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.

ckaze-7 ckaze-5

                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.

ckaze-6 ckaze-17

                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.

ckaze-13 ckaze-10

                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.

ckaze-4 ckaze-11

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.

zapp-6 zapp-2-2

                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.

zapp-10 zapp-9

                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.

zapp-4 zapp-17

                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.

zapp-11 zapp-7

                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.

zapp-12 zapp-4-2

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.

zapp-3 zapp-1

                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.

jent!-19 jent!-17

                 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.

jent!-15 jent!-8

                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!


Big WOW! Comicfest 2015 By Derek Orchard (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)

May 2, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Article and Photos by Derek Orchard

Big WOW! Comic fest was held in San Jose, California on April 18 and 19th of 2015. At the San Jose Convention Center.



I want to start this by saying I had a great time at big wow. Some may say that big wow is a small show, maybe it is; you don’t have to stand in a Digital line and in the first 5 minutes, If you’re not getting your tickets,  you are NOT  getting A ticket. Big Bow, still a very accessible show, for fans, families and it brings is a lot of big name guest, both international and domestic.



I wanted to go to Big Wow for quite a few years but something is always come up. So this was my first year attending Big WOW! Comic fest. When I have attended, comic book conventions “Comic Cons” it is usually been the big ones like, San Diego comic con and WonderCon in Anaheim  and as I watch those shows growing bigger and bigger.  I think they have lost some of the heart of why these thing started in the first place. It’s not supposed to matter , if your boy or girl or if you’re black or your white or your pink and green or young and old, any of those type of things. Were there because we want to be a part is something that we all like that we all find a common interest in and  we think its FUN.  Big Bow is that type of show, where it is just about what is brought us all there, our fandom.



They had areas set up for kids so they had coloring activities reading activities. games for kids. They had a they had a gaming area where people were able to play rock band and another videogame area set up to play a lot of the 3-D fighting games like street fighter 4 or dead or alive 5. They even had a mechanical bull, You could ride and if you hang on for the amount of time you got a prized. They had an art exhibit for Vampirella and the swamp thing. Then you have all the panels!!  too many to go though And also the coveted free stuff table.


Big wow was celebrating the 45th anniversary of Vampirella with a art book, you could purchase it at the big wow table and they were also selling to different big wow T-shirts and with the announcement for next year the Silicon Valley, con they were selling the a T-shirt for that convention for next year for 2016. They had a lot of different vendors stuff for props for sci-fi comics artist tables both big name celebrity artist table little name artist and craft makers and I mean if just about assume. I just about any toy, they had their you they had their you could get, and if you were really smarting a really looking for a good deal you can to save money on buying stuff there.


Some of the international guess they had their they had Dave Givens, the Co. creator a Watchman and Kingsman: the Secret Service and International best-selling French artist Claire Wendling. Adi Granov concept designer and illustrator on all 3 iron man films, Toshio Meada of Urotsukidoji and La blue girl. Some of their domestic guest some the new ones  first time at big wow this year was of the swamp thing creators, Steve Bissette, John totleben and Rick Veitch.  Some of the returning guest were Arthur Adams, that has worked on Books like Batman, Superman, X men Vampirella ,danger girl, Monkey man and O’Brien. Frank Cho best known for his work in liberty Meadows, jungle girl, Mighty Avengers. Adam Hughes,  worked on Wonder Woman, Before Watchman: Manhattan, Fairest, Ghost, Star Wars legacy. Don Rosa an artist for scrooge McDuck, Donald Duck, the Son and the Sun and the life and times of scrooge McDuck.


Cosplay, I that they had a lot of people in costume there. They did a special photo shoots on both days where they had everyone together. group shoot of  marvel and DC United where they had everyone dressed up in costumes altogether standing together for photo opportunities, then into just Marvel, just DC and then  groups of deadpool , just Batman groups  or  avengers groups. alot of people show up. They did everything to get everyone involved, I think for those who dressed up feel like they were part of the show. They had a cosplay contest, which in the in the end, there was barely standing room only for people wanting to watch the show. They had a with the called “Cosplay Row” and for the first time you would find Ani-Mia, Marie Claude Bourbonnais, Holly Brooke, Danquish, Bill Doran, Kit Quinn and many others. Some of the returning cosplayers from years previous was Riddle, Valerie Perez, Kelly Delcambre , Vegas Power Girl and many more.



I know I spent a lot of time here, naming names and trying to wet your appetitive what is going on at this show. There’s a lot going on here. If you haven’t heard about this show, you should have it is pulling people from all over the United States and its even bringing in people in from overseas. I know you may be saying, “I want to go to the really big show’s were lots of things are happening”, There IS a lot to see and there is a lot to do here. Maybe, you just want to go to a smaller show smaller than the show that’s okay too, this show is small enough that you won’t be overwhelmed with people . you will get to see some of the big time stuff here, that normally at small shows you don’t get to see. I’m just saying that if there is A show, should be on list to check out, this is one.  if you’re making the trip from some far off land, it be worth your time to come and see Big Wow Comic Fest.



Check back for more photos from Big WOW! Comic Fest 2015 in our J!-ENT 2015 Annual scheduled for October 2015


Ani-Me Con 4.0 by Derek Orchard (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)

April 7, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Ani-me Con was held at the Manchester Mall in Fresno, California, March 20th and 21th . This is Ani -me con 4th year of having a small two day show . they have a lot of independent artist/ craft makers of selling their wares. A small console game area and a lot of areas for trading card games there wasn’t any type of Anime viewing taking place. they do have two cosplay contest that takes place on both days of their event. they had a lot of people coming into the show


Erika Harlacher, who is a voice actor, which right now you can hear her in the English Dub of Kill la kill. it was very nice meeting her.  Holly Brooke is a professional cosplayer  who attended their show and was, the judge of their cosplay contest on Saturday the 20th, she is a very nice person if you ever get a chance to meet her.



Ani- me con had a lot of live music  band from the Bay area with a distinctive, J pops sound that are getting recognition on a national level. In the weeks before the event they had a drawing contests which the contest was then voted by attendee’s at the show .



On their main stage, they had panels for Erika Harlacher, Holly Brooke, there cosplay contest, music bands came back and talk about their music and what their plans are,  some of the vendors  there talk about  what they were providing.


behind the main stage, they had a mock fighting arena, if you were in costume or not could battle and fight for your own glory and triumph


with the amount of people that are coming to the show.  I sure would like to see more vendors with more variety of different items to sell in different price brackets sold. . they did have a  variety of stuff, but some of the other things that are from an import market would be out of the price range of some young, Anime fan who doesn’t have a lot of money to spend and he or she has a very limited collecting experience  This is still a very young  show  i would like to see  some more variety , Anime is for everyone,  I think it would benefit from an anime viewing room.



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

February 6, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Article and Photos by Derek Orchard

Bak-anime was held at the Bakersfield Marriott at the convention center, on January 24-25 2015

Bak-anime, Where is it might you ask? Well it’s in Bakersfield California. Bakersfield? Where in the heck is Bakersfield?

It’s in the Southern San Joaquin Valley, just north of LA about maybe an hour and a half drive on the interstate. it is a small show, with a lot of people going to it.


This is its 2nd year as a two-day show. The show had high attendance for both days. Had a very good selection of vendors, most of time when I attend a smaller show the vendors don’t have a lot of stuff or there isn’t a lot of variety of stuff, here they were many different vendors and the all had variance amounts of different things for every people who was attending.

the name of the show is Bak-Anime but it wasn’t just about Anime, the show covered just about all aspects of popular culture, comics, video games, Board games, card games and movies. Artist Alley was more was more like an artist hall because they had a room all to themselves. Special guests that attended was Christina Cabanos (Squid Girl of “Squid Girl”), Kyle Herbert (Kiba of “Naruto”) and Christina Vee (new Voice of “Sailor Moon”).



You never know what your going to find when you go to a smaller show. I’m used to attending bigger shows where they have a lot of planning thoughts what they’re going to do and sometimes it just don’t work out how it is plan.

That was not the case here, Bak-Anime from what I can see, it was a well run and well maintained show.

Even though they had a lot of people coming to the show I could never see really any stress on any of the volunteers that they had working.

Everyone I talked to on the staff was very friendly and they really enjoyed being a part of it. You could always find some one to answer your questions.

I didn’t see any of the cliché clicks that are formed when you go to the shows of cosplayers vs. artist vs. whoever.

Everyone was there for each other This is one of the shows you can take your younger brother or sister, the neighbor’s kid and have a good time.

You won’t have to worry about them being lost in the crowd and sold into slavery for some Third World country. It was really nice being with people who were there to enjoy the same thing, were not looking at it to be real we are there because it’s fun.



It was a really good time to hold a convention because here in California we tend to be hot more often then we are anything else. And of course we have some of that great Southern San Joaquin valley Tulle Fog! So with lower temperatures it allowed a lot of the attendees to hang around outside and not completely clogged in the show.

So, wherever you would go, people would be in costumes; whether you’re in the restaurant, out in the waiting area of the hotel lobby, by the pool in the parking lots, along the street there were people there dressed up in costume or just waiting in the line to get an autograph from one of the attending guests.

Don’t worry lines seem to move pretty fast. After the panels and autograph sessions you would see the guests walking through the vendors area and artist area, they would find stuff that they would be looking for and they would purchase from the vendors at the show.

The show was very accessible, I had a really good time, especially from someone who is used to going to bigger shows with all the Gilts, Glamour and overproduction.

This show competes with the bigger shows that are out.

I never felt that I was missing anything or that there was something else I wanted to see while I was there. The masquerade was handled very well and everything ran very smoothly, if there was any mistakes no one who was there attending noticed anything.



The people running the show know that they are providing a service and they’re not just simply being “fans” running the show they are running to show that they want to compete with the bigger shows out there and they are opening up the way for people who are attending that may not be a to attend other shows, have a chance to win tickets to other shows.

If you are looking for show new to attend, trying to add another show to your list of shows that you attend, I think it be worthwhile to give the show a shot.

You don’t need to spend a bunch of money to have a “Great Con Experience” here there looking to keep it a family friendly event, affordable and have people attend. Which is good because I spent all my money inside at the vendors hall.

Overall, Bak-Anime 2015 was a wonderful experience and I look forward to covering it next year!

Check back for more photos from Bak-Anime 2015 in our J!-ENT 2015 Annual scheduled for October 2015


Our J!-ENT 2014 ANNUAL is now available!

November 9, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 


Each year, we release a J!-ENT annual issue that deals with Asian pop culture and also our event coverage throughout the year.  It’s our most popular feature that we do each year and for 2014, our latest issue is now available.

This issue features interviews with manga artists Rinko Ueda, Art Q&A with Range Murata, Hiroshi Nagahama, interviews with Elisa, Tomomi Itano, Man with a Mission, May’n, Tokyo Girls’ Style, Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra, Pinky Doodle Poodle!, Yanakiku, Q&A with legendary voice actress Mami Koyama, interview with English dub voice actress Jad Saxton and more!

Also, featuring Q&A’s for anime series such as “Attack on Titan”, “Sword Art Online II”, “Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic” and more!

Plus our coverage of various events such as Power Morphicon 2014, Zapp Con, Pacific Media Expo, Sakura Con and more!

You can download the issue here:


You can view a low-res version on PDFy by clicking here.

You can also view the low-res version by clicking here. [57 MB]

You can download the low-res version [zip file] by clicking here. [47MB]


You can view the mid-res PDF version by clicking here (300 MB)

You can download the mid-res PDF version (Zip file) by clicking here. (299 MB)


Coming soon!


Stan Lee and Directors of Captain America: The Winter Soldier Celebrate Blu-ray Release

September 10, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 


In celebration of the Blu–ray & DVD release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, directors Anthony & Joe Russo hosted a special Blu-ray & DVD signing at Amoeba Music, featuring a surprise appearance by the legendary Stan Lee! Fans were also able to participate in the S.H.I.E.L.D. Vs HYDRA Experience as they decoded custom Captain America flash drives with the help of S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents, and one lucky winner received tickets to the Avengers: Age of Ultron premiere!

From the studio that brought you the biggest Super Hero movie of all time, Marvel’s The Avengers, comes Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, now available on Digital 3D and HD and arriving on 3D Blu-ray Combo Pack, Blu-ray, DVD and On-Demand September 9th, from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. Saluted by critics as “action-packed” (NY Daily News), “thrilling” (Cinema Blend) and “better than The Avengers” (Access Hollywood), this blockbuster second chapter in the Captain America series teams Marvel’s First Avenger, Captain America, with Black Widow and new ally The Falcon as they battle their most mysterious and powerful enemy yet, the Winter Soldier.


The Captain America: The Winter Solider digital launch of S.H.I.E.L.D. vs HYDRA is about to end! Join the fight to find out which side you are on and win tickets to the premiere of Avengers: Age of Ultron!

Join the fight here:













J-POP SUMMIT FESTIVAL 2014 TURNS IT UP TO 11 by Kenneth Eric Tran (J!-ENT Event Coverage)

August 1, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 


The 6th annual J-Pop Summit Festival returned to the beautiful confines of Union Square for a twilight exhibition of the top musical artists from Japan. On the heels of last year’s very successful matinee main event featuring Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, organizers succeeded in providing programming surpassing any other previous festival to date. The headlining show, dubbed J-Pop Live, featured singer/model Una, human beatboxer Daichi, idol group Tokyo Girls’ Style, former-AKB48 member Tomomi Itano, and vocalist May’n.


Starting the night off was Una, a Harajuku fashion icon who debuted as a singer just one year prior. Donning an incredible yukata-like outfit befitting of a charismatic Aomoji-kei queen, she sparkled in her performance of her heavily electro-pop setlist, including her debut single “Juicy-Juicy”.


Next on stage was the return of Daichi, known around the world as one of the best beatboxers alive. Besides his amazing skill with the mic, Daichi was incredibly entertaining cracking jokes and initiating audience participation.


A brief intermission featured Koji Mizutani’s Merry Project. The project featured umbrellas printed with smiling faces from the children affected by the Fukushima tragedy. It is a reminder to stay strong despite overwhelming obstacles.


Anticipation grew as Tokyo Girls’ Style slowly appeared on stage, amidst a sea of sunflowers, and started singing “Himawari no Hoshikuzu”. The crowd went absolutely wild, cheering and dancing through their whole performance.

As a surprise, TGS sang “Himawari no Hoshikuzu” once again, this time in English.


The momentum continued with Tomomi Itano, who suddenly appeared from the curtain to the greeting of “Tomochin” chants. In her Swagalicious attire, she struck the audience with the same type of charisma as her days with AKB48, leaving many in attendance yelling “SWAG” as a recognition of her debut album.


Finally, May’n greeted the San Francisco crowd. But rather than just promoting her performance planned for the following night, May’n gave everyone a treat and began performing, much to the delight of everyone.

After such an amazing headlining show, it is easy to forget the rest of the events planned for the weekend. The rest of the fun would be held in Japan Town for the duration of the festival. Live events would be held at the Pagoda Stage, as each of the headliners performed once again along with many other artists such as Kylee, Yanakiku, Pinky Doodle Poodle, Black Diamond, DJ Coco and DJ Amaya. Cosplay, fashion, and idol events would also be held on stage.


Besides the main stage, New People Cinema hosted the inaugural Japan Film Festival of San Francisco featuring screenings for the entire week. The top floors of New People were reserved for the fashion events, with numerous appearances by iconic figures in Japanese youth fashion: Ayumi Seto, Una, Akira, and Misa Kimura. The fashion events featured live performances by Akira and Una, meet and greet sessions, and a fashion show.

Along the main street of Japan Town were dozens of vendors and booths of every kind. Kinokuniya and SEGA hosted a special signing session with Miku Hatsune illustrator, KEI, as well as featuring the upcoming video game of the digital diva. Along the other booths were many meet and greet opportunities with most of the Guests of Honor.


Down Post Street was the crowded Ramen Street event, with patron standing in line for over an hour just to try each ramen masterpiece. The Pop Gourmet Food Festival was also held offering creative snacks and sake tasting.

The J-Pop Summit had something for everybody, as intended by the organizers. This year’s festival easily surpassed last year’s attendance of 80,000 people with 120,000 attendees in 2014.

“The 2014 J-POP Summit was the biggest and most successful we have ever staged. The addition of the Ramen Street attraction and the array of artists, performers and other events also made it one of the most exciting. We are looking forward to presenting an even bigger J-POP Summit for 2015!”, said Seiji Horibuchi, President/CEO of NEW PEOPLE, Inc. and Chairman of the J-Pop Summit Festival Committee.

With this momentum, it is likely J-Pop Summit will continue to grow in popularity and feature even more headliners in the near future. We could be witnessing the genesis of a future marquee festival.

Our interviews from J-POP SUMMIT FESTIVAL 2014 will be featured in our upcoming J!-ENT ANNUAL 2014 issue to be released in late SEPTEMBER.  Stay tuned!

Article by Kenneth Eric Tran, J!-ENT

Photos by Dennis A. Amith, J!-ENT

Videos by Charles Amith, J!-ENT


« Previous PageNext Page »