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Pre-Registration Opens for Otakon 2021, with the First Guests Announced

Giving anime fans something to look forward to, Otakorp Inc. is providing a hint of what is being planned for Otakon 2021. Pre-registration has just opened for Otakon 2021, with the same rates as were applicable for 2020. So far, six guests have been announced: Alexander Aniel, Harumi Fujita, Manami Matsumae, HELLCATPUNKS, Takahiro Izutani, and Laura Post.

Aniel is the co-founder of Japanese music label Brave Wave Productions. Originally from San Francisco, he moved to Tokyo in 2007 partly out of a passion for games and travel. At Brave Wave, he assists artists such as Matsumae, Fujita, and Izutani in getting connected with game developers around the world, as well as attending various international events such as High Score.

Fujita is a video game music composer famous for her work on “Mega Man 3,” “Final Fight,” “Bionic Commando,” and “Chip ’n Dale.” After working at SNK and Capcom, she went freelance and composed for games like “PULSTAR” and “Tomba!”

Matsumae is a video game music composer famous for her work on the original “Mega Man.” After working at Capcom, she went freelance and composed for games like “Shovel Knight.” Her solo album, “Three Movements,” released in 2017. She is a founding member of Brave Wave Productions.

The HELLCATPUNKS fashion brand takes inspiration from the 1970s London fashion scene, including punk rocker styles like bondage pants, and resizes them into a more modern style. HELLCATPUNKS went international with an exhibition of their girly-punk style in London in 2008. Since then, the brand has expanded far beyond Japan, and their clothes are now available in 30 international stores.

Izutani is a video game composer and guitarist. He composed for games like “Metal Gear Solid 4” and “Bayonetta.” He has also collaborated with other artists, including Ayumi Hamasaki. A member of Brave Wave Productions, Izutani released his first solo album, “Lingua Franca,” under the artist name Dugo in 2017.

Post is a voice actor best known for her roles as Kasumi in “Persona 5 Royal,” Primrose in “Octopath Traveler,” Ragyo Kiryuin in “Kill La Kill,” Harley Quinn in “Telltale’s Batman: The Enemy Within,” and Big Barda and Circe in “Justice League Action.”

Otakon.Online is Saturday!


A special online version of Otakon will take place this Saturday, August 1, featuring special guests, content, and events. Otakon.Online will broadcast from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time across six different channels. The event is free.

The complete schedule can be found online and will contain links to the channels for viewing.

A number of notable events are planned, including a special showing of the Netflix original series, Carole & Tuesday, followed by interviews and a question-and-answer session with Shinichiro Watanabe, chief director; and Motonobu Hori, director. In addition, expect a musical performance by Celeina Ann, who sings as Tuesday Simmons in Carole & Tuesday and also wrote and recorded music for her character’s musical performances.

Famed composer Kaoru Wada (Inuyasha, Ninja Scroll, Princess Tutu, D. Gray-man, and Ace Attorney) will discuss his work on the upcoming Inuyasha sequel, Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon.

The Japanese Embassy of Washington, D.C. will present a talk on The Legend of Zelda, explaining how the popular video game series has been heavily inspired by Japanese myths, legends, and religious traditions, both ancient and contemporary.

Producer Shintaro Tani will introduce and discuss the development of Monster Girl Doctor, the newest anime from Bandai Namco Arts.

Yuki Hayashi, a composer known for his work on TV dramas, anime, and movies, will discuss his work. Some of his most famous anime projects include My Hero Academia, Haikyu!!, Pokemon Journeys, and Death Parade. Hayashi will especially focus on his work composing music for the movie My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising.

Super Art Fight! is returning to Otakon this year with their signature artist-combat-creative-throwdown.

After a several year hiatus, Otakon is thrilled to have Mystery Anime Theater 3000 back, to share the very worst of the worst anime that’s ever been produced.

Finally, Otakon will co-op up with United Gaming League on a series of signature video game competitions.

Otakon 2020 Canceled Due to COVID-19 With Eyes Towards 2021


Otakon Inc. has announced that Otakon 2020 has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This last Friday, the Army Corps of Engineers announced it would be converting the Walter E. Washington Convention Center into a field hospital for COVID-19 patients. Due to the expected duration of that use, Otakon has been notified it will be impossible for the convention center to be used.

The convention looked at alternate dates and even a reduced-size event but the ability to hold a safe and fun event in 2020 just wasn’t possible.

You can read the full statement below:

After conferring with partners in Washington D.C., Otakorp Inc. has come to
the difficult decision to cancel Otakon 2020. This decision was made inevitable by the upcoming use of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center into a field hospital.

On Friday, April 17, the Army Corps of Engineers announced it will be converting the Walter E. Washington Convention Center into a field hospital for COVID-19 patients. The timing and expected duration of this endeavor
means that the facility will be unavailable to the convention during the scheduled Otakon 2020 dates. Otakorp has looked at every possibility, including alternate dates and a reduced-size event, but the reality is that it will not be possible to hold a successful, fun, and most importantly, safe event in 2020.

Otakorp is an all-volunteer organization, and as the senior staff have been trying to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, they have also continued planning, holding out hope that Otakon 2020 would still happen. Despite the severe disappointment at the need for this decision, the staff have turned their focus to Otakon 2021, which will be held August 6-8, 2021, in the Walter Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

All registrations for 2020 will automatically be registered for 2021. No additional action will be needed.

For those unable to attend in 2021, or who need to request a refund for other reasons, Otakorp is making an exception to the standard no-refunds policy for this year.  Please fill out the Refund Request form on the Otakon website before May 31.

Dealers and artists will have the option to transfer their registrations to next year, or to request a refund.

Hotel reservations made through Experient (Otakon’s official housing provider) will automatically be cancelled, and any deposits made will automatically be refunded. Those who booked outside Otakon’s housing portal will need to contact their hotels directly. Please allow the hotels time (at least 30 days) to process refunds.

Otakorp’s senior staff would like to say thank you to their partners at Destination D.C., Events D.C., Experient, Hargrove, DSL, Simmons Security, and more for being supportive during this difficult time. In addition, they’d like to thank all of the industry partners and guests, both foreign and domestic, as well as the artists and dealers.

Otakon Sees a Bigger Turnout in 2019 and Announces 2020 Dates Set

The preliminary attendance numbers for Otakon 2019 have been released and it’s up from 2018. Announced at the Con Feedback panel, the number is 28,472 which beats 2018’s 28,116. They’ll be releasing more details and an official number in the next couple of weeks.

The convention began in 1994 where it had 350 unique individuals and 875 turnstile. The highest attendance was in 2013 with 34,211 unique individuals and 107,500 turnstile. Having taken place in Baltimore, the convention moved to Washington, DC in 2017 where it saw a dip in attendance from the previous year’s 29,113 individuals to 24,894. 2018 saw an increase to 28,116.

2019’s preliminary 28,472 would make it the sixth highest attended show so far.

Otakon is an annual convention celebrating Asian pop culture like anime, manga, music, movies, video games, and its fandom.

Otakon 2020 takes place from July 31 to August 2.

Otakon 2020

Otakon Teams with the Library of Congress for a Special Event

Anime for All,” a celebration of East Asian culture, mythology, pop culture and inspiration, will be held Thursday, July 25 through Friday, July 26, in the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C. The film screening — along with a collection display of rare Japanese graphic art, a panel discussion on the emergence of Japanese hip-hop and a live Studio Ghibli performance — will showcase the evolution of Japanese storytelling traditions that have been transformed into modern forms of expressions and overall pop-culture fandom.

The events are free and open to the public. Tickets are available for some of the “Anime for All” activities, but are not required. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit this event-ticketing site for more information and to secure your ticket. Entry is not guaranteed. 

Fans of anime, manga and Japanese pop culture have much to explore in the Library’s collections. The Prints and Photographs Division contains over 2,500 Japanese woodblock prints from the Edo Period through the 21st century. The Asian Division’s collection is the largest repository of Japanese-language materials outside of Japan, totaling 1.2 million monograph volumes with a rare book collection exceeding 5,900 items dating as far back as the 8th century. The Serials and Government Publications Division houses over 140,000 comic books, including treasures such as the rare early English-language editions of “Astro Boy,” “Macross” and “Ultraman.”

Character Designer Ryoma Ebata to Be an Otakon Guest

Ryoma Ebata

Ryoma Ebata, character designer and director of key animation for the Winter 2019 TV anime “That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime,” will be a guest at Otakon 2019.

For most of his career, Ebata has worked as an animator, designer, as well as a unit director. The first time he was in charge of character designs was with “Busou Shinki.” He has been in charge of key animation for openings, endings, and the main areas for numerous titles such as “Absolute Duo,” “Dimension W,” “MACROSS FRONTIER,” and “Puella Magi Madoka Magica.”

Otakon 2019 will be held July 26-28, 2019 at the Walter Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

Voice Actor Chikahiro Kobayashi Added to Otakon Guest Roster

Chikahiro Kobayashi

Chikahiro Kobayashi, who plays Ranga the Winter 2019 TV anime “That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime,” will be a guest at Otakon 2019.

Kobayashi is active in a wide range of fields, mainly in the voice acting industry. In addition to voicing Ranga in “That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime,” his other main roles include Saichi Sugimoto from “Golden Kamuy,” Toby Selwyn from “Violet Evergarden,” and Shirasakaki from “Mushibugyo.”

Otakon 2019 will be held July 26-28, 2019 at the Walter Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

Assistant Director Atsushi Nakyama to Appear at Otakon

Atsushi Nakyama

Atsushi Nakyama, an assistant director who has previously filled several positions in the anime world, will be a guest at Otakon 2019.

Born in 1974, Nakyama is assistant director for the Winter 2019 TV anime “That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime.”  He was unit director on “Knight’s & Magic” and other shows, as well as director of photography for “Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan,” “Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS,” and others. Nakayama provides storyboards, direction, photography, and other multifaceted work around the production studio. His first work as a director was “Absolute Duo.”

Otakon 2019 will be held July 26-28, 2019 at the Walter Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

Nobunaga Shimazaki to Appear at Otakon

Nobunaga Shimazaki

Nobunaga Shimazaki, the voice behind Yuki Souma in “Fruits Basket” (2019), will be a guest at Otakon 2019.

Associated with Aoni Productions, Shimazaki won Best Rookie Actor on the 7th Seiyu Awards. Besides his work in “Fruits Basket” (2019), you may be familiar with his work as Yuno in “Black Clover,” Shidou in “Date A Live,” Satoru in “Ace of Diamond,” Ritsuka Fujimaru in “Fate/Grand Order,” Haruka in “Free!,” Manato in “Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash,” Tsuguhito Yuta in “Kiznaiver,” Eugeo in “Sword Art Online: Alicization,” Corrin in “Fire Emblem Fates,” and Naoto Kurogane in “Blazblue.”

Otakorp Inc.has thanked Funimation and TV Tokyo for helping to bring Shimazaki to Otakon 2019.

Otakon 2019 will be held July 26-28, 2019 at the Walter Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

Voice Actress Manaka Iwami Comes to Otakon as Guest

Manaka Iwami

Voice actress Manaka Iwami, who lends her talents to the 2019 “Fruits Basket,” will be a guest at Otakon 2019.

An accomplished voice actress, Iwami is affiliated with Pro-Fit. She won the Best New Actress Award at the 13th Seiyu Awards. You may know Iwami for her work as Chiaki Hoshinomori in “Gamers!,” Maquia in “Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms,” and Tooru Honda in “Fruits Basket” (2019).

Otakorp Inc. has thanked Funimation and TV Tokyo for helping to bring Iwami to Otakon 2019. Otakon 2019 will be held July 26-28, 2019 at the Walter Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C.

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