akai SKY Amelie Belcher Arina Tanemura Atsuko Tanaka Dance Party DJs Grant George Hiroshi Shimizu Hiroyuki Aoyama Ian Sinclair Jad Saxton Jessica Gee-George Kristen McGuire Monica Rial Ramen and Rice StephanieYoung

Musical Guests of Honor

akai SKY
akai_sky_2015
band
Ten years ago, we were a bunch of kids who formed a band to play covers of our favorite Japanese Rock and anime theme songs. We quickly discovered that playing covers just wasn’t enough and strived to create something entirely new. Influenced by a wide breadth of musical styles and genres, we’re a four member American J-Rock band that combines Japanese and English lyrics to create unique music that bridges the gap between American and Japanese music while representing the Rock music we fell in love with so many years ago.

Now celebrating our 10th anniversary, akai SKY is advancing American J-Rock music by continuing to merge influences from both countries and molding it...
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Ramen and Rice
band
Sisters Ramen and Rice come from the U.S. West Coast, and have been playing music together since childhood. They made their debut as the anime/animation/game music duet "Ramen and Rice" years ago at Fanimecon 2000. Since then, they played for numerous conventions and special events between the years of 2001 and 2009. They are very grateful for all the opportunities/amazing people, and they are very happy to come "home" to the convention that has meant so much for their playing opportunity, AnimeFest! in Texas!

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Guests of Honor

Arina Tanemura
ArinaTanemuraPhoto
Manga Artist
AnimeFest is excited to welcome back Shojo Mangaka Arina Tanemura! Ms. Tanemura first attended AnimeFest in 2012, where she shared her background and held several live drawing sessions for fans. Since then she continued to be extremely active, publishing 2 new manga series, Friday and My Cat and 31 Ai Dream. Ms. Tanemura is best known in the United States for her works such as Full Moon o Sagashite and Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne, both of which were adapted into television anime series as well. However, she has created many other popular titles that have been published by Viz in the US, and we remain hopeful that her latest endeavors will also make it to our bookshelves soon.

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Atsuko Tanaka
TanakaAtsuko
Animator
Ms. Atsuko Tanaka is regarded as one of the top veteran animators in Japan. She attended the Animation Department at Tokyo Designer Gakuin College. She left college mid term to join Shin-Ei Animation. Later she joined Telecom Animation Film Co., Ltd, and then ultimately Studio Ghibli.

Throughout her career, Ms. Tanaka has participated as a Key Animator on many popular films, including Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro, My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service, Porco Rosso, Whisper of the Heart, Pompoko, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl's Moving Castle, Ponyo of the Cliff by the Sea, The Wind Rises, and When Marnie Was There to name just a few. Last year Ms. Tanaka also contributed as freelance Key Animator on the wildly popular Space Dandy for episode 2.

Additionally, Ms. Tanaka has worked on many Warner Bros. series, including Superman, Batman, Superman & Batman Movie: World's Finest, and Batman Beyond, as well as Disney's Winnie the Pooh television series.

Please help us welcome Ms. Tanaka to AnimeFest for the very first time!

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Hiroyuki Aoyama
AoyamaHiroyuki
Animator
Hiroyuki Aoyama started working for Telecom Animation Film in 1983 and after 19 years, he made the jump to freelancing.
Mr. Aoyama maintains and expanding and impressive portfolio of projects to which he has contributed. He has contributed his talents to various movies such as Whisper of the Heart, The Cat Returns, The Wind Rises, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, and Summer Wars, among others. Last year Mr. Aoyama participated as an Animation Director for episodes 2 and 10 on Space Dandy. He was also the Animation Director on episode 4 and a Key Animator on episode 6 of Space Dandy Season 2. Most recently, Mr. Aoyama assisted as a key animator on Mamoru Hosoda's new feature film, The Boy and the Beast.

This will be Mr. Aoyama's second consecutive appearance at AnimeFest!
We are thrilled to have him back as our guest for 2015 and hope that you are too!

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Hiroshi Shimizu
HiroshiShimizu
Animator
Hiroshi Shimizu was born in 1965 in Japan. Mr. Shimizu's professional experience extends across illustration, character design, storyboarding, key animation, and animation direction. Mr. Shimizu has participated as a Key Animator on works such as Princess Mononoke, Porco Rosso, Millennum Actress, FLCL, and Fullmetal Alchemist: The Movie - Conqueror of Shamballa, to list just a few. He was the Character Designer and Chief Animation Director for the TV Series Michiko & Hatchin. Last year, Mr. Shimizu worked as a the Animation Director, Key Animator, and storyboard artist for episode 8 of Space Dandy. He also was the Animation Director for episode 6 of Space Dandy Season 2. More recently Mr. Shimizu was the Mechanical Animation Director for the series The Rolling Girls, and also served as Chief Animation Director for 5 episodes. Furthermore, he recently contributed as a Key Animator on the upcoming new Lupin III TV series (2015) that will air first in Italy, then in Japan in the fall.

Please welcome Mr. Shimizu back for his second consecutive appearance at AnimeFest!
We hope that you are as excited as we are to host Mr. Shimizu again in 2015!

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Special Guests

Ian Sinclair
IanSinclair
Director and Voice Actor
Ian Sinclair had so much fun at AnimeFest 2014 that he has agreed to come back for a second year. Mr. Sinclair has been voice acting since he was a sophomore in college, where he studied theater. Since then he's been working in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area as a professional actor in a multitude of arenas. He's performed on stage, on camera, and, of course, behind the mic.

A few of Ian's more popular roles include Dandy in Space Dandy, Brook in One Piece, Toriko in Toriko and Bardroy in Black Butler.

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Jad Saxton
saxton
Voice Actress
We are excited to welcome Jād Saxton for her first appearance at AnimeFest. Ms. Saxton is a voice and stage actress, best known for her work with Funimation Entertainment in Wolf Children (Yuki), Michiko & Hachin (Hatchin), Fairy Tail (Carla), Last Exile: Fam The Silver Wing (Fam), Eureka Seven AO (Elena Peoples), Tenchi Muyo: War on Geminar (Lashara Earth), Steins; Gate (Faris Nyannyan), Mass Effect: Paragon Lost (April), Is This a Zombie? (Haruna), and Shangri-La (Karin Ishida). Some of her other credits...

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Kristen McGuire
2015KristenM
Artist and Voice Actor
Kristen McGuire is a future famous artist and voice actress with an itchy drawing hand and an overactive imagination. Armed with a Wacom tablet and a degree in Visual Art and Communication, Kristen has managed to self-publish seven different comic books since 2008 and has plagued many conventions where she has convinced unsuspecting teenagers to buy her comics and art.

Kristen has also recently jumped into the role of voice actress and is now working for FUNimation...
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Stephanie Young
Brunette_Stephanie_Young
Voice Actress and Producer
Stephanie Young is a professional actress, singer/songwriter, producer, and voice actress with over 100 credits in anime and gaming. She quickly developed a niche voice for dominating females, witches, warriors and queens. She is best known for her work in the Funimation dub of One Piece (Nico Robin), Full Metal Alchemist Brotherhood (Olivier Armstrong), Claymore (Clare), Soul Eater (Arachne), Pyscho-Pass (Dominator), .hack Quantum (Shamrock), Eden of the East (Juiz), Desert Punk (Junko), School Rumble (Itoko Osakabe), A Certain Magical Index (Sherry Cromwell), Okami-san and Her Seven Companions (Momoko), Spice and Wolf II (Eve)...

Stephanie will be appearing Friday and Saturday of the convention.
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Monica Rial
Monica09
Voice Actress
Monica Rial has been working in the anime voice over industry for 16 years and is currently listed as the most prolific anime voice actor in the USA. She has lent her voice to over 350 anime including: Baccano! (Chane), Black Butler (Mei Rin), Certain Magical Index (Index), Deadman Wonderland (Shiro), Fairy Tail (Mirajane), FMA Brotherhood (May Chang), Hetalia (Belarus), Michiko & Hatchin (Michiko), One Piece (Tashigi/Karu/Kuina), Ouran Host Club (Renge), Panty and Stocking (Stocking), Soul Eater (Tsubaki), Tsubasa (Sakura), Watamote (Tomoko), and many more.

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Jessica Gee George
JessicaGeeGeorge-Photo
Voice Actor
Veteran Voice Actor JESSICA GEE-GEORGE discovered she was a performer at the age of 2 when she grabbed her father’s smoking pipe, placed it in her mouth, and began to mimic a visiting family friend who garbled all of his words with a British accent. It was at that very second, she realized she could make people laugh and she loved it! So, that’s what she and her golden pipes set off to do. Jessica begged her parents to let her be an actor, but they said, “No, pick something else.” So, she signed up for a skydiving class. But, that wasn’t gonna fly, so they agreed to the acting...

Jessica’s Anime credits read like a “History of Anime in America”, dating back to such classics as Akira, Magic Knight Rayearth (Mira), Metal Fighter Miku (Yoko), Tenchi Muyo GXP (Kyo). Currently, Jessica can be heard in Doraemon (Big G’s Mom) on Disney XD, and as a bunch of villainesses in Sailor Moon Crystal.

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Grant George
GrantGeorge-Photo
Voice Actor
For more than a decade, Voice Actor GRANT GEORGE has been heard worldwide in popular Animation/Anime Series and Feature Films, as well as hot-selling Video Games and Interactive Toys. Anime fans will recognize his distinctive, heroic voice from such titles as: Kill la Kill (Uzu Sanageyama), Fate/Zero (Lancer), Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan (Night Rikuo), Kekkaishi (Gen Shishio), Naruto Shippuden (Suigetsu), Bleach (Izuru Kira), When They Cry (Keiichi Maebara), Fate/Stay Night (Gilgamesh), Zetman (Kouga), K (Rikio/Ichigen/Akira), Sword Art Online II (XeXeeD), Sailor Moon (Joe), Digimon Fusion (Dorbickmon), Giovanni’s Island (Uncle Hideo), Nagi no Asukara: A Lull in the Sea (Itaru Shiotome), Tokko (Ichiro Hanazono), Kyo Kara Maoh! (Ken Murata), Requiem from the Darkness (Momosuke), Code Geass (Sugiyama)...

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Amelie Belcher
Amisnow
Artist
Amelie "Ami-Chan" Belcher was born in Baton-Bloody-Boring-Rouge Louisiana where the combination of chemical plant fumes and river water did major damage to her fragile little mind at an early age. By all accounts, she started drawing at the age of five (when she figured out that the pencil goes on the paper and not up your nose) and didn't stop drawing until she ran out of paper...

Find out more on Amelie's site.

Dance Party DJs

Melee Max
2015MeleeMax
DJ
We are excited at the return of DJ Melee Max to AnimeFest. Melee Max wowed the crowd at the Sunday night dance at AnimeFest 2014. If you missed it you missed an awesome party.

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DJ Melee Max will be spinning for the Saturday night dance at AnimeFest 2015.

DJ Lacey Stars
DJ_StarLight1
DJ
Lacey Stars, aka Dj Starrlight, got her start in music at the age of 9, through vocal and piano lessons. In 2009, Lacey entered into the exciting world EDM. Lacey became a resident Deejay & Emcee of a several nightclubs in Dallas. In December of 2010, she released her first original single "XoXo - Hugs N' Kisses" ...

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DJ Lacey Stars will be spinning for the Friday Night Dance Party.

DJ Renzo
DJ_Renzo
DJ
DJ Renzo is a prodigy of Dallas' own KNON 89.3 FM's Latin Energy DJ, and 5 Star DJ, DJ Kane. He has also been mentored by DJ Dave, DJ/KJ Hector, and is a good friend of Malee Max. He is also a current student of School of Scratch, studying turntablism, and music theory under DJ Emma Short-e. DJ Renzo is well versed in many genres of music from Hip Hop to EDM, Trap, Happy Hardcore...

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DJ Renzo will be spinning for the final night of the convention, Sunday.