Press Releases

March 29, 2009

News for Anime Matsuri 2009:

Anime Matsuri announces final round of guests

Houston, TX, March 27th, 2009: Anime Matsuri is honored to announce Mike McFarland, Jason David Frank, Sonny Strait, Diana Tolin and Strong Machine 2 to its star studded line up of guests.

Mike McFarland got his start in anime as one of the first voice actors in Texas to be hired by FUNimation Productions in 1997, and has since moved on to become a Voice Director, Script Writer, and Line Producer for numerous anime series. Notable roles include Master Roshi, Yajirobe, Android #8 and Pui-Pui in Dragon Ball and Dragon Ball Z, Baby and Baby-Vegeta in Dragon Ball GT, Goemon in Lupin The Third (Movie Specials), Ritsu Sohma in Fruits Basket, Lt. Jean Havoc in Fullmetal Alchemist, Cain in Trinity Blood, as well as various roles in Burst Angel, The Galaxy Railways, Yu Yu Hakusho, Blue Gender, Case Closed, Spiral, Kodocha, Baki the Grappler, Desert Punk, Black Cat, Kiddy Grade, and many more. His latest roles include Tybalt in Romeo x Juliet, Ranka in Ouran High School Host Club, and Buggy the Clown in the new FUNimation dub of One Piece. He has also worked with ADV Films on Parasite Dolls, Gantz, Shadow Skill, Papuwa, Nerima Daikon Brothers, and Diamond Daydreams, and with Geneon on Ghost Talker's Daydream, Koi Kaze, and Rumiko Takahashi Anthology.
As an ADR/Voice Director, Mike has worked on Dragon Ball Z, Yu Yu Hakusho, Case Closed, Dragon Ball, Galaxy Railways, Fullmetal Alchemist, Fullmetal Alchemist: Conqueror Of Shamballa, Trinity Blood, Vexille, Mushi-Shi, Gunslinger Girl: Il Teatrino, and One Piece. ADR Scriptwriting credits include Fullmetal Alchemist, Kodocha, Trinity Blood, and the uncut versions of Dragon Ball Z.
Mike is also an accomplished improv comedian, musician, and has appeared in numerous commercials and independent films, including The Rage Within, House Of The Generals, Placebo, and the award-winning Schtickmen. For more information, check out his web site at

Jason David Frank has morphed into an array of mighty Power Rangers -- green, white, red and now, black – in four series of the hit action/adventure TV series "Power Rangers."

This year, Frank reprises his role in the 12th incarnation of the franchise, "Power Rangers DinoThunder," as Tommy Oliver, a high school science teacher who keeps his Power Rangers past a secret. Before long, Tommy must help three teens take the awesome responsibility of transforming from students to heroes who help champion good over evil.
Jason Frank was last seen as Tommy Oliver/Red Power Ranger on "Power Rangers Wild Force" (2002). Previously, Frank played Oliver, the then leader of the Power Rangers, in "Power Rangers Zeo" (1996) and "Power Rangers Turbo" (1997). Frank originated the role of Tommy Oliver, who morphed into the Green Power Ranger (1993-95) and the White Power Ranger (1995-96), in the original "Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers" series.
Frank also played Tommy Oliver in two feature films: "Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers" (1995) and "Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie" (1997).
His other acting roles include feature films "Paris" and "Groupies" and TV series "Sweet Valley High" and "MTV's Undressed."
In 1995, Frank was included in People magazine's annual 50 Most Beautiful People in the World issue.
Born in California in 1973, he attended Bonita High School in Los Angeles. He began karate at the age of four and, by age 12 was teaching other children. At 18, he owned and operated a karate school, Jason Frank's Toso Kune Do Karate. Frank was Grand Champion at the 1990 Las Vegas Winter Nationals and was honoured by the World Karate Hall of Fame's Blackbelt Hall of Fame award in 2004 and 1994. A Sixth Degree Black Belt with over 28 years of experience, he now owns and teaches at The Rising Sun Karate Academy in Southern California. He also enjoys sky diving and flying planes.

Sonny Strait is most noted as the voice of Dragonball Z's Krillin, Full Metal Alchemist's Maes Hughes and as a comic book artist on the series Elfquest. He has also worked as a writer and director for many favored anime productions including Dragonball, Lupin III, Case Closed, Kodacha and Kiddy Grade. Currently he portrays Usopp on Funimation's One Piece.
Sonny's graphic novel We Shadows (published by Tokyopop) was nominated for the 2008 American Library Association Award for Best Graphic Novel.
You can also find more of his creative ventures on and

Diana Tolin has been an avid cosplayer since 1996 and is thrilled to be invited back to Anime Matsuri. A judge at Anime Expo's Masquerade for 4 years, she splits time studying fashion and working as a producer and personality on a video, blog and photography venue that showcases current conventions and convention coverage, cosplay, and a place for cosplayers to connect and exhibit their talents. She can be found on under the name binkx . Besides cosplay, Diana has spent many years in the Anime and Manga industry working for companies like New Generation Pictures and Dark Horse Comics. You can also find her voice in a few anime titles such as NieA_7, R.O.D the TV, and Texhnolyze.
She looks forward to see what Matsuri cosplayers have to offer up again this time around and hopes it will be just as incredible as last year.

Strong Machine 2 is a Japanese J-pop dancer known for her robotic and machine-like dance-style. She currently lives with her family in a Buddhist temple. Her father, who is a priest at the temple, is also known by his stage name of Strong Machine 1. The two often team up to perform. She is also known for her role in the Polysics music video "I my me mine", various commercials and winning multiple dance contests.

About Anime Matsuri: Anime Matsuri is an annual Anime and Japanese Pop Culture convention held in Houston, Texas. The 2009 convention will be held on Easter weekend, April 10th – 12th, 2009 at the Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center. Please visit the website at for more info.