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Freehand Launches A New Digital manga Biography Of Famed Japanese Comedian/Actor Rome Kanda At J-Pop Summit Festival 2012

The Amazing Life Story Of The Host Of “MAJIDE!? I SURVIVED A JAPANESE GAME SHOW” Debuts As A New Manga App For iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch And Android Devices

San Francisco, CA, August 23, 2012 – The 2012 J-POP Summit Festival welcomes FreeHand Inc. (www.f-hand.co.jp/.), a leading Tokyo-based comic/manga production companies that specializes in comics planning, production and advertising, to release Samurai Spirit: The Story of Rome Kanda, a new biographical digital manga series about the life of Japanese actor/comedian Rome Kanda. The annual pop culture celebration, now in its fourth year and presented in association with the Japantown Merchants Association, will be held across San Francisco's Japantown district on Saturday, August 25th and Sunday, August 26th.

Samurai Spirit: The Story of Rome Kanda is available NOW for Android-enabled devices (Download at: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.freehand.SamuraiSpiritEN_01). The First chapter will be available for free download and the following chapters are available for only $1.25 each. Additional chapters will debut in coming weeks. An iTunes version will also debut imminently.

Rome Kanda will also appear as a Guest of Honor at the 2012 J-POP Summit Festival, taking place across San Francisco's Japantown district on Saturday and Sunday, August 25th and 26th. Kanda is scheduled to take the Main Pagoda Stage, located in Japantown's Peace Plaza, on Saturday, August 25th at 2:30pm, and Sunday August 26th at 1:00pm, to be followed by an autograph session at the NEW PEOPLE Tent. Kanda will also do a fun samurai performance on the stage with audience members. For more details, please visit: www.j-pop.com.

“I'm very honored by the U.S. release of my new digital manga biography, Samurai Spirit,” says Rome Kanda. “The digital manga format is a compelling way to tell my life story and experiences working in both the U.S. and Japanese entertainment industries on hit international shows like MAJIDE!?: I Survived a Japanese Game Show and Unbeatable Banzuke. I hope readers will enjoy my insights and have some laughs at the many funny experiences I've had.”

Rome Kanda started in show business as an actor and went on to appear in numerous films and T.V. shows in Japan before eventually moving to the United States. He gained further notoriety after he began doing comedy routines at venues like LA's iconic Comedy Store. Kanda was later cast as the MC for the reality series, I Survived a Japanese Game Show, which ran in the United States in 2008 on ABC and followed a group of American contestants as they tried their luck on a quirky Japanese TV game show. The show ran for two seasons and was awarded The Rose d'Or (Golden Rose) at The Global Entertainment Television Festival, which is one of the most important international events for entertainment television. Kanda was also known as the manic host of the hit G4 television series, Unbeatable Banzuke, and he has appeared on Late Night with Conan O'Brien and Saturday Night Live and was featured in films including Takeshi Kitano's Sonatine and The Informant, which was directed by Steven Soderbergh and starred Matt Damon.

Kanda's amazing life experiences are depicted in Samurai Spirit: The Story of Rome Kanda. The series features artwork by Sho Wakasa and is produced by Ryō Kurashina, who is well-known in the Japanese manga industry for bestselling series such as Jo-Tei (Empress), Ya-Oh (King of Night) and Jō-ōh (Queen of Queens).

About FreeHand, Inc.
Based in Tokyo, Japan, FreeHand Inc. (www.f-hand.co.jp/) is one of the leading comic/manga production companies that specializes in comics planning, production and advertisement. The company is owned by Ryō Kurashina, a creator and producer of bestselling manga series such as Jo-Tei (Empress), Ya-Oh (King of Night) and Jō-ōh (Queen of Queens). Samurai Spirit: The Story of Rome Kanda is FreeHand's first manga title to be released in English for the worldwide market.

The J-POP SUMMIT FESTIVAL is an annual Japanese Pop Culture celebration that features live bands and artists from Japan, pop culture panel discussions, film premieres, fashion and DJ dance events, and celebrity appearances. The Festival is hosted by NEW PEOPLE in cooperation with the Japantown Merchants Association. In 2011, the two-day event attracted 55,000 attendees. More information about the J-Pop Summit Festival is available at www.j-pop.com..

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