Press Releases

June 8, 2005

News for Anime Expo 2005:

More guests added to Anime Expo's lineup

Anaheim, California (June 8, 2005) -- Anime Expo® 2005 (AX2005), the largest anime convention in the world devoted to Japanese animation and manga (comic books), continues to build anticipation among anime aficionados by announcing Ryo Horikawa, Hiroyuki Kitakubo, Osamu Kobayashi, Tomokazu Seki, Miho Shimogasa, Akihito Yamashita and Kotoko as additional official Guests of Honor. Hosted by the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation, AX2004 takes place July 1-4 at the Anaheim Convention Center and is expecting nearly 35,000 fans and anime industry professionals to attend. For more information, visit

Tomokazu Seki returns to AX2005 by popular demand. Well known for his many Bishonen roles, Tomokazu Seki is establishing himself as one of anime's most recognized voices. His popular roles include Van Fanel from the Vision of Escaflowne, Kyo Soma from Fruits Basket, Ken Hidaka from Weiss Kreuz and Kamui Shirou from X. This year Tomokazu Seki has been cast in the popular anime Doraemon placing him as one of the most recognizable voice talent as Suneo.

Kotoko made her first vocal debut on the extras disc of the game Effect~Child of the Devil under the Music Group I've. She has released many songs for many popular PC game titles and made her first debut in the anime industry as the singer for the Please Teacher series as well as the Please Twins series. Her first solo debut as an artist was with her album Hane (feather) last year. Her most recent title is the Opening and the Ending songs for Starship Operators and she is planning to release her second major solo album in June.

Veteran voice actor Ryo Horikawa burst on to the scene in the early '80s providing the voice for the main character in Yume Senshi's Wingman, Kenta Hirono. This was soon followed with his portrayal as Andromeda Shun in Saint Seiya. Since then Mr. Horikawa has gone on to provide the voices for such other memorable characters as Reinhard von Lohengramm in Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Amaterasu/Ladios Sopp in Five Star Stories, and Hokuto Yakushimaru in Please Save My Earth. However, Mr. Horikawa is probably most renowned for his roles as Kou Uraki in Gundam 0083, and Vegeta in the Dragonball Z series.

Hiroyuki Kitakubo is an acclaimed Director and a veteran of the anime industry. Before making his directorial debut, he worked as an animator for titles such as Akira, Gundam and Super Dimension Fortress Macross. Mr. Kitakubo was responsible for creating and directing titles such as as Roujin Z and A tale of Two Robots from Robot Carnival. His wide genre of directing credits include Black Magic M~66, Blood: the Last Vampire, Cream Lemon and Golden Boy.

Best known as director and writer for the hit TV animation series Beck, Osamu Kobayashi has also worked on many other titles such as Gadguard and Blue Submarine No. 6. Along with anime, Mr. Kobayashi has worked on a few game titles such as Gungrave as the art and mecha designer and Grandia as the world settings designer.

Miho Shimogasa is most known in the United States as the Character Designer and Animation Director for Sailor Moon Supers, Sailor Moon: Sailor Stars, and the Sailor Moon Movie: Ami's First Love, as well as Cutey Honey F. This year Miho Shimogasa has worked on the Japanese adaptation of the Powerpuff Girls as the character designer for the anime series Powerpuff Girls Z.

Akihiko Yamashita is probably best known as the character designer and animation director for the Giant Robo OAV, animation director for Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, and the original character design for Princess Nine, as well as Assistant Supervising Animator for The Cat Returns. This year, working as an animation director for Studio Ghibli, Akihiko Yamashita created the new hit animation movie Howl's Moving Castle.

These stars from Japan are joined by anime guest celebrities from the United States Crispin Freeman and Colleen Clinkenbeard. Crispin Freeman is one of the most well known names in the voice acting industry. Among his many roles, he is perhaps best known for his roles as Tsume (Wolf's Rain), Alucard (Hellsing) and Togusa (Ghost in the Shell: SAC). Mr. Crispin will also be hosting our Voice Acting Workshop and will be Master of Ceremonies at the 2005 AX Idol competition.

Colleen Clinkenbeard is a voice actress with FUNimation Productions. Getting her start as Eclair in Kiddy Grade and has since voiced Rachel in Case Closed, Hawkeye and Rose in Full Metal Alchemist, Misako (Mama) in Kodocha and Kirara in Samurai 7.

These newly announced individuals from Japan join Hiro Ousaka, Maaya Sakamoto and Kazue Yamamoto as Anime Expo® 2005 official Guest's of Honor at the Anaheim Convention Center this fourth of July weekend (July 1-4, 2005).

Located in Anaheim, California - Anime Expo, the world's largest anime/manga convention, serves to foster trade, commerce and the interests of the general public and animation/ comics industry. This event serves as a key meeting place for the general public to express their interest and explore various aspects of anime/ manga, as well as for members of the industry to conduct business. AX 2005 will be held July 1 – 4, 2005 at the Anaheim Convention Center. Sponsors include Viz Media L.L.C., Animerica, ADV Films, Geneon, Tofu Records, Newtype USA and Anime Network. Sponsor hotels include Anaheim Hilton, Anaheim Marriott, or Anaheim Coast Hotels. The cost to attend the three-day expo is $45; One Day Pass: $25; Two Day Pass: $40; Children: $20 (12 years and under; 5 and under free if accompanied by member). Parental advisory: Some anime and manga content contains adult themes. More information can be found at its website (

The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA) is a non-profit organization with a mission to popularize and educate the American public about anime and manga, as well as provide a forum to facilitate communication between professionals and fans. This organization is more popularly known by its entertainment property – Anime Expo.