Kenji Horikawa, Nobuhiro Kikuchi, and Kazuki Higashiji of P.A.WORKS to be Guests at Otakon 2016

Baltimore, MD (July 28, 2016) – Otakorp, Inc. is very pleased to welcome Kenji Horikawa, founder of animation studio P.A.WORKS, as a guest at Otakon 2016. Joining Horikawa are Nobuhiro Kikuchi, executive producer, and Kazuki Higashiji, art director. P.A.WORKS is celebrating its 15th year.

Kenji Horikawa is the founder, CEO, and producer of animation studio P.A.WORKS. Horikawa founded the studio in 2000 in Toyama, Japan, far away from Tokyo, just with himself and another member. At P.A.WORKS, Horikawa hands-on produced shows such as "Haruchika", "Charlotte", "Shirobako", "The Eccentric Family", "Hanasaku Iroha: Blossoms for Tomorrow", "Another", "Angel Beats!", and the newest project, "Kuromukuro", soon to stream on Netflix.

Nobuhiro Kikuchi is the executive producer at animation studio P.A.WORKS. As producer, Kikuchi has worked on anime series such as "True Tears", "Hanasaku Iroha: Blossoms for Tomorrow", and "The Eccentric Family". Kikuchi's involvement in animation projects brings a high level of collaboration between the animation studio and the local area in which the anime takes place. With this unity, the creators are able to enchant the audience with a unique sense of reality and fascination.

Kikuchi was born in Toyama prefecture in 1964. Kikuchi went to the same college as Kenji Horikawa, founder and CEO/producer of P.A.WORKS, but Kikuchi chose a different profession, other than animation. After establishing P.A.WORKS, Horikawa invited Kikuchi to join him. Kikuchi brought a new perspective to the animation, which led to unique developments at P.A.WORKS.

In Hanasaku Iroha, the Bonbori Festival is a festival that existed only in anime, but with the combined efforts of Kikuchu, the show's other creators, the local community, and the fans, it materialized into a real traditional style festival that is held every year, with over 10,000 people attending it. Kikuchi also produced "Koitabi: True Tours Nanto", a unique smartphone app that brings together tourism and animation entertainment to create a unique experience for touring the city of Nanto, Toyama.

Kazuki Higashiji has created many worlds as an art director for projects with P.A.WORKS and others. Higashiji, together with the other creative members of P.A.WORKS, has created series such as "Charlotte", "Nagi-Asu: A Lull in the Sea", "Hanasaku Iroha: Blossoms of Tomorrow", "Tari Tari", and "Angel Beats!".

The worlds that Higashiji illustrates are not just realistic but full of emotions, likable characters and stories. His artwork is the pillar that structures the fascinating worlds in many P.A.WORKS

animation series. Higashiji's art will be exhibited at Otakon 2016. In addition, Higashiji will be performing live drawings and panels.

Otakon 2016 will be held August 12-14 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, MD.

ABOUT OTAKON AND OTAKORP, INC.: Now entering its twenty-third year, Otakon is an annual celebration of Japanese and East Asian popular culture, and also one of the largest gatherings of fans in the United States. Otakon celebrates popular culture as a gateway to deeper understanding of Asian culture, and has grown along with the enthusiasm for anime, manga, video games, and music from the Far East. Since 1999, Otakon has been held in Baltimore, Maryland; currently, Otakon is one of Baltimore's few large, city-wide events, drawing over 34,000 people for three days each year (for a paid attendance of over 100,000 turnstile attendees). Otakon is a membership based convention sponsored by Otakorp, Inc., a Pennsylvania-based, 501(c)3 educational non-profit whose mission is to promote the appreciation of Asian culture, primarily through its media and entertainment. Otakorp, Inc. is directed by an all-volunteer, unpaid staff – we are run by fans, for fans.

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