Anime Expo Announces Good Smile Company, Ultra Super Pictures & Max Factory Panel at AX 2013

LOS ANGELES, CA, June 18th, 2013 – Anime Expo is excited to announce “huke, Good Smile Company, Ultra Super Pictures and Max Factory", a panel featuring industry guests Takanori Aki, Hiroaki Matsuura, and Max Watanabe, and Guest of Honor huke!
Takanori Aki, known as one of the most charismatic entrepreneurs in the industry, is the mastermind behind Good Smile Company, dedicated to producing high quality sculpted figures based on popular anime, comics and even celebrities. He has even formed a racing team collaborating with Crypton's popular Vocaloid character Hatsune Miku, creating Good Smile Racing and Racing Miku that includes personal fan sponsorship where the fans are the sponsors! He most recently formed Ultra Super Pictures, a group of animation studios combining animation powerhouses Sanzigen, Trigger, Ordet and Liden Films.

Hiroaki Matsuura worked as the head of CG production for GONZO while also working freelance on other projects. In 2006, he started his own company Sanzigen. He has been the 3DCG producer in a number or productions, including popular series such as Mobile Suit Gundam 00. He established a new form of animation which makes use of 3DCG, which he calls “Limited Animation.” The company's works include the Black★Rock Shooter TV series and 009 RE:CYBORG, for which Hirokaki served as the animation producer on both series. In August 2008, Sanzigen, Ordet and Trigger all joined together as a part of Good Smile Company's “Ultra Super Pictures” group. He also set up the animation production company Liden Films, for which he is still representative director.

huke, who will be live drawing for the audience at the panel, is best known for works such as Black★Rock Shooter and Steins;Gate. He has also contributed character designs to Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops and Metal Gear Solid 4. After graduating from animation college, huke started his career as a professional illustrator in the gaming industry, and then moved into freelance work in order to focus on more original art, creating the wildly popular character Black★Rock Shooter and collaborating with the doujin group supercell.

Max Watanabe is CEO of the popular figure company Max Factory. Founded in 1987, and currently celebrating their 26th year anniversary, Max Factory initially started out as a maker of garage kits. From the start, their products were of high quality and to this day, they are still very popular, consistently offering many new products for the hobby market. Among their numerous products, the Figma action figure line created in 2008 is a palm size action figure, with extra smooth moveable parts and known for recreating beloved characters accurately, reigning as one of Max Factory's most popular product lines.

The panel will be held on Thursday, July 4th at 6:30 PM in LP1. Anime Expo is excited to welcome this amazing group of animation pioneers to AX 2013! At Anime Expo, attendees can connect with their favorite artists, voice actors, and musicians from Japan, display their amazing cosplay and other artistic creations, and enjoy the best in Japanese anime and pop culture. Connect. Create. Culture. All at AX2013!

About Anime Expo
Hosted annually in Los Angeles, Anime Expo is North America's largest celebration of Japanese culture. Anime Expo 2013 will be held July 4 - 7, 2013 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. To register, or for more information, please visit the Anime Expo website.

About the SPJA
The SPJA ("Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation") is a non-profit organization whose mission is to popularize and educate the American public about Japanese entertainment culture, as well as provide a forum to facilitate communication between professionals and fans. For more information, please visit the SPJA website.

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