Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

More than 50 Vehicle Debuts to be Unveiled at the LA Auto Show

Posted by Samuel Eiferman on 5th November 2011 in Entertainment

LOS ANGELES –  The Los Angeles Auto Show will surpass 50 vehicle debuts when it opens Nov. 16 & 17 for press and Nov. 18-27 for the public. As a bright spot in the overall economy, the auto industry continues its momentum at the L.A. Show, highlighted by more than 22 manufacturer press conferences. It will be clear that automakers have invested significantly to deliver vehicles consumers want, featuring an unprecedented number of technological advancements, improved performance and design, all while decreasing carbon emissions. In addition to the 1,000 new vehicles at the show, a significant number of manufacturers have upgraded exhibit spaces and added enhanced features with more interactive content and experiences. There will also be more than a half-dozen test drives that put consumers in the seats and on the streets in some new vehicles on select days.

Rev Up Play Time Inside the LA Auto Show’s Kids’ Fun Zone

Posted by Samuel Eiferman on 1st November 2011 in Entertainment

Make sure to bring the kids to this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show and play in the Kids’ Fun Zone. The attraction is open both weekends of the show, including the Friday after Thanksgiving, and features a variety of activities for kids to run, jump, explore and learn, in a fun automotive-themed atmosphere.

HALLOWEEN AGAIN MAKES ITS APPEARANCE AT KNOTTS

Posted by Samuel Eiferman on 28th October 2011 in Entertainment

by Hiram Ash, special for the Reporter

Falling on Monday this year, Halloween essentially offers a long weekend to express and experience what has become a major adult, as well as children’s holiday. And what better place then the L.A. area which has some many and varied venues this year including the Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor (with mazes deep in the inner recesses of the ship), Magic Mountain (with its own mazes), and Disneyland which features special ticketed evening events geared for children (the regular park hours being closed early on those days).

But what some think is the grand daddy of them all in the country is Knott’s “Scary Farm,” a 6 or 7 hour event which starts at 7PM on selected day, and which we visited this year. Visiting on a Wednesday or Thursday afforded a less crowded park, and we were able to visit 12 of the 13 mazes with little or no waiting,- Slaughterhouse, Fallout Shelter, Lockdown the Asylum, Dilirium, Terror of London, Dias de Los Muertos (in 3D), Invasion Beneath (on the mine ride), Sleepy Hallow Mountain (in the log ride), Uncle Bob’s Big Top of the Bizarre in 3D, Virius Z, Cornstalker, and Endgames. The paper 3D glasses could be purchased for $1, although they were pretty standard and any you might have kept from other events or TV specials would probably work. We also took in a couple of the shows. It is much more crowded on Fridays & weekends (and presumably Halloween Monday), the roped off areas for lines attested for that crowed (that it was not necessary when we visited).

Popular among the high school age group, we seemed to be the oldest there (and seemed to get very good treatment, perhaps because of that). We suspect there will be a more varied age group on weekends and nights in which mom and dad do not face work the next morning. The characters were well trained and provided crazy interactions with the guests.

Seven different 1/2 hour shows are featured at various times and places in the park. “The Hanging,” a kind of play and musical featured on an outdoor stage, was geared mostly to the high school crowd. Zamora’s Side Show of the Bizarre” featured a performer who has appeared on various TV programs and the Guinness Book of Records doing such bizarre but real things to his body. There was a Psycho Circus, Blood Drums (drum group), Putz’s Prank Party (a silly prank show), Wonders of Technology, Cursed, etc.

The mazes were quite varied. Among them was a bizarre circus in 3D (you wore the 3D glasses while walking through it), an outdoor cornstalk maze with monsters hiding at every turn, and a slaughter house with, . . do we have to tell you what was the featured meat. But one of the more “real life” mazes was depiction of the streets of old London, when there was a rein of murder terror in the l800’s. You would walk through the streets, complete with fog, people in period costumes, and possible “terrorists” hiding at the turns. It seemed quite real.

Most of the mazes were quite long. There was also the standard assortment of monsters on the streets. It was amusing to watch the reactions of some of the guests “chased” by them. Most of the standard rides were also open, including most if not all of the roller coasters. Knotts is rarely late at night, so it was an opportunity to experience them in their unusual night glory.

For those who don’t want to wait until next year, you have four more nights.

ANIME EXPO 2011 CELEBRATES 20TH ANNIVERSARY

Posted by Samuel Eiferman on 17th July 2011 in Entertainment

Anime Expo (AX), North America’s largest anime and manga event, celebrated its 20th anniversary with its most successful event ever – four days, July 1 through July 4 2011, at the Los Angeles Convention Center that drew over 125,000 fans of Japanese animation, manga (comic books) and pop culture.
 
The program was highlighted by the first-ever U.S. performance of Japan’s latest pop sensation, the digital diva Hatsune Miku, which debuted to a sold-out Nokia Theater audience and garnered publicity worldwide. Anime Expo, sponsored by the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA), also hosted over 200 exhibitors showcasing tens of thousands of products and a sold-out Artist Alley, a venue for amateur and semi-professional artists to celebrate Japanese pop culture through fantastic works of art.
 
In addition to musical concerts and a packed dealer’s hall, the event enabled fans to meet and hear from the creative forces behind the art form as Anime Expo’s Guests of Honor hosted informative artist panels and autograph sessions. Themed the “Year of the Fan,” attendees were truly able to fully-immerse themselves in the AX experience with costume play, non-stop karaoke and dance, exclusive and World Premiere screenings, gaming and much more.
 
“This really was an incredibly special year for us,” said Marc Perez, the non-profit SPJA’s Chairman and CEO. “Our fans are the most amazing group of people and their enthusiasm for one of the world’s great entertainment art forms is unparalleled.” According to Perez, those fans were responsible for also raising nearly $30,000 dollars at the SPJA Charity Auction which was dedicated this year to the Japanese Red Cross Society to aid in disaster relief.
 
To stay updated on all of the latest Anime Expo news, follow AX on Twitter, YouTube and become a fan on Facebook.
 
 
About the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation
The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to popularize and educate the American public about anime and manga, as well as provide a forum to facilitate communication between professionals and fans. This organization is more popularly known by its entertainment property, Anime Expo®. More information can be found at www.spja.org and www.anime-expo.org.

Maon Kurosaki in Concert at Club Nokia

Posted by Samuel Eiferman on 4th July 2011 in Entertainment

On Sunday, July 3rd, Maon Kurosaki, a new singing sensation from Japan who does the background music for Japanese Anime performed at Club Nokia. She spoke little English, but her enthusiasm made the crowd go wild.

While Maon has only been doing Anime for about a year, she has been featured in shows such as High School of the Dead and To Aru Majutsu no Index II.  Presently she is working on a new album which will contain all of the individual ending themes for the Hakuouki OVA series. There should  be about five songs in all. In addition, she is also performing a song for the ninth OVA of Hellsing.

 

Moan has always thought about doing Anime since she has loved anime and games since she was little. There’s an event called Animelo Summer Live in Japan and she became inspired after seeing one of the singers who sung live. You can say she is now living her fondest dreams. We look forward to seeing her next year at Anime-Expo June 29 to July 2, 2012 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Anime Expo Opens to Excited fans

Posted by Samuel Eiferman on 1st July 2011 in Entertainment

July 1, 2011 is day one of the Anime Expo in Los Angeles.  The Anime fans were out in force and dressed as their favorite characters.  If you missed day one, there are still three more days.

I enjoyed mixing with all the excited fans as they enjoyed browsing the many booths for their favorite toys and other items of their interest. Several fans decided to join in the fun by buying a costume from the vendors on the exhibit floor.

Sunday night will have the famed Masquerade which promisses to be a fantastic event.  Don’t miss it.

One word of advice: make sure you have a map of the LA Convention center with you that you can mark up. The Anime guide lists locations under names that are not on the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC) map. I.E. room LP3 is really LACC room 515a. While there are many maps of the LACC spread throughout the building, none show where LP3 or WS1 or other unique named rooms are.

Anime Expo 2011 Announces Hosts and Judges for Fan-Favorite Event “AX Idol”

Posted by Samuel Eiferman on 30th June 2011 in Entertainment

LOS ANGELES   — Anime Expo is excited to announce  the AX Idol 2011 hosts and judges that will be participating in the event’s 9th season. Anime Expo, North America’s largest anime and manga convention, is scheduled for July 1 – 4, 2011, at the Los Angeles Convention Center. AX Idol will be held in Nokia Theater on July 3rd from 12:15pm – 3:30pm.
 
The 2011 AX Idol competition will be co-hosted by voice actor Kyle Hebert and Jonathan Meza. The judge line-up will feature BangZoom! President Eric Sherman, producer and BangZoom! Vice-President Kaeko Sakamoto, musician/voice actor Jason C. Miller, American Idol runner-up Blake Lewis and a Special Guest judge courtesy of VIZ Media to be revealed at a later date.
 
One of the most coveted and attended events at Anime Expo, AX Idol gives attendees the unique opportunity to display their voice acting and singing talents in front of both fans and respected industry professionals. Each year, attendees audition with the chance to win amazing prizes. Thousands of fans gather around to root for their favorites as AX Idol competitors battle it out on stage. AX Idol is brought to you by Bang Zoom! Entertainment and VIZ Media.

Anime Expo Announces Manga Artists Izumi Matsumoto and Fred Gallagher as Guests of Honor

Posted by Samuel Eiferman on 7th June 2011 in Entertainment

LOS ANGELES (June 7, 2011) — Anime Expo, North America’s largest anime and manga celebration, has announced manga artists Izumi Matsumoto and Fred Gallagher at its latest Guests of Honor, when it returns to the LA Convention Center from July 1 – 4, 2011. Both Mr. Matsumoto and Gallagher will participate in a meet-and-greet, autograph sessions and focus panels at Anime Expo.

Izumi Matsumoto is the creator of the popular romantic comedy manga, “Kimagure Orange Road,” first published in  “Weekly Shonen Jump” in 1984.  Teenage love triangle meets fantasy in this landmark manga that has been adapted into an anime series, novels and a radio drama. In 1990s, Mr. Matsumoto started the production of digital comics with Toshiba EMI, and thought up the idea to read manga cell by cell on the computer monitor screen.

Right before starting a new serialization in “Super Jump” in 1999, he began experiencing the symptoms of cerebrospinal fluid disease and was forced to suspend his work. In 2004, he resumed his career as a manga-ka and hopes to bring attention to this disorder through his creative works. Mr. Matsumoto’s art will be shown at Anime Expo in GoFa (Gallery of Fantastic art)’s booth in an exhibition titled “Nippon Cha Cha Cha – AX 20th GoFa 15th Memorial & 3.11 Charity Art Show.”  The GoFa booth will be adjacent to Anime Expo’s art show area.

Fred Gallagher is the author and artist behind the popular American manga title, “Megatokyo.” While strongly influenced by Japanese manga and anime, Fred also mixes in elements of American fan culture and other inspirations that only a non-Japanese creator could bring to the medium.  “Megatokyo” is released as a webcomic  on www.megatokyo.com. Recent print collections of Megatokyo are available from DC comics. Dark Horse Comics will release an omnibus collection of the first volumes this fall.

Noted as being “the best-selling manga series ever by an American artist” by ICV2.com in 2005 and as one of “the 30 Most Important Comics of the Decade” by Comic Book Resources in 2010, “Megatokyo” holds its own against many popular Japanese created titles.  In 2009 a Japanese edition of “Megatokyo Volume 1” was released in Japan, the first original English language manga title licensed by Kodansha for the Japanese market.

In addition to these new guests, the roster of Anime Expo 2011 Guests of Honor includes Japanese pop trio Kalafina, singing sensation Maon Kurosaki, Japanese TV Host and blogger Danny Choo, Volcaloid songwriter Onyx Kobayashi, voice actress and singer Miyuki Sawashiro, voice actor Vic Mignogna, video game developer Sohei Niikawa, Crypton Future Media CEO Hiroyuki Itoh and Producer Wataru Sasaki. In addition, Hatsune Miku will be Anime Expo’s first ever Virtual Guest of Honor.  Themed the “Year of the Fan,” Anime Expo 2011 will fully immerse guests into the world of Japanese animation, manga (comic books), music and fashion. Anime Expo is a non-stop marathon of Japanese pop culture that’s been likened to Halloween in July.

THE E3 AND SID CONVENTIONS ARE THE LATEST TO PRESENT NEW 3D TECHNOLOGY

Posted by Samuel Eiferman on 4th June 2011 in Entertainment

By Hiram Ash, reporter

 Is 3-D a passing fad with the consumer, as it was in the 50’s, or a new technology to be embraced by the public? Companies are betting millions that it is the latter.

The upcoming Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), a trade show for the gaming industry, promises to showcase in a big way that industry’s adoption of 3D. This is the latest in a new technology revamped since the old 3D movies and stereoscopic viewers of the 1950’s.

For example, on June 3, 2011, Disneyland formally opened its revamped Star Tours, now in 3-D. This reporter previewed it the day before, and found it much improved over the previous ride. Besides its improved software which gives a much smoother and entertaining ride, and its 54 different scenarios, the 3D is very good and puts one right into the action.

The ride follows the 3D release of Pirates of the Caribbean, a movie filmed in 3D (as opposed to movies filmed in 2D and then subsequently converted to 3D). The beginning of the new 3D movie phase was, of course, was Avatar. After Avatar, a number of movies already filmed in 2D, were modified into 3D versions as well (though they are inferior to those originally filmed in 3D), and some in production were quickly changed.

At the Infocomm convention in Las Vegas a year ago, TV’s and monitor displays of all sorts were dominated by 3D. Several makeshift theatres were installed to display and compare the competing brands and different 3D technologies. This was followed up by voluminous displays of 3D technology at January’s Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas, and the subsequent National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Las Vegas Show in April.

In May, the SID (Society of Information Display) Expo in Los Angeles featured a number of new 3D devices by various companies. Prominently featured by LG in the exhibit hall and at a seminar were glasses used with technology which LG claims will be the ultimate future of 3D television, because it is clearer, brighter, and cheaper then present 3D TV technology. Sony disagreed, stating that the technology is still improving and there is not yet any set format or standards. Sony also noted that though it displayed a large 3D TV without glasses at CES, production of such TV’s is about 6 years into the future when it will become affordable.

One of the SID seminars pointed to an industry survey which showed the average cost of a 3D set had dropped from about $2700 to about $1700. That survey also indicated that most people buy a 3D TV because it is 3D, but rather choose a large screen TV based on quality and price, and that the 3D component is but another factor influencing choice.

ESPN made a presentation at SID, indicating its commitment to expand present 3D sports presentations. In fact, sports presentations appear to be greatly enhanced when in 3D. Another leader in the 3D field is adult entertaiment (especially on the web with passive 3D glasses), which has always been a leader in computer and internet technology.

It was pointed out that stereo vision for the average person occurs in the first few feet. Depth perception after that is based mostly on cues provided the brain. Therefore, stereoscopic 3D presentations as produced in movies and computers is an experience that is a little novel to our everyday experience, and thus is a new form of entertainment. That experience would be especially enhanced in gaming. And thus a number of game platforms are adopting it. Small monitors are especially capable of 3D technology without glases, and SID featured many products adopting them. E3 promises showcase the most extensive of 3D products in that format.

Already there is talk of new or revamped gaming platforms such as Wii. We will keep you informed.

Maon Kurosaki, The Latest Singing Sensation From Tokyo’s Akihabara Scene, Will Make Her U.S. Concert Debut at Anime Expo 2011

Posted by Samuel Eiferman on 2nd June 2011 in Entertainment

LOS ANGELES (June 2, 2011) — Anime Expo, North America’s largest anime and manga celebration, will present the U.S. debut concert of Maon Kurosaki, the latest singing and dancing pop star to break out from Tokyo’s Akihabara scene. She will be performing live on Sunday, July 3rd at the world renowned Club Nokia.  In addition, Kurosaki will be a Guest of Honor participating in a meet-and-greet, autograph signing and focus panel at Anime Expo, when it returns to the LA Convention Center from July 1 – 4, 2011.

Kurosaki honed her singing and dancing skills by performing at Dearstage, a famous Akihabara club, and made her major label debut at Geneon Universal in 2010 with the album H.O.T.D., a collection of ending theme songs for “Highschool of the Dead,” a smash hit anime series.  Many of her songs have risen to the top of the Japanese Oricon charts including “Magic World,” the end theme for the “Toaru Majutsu no Index II” series which debuted in the top 20 and “Memories Last,” which rose as high as number 14.

Kurosaki will be one of the top featured artists for Animelo Summer Live 2011, the largest anime music event in Japan.  Her next album, scheduled for release in August, is a collection of ending theme songs for the latest installment of the fan-girl favorite anime series, “Hakuoki® OVA.”

Kurosaki joins the roster of Anime Expo 2011 Guests of Honor that includes Japanese pop trio Kalafina, Japanese TV Host and blogger Danny Choo, voice actress and singer Miyuki Sawashiro, voice actor Vic Mignogna, stars of the Power Rangers series and movies, video game developer Sohei Niikawa and Crypton Future Media CEO Hiroyuki Itoh and Producer Wataru Sasaki.  In addition, Hatsune Miku will be Anime Expo’s first ever Virtual Guest of Honor.  Themed the “Year of the Fan,” Anime Expo 2011 will fully immerse guests into the world of Japanese animation, manga (comic books), music and fashion. Anime Expo is a non-stop marathon of Japanese pop culture that’s been likened to Halloween in July.