Anime Expo® Announces Gurren Lagann Director and Character Designer as 2009 Guests of Honor

May 26th 2009

Celebrated Talents Imaishi and Nishigori to Attend Nation's Largest Anime and Manga Convention

Anaheim, California (May 26, 2009) — 12th Animation Kobe Director Award winner, Hiroyuki Imaishi and 7th Annual Tokyo International Anime Award recipient, Atsushi Nishigori, are now announced as official Anime Expo® 2009 Guests of Honor at the nation's largest anime and manga convention held July 2-5, 2009 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. More information can be found on the website www.anime-expo.org .

After graduating from Tama Art University, Mr. Hiroyuki Imaishi, was hired as an animator for the Gainax Company, Limited. His first work was the animation that many critics considered a social phenomenon NEON GENESIS EVANGELION. Since then, Mr. Imaishi has worked on storyboards and as art directors for such hit anime series as HIS AND HER CIRCUMSTANCES and FLCL. Mr. Imaishi made his directorial debut with the OVA DEAD LEAVES. Mr. Imaishi has also worked on RE: CUTEY HONEY and TENGEN TOPPA GURREN LAGGAN franchise. Mr. Imaishi was also the recipient of the 12th Animation Kobe Director's Award.

Character designer Mr. Atsushi Nishigori has worked on many titles including MAHOROMATIC, THIS UGLY YET BEAUTIFUL WORLD, HE IS MY MASTER, OVER THE TOP! 2 and serves as the character animation director for the TENGEN TOPPA GURREN LAGGAN franchise. Mr. Nishigori was also the recipient of 7th Annual Tokyo International Anime Awards' Individual Character Design Award category.

Mr. Imaishi and Mr. Nishigori join Daisuke Ishiwatari, Yosuke Kuroda, Toshimichi Mori, Morning Musume, Yasuhiro Nightow, Satoshi Nishimura and Kari Wahlgren as official Anime Expo® 2009 Guests of Honor.

Attendees, Press and Industry Members are also encouraged to view the video coverage site of the 2008 convention at www.AXBackstage.org .

Red & Black Sponsors include: FUNimation, Silver Sponsors include: Anime News Network and Digital Manga Press, Patron Sponsors include: COPIC, Central Park Media and The Right Stuf, Media Sponsors include: ImaginAsian TV, Animation Magazine, Anime Insider Magazine, Anime News Network and UTB Hollywood.

About Anime Expo®
Located in Los Angeles, California - Anime Expo®, the nation's largest anime/manga convention, serves to foster trade, commerce and the interests of the general public and animation/ comics industry. This event serves as a key meeting place for the general public to express their interest and explore various aspects of anime/manga, as well as for members of the industry to conduct business. AX 2009 will be held July 2 – July 5, 2009 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Southern California. More information can be found at its website (www.anime-expo.org).

About Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation
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 fans. This organization is more popularly known by its entertainment property – Anime Expo®. More information can be found at its website (www.spja.org ).

The statements made in this press release that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements." These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties. The Company cautions readers of this press release that a number of important factors could cause Anime Expo®/SPJA's actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in any such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, without limitation, product delays, industry competition, rapid changes in technology and industry standards, protection of proprietary rights, maintenance of relationships with key personnel, vendors and third-party developers, international economic and political conditions. The Company may change its intention, belief or expectation, at any time and without notice, based upon any changes in such factors, in the Company's assumptions or otherwise. The Company undertakes no obligation to release publicly any revisions to any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. 


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