Guests of Honor
Alisa Freedman is a professor of Japanese Literature, Cultural Studies, and Gender at the University of Oregon and the editor-in-chief of the U.S.–Japan Women's Journal. Her books include Japan on American TV: Screaming Samurai Join Anime Clubs in the Land of the Lost, Tokyo in Transit: Japanese Culture on the Rails and Road, an annotated translation of Kawabata Yasunari's The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa, co-edited volumes on Modern Girls on the Go: Gender, Mobility, and Labor in Japan, and Introducing Japanese Popular Culture. She has published widely on Japanese modernism, Tokyo studies, youth culture, gender, television, humor as social critique, teaching pedagogies, and digital media, along with publishing translations of Japanese literature. Alisa has been nationally recognized for excellence in mentoring and enjoys presenting at cultural events like anime cons and Japan festivals.
In the anime world Robbie Daymond might be most well known as the most prolific voice of Tuxedo Mask in Sailor Moon and Sailor Moon Crystal. He's also played countless lead and fan-favorite roles such as: Mori Jin in The God of High School, Megumi in Jujutsu Kaisen, Mitsuki in Boruto, Ikoma in Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, Minato in Re-Main, Akira in Battle Game in 5 Seconds, Mumen Rider in One Punch Man, Joe Kido in Digimon Adventure tri., Chrollo in Hunter × Hunter, Flect Turn in My Hero Academia, Killer T Cell in Cells at Work, Ren Tsuruga in Skip Beat, Merlin in Fate/Grand Order Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia, and Gilthunder in Seven Deadly Sins. He has voiced other anime such as Demon Slayer, Katsugeki/Touken Ranbu, FLCL Progressive, Attack on Titan, Megalobox, Kuroko's Basketball, Brand New Animal, Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans, Last Hope, Naruto: Shippuden, Occultic;Nine, Baki, Tales of Zestiria the X, Cyborg 009, K: Return of Kings, Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Yashahime, Sword Art Online II, Bungou Stray Dogs, God Eater, Isekai Quartet, Terraformars, 86, Magi: Adventure of Sinbad, Durarara!!×2, Charlotte, Lupin the Third, Aldnoah.Zero, Your Lie in April, Glitter Force, Rock Lee & His Ninja Pals, and more. There are also several others coming up that he can't mention quite yet…
Robbie is very active in the realm of western animation as well. He stars as series lead in several shows such as: the current voice of Spider-Man/Peter Parker in the Marvel Animated Universe (Marvel's Spider-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers Assemble, and Black Panther), Jesse in Infinity Train: Book Two, Chico Bon Bon in Chico Bon Bon, and Sway Sway in Breadwinners. He has starred and reoccurred on other popular cartoons like Star Wars: Rebels, Young Justice, OK K.O.! Let's be Heroes, The Casagrandes, Pinky Malinky, Costume Quest, Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?, Rugrats, The Rocketeer, Transformers: Rescue Bots, ThunderCats Roar, Stillwater, Ever After High, Do, Re & Mi, Archibald's Next Big Thing, Bottersnikes and Gumbles, Carmen Sandiego, Get Blake!, Little People, and The Tom and Jerry Show. He has also voiced characters in several feature films, including Shoya in A Silent Voice, Me in I Want to Eat Your Pancreas, Toneri Otsutsuki in The Last: Naruto the Movie, Mitsuki in Boruto: Naruto the Movie, Patema Inverted, Sound! Euphonium the Movie - Our Promise: A Brand New Day, Gundam: The Origin III, Barbie: Star Light Adventure, Monkey King Reloaded, and Strange Magic, among others.
Robbie's also a staple in the video game industry, and can be heard in Final Fantasy XV as Prompto, Persona 5 as Akechi, Tales of Zestiria as Sorey, Fire Emblem: Three Houses as Hubert, Fret in Halo Infinite, Cyberpunk 2077 as River Ward, Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise as Kenshiro, Pokémon GO as Professor Willow, League of Legends as Kayn, Yakuza 7 as Zhao, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 as Thane: Son of Thanos, Just Cause 4 as Oscar Espinosa, TMNT: Mutants in Manhattan as Michelangelo, Spyro Reignited as Hunter the Cheetah, Agents of Mayhem as August Gaunt, Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite as Spider-Man, Death Stranding, Ghost of Tsushima, World of Warcraft, State of Decay 2, Shenmue III, Bugsnax, Marvel Heroes United, Daemon X Machina, Telltale's The Walking Dead, Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled, Final Fantasy Type-0, WarioWare Gold, Judgment, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Final Fantasy VII Remake, 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim, Oceanhorn 2, The Division, NieR:Automata, NieR Replicant, Fire Emblem Echoes, Fire Emblem Heroes, God Eater 1 and 2, Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Lego Marvel Avengers, Friday the 13th, Anthem, Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology, Onmyoji, The Lego Movie Videogame, The Technomancer, Trails of Cold Steel II, Shining Resonance Refrain, Akiba's Beat, Masquerada, Aion, Stella Glow, Xenoblade Chronicles X, Atelier Sophie, Exist Archive, Grand Chase, Skyforge, Forbidden Magna, Lineage II, Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold, Blade & Soul, Fairy Fencer F, and many more!
Robbie can also be seen playing D&D on-screen as Dorian Storm in the hit shows Critical Role and Exandria Unlimited.
Robbie also makes up 1/3 of the pop culture improv comedy troupe Loud, Annoying, and Very Annoying aka: L.A.V.A..
Morgan Berry is a voice actor, singer, and YouTuber; best known for her voice roles in various anime television series, films, video games, and web series. Some of the many franchises Morgan has voiced for include: Pokémon, Dragon Ball, Beyblade, My Hero Academia, Final Fantasy, Inuyasha, Fire Emblem, Miraculous Ladybug, Sword Art Online, One Piece, Fruits Basket, Food Wars, Borderlands, Love Live!, Smite, Overlord, The Rising of the Shield Hero, Marvel Avengers Academy, Cells at Work, the award winning film The Boy and the Beast, and many more. Morgan has worked with many prestigious companies including Disney, Nintendo, Cartoon Network / Adult Swim, Marvel, Square Enix, SEGA, Funimation, Rooster Teeth, Team Four Star, and various other notable establishments.
Meirlin is an international DJ/producer based in LA, originally from Tokyo, Japan. Innovative, creative, and cutting edge are the 3 best ways of describing her music style.
She started her musical journey when she was introduced to the classical piano at the age of 3.
To bring herself more challenge and inspiration, she decided to move to Los Angeles and started DJ performance and music production.
Since then, she started playing at major venues which are ranked DJ Mag Top 100 clubs such as Avalon Hollywood, Exchange LA, Academy LA, Belasco LA, etc., and shared the stage with many well-known artists such as Nicky Romero, Timmy Trumpet, Ookay, Ummet Ozcan, Pegboard Nerds, DallasK, Shaun Frank, Elephante, Che'Nelle, and more.
She's been added to the INSOMNIAC Event official artist list in 2018 and made her debut at Beyond Wonderland 2019.
She has also performed at several conventions, which led to her performance as a special guest at Hatsune Miku Expo and Anime Expo, San Diego Comic-Con official pre-party, and more.
The genres of music she plays are trap, future bass, dubstep, electronic, and all kinds of house music, her energetic and unique mixing styles turning up the dance floor.
Not only that but she has also expanded her career overseas and played at major events/venues such as Cube Art Fair in Brussels, TG Club in China, Mexico, Thailand, and her hometown Tokyo, Japan.
She is currently focusing more on producing original tracks and remixes. The electronic music scene should be expecting major breakthroughs in the upcoming year.
James Landino is an internationally recognized video game/anime composer and DJ based out of Los Angeles, California. His influence of electronic music bridges the gap of gaming, anime, and nightclub culture together, amassing millions of plays across multiple platforms.
He is best known for his work on the musically acclaimed video game No Straight Roads, along with other projects including Tower of God, Chunithm, osu!, RWBY, Cytus II, Amplitude HD, PUBG MOBILE, and DropMix.
Once an audio developer for Harmonix Music Systems, James now works full time as an independent talent working with the entertainment industry's best professionals. His notable clients include: SEGA, Square Enix, Monstercat, Avex, Crunchyroll, and Rooster Teeth.
Amassing millions of plays across multiple platforms, James tours around the world at various events as a performer and speaker celebrating video games and anime, sharing the stage with renowned acts M-Flo, TeddyLoid, and Hyper Potions. Recently he founded Rare Drop, a music publishing company dedicated to building talent within the video game music scene.
Blending his talent and passion for electronic music with a strong sense of gamer nostalgia, VGR reimagines iconic themes and songs from his favorite anime and games as main-stage, EDM festival-style bangers. Having previously partnered with Cartoon Network for projects such as the official Steven Universe Future Remix compilation, VGR has released tracks on prestigious labels including Monstercat and produced music for video games such as the award-winning, cross-platform Rocket League under his original music alias Nokae.
With more than 240,000 subscribers on YouTube, 800,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, and 200 million plays across all platforms, VGR has made it his mission to take anime and game music to the next level.
TeddyLoid started his career as MIYAVI's DJ and sound producer when he was only 18 years old. He grew in popularity rapidly with his production of the OST for the anime Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt ft. Taku Takahashi (m-flo) as well as his creation of tracks for the Vocaloid IA. In 2014 he produced the music for the short film ME!ME!ME! ft. DAOKO.
He has also been selected as one of the five most played Japanese artists on Spotify in 2016, and released two albums in a row in 2018, SILENT PLANET: RELOADED and SILENT PLANET: INFINITY. In 2019, he headlined OTAQUEST KICKOFF, the eve of Anime Expo, the largest anime festival in the US. In early 2020, he participated in Shingo Katori's album 20200101 with the song Prologue (feat. TeddyLoid & Tanaka), which reached No. 1 on the Oricon (Japanese top music) chart.
In 2021, he performed as a guest DJ for the Los Angeles Virtual US Tour by virtual artist Kizuna AI, and on April 27, Ado - Odo, which he produced with Giga and DECO*27, reached No. 1 on iTunes Japan, and the music video uploaded to YouTube reached one million views within two hours of its posting and surpassed 20 million views three weeks later, making it one of the most memorable works in Internet music history.
He also participated in the 3rd anniversary project PALETTE of the virtual liver project Niji Sanji, and produced PALETTE 003 - Virtual Strike (World Edition) with 6 versions in Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, and Indonesian languages. TeddyLoid's activities have been diverse and varied.
He has become a bridge between various music genres and borders.
Laura Stahl is a Los Angeles-based voice actor. You may know her from The Promised Neverland as Ray, Genshin Impact as Barbara and Xinyan, as Dorothy from The Great Pretender, as Iruma from Welcome to Demon School! Iruma-kun, as well as several other shows and games. Laura has also adapted scripts for anime such as Yashahime: Princess Half Demon, Fate/Grand Order Absolute Demonic Front: Babylonia, Eden (starring Ruby Rose Turner, David Tennant, and Neil Patrick Harris), and more. In college, Laura studied musical theater and in high school, she was a band geek, and loved fantasy novels. She couldn't be happier to have a career in anime and JRPGs, because she always knew she was going to spend her entire life as a very proud nerd.
Erica Mendez is a Chicago native now living in Los Angeles and working in the field of voice-over. She has played many fan-favorite characters, including: Retsuko in Aggretsuko, Ryuko in Kill la Kill, Gon in Hunter × Hunter, Aladdin in Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, Yuuki in Sword Art Online II, Sailor Uranus in the new Viz Media dub of Sailor Moon, Megumin in KonoSuba, Emma in The Promised Neverland, Akko in Little Witch Academia, Diane in Seven Deadly Sins, Nico in Love Live!, Mash in Fate/Grand Order, Raphtalia in The Rising of the Shield Hero, Bernadetta in Fire Emblem: Three Houses, and Kamisato Ayaka in Genshin Impact.
You can also hear her in video games such as Final Fantasy VII Remake, Scarlet Nexus, 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim, Fire Emblem Heroes, Pokémon Snap, Ys IX, Tales of Berseria, Fire Emblem Warriors, Fire Emblem Heroes, Puyo Puyo Tetris, the Danganronpa franchise, Code Vein, Soulcalibur VI, Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle, and the Trails of Cold Steel franchise; as well as animated series like OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes, Yashahime, Your Lie in April, Anohana, Erased, Pokémon: Twilight Wings, Pokémon Journeys, To Your Eternity, Boruto, Re:Zero, Fate/Grand Order, Fate/Apocrypha, My Hero Academia, Yuki Yuna is a Hero, A Lull in the Sea, and many more.
Voice acting isn't the only way she keeps herself busy: Her script adaptation work includes The Promised Neverland, Little Witch Academia, Sailor Moon SuperS, Sailor Moon Sailor Stars, and Fate/Apocrypha. She made her directorial debut with the animated film I Want to Eat Your Pancreas which she also adapted.
You can keep up with Erica's role announcements and incoherent rambling by following her on Twitter @tsunderica.
Abby Trott is an actor/singer from Attleboro, Massachusetts. She has lived and worked in Tokyo and New York City, and is currently based in Los Angeles.
Abby is perhaps best known for portraying Nezuko in Demon Slayer, Annette in Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Ivy in Netflix's Carmen Sandiego, and Windblade in the Transformers: Prime Wars Trilogy, and for singing the English version of "Lifelight", the theme for Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Some of her roles in anime include Mezato Ichi in Mob Psycho 100, Machi in Hunter × Hunter, and Veronica Liones in The Seven Deadly Sins.
When she isn't talking, singing, or screaming into a microphone, Abby likes to spend her time playing shakuhachi (Japanese flute) and chatting with her cats (French pun intended).
A native of Portland, Momma Sammu was raised attending fantasy and sci-fi cons, but didn't start cosplaying until their first Kumoricon in 2006 and has been hooked ever since. Now with over a decade of sewing and performance experience, they've earned over a dozen Master-level awards at conventions across the country and abroad. Sammu's specialties include corsetry, ballgowns, and making anything they do as extra as possible. When not at conventions, they enjoy sharing their knowledge and encouraging other cosplayers to pursue their passion projects.
Being an active Twitch streamer and making many of their cosplays for a live audience has allowed them to connect with others outside of conventions and create not only a space to share new skills, but a safe space for anyone who needs it.
Jester photo by KP11 Studios.
Disney, anime, Broadway, top 40: Caleb Hyles has done it all when it comes to cover songs! With his big heart and an even bigger voice, Caleb has wowed millions across the globe with a multitude of musical styling and an infectious, positive attitude. Caleb Hyles has a history in musical theatre, having grown up in a family of musicians and thespians. There was no doubt that Caleb was born to be an entertainer of some kind! Caleb has been recognized by the likes of Ryan Seacrest, Tyler Oakley, Deedee Magno Hall, and many others for his musical prowess. Ever since his viral hit "Let It Go" dropped in 2014, Caleb has not stopped growing his YouTube channel which has grown to over 1.5 million subscribers. By holding live Q&As and hosting a private Discord server with fans, Caleb has nurtured a growing community centered around one-on-one interaction and a common love for all things music and fanatic nerdom. No other performer or YouTube personality does as much for his fans as Caleb does.
He continues to produce new content on a weekly basis and is expanding his reach onto other platforms, such as Twitch! Through this endeavor, along with this YouTube Gaming channel of the same name, Peace Love and Gaming, it is evident that big things are happening with Caleb. He hopes that anyone and everyone will join him for the ride. As Caleb says at the end of every video, "Peace, love, and metal!!"
Kira Buckland is an Alaska-born, California-based voice actress who started her journey in 2004 by voice acting in online projects before transitioning to work in anime and games. She is most known for voicing the lead character "2B" in NieR:Automata, as well as other video games such as Soulcalibur.
Some of her anime and dubbing credits include JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable (Reimi), Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon (Setsuna), Demon Slayer (Mitsuri), Kakegurui (Mary), Tower of God (Yuri), Magia Record (Iroha), Love Live! School Idol Project (Umi), Granblue Fantasy (Lyria), Accel World (Kuroyukihime), Blue Exorcist (Izumo), Sailor Moon (Mimete), Hunter × Hunter (Zushi), The Asterisk War (Julis), Magi (Kogyoku), Blood Lad (Hydra Bell), Re:Zero (Beatrice), and Miraculous Ladybug (Alix/Timebreaker). Most recently, Kira provided the dubbed voice for Rebecca Bluegarden from Netflix's Edens Zero.
Kira loves classic rock, cats, espresso, cosplay, fighting games, and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, and is excited to travel to new places to meet fans (and catch more Pokémon.) She is also the founder of the Voice Acting Club, a community linking voice talent and content creators around the world.
You may have heard him as foul-mouthed, under-caffeinated NPC Lorelei (Borderlands 3), or even as various Funimation simuldub characters (Mars Red, Astra Lost in Space, Infinite Dendrogram, Wonder Egg Priority, and more)—but IRL he's Ciarán Strange, an eccentric transgender/non-binary voice actor, Twitch affiliate, sci-fi author, mental health advocate, indie rocker, and multimedia artist. At the tender age of seventeen, he left his family, friends, and English fishing village behind in order to chase his dreams across the Atlantic!
The bed-headed redhead has become a familiar face throughout the American geek scene, in most parts via his music. After touring the US, UK, Canada, and Japan, performing at hundreds of shows, conventions, and festivals, Ciarán joined forces with kindred artistic spirit Dave Kitsberg (Spoony Bards, Time Crash). The two are now delving into geeky covers and parodies, as well as writing fresh original concept material in all sub-genres of pop-rock.
Musical ventures aside, this British import to the States has been swept up in the launch of his LGBTQ+ urban sci-fi series. Its debut novel, Black Tie by Ciarán Strange, is a M/M political thriller he's pitched as "gay James Bond navigating a world of superheroes". An audiobook version (starring Jesse Nowack, Dani Chambers, Mike McFarland, Elisa Melendez, Ricco Fajardo, Brandon McInnis, Daman Mills, Tyson Rinehart, Emi Lo, Elizabeth Maxwell, Danielle McRae, and many more of your favorite voiceover stars from anime and gaming!) is due out summer 2021.
In what little free time he has, Ciarán streams video games and digital drawing on his Twitch channel, TheCoffeeCommander; its dedicated fans pushed him to affiliate status within one week and continue to passionately support him. He enjoys musical collaborations, wrestling and fitness, living the doggo dad life, and promoting cosplayers and artists within the fandom!
Billy is an actor from Hershey, Pennsylvania, who now lives in the Los Angeles area. He came to California 5 years ago to play Aladdin in Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular in Disney California Adventure. Since that time Billy has been fortunate enough to lend his voice to many popular anime, video games, and cartoons. You can hear Billy as Josuke in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Ferdinand von Aegir in Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Galo in Promare, Rui in Demon Slayer, White Blood Cell in Cells at Work!, Osomatsu in Mr. Osomatsu, Dr. Maruki in Persona 5 Royal, and Naofumi in The Rising of the Shield Hero, for which he won the Crunchyroll Award for Best Voice Acting Performance (EN)! Keep up with Billy on Twitter and Instagram.
From gaming to voice acting, Faye Mata is an advocate of chasing dreams. She's best known for playing the roles of Aqua (Konosuba), Astolfo/Rider of Black (Fate/Apocrypha), Yukako Yamagishi (JoJo's Bizarre Adventure), and Lulu (League of Legends).
She is also known as Sailor Aluminum Siren (Sailor Moon), Princess Malty (Rising of the Shield Hero), Miyu/Fukaziroh (Sword Art Online Alternative: GGO), Rin Hoshizora (Love Live!), Neon Nostrade (Hunter × Hunter), and Kagami (Miraculous Ladybug). Some game roles are NiCO (Dead or Alive 6), Lene (Fire Emblem Heroes), and Daria and Lishenna (Shadowverse).
Faye also competed semi-professionally in video game tournaments around the world such as EVO, CEO, and Pokémon Worlds under the gamertag "Princess Aura", the same name she used as a competitor on national reality TV show WCG Ultimate Gamer (SyFy). Faye brings a lot of fun and energy to cons and currently enjoys challenging people to 1v1 battles in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Follow her on Twitter at @FayeMata, and Instagram at @fayematata!
ACME is a visual kei band that formed in 2017 consisting of former DIV vocalist CHISA and guitarist SHOGO, former ARTEMA drummer HAL, and bassist RIKITO.
The name of the band means "the vertex of evolution" and the band concept is "Delinquent boys from another world". Well known for their post-hardcore sound and colorful "oshare" style visuals, ACME are quickly rising in the visual kei scene.
Their first mini-album release in August of 2017, "SENKOU", sold out first press copies nationwide. ACME's second single release "ROTTEN ORANGE" also had the track "CALL MY NAME" featured in the movie "Namae no nai onna tachi: Usotsuki Onna", starring Mitsuru Fukikoshi.
At Anime Expo 2018 in Los Angeles, CHISA walked the AX Fashion Show runway for Harajuku fashion designers KINGLYMASK, LISTEN FLAVOR, and HYPER CORE. ACME made their overseas debut performance at Anime Milwaukee 2019 and returned in June of that year at A-Kon in Dallas. ACME headlined a tour in January 2020 in 4 cities along the US west coast.
ACME Official Band Pages:
Band Member Official Pages: