AnimeJapan 2016 attracts 135,323 attendees

March 29, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 


A few years ago, it was often discussed among industry and press about the two competing anime events in Japan. The two events… Tokyo International Anime Fair and Anime Contents Expo would each bring in anime fans to their event for two weekends straight. Most often was the case, one would have to pick one event over the other.

But all that has changed in 2015. This time, both events have come together and united to form AnimeJapan 2015, with a goal to become “the biggest anime event on Earth”.

Held at Tokyo Big Sight (East Hall 1-6 and 1F Reception Hall), from March 26-27, the event would bring all anime fans, local and international, all license holders and business practioners to showcase upcoming anime titles and other areas of Japanese pop culture.

A total of 135,323 attendees, an 11% increase from 2015 which brought in 121,540 attendees (the first event in 2014 brought in 111,252 attendees).

AnimeJapan 2016 featured 468 companies (409 from Japan and 59 from overseas).  While, Family Animation Festa would bring out 10,325 people.

J!-ENT arrived to the event an hour before opening and as we were able to check out the setup of the booths and teams preparing for the attendees waiting to get inside. We also had the opportunity to also see the large crowds develop outside of the venue. But then to later see how efficient and quick Japanese event registration was despite the large lines.

But it was an amazing sight to behold as many thousands upon many thousands of people entered and filled up both halls, some trying to get their hands on limited edition goods but many who were there primarily to get information on the latest anime series and obtain the many swag (primarily clear files and bags) that were given out.

For more information on AnimeJapan, please click here.

For more J!-ENT photos from AnimeJapan 2016 by Antonio Airoso, please click here.


Ani-Me Con 2016 by Derek Orchard (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)

March 2, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

704b7f2    Ani-Me Con 2016 took place at the Big Fresno Fairgrounds in Fresno, California February 20 and 21st. Ani-Me Con is one of the biggest Anime/gaming events in the Central Valley. This event had over a 100 vendors, artist, exhibitors and fan club’s, also had a live entertainment, Tournament gaming and a cosplay contest on both days.


               This is my 2nd year attending Ani-Me Con. So much has changed from last year, the first thing easy to notice different venue and with a different venue comes ticket sales. Before Ani-me Con, was a free event and the venue was very small and they did the best with what they could now that they’ve opened up to a much larger venue, So this little show is growing up. Now I seen some other shows start to grow and try to expand, the event coordinators are doing a good job growing with the purpose in mind. A lot of their vendors had a lot of things that was reasonably priced for someone who may have not had a lot of money to go to an event like this, this is a very accessible show.

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               One of the things I really liked about this show is that it wasn’t just all about the commercial side of the conventions. There was enough other things, there that you actually can learn more about voice acting, costume making an what was happen the next. You could go and learn about something that you’re very interested in and you don’t have someone to talk to in person about it. You could a shown up early and stayed late for the after-hours party. This just a wasn’t a Anime show or a trading card gaming show. If you took the time and walk by the Cosplay area, a lot of the Cosplay artist had their props out and they were there willing to talk about how they made their equipment, what materials they used and the whole process of making costumes.

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               The voice actor guests were Erika Harlacher, Sarah Anne Williams and Erik Keimerer. Some of the live entertainment, Kinu Cafe, Lolita fashion show, Terra wars fighting exhibition, heart of otaku culture import car club.  Singing performances of Lovely Rushers and Band performances by Akai Sky, Iwanaga, Light of mine. This is just some of the things that they had, There is much more to see.

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               I could spent a lot more time talking about how much more they had to offer than they had from the year previous,  The venue is bigger and they were working really hard to fill the space they had. Some shows just have console gaming for you to take a break and play, Ani-Me Con had that and Gaming Tournaments. Everything was very current Street Fighter 5 tournaments, They were having smashed brothers too.   also they had retro-gaming going on.

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               They have made so many changes from last year’s show to this one, they seem to have a really good handle on what was going on. Now not soon of that there weren’t any mistakes or anything like that of the wasn’t something that’s up to the cracks, but I never heard anyone complaining about anything that wasn’t happening like they thought it should. It kind of feels that Ani-Me Con has really come into its own this year. They moved into a big your area and they filled it with more vendors and vendors, that have a variety of things. There have been some shows in this area. That move into a big your venue but they didn’t have any more vendors to add to their show. So they had a bigger space, but they were filling it with anything. That was not a problem at this show. From what I saw you got a lot for what you paid for to get into the event. I think that if they can keep growing with a lot of thought that they put into this show and they build on it, this show, shall continue to grow and be an amazing show to attend.

 See more photos from Ani-Me Con at:

Photos by Derek Orchard

 And By Antonio Airoso


J!-ENT INTERVIEW: Singer-guitarist from Japan, Rei prepares for her US live debut at SXSW

February 28, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 


J!-ENT Interview with Rei by Dennis A. Amith

Inspired by blues music in the United States at the age of five, Rei, a singer-guitarist from Hyogo, Japan will be performing at SXSW and live performances slated for March in Austin, Texas and San Francisco, California.

J!-ENT recently had the chance to interview Rei about her music before her US live debut at Japan Nite at SXSW on March 18th.

J!-ENT: You learned how to play the guitar at the age of four, but I’m curious how you became fascinated with blues music at a young age. Was it through your parents? And what was the first blues song you ever learned to sing and play on you guitar completely?

REI: I met blues music through joining the school’s big band when I was living in New York during kindergarten. I had started classical guitar, but did not know how to improvise. My music teacher who recognized me playing guitar, invited me into playing contemporary music styles through classic jazz blues tunes such as “Freddie Freeloader” by Miles Davis, which answers the question to my first blues song that I learned how to play.  Making up the melody at the very moment, was exciting since I had only known how to read pre-written music.


J!-ENT: Having grown up in New York, before moving back to Japan, because of your interest in blues music, did you try to inspire friends in Japan to listen to blues music? Or did you feel your interest in blues music made you a bit different in terms of your musical tastes with Japanese you grew up with?

REI: Because I went to an international school with kids from various cultures, it was natural for us to embrace the differences we had in musical tastes. Everyone was weird in his or her own little way, as I recall. Either way, I was a shy kid and didn’t like forcing things on people, so I’d be happy talking about 2000’s Pop Punk bands at school with my peers while enjoying my time at home alone with Blind Blake.


J!-ENT: You released your first mini album “BLU” and several months ago, released “UNO”.  What is the primary difference between both albums musically and production-wise?

REI: “BLU” was my debut album, so it was important for me to introduce who I was; as a person, and as a musician. It’s more like “the country where I’m from” type of thing, whereas “UNO” is more adventurous. A kid from the countryside glittering her eyes to the night lights of the city. I tried to express a more humorous, quirky side of myself through the instrumentation and the lyrics.


J!-ENT: Having grown up in America, is it a dream come true to perform at such a major event such as SXSW and also at a well-known music store such as Amoeba San Francisco?

REI: I haven’t lived long enough to say, “I’ve grown up in America”… but was heavily influenced by the western culture and of course the music. It is an honor to have the opportunity to join in such an event and I’d like to make it a meaningful experience.


J!-ENT: You are sure to have new fans of your musical work after this performance in America.  What words would you like to leave with your new American fans?

REI: I’m excited to see you at the shows in America! Please listen to my music and share it! Blues on!

Rei’s Live Performance US Schedule (March 2016):

Rei @ Elephant Room
WHEN: Wednesday, 16 March, 2016 Show: 18:00 (CST)

Japan Preview Day Show
WHEN: Thursday, 17 March, 2016 Show: TBA

SXSW Japan Nite @SXSW
WHEN: Friday, 18 March, 2016 Show: 23:00 (CST)

Amoeba Music in-store @ Amoeba San Francisco
WHEN: Sunday, 20 March, 2016 Show: 14:00



December 6, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 


Our yearly J!-ENT Annual for 2015 is now available for download.

And this time, J!-ENT GOES TO JAPAN!  But also many other awesome events in such as Anime Japan and Tokyo Outdoor Expo.  And in the U.S. like San Diego Comic Con, Star Wars Celebration, Anime Expo, J-Pop Summit, Comikaze, ZAPPCON and many more.

Featuring over a thousand pages which includes interviews with Eir Aoi (our second interview), Little Glee Monster, Ken Ishii, GARNiDELiA, FES ☆ TIVE , Gacharic Spin, Jeanist, Amiaya,Kanako Ito, Musubizm, Jaru Jaru, photo gallery featuring Momoiro Clover Z, LinkStar’s, Cheeky Parade, Faint☆Star, Gouhou Shojou Shoukougun, FEMM, Rio Hiiragi, Ayumi Seto, YuRi, Hiko Achiha, RinRin and more!

For this year’s cosplay interviews, we interview Riki “Riddle” Lecotey, Valerie Perez, Giada Robin and Holly Brooke.

For voice talent, we interview legendary voice actress (Ghibli animated films) Sumi Shimamoto, Haruka Terui and English dub voice talents Cristina Vee, Christine Cabanos, Kyle Hebert and Erika Harlacher.

We interview “BlazBlue” creator Toshimichi Mori and voice actresses Kanako Kondo and Kana Ueda.

We also interview artists and animators Hiromi Kato, Osamu Kobayashi and also figma toy founders Max Watanabe and Masaki Apsy.

You can download our J!-ENT 2015 annual here (Note: You will need Adobe Reader to read our Annual):

LOW-RES (Single Page Version)

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View on PDF Archive


(For the Two-Page View Version – Please note that in order for us to do this, we had to insert a page right after the cover, so table of contents will be off by one page)

PDF (662 MB) | Download from Google Drive (661MB)

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PDF (2.7GB) | Download from Google Drive (2.8GB)

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Stan Lee’s ComiKaze Expo 2015 by Derek Orchard (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)

November 7, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Article and Photos by Derek Orchard

                Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo was held October 30 through November 1, 2015. At the Los Angeles convention Center in California.


                This is Comikaze’s 5th year. I was looking at it as a another young convention. I wasn’t expecting a big set up. I know it’s got Stan Lee name on it, I had been hearing more and more about the show and I knew it was growing. I was not prepared for what I saw at the show. It was huge! they have broken it up into two separate halls.


                They had so many guests, I really don’t know who I should mention I mean, of course, they had Stan Lee, Elvira, Carrie Fisher, Grant Morrison, Summer Glau and not to mention Costume makers Vampy BitMe, Riki Lecotey(Riddle), Genevieve Marie, LeAnna Vamp. And we can’t forget the artist like Art Adams, Ashley Riot, Francesco!, Joyce Chen, Mike Mignola, Crystal Graziano, Todd McFarland, Tom Hodges, Camilla D’Errico.

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                In all the different panels they had here. I mean they had stuff, ranging from how to write what writing methods you should use. Panels on cosplay making costumes, how to think about the costumes you’re making and how you should feel about wearing your costume. There is all sorts of sci-fi panels, on Star Trek, on Star Wars, there was panel for Babylon 5, Spartacus. they had panels on drawing, in voice acting, 8 bit video gaming and of course Horror.

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                Comikaze introduced on the main stage, Stan Lee and Yoshiki’s “Blood Red Dragon” which is a motion graphic novel, later we have the two main actors from the movie, “2001: a Space Odyssey”. They had a lot of fun talking about different things that happened during the making of the movie and some of the adventures in their lives. William Shatner also made an appearance with his “Man O’War: Cinematic graphic novel” talked about the changes that were coming in season two, what they were doing to make it better and they really wanted feedback from the audience of what they should be doing next to improve the experience. DMC was they are on the main stage talking about his impact on music his career and his current endeavor, “Darryl makes comics”.  And more than $10,000 cash and prizes was up for grabs as in the best cosplayers in the country come for the Cosplay National Championships. Stan Lee’s, ComiKaze was proud to launch the Prop Making National Championship which also had a 2nd category for fans choice that you were able to vote on the props. That were on display until the last day of the show.

Genevieve Marie

                Those are just some of the few highlights of the show. My small little review of this convention cannot convey the size of this show. The crowds they had on Saturday and Sunday were comparable to San Diego comic con. Personally this is a show that I have been trying to go to for the last 5 years for one reason or another, I have not been able to go, but this year I finally made it and this was an amazing show. It seemed like this show was centered around the fans. Seem like everything was made really accessible to everyone, even though you may end of standing in the line for a while. You had a really good chance of getting what you wanted.

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                ComiKaze Expo, is an accessible show, you can still buy tickets during the show. So even at the last minute. If you want to go to the show, you can. it’s not one of those shows that you have to plan months, years in advance to get tickets to go. I really like the fact that a young fan just discovering conventions can make a to a show like this. To be able to meet his or hers heroes, whether they be fictional or real, A show like this allows them to have the opportunity to have that moment where the line between fantasy and reality can meet for a moment.

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Check back for more photos from Stan Lee’s ComiKaze Expo 2015 in our J!-ENT 2015 Annual scheduled for November 2015


Zappcon 2015 by Derek Orchard (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)

November 4, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Article and Photos by Derek Orchard


ZappCon , took place on October 17 and 18th, 2015. At the Convention Center in Fresno, California.

                After spending the last year seeing what some of the San Joaquin Valley of California has to offer in ways of Anime/Sci-Fi/Comic conventions. It seems that I’m ending it with ZappCon. What a way to end it, I have really been looking for a traditional comic con that felt like, San Diego comic con felt when I first started to go. This is ZappCon’s 2nd year and is not a small as I thought it was going to be. The fact was very large.

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                A few of the guests were voice actress Andrea Libman. TV and movie actress, Gigi Edgley. Illustrator for wizards of the Coast, RK Post. Webb artist Drew Green. Periscope studios from Portland, Oregon. Actor Joey Oglesby, of law and order:SVU and NCIS. The guest cosplayers they had of the show was Loki hate you, ThorTV, Christine Sprankle and that’s just naming a few of everyone who was here at this show.


                What I found the show is what I expect to find when I go to a well run comic convention, I expect to find everything that I want there and to me, they had at all, they had Anime, they had comics, they had steampunk, they had sci-fi/Star Wars. Videogames both current and classic. Vendors were selling all the main stream stuff that you’re looking for, a couple of vendors were selling stuff, they had picked up from Japan and were selling at the show.

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                If you’re on a budget they had gaming areas for both card and table top games. They had games there that you could try out to see if you do even would like plainly game later on. So you do even need to know anything about the game before you were there to play it. An upstairs they had video gaming on all the major consoles And also had RPG gaming. Outside, Terra wars, Iron gate sword fighting and Sunspear Belegarth. They also had a kids zone, which offered  activities for kids, seem like everyone was Entertained.

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                Let’s talk panels! The 501st Legion had a panel on making costumes from the Star Wars universe and they also talked about how to joined the ranks of the 501st. they had a panel on farscape with Gigi Edgley. A on panel how to be successful on YouTube, a game design Roundtable, tip and tricks for cosplay, working at Jim Hanson Studios, voice acting, making as independent artist, how to set up a kickstarter and be successful, that is just a few of the panels They had at zappcon.

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                They were also showing off Artemis spaceship bridge simulator which is a game that allows you and your friends to be the bridge crew of a spaceship. Just think rock band, Star Trek flavored. But allows you to network 5 computers together play on a server where you are the crew of one ship all in one room. This is the first time, I have seen it in action and they had a set up. So you could play for a while but then’s a will allow another group players to come in and play the games there wasn’t anyone monopolizing the game play on it.

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At ZappCon, each day they had a Cosplay contest, the first day was the all age contest, which I think they had at least 30 cosplayers and on the 2nd day they had a kids only contest, which I think they had just as many kids’s cosplayers as they did in the all age group.

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                The thing That surprised me the most about this show. Was the amount of people that attended the show, there was another event going on across town. I did not expect to see A lot of people showing up on the first day. But There was not a shortage of attendee’s so they had done a good job of getting the word out about the show and when it was happening.  on the 2nd day which is a Sunday, and at most shows, it is a slower day at any convention. It started off slow but then people started showing up. I know a lot of these people must have come the day before. And for them to come back a 2nd day says they had a lot of fun and that they brought more people with them, I didn’t talk to anyone that had anything really bad to say about the show. Everyone was really happy and they all seem to have a really good time. I hope they can continue the momentum that they have an do the same or an even better show next year.

Check back for more photos from Zappcon 2015 in our J!-ENT 2015 Annual scheduled for November 2015


Long Beach Comic Con 2015 by Derek Orchard (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)

October 8, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Article and Photos by Derek Orchard

Long Beach comic con, took place on September 12th & 13th, 2015 at the Long Beach convention Center.


           This is my first year attending Long Beach comic con and I had a fantastic time, I would say it’s grown into a midsize convention plenty of people attending, plenty of small vendors, cosplay , variety of panels and my personal favorite lots and lots of artist and independently created comics.  Some of the guests they had there at the show was comic book artist, Arthur Adams, Kris Anka, Chuck BB, Joe Benitez, writers, such as Sandy King Carpenter, Dennis Culver, Dean DeBlois, Jeff King, Jim Krueger, Sarah Kuhn and on the list of voice actors, they had Rikki Simons, Neill Ross, Bill Ratner, Alan Oppenheimer, Samantha Newark, Mary McDonnell Lewis. That just to names a few. they had so many guest there it was hard to see everybody, but there were something there, for everyone. Chloe Bennet from agents of shield was there for a photo op and to present the Girl Scouts with badges. John Barrowman was there for a Q&A.


                    It was announced at Long Beach comic con that the Columbia Memorial space Center are working together for space Expo 2015. Space Expo was a part of Long Beach comic con and they have all sorts of different activities, they were doing 3-D printing, remote-controlled robots and a lot of different activities. Therefore, for the family and for kids and they also had a space suit that you could climb into get your picture taken. They had a lot of different panels, ranging from Star Wars Steampunk, Indi creators, animated films to Marvel comics. Buffy the vampire slayer panel. There was just a Star Wars panel. There even was a “Drawing at comic con” where you were able to get instruction on drawing, you brought your own material to work with, but there were people there to help review what you are doing give you some pointers on how to improve. So you could actually go to this comic con and learn something before you went home.

                       They also had a costume contest or cosplay contest. Now this wasn’t a masquerade, doing a little performance or something was not a part of it, it was as mainly showing the costume, but that didn’t stop some from doing a short little thing to show how much they are in character. I believe they had something around 50 entries of singles or doubles or groups in costume. It didn’t take the very long to get through it, it ran very smoothly. They had 3 cosplay judges and they were Vegas power girl, Raychul Moore and Giada Robin.

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                 Long Beach comic con was a well run show tickets were available each day at the window and people were lining up to come to the show. Everyone was having a good time and there at the convention Center is not far from other attractions to the area of Long Beach and there’s a nice little shopping center across the convention Center, where there were different places to eat, a movie theater. Now outside of the convention hall there was a Starbucks and there is eateries inside for people to have the traditional “con food” but outside. They had food trucks, they had like for different food trucks with a variety of selections to to choose from. And also outside. They had a lineup of cars from different TV shows and movies, Magnum PI’s Ferrari the original Knight rider Kitt and the new Kitt, back to the future DeLorean, a Jurassic Park SUV.


            On top of everything else I’ve already mentioned, they had a kids play area. So you can have your kids playing around get them right of all the excess energy giving you a chance to catch your breath. Table top game mean card game mean all could be found here at Long Beach, con they had a huge area with I want to say at least 6 Row of tables 10 or 15 seats deep double-sided so you go buy cards and play a game right away.

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                Yes. This is a comic book convention, but you could also find Anime, Manga, videogames toys statues from all the different genre’s. Some vendors were selling material to make costumes from, this is a very well-rounded show. I mean, you can go there and find everything you’re looking for just about. There was even a group promoting their roller derby team. There are quite a few people to come to the show but I never really felt like the room was overly crowded with people sure there were certain time. Something would be happy not more people would be in one area at one given time, but it didn’t stay like that indefinitely you could go and come back and then be less people and you could see an you can look at things and you can really have some fun.jent!-11

                   I sure would like to return next year, it not too loud, so you still think while you’re there, really pull in the feel. the show as a really Exciting, really friendly Vibe, inviting; Doesn’t feel like it’s overwhelming or that you’re going to just get sucked into this thing and just be lost for couple  hours. I do think you if you have young ones and you want to go you can take them with you to this show and you all can have a good day together!jent!-10

                    The odds are, this show is going to grow and it has grown. There’s no reason for it not to grow. No two Shows are the same, they change year to year. it is not like a Theme park. So I will tell you to go now and become a part of the fun, part of the legacy and share the joy that a show like this can bring.

Check back for more photos from Long Beach Comic 2015 in our J!-ENT 2015 Annual scheduled for November 2015



J!-EVENT COVERAGE: The 13th Korea Times Music Festival at Hollywood Bowl (May 2, 2015)

May 9, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

J!-ENT’s Dennis and Charles traveled to Los Angeles for the Korea Times Music Festival at the Hollywood Bowl on May 2, 2015.

Check out their event coverage on Mecha Punch!


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