Japanese Musical Group AKB48 to Appear at NY Anime Festival

Aug 27th 2009
Pop Group Makes Their US Debut In NYC

Norwalk, CT, August 27, 2009: The New York Anime Festival (NYAF) today announced Japanese pop music group AKB48 will appear at its 2009 event as Special Musical Guests. The 2009 New York Anime Festival, an anime, manga, and Japanese pop culture convention from the creators of New York Comic Con, will take place September 25-27, 2009 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in Manhattan, and AKB48 joins Yoshiyuki Tomino -- the Director of Mobile Suit Gundam -- and Yui Makino -- the voice of Sakura in Tsubasa: RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE -- as guests. AKB48 will hold a Q&A session, autographing, and short concert at the Jacob Javits Center. They will present a full concert in NYC's Webster Hall.

AKB48 is a female music group created in 2005 by songwriter Yasushi Akimoto. The group was born under the concept of "idols you can visit" and is based in Akihabara, the center of Japanese anime and manga culture. Members of AKB48 regularly appear in movies, television shows, and theater, and they are on top of Japan's pop culture consciousness, singing at Japan's biggest New Year's Eve broadcast, joining Prime Minister Taro Aso for cherry-blossom viewing, hosting their own weekly television show, and collaborating with artist Takashi Murakami on multiple projects. AKB48 consists of a total of 67 members divided into four groups (A, K, B, and Trainee), and they perform almost everyday at their own theater in Akihabara. In October 2008, SKE48, an AKB48 sister group, was established in Sakae in Nagoya. AKB48's NYC performance will be their first visit to the USA.

"We're honored to welcome AKB48 to the New York Anime Festival," Show Manager Lance Fensterman said. "Japan has fallen in love with AKB48, and we're excited for their American debut, as we have no doubt the USA will fall in love with them, too."

AKB48 will hold a Q&A session, autographing, and short concert at the Jacob Javits Center on Saturday, September 26. The musical group will present a free concert at NYC's Webster Hall on Sunday, September 27th, 2009. Details of their Webster Hall concert will be revealed soon.

For more information on AKB48, please visit www.AKB48.co.jp/english/index.html.

ABOUT THE NEW YORK ANIME FESTIVAL:
The New York Anime Festival takes place September 25-27, 2009 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. Further information can be found at newyorkanimefestival.com.

ABOUT REED EXHIBITIONS POP CULTURE GROUP:
The Pop Culture Group at Reed Exhibitions owns and operates the New York Comic Con (NYCC), the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo (C2E2), and the New York Anime Festival (NYAF). New York Comic Con was launched in 2006 and quickly became a dominant presence in the pop culture world of public events. In 2009, 452 companies exhibited at NYCC for a total of 84,000 square feet of paid exhibit space, and it has been ranked by Crain's New York Business as the second-largest annual event in NYC. C2E2, which will debut April 16 – 18 at Chicago's McCormick Place Convention Center, is modeled after NYCC and will provide fans the opportunity to meet and greet their favorite writers, creators, and artists, as well as to see, hear and learn about the latest and greatest in comics, graphic novels, anime, manga, video games, toys, movies, and television. The Pop Culture Group also operates the recently-launched UFC Fan Expo in partnership with the UFC – the world's leading professional mixed martial arts organization – and it formed a strategic partnership with Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) in 2008 and will work closely with PAX on the launch of PAX East in Boston in 2010.

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