Anime Expo

July 07, 2014 | 2:17 p.m.

Anime Expo 2014: A chat with Fuminori Kizaki, director of ‘Bayonetta’

"Bayonetta: Bloody Fate." (Sega/Gonzo)
“Bayonetta” is well known among gamers and those who attended this past weekend’s Anime Expo, but the Japanese franchise doesn’t enjoy much mainstream popularity in the U.S. The action game-cum-movie could get a boost with the stateside release of the animated adaptation “Bayonetta: Bloody Fate,” due in October on Blu-ray/DVD. A mix of magic and gunplay, the feature-length film is based on the video game’s original story about a witch who awakens after a centuries-long sleep. Outfitted with magical hair and gun-boots, she tries to piece together her history while battling creatures of light and dark. The film originally debuted in Japan theaters in November 2013 and a few months later on Blu-ray/DVD. Fuminori Kizaki, director of “Bayonetta”and other anime favorites like “Afro Samurai: Resurrection” starring Samuel L. Jackson,  was happy to lend his vision to the film. “Originally, I was […]
July 06, 2014 | 1:37 p.m.

Japanese ambassador of cute joins cosplayers at AX

Kimura U, the Ambassador of Kawaii and the Ambassador of Cute. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
“My name is Kimura U, and I am the most pink creator of the world.” Walking the halls of the Los Angeles Convention Center on Thursday during Anime Expo, Kimura U — wearing chunky pink platform heels, a pink leather jacket, pink tights, a pink frilly dress and ombre hair that faded from light purple to light pink — surprisingly fit in among a group of 200,000 attendees often eager to stand out through their apparel. But unlike the thousands of cosplayers dressed as characters, it’s Kimura U’s job to dress this way: She’s the Japanese ambassador of kawaii, a.k.a. the ambassador of cute. Appointed by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the position in 2009, U travels the world to promote Japanese culture abroad, specifically Harajuku fashion, a type of fashion based on trends in the Harajuku district […]
July 04, 2014 | 4:19 p.m.

Anime Expo 2014: A cosplay fan’s photo gallery

Hope Donovan, left, of San Francisco, dressed up as Rin from the anime show "Free!,"  adjusts the scarf of friend Cyrene Cruz, of Los Angeles, dressed up us as Haru, a character from the same show. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)
At Anime Expo 2014, the wigs are out, big time. Organizers had promised to push the cosplay quotient at the annual anime and manga festival, and fans have shown their approval by filling the Los Angeles Convention Center with the surreal costumes, painted faces and most excellent hair of their favorite characters. Over here, the spiked red locks of Grell Sutcliff  and the V-shaped bangs of Angelina Dalles, both from “Black Butler.” Over there, the muscled face of Colossal Titan. And over there, the white eyes and bloodied forehead of Fujitora from “One Piece.” Somewhere amid all the fur, the horns, the hats, the high stockings, the Pokemon onesies, the blue-painted faces, the skeleton-painted faces and a fair amount of skin, you could even see an Elsa from “Frozen,” a bit out of place, seemingly lost on her way to […]
July 04, 2014 | 9:22 a.m.

Anime Expo: ‘Sailor Moon’ voice Linda Ballantyne on the series

(© Naoko Takeuchi / PNP,  Toei Animation / VIZ Media)
She came to the world’s attention as a 14-year-old klutz who encounters a talking black cat with a magical brooch. The cat’s brooch transformed Usagi Tsukino, or Serena to U.S. audiences, into the manga heroine Sailor Moon, one of the most recognizable of all anime icons. More than 20 years after Naoko Takeuchi created Sailor Moon and her fellow Sailor Senshi, she’s not only appeared on countless lunch boxes and notebooks, her red-bowed schoolgirl’s uniform with the thigh-high miniskirt remains one of the most recognizable costumes at gatherings like this year’s Anime Expo. The annual convention celebrating Japanese animation and pop culture kicks off Thursday at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Saturday will be the expo’s “Sailor Moon Day.” Planned events include the premiere of the new series “Sailor Moon Crystal” as well as a panel where the first two […]
July 02, 2014 | 3:59 p.m.

Anime Expo: New ‘Dragon Ball Z,’ ‘Sailor Moon Crystal’ and cosplay

The 23rd Anime Expo, the largest anime and manga convention in North America, is opening Thursday at the Los Angeles Convention Center for four days of exhibits, panel discussions, concerts, commerce and, yes, cosplay (take a peek at the gallery above for duds from 2014). After feedback from last year’s attendants, the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation, which organizes the expo, has expanded the role of costume play in the event, creating more sets where cosplayers dressed as their favorite anime (animation) and manga (comics) characters can take photographs. “Anime Expo draws a lot of people who get into costume, and we wanted to provide an area for them to be able to take some really good pictures. We have a lot of really cool sets,” said Meg Amo, the society’s brand manager, citing a Japanese garden and a […]
June 19, 2014 | 5:01 p.m.

‘Sailor Moon’: Anime reboot and redub to premiere July 5

'Sailor Moon Crystal'
North American “Sailor Moon” fans can rejoice: “Sailor Moon Crystal,” the new reboot of the classic anime franchise, will be available to stream starting July 5 on Hulu and Viz Media’s Neon Alley. Based on Naoko Takeuchi’s long-running manga series, “Sailor Moon Crystal” will retell the story of Usagi Tsukino discovering she is Sailor Moon. As revealed in the trailer below, Usagi meets Luna, a black cat that can talk, who has been searching for her. After she is given a special brooch to transform into Sailor Moon, Usagi is tasked with the mission to gather her allies, other Sailor Senshi or “Guardians,” and defeat the enemy. As in the original anime series that aired in the U.S. starting in 1995, Sailor Moon’s mission also involves seeking out the Legendary Silver Crystal and protecting it from Queen Beryl. “Fans everywhere […]
July 05, 2013 | 2:29 p.m.

Cosplay parade in full swing at Anime Expo 2013

Princesses, warriors, robots and all manner of fantastical creatures poured through the doors of the Los Angeles Convention Center Friday morning for the second day of the 22nd annual Anime Expo, a celebration of Japanese cartoons and comic books that includes gaming, comics, concerts, fashion shows, lectures and more. More than 50,000 people are expected to turn up for the weekend event — most of them dressed as a favorite character or in trendy Japanese fashions, and ready to pose for photographers. High school senior Allison Martin was the subject of a number of shots Friday — clad as Princess Euphemia from “Code Geass,” she wore a long, elegantly styled pink wig and a white ball gown. “It’s sort of like I really hope no one from my school sees me here,” said Martin with a nervous laugh. “I don’t […]
July 03, 2013 | 6:30 a.m.

Cosplayers expected in droves for Anime Expo

Andrew Olson from Las Vegas removes his oversized mask resembling anime character Corporal Kerero at the 2011 Anime Expo. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
With a character in mind, they set out. Yards of fabric in bright colors come together to resemble animated garb, accompanied by equally colorful wigs, accessories and makeup. The cosplayers and anime-lovers are getting ready for the second-largest anime convention in the country. This weekend, more than 50,000 people, many of them dressed as favorite characters or in trendy Japanese fashions, are expected to turn up at the Los Angeles Convention Center for the 22nd annual Anime Expo, a celebration of Japanese cartoons and comic books that includes gaming, comics, concerts, fashion shows, lectures and more. Event Organizer Greg Hignight said attendance has grown as the Internet has made the Japanese animated content more accessible to American audiences, along with exposure on the Cartoon Network. “Because the world is flattening, it’s a lot easier for people to discover international content,” […]
July 09, 2012 | 6:27 a.m.

Cosplay photos: Anime Expo 2012, a look back

Cosplay and anime fans gathered at Anime Expo 2012 in Los Angeles. (Jay West / For Hero Complex)
Even with Comic-Con, Botcon, Power Morphicon, Wizard World and Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo all in play, there may not be a convention that matches the costuming originality and gusto of the Anime Expo. There were three masquerade showcases this year, but most of the cosplay warriors pictured above were decked out for the love of their creations. Jay West was on hand to watch the fans flaunt an impressive array of characters derived from comics/manga, movies, TV, pop music and video games (plus original creations) in and around the Los Angeles Convention Center. Anime Expo has already announced that the 2013 edition is scheduled for July 4-7. – Jevon Phillips RECENT AND RELATED: ‘Planetes’: Misfits cleaning up space junk Expo 2012: ‘Martian Successor Nadesico’ is funny ‘Ghost in the Shell’: TV variations on cyberpunk ‘Fullmetal Alchemist’ delivers spectacular finish ‘Trigun […]
June 29, 2012 | 2:23 p.m.

Anime Expo 2012: ‘Martian Successor Nadesico’ is seriously funny

A visitor to the "Geki Fest"' -- a send-up of anime conventions -- in the animated movie, ``Martian Successor Nadesico.''  (Credit: XEBCO/Project Nadesico TV Tokyo).
Anime Expo, the largest convocation of fans of Japanese animation and manga in the country, is now underway at the Los Angeles Convention Center — more than 125,000 are expected to attend. One of the guests of honor is Tatsuo Sato, the creator of an outrageous TV spoof of anime fan culture called “Martian Successor Nadesico,” which is a bit like inviting the Comic Book Guy from “The Simpsons” to speak at Comic-Con International. The Nadesico is a state-of-the-art space battleship (complete with crew jackets, Ping-Pong tables and vending machines) run by a crew of teenage misfits. When he’s not fighting the invading Jovian Lizards, the series’ unlikely hero, fry cook-turned-combat-pilot Akito Tenkawa, watches reruns of “Gekigangar 3,” a hilarious sendup of early giant robot shows in the “Gigantor” mold. Clips from the show-within-the-show feature a disco theme song, stilted animation, hammy […]
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