|Yasuhiro Imagawa: While some of Mr. Imagawa's
series have been love-'em-or-hate-'em shows like MOBILE FIGHTER G
GUNDAM or THE VIOLINIST OF HAMELN, one series is always
synonymous with his name: GIANT ROBO. During his second
appearance at Anime Expo, Mr. Imagawa was kind enough to let eager GR fans know that,
indeed, the latest and final episode of GIANT ROBO, number
seven, had been completed and will be released in 1998.
Mr. Imagawa (center) enjoying his time with fans of Giant Robo
|Akira Kamiya: Mr. Kamiya, an
illustrious and talented voice actor, made his first U.S. appearance at AX '97. At
Opening Ceremonies, he launched into a soundbyte smorgasbord of many of his famous
anime roles, including Mendo Shutaro (URUSEI YATSURA), Ryo
Saeba (CITY HUNTER) and Kinniku Man (KINNIKU
MAN). Thoroughly enjoying himself at the convention, Mr. Kamiya seemed to
thoroughly enjoy interacting with the fans; he even made an appearance at Saturday
night's Karaoke event, singing several songs, including his new single, "Taiyo no
Mr. Kamiya (left) at the Guest Reception Dinner
|Hiroaki Sato: Mr. Sato is the
creator and director for the series KEY: THE METAL IDOL, one of
the sleeper hits of recent years. Mr. Sato related his experiences about working in
the industry to the fans and gave the attendees a glimpse at what it is like to work
on creating and producing anime.
Mr. Sato (left)
|Chiyako Shibahara: Ms. Shibahara's
first trip to the United States was to attend this year's Anime Expo. A voice actress
and singer, Ms. Shibahara talked about what it was like to play the role of Miho in KEY: THE METAL IDOL and life as a popular singer in Japan. She also
performed a mini-concert during Saturday night's Masquerade.
Ms. Shibahara's live performance of songs from Key the Metal Idol at
|Miho Shimogasa: Having served as a key animator for several SAILOR MOON series (SAILOR MOON, SAILOR MOON R, SAILOR MOON SUPERS), Ms. Shimogasa
worked up to animation director for SAILOR MOON SUPERS, SAILOR MOON: SAILOR STARS: and the SAILOR MOON
Movie: AMI'S FIRST LOVE Recently, she served as both character
designer and animation director for the newest version of Go Nagai's CUTEY
HONEY, CUTEY HONEY F. During her appearance at Anime
Expo, Ms. Shimogasa did many SAILOR MOON sketches for her fans
and told them stories about working on the various SAILOR MOON
|Haruka Takachiho: An accomplished science fiction novelist and
member of Studio Nue, Mr. Takachiho is best known to anime fans as the creator of CRUSHER JOE and THE DIRTY PAIR. Mr. Takachiho
made his first appearance at Anime Expo this year, and was able to talk with his
American fans face-to-face. Many fans have come to enjoy Mr. Takachiho's works
thorough translations provided by the Microsoft Network (MSN).
Mr. Takachiho (left) at his guest panel.
|Akihiko Yamashita: Mr. Yamashita comes
to AX'97 having completed his role as character designer and animation director for
the GIANT ROBO series. In fact, at Opening Ceremonies, it was
Mr. Yamashita who announced that the last, eagerly-awaited episode of GIANT
ROBO had indeed been finished.
Mr. Yamashita at Opening Ceremonies
|Kazuo Yamazaki: Having served as director of several very
popular anime titles, including MAISON IKKOKU, PLEASE
SAVE MY EARTH, and FIVE STAR STORIES, Mr. Yamazaki was able to
relate the details of his eventful career to fans, including his arduous climb to the
position of director he now holds, as well as how he almost quit the anime industry
Mr. Yamazaki (right)
|Chisa Yokoyama: Ms. Yokoyama
returned to the United States to appear at this year's Anime Expo (Her first trip was
last fall to film her "Live in L.A." concert video.) Best known for her role
as Sasami in the various TENCHI MUYO series, she has also done
many other roles, such as Chun-Li from STREET FIGHTER II V and
Sana from KODOMO NO OMOCHA. Chisa delighted her fans by
appearing at her autograph session dressed as Pretty Sami. She also won the hearts
(and attention) of attendees at the meet the guests reception.
Ms. Yokoyama at her autograph session.
|Noboteru Yuuki: Renowned animation director for several popular
titles like RECORD OF LODOSS WAR, GUNNM,
FIVE STAR STORIES and KUJAKU-OH 2, Mr. Yuuki was
pleased to attend Anime Expo '97. With him also came a 35mm print of the X movie, which was premiered in the United States at Anime Expo. Mr.
Yuuki did color sketches for a few lucky fans, and when he wasn't in a panel, he could
often be seen roaming the halls of the hotel in the evening. At Sunday's Celebrity
Charity Auction, two sketches donated by Mr. Yuuki went for record sums: $2,000 for a
sketch of Deedlit and $2,250 for a sketch of Nekoi Yuzuriha and Inuki. After the
auction, Mr. Yuuki said that he felt like a "scam artist" with the
exorbitant prices that fans were willing to pay for his work.