Guests of Honor
Taku Takahashi launched his career in 1998 as the DJ of music group "m-flo". The group rose to fame soon after, and has sold over 2 million copies of their 30 singles and 10 albums in 10 years. For his solo works, Taku Takahashi is known for producing, as well as remixing music for prominent artists across several genres from around the world. Winning Beatport's "Beatport Music Awards 2011 Top Tracks" with "Incoming… TAKU Remix", he has proven himself as one of Japan's top internationally recognized artists. In addition to his work in the pop and dance music genres, he has been active in production for video game and animation properties, contributing to the soundtracks of several high profile properties over the years. Some of his more prolific work can be found included in Gainax's Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, Shinichiro Watanabe's Space Dandy, and Square Enix's Figureheads.
In 2011, in his biggest venture yet, Taku Takahashi established Japan's first and only dance music radio station block.fm. Now with over 40 individual programs featuring exclusive mix shows from world-famous international and Japanese DJs, block.fm is gaining strong attention as its fan base continues to multiply. Praised for his many works in the industry, Taku Takahashi was recognized as the number 1 DJ for 2012 and 2013 by Japan's most well-known domestic dance music publication iLOUD for their "DJ 50/50" yearly top DJ list. In 2012, as m-flo, he released the album "SQUARE ONE". In June, 2013, Taku was invited to perform at the inaugural Ultra Korea festival, followed by a performance at Tokyo's own Ultra Japan the same December, bringing the latest dance music to audiences around Asia.
TeddyLoid started his career as MIYAVI's DJ and sound producer by joining his world tour when he was only 18 years old. He also produced the OST for the GAINAX anime Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt with ☆Taku Takahashi (m-flo). He has also had experience in units with Shibasaki Ko and DECO*27, established galaxias!, worked on the album "TOXIC" for the GazettE, and has produced "Neo STARGATE" for Momoiro Clover Z. In 2013, TeddyLoid had a guest appearance at Seibu Dome Taikai. Furthermore, he has provided BGM to the anime Mekakucity Actors.
TeddyLoid has also produced Vocaloid IA tracks and remixes, Square Enix's Mugen∞Knights, and WRECKING CREW ORCHESTRA's new long production SUPERLOSERZ SAVE THE EARTH, directed by Amon Miyamoto. In 2014 he produced the music for the viral hit short movie ME!ME!ME, which was visualized by Hibiki Yoshizaki and vocals sang by DAOKO.
TeddyLoid debuted as a solo artist by releasing his EP from King Records' EVIL LINE RECORDS in August 2014, "UNDER THE BLACK MOON" and his first album "BLACK MOON RISING" in September. In summer 2015, he started "Momoiro Clover Z×TeddyLoid Remix Project" and released an official remix album, "Re:MOMOIRO CLOVER Z". In Momoiro Clover Z's big summer event Momoshinsai 2015, he performed the opening act as DJ. In December, he released his first collaboration product with 12 tracks and 14 sets of guests on "SILENT PLANET" as his original 2nd album. The guests included big names like Tetsuya Komuro, Yasutaka Nakata, HISASHI from GLAY, KOHH, and more.
In 2016, TeddyLoid produced two tracks for HAL College of Technology & Design, one of which titled "Daisuki with TeddyLoid" was a commercial with Hibiki Yoshizaki and vocals by DAOKO. The contrasting track "Daikirai feat. Chanmina" also garnered attention for featuring the up-and-coming Korean rapper Chanmina.
TeddyLoid also created the opening track "Red Doors feat. Yoshikazu Mera" for this summer's new anime, 18if. This September, TeddyLoid performed at the world-renowned EDM festival ULTRA JAPAN 2017.
Uptown is a cosplayer that has become renowned for their highly successful character panels and award-winning lip sync battle performances. They host many main events and emcee at conventions around the Pacific Northwest and share their panels, reviews, and advice with their broad audience as a YouTuber and social media icon. Uptown has been creating their own costumes and styling wigs by hand since they began in 2012, and has cosplayed for events as many popular characters, most notably Chat Noir from Miraculous Ladybug, Viktor Nikiforov from Yuri!!! On ICE, Death the Kid from Soul Eater, and Shuu Tsukiyama from Tokyo Ghoul.
Anthony Holden is a pretty silly dad who gets asked to make cartoons for lots of big shots in California and other fancy places like that. He works from his home in Oregon and sends storyboards, character designs, and comics to people using internet technology that he barely understands. When he's not chasing after his children or making drawings for studio-types, he draws for fun and rides his bike slowly through the hills near his home.
Steve Ahn is an animation director and artist. His work credits include director at DreamWorks for Voltron: Legendary Defender, assistant director at Nickelodeon for The Legend of Korra, and storyboard artist for various shows such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ben 10, Generator Rex, and many more in the action-adventure genre. Currently, Steve is working on his first independent animated series, Blossom Detective Holmes.
Grant began his career at Pixar on the short film Partly Cloudy. He has since contributed to films and shorts such as Cars 2, The Good Dinosaur, Inside Out, Small Fry, Partysaurus Rex, Toy Story of Terror, Toy Story That Time Forgot, and Coco.
Grant was in charge of art direction on a short animation collaboration with Studio Trigger for Toy Story That Time Forgot, animated by Hiroyuki Imaishi, Yoh Yoshinari, and Akira Amemiya, and directed by Steve Purcell.
Grant is currently working as a character designer and sketch artist on several announced and unannounced feature film projects at Pixar.
Eugene Lee is a storyboard artist and director who has great love for animation. Right after high school, he decided to study entertainment arts at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena to further his experience in art and film. He then made his way into the animation industry soon after graduating to work on storyboards for shows like The Legend of Korra Book 3 and 4, Motorcity, Venture Brothers, Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, and Generator Rex. Eugene currently resides in Pasadena, California as a director on Voltron: Legendary Defender at DreamWorks Animation.
Established in 1988, BABY, the Stars Shine Bright is a lolita fashion clothing brand founded by Akinori and Fumiyo Isobe in Tokyo, Japan. The brand's vision is to create designs that make one feel cute and elegant like a beautiful princess, happily dressing up in fancy frills and lace. In 2004, BABY, the Stars Shine Bright was featured in the cult hit movie Kamikaze Girls, which made lolita fashion known around the world.
In 2007, the sister line ALICE and the PIRATES was established. With the concept of "If Alice in Wonderland got lost in a world full of pirates", the line has a characteristic darker edge with careful attention to detail.
BABY, the Stars Shine Bright currently has 2 stores in the US: San Francisco (since 2009) and New York City (since 2013). BABY, the Stars Shine Bright also actively hosts events, fashion shows, and tea parties overseas.
Hiroyasu Kobayashi is the CGI director and production designer for the Evangelion: New Theatrical Edition series, and is currently working on the fourth installment at Studio Khara. In 2015, Kobayashi directed the short film Cassette Girl as one of the lineup titles for Studio Khara's "Japan Animator Expo" project. It was featured in several film festivals, such as Seattle International Film Festival, Anima Mundi in Brazil, Toronto Animation Arts Festival International, and Canada International Film Festival. He also directed Gravity Rush: The Animation based on the popular video game, and The Big Turnip, a special short introducing the history of Studio Khara.
Previously a member of Studio GAINAX, Hiromi Wakabayashi has been involved in several works with Hiroyuki Imaishi, and is most notable for working on design production for Gurren Lagann. Wakabayashi was also involved on Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt as co-creator, writer, and episodic director.
After joining TRIGGER, Wakabayashi wrote the script for Episode 4 of Kill la Kill and directed the series' 2nd ending sequence. More importantly, he assisted and oversaw the design team of Kill la Kill as its creative producer. Later on, he was involved in Little Witch Academia and Inferno Cop doing story development. Wakabayashi has also been working as the creative director for TRIGGER's latest animation series Space Patrol Luluco. Wakabayashi is currently working on DARLING in the FRANKXX as a producer.
Shigeto Koyama has been an active designer in Japan's media industry for over a decade. Starting his career with working on Aim for the Top 2! (Diebuster) in 2004, Shigeto has worked on numerous animation titles over the years. Some of these notable titles includes: HEROMAN, Eureka Seven, Gurren Lagann, Star Driver, Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, Rebuild of Evangelion, Kill la Kill, and Big Hero 6. In 2015, he directed his first short animation film Obake-chan. Koyama has also been leading the art direction of Good Smile Racing since 2014. Some of his new and upcoming projects include: Space Patrol Luluco, Eureka Seven Hi-Evolution, and DARLING in the FRANKXX.
Standing firmly as a voice for the different and the discarded, Kieran Strange is a multi-faceted artist who left his family, friends, and sleepy English fishing village behind at the age of seventeen in order to move to North America and pursue his dreams of making music. With two CDs and three continents' worth of touring under his belt, Kieran came out officially as transgender in early 2016. Ever the enthusiastic activist, he always makes sure he is friendly, passionate, open, and honest about his life as well as his morals and causes, rallying others to not only chase what they want out of life, but to stand up for what they believe in.
Typically a rockstar by trade, Kieran is changing it up for Kumoricon 2017 and will be playing the role of your quirky British Master of Ceremonies for several main events. He'll also be presenting and appearing on several other panels throughout the weekend, including his now well-known LGBTQ+/SAGA attendees and allies' get-together!
But Kieran's hyperfocus at Kumoricon this year will be the official Pacific Northwest release party for his brand new superhero sci-fi novel Black Tie, part one of The Sparrow Archives. The book, which is available on Amazon and through Kieran and his team at the con, follows an undercover operative with zero supernatural ability as he navigates his job in a world of super-powered "Anomalies", trying to protect the world from them—and, in many cases, them from the world. Join Kieran for his release panel and hear excerpts from the book, behind-the-scenes random facts and hilarity, and more!
Lisle Wilkerson grew up in Tokyo, Japan. She speaks fluent Japanese, and thus has done voice work in both English and Japanese. She is the powerhouse behind some of the gaming industry's most popular female fighting characters, such as Nina Williams and Christie Monteiro from Tekken, Sarah Bryant from Virtua Fighter, as well as Joy and Yuan from Shenmue II. As a big Hello Kitty lover, one of her favorite voice acting roles has been playing Bad Badtz-Maru, Hello Kitty's bff!
Lisle acted alongside Bill Murray in the Academy Award-winning Sofia Coppola film Lost In Translation, and had a lead role in the award-winning indie film Kamataki.
Also, she does a lot of interpreting and working with people like Keanu Reeves, Makoto Shinkai, Morning Musume, SMAP, and best-selling author Marie Kondo.
Lisle works as a local media correspondent for various Japan networks, covering high profile events like The Grammys, Academy Awards, Emmys, and Golden Globes. And she is very excited about the 2020 Olympics being hosted in her home city, Tokyo! And yes, of course, she is already plotting on how to be involved!
Fighting Dreamers Productions (FDP) is a cosplay group from Vancouver, British Columbia. For the past 9 years they have been cosplaying a wide range of genres including anime, manga, video games, comics, film, and cartoons.
Fighting Dreamers Productions are known for their cosplay YouTube channel, which has over 170,000 subscribers and provides viewers with series shows, parodies, cosplay skits, CMVs, convention happenings, and tutorials. FDP is a nonprofit group and has organized a number of charity events through their cosplay work such as "Pray for Japan" helping earthquake and tsunami victims and "Aang for a Cure" which benefited cancer patients. As cosplayers, FDP emphasizes inclusivity and promotes accessibility of cosplay through panels and performances at conventions across North America, the UK, Ireland, Scandinavia, and Australia. FDP is honoured to be attending Kumoricon 2017!
A native Texan and avid anime fan, Josh Grelle has been working in voice work for over 10 years. After starting with ADV Films in January 2004, Josh was quickly bombarded with tons of in-booth experience on a wide range of shows, including Wedding Peach, Steam Detectives, 009-1, and the legendary Gatchaman. He began working for FUNimation Entertainment in 2006. Since then, he has starred in numerous titles; his most famous being Kenichi in Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple.
Other roles include Armin in Attack on Titan, Kyohei in The Wallflower, Kouichi in Linebarrels of Iron, Yuki in Future Diary, Itsuki in Initial D, and Kuranosuke in Princess Jellyfish. More recent roles include Chow from Starship Troopers: Invasion, Nicky in Mass Effect: Paragon Lost, Kazuya Aoi in Freezing, Yuji Sakai in Shakugan no Shana, Akihisa Yoshii in Baka and Test, and Komatsu in Toriko. Aside from anime, Josh has lent his voice to a number of video games, including Sima Shi in Dynasty Warriors 7, Xbalanque in Smite, Dave in Borderlands 2, and the voice of the "energetic" custom character in Dragon Ball Z: Ultimate Tenkaichi.
Recent roles include Aion in Show By Rock!!, Momotaro Mikoshiba in Free! Eternal Summer, Yuma Isogai in Assassination Classroom, and most recently Kusuo Saiki in The Disastrous Life of Saiki K and Victor Nikiforov in Yuri!!! on ICE.
Other popular roles include Lyon in Fairy Tail, Taira in Beck: Mongolian Chop Squad, Kaworu Nagisa in the Evangelion movies: 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0, Happiness Bunny in Shin-Chan, Rin Tsuchimi in Shuffle, Zelman Clock in Black Blood Brothers, Dio in Casshern Sins, Suzaku and Jin in Yu Yu Hakusho, and Akito Hayama in Kodocha. He can also be heard in Dragon Ball, Eden of the East, Ouran High School Host Club, One Piece, Tsubasa, Trinity Blood, Soul Eater, and a lot of other things that he may or may not remember or admit to.
Having worked as a voice actor for FUNimation since 2001, Jerry has taken on a different role at FUNimation, that of ADR Director. His first show was Blood-C, followed by Shakugan no Shana III, Toriko, We Without Wings, Senran Kagura, Kamisama Kiss, A Certain Scientific Railgun S, episodes 313-324 of One Piece, Is This a Zombie?, and Free! Eternal Summer, to name a few. Jerry is honored to have the opportunity to work with a very talented and dedicated group of people at FUNimation who take the quality of what they do very seriously. Well… seriously enough.
Kra is a Japanese visual kei band with a mix of pop, rock, and jazz sounds. Debuting in 2001, Kra soon signed on with the popular label PS Company. Kra made their major artist debut with their third single "Heart Balance" on September 21, 2006. They are credited with the first opening theme song for Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, "BONDS -kizuna-".
The band members are: Keiyuu on vocals, piano, and guitar, Taizo on guitar, Yuhra on bass, and Yasuno on drums. Kra's newest EPs, Uchuu Traveller CORE and Uchuu Traveller CELL were released in September of 2016. 2016 also marked Kra's 15th anniversary. They released a new album in January 2017, Kra no Susume, featuring new recordings of some of their classic songs.
With numerous Japanese tours and appearances under their belt, Kumoricon 2017 will be Kra's first appearance in the US!
You can follow the members on Twitter, and find out more information on their website.
Keiyu @kra_keiyu | Taizo @kra_taizo | Yuhra @yuhra_grooving | Yasuno @kra_yasuno
Official homepage: http://www.pscompany.co.jp/kra/
Cherami Leigh has been working in the industry for 20 years, with over 75 commercials and over 100 anime projects under her belt. Some of her most popular roles include Lucy in Fairy Tail, Asuna in Sword Art Online, Sailor Venus in Sailor Moon, Road in D.Gray-man, Lizzie in Black Butler, Mai in Ghost Hunt, and Patty in Soul Eater. She has also worked on over 20 video games—including Borderlands 2—in which she plays Gaige in the popular DLC.
A few more recent additions to her voiceover arsenal include Tome in Mob Psycho 100, Kudelia in Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, Ilia in RWBY, and Makoto in Persona 5. Cherami was recently announced to be playing Sarada in Boruto: Naruto the Movie and multiple characters in Fire Emblem Heroes. She also starred in and produced two seasons of the award-winning web series Throwing Stones, as well as the soon to be released CONfessionals. She has other projects in various stages of production she is excited to share!
Vic has been acting for stage and screen since he was eight years old. But his anime career started about fifteen years ago as Vega in Street Fighter II. Since then, Vic has been in more than three hundred animated series and video games, known for such roles as Edward Elric in Fullmetal Alchemist, Tamaki Suou in Ouran High School Host Club, Zero in Vampire Knight, Death Scythe in Soul Eater, Fai in Tsubasa Chronicle, Keldeo in Pokémon, Dark in D.N.Angel, Kurz in Full Metal Panic!, Broly in Dragonball Z, Ikkaku in Bleach, Obito/Nagato in Naruto, Yoshimori in Kekkaishi, Yukito in Air, Takanaga in Wallflower, Luciano in Code Geass, Virgil Walsh in Trinity Blood, Hikaru in Macross, Space Dandy, Tiger & Bunny, Digimon Fusion, Sword Art Online, Nura, Lagrange, and many many more.
Vic is currently playing characters in Free!, Fairy Tail, Star Trek Online, Black Butler, Escaflowne, Durarara!!, RWBY, Garo, Sailor Moon, World of Warcraft, Karneval, Attack on Titan, and several others.
Vic also played the roles of G4's Wolverine and Iron Man series, and the original Mass Effect movie. Vic has also voiced roles in a large number of video games including Soul Calibur, Disgaea, Dynasty Warriors, Persona 3, The Avengers, Pac-Man, Sonic Colors, Dragon Ball Z, Bleach, Fullmetal Alchemist, 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 pieces for TV, radio, and CD. He sings the themes for shows like One Piece and Dragon Ball GT, and has produced several CDs of his own original music, all available on iTunes. Finally, in addition to anime and music, Vic has a degree in film and is deeply involved as an actor and director in several web series. He is executive producer of the award winning web series Star Trek Continues, where he is not only directing, but also fulfilling a childhood dream of playing the iconic role of Captain Kirk. Vic works regularly writing, producing, and directing video and film productions of all kinds.
Todd Haberkorn has been on stage, on set, and behind a mic for many years. Not only is Todd an actor in LA, but he works as a producer, writer, and director as well. And he's even been an action figure or two. Haberkornmobile sold separately.
In the animated world, he went on to voice roles such as Sparrow Hood in Ever After High, Elfonso in Sofia The First, Natsu from Fairy Tail, Italy from Hetalia, Ling Yao from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Tierno from Pokémon, Allen Walker from D.Gray-man, Hikaru Hitachin from Ouran High School Host Club, Death the Kid from Soul Eater, and many others.
As far as video games go, you'd recognize his voice in the Call of Duty series, Persona series, World of Warcraft, Street Fighter IV, Ghostbusters, Silent Hill: Book of Memories, Borderlands 2, and Rage, to name a handful. His voice makes sure to get its marathon training in as an award-winning narrator for audiobooks. Do a Google search and you'll find everything from thrillers and young adult to zombie sagas and children's books.
Currently, hear him as the voice of Meccano's buildable robot toy, Meccanoid.
As far as on-camera is concerned, see him in the internationally recognized and award-winning Star Trek Continues as Spock. When he isn't working on films, industrials, and television projects for other companies, Todd does work with his company Out of the Office Productions. This is one aspect of a long history of on-camera work in narrative film, commercials, and shorts.
When he isn't fighting digital monsters in video games or trying to save the day on film, Todd travels the U.S. and internationally making appearances at gnarly pop culture conventions as a guest to meet super cool fans and sign autographs.