Honolulu, HI – March 3rd, 2014 – Announcing the guest lineup for Kawaii Kon 2014, Hawaii’s premiere anime convention and conference.
Fujimura Ayumi – Seiyuu
A Tokyo native, Ayumi Fujimura is no stranger to the world of voice acting. Affiliated with Ken Production, she has held many leading roles including heroine Audrey Burne (Mineva Zabi) in Mobile Suit Gundam UC, Shion in Naruto: Shippuden the Movie, and Azaka Kokutou in The Garden of Sinners. She has held other roles as well such as Haru in Gingitsune, Mataro Mankanshoku in Kill la Kill, Keiko Kamakura in Danchi Tomoo, Chiharu Harukaze in Hayate the Combat Butler! Cuties and Striker in Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet.
Kakihara Tetsuya –Seiyuu
Kakihara debuted as a voice actor in 2003 and won “Best Male Newcomer” at the First Seiyu Awards ceremony in Japan. Since then, he has amassed a considerable number of leading roles in his career, voicing the likes of Kakihara debuted as a voice actor in 2003 and won “Best Male Newcomer” at the First Seiyu Awards ceremony in Japan. Since then, he has amassed a considerable number of leading roles in his career, voicing the likes of Fairy Tail‘s Natsu Dragneel, Gurren Lagann‘s Simon, Linebarrels of Iron‘s Koichi Hayase, BlazBlue’s Jin Kisaragi & Hakumen, and Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas‘ Pegasus Tenma. As a supporting cast member, Kakihara has been featured heavily in Blue Exorcist (Amaimon), Digimon Xros Wars Season 2 (Ryouma Mogami), Minami-ke (Fujioka), Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan (Shima), and Toriko (Tom). Kakihara plays Angelo Sauper in an ongoing OAV, Mobile Suit Gundam UC.
Hironobu Kageyama –Musician
Kageyama professional debut was back in 1977 when he formed the Band “Lazy" when he was just 16 years old. His early hits in Japan were "Akazukin Chan Goyoujin" and "Dreamer". After the break-up of the band, he made his solo debut with the song "Dengeki Sentai Changeman". Over the years, Kageyama has sung many anime songs including the theme song to Knights of the Zodiac /Saint Seiya “Sei Toushi Shinwa – Soldier Dream” and Dragon Ball Z‘s theme song "CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA” which sold 1.3 million copies in Japan. Later he formed his own band named “JAM Project” that continued his strong charge into the anime music scene.
Yoko Ishida – Musician
After she won 1st place at the 1990 Anime Singer Grand Prix, Yoko Ishida made her professional debut as an anime singer with the "Sailor Moon R" ending theme "A Maiden’s Policy" in March 1993. Following this success, she has performed many popular theme songs for both anime and video games. Her singing of anime songs is known world-wide and has performed concerts in America, Spain, Brazil, France, Mexico, South Korea, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Thailand. Her voice has been described as an “Angel’s Voice” by her worldwide fans. 2013 celebrates Ishida’s 20th anniversary in the music industry and released a 20th Anniversary Best album and promoted it with a Live Concert Tour in Osaka, and Tokyo!
Misako Aoki – Kawaii Ambassador
Misako Aoki is one of the best known Lolita in the world, and one of Japan’s Kawaii Ambassadors. She is the Japan Lolita Association President, and has traveled to 20 different countries and more than 30 cities all over the world, modeling and spreading Lolita fashion. In spring 2014, she will be publishing the Lolita Fashion text book, "Lolita Fashion BOOK"!
Michael Sinterniklaas – Voice Actor
Michael Sinterniklaas was born in France and is a French American voice actor, director, and script writer. He is most known for his roles as Leonardo in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dean Venture in the Venture Brothers, and Kenji Koiso in Summer Wars. His other roles include Moritaka Mashiro in Bakuman., Satoshi Osugi in Eden of the East, Leo in Fullmetal Alchemist, and Orphan’s true form in Final Fantasy XIII. Michael is originally from France but relocated to America when he was 10 years old. Michael graduated from the Performing Arts High School in New York and went on to attend college in North Carolina. He has worked for 4Kids Entertainment, DuArt Film and Video, Bandai Entertainment, FUNimation Entertainment, and started his own 350 title entertainment studio called NYAV Post.
Stephanie Sheh – Voice Actress
Stephanie Sheh was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and is a Chinese-American voice actress, writer, producer, and director. She is most known for her roles as Orihime Inoue in Bleach, Eureka in Eureka Seven, and Hinata Hyuga in Naruto. Her other roles include Miho Azuki in Bakuman., Yui Hirasawa in K-ON!, and Rebecca Chambers and Julia Chang/Jaycee in the Resident Evil and Tekken video games respectively. Stephanie has also been nominated for “Best Voice Actress in an Anime Comedy” by the American Anime Awards under her alias of Jennifer Sekiguchi for her performance as Kirie Kojima in Girls Bravo.
Vic Mignogna – Voice Actor/Musician
Vic has been acting for stage and screen since he was 8 years old. Since then Vic has been in more than a hundred and fifty shows and video games, known for such roles as Edward Elric in Fullmetal Alchemist and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Tamaki Suou in Ouran High School Host Club, Fai in Tsubasa Chronicle, Dark in D.N.Angel, Kurz in Full Metal Panic!, Broly in Dragon Ball Z, Kougaijji in Saiyuki, Ikkaku in Bleach, Yukito in Air, Takanaga in Wallflower, Tatsu in Peacemaker, Luciano in Code Geass, Virgil Walsh in Trinity Blood, Hikaru in Macross, Zero in Vampire Knight, Yoshimori in Kekkaishi, and many more. Vic has also voiced roles in a large number of video games including Soul Calibur, Disgaea, Persona III, Sonic Colours, Project Sylpheed, DBZ, Bleach, FMA and more. But even longer than his voice acting, Vic has been a professional music composer / singer / producer who has written and produced hundreds of songs for TV, radio and CD. He sings the themes for shows like One Piece & DBGT, and has produced several CDs of his own original music, available on iTunes.
Janet Varney – Voice Actress
Arizona native & San Francisco refugee Janet Varney has made an indelible mark in film, television and theatre, captivating audiences and winning her fans the world over. An established writer, producer, actress and doyenne of the national comedy scene, Janet has created a unique, in-demand brand that has propelled her to the upper ranks of Hollywood.
Janet is well-known for her wildly successful and long-running stint as co-host of TBS‘ "Dinner & a Movie" (1996), as well as the Mark Burnett-Steven Spielberg-produced film competition, "On the Lot" (2007). She has also starred in the sketch series, "Home Purchasing Club" (2006), with David Koechner, Diedrich Bader & Kristen Wiig, and Sean P. Hayes’ sketch series for FOX, Man Stroke Woman (2008) (TV). She has guest-starred on many hit shows, including "How I Met Your Mother" (2005), "Hot in Cleveland" (2010), "Psych" (2006) and "Bones" (2005). She recurred as smart, sexy TV executive "Amy Miller" on HBO‘s "Entourage" (2004) and as a panelist on "Chelsea Lately" (2007). She can also be heard as the titular character on Nickelodeon‘s wildly popular "Avatar" series, "The Legend of Korra" (2012).
Jim Cummings – Voice Actor/Singer
Jim Cummings is a Voice Actor and Singer, impressively bringing life to more than 400 characters over the course of his career, including Darkwing Duck, Ed the Hyena (Lion King), Ray the Firefly (The Princess and the Frog), Winnie the Pooh, and Tigger too! You can hear him as Pete, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Ed, and Julius when playing Kingdom Hearts– and if you ever watched Earthworm Jim as a kid, he’s the voice for Psychrow and Bob the Killer Goldfish!
Quinton Flynn – Voice Actor
Is there a more fitting guest for Kawaii Kon then the voice of Kon? Quinton Flynn, the voice behind everyone’s favorite Mod Soul- in addition to the hot head Axel of the Kingdom Hearts games and Raiden of the Metal Gear series, will be making an appearance at Kawaii Kon. He’s voiced over a hundred characters throughout his career, including: Iruka-sensei and Deidara in Naruto, Marcus Damon in Digimon: Data Squad, Carl/Phantom in Blood+, Shingo Shouji in Initial D, Kolyat Krios (Mass Effect), and Henry (No More Heroes).
Richard Horvitz – Voice Actor
Rich has been featured in anime, cartoons, video games, and live action and animated movies. His roles include Zim (Invader Zim), Daggett (Angry Beavers), Billy (Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy), and Alpha 5 (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers) in addition to many others. Check him out at Kawaii Kon 2014!
Nikki Rapp – Voice Actress
Growing up in the Wine Country of Northern California, Nicki Rapp never knew her imagination could take her all the places she has been. In over a decade as a Voice Actor, she has enjoyed some pretty epic adventures. Called “the disembodied voice of cuteness” as ‘Jun Wang’ in Hydravision’s Obscure 2, she has continued to thrive with versatility in her career.
Nicki developed her psychic skills and had her first videogame kiss as ‘Lili Zanotto’ in Doublefine Production’s Psychonauts. When it came time to improvise, she jumped at the opportunity to be in Electronic Arts‘ The Sims – 11 years later the Simlish is still flowing. The chance to play ‘Mighty Pirate Hunter Morgan LeFlay’ in Telltale Games’ Tales of Monkey Island gave her the first taste of being villainous… with a big crush on her target. ‘Sammun-mak’ from Telltale’s Sam and Max: The Devil’s Playground, took that delicious villainy to childish brattiness, along with a strange love of toasters. Her most exciting role to date – and most unexpected- is that of the infamous ‘Lilly’ in Telltale’s The Walking Dead. Whether you love or hate her, you should want her on your side. In September 2012, Nicki was featured in a BBC interview and called one of “the industry’s most in-demand performers”. Recently, she has stepped out of the booth to take on the exciting challenge as voice director for EA’s The Sims 3.
Leah Rose – Cosplayer
As a small child, Leah Rose began creating her own cosplays. Eventually all of the sewing and gluing paid off, and in 2006 she began her journey as a professional cosplayer. A huge fan of gaming, anime, and comic books, she only cosplays characters she loves and prides herself on finding inexpensive ways to create. In addition to being an established cosplayer, Leah is also an experienced MC, promoter, judge, journalist, on-screen personality, and holds the Triforce of Wisdom. Best known for her cosplays of Rogue, Princess Mononoke, Billy Tucci’s Shi, and being part of a popular Suckerpunch group as Amber.
Lisle Wilkerson – Voice Actress
Lisle Wilkerson grew up in Tokyo, Japan. Best known as Nina Williams and Christie Monteiro, Sarah Bryant from Virtual Fighter, Shenmue II, just to name a few. Lisle was also in the Academy Award winning Sofia Coppola film "Lost in Translation", as well as the award winning indie film "Kamataki". Because Lisle speaks fluent Japanese, her voice work in both English and Japanese. She not only does video game voices, she also does the voice of Batz Maru (of Hello Kitty) and commercial work for such companies as Nissan, Panasonic, Sony, etc. In 2008 she moved to the U.S., which has been quite the interesting (and sometimes challenging!) experience after living in Japan for 35 years. This led Lisle to start her blog "Memoirs of a 6ft. Blond Geisha". She currently lives in Los Angeles, where she continues to do voice work, as well as interpreting work. She is also a local correspondent/producer for many Japanese media outlets, covering everything from high-profile events like The Grammys, Academy Awards, Emmys and Golden Globes to live television and radio reports. Lisle also currently hosts two weekly entertainment shows for Japanese television.
Augie T – Comedian
We are proud to announce that local comedian Augie T will be hosting Kawaii Kon 2014!
Augie T got his first taste of stand up in 1991, taking top honors in an open mic night at the old Honolulu Comedy Club. His comedic career has grown by leaps and bounds since then, leading him to numerous awards and recognition. In 1999 he won his first Na Hoku Hano Hano Award. In 2002 voted the Comedian of the Year as the funniest comic in Hawai’i by the Star Bulletin and Midweek newspapers. Augie is the only local comedian to have sold out the Blaisdell Arena, and has been recognized as one of Hawaii’s top 100 Influential Filipinos-he’s even been featured in an exhibit at the bishop museum!
EMKE – Band
Sisters Kira and Ezri Santos along with Mari Arakawa and Payton Sekigawa burst onto the Honolulu music scene in 2005. While taking lessons at Hawaii MusicWorks, they discovered they shared an interest in 80’s classic rock and decided to form a band. Performing cover tunes from bands like Journey, Van Halen and Bon Jovi, EMKE quickly gained accolades for wowing audiences with their mature level of musicianship and vocal abilities. EMKE has openned for artists including Billy Ray Cyrus, Kansas, Quiet Riot’s Carlos Cavazo, Hoobastank, Switchfoot, and One Republick. EMKE’s debut EP "Promises and Expectations" is a mixture of melodic "pop anthems" and "guitar driven" alternative rock. It’s a collection of tunes that echoes the bands current musical influences such as All Time Low and Go Radio with musical undertones that pay homage to their roots in classic rock. The EP’s single, Open Eyes "hit the mark" with listeners on Tokyo’s number one FM station InterFM 76.1. It also caught the attention of A&R executives and producers in Tokyo. As a result, EMKE has been busy working on video projects with Sony Japan and artists such as Mitchie M, and finalizing a major record deal in Japan.
About Kawaii Kon: Kawaii Kon is dedicated to creating a broader awareness of, and appreciation for Japanese animation by celebrating the richness of this artform. Through cooperation with the community, Kawaii Kon hopes to facilitate growth of the anime, manga and related industries in Hawaii and beyond. In addition to providing a central event for fans and enthusiasts, Kawaii Kon seeks to become a vehicle for sharing and disseminating industry information. Kawaii Kon also provides the community and related industries the opportunity to network and conduct business.
Kawaii Kon will be held at the Hawaii Convention Center from April 4 – 6, 2014. For more information please visit: www.kawaiikon.com