Past Guests 2015
These guests appeared at Anime Midwest 2015. See the current guest list.
Greg Ayres can usually be found rockin’ out somewhere, whether animated or not. From the loud-mouthed Hideki in Nerima Daikon Brothers, to Koyuki, singing with the the band in Beck:Mongolian Chop Squad, he’s always glad to shake things up a bit. He is thrilled to be able to add the roles of Uesugi Kenshin in Sengoku Basara, Seikechi Tayama in Oh Edo Rocket, and Abe in Big Windup to his list of new roles. He can also be head as Son Goku in Saiyuki, Chrono in Chrono Crusade, Kaoru Hitachiin in Ouran High School Host Club, Yuki in The Wallflower, Leo in Ghost Stories , Satoshi Hiwatari in DNAngel, Kaworu Nagisa in the Director’s Cut of Neon Genesis Evangelion, Negi Springfield in Negima, Heihachi in Samurai 7, Jr. in Xenosaga:The Animation, Tsujido in Speed Grapher, Roan in Ragnorok The Animation, Yamazaki in Welcome to the NHK, Nowy in Glass Fleet, Gau Ban in Shadow Skill, Pope Alessandro XVIII in Trinity Blood, and a bunch of other titles he’ll probably forget to mention. FUNimation recently announced Greg as Nagisa in Free!
When he’s not in a booth with headphones on, you can usually find him sporting headphones of another variety behind “the decks”. A veteran nightclub DJ of many years, Greg has really enjoyed the opportunity of doing something else that he truly loves at conventions. From packed rooms at anime conventions, to the legendary stage of The Knitting Factory (NYC), Greg never misses an opportunity to share his love of music with anyone who will listen.
BABY, The Stars Shine Bright
Established in 1988, Baby, the Stars Shine Bright is a lolita fashion clothing brand founded by Akinori and Fumiyo Isobe in Tokyo, Japan. The sister brand, Alice and the Pirates, was created in 2004. Currently, BABY, the Stars Shine Bright boasts 28 shops across Japan, with flagship stores in both Paris and San Francisco.
Chris Rager is an American voice actor for Funimation studios. More notable performances are as Mr. Satan and King Yemma on “Dragonball Z”, as well as, Arlong the leader of the fish people on the popular “One Piece”. Chris has been seen in national and regional T.V. commercial ads like Taco Bell, Southwest Airlines and Visa. Although he enjoys the T.V. exposure, Christopher holds voice acting closer to his heart. You may have also heard Chris in Animes such as Blue Gender, Case Closed, Black Cat, Desert Punk, Lupin III, Full Metal Alchemist, Yu Yu Hakusho, Samuri 7 and Sgt. Frog. Chris has also been heard in such video games Spike out: Battle Street, Stuntman Ignition, Bloodrayne, Roadkill and many others. Chris always looks forwards to his next voice over role, hoping he can bring a high level of talent and professionalism to such characters.
Sonny Strait is a prolific voice actor who is best-known for roles such as Maes Hughes in Fullmetal Alchemist and Arsène Lupin III, in addition to Krillin in DBZ. Sonny is also known as an illustrator for one of the most famous, independently published comic book series Elfquest. Sonny Strait has over 20 years of experience in the arts.
Besides Krillin, Hughes, and Lupin, Sonny has worked on many popular animated characters including Usopp from One Piece and Cartoon Network’s laid back, robot host Toonami Tom. He has also worked as a writer and director on several TV series including Dragonball Z, Case Closed and Lupin the Third.
Brooklyn born and raised singer/songwriter Eric Stuart is a special blend of talent. He has successfully combined the world of music, voice acting and directing for many years. Besides starring in hit shows including Pokémon (Brock, James) and Yu-Gi-Oh! (Seto Kaiba), Eric has toured with such rock legends as Peter Frampton, Ringo Starr, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Jethro Tull, Chicago, Hall & Oates, Dave Mason, Julian Cope, Dave Davies, The Alarm, John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band, and Jeffrey Gaines.
The Eric Stuart Band released their latest album, Lipstick and Barbed Wire, in June 2013. This is their sixth full-length release on the indie label Widow’s Peak Records and it features Grammy winning guitarist Peter Frampton.
In the summer of 1997, Eric’s classic rock and roll style was noticed by Ringo Starr who invited him to open the Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band tour, featuring Peter Frampton, Jack Bruce (Cream), Gary Brooker (Procol Harum) and Simon Kirke (Bad Company). That exposure served as a springboard for Eric to open for the Lynyrd Skynyrd, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Paul Rodgers tour that same summer. Since then, Eric Stuart has been touring on a regular basis including two U.S. tours with Peter Frampton. In 2000, Frampton produced Eric’s next album, Blue, Dressed In Black, along with John Regan and Harvey Jay Goldberg.
Now living in Nashville, Eric’s songwriting talents have given him the opportunity to begin co-writing with some of Nashville’s finest songwriters. The band’s great live show of all original, guitar-driven rock/pop has made the Eric Stuart Band a must-see in the area. Other projects in Eric's impressive career are Viva Piñata, Ultimate Muscle, Dinosaur King, Kirby, Slayers, Chaotic, Sonic X, TMNT, GoGoRiki, One Piece, F-Zero, Magical DoReMi, Fighting Foodons, Shaman King, Descendants Of Darkness, Labyrinth Of Flames, Valkyrie Profile, Tama And Friends, and voicing many national radio and TV commercials and audiobook narrations.
According to Anime News Network, John Swasey is the most prolific male voice actor in North America with more roles and titles under his belt than any other male VA. John started down the road of anime in 1997, when he landed his first role in Golden Boy from ADV Films. Since then, John has gone on to voice hundreds shows and characters with ADV Films, Funimation, and Illumitoons. Being more of the character actor type has given John the freedom to voice bazillions of characters such as Gendo in Evangelion, the Captain in Halo (VG), Lord Death in Soul Eater, Kogoro in Sgt. Frog, Huang in Darker than Black, Vulcan in Orphen, Ken in Kaleido Star, Captain Ahab in Hakugei The Legend of Moby Dick, Rikudoh in RahXephon, Karl Haushofer in Fullmetal Alchemist, Sir Crocodile in One Piece, Mister in Coyote Ragtime Show, as well as roles in the live action films 2009 Lost Memories, Conduct Zero, Yesterday, Jungle Juice, and the Gamera trilogy. In 2004, John jumped to the other side of the “mic” to direct. Some of the shows he has directed include Welcome to the N.H.K., AirGear, Wandaba Style, St. Seiya, Shadow Skill, E’s Otherwise, Michel, Jinki Extend and Shinobi (live action co-directed with longtime pal, Kyle Jones). John loves working in the world of anime as a director and voice actor! Recently, John voiced the evil villain, General Disdain in the animated feature, Last Flight of the Champion. In addition to anime, John has voiced thousands of radio and tv commercials – even a few films. But the coolest acting job was being the Beer Delivery Guy in Dazed and Confused.
Chuck Huber started acting in Anime in the roles of Garlic Jr. and Android 17 in DBZ. Since then he has voiced hundreds of characters including Hiei in YuYu Hakusho, Stein in Soul Eater, Kululu in Sgt. Frog, Mohji in One Piece, Shou Tucker in Full Metal Alchemist, Han in Blue Gender, Hiro in Shin Chan, Ashe in Black Butler, Reever in D. Gray Man, Hector in Glass Fleet, Yuichi in Initial D., Akai in Oh Edo Rocket, Melt in The Tower of Druaga, Adashino in Mushishi, Eric Nishijima in Darker Than Black, Havel in Trinity Blood, Austria in Hetalia and many more. He has been a writer on Hetalia, Sgt. Frog, Baccano, Spice and Wolf and others. As a filmmaker Chuck has acted, produced, written or directed for Arbor Day - The Musical, The Troubadoors, The Fragility of Seconds, The Mechanical Grave, Odd Man Out among others. He began acting in Chicago at the Goodman Theater, Court Theater, Steppenwolf Theater after graduating from DePaul University and continues to work on stages in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Most recently he played Hugh Jameison in the movie Parkland, produced by Tom Hanks and starring Billy Bob Thornton and Paul Giamatti.
Chris Cason has been involved in the production of anime and video games since 1998. He has voiced over one hundred characters and appeared in thirteen broadcast television shows. While ADR directing for three production studios over eight years, he has also been involved in casting and script adapting. Some of his better known roles include: Tien Shinhan and Mr. Popo from "Dragonball Z", Gluttony from "Fullmetal Alchemist", Holy Roman Empire in "Hetalia: Axis Powers", Hanai in "School Rumble", Hanbei in "Sengoku Basara", Siegfried in "Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple", and Face McShooty in "Borderlands 2".
D.C. Douglas will forever be known as either the sinister voice of Albert Wesker (“Resident Evil”), screaming “Chriiiisssss” as he melts in a lava lake, or as the soulful voice of Legion in the “Mass Effect” series, pulling on the heartstrings of fans around the world. These roles are a far cry from his other roles, such as the persnickety alien Zepht in “Star Trek: Enterprise” or the logical autobot Chase on Discovery Family’s “Transformers: Rescue Bots.” And we can’t forget him as Bud in “Sharknado 2.” In addition to his extensive character voice over work (see below for highlights) you’ve heard him on over 300 radio & TV commercials. You may also have seen him on “NCIS,” “2 Broke Girls,” “Workaholics,” “Charmed,” Criminal Minds,” “Castle,” “Star Trek: Enterprise” and many more TV shows. D.C. has been in many indie films you’ve never heard of, but Albert Wesker fans should check out “Apocalypse Kiss” if they want to see him with blonde hair and a tan.
Joel McDonald is a voice actor, aspiring koala farmer, and ADR director with FUNimation Entertainment. He’s directed Space Dandy, One Piece: Film Z, Initial D, Sgt. Frog, Deadman Wonderland, and a dozen or so more. But wait! He acts, too! He’s Meow in Space Dandy, Brief in Panty and Stocking, Minato in Sekirei, Poland in Hetalia, Jacuzzi Splot in Baccano!, and Takumi in Initial D. But the gamers among you may have heard him in Borderlands 2 as Captain Flynt, Walking Dead: Survival Instinct as Deputy Lee, and as Aoi Tokura in the webcomic Rainy Cocoa. He’s nice. Come say hi.
Spike Spencer has been a Voice Actor for over 2 decades. His video game credits include Bravely Default, The Bureau:XCOM, Bioshock:Infinite, Saints Row 3, World of Warcraft, Tales of Vesperia, BlazBlue, Dynasty and Samurai Warriors, Steambot Chronicles, Star Ocean 2, Lunar: Silver Star Harmony, and many others. He has voiced hundreds of episodes of Anime including such notable titles as Evangelion, Bleach, Vampire Knight, Durarara!, Nura, Battle Angel, Suikoden, Orphen, Spriggan, Nadesico, Mar, PreTear, Buso Renkin, Gundam, Code Geass 2, and Kekkaishi. Spike has also lent his voice to numerous radio and TV commercials.
An accomplished onscreen actor, he has worked with such notable stars as Tommy Lee Jones, Sandra Bullock, Frank Langella, Tia Carrere, and Scott Glenn and has been on set with many other stars. Spike is also an author, including "How to Be A Frickin Genius Voice Actor, Step One," "What Happens At The Con, Stays At The Con?". Spike has been a featured writer on dating/relationships/self improvement for Carlos Xuma, SinglesWarehouse, and Neil Strauss, author of "The Game." Spike is currently in development on the TV pilot for his "Don't Kill Your Date (And Other Cooking Tips)" dating/cooking show (based on his panel from the Con circuit) and book. Spike is also a screenwriter with several projects in various stages and is in development on his first feature film that he scripted, "Dwindle Down."
Spike is also an avid sailor, cook, traveler, and enjoys a good bit of dancing from time to time. Visit his official websites: www.spikespencer.com
Caitlynn Lindsay Shae French
Ring the bell! Coming to the booth, from Wichita, Kansas, weighing in at (an undisclosed weight, probably less than your figma collection) pounds, It’s Caitlynn French! Caitlynn is new to the scene, having debuted in 2012 as Qumola from Book of Bantorra. She’s ran the ropes and trained hard to conquer roles such as Hana Isuzu (Girls Und Panzer), Matsurika Shinouji (Maria-Holic, Maria-Holic Alive), Mei Tachibana (Say “I love you”), and Miyu Edelfelt (Fate/kaleid liner Prisma Illya). She has recently come back from her most rewarding role yet, as Ai Astin (Sunday Without God), proving that she has the true makings of a champion voice actor. Caitlynn recuperates from her time in the booth by playing video games, and watching professional wrestling. She goes through grueling vocal conditioning playing tabletop roleplaying games, and is a frequent guest on the Shrinetime Podcast. Catch more of this rising star on facebook, and twitter, and watch as Caitlynn grabs the VO world by the ears and gives it something it won’t soon forget.
David Matranga is a voice actor who has worked for such companies as ADV Films, Funimation, and Sentai Filmworks/Seraphim Digital. You might recognize David from such roles as Tomoya Okazaki in Clannad or Briareos in Appleseed or Bertholdt in Attack on Titan or from hi sroles in Elfen Lied, Gilgamesh, Canaan, Demon King Daimao, One Piece, Girls und Panzer, and tons of others.
Genevieve Simmons likes eating guacamole, building businesses, and yelling in a box/voice acting. People know her from Mysterious Girlfriend X (Mikoto Urabe), Mayo Chiki (Subaru Konoe), Horizon in the Middle of Nowhere (Masazumi Honda), Upotte! (FNC) and she is slightly upset no one remembers her from Intrigue in the Bakumatsu where she played a very convincing Customer #2. Genevieve has done theater/film since she was a child, started voice acting in college, and has voiced over 33+ characters. She's lucky enough to be Behind the Voice Actor's 2013 "Breakthrough Voice Actress of the Year", which she used all of 2013 to get free drinks at bars. She is a big fan of webtoons, k-dramas, Yoko Kanno, Escaflowne, Gintama, Kingdom Hearts, and being #1 at Mario Kart every time.
Juliet Simmons is a part-time normal human being and part-time anime hound who has acted in 20+ shows in the two years she has been at Sentai Filmworks. Included in those titles, she has preformed as some of her favorite characters being Midori Tokiwa from Tamako Market and Madoka Harumi from Dog & Scissors. Since she was four years old, Juliet was raised on painted pages of harems and gunslingers while attending acting camps by decree of her caring mother. Continuing to be pushed in the direction of artistic pursuits (now including choir and vocal lessons), a tired Juliet began to turn to a new pursuit of her own. By seventeen, she began a YouTube channel under the name JubyPhonic where she could write and sing English covers for her favorite synthetic Japanese singers aka.Vocaloid. The channel took off in half a year and has now gained 150,000+ subscribers as well as collaborators getting involved from around the world. In the midst of her working on the channel, she caught wind of a chance to attend the Sentai offices with her sister (voice actress Genevieve Simmons) and was thrown another curve ball when they took an interest in her voice. Two years and countless anime dreams fulfilled later, she has arrived at a point in her life that would bring four year old Juliet to her knees in shock.
Blake Shepard been a voice actor for Adv films, FUNimation, Seraphim Studios, and Manga. His voice credits include: Angel Beats as Yuzuru Otonashi, Hakuouki as Souji Okita Sacred Blacksmithas Luke Ainsworth , Tactics as Kantaro, Maburaho as Kazuki Shikimori, Gilgamesh as Tatsuya/Terumichi Madoka, Air Gear as Agito/Akito Wanijima, Halo Ledgends (segment "The Babysitter") as O'Brien, Moeyo Ken (TV) as Ryuunosuke Sakamoto, Mermaid Melody Pitchi Pitchi Pitch as Kaito/Gaito, Pumpkin Scissors as Martis, Legends of the Dark King: A Fist of the North Star Story as Juda (Yuda), Shadow Skill as Len Fuma, Shattered Angels as Jin Ogami, Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu as Fuwa, Xenosaga: The Animation as Allen Ridgeley, Full Metal Panic! The Second Raid as Leonard Testarossa, Guyver:The Bio Boosted Armor as Kobashi, Madlax as Maurice Lopez, Michel as Meggi, Utawarerumono as Hauenkua, Venus Versus Virus as Yoshiki Kusanagi, Blade of the Phantom Master (movie) as Jyun, Diamond Daydreams as Kurokawa, Coyote Ragtime Show as Alex, Gantz as Kato's Cousin, Ghost Stories as Keita, Gravion Zwei as Jose, Innocent Venus as Yosaku, UFO Ultramaiden Valkyrie as Morikawa and many more... Aside from an actor Blake has also been an animator for the Anime Network.
Billy WestAutographs: Limit one free per person. Max 100 people per session.
William Richard "Billy" West is best known from numerous voices in Futurama, including Philip J. Fry, Zoidberg, The Professor, and Zapp Brannigan. He has starred in other famous shows including The Ren & Stimpy Show, The Howard Stern Show, Doug, and Jimmy Neutron. He also voiced Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd, and Popeye during later renditions of the respective characters. He voices Corky Shumatsu, Poultra and Sam Melnik on Jimmy Neutron.
Anna Ito 伊藤杏奈facebook.com/annajapan or TOKYOQT.com
Artist Anna Ito's home country of Japan is an island country surrounded by the ocean. Her childhood dream was to fly across the ocean and see the world, which she realized. During her travels she saw various kinds of culture and art and met many people who had different common sense, religion, language, accent, and skin color. This experience broadened her outlook remarkably. She discovered that accepting differences without discrimination opens the door to the world; a peaceful world. She teaches students not only Japanese culture / brush calligraphy / language but also a global view of open-mindedness and courage to learn new things without being afraid of making mistakes. Her company, TokyoQT International, is on 10 acre land near beautiful Mississippi River in Clinton Iowa, and it includes an Art & Culture Center and a golf driving range. Visitors can find useful and enjoyable lessons, super cool Japanese art, Lolita Princess style kawaii statement jewelry, and brave Samurai Ninja style Stainless Steel chain necklace.
Victorian Angel by Amy Marie Couture is an independent clothing line inspired by Japanese Gothic and Classic Lolita fashion designed by local Chicago designer, Amy Fenderson. Amy Fenderson has a Bachelors of Fine Arts from Columbia College Chicago. While still a student, her designs were chosen to show in Chicago Fashion Focus Week and has been recognized by the Driehaus Awards for Fashion Excellence. Amy has also been recognized by the Chicago Fashion Incubator as an Associate Designer. Amy enjoys working collaboratively with other artists for her fabric prints, such as Eliana Malmin and talented story book artist, Hannah Batsel.
mossbadger is an independent clothing and textiles company, specializing in silk-screened and digitally printed designs. Their limited edition garments and accessories are influenced by symbology, folklore, history, and magic. You can see and experience mossbadger's designs and styles at Anime Midwest's Independent Designer's fashion show.
Samurai Dan & Lady Jillian
Samurai Dan and his wife, the beautiful Lady Jillian, are masters of marital... erm... martial mayhem, and full-time martial arts instructors, specializing in 16th century Samurai arts. When not teaching at their dojo, the Kojokan, they travel across the country performing and teaching the ancient ways of the most famous warriors in history. Their shows and demonstrations uniquely blend history, combative skill, and humor, in a way that will both educate and entertain audiences both large and small. The dynamic duo also collaborated to write, direct, host, and star in a 12 episode TV series entitled "The Way of the Samurai," and Daniel is also an author with several martial arts articles published, and he is currently working on his second full-length novel.
Ayumi Tanaka was born and raised in Japan's Takarazuka City 宝塚市, hometown of Osamu Tezuka, the god of manga. Her enthusiasm for the manga art form is matched only by her reverence of it. Since a very young age, Ayumi has dedicated herself to researching all forms, erotic or otherwise, of manga-related art. This research includes honing her draftsmanship skills to the point where she's able to competently imitate many well-known manga styles of drawing. She came to the United States with the hope that she'd gain a better understanding of her own culture by viewing it through a foreign lens. Ayumi attended Chicago's Columbia College and Depaul University, where she studied the craft of multimedia arts, filmmaking and animation.
Her avant-garde student films earned her a chance to direct music videos for such artists as ex-ALLiSTER (Universal Japan). These opportunities allowed her glimpses and eventual entry into international underground art scenes. Ayumi branched out into painting, eventually melding her drawing talents with pop-art inspired artworks. For years, Ayumi's work was rejected by dozens of international galleries. Between 2009-2011, Ayumi was invited to participate in several small multi-artist exhibitions throughout Osaka and Tokyo. In 2012, Ayumi made her American debut with her solo exhibition "Tentacle Darling" at the B1E Gallery. In 2013, Ayumi was invited to produce a second solo-show at Chicago's historic Japanese Culture Center entitled "Nasty Geisha." In 2015, Ayumi began the "Let's Strawberry Slut!!!" Exhibition Roadshow. It premiered at Anime Milwaukee 2015. Timeout Chicago listed her as a "...dangerous...degenerate Lichtenstein." Her personal artist philosophy is as follows: "Much of my current work is based on or references images found in hentai art. This is the language I use to express myself about the world around me. Ero-pop art is my way of turning disposable trash into meaningful treasure that can sneak into even the most prestigious fine art galleries." Ayumi Tanaka's Website: http://www.kiss-sui.com
Kinki Kitty is a Detroit based indie brand brought to you by the one-woman tornado that is Helena! Lolita, Goth, Steampunk...she loves it all!
Sweet Mildred is a Philadelphia based indie brand that creates unique and custom matched hair accessories, clothing and one of a kind items for Lolita fashion.
Steam Powered Giraffe
The robots of Steam Powered Giraffe are like nothing you've ever seen. The malfunctioning joke-spewing metal men play a collection of original Vaudeville inspired tunes fused with modern flare and executed in a super-sleek, one-of-a-kind performance. More than just a band, Steam Powered Giraffe is an experience that must be seen and heard by the entire family.
The artists behind the robots started street busking as these quirky characters in January 2008 at Balboa Park, California, and instantly drew the attention of Southern California. Since then they've performed at such venues as The San Diego Fair, The San Diego Zoo, The Wild Animal Park, Legoland, Ontario Mills, and numerous Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Steampunk Conventions.
The act combines the visual of robot pantomime with sketches, pop culture references, improvised comedic dialogue, and of course, original music. From their heartwarming nostalgic melodies to their funky cabaret rock, Steam Powered Giraffe's songs are memorable, infectious, and as unique as the robots themselves.
YTCracker is a rapper, former cracker, and Internet entrepreneur. YTCracker began producing rap music in 1998 in the genre that has since become known as nerdcore hip hop. YTCracker is a self-proclaimed “jack of all trades”, also making a name for himself as a professional disc jockey, computer programmer, graphics designer and webmaster.
The Pillowcases are the number one Pillows cover band in the world. For many, that's all we need to say. But if not, let me ask: do you like FLCL? Of course you do. And that means you like the band the Pillows, who made the soundtrack for that anime. The Pillowcases are on a mission to rock out every con in the country and spread the joy of the music of the Pillows to everyone. Along the way, you'll hear covers of some of nerd fandom's favorite songs just to mix things up a bit. So get your butts down to see the show, it's going to be awesome.
Listen on Youtube • Ohayocon Footage
V is for Villains
V is for Villains is a nationally touring, high energy electronic rock band originating from Chicago, IL. A group of highly skilled stage performers, the band blends original music with colorful costuming and back stories to create characters with a comic book and sci-fi genre feel. Well known throughout the country for their stylized performances at major venues like The House of Blues, The Hard Rock Cafe and Chicago's Metro just to name a few, V is for Villains is also in high demand at comic book and anime conventions. V is for Villains, is led by front man and lead vocalist Mr. Agitator, and is joined on stage by the likes of Fallon Flynn on guitar and Vex on keyboards and female lead vocals. This is one show you don’t want to miss!
Kid Yuki and The Otakus
Kid Yuki and The Otakus is a rock band united under one mission: to bring your favorite anime and video game music to life. From Naruto to Gurren Lagann to Kingdom Hearts, RWBY, and so much more, there's a good chance our show will melt your face off. Internet musician Kid Yuki brings together the dazzling vocals of Amaya, the screaming guitar of Clash the Stampede, the roaring thunder of Oni the bass warrior, the haunting piano of Kei, and the percussive force of Miyage-hin to form a nerd-powered band the likes of which have never been seen.
Check out their Channel
Mega Ran & K-Murdock
Random, aka Raheem Jarbo of Philadelphia is probably best known for releasing "Mega Ran," a video game tribute album that caught the attention of international game developer CAPCOM, who offered young Ran an unprecedented licensing agreement. He's gone on to land viral fame with "Jeremy Lin Rap," a track that reached ESPN, ABC and more, and has landed tracks on shows like Tosh.0, 20/20 and more. Arguably the world's most well known video-game influenced performance artist, the former teacher's high-energy shows and fun, nerdy persona have led to world tours, festival and video game tournament performances, and a legion of smart art fans he calls "Team Mega." Ran's new project "Soul Veggies" with Storyville even landed on the Billboard charts in its first week of release. Ran continues to bend genre definitions and reality with each release, and the sky is the limit. Ran may have traded in the chalk for the microphone, but every song, every lyric, and every appearance is a lesson. School is in. Random will be backed by K-Murdock. Sound Samurai and producer of groundbreaking albums by Panacea, and "Forever Famicom" with Mega Ran.
Brent "brentalfloss" Black is a comedian, musician, and gamer. His YouTube channel first gained notoriety in 2008 when he added lyrics to the title theme from Mega Man 3 and created the "With Lyrics" series. He now has a YouTube subscriber base of over 300,000. Over the past 5 years, he has released three albums, charting on the top ten in the iTunes and Billboard comedy charts. He lives in New York City and performs at music venues and gaming conventions in the USA, Canada, and the UK.
Raj Ramayya is an Indo-Canadian singer, composer and lyricist. His claim to anime fame would be his musical collaborations with famed Japanese composer Yoko Kanno as a member of The Seatbelts. Raj sang the opening credits song "Ask DNA" and wrote the lyrics for "Cosmic Dare (Pretty with a Pistol)" from the fan favourite feature film Cowboy Bebop: the Movie, and both sang and wrote the lyrics for "Strangers" from the anime series Wolf's Rain. Not limited to music in anime, he has also worked on songs for video games from the likes of Konami, Sega, and Capcom.
Raj has been featured as a guest vocalist/composer with several distinguished artists, ranging from talented composers Yoko Kanno (Escaflowne, Cowboy Bebop, Wolf's Rain) and Tatsuya Oe (Captain Funk, Hotei), to gifted lyricists Chris Mosdell (Eric Clapton, YMO) and Ron Sexsmith, and everyone in-between. His work has won him multiple awards and critical acclaim from around the world.
Among his other projects are the electronic Indian fusion music project "Bhang Lassi", the alternative Indian-influenced folk rock band "The Beautiful Losers", and session singing for products ranging from Asahi Beer and KFC, to Toyota and Coca-Cola. He is also a guest vocalist with three different Japanese electronic music groups; Captain Funk, Akakage, and Studio Apartment, with SA's song "Strawberry Rainbow" (which Raj both sung and wrote lyrics for) hitting #1 on the iTunes Japan charts! Raj is excited to be making a triumphant return to Anime Midwest and can't wait to perform for everyone for the second year!
For more information, you can visit him online at http://www.rajramayya.com.
Frenchy and the Punk
New York based Frenchy and the Punk's show is a carnival of two that will take you from Paris' Moulin Rouge to CBGBs and back again. A rollicking flapper folk punk steampunk cabaret with Taiko meets Rio de Janeiro pounding drum instrumentals that just might make you lose your mind. They are a quirky, genre-bending and theatrical act. This dynamic duo is a favorite at alternative conventions across the U.S. and in Europe like DragonCon, Steampunk World's Fair and FaerieCon. A pixie spirited flexitarian band of tree hugging, gothic, folky, Steam Punks by way of Paris and New York. Doused in red wine, kale and granola, raised on punk rock and ballet, eclectic and uplifting…fun with a capital F! www.frenchyandthepunk.com
Listen on Youtube • Steampunk Pixie • House of Cards • Don't Fear The Rabbit
London has Fallen
London has Fallen is an Alternative Duo from Central Illinois comprised only of founding members Alecia Gates and Cameron Gorham. The duo is known for their uncanny ability to change the atmosphere in a room to match the intensity and raw emotion behind their music. With their latest release (Fracture) the band offered a 12 song tour-de-force featuring 10 songs and two remixes to give fans a taste of what's to come. Formed in 2013 by a chance meeting, London has Fallen will be around as long as they have something to say.
Curtis “Takahata101” Arnott (Team Four Star)
Discovered buried in a block of ice up in the Northwest Territories of North-North America (otherwise known domestically as Canadia), Curtis “Takahata101” Arnott (otherwise known as Internet Hearthrob Takahashi~) was brought into this world with the soul intention of spreading laughter and protecting his heartland. After acclimating to the world of today and putting on his first pair of women's jeans, he became Captain North-North America (again known domestically as Captain Canadia) and aimed to be a world renowned voice actor, entertainer, and cosplayer! He is currently a co-creator, co-writer and voice actor for Team Four Star, as well as a voice for many other parody series. His most notable roles include Nappa, Bardock and Super Kami Guru, along with many other DragonBall Z Abridged characters, along with Dartz and Krump in YGOTAS. His professional gigs include the Sake Sake monster in the dub of ZETTAI MUTEKI RAJIN-OH and the Soldiers in Dust an Elysian Tail.
Scott “KaiserNeko” Frerichs (Team Four Star)
American playboy, industrialist, editor, and thousandaire playboy Scott “KaiserNeko” Frerichs took the internet anime parody landscape by storm in the late 2000s with the premiere of TeamFourStar. After being kidnapped by a group of foreign and domestic terrorists (Curtis Arnott and Nick Landis respectfully) he was forced to develop the project in a cave, with a box of scraps. Over the years, however, he has advanced the production to greater heights than any of them imagined. Besides being a co-founder, co-writer, and editor, he provides the voices for King Kai, Trunks, Burter, Korin ,Yajirobe, Garlic Jr., Zarbon, and various side characters in DBZ Abridged. He's also provided voices for indie videogame projects and the professional MOBA-game Heroes of Newerth.
Nick "Lanipator" Landis (Team Four Star)
After being forged in Asgard, Nick "Lanipator" Landis was deemed too powerful to be contained! Thus, he was banished to Earth, where he became an Actor/Entertainer destined to make people laugh and fill them with joy. From an early age he honed his vocal skill and acting prowess through many a lesson and play. He would go on to be better known as one of the co-creators co-writers and co-stars of Team Four Star's Dragon Ball Z Abridged (In which he plays Vegeta, Piccolo, Krillin, Shenron, Mr.Popo and others). He has also lent his vocal talents professionally to MOBA-game Heroes of Newearth. Nick shall continue to refine himself and his craft until he is deemed once again worthy of returning to Asgard under the banner of Lanipathor!
Amber Lee Connors
Amber Lee Connors is a professional Voice Actress, Script Writer and Casting Director. She also voices Android 18 in Team Four Star’s Dragon Ball Z Abridged, as well as Schrodinger in their Hellsing Ultimate Abridged. Other recognizable roles include, Ginger in Dust: An Elysian Tail, Amber in Dead Island: Epidemic, Circe/Death Metal Rhapsody in Heroes of Newerth, Ira in Dread Out, Beli in Huniepop, Ava in Sunrider and Lilith in the Anime series Holy Knight, among many others. Having grown up as a fan of video games and anime, one of Amber’s hobbies includes bringing her favorite characters to life through cosplay.
Lawrence "MasakoX" Simpson
Lawrence "MasakoX" Simpson is a British-based professional motion graphics artist with a penchant for online voice acting which he demonstrates with the chaps of TeamFourStar, famous for the internet hit Dragonball Z Abridged where he plays Goku and Gohan. He is also an exprienced reviewer of anime, heading the review site Anifile Reviews where he reviews the freshest anime titles. He also contributes on the site ThatGuyWithTheGlasses and writes for his own webcomic series, Project Jikoku.
Brian Heinz aka The Last Angry Geek has spent most of his life reviewing comic books and Dr. Who. Luckily for him in the last five years he's been able to do professionally as part of the internet juggernaut Channel Awesome. He's created such characters as The Reviewer and Lord Stark for his shows. And he's appeared in several internet movies from Suburban Knights, where he was covered head to toe in black cloaks to To Boldly Flee, where he broke out his Obi-Wan Kenobi impression. Unfortunately he's not able to talk about that as he's currently being sued by Alec Guinness's estate. He's also guest starred on such shows as Demo Reel, but the less said about that the better.
By day, Russell Lissau is a mild-mannered newspaper reporter in suburban Chicago. By night, he battles evil writing comic books including THE BATMAN STRIKES!, SHREK, STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE and DAILY GRIND. He broke into comics in 2005 with the lead story in BATMAN ALLIES SECRET FILES AND ORIGINS. (A lifelong Batman fan who dressed up as the Caped Crusader as a child, he can’t believe his luck.) His most recent projects include short stories in the highly regarded independent series OMEGA COMICS PRESENTS, the self-published western ONE LAST THING and the upcoming graphic novel OLD WOUNDS. To learn more, check out www.facebook.com/russell.lissau.
Two-time Harvey-nominated writer of comics: Amala's Blade for DARK HORSE PRESENTS, soon to be a miniseries in 2013, One Giant Step for READING WITH PICTURES, Bizarro for SUPERMAN 80-PAGE GIANT and Captain Marvel for DC HOLIDAY SPECIAL.
Steve Wallace is a writer, artist and letterer living in Columbus, OH. His work has been featured in Omega Comics Presents, Sequential Suicide and Reading With Pictures. He has also produced a number of mini-comics and will have a new four issue series GALAXY DRIFT releasing in 2015. See more of his work at stevewallaceart.com.
Trevor Mueller works at an advertising agency by day, and writes comics by night. His latest project is ALBERT THE ALIEN, appearing on Mark Waid's THRILLBENT site. He has also self-published several other works including including Junkyard Chase, The Fan, and Los Ojos. He has also contributed stories to several anthologies, including HOPE: THE HERO INITIATIVE from Ronin Studios and READING WITH PICTURES from the non-profit of the same name. He is also the writer/artist/creator of several award-winning webcomic series (www.trevoramueller.com), and regularly reviews movies, video games, and comics. Trevor gives lectures and presentations throughout the country at conventions and schools on several topics, including the power of combining creativity and literacy. Trevor currently lives in Chicago with his wife, Beth, and his cat, Waffles.
Lewis "Linkara" Lovhaug
Lewis "Linkara" Lovhaug has had the misfortune of being cursed to review comic books on the internet. Somehow this has made him popular on the website That Guy With the Glasses, though many suspect it’s more so people can stare and laugh at the weirdo. On his show, Atop the Fourth Wall, he regularly contends with the surreal, the stupid, and the senseless books that the comic industry has produced over the last eighty years. If that wasn’t sad enough, he also has done a retrospective on Power Rangers (released on the schedule of when a blue moon rises on the 13th hour of the 13th day of the 13th month), actually attempting to grant serious analysis to a series about guys in spandex punching rubber-suited monsters. It’s best not to make direct eye contact with him.
Robert DeJesus is a Writer, Story Creator, Illustrator, Story Board Artist, and Character Designer. Robert is no stranger to the anime and manga community. An Indiana born, self-taught artist, who got his first art career break when he sent an eight page short story to comic publisher, Antarctic Press in February of 1990. He has drawn manga-inspired art for well over 20 years and has been published nearly all over the world. He has worked for many companies like Playstation Magazine, Marvel, Hasbro, and now his most recent work with Wayforward, just to name a few. Emily DeJesus is a Writer, Editor, Story Creator and Manager. Emily has always enjoyed manga and anime, but never thought it could be her job. Emily has worked with Robert for over 12 years now. She helps write the webcomic “How to Loathe Drawing in the Manga Style” and has just finished writing her second children’s book. She enjoys the business side of working for Studio Capsule very much and is grateful that she has an opportunity to work in the manga/comics business. Studio Capsule is involved in creating a line of low print run doujinshis, portfolios, animated shorts, and other projects expanding Studio Capsule. Find out everything that’s new with either Studio Capsule or Robert and Emily DeJesus at http://banzchan.deviantart.com/, at http://banzchan.blogspot.com/ or facebook.com/RobertDeJesusArt
KrazyKrow is a webcomic veteran with over 12 years of writing experience. His first comic, Krakow, was originally published in the University of Calgary student newspaper before leaping onto the web. His current comic, Spinnerette, is his first foray into the world of superheroes! Check him out online at www.spinnyverse.com!
Akiterra Goombah's Aki's Pixel Pets
Gamer, Host of “Aki’s Pixel Pets”, and player 2 of “The Gaijin Gamers Play”, Aki’s random ramblings and squeaks bring some interesting energy to the table. After receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science and working at a local veterinarian clinic for eight years, her interest in teaching the animal sciences to others grew so she turned to YouTube. In “Aki’s Pixel Pets”, she explores the real-life influences of all animals in video games while discussing physical, behavioral, physiological, and psychological aspects that help us learn more about those animals but also ourselves as humans.
Residing within The Haunted Forests; Gecko is a Ninja, Artist, Animator, Editor, and Gamer. Gecko provided his artistic talents for Gaijin Goombah's Youtube Show "Game Exchange" and "Culture Shock". Gecko helped form "TheGaijinGamersPlay" Let's Play Youtube channel which consists of Gaijin Goombah ,and his wife Akiterra, as well as the adorable Ghostly Boo Allochii. Gecko is your friendly neighborhood Ninja and seeks to help as many people as he can who are starting out in the same fields as him.
After gaining a degree in International Relations, living abroad, and spending two years in the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program, Gaijin Goombah decided to devote his YouTube career to teaching multiculturalism around the world through the medium of video games. From recent to retro, he explains a multitude of cultural references found in these games, and how video games can better educate the world about not only different cultures, but also perspectives and ways of thinking. Together with the other Game Theorists, MatPat, Drake, and Ronnie Oni Edwards, Gaijin pursues something more than just mind-rotting in games; Education and understanding of the world we live in.
Watch on Youtube • Monster Hunter + Shinto = Toukiden - Culture Shock
After teaching herself to play the ocarina, Allochii started the still developing channel Mana Melodies. She collaborated with Gaijin Goombah on an episode of Game Exchange, and has since then been adopted into the Gaijin Gamers crew as Player 4, and most recently, audio editor for the show. She works together with Gaijin, Aki Goombah, and The Gecko Ninja, bringing her soft-spoken humor to the table all while shooting zombies, driving karts, and spamming rockets.