Guests: 2016

EARTHBOUND PAPAS

Convention Year: 
2016

A 5-member band formed around Nobuo Uematsu (keys/organ) -- known for composing music for such titles as the Final Fantasy series -- the group includes Michio Okamiya (guitar), Chihiro Fujioka (drums), Yoshitaka Hirota (Bass) and Tsutomu Narita (guitar/keys). 

In October 10, 2010, the group made its live debut on the main stage at the Jiyugaoka Megami Festival. The following year, on...

Nobuo Uematsu

Convention Year: 
2016

Earthbound Papas: Keyboard, Organ

In addition to his roles as CEO of Dog Ear Records and CEO of SMILE PLEASE CO., Nobuo Uematsu has composed for numerous blockbuster video game titles, including the hugely popular game franchise Final Fantasy.

In his career as a video game composer, his achievements have gone beyond just the games themselves.  The theme song from “Final Fantasy...

Chihiro Fujioka

Convention Year: 
2016

Earthbound Papas: Drums

As the drummer for “Mr.SIRIUS,” the Japanese progressive rock band, Chihiro Fujioka has been involved in both music and game design for a long time. He joined XTALSOFT in 1983, working as a game producer before moving up the ranks.

After transferring to SquareSoft in 1990, Fujioka-san served as the director of “Sega 3,” “Mystic Quest,” and “Super Mario RPG...

Michio Okamiya

Convention Year: 
2016

Earthbound Papas: Guitar

Instructed in guitar by Masanori Kitagaki at the Musashino Music Academy, Michio Okamiya began his musical career by passing the SD Division Audition for what was then Sony Music, while still enrolled in college.

He has participated in the production of video game music for titles such as “Hanjuku Hero 3D” and “Anata wo Yurusanai.” In addition, Okamiya-...

Tsutomu Narita

Convention Year: 
2016

Earthbound Papas: Keyboard, Guitar

Tsutomu Narita has been playing piano since childhood, but he branched out into wind instrumental music and joined rock bands in later years.  He taught himself how to compose music at 16.

Today, Narita-san is a freelancer who composes and arranges orchestral, wind, chamber, and image music....

Yoshitaka Hirota

Convention Year: 
2016

Earthbound Papas: Bass

Yoshitaka Hirota is a composer and arranger who fuses the sounds of electronic and ethnic instruments and freely connect East and West, old and new eras.

Hirota-san created sound effects for several Final Fantasy games, VI, VII, VIII, as well as “Parasite Eve.” He has composed a multitude of  original soundtracks for games such as the Shadow Hearts series...

CRITICAL HIT

Convention Year: 
2016

Critical Hit is a videogame music tribute band performing original arrangements and electrifying live concerts of music from the most celebrated videogames of all time. Featuring Jason Hayes, lead composer on the original release of Blizzard’s hit MMO World of Warcraft, the band’s unique sound blends a variety of musical styles from rock to classical and beyond.

Embark on a rediscovery...

Jason Hayes

Convention Year: 
2016

Critical Hit - Keyboard/Percussion

A multiple award-winning composer, Jason Hayes is well known for his long-standing relationship with Blizzard Entertainment, contributing music to their games set in the popular worlds of Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo. He was the lead composer of the original release of World of Warcraft, the most successful online game in the world.

Jason's...

Michael Gluck

Convention Year: 
2016

Critical Hit - Keyboard

From 2003 – 2007, Michael performed video game and anime music piano charity concerts under the stage name “Piano Squall” to raise money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, in support of a cure for the disease that took his grandmother’s life.  He toured Brazil as part of the orchestral game music concert series Video Games Live, with performances in...

Michelle Jade

Convention Year: 
2016

Critical Hit - Violin

  • Performances with recording artists including Young the Giant, Nathan Pacheco, and Il Volo.
  • Performances with recording artist Yoshiki at the Grammy Museum, SXSW, and Japan Expo in Paris, France. Michelle has served as concertmaster for
  • ...

Eru Matsumoto

Convention Year: 
2016

Critical Hit - Cello

Hailed by music critic Michael Sherwin as “one of the finest artists I’ve ever heard, possessing a blend of passion, expression, flawless intonation, assertiveness, suavity, and beauty of tone”, 24-year-old Eru has been charming international audiences with her unparalleled artistry and grace since age 6 as a multi- faceted and award-winning soloist and principal...

Kevin Dooley

Convention Year: 
2016

Critical Hit - Drums

  • Performing professionally for over 15 years, playing drums and percussion in a wide range of styles and settings both locally and abroad. 
  • Performs regularly with Stepping Feet, a Dave Matthews tribute band. 
  • ...

A New World: intimate music from FINAL FANTASY

Convention Year: 
2016

A New World: intimate music from FINAL FANTASY

The producers of the live orchestra performance phenomenon Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY are proud to announce an intimate FINAL FANTASY music experience. A New World: intimate music from FINAL FANTASY presents music from throughout the 25+ years of the FINAL FANTASY catalogue in fresh arrangements for ensembles of winds, strings...

Arnie Roth

Convention Year: 
2016

GRAMMY® Award-winning artist Arnie Roth is renowned for his work with such diverse artists as Diana Ross, Jewel, Mannheim Steamroller, The Irish Tenors, Charlotte Church, and Peter Cetera. He has conducted many of the world’s most renowned symphonies including the London Symphony Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, the Sydney Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the Dallas Symphony, the National...

Benyamin Nuss

Convention Year: 
2016

Benyamin Nuss was born in Bergisch-Gladbach in 1989. At the age of six he began piano lessons. He was inspired and encouraged by his father, the trombonist Ludwig Nuss, an internationally renowned jazz musician. Not only did Benyamin grow up with music from different genres, he really made classical music and jazz his passion. Inspired by “Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum” from “Children’s Corner,”...

Akira Fukaya

Convention Year: 
2016

Akira Fukaya is a Japanese manga artist who studied at Tama Art University in Japan.
After graduation, he began working as a special make-up artist for film director Shinya Tsukamoto. In 1994, Fukaya-sensei debuted as a manga artist. His work includes Akio Kikou Bali (Akio's Travel Story in Bali), Hakobiya Ken (Ken the Transporter), Spice Beam, and Mitsurin...

FUNimation

Convention Year: 
2016

Funimation® Entertainment strives to bring you the best in anime for your entertainment needs. You may know us from popular anime such as "Dragon Ball Z," "Fullmetal Alchemist" or "Afro Samurai." Why do we do what we do? Because we love it, and we're fans too.

Check out all of our shows at www.funimation.com...

Mamoru Yokota

Convention Year: 
2016

Mamoru Yokota started his career as an animator. He now works in a variety of fields as an illustrator, character designer, card game producer, anime producer, game director, and live action drama advisor. Just some of the anime projects Yokota-san has contributed to include "Death Note...

Momo Hime Cosplay

Convention Year: 
2016

Momo Hime comes from a background of theater, dance and photography. She got her first taste of conventions as a small child, when her mother took her to Star Trek cons. She even won several costume contests - including once with a Ferengi trying to sell the 8-year-old Momo to the audience! Thanks to her aunt’s influence, she began helping in the costuming department at her local theater in...

Roland Kelts

Convention Year: 
2016

Roland Kelts is the author of the critically acclaimed and bestselling book "Japanamerica: How Japanese Pop Culture has Invaded the US." He was born to an American father and a Japanese mother, and grew up in both countries. He is a visiting scholar at Keio University in Tokyo and a steering committee member of the Rebuild Japan Initiative Foundation, a Tokyo-based think tank. As a journalist...

Micah Solusod

Convention Year: 
2016

Despite his general inability to fly, Micah Solusod is a professional voice actor and illustrator.

The rapscallion made his anime debut as Malek Werner in “Blassreiter” and is best known for his role as Soul Evans in “Soul Eater.” He has shown up in a number of other FUNimation titles as Toma Kamijo in “A Certain Magical Index,” Mizuki in “Kamisama Kiss,” older Ame in “Wolf Children,”...

Ayu Sakata

Convention Year: 
2016

Ayu writes stuff, and then people read it. Usually in that order. As head of the visual novel group sakevisual, she's written the award-winning Jisei murder mystery games, and the otome romance Backstage Pass. She also writes the comic...

Timothy Koenig

Convention Year: 
2016

Timothy Koenig has passionately studied all things Japanese-beverage for five years, and in that time earned both the Certified Saké Professional and Advanced Saké Professional certification from the saké Education Council, an organization led by the world’s foremost saké educator, John Gauntner.

Timothy has also formed close relationships many of Japan’s top saké producers and has...

Yoh Asakura

Convention Year: 
2016

Yoh Asakura is half of the artist team known as Unlikely Heroes, which began in 2012 in Miami, Florida. A longtime artist and regular to the convention scene, Yoh started with photography and graphic design for cosplay, working under the name Sashin Visual Arts. His partner, Neoanimegirl, began as a fan artist and illustrator, and has even had her work featured on Cartoon Network. Today, as...

Greg Ayres

Convention Year: 
2016

Greg Ayres has spent the last 15 years working in an industry he had admired for years as a fan. With over 200 credits to his name, this fan boy has brought  to life a variety of characters that are almost as colorful as his hair. In 2015, he made a splash as Nagisa Hazuki in “Free! Eternal Summer,” and killed it as Monokuma in “Danganronpa,” and Doug in “Gangsta.”

Greg was thrilled to...

Karen Strassman

Convention Year: 
2016

Karen Strassman is an actress, voice-over artist and dialect coach, known the world over for hundreds of characters she has created in many forms. She delights in crafting characters that touch the brilliant human spirit and entertain the child within all of us. Whether on-camera or behind a mic, Karen is extremely versatile. She has played roles as varied as the brilliant and empathic...

DJ Rob Reeves

Convention Year: 
2016

From the depths of Kansas City comes a crazy man who can only be known as DJ Rob Reeves. Accidentally created in a lab in early 2004, scientists came to the conclusion that they "couldn't figure this one out." Once he escaped the lab, Reeves set out on a mission — a mission to perform for the masses, and create a musical experience that could connect to people in a way that rinses the...

Amelie Belcher

Convention Year: 
2016

Amelie "Ami-Chan" Belcher was born in Baton-Bloody-Boring-Rouge, Louisiana, where the combination of chemical plant fumes and...

DJ Zombie Kitten

Convention Year: 
2016

Created in the dense woods of Eastern Kansas, Zombie Kitten is half human, and half feline. Unsatisfied with nomad life, she set out on a journey to find a higher purpose. In early 2013, she found that purpose: To eat at people’s brains with amazing EDM tunes.

She began mixing atomic tunes gracefully and with such precision that crowds could only describe it as “zomborific!” She has...

Erica Mendez

Convention Year: 
2016

Erica Mendez is best known for her roles as Ryuko Matoi in "KILL la KILL,” Aladdin in "Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic," and Yuuki Konno in “Sword Art Online II.” Other animation credits include Haruka Tenou/Sailor Uranus in the new VIZ Media re-dub of "Sailor Moon,” Akari Sakishima in "A Lull in the Sea," Diane in “The Seven Deadly Sins,” Fu Inubozaki in "Yuki Yuna is a Hero," Mametchi in the "...

Pros and Cons Cosplay

Convention Year: 
2016

Pros and Cons Cosplay comprises twin sisters from Kansas City, Missouri, who began cosplaying waaaay back in 2005. They started competing in in 2008, winning a number of awards along the way for craftsmanship and runway performances. In conjunction with creating their own cosplays, they also sport a healthy passion for social justice and inclusivity.

Pro loves to create things that are...

Austin Tindle

Convention Year: 
2016

Austin Tindle is a writer and actor living in Dallas. He was born in Orlando, Florida, but raised in Austin, Texas. He attended UTD on academic scholarship, where he almost became an electrical engineer. At 19, he was cast as Romeo, and changed majors the same day. If you’ve been to Dallas, maybe you've seen him on stage at Kitchen Dog Theatre, WaterTower Theatre, Theatre Three, Stage West,...