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SCANDAL releases newest single and annouces world tour!

November 19, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

SCANDAL releases newest single “Image”.
SCANDAL WORLD TOUR 2015 “HELLO WORLD” announced!!

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Today the 20th single by SCANDAL has been released via iTunes and is also available worldwide for international fans as well.

This catchy new song was written and composed by MAMI (Guitar & Vocals) and depicts the bands’ current “image”.

Check it out on iTunes at http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/image-single/id934849321

Also for next year SCANDAL has officially announced their first ever world tour, SCANDAL WORLD TOUR 2015 “HELLO WORLD”!
SCANDAL will start their tour in Japan with a historical 31 live shows, which is the most shows the band has ever played during a single tour, and then go out to perform in five international countries including the U.S., U.K, France, Taiwan and Hong Kong!

Stay tuned for the dates and location updates through SCANDAL’s “HELLO WORLD” tour special site!
http://www.sonymusic.co.jp/Music/Info/scandal/worldtour2015/

[SCANDAL]
SCANDAL was formed in August, 2006 with four high school girls who went to the same vocal & dance school in Osaka, Japan.They started performing as SCANDAL with aggressive sounds with pop characters.

In March 2008, they were invited to the Japanese culture convention Sakura-Con in Seattle, and they went around six cities in the U.S to see over 7,000 fans of them. In July 2008, they generated 10,000 people to Japan Expo in France and 8,000 to Anime Comic Fes in Hong Kong in August.

In October 2008, they released “DOLL” as their debut single. “DOLL” was rewarded for Power Play from over 40 FM/AM/CS radio stations in Japan.
In June 2009, they released their 3rd single “Shoujo S”, and it was ranked 6th in the first week on Oricon chart, and 5th on Reco-choku Chakuuta Full (Full digital download provider) weekly chart.

On October 21st, they released their first album “BEST★SCANDAL” and ranked 5th on Oricon chart in their first week of the release. For the girls band’s album to be awarded within 5th in their first week of the release was the first time in 7 years and a half.

In 2009, they were rewarded for New Face Award from Japan Record Award. – New Artist Their 7th single “Shunkan Sentimental” a tie-in song with the smash-hit animation series “FULLMETAL ALCHEMIST”, has again scored high on the charts. #7 on ORICON and #4 on the Reco-choku full (full track download) chart.

They released their 2nd album “TEMPTATION BOX” in August 2010, and this was awarded 3rd place on Oricon daily chart. In October, “Scandal nanka Buttobase” was released, and awarded 3rd place on Oricon weekly chart, the highest ranking on Oricon weekly in their history ever.

In April 2011, single “HARUKA” was released and it also ranked #3. In August 2011, their 3rd original album “BABY ACTION” was released, followed by “VIDEO ACTION”, 1st video clip collection DVD.

They also went on Asia tour, first tour outside Japan, and gathered 2,500 audiences from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. In March 28 2012, SCANDAL held the concert in Nippon Budokan, one of the high status venues in Japan.

They have recently announced their SCANDAL WORLD TOUR 2015 “HELLO WORLD” for next year and will be performing in 5 countries including U.S., U.K, France, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Official website
http://www.scandal-4.com/

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/scandalofficial

Twitter
https://twitter.com/scandal_band

YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/user/scandalSMEJ

Blog (Japanese only)
http://ameblo.jp/scandalblog-4/

 

EGOIST , new single “Fallen” available today!

November 19, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

EGOIST , new single “Fallen” available now!
Featured as the ending theme song for the anime series “PSYCHO-PASS 2”

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Since their formation, EGOIST, consisting of producer ryo (supercell) and vocals Chelly have been actively touring in Japan and internationally.

Their newest single, “Fallen” is featured as the ending theme song for the TV anime series “PSYCHO-PASS 2”, and is a fast beat tune that perfectly matches with the anime series. It has been over a year since their last single release and today they release this new track for the fans that have been eagerly waiting!

iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/fallen-single/id934821856

[EGOIST]
EGOIST is a Japanese duo consisting of the ryo(supercell) as the producer/songwriter and the super talented vocalist Chelly.
Originally created as a fictional band for the anime series “Guilty Crown”, the band continued creating music after the end of the series.
Their singles “Departures (Anata ni Okuru Ai no Uta)” and “The Everlasting Guilty Crown” generated buzz by both ranking in the top 10 on the Oricon Weekly Charts in Japan.
The band releases their 5th single “Fallen” on November 19, 2014 for fans worldwide!

Official HP
http://www.egoist-inori.jp/

Twitter
https://twitter.com/chelly_egoist

Facebook (supercell/EGOIST)
https://www.facebook.com/supercell.JPN

 

Now on MechaPunch.com – Matsumura Sayuri’s tearful apology, Nakagawa Shoko’s love for “Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure”, Sayanee on Twitter and more!

October 9, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Currently featured on our Asian pop culture site Mechapunch.com:

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Nogizaka46’s Matsumura Sayuri’s tearful apology after a tabloid has taken her photos with another man.  What did she have to say about it?

Meanwhile, Nakagawa Shoko shows her love for “Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures”, how many followers did NMB48’s Yamamoto Sayaka receive after joining Twitter and which famous actress did Masuda Yuka reunite with?

Check out our Asian pop culture site: mechapunch.com

 

Hatsune Miku to perform on David Letterman before MIKU EXPO 2014

September 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

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International sensation Hatsune Miku, the virtual idol at the forefront of Crypton Future Media’s vocaloid software, will make her American television debut on The Late Show with David Letterman on CBS on October 8.

Hatsune Miku’s appearance on the nationally-televised show will give American audiences a preview of the MIKU EXPO performance awaiting fans at L.A.’s Nokia Theater and New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom later this month. Celebrating the music, imagery, and interactive excitement of Hatsune Miku with back-to-back events in October, MIKU EXPO is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for fans to immerse themselves in the Miku World!

MIKU EXPO tickets and information:
http://mikuexpo.com/
MIKU EXPO recently revealed its Halloween Party Area Map for the L.A. event at Los Angeles Center Studios, including a guide to vendors and limited-edition Halloween-themed merchandise.
http://mikuexpo.com/la_exhibition
http://mikuexpo.com/la_goods
Buzz for the New York and L.A. events has continued to build this month, with several fan-based activities and announcements.

“Sharing The World” by BIGHEAD feat. Hatsune Miku was released this month as the official theme song for the event.
iTunes: http://karent.jp/album/1599
Music Video: http://youtu.be/GRc_Vz6kEjc

Streaming anime website Crunchyroll announced a fan video contest and a 30-minute exclusive concert video from MIKU EXPO in Indonesia.
http://www.crunchyroll.com/forumtopic-864989/hatsune-miku-expo-contest-crunchyroll-exclusive-miku-expo-footage
http://www.crunchyroll.com/hatsune-miku-expo-2014-indonesia
Hatsune Miku fans can keep up with the latest news on Facebook and Twitter using hashtag #MikuExpo.
https://www.facebook.com/HatsuneMikuOfficialPage
https://twitter.com/mikuexpo
ABOUT HATSUNE MIKU EXPO

HATSUNE MIKU EXPO presents multiple activities featuring Hatsune Miku, including an artwork exhibition focused on the virtual singer and the cultural movement she inspired, fan gathering activities, and — the ultimate highlight — the Hatsune Miku concert show using cutting-edge projection technology and a live band.

LOS ANGELES – The HATSUNE MIKU live concert is hosted in Los Angeles’ Nokia Theatre, with the collaborative exhibition hosted by Miku and her friends at an early Halloween party at Los Angeles Center Studios. At the exhibition, you can enjoy artwork displays, a special Halloween-themed area, and a shop where you can buy exclusive goods, including special Halloween items!

HATSUNE MIKU EXPO 2014 in Los Angeles
Live Concert Dates: October 11th & 12th
Live Concert Venue: NOKIA Theatre
Website: http://mikuexpo.com/la
NEW YORK – The HATSUNE MIKU live concert is held in New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom, and the exhibition is hosted in Lower East Side concept space Wallplay over a period of eleven days. The exhibition shows illustrations, videos, and more, revolving around Hatsune Miku and the theme of Universal Positivity.

HATSUNE MIKU EXPO 2014 in New York
Live Concert Dates: October 17th & 18th
Concert Venue: Hammerstein Ballroom
Website: http://mikuexpo.com/ny

HATSUNE MIKU PROFILE

Hatsune Miku is a singing voice synthesizer featured in over 100,000 songs released worldwide. Popular with millions of international fans, Hatsune Miku means “The first Sound from the Future”.

With over 2 million fans on Facebook, over 100,000 released songs, 170,000 uploaded YouTube videos, and 1,000,000 artwork creations, Hatsune Miku has performed sold-out 3D concerts worldwide with performances in L.A., Taipei, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Tokyo in addition to corporate collaborations with SEGA, Toyota USA, Google and more.

Full English Profile at http://www.crypton.co.jp/miku_eng

 

2014 J-POP SUMMIT FESTIVAL SETS NEW ATTENDANCE RECORD WITH MASSIVE WEEKEND CELEBRATION OF JAPANESE POP CUTURE

July 28, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

S.F.’s Annual Japanese Pop Culture Extravaganza Attracts Huge Crowds For Music, Anime, Film, Fashion and Ramen

San Francisco, CA, July 28, 2014 – The 2014 J-POP SUMMIT Festival, San Francisco’s premiere celebration of Japanese pop culture, music, fashion, games, art, food and film, broke all previous attendance records during its recent 6th annual weekend-long event. More than 120,000 people attended the two-day Festival that took place across the city’s Japantown on July 19th and 20th.

The second annual J-POP Live at Union Square concert took place on the evening of Saturday, July 19th and attracted nearly 5,000 people who filled the iconic downtown plaza and surrounding vantage points to enthusiastically welcome an array of headlining live musical performers from Japan.

The 2014 J-POP SUMMIT also kicked off the second annual Japan Film Festival of San Francisco, which ran thru Sunday, July 27th at the NEW PEOPLE Cinema, located at 1746 Post St in Japantown.

The 2014 J-POP SUMMIT presented several top Japanese artists that made their U.S. debut including pop stars and Guests of Honor former AKB48 memeber, Tomomi Itano, May’n, Una and the teen idol group, Tokyo Girls’ Style, as well as crowd favorite Kimono Cosplay pop singing duo, Yanakiku, Japanese-American pop singer Kylee, and the return of human beat box phenomenon, DAICHI. Japanese actor and star of Itazura Na Kiss, Yûki Furukawa, also appeared in-person to introduce the U.S. theatrical debut of his new film at NEW PEOPLE Cinema, “wo ai ni” (I love you) in TOKYO, as well as director Mitsutoshi Tanaka who appeared for the premiere of his new historical biopic, Ask This of Rikyu.

In addition to Japantown appearances by all of these artists, fans were treated to some J-flavored punk and alternative music from the Akabane Vulgars on Strong Bypass and Pinky Doodle Poodle, who were notably introduced on-stage by Robby Takac of The Goo Goo Dolls.

Kawaii-themed fashion programming was presented in partnership with ASOBISYSTEM and gave attendees and fashionistas kinetic live appearances by iconic Harajuku models Misa Kimura, Akira, Una and Ayumi Seto, who launched her new, “Aymmy in the batty girls” apparel line. Fans also were introduced to the sexy pop color explosion of the girls of Black Diamond from Shibuya and an array of other on-stage dance and fashion contests and other programming such as Baby, the Stars Shine Bright Contest, an “ODOTTEMITA” Dance Contest, Cosplay Masquerade, J-POP IDOL Contest and the Japan Discovery Stage.

Kinokuniya Book Stores of America and SEGA® of America welcomed visual artist, KEI, who designed the character of Hatsune Miku, the world’s first virtual pop star, and made his first-ever U.S. appearance to meet Miku fans and sign his art books.

Web-based Japanese cultural channel and sponsor JAPANKURU, taken from an original coined word that implies, “Come to Japan,” showcased the country’s strong influence on pop culture with a colorful JAPANKURU x J-POP SUMMIT Festival 2014 booth that offered attendees unique products unavailable in the U.S. and insights into travel to various parts of Japan.

The POP GOURMET Food Festival also returned to J-POP SUMMIT for its second consecutive year and offered new expanded attractions that included a Sake Tasting area, produced by Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco and hosted by more than a dozen premiere sake brands and brewers, as well as RAMEN Street, and a Japanese Beverage and Bites & Snacks Area hosted in-part by Takara Sake USA, which brought the festival’s official cocktail “J POP,” as well as Sapporo USA, Azuma Foods, Meiji and ITO-EN.

RAMEN Street was a brand new attraction for J-POP SUMMIT this year and was co-presented in cooperation with the Ramen Yokocho Association. The scrumptious event drew tens of thousands who cued in hours-long lines throughout the entire weekend for a taste of authentic hearty, made-from-scratch Japanese ramen from some of the best purveyors of the dish in the world. Many of the local restaurants, merchants and other businesses in the Japantown area also benefited from the massive attendance.

“The record setting attendance for the 2014 J-POP SUMMIT affirms the tremendous popularity that Japanese pop culture has across a truly wide cross section of people of all ages, from all walks of life, and it is a direct result of the support of our sponsors, the City of San Francisco, the Japantown community, and the passion and hard work invested by our Festival staff as well as legions of dedicated volunteers that so generously contributed their time before, during as well as after this year’s event,” says Seiji Horibuchi, J-POP SUMMIT Festival founder and chairman of the J-POP SUMMIT Festival Committee. “Each J-POP SUMMIT strives to present a unique composite of the latest pop culture trends happening in Japan right now. Many of the artists and content that has been featured goes on to become globally popular. As we look forward to 2015, we reflect on lessons learned and also the energy that J-POP SUMMIT has brought to Japantown and the fun and excitement it has given to so many attendees year after year.”

2014 J-POP SUMMIT Festival sponsors included: JAPANKURU, ASOBISYSTEM, TAKARA SAKE USA, SEGA, Biken International, MOSHI MOSHI NIPPON, the Consulate General of Japan in San Francisco, SAPPORO, Ma Chére Cosette?, Crunchyroll, United Airline, Kinokuniya USA, Meiji, Azuma Foods, JVTA, and the Japan Foundation.

About JAPAN FILM FESTIVAL OF SAN FRANCISCO
Launched in 2013, Japan Film Festival of San Francisco is the first and only fully-dedicated Japanese film event for the SF Bay Area, and features a colorful mix of narratives, anime and documentary film premieres and exclusive screenings with special guest appearances at the NEW PEOPLE Cinema in SF Japantown. Additional details are available at: www.jffsf.org.

About J-POP SUMMIT Festival
Launched in 2009, J-POP SUMMIT Festival is an annual street fair held in San Francisco, CA that celebrates Japanese popular culture. By introducing the latest in Japanese music, film, art, fashion, gaming, anime, food, as well as niche subcultures, the festival has become a prominent platform to showcase the latest pop trends and creative innovations from Japan.

In addition to the original Festival held in Japantown, new attractions include the J-POP LIVE AT UNION SQUARE concert in downtown San Francisco, the Bay Area’s premier dedicated Japan Film Festival of San Francisco, and sake-tasting and fine foods events at the POP GOURMET Food Festival, which have each further enriched the experience. Additional information about J-POP SUMMIT Festival is available at: J-POP.com.

 

GLOBAL ROCK ICONS X JAPAN ANNOUNCE ON SALE DATE FOR OCTOBER 11th MADISON SQUARE GARDEN CONCERT

July 28, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

TICKETS ON SALE FRIDAY, AUGUST 1st AT 10:00AM

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LOS ANGELES, CA (July 28th, 2014) – Internationally renowned rock icons X Japan announced today that tickets for their highly anticipated October 11th concert at Madison Square Garden will go on sale this Friday at 10:00AM EDT athttp://www.ticketmaster.com/XJapan-tickets/artist/723909. The Madison Square Garden concert event is sponsored by New York Comic Con.

 

X Japan, led by co-founder, drummer, pianist and songwriter Yoshiki, will return to New York City for their first concert since 2010, performing both fan favorites and previously unreleased music from the band’s decades of recordings. This Madison Square Garden concert marks a significant milestone for the band who made their U.S. debut with a Rockefeller Center press conference over 20 years ago, which presented the fierce J-Rock stars to an American audience. The band is finally fulfilling the promise they made to the fans to return. The group has since toured 16 countries, sold over 30 million albums and singles combined, and sold out Japan’s 55,000 seat Tokyo Dome a record-setting 18 times. The concert trailer for X Japan Madison Square Garden can be viewed here: http://youtu.be/qI-zQehlQaI

X Japan has had a notoriously tumultuous career, even among the world of rock, which includes the loss of two of its five founding members to tragic death. Amid death and breakups, the band has steadfastly maintained X Japan’s vision and this year brought themselves together to perform where their U.S. story started, in New York City.

 

In line with October’s Madison Square Garden concert, Yoshiki and X Japan will appear at New York Comic Con, where Yoshiki will participate in a panel with Marvel Comics founder Stan Lee and discuss the pair’s collaborations, including the comic based on Yoshiki, Blood Red Dragon. New York Super Week is an immersive and inclusive experience that will bring the energy, passion and color of the entire pop culture universe to every corner of all five boroughs of New York City. Featuring concerts, comedy shows, gaming events, lectures, podcasts, storytelling, food tastings, and more – New York Super Week will take place October 3-12, leading into the East Coast’s biggest and most exciting convention – New York Comic Con.

 

About X Japan

X Japan returns to the United States this October bringing their legendarily edgy brand of rock to New York City for one night at the iconic Madison Square Garden. The concert event marks the band’s first show together in 3 years and will feature fan favorites as well as previously unreleased and never before performed music. X Japan is revered in their native Japan and around the world as a genre-defining and boundary pushing group, and have mesmerized audiences across the globe with their incendiary live performances. With worldwide sales of over 30-million, they’ve headlined a staggering 18 sold out shows at the 55,000-capacity Tokyo Dome known for historic concerts by Michael Jackson and Bon Jovi. Since forming in 1982, they’ve continued to challenge not only themselves but rock n’ roll as a genre.

 

X Japan first landed on American soil in 1992. Signed to Atlantic Records at the time they held a massive press conference at Rockefeller Center debuting their eye-catching personal style. Embracing a combination of flamboyant futurist imagery and Japanese history, X Japan’s “Visual-Kei” style would go on to immensely influence the anime and cosplay that’s so commonplace today. Prior to the group’s 1998 breakup they released five albums —Vanishing Vision [1998], Blue Blood [1989], Jealousy [1991], Art of Life [1993], and Dahlia [1996]—solidifying a sound that’s equally scorching and soaring.

 

The death of original guitarist Hide profoundly shook the band, but in 2007 Toshi and Yoshiki, friends since childhood, reunited. They paid tribute to Hide on tour by utilizing a hologram of the deceased guitarist—long before 2Pac’s appearance at Coachella – during that first Japanese reunion run. After hitting sixteen countries, the United States tour commenced with a triumphant debut performance at Lollapalooza 2010 and was followed by sold out shows from Los Angeles to New York.

 

In 2011 X Japan faced another deep loss with the death of original bassist Taiji. The band continued with him in spirit, and X Japan were named Best International Rock Band at the Golden Gods Awards in 2012.

In 2014, Yoshiki, Toshi, Pata, Heath, and Sugizo embodied that mentality in working on the upcoming release on Warner Music, scheduled to be released early next year.

 

For more information please visit:

www.xjapanmusic.com

www.yoshiki.net

 

 

Zyurangers meets the Power Rangers at Power Morphicon

July 21, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Morphicon is Proud to Announce Sentai and Henshin Actors Yuuta Mochizuki, Hiroshi Maeda and Yasuhiro Takeuchi as Special Guests

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Yuuta_Mochizuki

Pasadena, CA – Power Morphicon, the official Power Rangers convention, is proud to announce that Super Sentai and Henshin actors, Yuuta Mochizuki, Hiroshi Maeda and Yasuhiro Takeuchi will be making their first U.S. convention appearance at Power Morphicon next month.

The three-day event will be held on August 22-24th at the Pasadena Convention Center.

Yuuta Mochizuki is best known for his role as Geki, the red Tyranno Ranger, from Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger, which Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, was adapted from.

Mochizuki is also known as J1 of the Neo-Jetman in Choujin Sentai Jetman, played the role of Koji Segawa/KamenRider J and has performed as the second Tuxedo Mask in the Sailor Moon musical.

Mochizuki recently reprised his role as Geki in the 2014 film, Kyoryuger vs Go-Busters: The Great Dinosaur Battle! Farewell our Eternal Friends.

Hiroshi Maeda is a professional Japanese stunt man and suit actor who is best known for portraying the Tyranno Ranger in the 1992 Super Sentai series Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger.

Maeda went on to play the red ranger in Saban’s Power Rangers series in Mighty Morphin, Turbo, In Space, Lost Galaxy, Lightspeed Rescue, Time Force, Wild Force, and Ninja Storm.

Maeda’s also known for playing Kamen Rider 1 in two films: Kamen Rider: The First and Kamen Rider: The Next, as well as playing Dragon Knight in Kamen Rider Dragon Knight.

Yasuhiro Takeuchi is a professional Japanese stunt man and suit actor who is known to have recurring roles in many Super Sentai series. Takeuchi has worn both Rangers and mecha (zords) suits.

Takeuchi is one of two stunt actors to portray the Dragon Ranger in Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger (the Green Ranger in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers).

Takeuchi’s long list of credits include Mythical Chi Beast RyuseiOh (Red Dragon Thunderzord in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers), the Mega Winger (Power Rangers In Space), V-Rex(Power Rangers Time Force’s Q-Rex), Timeranger Blue & Green (Power Rangers Time Force’s Blue & Green Rangers), Shinken Green (Power Rangers Samurai’s Green Ranger), Gokai Green (Power Rangers Super Megaforce’s Green Ranger), and more recently in Ressha Sentai ToQger as the ToQ 4gou (Green Ranger), which is currently airing in Japan.

All three actors will join over 100 confirmed guests at Power Morphicon next month.

This will mark the first time a Japanese Super Sentai actor, Yuuta Mochizuki, will be meeting his American Power Ranger counterpart, Austin St. John, both of whom played the lead role in their respective series as the Red Ranger.

More information about Power Morphicon can be found online at http://officialpowermorphicon.com
About Power Morphicon

Power Morphicon is a three-day convention held every two years that celebrates Power Rangers and related series such as VR Troopers, Beetleborgs, Kamen Rider and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The three-day event brings in over 5,000 people from all over the world to participate in cosplay events, panels featuring all guests, breakfast with the guests, martial arts demo/classes, prop/FX workshop, and more. Power Morphicon is a local business owned by painter and artist, Scott Zillner, and is an event that is directed by an all volunteer, unpaid staff.

For more information about Power Morphicon, please visit http://officialpowermorphicon.com.

 

ALTIMA to Play Friday Concert at Otakon 2014

July 10, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

ALTIMA

Baltimore, MD (July 9, 2014) – The Friday concert guest at Otakon 2014 will be three-member Japanese music group ALTIMA, Otakorp Inc. is excited to announce.

The group, formed in 2011, consists of ex/m.o.v.e’s MOTSU as the rapper, fripSide’s Satoshi Yaginuma (SAT) as the sound producer and synthesizer player, and Maon Kurosaki (MAON) as the main vocalist. ALTIMA released their debut single, “I’ll Believe,” in December 2011, which is used as the first ending theme to the anime series Shakugan no Shana Final. They released their first album, “TRYANGLE,” in 2014.

Anime fans will recognize their songs “ONE” (the second ending theme to the anime Shakugan no Shana Final), ”Burst The Gravity” (the second opening theme to the anime Accel World) and “Fight 4 Real” (the second opening theme to the anime Strike the Blood). Music lovers also praise their skilled performances on the live stage.

Otakon 2014 will be held August 8-10 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, MD.

ABOUT OTAKON AND OTAKORP, INC.:
Now entering its twenty first 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.

 

2014 J-POP SUMMIT FESTIVAL WELCOMES GUEST OF HONOR TOMOMI ITANO FOR HER U.S. CONCERT DEBUT DURING THE BAY AREA’S PREMIERE JAPANESE POP CULTURE WEEKEND CELEBRATION

July 8, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Former Member Of Japanese Pop Idol Super Group AKB48 Makes Her First-Ever U.S. Concert Appearance To Launch Her First Full-Album Release And Will Perform A Special FREE Concert Set In Union Square and Japantown

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San Francisco, CA, July 8, 2014 – The 2014 J-POP SUMMIT Festival, San Francisco’s premiere celebration of Japanese pop culture, music, fashion and film, is proud to present famed pop music superstar Tomomi Itano for her first-ever U.S. performance. Tomomi Itano performs in support of her brand new full-length release, “SxWxAxG,” which was released on July 2nd.

Tomomi Itano will perform at a special FREE J-POP Live at Union Square concert on the evening of Saturday, July 19th at 7:50pm in the city’s downtown Union Square stage, and is also set to perform on the Pagoda Main Stage in Japantown on Sunday, July 20th at 11:00am.

50 VIP guests will be invited to join a special Meet & Greet with Tomomi Itano and each will be given an autographed poster. These lucky guests will be selected at random from fans that purchase VIP PASS A or B by Friday July 11th at 5pm PST (http://www.j-pop.com/2014/vip/). Those selected to join the Meet & Greet will be notified by email. Additional information about Tomomi Itano and her J-POP SUMMIT performances as well as the Meet & Greet are now available at www.j-pop.com/2014/tomomi-itano.

“POP Is Our Tradition” is the theme of this year’s J-POP SUMMIT and will be represented throughout the Festival which takes place across San Francisco’s historic Japantown during the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, July 19th and 20th.

The annual J-POP SUMMIT Festival and Union Square concert are FREE to attend (although certain activities/vendors will require a modest admission fee). J-POP SUMMIT has become one of the largest events in the United States dedicated to showcasing the many sides of Japanese pop culture and fandom. Attendance in 2013 exceeded 80,000 people. Full festival details and updates are available at: www.j-pop.com.

Special VIP Passes, providing optimum viewing for J-POP SUMMIT music concerts on both days, as well a special J-pop gift bag and opportunities to meet the celebrities will give attendees a way to maximize their Festival experience. VIP Pass information and secure online purchase is available at: http://www.j-pop.com/2014/VIP.

“We are delighted to welcome pop superstar Tomomi Itano as an official Guest of Honor for the 2014 J-POP SUMMIT and are very honored to present her exclusive U.S. concert debut in what is sure to be a memorable weekend,” says Seiji Horibuchi, the President/CEO of NEW PEOPLE, Inc. and Chairman of the J-Pop Summit Festival Committee. “This year’s theme, “POP Is Our Tradition,” affirms our dedication to contribute to a legacy of Japanese pop culture that has global impact, and to continue to provide a fun and compelling showcase for Japanese artists and media to reach an international audience. This year’s J-POP SUMMIT is not to be missed!”

About Tomomi Itano:
Born in Kanagawa, Japan in 1991, Tomomi Itano rocketed to fame as a founding member of the Japanese all-girl pop idol super group, AKB48. The group was founded in 2005 and pioneered the concept of a new breed of J-Pop stars with distinct personalities and kinetic live shows. In 2011, while continuing activities as a core member of AKB48, Itano released her first solo single, “Dear J,” followed six months later by her second single, “Fuini,” which topped the Japanese Oricon pop music charts. Since then, she released additional chart topping singles such as, “10nen-go no Kimi e,” “1%,” and “little.” In 2013, Itano officially graduated from AKB48 to focus on her solo career.

Additional Tomomi Itano information is available at:

Official website: TomomiItano.jp (Eng)
Official Community Site: http://teamtomo.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tomomiitano
Twitter: https://twitter.com/tomo_coco73

Fans can also catch Tomomi Itano’s music videos:

Dear J

1%

Crush

An insightful documentary film, DOCUMENTARY of AKB48 to be continued, is also available in North America and follows the unstoppable Japanese pop idol group and gives audiences a rare glimpse into the girls’ off-stage lives and personalities and charts their massive success and phenomenal popularity. The film was released on DVD in 2011 by NEW PEOPLE Entertainment and is available (Region 1, with English subtitles) at:
www.newpeopleent.com/films/documentary-of-akb48.

About J-POP SUMMIT Festival
Launched in 2009, J-POP SUMMIT Festival is an annual street fair held in San Francisco, CA that celebrates Japanese popular culture. By introducing the latest in Japanese music, film, art, fashion, gaming, anime, food, as well as niche subcultures, the festival has become a prominent platform to showcase the latest pop trends and creative innovations from Japan.

The 5th annual J-POP SUMMIT held in July 2013 welcomed more than 80,000 attendees, making it one of the largest Japanese festivals in the United States. In addition to the original Festival held in Japantown, new attractions include the J-POP LIVE AT UNION SQUARE concert in downtown San Francisco, the Bay Area’s premier dedicated Japan Film Festival of San Francisco, and sake-tasting and fine foods events at the POP GOURMET Food Festival, which have each further enriched the experience. Additional information about J-POP SUMMIT Festival is available at: J-POP.com.

 

J-POP SUMMIT PRESENTS A BRAND NEW INTERACTIVE PUZZLE SOLVING GAME ATTRACTION 1000 TREASURE HUNTERS 2014

July 2, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

S.F.’s Annual Japanese Pop Culture Extravaganza Teams With Real Escape Game Inventors SCRAP To Offer Inventive Scavenger Hunt Event

San Francisco, CA, July 2, 2014 – The 2014 J-POP SUMMIT, San Francisco’s annual celebration of Japanese pop culture, music, fashion and film, partners with SCRAP, the Kyoto-based creators of the innovative Real Escape Game, to present a special interactive puzzle solving game for this year’s Festival. 1000 Treasure Hunters 2014 is a brand new outdoor treasure hunt/puzzle solving attraction that will take place throughout the weekend of J-POP SUMMIT on Saturday and Sunday, July 19th and 20th.

Legions of players of all ages are invited to take part in what could become Bay Area’s biggest simultaneous scavenger hunt and search for dozens of clues and puzzles ingeniously hidden throughout Japantown. No special skills or familiarity with Japanese or the Japantown area are needed to play. There is no time limit and players can participate alone, or with friends, or as a team, while simultaneously enjoying other activities at J-POP SUMMIT Festival.

Advanced tickets are available now (thru July 18th) for $22.00 each at http://realescapegame.com/1000th2014; Day-of tickets purchased at J-POP SUMMIT will be $25.00 each.

The story and game premise of 1000 Treasure Hunters revolves around a secret kingdom populated by animals living together in Japantown. Once a year they come out and play a concert during the J-POP SUMMIT Festival. But while preparing, they lost an instrument. Now they can’t perform without recovering it. Players of 1000 Treasure Hunters must find the clues to find the instrument and help the animals get ready for their concert.

Players begin at check-in with the SCRAP Reception Team, located at the Real Escape Game Tent in Peace Plaza, anytime between 11:00am and 3:30pm Saturday, and 11:00-3:00pm Sunday. Tickets may also be purchased on-site at this location.

Players each will receive a “kit” containing clues, hints, and a detailed map of Japantown that will become the roadmap for the “game area.” Players should keep their eyes peeled because clues can be anywhere, in plain sight or hidden, both outdoors across the entire Japantown J-POP SUMMIT Festival grounds, Peace Plaza, and also inside immediate buildings. Players may work individually or in teams. As each clue is solved, players/teams move on to the next location where the ongoing mystery leads. Game play is estimated take roughly 1.5 to 3 hours depending on players/teams. 1000 Treasure Hunters is not a ‘fast victory game.’ There is no time limit. No special skills are needed, just astute cognition skills and a keen sense of logic.

On the second day of the 2014 J-POP SUMMIT (Sunday, July 20th), a special solution debriefing will be held at 5:30pm as the finale of the game. All of the puzzle mysteries will be revealed in public to festival attendees. During this finale, a special ceremony will take place at Peace Plaza Pagoda Stage where the Grand Prize Treasure winner will be chosen in a random drawing from amongst all of the players that successfully completed the game.

The annual J-POP SUMMIT is FREE to attend (although certain attractions do require a modest admission fee) and has become one of the largest events in the United States dedicated to showcasing the many sides of Japanese pop culture and fandom. Full details are available at: www.J-POP.com.

About SCRAP

Headquartered in Kyoto, Japan, SCRAP has been creating immersive and adventurous puzzle events. In 2007, it invented the world’s first live action game called, REAL ESCAPE GAME (REG) in Japan. REGs have been held in Japan and other Asian countries in unique places such as schools, abandoned hospitals, amusement parks, stadiums, and churches, and the events have drawn widespread attention and positive reviews.

The first Real Escape Game in the U.S took place in San Francisco in 2012 at NEW PEOPLE. Another San Francisco game took place on board a ship, a world-first. Since opening the Real Escape Room, Escape from the Mysterious Room at NEW PEOPLE, over 6,000 people have played. Despite being highly challenging, with only a 2% success rate, tickets have continuously sold out. In Japan, a series of TV dramas, Real Escape Game TV, and movies have also been developed. SCRAP is now pioneering a new genre of Real World Adventure. SCRAP Entertainment Inc. is the US branch of SCRAP Co Japan. Real Escape Game by SCRAP™ is the registered trademark of SCRAP

About J-POP SUMMIT Festival

Launched in 2009, J-POP SUMMIT Festival is an annual street fair held in San Francisco, CA that celebrates Japanese popular culture. By introducing the latest in Japanese music, film, art, fashion, gaming, anime, food, as well as niche subcultures, the festival has become a prominent platform to showcase the latest pop trends and creative innovations from Japan.

The 5th annual J-POP SUMMIT held in July 2013 welcomed more than 80,000 attendees, making it one of the largest Japanese festivals in the United States. In addition to the original Festival held in Japantown, new attractions include the J-POP LIVE AT UNION SQUARE concert in downtown San Francisco, the Bay Area’s premier dedicated Japan Film Festival of San Francisco, and sake-tasting and fine foods events at the POP GOURMET Food Festival, which have each further enriched the experience. Additional information about J-POP SUMMIT Festival is available at: J-POP.com.

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