The very best from the east to west attended Anime Expo Tokyo 2004 to present their latest works and get acquainted with their numerous fans from across the Pacific Ocean and surrounding areas within Japan.

Anime Expo Tokyo 2004
Guests of Honor

American Guests of Honor presented on stage at the opening ceremonies.

Voice actresses Romi Paku and Rie Kugimiya from Full Metal Alchemist at their panel session.

Philip Moy of PowerPuff Girls and Fred Gallagher of Megatokyo at their autograph session.

"Sayo" at her live concert performance following the Toshiba Digital Entertainment's panel of the latest anime releases.

Nao Nagesawa singing ~Divergence Eve's~ opening theme "Kiss Kiss Kiss" after Imagica's panel of their latest releases.

Autograph Sessions: More guests than you can shake a stick at!  With surprise show-ups and plenty of guests coming in as attendees (since they all work in the area), fans got plenty of opportunities to walk away with lots of their anime stuff signed and drawn on!

Listed in alphabetical order below were all the attending celebrities for Anime Expo Tokyo 2004: 

AIKAWA, Sho:  Born August 9th, 1965 in Tokyo. Some representative works include: (OVAs) "Urotsukidoji","Yotoden", "Yoma", "Maju Sensen", "Vampire Princess Miyu". (Television Series) "Mobile Battleship Nadesico", "Neo Ranga", "Hiou's Windup Dolls Military Commentaries", "12 Kingdoms". Also he has worked on countless live-action, special effects ("tokusatu") productions, including such series as "Ultraman G", and "Bakuryu Sentai Abaranger".

AKAMATSU, Ken:  Mr. Ken Akamatsu is a very prominent manga artist whose work has won over the hearts of many young men. He has worked on such current and predominantly known titles such as "AI ga Tomaranai" (Can't stop AI), "Love Hina". Currently, he is working on the series "Magical Teacher Negima". He is also doing the character conceptualization for the animation "Earth Defender Mao-chan".

ARO, Hiroshi:  A manga artist whose appeal is his heartwarming and slighly sexy style of drawing. His debut work was "Star Trouble SpeComma (Spece Command)", and is known for such works as "You & Me", "Paraiya Gekijyo", "Wakaokusama no Abunai Shumi", and "Futaba-kun Change" (1990). Currently, he is busy with the series "Koi ga Furan".

FREEMAN, Crispin:  Crispin Freeman is a well known voice actor who has appeared in many anime in the U.S. Starting with voicing Zelgadis in "Slayers", he has gone on to play such parts as Alucard in "Hellsing", Fuma Monou in "X", Alan Gabriel in "The Big O", Iketani (Cole) in "Initial D", Captain Tylor in "The Irresponsible Captain Tylor", and many other parts. Current and upcoming shows include "Last Exile" where he plays Alex Rowe, and "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex" where he'll be playing Togusa. He is also working as a voice director. He received his undergraduate degree from Williams College where he majored in Theater, and a Master's in Fine Arts in Acting at Columbia University. He has been watching anime since a child, growing up on Speed Racer, Star Blazers, Battle of the Planets, and Robotech.

GALLAGHER, Fred:  Fred Gallagher is known for his Internet manga work in the US. He is best known for his "MegaTokyo" comic at Fred's style has been influenced by a wide variety of anime, such as "Martian Successor Nadesico" and "Card Captor Sakura", and by many such videogames as "Sentimental Graffiti", "True Love Story", and "Kanon".

HASEGAWA, Yuichi:  Manga artist. In 1993, debuted in "Mannatsu no Senshi". Known for "Maps", "Dai Sword", "Crono's Eyes", "Mobile Suit Gundam Crossbone", "Fly! Isami", "Victory Five", and others. Won the "Seiun" Comic Award for "Crono's Eyes". Currently working on the serialization of "Ironman 28 -- Crest of the Emperor" ("Gigantor") in "Magazine Z".

HIJIRI, Saki:  Author and writer. Previously worked for "Spacecraft", a science fiction, live-action and special effects ("tokusatsu") magazine. Wrote "Flash Gordon's Puberty" "Shingai Toshi" (under the name "Takeda Keisaku"), and "History of Computerized Brains in Movies".

HIKAWA, Ryusuke:  Born 1958 in Hyogo Prefecture. Anime and live-action and special effects ("tokusatsu") critic. Continues to be a writer for magazines and tankobon and DVD commentaries, for more than a quarter of a century.

ISHIGURO, Noboru:  Renown and highly acclaimed director of such landmark works as "Space Cruiser Yamato", "Macross", "Megazone 23", "Legend of Galactic Heroes". President of Artland. He has been a Guest of Honor many times to Anime Expo. Including many private trips, he is the person who has visited to the U.S. the most of all our Japanese guests.

ISHIKAWA, Mitsuhisa:  Born 1958. Board member of Production I.G. Corporation. Also, is a board director of Production I.G., LLC in the U.S. Main works include "Ghost in the Shell", "Evangelion: Rebirth" (Movie), "The End of Evangelion" as producer. Also, he did the planning and original art and story for such Playstation games as "Double Cast", "Kisetsu no Dakishimete", "Sampaguita", and "Yukiwari no Hana". He also produced titles such as "Akihabara Cyber Team 2001", "Jin-Roh", "Blood the Last Vampire" "Sakura Taisen Katsudou Shashin". His latest works as producer are the television shows "Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex", its continuation in "2nd GIG", and the movie "Innocence".

IMAISHI, Hiroyuki:  Born October 4th, 1971. Following his graduation at of Tama Art University in 1995, went to work at Gainax. Started as an inbetweener working on "Neon Genesis Evangelion." In no time at all, his talent developed: He soon started working as storyboard, animation director, and key artist for the titles "His and Her Circumstances" and "FLCL". In addition, he worked as animation director for "Little Giant Microman"; storyboard artist, episode director, and animation director for "Medabots"; storyboard artist and key animator for "Trava - Fist Planet". Recently, in "Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi" and "Anime Tenchou", he was storyboard artist, animation director, key animator, and last but not least found his fourth role as episode director. In his first work as main series director, "Dead Leaves", he did the character design, storyboards, and was the animation director. A truly multi-talented person who is capable of many tasks. 

IMAITOONZ:  Born 1971. Completed a masters in art at Tama Art University in 1995. This same year, started his career working on the opening animation for the MTV program "Top Of Japan". Did the character designs for the Suntory drink commercial "C.C. Lemon" and SEGA arcade game "Fighting Vipers 2". Worked on Sony product packaging, an animation for Nike Presto, was a collaborator with AndA for Reebok apparel design. Invited to international movie festivals, and overseas to exhibitions to display his work. Cross-genre and cross-border, he developed his own original "street-mind" illustration style. Recently, the newest Reebok shoes he helped design went on sale worldwide. Imaitoonz has busy been producing a promotional video for musician Ken Ishii, is currently drawing a manga for the art magazine "Prints21", and has been doing package illustration for a hair coloring product, "Men's Beautine".

IMAKAKE, Isamu:  Animator. He has offered his creative talent in many such works as: "Lupin the 3rd: Dead or Alive" as mechanical designer and animator, "Eat Man '98" as character designer, "Nadia" as key animator, "Cowboy Bebop" as art director, in addition to being a manga artist. Currently, he is working as director of the new television series "Area 88".

INOMATA, Mutsumi:  Character designer for "Windaria", "Plawres Sanshiro", "Demon Regions Legend Acrobunch", and "Brainpowerd". Original character designs for "Cyber Formula" and assistant character designer for "Mobile Gundam SEED". Game character designer for "Tales of Destiny" and also an illustrator for many novels. 

ITOH, Takehiko:  Manga artist and illustrator. Known by such works as "Uchueiyuu Stories", "Haoutaikei Ryu Knight", "Outlaw Star", "Angel Links", "Beast Sanjyushi", "Ohma ni Dokidoki". He is also a certified rescue diver by the PADI organization.

IZUBUCHI, Yutaka:  Designer and manga artist. Since the end 1970's, he has worked on many mechanical designs for television anime, including the prominent work "Patlabor". He has contributed his talent to character designs for Toei's live action special effects ("tokusatsu") shows. In 2000, he debuted as a director of his original story, "RahXephon".

KAWAMOTO, Toshihiro:  Both an animator and character designer. Debuted as inbetweener for "Arion." Major talent behind works such as "Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket", "Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory", and "Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team". Worldwide, fans know him from the title "Cowboy Bebop".

KITAZUME, Hiroyuki:  Animator and manga artist. Animation director for "Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam", also character designer and animation director for such titles as "Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ", and "Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack".  For the title "Moldiver", worked as original series planner and director. He has a wide range of talents and undertakings. Currently he is working on "Gundam A" (Kadokawa Books), and the manga series "C.D.A".

KODAMA, Satomi:  Voice actor. In the anime "Triangle Heart", appears as Miyuki Takamachi, in "Pia Carrot 2DX" as Jun Kagurazaka, "Wind -a breath of heart-" as Kasumi Shikouin, "Cross Channel" as Yoko Hasekura, "Orange Pocket" as Tomoka Utsugi, and in many new series. And with just some of her many other talents, she's also busy with her own manga, news column, and singing.

KUGIMIYA, Rie:  Voice actor. Born May, 30th, in Kumamoto Prefecture. In "Rizelmine", appeared as Rizel Iwaki, "Wagamama Fairy Mirumo de Pon!" as Murumo, in "Golden Gash Bell!!" as Tio, and in "Fullmetal Alchemist" as Alphonse.

KUSHIDA, Akira:  Singer for Toei live action special-effects (tokusatsu) series "Taiyousentai Sanbarukan", "Uchuukeiji Gyaban", "Uchuukeiji Shariban", and "Uchuukeiji Shaidaa". In addition has sung for the anime "Kinnikuman Go Fight!" and "Chissou Xabungle". He has sung many opening and ending themes, as well as background songs.

M I Q:  Formerly known as MIO, born October 3rd, in Tokyo. Grew up in Tottori Prefecture. There aren't many fans who don't fully appreciate the impact of this performer. Her well-known songs include "Hey You" from "Sentou Mecha Xabungle", "Fly Dunbine" and "Can't You See Byston Well" opening and ending themes from "Aura Battler Dunbine", and "Time For L-Gaim" and "Starlight Shower" opening and ending themes from "Heavy Metal L-Gaim", "Burning Spirit" from "Super Robot Taisen 64".

MOCHIZUKI, Tomomi:  Born 1958, originally from Hokkaido. Dropped out of Waseda University, where he was studying literature. After starting work at the studio Ajiadou, first episode director for "Tokimeki Tonight". Directorial works include "Maison Ikkoku Kanketsuhen" (Movie), "Kimagure Orange Road: The Movie", "Legend of Light", "Ranma 1/2", "Licca", "Here is Greenwood", "I Can Hear the Sea", "Brave Commander Dagwon", "Yakumo Tatsu", "Princess Nine", "Seraphim Call", "Gundam Neo Experience 0087 Green Divers".

NAGASAWA, Nao:  Born January 5th, 1984, originally from Tokyo. First role was in "Ninpu Sentai Harikenjya" (tokusatsu) as Hariken Blue and Yano Nanakai. Currently appearing as a teacher on the NHK educational program "A Course in Spanish". In addition, has been singing, doing radio, and television commercials.

NEGISHI, Hiroshi:  Anime director. President of "Radix Inc." Well-known titles include "KO Century Beast", "Tenchi Muyo! in Love", "Master Keaton", and "Amazing Nurse Nanako". Currently putting all his available energy into working as director for "Divergence Eve".

NISHIO, Tetsuya:  Born June 23rd, 1968 in Aichi Prefecture. Started his career as an animator for "Osomatsu-kun". Key animator for "Yu Yu Hakusho" and "Hakkenden: Legend of the Dog Warriors". Provided character designs and animation direction for "Ninku", which had showed more of his talent. Character designer and animation director for "Jin-Roh", as well as key animator. Drew almost all the key scenes for the "Mini Pato" feature and opening animation and 2nd episode storyboards. Animation director for the theatrical title "Innocence".

OKIURA, Hiroyuki:  Born October 13, 1966 in Osaka. Previously worked at the production company "Anime R", now a freelancer. As an animator, has participated in many television and OVA works. Character designer, key animator, and animation director in such series as "Run Melos", "Patlabor Mobile Police the Movie 2", "Memories", and "Ghost in the Shell". Debuted as director for "Jin-Roh", which has not only been locally well received, but has been critically acclaimed in many countries. Currently he is working on the character designs for "Innocence".

PAKU, Romi:  Voice actress. Born January 22nd in Tokyo. Major roles include Loran Cehack in "Turn A Gundam", Ken Ichijouji in "Digimon Adventure 02", Nayuta Moriyama in "Gakuen Senki Muryou", and Reiji Oozora in "Dragon Drive", Maki Aikawa in "Air Master", and Edward Elric in "Full Metal Alchemist".

TAKADA, Akemi:  Character designer for "Magical Angel Creamy Mami", "Kimagure Orange Road", "Mobile Police Patlabor". As illustrator, she has worked on many product jackets, book covers, and art inserts. She is also the creator of many original works of art. Her reputation is huge not only in Japan, and she even has had art exhibitions of her own overseas.

TAMAKI, Nozomu:  From drawing manga inspired by the computer game "Super Robot Wars", to many other such stimulating works, Mr. Tamaki has created many titles in a wide range of genre. For this event, he is assisting a panel discussion with Mr. Hasegawa.

UEDA, Kana:  Voice actor, born June 9th in Osaka. She has voiced in "Green Green" as Reika Morimura, in "Lunar Legend Tsukihime" as Kohaku. In addition, she is a radio personality. She performs musical instruments as her hobby.

YONEZAWA, Yoshihiro:  Born 1953 in Kumamoto Prefecture. Graduate of Meiji University. Prominent doujinshi event organizer of Comic Market ("Comike"). Writer of manga critiques and manga culture. Starting with the doujinshi group "Meikyuu", is now editor of "Gekiga Arisu", "Manga Kizotengai". Winner of a university publishing award for "Bessatsu Taiyou Hakkinbon" (Banned Books: Taiyou Special Edition). Contributing author in such titles as: "History of Post-war Young Women's Comics", "History of Post-war Science Fiction Manga", "History of Post-war Humor Manga", "History of Post-war Baseball Manga", "Manga Commentary Declarations", "The Way of Cheap America Goods", and others.

[Guests of Honor]

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