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Anime Expo 2012 Welcomes The "Fate/Zero" Creative Team Of Hikaru Kondo, Ei Aoki, and Rikiya Koyama As Official Guests Of Honor

LOS ANGELES (June 1, 2012)Anime Expo (AX), North America's largest anime, manga, and Japanese pop culture celebration, today announced three members of the “Fate/Zero” creative team -- Producer Hikaru Kondo, Director Ei Aoki and Voice Actor Rikiya Koyama -- as Official Guests of Honor when it returns to the Los Angeles Convention Center from June 29 – July 2, 2012.

Hikaru Kondo established the animation studio “ufotable” in 2000. As a producer, he worked on the 7-theatrical movie series “The Garden of Sinners,” “Futakoi Alternative,” “Manabi Straight!,” “Tales of Symphonia” and others. Most recently, he produced the TV Series “Fate/Zero,” “The Garden of Sinners –Final Chapter-“ as well as directed “Black Rock Shooter the Game.”

In Japan, ufotable opened the first “ufotable café” at its Koenji Studio to promote interaction with fans. With the success of the first shop, the company opened a second café at Tokushima Studio, followed by the “ufotable dining” restaurant in Shinjuku, Tokyo. In addition, in March 2012 it built the “ufotable CINEMA” in Shinjuku, the first movie theater built by an animation company in Japan.

Ei Aoki made his debut as an episodic director for “Please Teacher!” the TV Series in 2002. In addition to “Fate/Zero,” his credits as a director include “The Garden of Sinners” Chapter 1, “GA-REI –Zero-,“ “Wandering Son (Hōrō Musuko)” and “Girls Bravo” to name a few.

Rikiya Koyama portrays the character Kiritsugu Emiya in “Fate/Zero.” The popular voice actor has played numerous other roles including Yamato of “Naruto Shippūden”, Coyote Stark of “BLEACH”, Kogoro Mouri of “Detective Conan”, FLASTE SCHOLE of “Gundam UC”, Vash of “FINAL FANTASY XII” and Kuze Hideo of “Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG.”

Kondo, Aoki and Koyama will team with Producer Atsuhiro Iwakami to share behind-the-scenes stories of the making of the hit anime series with fans at Anime Expo. As Official Guest of Honors, they will also participate in a meet-and-greet and autograph signing.

The “Fate/Zero” team joins the previously announced Anime Expo 2012 line-up that includes composer Yuki Kajiura/”FictionJunction,” anime-inspired heavy metal band ANIMETAL USA, Culture Japan's Danny Choo, popular voice actors Jamie Marchi, Monica Rial and Steve Blum, animation director Tatsuo Satō, Japanese pop star LiSA, Lolita fashion designer Cyril Lumboy, Lolita model Misako Aoki and the Gallery of Fantastic Art.

About Anime Expo

Now in its 21st year, Anime Expo is North America's larges celebration of anime, manga and Japanese pop culture. Anime Expo gives fans the rare opportunity to meet and hear from some of the most famous anime, manga, musical, game, and fashion artitsts from Japan. AX 2012 will feature and exciting schedule of exclusive screenings; artists' panels; live concerts; cosplay; dance parties, karaoke, and video competitions; non-stop video gaming and unsurpassed shopping from more than 3,000 vendors. AX 2012 takes place June 29-July 2, 2012 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. To register or for more information, please visit www.anime-expo.org. Connect with Anime Expo on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

About The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation

The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to popularize and educate the America 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®. For more information, please visit www.spja.org

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