Anime Expo Lite 2021 Hosts the World Premiere of Shikizakura Anime Series

Catch an exclusive livestream premiere of SHIKIZAKURA Episode 1 along with a musical performance by J-Pop singer May'n and Insights and a Q&A with Series Director Gō Kurosaki and Voice Actors Miho Mashiro and Yūdai Noda

Santa Ana, CA, June 28, 2021Anime Expo Lite 2021 will host the exclusive world premiere of SHIKIZAKURA in a special livestream event on Saturday, July 4th at 5:15PM PDT. It will notably feature a performance by J-Pop singer, May'n, and remarks and a Q&A session with the series' director, Gō Kurosaki, and voice actors Miho Mashiro and Yūdai Noda.

Be sure to join us for the panel on Saturday, as the premiere episode will not be available via VOD (due to streaming rights). However, the Q&A portion of the event will be available to watch via VOD through July 16, 2021.

Co-produced by Chukyo TV and animation studio, Sublimation, SHIKIZAKURA is the first anime series to be created in Japan's central Tokai region. The adventure series also features Caitlin Macatee, the winner of the voice acting audition held at Anime Expo 2019. Sublimation is renowned for its CG animation work on titles such as Dragon's Dogma, the Love Live! series, and PSYCHO PASS.

SHIKIZAKURA Series Synopsis
In the place of Shikizakura (cherry trees), where autumn leaves and cherry blossoms are flourishing and where human world intersects with the demon world, a ritual to save the human world is about to begin... Kakeru Miwa, a high school student, gets involved in a battle between powered suits and oni that emerge from the demon world to prey on Onis manifest themselves in this world by possessing humans.

Only “Yoroi,” powered suit that is a fusion of ancient secrets and cutting-edge technology, can protect people from onis. Kakeru puts on a Yoroi by chance and becomes a semi-official member of a team that fights against onis.

Determined to become a hero, Kakeru battles Onis to protect Ouka Myojin, the shrine maiden destined to save the world. In the season of Shikizakura, in midst of autumn leaves and a flurry of cherry petals, Ouka performs a dance as a shrine maiden. At the place where the past and the future, this world and the alien world, people's thoughts and hopes all meet, a tale of heroic action-adventure begins! Season 1 of the series will premiere on Japanese TV in October. Learn more about Shikizakura at https://Shikizakura-anime.com/ or on Twitter @ShikizakuraA and YouTube

Gō Kurosaki
After graduating from the Department of Information Media in the Faculty of Information Technology at the Kanagawa Institute of Technology, Kurosaki joined Sublimation Inc. in 2012. There, he acted as a CGI director for Love Live! Sunshine!! from 2015. He later acted as a CGI director for projects such as the Love Live! franchise and was chosen as the director for the original animation out of the Tokai region, Shikizakura, in 2019.

May'n
Pop singer May'n made her major label debut in 2005, at the age of 15. A talented and diverse female singer who covers multiple music genres such as pop, rock, dance, and R & B, May'n has performed the theme songs for many anime series, J-dramas, movies, and video games. Many of the singles have ranked at the top of the Japanese Oricon music charts. She has also held solo concerts at legendary venues such as the Nippon Budokan and Yokohama Arena. May'n will release her latest full-length album, momentbook, on June 30.

About Miho Mashiro
Mashiro Miho was discovered at the Nagoya Voice Actor Audition in 2018 while attending a vocational school for aspiring voice actors. She portrays Ouka Myoujin, the heroine of the highly anticipated anime series, Shikizakura. The actress is renowned for her versatility, adeptly playing parts such as seductive ladies, old women, and even boys. Not only a prolific voice actress, Mashiro Miho is also a popular radio personality and narrator for numerous TV advertisements.

Yūdai Noda
Yūdai Noda is a prolific actor, featured in all of the performances by the theater group KIMYO since 2014. With over 10 years of experience in theater, he has also become a renowned voice actor and will be featured in the anime series Shikizakura, as main character, Kakeru Miwa. Noda is a highly versatile voice actor, portraying a wide range of roles including children, the elderly, and even non-human lifeforms.

Tickets to access this year's Anime Expo Lite programming are $5 each, with all proceeds benefiting the Hate Is A Virus commUNITY Action Fund. After the stream concludes on July 4th, ticketholders can re-watch the content, as well as access additional programming, on a VOD basis from July 5th-16th, 2021.

Anime Expo Lite 2021 marks the 30th Anniversary of the long-running annual convention. Anime Expo is the biggest North American fan celebration for Japanese pop culture including anime, TV & film, fashion, video games, manga, dance, live concerts, collectibles, and exclusive convention merchandise, presented as an unforgettable experience for fans of all ages.

Registration information:

• Dates - July 3-4, 2021 / 12pm – 8pm (PST)

• Ticket Registration: https://www.tixr.com/groups/animeexpolite/events/anime-expo- lite-2021-benefitting-hate-is-a-virus-23015

• Registration $5 (+ processing fees) – all proceeds to benefit the Hate Is a Virus commUNITY Action Fund

To receive Anime Expo Lite new & programming updates, please sign-up at:
https://mailchi.mp/anime-expo/lite-2021.

About SPJA
SPJA is a non-profit organization dedicated to popularizing and educating the American public about Japanese entertainment and pop culture, as well as provide a forum to facilitate communication between professionals and fans. For more information, please visit www.spja.org.

About Anime Expo
Anime Expo (AX) brings together fans and industry from Japan, the US, and all over the world for the largest celebration of Japanese pop culture in North America. Taking place every year since 1992, Anime Expo celebrates the best in Japanese entertainment and pop culture. For more information, visit www.anime-expo.org.


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