Dragon Ball Z Panel Announced for Anime Expo

dbz voice actors panel anime expo chris sabat kyle hebert eric vale

Anime Expo announces Dragon Ball Z voice actors Christopher Sabat, Kyle Hebert, and Eric Vale will host a panel to celebrate the world’s most enduring action anime classic.

Christopher Sabat voice acts Vegeta, Piccolo, Yamcha and many others in Dragon Ball Z. He is the newest Guest of Honor to join Kyle Hebert (Adult Gohan and the Narrator), and Eric Vale (Future Trunks and the Tenkaichi Budokai Announcer).

From the official press release:

Mr. Sabat is known for voicing the DBZ favorites, and countless others including Ayame in Fruits Basket, Alex Luis Armstrong in Full Metal Alchemist, and One Piece’s Roronoa Zoro (not to mention Lupin III’s Jigen!). Mr. Sabat has lent his voice to the anime favorites that shaped the childhood of many fans, and has continued to voice characters that capture their admiration and attention.

Anime Expo is an annual event held each year in Los Angeles and is North America’s largest celebration of Japanese culture. This year it will be held July 4 – 7, 2013.

Dragon Ball Z has recently been the focus of a large promotional campaign, with the announcement of a new DBZ film, the return of Dragon Ball Kai, and the support of the Japanese government.

Why is Anime Expo promoting Dragon Ball Z so heavily? Most likely because they are parented by the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA), a non-profit organization that popularizes and educates the American public about anime, manga, and other J-pop products.

The government works hand-in-hand with American anime conventions, anime dubbing companies (FUNimation), manga publishers (Viz) and groups like the SPJA to promote and sell J-pop culture to Americans. Since DBZ continues to be a huge cash cow, it’s clearly not only a fun event, but also a strategic business decision.

This is only speculation, but I imagine it would be a great time to announce an English version of the new Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods film, premiering in Japan on March 30, 2013, almost 3 months before Anime Expo.

Will I be there to cover the event?

Absolutely! And I’ll do my best to film the DBZ panel and interview the guests. If all goes according to plan, I’ll even present my Spirituality of Dragon Ball lecture at the expo!

If you’re a fan of DBZ and are going to the Anime Expo, be sure to attend the panel. I’ll see you there.