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Animazement Announces 2012 Guest Lineup

RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA – APRIL 17, 2012--Animazement proudly announces the guests for its 2012 convention taking place Memorial Day Weekend, May 25 – 27, 2012. More information about Animazement can be found at Animazement.com

Musical Guest

KOTOKO– KOTOKO started her singing career in 2000, performing game theme songs with the creator group I've. In 2002 she released the song “Shooting Star”, the theme song to the anime “Onegai Teacher”. In 2004 she released her debut album “Hane” through Geneon Entertainment (now, Geneon Universal Entertainment Japan). It reached 7th place in the Oricon CD Sales Rankings despite having no tie-ups in the entire album. Since her debut, KOTOKO has released a total of 21 singles, and 5 albums, all of which have been very successful.

Japanese Guests

Masao Maruyama – In 1972, Masao Maruyama founded Mad House with Mr. Sugino, Mr. Hata and others. Since then he has been ensuring the quality of the anime that Mad House produces. He is involved in many phases of anime production from planning the music to casting the actors. He is the producer of YAWARA!, CARD CAPTURE SAKURA, HANADA SHOONENSHI and many more anime by Mad House.

Hiroshi Nagahama – Mr. Nagahama, director of the “Mushi-shi” series and “Detroit Metal City”, started at Madhouse as mechanical design for “(The) Cockpit” and as part of the production staff for “Azuki-chan.” After leaving Madhouse, he became a freelancer and has worked in many areas of anime production. One of those freelance jobs was working on the conceptual design for the “Revolutionary Girl Utena” series. Mr. Nagahama was the storyboard writer and animation director for “Sexy Command-Gaiden Sugoiyo! Masaru-san” and “Ojamaru.” In yet another role, he was the chief director of “Jubei- Chan 2: The Counter Attack of Siberia Yagyu.” Other anime that benefitted from Mr Nagahama's many talents are “Fruits Basket” and “Kimi ni Todoke”. He was recognized for his achievements and received the 11th Animation Kobe/Individual Award in 2006.

Mayu Shinjo– Ms. Shinjo debuted in 1994 as a shojyo comic artist under Shogakukan's Shojyo Comic. Her signature manga is “Sensual Phrase” (or “Kaikan Phrase”) which has sold over 10 million copies and has been translated into 13 languages. In 1999, the manga was adapted into a 44 episode anime TV series. In promotion of the series, a real rock band called “Lucifer” and e.MU was created based on characters from the anime. Ms Shinjo continued to gain popularity with her series “Haou Airen” and “Love Celeb”. She is now a freelancer and is currently working on several titles including “Elites” and “Mobile Suit Gundam Gion National Youth School”.

American Guests

Chris Cason - For over ten years, Chris Cason has participated in almost every facet of anime production. He has been associated with numerous projects (exclusively for FUNimation Entertainment) in a voice acting, ADR directing, or scriptwriting capacity. Some of his work has been featured on Spike TV, The Independent Film Channel (IFC), Nicktoons, The Cartoon Network, and The CW.

Chris's best known voice credits include: ”Tien Shinhan” and “Mr. Popo” in Dragonball Z (and as “Mr. Popo” in Dragonball Z Kai), “Holy Roman Empire” in Hetalia: Axis Powers, “Gluttony” in Fullmetal Alchemist, “Jack the Ripper” in Soul Eater, “Boo” and “Whitey” in Shin-Chan, “Miyamoto” and “M1” in Yu Yu Hakusho, “Fumihiro” in Initial D, “Chamo” in Negima, “Hanai” in School Rumble, “Babbit” in Kodocha, “Taruru” in Sgt. Frog, “Seigfried” in Kenichi, and “Hanbei” in Sengoku Basara

Kara Edwards - Kara Edwards is a voice actor, writer, aspiring photographer, and guitar-player wannabe- most well known for voicing Goten and Videl in DragonBall Z. Additional credits include Nymph in Heaven's Lost Property, Kozue in Chaos;Head, Celica in Solty Rei, Murugu in Yu Yu Hakusho, Upa in DragonBall, Sophie in Ragnarok, Yuriko Moritsugu in Linebarrels of Iron, Mina in Darker Than Black, and Patty Baldwin in The Sacred Blacksmith. Kara's voice can also be heard in School Rumble, Soul Eater, Chrome Shelled Regios, Black Butler, Ga-Rei: Zero, Shin Chan, Princess Jellyfish, Sgt Frog, and Summer Wars.

Clarine Harp – Ms. Harp was first cast by FUNimation Entertainment in 2003 to give life to the character of Tweedledee in Kiddy Grade. Since then, Clarine's talents have been featured in a broad range of roles: Hetalia Axis Powers (China), Burst Angel (Sei), Speed Grapher (Ginza), Negima (Kaede), Chaos; HEAd (Sena) and RIN ~Daughters of Mnemosyne~ (Laura). Clarine can also be heard in Cat Planet Cuties/Asobi ni Ikuyo!, Corpse Princess/Shikabane Hime, Sekirei, Yamada's First Time/B Gata H Kei, Princess Jellyfish, The Sacred Blacksmith, El Cazador de la Bruja, Claymore, Jyu-Oh-Sei, Trinity

Blood, Beck, Romeo x Juliet, Kaze no Stigma, Yu Yu Hakusho, Fullmetal Alchemist, Case Closed, Evangelion 1.0, D.Gray- man, Bamboo Blade, Aquarion, Desert Punk, Origin – Spirits of the Past, Tower of Druaga, Mushi-Shi, Suzuka, Ouran High School Host Club, Ghost Hunt, Sgt. Frog, Heaven's Lost Property, One Piece and others. Out of the booth, Clarine spends her time producing DVD and Blu-ray discs for FUNimation

Shelby Lindley - Shelby Lindley is relatively new to the world of anime and J-Pop, though not a stranger to voice over work. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she started acting professionally in theater at the age of 9. Then began picking up voice over work in her teens. Her list of voice work ranges from several character voices to commercial, for Nissan, SpinMaster, Casio, Mattel, etc. as well as several video games for Nintendo, AlmerBlank and more. Also being a singer-songwriter, she makes up one third of LA's growing in popularity folk trio, “Shelby, Tieg & Tara”. Her work in anime can be heard on the shows like Tweeny Witches, Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, Squid Girl and more recently, K-ON!

Spike Spencer – Mr. Spencer has voiced hundreds of episodes of Anime including such notable titles as Evangelion, Vampire Knight, Battle Angel, Suikoden, Orphen, Spriggan, Nadesico, Mar, PreTear, Buso Renkin, Gundam, Code Geass 2, and Bleach. His video game credits include Saints Row 3, World of Warcraft, Tales of Vesperia, BlazBlue, Dynasty and Samurai Warriors, Steambot Chronicles, Star Ocean 2, Lunar: Silver Star Harmony, and many others. Spike has also lent his voice to numerous radio and TV commercials.

An accomplished actor, he has worked with such notable stars as Tommy Lee Jones, Sandra Bullock, Frank Langella, Tia Carrere, and Scott Glenn and has been on set with many other stars. Spike is also an author, including “How to Be A Frickin Genius Voice Actor, Step One,” “What Happens At The Con, Stays At The Con?,” And “Don't Kill Your Date (And Other Cooking Tips)”-(Coming soon). Spike is also a screenwriter with several projects in various stages. Spike is soon to begin production on his first feature film that he scripted, “Dwindle Down.”

Cristina Vee – Cristina Vee is a Los Angeles based voice over actress and director. Cristina is also known for her popular renditions of anime songs on YouTube and got her first “big break” at an anime convention. Her first roles as a professional actress were Nanoha in “Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha” and Louise in “The Familiar of Zero”. Recent voice acting roles include Homura Akemi in “Madoka Magica”, Mio Akiyama in “K-ON!”, Alisa Bosconovitch in “Tekken: Blood Vengeance”, Kanaria in “Rozen Maiden Traumend” and “Rozen Maiden Ouverture”, and Nagisa in “Squid Girl”. Video game credits include Noel Vermillion, Nu-13, Mu-12, and Lambda in all the current “Blazblue” titles,Riven the Exile in “League of Legends”, Compa in “Hyperdimension Neptunia”, and Lian Shi in “Dynasty Warriors 7″, just to name a few. She has also recently completed her first gig as a director for the popular fighter “Skullgirls” and provided the voice of Cerebella for the game as well.

Cristina currently has a few songs available on iTunes. She traveled the US with the other actresses for K-ON! and performed concerts as Mio Akiyama. She also is a host of AnimeTV and was the ASOS Brigade leader for the live action Haruhi Suzumiya season 2 promotional videos.

For additional information, please visit: www.animazement.org/guest

ABOUT ANIMAZEMENT:Animazement is an all-volunteer, fan-run anime convention in Raleigh, North Carolina, celebrating popular Japanese visual culture in all of its forms. The parent organization of Animazement, Educational Growth Across Oceans (EGAO) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

The mission of Animazement is to provide an introduction to Japanese Language and Culture, through the world of Japanese Animation and Manga. For three days each spring, we bring together a diverse group of attendees, volunteers, special Japanese and American guests, panelists, and our staff, and together we share in celebrating Japanese entertainment and visual culture. Our activities span the various genres of anime, manga, video games, J-pop/J-rock, martial arts, traditional arts and crafts, and more, all in a family-friendly, festival-like atmosphere. Sure, it's a party, but it is our sincere hope that everyone who attends Animazement also learns something, and leaves with a greater sense of cultural understanding and appreciation for Japanese Culture and Language.

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