movie premiere.

Quinton Flynn's voice has been burning up film and television since he first arrived in Los Angeles from his native Cleveland. He is an A-list V.O. actor, having played such famous animated characters as Johnny Quest, Spiderman, Speed Racer, The Human Torch, Timon, Stuart Little, just to name a few. His television and film appearances include The Simpsons, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, King of Queens, The Jimmy Kimmel Show, Animaniacs, Woody Woodpecker, Robot Chicken, and many more.
As far as anime and video games go, where do we start? Axel in Kingdom Hearts II, Reno in Final Fantasy VII Advent Children, Iruka Sensei and Deidara in Naruto, Raiden in Metal Gear Solid 2 & 4, Dr. Riddles and Victoream in Zatch Bell, Croix in La Pucelle: Tactics, Myifee in 99 Nights, and the lead role of Marcus Damon in Digimon Data Squad.

Crispin Freeman has been portraying characters in anime and video games for over 10 years. He got his start playing Zelgadis Graywords in "The Slayers". Since then he's played such famous roles as Alucard in "Hellsing", Rude in "Final Fantasy: Advent Children", Prince Turnip in "Howl's Moving Castle", Tsume in "Wolf's Rain", Kyon in "The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya", Alan Gabriel in "The Big O", Duskmon/Koichi in "Digimon", Holland in "Eureka 7", Haji and Van Argeno in "Blood+", Amon in "Witch Hunter Robin", Alex Rowe in "Last Exile", and Togusa in "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex", "Innocence" and "Solid State Society". He's currently portraying Jeremiah Gottwald in "Code Geass" and the cross-dressing Shinto priest, Genbatsu Edo in "Ghost Slayers Ayashi". He's also directed and starred in "Scrapped Princess", "I, My, Me, Strawberry Eggs" and "Space Travellers". In video games he's played the voice of Superman in "Justice League: Heroes", King Leonidas in "300", Baldur in "Too Human", Winter Soldier and Dark Colossus in "Marvel: Ultimate Alliance", Albedo in the "Xenosaga" trilogy and Will Turner in "Kingdom Hearts II" and all the Pirates of the Caribbean games. He's worked as a script adaptor on the shows he's directed as well as for Pokemon, Witch Hunter Robin, Shamanic Princess, Night on the Galactic Railroad, Assemble Insert, Weather Report Girl and Boogie Pop Phantom. Crispin has acted theatrically on Broadway at the Neil Simon Theater and Off-Broadway at the Blue Light Theater and Irish Repertory Theater in New York. He has also performed at numerous regional theaters such as The American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, MA, the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles, the Alley Theater in Houston, TX and the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. He originally hails from Chicago, Illinois and Livingston, Montana. He got his undergraduate degree from Williams College where he majored in Theater and minored in Computer Science. Afterwards he went to Columbia University's Graduate Theater School where he got his Masters of Fine Arts in Acting. He's watched anime since he was a child, growing up on Speed Racer, Star Blazers, Battle of the Planets and Robotech and is so happy to be working on animation as an adult.

Stephanie Young is thrilled to be working with FUNimation as a voice actress and singer. Her voice acting credits include the lead role in the highly anticipated, new release of Claymore portraying "Clare", "Nico Robin" in One Piece (new dub with FUNimation), "Junko" in Desert Punk, "Elfriede" in Moonphase, "Miranda Maverick" in Solty Rei, "Sophia" in Aquarion, "Kagero" in Basilisk, "Oruha" in Tsubasa: Reservoir Chronicle, "Nora" in Witchblade, "Echidna Parass" in Black Cat, "Nanako" in Crayon Shin-chan, "B.B." in Glass Fleet, "Jane" in Grappler Baki Maximum Tournament, "Yahagi" in Mushi-shi, "Mana" in Negima, "Female Rogue" in Ragnarok, "Dr. Kozuki" in Rumbling Hearts, "Itoko Osakabe" in School Rumble, "Mireille" in Trinity Blood, "Aki Abe" in Hell Girl, "Reika Tachibana" in Balder Force Exe Resolution, "Xavier Tatum" in Shuffle, "Mrs. Tomita" in Kodocha, Hanahana in XXXholic, and "Shika" in Samurai 7. Her game credits include "Fiona" in Spike Out and "Selket" in Unreal Championship II, The Liandri Conflict. Stephanie can also be heard singing theme songs for Dragon Ball GT, Negima, and Tsubasa. With Illumitoon, Stephanie recorded "Paf Shining" in AM Drive and "Karen" in B'tx. 
As an actress, Stephanie has appeared in numerous film, television, voice over, and national commercial/print projects. She is currently working on the exciting webisode series, created in a graphic novel style, Scout Six, where she plays the lead role of detective Scout Six! .Stephanie is a two-time nominee for the Dallas Theatre LeagueÂ's Leon Rabin Award for her work in the Dallas Theatre Community. As a singer/songwriter, Stephanie enjoys lending her signature, soulful vocals to the Dallas-based pop/jazz band, The Brehms ( She is represented by The Horne Agency.

Luci Christian's voice acting credits for ADV Films include Deunan in Appleseed ExMachina, Kaname Chidori in Full Metal Panic!, FMP FUMOFFU!, and FMP The Second Raid, Sasshi in Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, Ran Kotobuki in Super Gals!, Miss Yukari in Azumanga Daioh, Duck/Princess Tutu in Princess Tutu, Mikura in Mezzo for TV, Margaret in Madlax, Tetsu in Peacemaker, Risa in DNAngel, Himeno in Pretear, Sarah/Kate in Kaleido Star, Luna in Gravion and Gravion Zwei, Kotaro in Papuwa, Ringo in Air Gear, Mako in Nerima Daikon Brothers, Mizuki in Guyver, and Haruko in Air TV. For Funimation Entertainment, she's played Psiren and Wrath in Fullmetal Alchemist, Rico in Gunslinger Girl, Komachi in Samurai 7, Louis Ft. Drake in Galaxy Railways, Kosuna in Desert Punk, Micchi in Shin Chan, Asuna in Negima, Kasha in Solty Rei., Tenma in School Rumble, and Nami in One Piece. For Illumitoon, she's voiced Poala in Beet the Vandel Buster, and if you're a DDR fan, her voice is all over Dance Dance Revolution Universe for the X-BOX 360. In addition to anime, Luci's acting career spans commercial, industrial, television, and film work.

Since Blake Shepard's 2004 debut as Kazuki Shikimori in Maburaho he has continued to display a versatitity and complexity that has added a refreshing flavor to an already stellar line up of voice actors know the world over. Blakes roles include but are not limited to: Gilgamesh as Tatsuya; Terumichi Madoka, Air Gear as Agito Wanijima, Moeyo Ken (TV) as Ryuunosuke Sakamoto. Madlax as Maurice Lopez, Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu as Fuwa, Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid as Leonard Testarossa, Guyver: The Bioboosted Armor as Kobashi, Shadow Skill as Len Fuma, Michel (Korean) as Meggi, Pumpkin Scissors as Martis, Shattered Angels as Jin Oogami, , Tactics (as seen on the Sci-Fi channel) as Kantaro, Utawarerumono as Hauenkua; Venus Versus Virus as Yoshiki Kusanagi, Xenosaga: The Animation as Allen Ridgeley, Blade of the Phantom Master (movie) as Jyun, Diamond Daydreams as Kurokawa, Coyote Ragtime Show as Alex, Cromartie High School, Gantz as Kato's Cousin, Ghost Stories as Keita, Gravion Zwei as Jose, Innocent Venus as Yosaku, UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie as Morikawa, Hakugei: Legend of the Moby Dick, Kaleido Star, Godannar, Nerima Daikon Brothers, Red Garden, Princess Tutu, Magikano,Chrono Crusade and The Wallflower.

Chris Patton started acting in theatre, musical theatre,opera, improv as a little kid and throughout his teenage years. Then, in his 20s, he discovered the art of Voice Over and fell in love with it as an acting medium. Since first working with ADV, and then FUNimation, Chris has added over 140 Anime titles to his resume. Some of his most notable roles include Ichiro in Nerima Daikon Brothers, Sousuke Sagara in all the Full Metal Panic series, Greed in Fullmetal Alchemist, Sato in Welcome to the NHK, Ranmaru in The Wallflower, Fakir in Princess Tutu, Ayato in RahXephon, Hajime in Ghost Stories, Manabu in Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad, and Joshua Christopher in Chrono Crusade.
Other roles include leads in Guyver, Gravion, Gravion Zwei, Area 88, The Place Promised in Our Early Days, Super Gals!, and The Galaxy Railways, plus roles in Shin Chan, Baccano, Lupin, Gantz, Bubblegum Crisis 2040, FUNimation's Dub of One Piece, ADV's incarnation of Gurren Laggan, Sorcerer Hunters, Orphen II, Saint Seiya, Dragonball Z: Tree of Might, and many others, including about seven new shows for FUNimation that he can't reveal quite yet.
Chris has also worked as an ADR Scriptwriter for Gantz and Gravion Zwei, and has even done some stints as ADR Director. He's also happy to say he's shared the stage more than once with the Ayres' brothers in the realm of live theatre, and while Chris loves working in the realm of Voice Over, on projects such as video games, audio books, commercials and such, voicing Anime will always be what he considers the touchstone of his Voice Over career.

Cynthia Rothrock is one of the greatest martial arts/action film stars in the world, Few other performers can match her presence and energy on the silver screen. She is the undisputed "Queen of Martial Arts films". Cynthia Rothrock is not only a great action star, but also an incredibly accomplished martial artist. She holds 5 Black Belts in various Far Eastern martial disciplines. These Arts include; Tang Soo Do (Korean), Tae Kwon Do (Korean), Eagle Claw (Chinese), Wu Shu (contemporary Chinese), and Northern Shaolin (classical Chinese). Cynthia's first full length motion picture was Yes Madam also starring Michelle Yeoh. The movie turned out to be a hit and broke all box office records in Hong Kong.

DJ HeavyGrinder is a native of Seattle and currently resides in Los Angeles where she is a part time student, and full time DJ. At age thirteen, she began to actively pursue her love of music and being on center stage by taking up vocal training and modeling. After years of traveling, she made her way to LA in 1998. It was in the City of Angels that she realized her new love, cozying up to the sounds of underground dance music, captivated by the power of the DJ and the reaction of the crowd. 
HeavyGrinder is capturing the attention of audiences worldwide. Spain ( Ibiza ), Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia and Mexico have been key international stops for this talent so far. In the Los Angeles club scene alone, she has played at most notable venues including Key Club, Highlands, Century Club, Avalon, Sunset Room and White Lotus. When she's not playing in her hometown, HG is regularly headlining events across the United States at some of the biggest clubs and has performed in cities from Anchorage to Washington D.C., and Atlanta back to Honolulu as well as dozens of cities in between. 

Misako Rocks! developed a love for comics and manga at an early age and drew her first comic at the age of 13. She moved to New York in 2001 and worked as a a puppeteer, face painter, animal balloon maker, and art teacher while still developing her own work. 
Her first break came when the Onion decided to use her illustrations for their now famous "Savage Love" column, which runs every week. Shortly thereafter, Misako scored a two-book deal with Hyperion, a three-book deal with Henry Holt and a writing gig for Archie comics. 
She has been featured in many magazines and newspapers, including Elle Girl and the New York Times. The BBC also featured her in a documentary about comic book creators. On top of that, she has recenctly received the Venic Beach, LA Playwright award! 
Misako currently lives in Brooklyn, New York and spends her free time riding her vintage bike, making hip hop, kissing babies, shaking hands, slam dunking and eating lots of Onigiri !!!

Matt Miller is an actor/writer out of Los Angeles who spends most of his free time being a geek. This, combined with his theatrical background, has brought him to dabble in the realm of costuming for 8 years, as well as traveling to and judging/MCing at conventions across the nation. Under the stage name "Matthew Mercer", he has also lent his voice talents to such anime series as "Trigun", "Cowboy Bebop", "AKIRA", and "Code Geass", as well as videogames like "Ace Combat 5" as Albert Genette, the upcoming "Rise of the Argonauts" as Phaedon, and "Final Fantasy Fables" for the Wii as Treasure Hunter Cid. Matt is extremely honored to be returning to Anime Matsuri this year, and hopes to bring a little of his own brand of chaos to the convention.

JoEllen Elam (Lillyxandra) is a Texas-born costume designer, cosplayer, and returning guest to Anime Matsuri. Since 2002, she has made a name for herself through hercostuming and beautiful, original high fantasy designs via herwebsite Her work has been showcased in manymagazines around the world, including Japanese Magazine "CosMode",Mexican Magazine 'Cosplay Mix', United Kingdom Magazine'Cube', and French Magazine 'Kogaru'. JoEllen hasbeen a guest at conventions across the U.S. and beyond to share herknowledge and love for her craft. She is thrilled to be invited oncemore, and through her panels, hopes to help other cosplayers refinetheir skills and techniques.

Diana (Binx) has been an avid cosplayer since 1996 and is thrilled to be invited back to Anime Matsuri. A judge at Anime Expo's Masquerade for 4 years, she splits time studying fashion and working on cosplay projects such  cospod- the first cosplay podcast which she co hosts with cosplayer Lillyxandra, and a video, blog and photography venue that showcases current conventions and convention coverage, cosplay, and a place for cosplayers to connect and exhibit their talents. She can be found on under the name binkx and you can read about her recent exploits in the world of fashion and styling under m4np on the fashion and technology blog radarnois. Besides cosplay, Diana has spent many years in the Anime and Manga industry working for companies like New Generation Pictures and Dark Horse Comics. You can also find her voice in a few anime titles such as NieA_7, R.O.D the TV, and Texhnolyze. 
She looks forward to see what Matsuri cosplayers have to offer up again this time around and hopes it will be just as incredible as last year.

Gren is a native born Texan cosplayer. She is internationally known, for both her costumes and tutorials, some of which have been translated into three different languages. From silk and feathers, to fiberglass and tooled leather, it's anything goes in this cosplayer's closet, and she'll be happy to answer your questions (or just rant about) wigs, wings, swords, gems, shoes, hooves, wigs made of wings, fabrics, drills, vaccuum tables, body paint, wings made of wigs, fangs, zippers, posing, binding, tucking, photographers, dyes, sewing your costume to yourself on accident, and gluing your costume to yourself on purpose, good ideas, bad ideas, and terrible ideas that sounded like bad ideas that she tried anyway.

About Anime Matsuri: Anime Matsuri is an annual Anime and Japanese Pop Culture convention held in Houston, Texas. The 2009 convention will be held on Easter weekend, April 10th – 12th, 2009 at the Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center. Please visit the website at HYPERLINK "" for more info.

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