Anime Expo – The Heart of J-Pop

ryo horikawa vegeta anime expo signs autographs

Ryo Horikawa (Vegeta) Shakes Hands with a Fan

My Anime Expo 2012 article has been published in The Epoch Times. It features a Dragon Ball photograph and reveals why Anime Expo is so meaningful to anime fans.

It was also published in the July 5, 2012 edition of the Los Angeles edition of The Epoch Times Newspaper. It’s specifically on page A8 via that link and can be saved as a PDF.

The coolest part for readers of this blog is that Dragon Ball fans were just immortalized in an international newspaper!

Some of the images weren’t chosen by the editors, which is cool, but I want to put the others up here so you can get a better idea of what the Expo is like, and for posterity.

The first image above is a picture of Ryo Horikawa (the voice of Vegeta) shortly before our interview.

And here’s Adam Zehner, Vice President of Acquisitions & Licensing at FUNimation, during the FUNimation keynote speech. He revealed all of the upcoming releases and new imports from Japan.

Adam Zehner FUNimation Keynote at Anime Expo

Adam Zehner, FUNimation VP

Unfortunately no new Dragon Ball, but I wasn’t expecting any.

Next is Ben, a huge Naruto fan, the spiritual successor to Dragon Ball. I asked if he liked Dragon Ball and he said no, he couldn’t stand it. But hey, everyone is entitled to their own opinion… even if it’s wrong.

naruto cosplay anime expo ben

Ben, Cosplaying as Naruto

The good news is that Naruto inspired him to work hard and practice Shotokan Karate for over 12 years, which I really admire.

Here’s Brittany, cosplaying as Yoko, the sniper girl from Gurren Lagann.

cosplay yoko gurren lagann brittany anime expo 2012

Brittany, Cosplaying as Yoko

As you can imagine, a girl in a bikini holding a sniper rifle got a lot of attention.

Danny Choo gave an inspiring speech about moving out of his dad’s shoe shop in London to pursue his dreams in Japan, taking the necessary risks to lead a meaningful life. In the process he created an extremely successful Japanese pop culture and branding company.

danny choo anime expo 2012 presentation

Danny Choo, Director of Culture Japan

I’m a big believer in Danny’s message and feel that living a meaningful life is extremely important. He was really nice to speak with and super kind to all his fans, as he stayed for hours to take photographs and give signatures.

steve blum anime expo 2012 signatures

Steve Blum, Voice Actor

That’s Steve Blum, voice of Spike from Cowboy Bebop and TOM from Toonami. The line for Steve was ENORMOUS. It lasted for hours and must have been at least 300 people long at all times. Well deserved.

artist alley at anime expo 2012

Artist Alley at Anime Expo 2012

cosplay girls anime expo 2012

Cosplay Girls at Anime Expo 2012

crowd at anime expo 2012

The Crowd at Anime Expo 2012

As you can see, there’s a lot going on at Anime Expo, and this is only the tip of the iceberg.

Hope you enjoyed the article!



4 responses to “Anime Expo – The Heart of J-Pop”

  1. Ben Miller (Naruto) says:

    Thanks man!! It was a lot of fun :)) keep up the good work!

  2. Dave says:

    It seems that Ben has the good manners and courtesy to express his thanks, even though he isn’t a fan of Dragon Ball. I also noticed that your reply referenced his response to "Additional" questions. Does that mean that he might be featured as an interview in your blog, sometime in the future?

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