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Silicon Valley Comic Con 2017 by Derek Orchard (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)

May 6, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Silicon Valley Comic Con took place on April 21st through the 23rd 2017 at the San Jose Convention Ctr., San Jose, CA.  The convention is known to bring Pop Culture and Technology together.

Presented by Steve Wozniak and featuring top celebrities, comics, independent artists, cosplay, video games, consumer electronics, music and apps, Silicon Valley Comic Con is where entertainment and the electronic worlds intersect. welcoming more than 65,000 guests over the course of the three-day show.

This year’s theme of “The Future of Humanity: Where Will We Be in 2075?” featured a Space Village, NASA space exploration panels, robotics, virtual reality, a Kids S.T.E.A.M. Lab, celebrity appearances, leading comic book artists and authors, cosplay contests, a science fair, Geek Fashion Show, Rover.com and more.

Silicon Valley Comic Con, had a list of celebrities from the entertainment community Grant Gustin of “the flash”, John Cusack from “Being John Malkovich”, Marina Sirtis from “Star Trek: the next generation”, Billy Boyd who played Pippin from “Lord of the rings” trilogy, Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11, space Astronaut. To mention a few.

Celebrities from science and tech such as Omar Abdelwahed, head of studio, Softbank robotics America. Heather Berlin cognitive Neuroscientist and professor of psychiatry at the Icahn school of medicine at Mount Sinai. Tracy Drain best known for Deputy chief engineer for Juno mission to Mars and more.

Celebrity artists that were at the show included Award winning Arthur Adams, Brent Anderson, Joyce Chin, Lela Dowling, Scott Shaw, some of the writers and authors they had were M Todd Gallowglas, Andy Weir and the Winner twins to mention a few.

 

William Shatner and Steve Wozniak sharing the stage to talk about Star Trek and the future of technology, Buzz Aldrin presenting about “Humanity’s Future in Space,” Steve Wozniak hosting a “Wonder Women Changing the face of STEM” panel with Simone Giertz and Sabrina Pasterski , the 30th anniversary cast reunion of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” hosted by William Shatner, a “Breaking Barriers” panel featuring actress Pam Grier and Slack senior engineer Erica Baker, the original human residents of “Sesame Street” and Mr McFeely from “Mr Rogers’ Neighborhood” reunited on-stage.

 

Silicon Valley Comic Con, is going to be a different kind to show that you’re used to going to they have a lot of stuff in information about things that are science fact and not science fiction so if you are really big fan of something like Star Wars or star trek or something to do with robotics.

You are going to find something here that will actually take you in the direction of learning more about that industry and that a lot of things that if her kids to physically interact on how to do things to encourage them to learn more about it. space exploration panels from NASA, Virgin Galactic and SETI, panels on robotics, virtual reality,  science.

Silicon Valley Comic Con also hosted a rally for the March for Science Silicon Valley that was attended by 10,000 people.

SETI hosted its first-ever Space Ball gala fundraiser, and ScreenUsed.com returned to host its 2nd Annual Movie Prop and Wardrobe Auction that beat 2016’s sales record of $707,000 including selling a Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope – Original Stormtrooper (Sandtrooper) Helmet for $228,000.

Other things that you could do while you were at the convention. The cartoon art museum exhibit, The game zone presented by South Bay Button Mashers. Silicon Valley Comic Con outdoor festival, life music, food trucks, exhibit art installations, evening movies screenings, Dogvacay’s dog cosplay contest and more.

So, really… there were a lot of things that you can do at Silicon Valley Comic Con.

So, when you’re done gathering autographs, getting photos from your favorite guest and celebrities, attending panels.

I wish they were little bit more center stage, but they were there. They had some of the vintage comics from back in the 40’s to today’s popular comics with all the different variant covers. You could find vintage movie posters, and a good amount of anime and stuff coming over from Japan.

There were different panels ranging from drawing, gaming, celebrity Q&A’s, comics, technology, space.

They had an impressive array of cosplay guest at the show. Valerie Perez, Keith Zen, Chrissy Lynn Kyle she was doing amazing makeup effects. Jacqueline Goehner is a contestant on SYFY’s Cosplay Melee.

I would have like to see more signage, at time it was difficult understanding where to go or where something was. it was hard to find out who was sitting where for the Authors and Artists, it would have been nice to have an listing of the table and booth numbers like they had for other exhibitors. it would have be a nice addition on the SVCC app

Steve Wozniak’s wildly successful pop culture and technology expo, took over downtown San Jose, transportation provided by Acura’s NSX supercar and more. SVCC 2.0 also saw massive physical expansions and layout changes, adding a free public outdoor festival, programming at City National Civic and hosting registration inside South Hall. Silicon Valley Comic Con will return to San Jose the weekend of April 6-8, 2018.

Photos by Derek Orchard

Visit the SILICON VALLEY COMIC CON 2017 Photos Gallery


 

 

FresCon 2017 by Derek Orchard (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)

April 8, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

FresCon, Fresno State’s geek culture convention took place on April 1-2, 2017.

FresCon is a non-profit and educational event that showcases Fresno State and the surrounding community through the collective enjoyment of geek culture including movies, television series, books, comics, video games, board games, card games and cosplay.

Some of the main events include “Street Fighter V” and “Super Smash Brothers 4”. Also, featured was “Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” for the Nintendo Switch.

The event featured panels on game designed by Geek Wise Academy and voice actress Erika Harlacher who did a Q&A plus a signing session on Saturday and on Sunday she did another panel about playing “Kingdom Hearts 2: Talking Games”.

FresCon also showcased modern anime such as “Fairy Tail”, “Mob Psycho 100” and some nostalgic anime such as “GTO”, “Gurren Lagann” and “Cowboy Bebop”.

Also, the event premiered the first episode of “Attack on Titan” season 2.

They also had panels dealing with cultural importance of genre fiction and storytelling which included Dr. Frederick Raswald for “Alien Lifeforms: Beyond the evidence”, “Philip Cable: How to Make and Market a Feature Film”, Lady Lindsay: “Character design what your concept?”, “Chris Zimmerman: The story of Labyrinth” and “Kyle Villarama: Batman and Psychology”.

 

On Sunday, after the cosplay contest, they had videogame cover band Super Soul Bros., a San Jose base Jazz band that covers music from videogames and cartoons.

FresCon for 2017 was a very enjoyable event! It is the type of event that if you’re not that into all aspects of a particular genre. And I personally feel that they have done a really good job of creating an environment for the true geeks and younger fans to come out to the event and enjoy.

Photos By Derek Orchard

Visit the FresCon 2017 Photos Gallery


 

 

Ani-Me Con 2017 by Derek Orchard (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)

March 25, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Ani-Me Con 2017, March 18-19th @ the Big Fresno Fairgrounds in Fresno California.

For my latest convention report for 2017, I traveled to Fresno, California for this year’s Ani-Me Con.

Attendance was just over 7,000 for the weekend, making this year their biggest convention yet.

Some of the things you would have found at Ani-Me Con this year included the live action role playing of “Terras Wars”. As well as Ani-Me standards such as the collector card game tournaments, comedy acts, band performances, panels, dance crews and a rave on Saturday night. And also a cosplay contest that took place on both days plus a fashion show.

Special guests include voice talent Erik Kimerer, Sarah Annie Williams and Erika Harlacher and on Saturday there were panels on voice acting, experiences in the industry and autograph signings.

Band performances by “Coast in the clouds” and “Light of mine” and on Sunday a performance by the band “For the record”. Artist panel was by Hyperbooster studio who displayed his talents including drawing manga and also there was a comedy act by Vanna Vandal.

There were three different dance crews on Saturday which include “Empire Dance Crew”, “Royal T”, “Corps Dance Crew” with their hip-hop sailors scouts routine, which was a lot of fun to watch.

On Sunday we had singing and dancing performances by “Lovely Rushers”, who I think did a fantastic job, even though they were not the last act onstage on Sunday, they were a hard act to follow.

On Saturday and Sunday, Ani-Me hosted a cosplay contest. I am really impressed with the level cosplay that’s happening in the Central Valley. From beginner to advance, people are putting a lot of effort and a lot of thought into the costumes of their making. This year they had a fashion show on Sunday, featuring the designs of Miss Alphabet. Very colorful, very fun and the presentation was done very well, quite impressive.

Overall, Ani-Me has definitely grown compared to last year. I have lightly touched, on a lot of the different things that was available at Ani-Me Con.

I haven’t talked about what was on the main floor all the different items that were for sale at reasonably market prices. Like items from Japan, PVC figures, hoodies, games, card games and etc.

The convention had an artists alley with very talented artists. Cosplayers had tables where they had on display items from their different costumes. On display were props, where they could talk about how they made it and the process of what they went through and also giving tips to other people that are interested in making props and costumes.

It was a pleasure to return to Ani-ME Con this year. It will be interesting to see what they do with next year’s event.

Photos By Derek Orchard

Visit the Ani-Me Con 2017 Photos Gallery


 

J!-ENT INTERVIEWS PUFFY AMIYUMI (2017) by Dennis A. Amith and Michelle Tymon (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)

March 20, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

When I first discovered Puffy AmiYumi (known as “Puffy” in Japan), they took Japan by their storm with their simple style of t-shirts, blue jeans and sneakers.  Bucking the fashion trend and dance choreography of other Japanese female music artists during the 1990’s, Puffy AmiYumi impressed audiences with their style of music and presentation.

The duo consisting of Yumi Yoshimura and Ami Onuki burst into the Japanese music scene back in 1996 dominating the charts.  And while Puffy AmiYumi would release their debut album in America and perform in the U.S., it wasn’t until their music was featured in the Cartoon Network animated series “Teen Titans” that the duo would receive recognition internationally.

In 2004, the duo would have their own animated TV series titled “Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi”, would be featured on a GAP fashion ad and performing at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.

And as I have interviewed Puffy AmiYumi for the next few years, our last interview with the ladies, was back in 2010 to celebrate the duo’s 15th Anniversary (view our 15th Anniversary Puffy AmiYumi special).

And here we are in 2017, celebrating the duo’s 21-year anniversary and knowing that there are not many female Japanese music artists that have had the same level of success of Puffy AmiYumi and continue to perform for audiences worldwide.

Starting on March 31st, the group will be performing at Anime Boston 2017 and on April 4th, the group will be performing at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles, followed by a performance on April 6th at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco and on April 9th at Trees in Dallas, Texas as part of their Puffy AmiYumi US Tour 2017 “#NotLazyTour”.

I recently had the opportunity to interview Puffy AmiYumi about their upcoming U.S. performance:


I interviewed both of you when you made your debut in the United States and I have listened to your music when you first made your single debut “Asia no Junshin” in Japan. What is the biggest difference in your approach to music today versus when you first started out.

Ami: When we debuted, we really didn’t know anything. We were always surprised by how our producer, Tamio Okuda, and other musicians made music and the various things they concentrated on. But now, we really understand how that feels.

Very few Japanese acts were able to penetrate the American music scene, yet Puffy AmiYumi was able to create an audience thanks to the theme song for “Teen Titans” and you eventually had your own animated show in the United States. You had a GAP ad and performed on the Macy’s Parade on national TV. Looking back at your success and knowing that you accomplished something that many Japanese have not done, was there a lot of pressure on for the both of you to continue that success?

Yumi: There wasn’t really any pressure. We always make sure to have fun with anything we do as a part of Puffy’s style, so when we did all of those things, I believe we did while having fun. And those were all experiences that most Japanese people aren’t able to experience much, so we are very honored.

Last year, Puffy AmiYumi celebrated their 20th Anniversary and the music scene has changed a lot in the past two decades. One difference is the popularity of social media such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Do you feel that social media has changed the way for the both of you to communicate with your fans?

Ami: I believe that the spread of social media over the last 20 year is definitely huge. I personally have my own Instagram, and because of that, I’m able to directly receive messages of support from fans. And since we can see how our fans our reacting with so little time lag, it’s very helpful to us.

You are about to embark on another tour which includes performances in the United States (for Puffy AmiYumi US Tour 2017 “NOT LAZY”). It’s been awhile since you performed in the U.S., how does it feel to be coming back?

Yumi: Even though we hadn’t traveled to America for a while, we had been constantly doing concerts in Japan, so I think we’ve powered up even more since our last visit. So right now, we’re very excited!

As you celebrate your 21st year, after all these years…Ami, what are your top three songs that you love performing in front of a live audience?

Ami: “Asia no Junshin,” “Akai Buranko,” and “Circuit no Musume.”

I’m curious to see how your musical tastes have changed.   In our very first interview, Yumi you said you were listening to Nirvana, Eels, Hole and U2 and Ami said Red Hot Chili Peppers. But what about now?

 

Yumi: Of course, I still love all of those groups. When I listen to the albums that I love, I remember things from when I first heard the albums, or feel very nostalgic.

Back in 2002, for our second interview, I asked each of you to describe each other in one word. Yumi, you said of Ami, “Serious” and Ami, you said of Yumi “Young”. In 2010, Yumi said of Ami “Relax” and Ami said of Yumi, “Older Sister”. Ami, if you had to describe Yumi, what would you say today?

Ami: For Yumi…“Hanashi ga Tomoranai” (She doesn’t stop talking)

Yumi, you told me you were playing the video game “Ryu ga Gotoku” (known as “Yakuza” in the U.S.) a lot back then.  Ami you were playing “Dragon Quest Monsters Joker II”. Any certain games that you are playing now?

Yumi: I still love “Dragon Quest” even now and continue to play. Right now, I’m trying to figure out if I want to buy a Nintendo Switch or not.

Both of you told me you love tea! But I didn’t get to ask what kind of tea that both of you enjoy? So, I have to ask…what is your favorite tea? And if there is an area in Tokyo that serves the best tea, which area would you recommend?

Ami: We like tea… Did we actually say that? Either way, I do like tea. I like chai. I think I’d recommend the café next to Saigoyama Park.

It’s funny because in our 2010 interview, both of you said that you wished Taco Bell would open a store in Japan and now you can find a Taco Bell in Japan. And now there are more Mexican restaurants in Tokyo. But with you returning back to America, is there a certain food that you have wanted to try but never yet had the chance?

Yumi: While we weren’t in America, I can now eat some foods that I couldn’t before. For example, cilantro and lamb. Because of that, I’d like to try out some places that I never got to try before.

What final words do you have for your fans worldwide?

Ami: This year, Puffy is now in our 21st year. The reason that we’ve been able to continue for so long is the countless support we’ve received from people from various countries!! We’ll continue to work even harder so we can someday hold concerts in countries we haven’t been to yet!

Yumi: Last year, we celebrated our 20th anniversary, and we are grateful to all of our fans! The upcoming concerts should be a lot of fun. Please come out and see us!

For more information, please visit their official website or their Facebook Page.

Photos courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment Japan


Read our complete J!-ENT Puffy AmiYumi interviews and articles from 1996-2010 (Click on image)


 

Bak-Anime 2017 by Derek Orchard (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)

March 4, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

Bak-Anime 2017 February 25 and 26 at the Kern County Fairground in Bakersfield, CA

The 9th annual Bak-Anime, Bakersfield’s one and only Anime convention was held in the final week of February 2017.

In previous years, the event has been held in a much smaller venue which they had outgrown. I have gone to other events where they had changed locations and the new locations were really too big for the event.

From my personal perspective, it was a smart choice for the convention to make the move, as there were plenty of dealers and plenty of attendees.

In fact, Bak-Anime had a record attendances with over 3,500 attendees.

The dealers room was not too crowded and t was really easy to shop around and find deals if you are looking for something special. And for those who were hungry, a Okamoto Kitchen Japanese comfort food truck and Pappa John’s Pizza were there on hand.

Bak-Anime 2017 had a returning favorite, Actor/voice actor/composer/singer/producer Vic Mignogna. And new to Bak-anime, Actress/voice actress/Producer Cherami Leigh and Voice actress/gamer, Danielle McRae.

On Saturday only, David Yost, Karan Ashley and Walter Jones from the “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers” were special guests at the event.

All the guest had panels and were available for signings.

All the lines seem to move pretty fast, I thought everyone was having a good time.

Pro Lab gaming was there at Bak-Anime for the video game tournaments, Paladins Game Castle and the Gaming spot sponsored the collector card games, demos and other hobby games.

They also had their 4th annual swap meet which is an event only for fans. On Saturday night, they had their late night electric dance party open for all ages. And on Sunday, the event had an art contest.

There was plenty a Cosplay to be seen throughout Bak-Anime 2017.

There were plenty of people walking around in different costumes from anime, comics, video games and movies. On Saturday afternoon, Bak-Anime 2017 had an adult cosplay contest, where just about everyone had skit or a dance routine that they did. And I actually think there was an actual marriage proposal that happened during the contest.

On Sunday, they had another cosplay contest which was for the kids only. Even though the kids had help sometimes, it is really amazing to see all the talent that is out there. People with the skills to make these elaborate and awesome costumes.

I have personally been really impressed with how Bak-Anime has continued to grow and has been so well supported by the community out there in Bakersfield.

I really do think it is a show that is worth your the time , even if it is just for one day.

If you’ve never been to a “Anime con” or a “Comic-Con” this would be a great first time show to get a taste of the con experience.

More Photos By Derek orchard

 

J!-ENT Interviews Wednesday Campanella (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)

December 27, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Back in 2012, Dir.F, a label manager at Tsubasa Records wanted to create a new music project featuring provisional female members. While the music and lyrics for the group would be created by music producer, Hidefumi Kenmochi.

The name of this group project would be “Suiyoubi no Campanella”, which translates to Wednesday Campanella.

That same year, Dir.F was at a house party for a friend and he would meet KOM_I and he invited her to join Wednesday Campanella as one of the provisional female vocalists and the group would upload two tracks on YouTube that year, “Oz” and Kukai”.

Wanting to push their album later that year, the group’s first CD titled “Suiyoubi no Campanella Demo 1” was sold at Design Festa Tokyo Autumn.

The following year, KOM_I would perform live performances with just her on stage and the group released their first mini album titled “Crawl to Saka Agari” and it was released at Village Vanguard Shimokitazawa.

But it wasn’t until 2014, when the group’s track “Momotaro” appeared on J-WAVE and would become popular.
In 2016, Wednesday Campanella would make their American debut at SXSW in Texas and would perform in July in San Francisco at J-POP Summit Festival.

While the first five mini albums were released by Tsubasa Records, the group would be signed by Warner Records and would release their first major label album “UMA” in 2016.

And since then, Wednesday Campanella’s popularity has skyrocketed. From a promotion and music video with Toyota for the Prius, multiple television performances, magazine interviews and live performances throughout Japan, KOM_I also appeared on the popular variety show “SMAP x SMAP” with SMAP (who also sung along with her).

J!-ENT’s Dennis A. Amith had the opportunity to interview KOM_I the day after Wednesday Campanella’s performance at J-POP SUMMIT.

Please click her for the full interview

 

ZappCon 2016 by Derek Orchard (J!-ENT Interviews and Articles)

October 19, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

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Zappcon 2016 was held October 15 and 16th at the Valdez hall in Fresno California. ZappCon brings a wide range of talent from all kinds fandoms. You can learn about voice acting, building models from masking tape board, gaming and many more.

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I think this year at ZappCon, they improved on their organization of the booths and table, putting more like things together. If you are looking for cosplayers, go to one location, toys another location, videogames another location and so on.  I do think that made it easier if there was something that you wanted to buy, but you didn’t want to buy it right away, it made it easy to find that vendor later.

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Some of the special guest that were at Zappcon this year. Hynden Walch, she is The Voice of Starfire on “Teen Titans” and the new “Teen Titans Go!”, Princess bubblegum on cartoon networks smash hit “Adventure Time”, Harley Quinn on the Batman series as well as DCU animated feature “Assault on Akrham”, for which she received a BTVA People’s choice award. Lisle Wilkerson, she is a power house behind some of gaming industry’s most popular female fighting characters, such as Nina Williams, Christine Monteiro from “Tekken” and Sarah Brandt from “Virtual Fighter”. She’s acted alongside Bill Murray in the academy award winning film “Lost in translation” and had the lead role in the award winning in the film, “Kamataki”. D.C. Douglas the sinister voice of Albert Wesker in “Resident Evil”, The Voice of Legion in “Mass Effects” series and he was Bud in the movie “sharknado 2”. Chanda Hahn, a New York Times and USAID today best-selling author of “Reign (an unfortunate fairy tale)” she also writes the “iron butterfly” series. Eben Burgoon, started his career writing short fiction and sketch comedies for over a decade before embarking into comics, his first comics series was “Eben07: covert custodian”. Shawn Sutter, he is the creator of “Relicblade” and is the lead artists on the comic “B squad”.

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There were some familiar faces down Cosplay row, returning this year Holly Brooke, based out of northern California, right now she is studying to become a veterinarian. Loki Hates You return ZappCon, and this year for his 2nd appearance and Mighty ThorTV to continue the panel they did last year the “awkward family panel” where they interview the audience. Yes is true Loki’s running for President. And new to ZappCon this year, Princess Marley cosplay, she has been active in cosplay since 2007 she is an advocate for body positivity in the cosplay community. She is also a huge supporter of cosplay in the things you love no matter how many people may recognize you. Originally reached nor I are to the running the popular tumbler blog “the little cosplay things”. If you wanted to get a picture of or with one of your favor characters they had several cosplay meet ups for photos. So if you are dressed up your get got to gather together to should a photo together and I was a great place if you wanted to get your photo with your favor character. These happened multiple times each day plus they had the all ages cosplay contest on Saturday and on Sunday they had a kids cosplay contest.

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Kirby Krackle A internationally touring nerd-rock artist, featuring the music of songwriter and performer Kyle Stevens. Pioneering the genre in 2009. Kirby Krackle is known the world over as the go to band for heartfelt songs dedicated to the best in comic books, videogames, Pop and geek culture with youTube videos, totaling over 3.5 million views and I have been featured on MTV, i09, boing boing, Gizmodo and more.

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Okay, you walked the floor, I maybe you made a few purchases, found if you must have items like comics may be some art from a local artist, but you’re not ready to go home yet. What are you now? Well if you have young ones you could take them over to the kid’s own where there was  Bat party for kids, Todd the snake man, the discovery center, California arts Academy, pro martial arts. And if you don’t have any kids. outdoors there was iron gate sword fighting, Terras Wars. You could go and get a photo taken with the 501st in the photo area. And you could check out any board games and play them there at the show in the gaming area they had set up. They also had a video game area also set up so you can go play video games while you are at the show and at certain times,The Voice actors were playing there games that they had voice characters in, so you could smacked down our get smacked down in person by the characters you play in the game.  if that wasn’t enough, after all of that they had multiple panels starting at every hour. You probably could of watch panels all day and never seen the floor.

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I really do think this is a fun show. Sure maybe it’s not one of those huge shows that you hear about on TV. And they always have something new big and exciting every year. But not everyone can go to those shows. I do see the event coordinators doing their best to create a fun and happy environment for their attendees. I enjoy the smaller shows because I think they stay to the heart of why we have all gotten into the stuff. For the fun in the enjoyment, for ourselves and that what we share with one another. With events like this where just all people, we all can be kids and act like kids. Here we are all friends and we help one another.

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So if you didn’t make it this year, you should think about attending next year.

 

More Photos by Derek Orchard Read more

 

J!-ENT’s Dennis A. Amith interviews Silent Siren

October 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

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The Japanese all-female rock band Silent Siren made their US debut in San Francisco back in July 2016.  But with a world tour in Jakarta, Shanghai, Taiwan and Hong Kong, the band performed in Los Angeles in September and on October 2nd, at Slims in San Francisco.

J!-ENT’s Dennis A. Amith recently had the opportunity to interview Silent Siren.

More Silent Siren will be featured in our upcoming J!-ENT Annual issue coming in December 2016.


 

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

June 27, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Ani-me POP Summit is the first cultural convention dedicated  to J-pop and K-pop in the Central Valley and is always striving to give the Central Valley new, refreshing and exciting entertainment.

The event was held at the Big Fresno Fairgrounds on Saturday, June 18, 2016 and this convention is dedicated to bringing Asian pop music, fashion, film, dance, art, games, interactive workshops, stimulating panels, Anime, movies and import car shows.

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Ani-me POP summit had a huge lineup of guests including five singing performances, five live band performances, two comedy acts, five dancing performances, cosplay contest, fashion show, not to mention, gaming tournaments, panels and a Rave plus DJs.

Kinu Cafe was there and they had a vendor’s hall, with stuff ranging from Anime, Sci-Fi and comics and Bushiroad showed their upcoming releases.

I thought this event was pretty well set up. You could walk around the vendor’s hall, get something to eat, the sit back and listen to some music.

Then you could play some games, head back to the vendor’s hall make some purchases and then go back and listen to some music or watch some of the dance routines.

There was plenty of room you didn’t have to worry about feeling like you are  being shoved into one spot.

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Akai Sky, Coast in the Clouds, Light of Mine, Outside the Wire were some of the bands performing later in the day. Some of the Highlights I experienced feaetured Paprika Mari.  She is the lead vocalist for Candy Bomber, a multi-genre pop band based in Los Angeles, California.

Her roots in both the U.S. and Japan helped to shape her musical sensibility and OkitaSemi cosplayer and Vocalist from California, USA.  Paprika Mari’s goal is to recreate scenes from anime/manga as much as possible.

Paprika Mari & OkitaSemi did a set of music covers from different Anime. I was really impressed with the quality of their performances and their song choices.

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“Candy Bomber” is a J-rock inspired band/project formed by five musicians of various musical backgrounds with a burning passion of music and providing endless entertainment to the people.

Like the idea of AKB48 joining forces with Visual-Kei then leaping through an adventurous journey with Polysics and The Clash at Demonhead, Candy Bomber takes the standard “Rock Band” and fuses it together with styles and instruments from different genres of music – the Uke, Sax, and at times the Kazoo.

The audience is sure to hear their familiar favorites tunes from Anime and J-Rock, combined with a mixture of Jazz, Pop and METAL. I really enjoyed Candy bomber’s performance, it was nice seeing a full band with a saxophone player.

I had a lot of fun listening of them perform and I will be looking forward to seeing them perform in the future.

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Tiffany Fujii is a Bay Area idol dancer/singer/performer whose credits include dozens of anime conventions and events.

She’s been producing and uploading odottemita videos since 2008 and was the winner of the first ever Vocaloid Dance Contest at San Francisco’s JPop Summit in 2011!

Besides performing solo she is also a member of several Bay Area idol groups such as Ti@Mi, T…radmark, Hello! Musume, as well as many others.

As a lover of Japanese pop music, especially idols. This girl had so much energy!

She was singing and she was dancing, spinning around. She sang a full set of songs. She also sat in on the panel with Roli Angels.

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RÖLI ANGELS includes 4 women artists which consists of SHAKE (green), LEMON (yellow), APRI (red), and GRAPE (purple) with a “costume play party Rock” as a concept.

Roli Angels came directly from Japan and originally, they were an Indie idol J-pop group, and now ARE rock!

Performing all their songs in English, having copies of their latest CD in English for their American fans, new and old.

If you knew Roli Angels before,  you might have been surprised to see the new direction they are going with their music.

This isn’t their first trip to the states, but it is as a rock group and with this lineup, Apri and Grape are new members of Roli Angels.

They put on a really great show, they were really personal with fans at their booth and as well as the panel before the show.

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There was a full venue of stuff to do here, there a lot of things that happened that I have haven’t even mention.

If you came at the beginning of the day or the end of the day, there was a lot to see and do. this was a full one day event.

If you like Japanese music, fashion, art, games, anime, food, Cosplay, as well as niche subcultures. then this is something you should check out.

See more photos from Ani-Me Con at:

Photos by Derek Orchard

 

 

AnimeJapan 2016 attracts 135,323 attendees

March 29, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

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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.

 

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