Below are our guest panels for Naka-Kon 2017. Please consult the schedule for times. Don't forget to check out our fan panels as well!
NOTE: You must be at least 18 years old to attend any panel marked 18+, no exceptions. In addition to your badge, you must show a valid photo ID with your birth date on it to be admitted.
This page last updated on Feb. 23, 2017.
Anime vs. Hollywood: Why “Whitewashing” is Controversial in the US, but Not in Japan (Roland Kelts)
How are Japanese and American entertainment industries influencing each other today? Just as Japanese artists such as Osamu Tezuka, Hayao Miyazaki and Katsuhiro Otomo were fascinated by American classics and sci-fi movies, so too were George Lucas, the Wachowskis, Guillermo del Toro and others influenced by Japanese anime classics such as Gatchaman, Speed Racer, Spirited Away, Akira and Ghost in the Shell. In this presentation, we will explore why Hollywood is fascinated with Japanese pop culture, and keeps trying to remake popular anime titles to appeal to a whole new generation of global fans. Ghost in the Shell, Death Note, Naruto, Cowboy Bebop — and the attempts to make feature films out of stalwarts like Dragon Ball Z and Grave of the Fireflies — will be addressed with passion and precision. Why was Scarlett Johansson cast as Major Kusanagi in Hollywood’s live-action Ghost in the Shell? Why is Willem Dafoe in Netflix’s live-action Death Note? It’s time to take a close look at the big challenges and bigger mistakes.
Armor 101 (KitterBunz)
This is a beginner-level panel that picks up from KitterBunz’ “Patterning Armor” panel. In addition to a refresh of the core ideas from the previous panel, we will go over how to shape armor and the different materials you can use in your project. Now you’ve got an armor pattern — but do you know how to attach the pieces? We’ll go over that too!
David Vincent’s Voice-Acting Tryouts
Total audience participation! Show off your voice acting talent! You could win autographed posters and even a personal one-on-one Skype session with David Vincent himself, with guidance to help launch your voice-acting career! David will give insider tips and professional techniques to help you break into the world of voice-acting, and then put your talent to the test! Prepare to participate in the most hilarious and informative panel of the weekend!
Detailing Armor (KitterBunz)
Now that you’ve patterned and built your armor, it’s time to spiffy it up! In this panel, we will discuss the different materials you can use to create more depth and detail in your armor. We will also discuss different types and pieces, as well as artistry and design.
Digital Painting 101 (Amelie Belcher)
Come learn the secrets of creating your own digital masterpieces with professional artist Amelie Belcher. Learn the secrets of painting backgrounds, light, and shade — and just why the burn and dodge tools are for suckers.
Diversity in Writing (Brichibi, SnowCosplays) (ASL Interpreting Available)
They say that if you want more diversity, you should go out and create it yourself. However, that’s just part of what needs to be done to get more representation in written works. This panel will address three important elements of diversity in the world of fiction — creating it, representing it well, and supporting it — as well as how to do all three.
Drawing Workshop: Heroine with a Sword (Tei Ogata)
Learn how to draw from mangaka Tei Ogata! Whether you are a beginner or experienced artist, these fun workshops are open to all skill levels. Pen, pencil, and paper will be provided at the workshop, but attendees are free to bring their own supplies. This workshop will show you how to incorporate objects into your character drawings.
Drawing Workshop: How to Draw Hatsune Miku (Tei Ogata)
Learn how to draw from mangaka Tei Ogata! Whether you are a beginner or experienced artist, these fun workshops are open to all skill levels. Pen, pencil, and paper will be provided at the workshop, but attendees are free to bring their own supplies. This workshop covers the basics of character drawing. Attendees will draw one of the most iconic Japanese pop culture characters, Hatsune Miku.
Drawing Workshop: Manga Storyboard (Tei Ogata)
Learn how to draw from mangaka Tei Ogata! Whether you are a beginner or experienced artist, these fun workshops are open to all skill levels. Pen, pencil, and paper will be provided at the workshop, but attendees are free to bring their own supplies. This workshop covers the basics of how to draw a storyboard. Attendees will draw a scene that will be announced at the workshop.
Final Fantasy and other JRPGs (Ray Chase, Robbie Daymond, Max Mittelman)
Come nerd out with the Robbie, Max, and Ray, the voices of some of your favorite videogame characters—Noctis, Prompto, Leo and more—as they discuss and answer questions about gaming and RPGs.
Frankensteining Patterns (SnowCosplays)
Sometimes, the pattern you need for a costume simply doesn’t exist... or doesn’t come in the size you need. This panel by SnowCosplays will go into how to up-size patterns, how you can take pieces of different patterns to make your cosplay work, and how to make your costume work for your body type.
From Fanfiction to Professional Writing (BriChibi, SnowCosplays)
Once upon a time, Brichibi and SnowCosplays were fanfiction writers who used to roleplay with their characters. Then one day Snow wrote the first chapter of a novel with those characters. Together, these two women turned their fanfiction and roleplaying into a book series. This panel will go into how they managed to do it, and how fanfiction writing became one of the best ways to practice their craft.
Join Funimation staff as we take a look at some of our personal favorites from current anime and past classics. What’s your Funimation favorite? Share it with us using the hashtag #FunimationFave and you could win a prize!
Funimation Industry Panel
From Akira to Dragon Ball Z, this is your chance to hear the latest news, info, and announcements from North America’s largest anime distributor — Funimation. Live tweet with us using the hashtag #FunimationPanel for a chance to win prizes!
Funimation Peep Show (18+)
Guaranteed to be a good time that’s oh-so-NSFW. Watch jiggly clips and trailers from some of the hottest Funimation titles. Don’t forget to bring tissues — you know, for the nosebleeds. Audience participation encouraged by tweeting using the hashtag #FunimationPeepShow. You could even win some naughty prizes. (18+, Bring your IDs!)
Hoarder’s Guide to Cosplay (Jaded Shadows)
Do you like to cosplay, but live far away from the craft store? Have to work on a budget, but still want to make that must-have item? Well, it’s true what they say: “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!” This panel will have you rethinking everyday items as potential one-of-a-kind costume treasures. Some may see it as hoarding, but we see the potential for greatness.
How to Book a Gig (Joel McDonald)
Learn the tricks that are sure to get you a gig in the world of VO. You can be trained and talented, and still blow your big chance. Now’s the time to learn how to audition, how to impress, and how to get work as a voice actor.
How to Make a Mermaid’s Tail (Jaded Shadows)
Come for a step-by-step lesson about the techniques, materials used, and cosplay survival tips that Jaded Shadows used to make her own mermaid tail, which won her Workmanship Runner-Up award at Naka-Kon 2015. To make your own tail during the demonstration, you will need the following materials: pencil and paper, chalk, measuring tape, a pair of pants (preferably a size too big), scissors, a hot glue gun or needle and thread, material/fabric for making scales, skin-tone pantyhose, and poster board.
Human Anatomy for the Artist (18+) (Amelie Belcher)
Ever wonder why your drawings look wonky? Maybe it’s because your anatomy is off. Come and learn the ins and outs of drawing the human body from a professional comic artist who is a human who has a body! There will be much pointing, much laughing, and much education.
It Is Important For Manga to Be Comprehensive (Kurihara Showshow)
Why are some skillful artists unable to become mangaka? It’s because there’s a big difference between an illustration and a manga. A person who has poor art skills can become a mangaka because he is drawing manga, and not creating an illustration. In that case, what “comprehensive” skills do you need? Please join Kurihara-sensei as he explores this topic.
Japanese Language and being part of the JET Program
Struggling to learn Japanese? Needing some tips to study more effectively? Join us as we go through different study tips for beginners. We’ll also cover how you can use anime and manga to learn Japanese as you get more of a foundation in the language. Everyone wants a cool first job after college. How does working and exploring Japan (and getting paid!) sound? We’ll also introduce you to the Japanese Exchange Teaching (JET) program, where you can work in Japan teaching English to students. The best part? You don’t have to have a degree in education to do it.
Japanese Music with RONDONRATS
An exclusive opportunity to meet the members of RONDONRATS! Learn about the members, find out what inspires them, and get them to talk about the latest music trends in Japan! You ask, they answer. Come join us and show them how much support they have here at Naka-Kon! Don’t hesitate to bring questions and comments you’d like to share with them. Be creative! Perhaps the right questions will bring some out some surprising answers.
Kill la Kill Voices (David Vincent)
Get your pressing Kill La Kill questions answered by a talking sailor suit! Join David Vincent, the voice of Ryuko Matoi’s Kamui, Senketsu. in a discussion about Kill La Kill.
LAVA (18+) (Ray Chase, Robbie Daymond, Max Mittelman)
Loud, Annoying, and Very Annoying is an im-perv-isational, audience participation variety show starring Ray Chase, Robbie Daymond and Max Mittelman. Get ready for naughty games, skits, music, comedy and PRIZES in this 18+ romp into Anime & Pop Culture’s silly and sexy side!
LAVA Lite (Ray Chase, Robbie Daymond, Max Mittleman)
Loud, Annoying, and Very Annoying is an improvisational, audience participation variety show starring Ray Chase, Robbie Daymond and Max Mittelman. Get ready for games, skits, music, comedy and PRIZES in this PG romp through Anime & Pop Culture’s silly side!
Learn the Business of Voice Acting (David Vincent)
It’s called show “business” for a reason! David Vincent shares important insider tips and advice for beginning a career in entertainment and voiceover. And most importantly… he’ll tell you how to treat your entertainment career as a business and still manage have fun too.
Life as an American in Tokyo (Roland Kelts)
Tokyo is the world’s most populous city, but it is also populated mostly by Japanese who speak the same language, understand the same customs, and often refer to non-Japanese as “outside people.” So what is it like to live there on a daily basis as a perpetual outsider, charmed by the culture, but unable to fully join it? Half-Japanese American author Roland Kelts recounts his experiences as an outsider/insider, and attempts to explain a culture that remains attractively, and somewhat bewilderingly, foreign to most Americans and other non-Japanese people — people who are nevertheless eager to know more, visiting in record numbers, and sometimes even choosing to move there.
Live Drawing with Showshow Kurihara
In 2016, Kurihara-sensei was one of the top mangaka in terms of page volume produced in Japan.Now’s your chance to see him draw live! As Kurihara-sensei demonstrates his skills, he will discuss some of the techniques he uses to help draw quickly.
Live Drawing with Tei Ogata: Coloring
Here is your chance to see a professional mangaka draw live! Ogata-sensei will demonstrate (and discuss) how he puts color into his art and breathes life into his characters.
Love Your Cosplay Body (Brichibi)
Brichibi Cosplays is no stranger to cosplay bullying. She’s been named “Princess Wonderball,” been told to “stop acting white,” and has even received requests for her to die over the years — but Brichibi has decided to keep doing what she loves. Is it really possible to ignore the hate and move forward? Yes! This panel will address how.
Manga Is Drawn By Subtracting (Showshow Kurihara)
Join Kurihara-sensei for a lesson in building a story and developing characters. He will also talk about the path to becoming a mangaka in Japan. Some food for thought: how can you make something boring into something interesting to read? How is the manga industry changing? How has the emergence of smartphones and tablets changed the demographics of readers?
Manga Studio 101 (Amelie Belcher)
Come learn how to create your own manga on the cheap! Comic artist Amelie Belcher takes you step by step through the process of comic creation using Manga Studio.
The Merit and Demerit of Drawing Manga on PC (Showshow Kurihara)
In recent years, the number of mangaka drawing manga on PC has increased dramatically in Japan. Kurihara-sensei, who began drawing digitally in 2002, will go over some of the basic procedures for creating manga on a PC and discuss some of the pros — and cons — of going digital.
One-Punch Panel (Ray Chase, Robbie Daymond, Max Mittelman)
Come hang out with the cast of One Punch Man: Max, Robbie and Ray, the voices of Saitama, Mumen Rider and Puri Puri Prisoner. They’ll take all questions and discuss anything you want to know about this year’s hit anime, and the tons of other shows they’ve worked on together.
Patterning Armor (KitterBunz)
Puzzled over patterns? This panel will teach you basic steps for how to pattern your own armor! Discussion will be over materials and the first steps you need to take. Need more information? We’ll continue the discussion in KitterBunz’ Armor 101 panel.
Production History of Makoto Shinkai/CoMix Wave Films (Kazuki Sunami)
It has been 15 years since Makoto Shinkai debuted with Voices of a Distant Star in 2002. From Voices and Distant Star to latest movie your name., the number 1 film of 2016 in Japan, Kazuki Sunami will talk about the past, present and future of the production of Makoto Shinkai and CoMix Wave Films.
Q&A Session with A New World Director Eric Roth
For fans of Distant Worlds and A New World: Here’s your chance to grill music co-director and chief arranger Eric Roth on… whatever you want! Talk about plans for 2017 and beyond, about repertoire choices, about the creative process, about performing, about anything! Take advantage of the opportunity to hobnob with a partner of game developer SQUARE ENIX and collaborator of FINAL FANTASY composer Nobuo Uematsu and others.
Right Stuf Anime & Nozomi Entertainment Industry Panel
Come join the fun at Right Stuf Anime and Nozomi Entertainment's industry panel! Learn more about Right Stuf Anime exclusive offers, upcoming releases and the latest updates on Gundam! Plus, enter to win some great prizes from Right Stuf Anime and Nozomi Entertainment!
The World of Makoto Shinkai: Why your name. Became Popular Around the World (Kazuki Sunami, Roland Kelts)
Join CoMix Wave Films producer Kazuki Sunami and Japanamerica author Roland Kelts as they talk in taidan style about director Makoto Shinakai. They will discuss the art and evolution of Makoto Shinkai’s work, from Voices of a Distant Star to 5 Centimeters Per Second and more, and also discuss how his latest film your name. became the no. 1 movie of 2016 in Japan and now a global hit.
Voice-Acting Auditions (Joel McDonald)
Getting an audition for VO work can be really hard, but at Naka-Kon, it’s really easy! Come try your hand at creating a character and showing off your skill for Joel McDonald, a professional voice actor and ADR director with FUNimation Entertainment. Don’t let your big break pass you by!
Voice Acting vs. Stage Acting (Joel McDonald)
Do you want to be a voice actor? Of course you do. And of course you’ve started by doing theatre. Now you’re ready for the next step. But how do you bridge the gap between acting for the stage and acting in front of a microphone? Come find out and get ready for your next big step!
What’s Worbla? (KitterBunz)
Warped on Worbla? What is Worbla? In this panel, we will discuss what this magical cosplay material is, its many uses, how to get really creative with it, what you can accomplish, and when it’s best NOT to use Worbla. This panel will give you a new outlook on cosplay!