Anime Matsuri Announces First Round of Guests

Jan 12th 2010

Anime Matsuri paints Easter weekend in colorful anime!

Houston, TX, January 12th, 2010: On April 2nd-4th, Anime Matsuri celebrates its fourth year anniversary with an exciting lineup of guests, panels and events. Anime Matsuri is proud to announce our first round of 2010 guests which includes Crispin Freeman, Leah Clark, Reuben Langdon, Mike McFarland, Strong Machine 2, DJ Heavygrinder, Francesca Dani, Yukilefay, Elizabeth Licata, India Davis and Matt Mercer. The final round of guests will be announced shortly including the anticipated unveiling of our main events act.

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.

Leah Clark is a voice actress, writer and ADR director for Funimation Entertainment. She began voice acting as a bit actress in Case Closed, Burst Angel, and Spiral. Her first major role was as Nodoka Miyazaki in Mahou Sensei Negima! Since then she has voiced Akane in Rumbling Hearts, Noah in Full Metal Alchemist, Eri in School Rumble, Suzuka in Suzuka, Kataro in Black Blood Brothers, Paris in Shin Chan, Maru in XXX Holic, Coby and Miss Double Finger in One Piece, Lavinia in STR.A.IN, Sylvie in Baccano!, Otsuka in Darker Than Black, and Maron in the re-release of Dragon Ball Z/GT.
She has recently performed in Nabari No O, Dragonaut, Spice and Wolf as Nora, Bamboo Blade as Miya Miya, Ki in Tower of Druaga, Blair in Soul Eater and her favorite role to date—Fuyuki Hinata in Sgt Frog.
Leah's directorial credits include Sasami: The Magical Girls Club, Shuffle!, STR.A.IN, and The Tower of Druaga. She has adapted scripts for Baccano!, One Piece, Peach Girl, Sasami: The Magical Girls Club, and Suzuka. She is obsessed with cupcakes, gummy candy, and her dog, Rex.

Reuben Langdon is a Los Angeles based Actor/Producer/Director/Stuntman who began his career in Japan as a series regular on the Japanese superhero TV series B-Fighter Kabuto, better known in the US as Beetleborgs Metallix. Later, he relocated to Hong Kong to work amongst the most famous names in the Hong Kong film industry, most specifically with Jackie Chan in Jackie Chan: My Stunts, Gen-Y Cops, and the internationally renowned fantasy adventure The Medallion.
Currently residing in Los Angeles, Reuben continues to share his talent onscreen. He has appeared alongside Sammo Hung in the Martial Law series and has worked regularly on the hit TV show, The Power Ranger's.
Langdon's highly technical training in multiple martial arts has assisted him both in his acting and his motion capture movements.
Complimenting his success in the worlds of film and television, Langdon has performed in and coordinated a number of motion capture shoots for interactive video games including; Resident Evil: 5, The Bourne Conspiracy, Tao Fang, Star Wars: Jedi Knight II, Castlevania: Curse of Darkness, and Dead Rising.
In Devil May Cry 3 and 4 he was both the motion capture actor and the English voice of Dante, the Gun/Sword toting hero of the franchise. Reuben has also worked as a performance capture actor with such respected directors as Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, and James Cameron.

Mike Mcfarland got his start in anime as one of the first voice actors in Texas to be hired by FUNimation Productions in 1997, and has since moved on to become a Voice Director, Script Writer, and Line Producer for numerous anime series.
Notable roles include Master Roshi, Yajirobe, Android #8 and Pui-Pui in Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, Baby and Baby-Vegeta in Dragon Ball GT, Goemon in Lupin The Third (Movie Specials), Ritsu Sohma in Fruits Basket, Lt. Jean Havoc in Fullmetal Alchemist, Cain in Trinity Blood, as well as various roles in Burst Angel, The Galaxy Railways, Yu Yu Hakusho, Blue Gender, Case Closed, Spiral, Kodocha, Baki the Grappler, Desert Punk, Black Cat, Kiddy Grade, and many more. His latest roles include Tybalt in Romeo x Juliet, Ranka in Ouran High School Host Club, and Buggy the Clown in the new FUNimation dub of One Piece.
He has also worked with ADV Films on Parasite Dolls, Gantz, Shadow Skill, Papuwa, Nerima Daikon Brothers, and Diamond Daydreams, and with Geneon on Ghost Talker's Daydream, Koi Kaze, and Rumiko Takahashi Anthology.
As an ADR/Voice Director, Mike has worked on Dragon Ball Z, Yu Yu Hakusho, Case Closed, Dragon Ball, Galaxy Railways, Fullmetal Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist: Conqueror Of Shamballa, Trinity Blood, Vexille, Mushi-Shi, Gunslinger Girl: Il Teatrino, and One Piece. ADR Scriptwriting credits include Fullmetal Alchemist, Kodocha, Trinity Blood, and the uncut versions of Dragon Ball Z.
Mike is also an accomplished improv comedian, musician, and has appeared in numerous commercials and independent films, including The Rage Within, House Of The Generals, Placebo, and the award-winning Schtickmen. For more information, check out his web site at www.mikemcfarland.com.

Strong Machine 2 is a Japanese J-pop dancer known for her robotic and machine-like dance-style. She currently lives with her family in a Buddhist temple. Her father, who is a priest at the temple, is also known by his stage name of Strong Machine 1.
The two often team up to perform. She is also known for her role in the Polysics music video "I my me mine", various commercials and winning multiple dance contests.
Put your dancing shoes on because she returns to Anime Matsuri in 2010 with new routines and surprises. Performing at: Main Events, Import Reactor, J-Fashion

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.

Francesca Dani
I was "born" on a small website created by me in 1998 on a free hosting, I grew up on the net till arriving till today, with a background of experience which everybody would envy.
I had my bad moments, I fell down, I hurt myself, there were moment when I didn't believe in me and in my worth any more and others when I wanted to go on and I walked together who has always supported me and has held out to me his hand.
I'm going on and I still walk next to my guardian angel with no wings and with a mechanic eye.
Now it's 12 years that I have been walking along this road that I still don't know where it will lead. Perhaps my decline will come, maybe not, but at least I've lived my fifteen minutes of glory, too.
I will grow up and there wont be and I won't want that there is place for these things.
I will become mother and instead of dressing myself, I will have to dress the blood of my blood.
I will become granny and when I will sit on my rocking chair with the cover on my legs I will have something to tell my grandchildren. I traveled all over the world, I brought my creativity in any corner of the globe, I spent part of my life to carry on an happiness that to many can be false but for those who believe in fairytales like me is the coronation of thousands of efforts in only one moral victory. A modern fairytale. As in a beautiful midsummer's night, where all dreams become true. But nothing happens by chance. Everything is to be helped. No wonder my mott of life is a small sentence written in the hymn X, 284 in the Aeneid: "who dares, win" written in unmindful mind by Virgilio.
There isn't much to say, I leave pages and pages with statistics to whom feel like doing them. The moment when there will be more important things and events will come and they will bring me away from this world which I created but my name will echoes for many years on the net and I will do the strike even one more: even though what they will say, my "myth" will die hard.
Because the net, the big global brain of the new millennium doesn't forget easily."

Yukilefay
Thais Jussim, better known as Yuki, has been making costumes since 2000, having won several competitions in Brazil and becoming the best-known cosplayer in her country. Yuki made more than 60 characters of games, animes, movies, and comics.
In 2007, she was part of the couple who was the Brazilian champions, and represented Brazil at the World Cosplay Summit in Nagoya, Japan. Yuki was also at the finals of the two editions of the Yamato Cosplay Cup International. She participated as a special guest of the four editions of the brazilian tour of the international show Video Games Live, performing at the stage.
She also participated as a guest on the Carnival Parade of a samba school in Rio de Janeiro, in honor of japanese culture, and also participated in the production of a documentary about japanese pop culture in Brazil. In addition, she participated in several TV shows using cosplays and she is often requested as a special guest at anime and games conventions throughout Brazil and also in other countries such as Mexico and Argentina.

Elizabeth Licata
Elizabeth first cosplayed in 1997 in a truly awful Ranma 1/2 costume at the Chicago Comic Con. She's dressed up as a variety of characters over the years, and her personal cosplay philosophy is "Go big, or go home." Style icons include Dolly Parton and Charo.
Elizabeth spent several years working in costume shops around the country and has made costumes for everyone from good-hearted Oscar-winners to raving divas nobody has ever heard of. She collects vintage clothes and loves sewing more than anything in the world except baby cows.
She has a master's in Japanese history from Stanford and currently works as a writer in New York. Her long-term career goal is to become either a drag queen or a parade float.

India Davis has been cosplaying since 1999, when she and her mother made a baroque satin Sailor Jupiter costume, spraypainted some thrift store boots, and called it a day. She has been sewing since she was 12, designing clothes since she was 8, and playing dress-up since birth.
She was that kid who, instead of reading "Encyclopedia Brown," checked out every costume/fashion book in the entire local library. You may notice that she was kind of a nerd.
India grew up in Georgia, but moved New York where she attended the Fashion Institute of Technology, receiving her BFA in Fashion Design. She currently works as a design assistant and makes clothes and patterns all day long. Then she goes home and makes more clothes.
She enjoys long walks through the city and Thai food, and can be easily plied with champagne and Marc Jacobs accessories.

Matt Mercer 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.

About Anime Matsuri: Anime Matsuri is an annual Anime and Japanese Pop Culture convention held in Houston, Texas. The 2010 convention will be held on Easter weekend, April 2nd – 4th, 2010 at the Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center. Please visit the website at www.animematsuri.com for more info.


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