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July 24 - July 26, 2015
Baltimore Convention Center
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Home  //  Guests  //  Otakon 2014 Guests
Otakon 2014 Guests
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MUSICAL GUESTS info is on the Concerts pages

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ALTIMA Yoshiki
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Linda Ballantyne Linda Ballantyne
Voice Actor

For the past 20 years, Linda has worked professionally on stage, screen and television, and has been heard in hundreds of radio and television commercials worldwide. Her extensive animation career consists of a wide variety of characters including series leads in Sailor Moon (Sailor Moon/Serena), Mia and Me (Queen Mayla), My Big Big Friend (Lilly's Mom), The Avengers (Wasp), Toot and Puddle (Tulip), Will and Dewitt (Shelley), Disney's Yin Yang Yo (Saranoia, Ella Mental, Smoke and more), Gerald McBoing Boing (Gerald's Mom), Meteor (Sinker), Cyberchase (Wicked), Mischief City (Mrs. Adams), Corduroy (Moppy's Mom), Timothy Goes to School (Fritz's Mom), Air Master (Kaori Sakiyama), Bakugan (Kararina), Beywheelz (Leader B/Lucy), and Animal Shelf (Getup), as well as various characters in The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That, The Doodlebops, Totally Spies, 6Teen, Time Warp Trio, Carl Squared, Bob and Margaret, Girl Stuff Boy Stuff, George Shrinks, etc. She has also voiced characters in the feature films Disney's Lucky Ducks (Reporter), Care Bear's Journey to Joke-A-Lot (Champ Bear), Care Bear's Big Wish Movie (Champ Bear) and Thomas and the Magic Railroad (Percy).

Linda was contracted as the "voice" of the Comedy Network for 13 years and is currently creating and writing an animated series entitled Simply Wicked. Linda is also the host of the edgy new radio show I'm Just Sayin' on Canada Talks (#167), SiriusXM's newest channel.

Follow Linda on Twitter @LABallantyne

Linda is the happily married mother of 3 perfect teenaged daughters.

Dante Basco Dante Basco
Voice Actor, Actor

With a career spanning over two and a half decades, Dante Basco is a Hollywood actor who has become a cult classic and pioneering figure in Asian American cinema. He was first introduced in Steven Spielberg's fairytale movie Hook, as "Rufio", the leader of the Lost Boys. He quickly jumped to leading roles like Newline's Take the Lead, opposite Antonio Banderas, and The Debut, which became the voice of a Filipino American generation. 20th Century Fox executives were so mesmerized by the uniqueness of Dante's look and ability that they gave him a development deal for his own series and he starred in a pilot for Touchstone/ABC, The Chang Family Saves the World, written and produced by John Ridley and directed by Paris Barclay. Ever versatile, he's "Jake Long" in Disney's animated series American Dragon: Jake Long as well as "Prince Zuko" in Nickelodeon's phenomenal hit, Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Born and raised in the City by the Bay, Dante started out breakdancing with his three brothers at the age of 8, calling themselves "The Street Freaks". Quickly they became one of the top groups in San Francisco, opening for acts like Ice-T and Vanity and performing during half-time shows for the 49ers and the Oakland A's.

Dante and his family moved to Los Angeles in the mid-80s where he started to work immediately. By the age of 16, Dante was fencing against Dustin Hoffman and flying with Robin Williams in Hook. He's found success on the small screen as well on from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and recurring on Hangin' with Mr. Cooper and Moesha in the 90's to prominent spots on Nash Bridges, Touched by an Angel, and Providence in the early 2000's and hit shows today like CSI: Miami, Entourage and Hawaii Five-0.

A young man of many talents, Dante is the founder of one of the largest weekly poetry venue in the country, "Da Poetry Lounge" in Los Angeles and he has also shared his spoken word poetry on Russell Simmons' HBO Def Poetry Jam. He has also begun writing and producing his own features with his production company Kinetic Films, including Hang Loose, a (hilarious buddy) comedy with YouTube sensation KevJumba, winning the 2012 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival Special Jury Prizes for "Best Actor" and "Best Newcomer" respectively.

From breakdancing in the streets of San Francisco to starring in movies on the silver screen, Dante Basco has become one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood and truly an Asian American icon.

Peter S. BeaglePeter S. Beagle

Author

Peter S. Beagle was born in 1939 and raised in the Bronx, where he grew up surrounded by the arts and education: both his parents were teachers, three of his uncles were gallery painters, and his immigrant grandfather was a respected writer, in Hebrew, of Jewish fiction and folktales. As a child Peter used to sit by himself in the stairwell of his apartment building, making up stories.

Today, thanks to classics like The Last Unicorn, A Fine and Private Place, and Two Hearts, he is a living fantasy icon. Peter has written many teleplays and screenplays, including the animated versions of The Lord of the Rings and The Last Unicorn, plus the fan-favorite "Sarek" episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. His nonfiction book I See By My Outfit is considered a classic of American travel writing, and he is also a gifted poet, lyricist, and singer/songwriter. He currently makes his home in Oakland, California.

His most famous work, The Last Unicorn was animated by studio Topcraft; many of the animators would join Hayao MIyazaki to form Studio Ghibli. In 2011 The Last Unicorn also became a bestselling graphic novel from IDW Publishing.

Peter appears courtesy of Conlan Press.

Christine Cabanos Christine Cabanos
Voice Actress

Christine Cabanos is a voice over actress based out of Los Angeles. She is most known for her roles in Anime and Video Games. Some of her most notable roles include Azusa Nakano of K-On!, Madoka Kaname in Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Shiemi Moriyama in Blue Exorcist, Mako Mankanshoku in Kill La Kill, Silica in Sword Art Online, Minori Kushieda in Toradora!, Haruka in Oblivion Island, the titular character of Squid Girl in Squid Girl, Minawa Ando in Mahoromatic: I'm Home, General Pisti in Magi, Michi Kondo in Lagrange: The Flower of Rin-ne, Ruka Asato in Accel World, Reina and Mew in Pokemon Origins, Filia in Skullgirls, Marie Rose in Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate, Chiaki Nanami in Dangan Ronpa 2, Nepgear in the Hyperdimension Neptunia series, Keina Sawaya in Atelier Meruru, and roles in video games such as Time and Eternity, Ragnarok Online 2, Witch and the Hundred Knight and Mugen Souls Z.

Robbie Daymond
Robbie Daymond
Actor, Voice Actor

Robbie Daymond (born March 11, 1982) is a Native-American Voice Artist, Actor, and Performer. After completing his MFA in 2007 he moved to Los Angeles to pursue his career. Since then he has worked steadily in voiceover for many major companies, such as: Nickelodeon, Warner Brothers Animation, The Hub, NBC, 20th Century Fox, VIZ, SyFy, and Random House Audio.

Robbie is frequently cast in voiceover work for traditional animation, commercials, film, television, audiobooks and videogames. Though he is a long-time fan of the genre, he is relatively new to performing in the world of Anime and is very excited for his first major role in an anime series to be a character as epic as Tuxedo Mask.

Robbie currently stars as a series lead in two shows on Nickelodeon, Breadwinners and Get Blake, and guest stars on shows such as Transformers: Rescue Bots and Ever After High. He has voiced characters in several feature films and has recorded commercial spots for Pepsi, Walmart, Katy Perry, Ubisoft, and many more. Robbie can also be heard in videogames such as Final Fantasy Type-0, The Lego Movie Videogame, Aion: The Tower of Eternity, Falling Skies, Grand Chase, and Fairy Fencer F.

Robbie currently resides in West Hollywood, CA.

Katie Griffin
Katie Griffin
Actor, Voice Actor, Musican

Toronto native, Katie Griffin, has been a professional actor, voice actor and singer for over 20 years. Having worked with acting powerhouses such as Nicole Kidman, Glenn Close, Matt Dillon and Rob Lowe, Katie's film and television career has been colourful to say the least. Her true strength and success, however, has come in the form of voice-over. She's voiced hundreds of radio and television commercials, sung on numerous radio jingles, and continues to star in popular cartoons. Although best known as Raye/Sailor Mars on the hit show Sailor Moon, she's also known for her portrayal of Alex on Totally Spies, Yoko on Team Galaxy, Zair on Redakai as well as voicing Julie and Sellon on Bakugan Battle Brawlers and Hikaru on Beyblade. She was also Nina Harper on Emmy award winning Braceface, Ruby on Max and Ruby and Laugh-a-lot Bear in Care Bears: Journey to Joke-a-lot. She has also had numerous guest starring roles on shows such as 6-teen, Stoked and The Dating Guy.

Kelly Gneiting Kelly Gneiting
Sumo Champion

Kelly is a five-time Champion who's competed in USA SUMO for the last 12 National Championships. He hopes to help facilitate the sport's growth in America in preparation for its inclusion into the Olympic Games.

13-Time U.S. Representative at the World Sumo Championships/Games. 3x-U.S. Sumo Champion. At the World level, in 2006, he lost a medal match (3rd place) to Poland. In 2009 he advanced to the quarter finals (top 8) at the World Games in Taiwan (with 50 competitors).

He has run 3 marathons, the first two in LA, the third in Arizona. The first was in 2008 when at 425 lbs, heavier than the heaviest man to play NFL Football; time was 11h 52m 6s. The second time was a Guinness World Record for the Heaviest Person to Complete a Marathon (400 lbs); time was 9h 48m 52s.

Kelly also served as a U.S. Marine, involved in the Reserves for 9 years.

Kelly Gneiting appears courtesy of USA SUMO, and will also appear on Thursday at the Otakon Matsuri.

Saori Hayami
Saori Hayami
Voice Actress

Hayami is a voice actress based in Tokyo, Japan. Her voice has been featured in anime, video games, and voice-overs for American films and TV shows. Some of her most recent anime roles include Miyuki Shiba from The irregular at magic high school, Ayase Aragaki from OREIMO, and Chiriko Tsurumi from Anohana-The Flower We Saw That Day-. Hayami also enjoys singing, playing the piano, cooking, listening to music, and watching movies. OTAKON is Hayami's very first appearance at a U.S. anime convention.

Jiro Ishii Jiro Ishii
Game Director and Designer

Jiro Ishii is a popular video game director who has been affiliated primarily with the studios Chunsoft (known in the west for their Mystery Dungeon games) and more recently, LEVEL-5 (known for the Dragon Quest and Professor Layton games).

After working on several lesser-known titles (including the Little Lovers series of dating simulation games), Ishii moved to Chunsoft, where he directed the critically acclaimed interactive visual novel and adventure video game 428: In a Blockaded Shibuya; the anime Canaan is based on one of several possible scenarios, and four novels based on the game followed. He also produced the well regarded Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, in which nine kidnap victims must explore a sinking cruise liner and solve puzzles to escape. He also worked on Imabikiso, and the 3-Nen B-Gumi Kinpachi Sensei video game, based on the long-running school drama. He also produced TRICK x LOGIC, a mystery game for the PSP.

Shinichiro Kashiwada Shinichiro Kashiwada
Producer

As Aniplex's producer, Shinichiro Kashiwada has produced several popular titles including Sword Art Online 1 & 2, Oreimo 1 & 2, Nanana's Buried Treasure, and The Irregular at Magic High School.

Mr. Kashiwada appears courtesy of Aniplex.

Sunao Katabuchi Sunao Katabuchi
Director, Script Writer

Born in 1960, Katabuchi got his start in college writing scripts for Hayao Miyazaki's works such as Sherlock Hound. After working on Kiki's Magical Delivery as assistant director, he made his debut as a director on Meiken Lassie. Katabuchi's other directorial credits include Princess Arete, Black Lagoon, and Mai Mai Miracle. He also has worked in the video game industry as a director and scriptwriter for Ace Combat 04: Shattered Sky.

Anime critic and Japan Culture Ministry Media Arts Festival judge, Ryusuke Hikawa called him the "artist who has the expressive power to describe the inner workings of the human and the world."

Katabuchi is hard at work on his next film.

Carrie Keranen Carrie Keranen
Voice Actress

Carrie Keranen was most recently heard as the lead, Satsuki in Kill la Kill and Mami in Madoka Magica. Last summer she reprised her role in Berserk as Caska for the Movie Trilogy. In 2012 she went to San Diego ComicCon to premiere TEKKEN: Blood Vengeance as Ling Xiaoyu. She has previously given voice to Mokuba for the later seasons of YuGiOh as well as Kisara in YuGiOh Millenium. She has had lead roles as Cutie Honey in the live action Cutie Honey, Kumiko in Gokusen, Hinaku in Phoenix (Hi no Tori) and as Sheena in Pokemon: Arceus and the Jewel of Life. Her voice also appears in recurring roles on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Ah! My Goddess, Slayers, Let's go Tamgotchi, Pat and Stan, and Huntik. Her favorite video game role was Annie in Red Dead Revolver though you can hear her on League of Legends, Viva Pinata as well as several to be released soon! She currently works and resides in Los Angeles, CA.

Yusuke Kozaki
Yusuke Kozaki
Manga-ka, Character Designer

One of the rising stars of Japanese pop culture, Yusuke Kozaki began accumulating accolades at the age of 19, winning the Young Magazine young talent award, and the Chiba Tetsuya Award soon after. His first short story, "Mikakunin Higoshojo Kaoru", was published by Young Magazine, and in 2002 his long-form story "Kyoko Karasuma" appeared in B-Street. He's currently working on the surreal, apocalyptic manga Donyatsu.

Kozaki is increasingly in demand as a character designer; his crisply detailed look lends itself well to both anime (Speed Grapher, Bakumatsu Kikansetsu Irohanihoheto) and video games (No More Heroes, Fire Emblem Awakening, Osu! Tatakae! Oendan). He also designed the virtual idol duo Meaw for Starchild Records.

In addition, his Donyatsu manga has been adapted as a series of CGI animated shorts over the last year, and he has several as-yet-unannounced projects in the pipeline. Kozaki will work as the main character designer and illustrator for a Kickstarter project titled Under the Dog, which will launch its crowdfunding campaign in August. In this capacity, Kozaki will be contributing illustrations, character designs, and other works of art necessary to make Under the Dog visually engaging.

Wendee Lee Wendee Lee
Voice Actress, ADR Director, Writer

Wendee Lee has over 300 credits as a voice actress in anime, video games, and live action. She is best known for the roles of Faye Valentine (Cowboy Bebop), Haruhi (The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya), TK (Digimon Adventure), and Konata Izumi (Lucky Star). In addition, she has been ADR Director for anime including Bleach and Outlaw Star.

Wendee was born and raised in Southern California, living between San Francisco and Los Angeles as a child. She knew from a very young age that she would become an actress and began performing in theater and studying dance. By the time she was a teenager, she was a full time dancer and budding choreographer.

A lucky break turned into an audition and landed Wendee her first anime role in Robotech. She kept her day jobs, and continued working as a struggling actress and voice artist. A variety of part time jobs ensued, including working as a dance instructor, make-up artist, and choreographer.

Over time, her voice resume grew and afforded her the opportunity to branch into ADR script writing, adapting, and finally directing. It was difficult breaking into the all-male world of voice directors at the time, but Wendee found a way in and has gone on to direct numerous productions for network broadcast as well as many other major anime titles.

Now she has an extensive list of titles to her credit as voice artist, writer, adapter, and director and has had a number of theatrical as well as network releases all over the world. She works full time as an actress and director and loves the anonymity animation provides. She is still active in theater and choreographs everything from lives shows to music videos. She lives with her musician husband in Southern California and collaborates with him musically while continuing to do the work she so loves in the world of animation.

MMaruyama Masao Maruyama
Producer

The founder and former creative director of Madhouse Studios, Masao Maruyama has had a hand in the Japanese animation industry for forty years. Maruyama was born in 1941 in the Miyagi Prefecture. After graduation from Hosei University, he went to work for Mushi Production. He later went on to help produce Unico, based on a story by Osamu Tezuka, of Astro Boy fame. In 1972, Maruyama had a direct hand in the establishment of the burgeoning new animation studio Madhouse and led the team as a creative producer for many years.

Over the next three decades, Maruyama would oversee countless television, OAV, and theatrical releases, all noted for a high level of production quality. He would also develop a reputation for finding and nurturing talented directors; under his guidance, talents like Satoshi Kon and Atsuko Ishizuka have flourished. Maruyama has also engaged with overseas partners quite often, working with the Wachowskis on the Animatrix project, and overseeing anime takes on classic American comic book characters.

In 2011, Maruyama left Madhouse and formed MAPPA (Maruyama Animation Produce Project Association). MAPPA allows him greater creative freedom to pursue projects that may be less obviously commercial. The studio's first major project was the critically acclaimed Kids on the Slope, which reunited many of the creative team behind Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo. He continues to consult with Madhouse on various projects such as Hunter x Hunter and Fighting Spirits: Hajime No Ippo series. Maruyama is currently developing the highly anticipated TV series such as Rage of Bahamut animation series and director Shinichiro Watanabe's Terror In Resonance, and theatrical project such as At The Corner Of This World, directed by Sunao Katabuchi.

Maruyama's list of credits has produced an amazing library of animation including Barefoot Gen, Dagger of Kamui, Record of Lodoss War, Vampire Hunter D, Ninja Scroll, Card Captor Sakura, Trigun, Perfect Blue, X, Boogiepop Phantom, Chobits, PitaTen, Abenobashi Maho Shotengai, Gungrave, Gunslinger Girl, Black Lagoon, Kiba, Nana, Tokyo Tribe 2, Beck, Monster, Highlander: Search for Vengeance, Devil May Cry, Death Note, RAINBOW, and Red Line.

Maruyama has also overseen production of critically acclaimed films such as Paprika, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, and Summer Wars.

Hidenori Matsubara
Hidenori Matsubara
Animator, Character Designer, Animation Director

As a young and hungry animator, Matsubara worked as an in-betweener on the Project A-Ko movies. From there, he served as an animator on Bubblegum Crisis and Gunbuster. Graduating to animation director for Nadia - Secret of Blue Water, he completed the opening animation for Bubblegum Crash, and then served as animation director on Otaku no Video (the inspiration for Otakon). Other credits in this period include work as an animator on Perfect Blue, Gunsmith Cats, and the original Neon Genesis Evangelion series. For the Oh My Goddess! series (and later for the movie), Matsubara served as character designer and chief animation director; more recently, he was character designer for The Count of Monte Cristo. He also served as the character designer of the hit game series Sakura Wars. Matsubara has worked with director Hideaki Anno as an animator and animation director on the new series of Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone, Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance, and Evangelion 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo. His other theatrical credits include The Princess and the Pilot, Space Battleship Yamato 2199. Matsubara is currently working with the famed director Sunao Katabuchi on an upcoming theatrical film, At The Corner Of This World.

Erica Mendez Erica Mendez
Voice Actress

Erica was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago. She became interested in voice-over during her early teen years through anime and video games. Making up and imitating voices from her favorite shows and games as a hobby quickly turned into long term goal to get into the voice-over industry. Several years and one giant move across the country later, she is currently residing in Los Angeles and working as a professional voice-over artist.

Her video game works include Pac in Pac-man and the Ghostly Adventures, Fran in Demon Gaze, Eryn in Fairy Fencer F, Micie in Atelier Escha & Logy, Lucchini in The Witch and the Hundred Knight, Corbin in Dust: An Elysian Tail, Pearl in Heroes of Newerth, and Esmy in Cryamore.

In the Anime world, she is best known for her roles as Ryuko Matoi in Kill la Kill, Aladdin in Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic and Jasmine, young Staz, and Angry in Blood Lad.

Tony Oliver Tony Oliver
Voice Actor, Director, Writer, Producer

Tony Oliver, who was recently named to IMDB's top 20 all time Anime Voice Actors list, began his career 25 years ago as an actor on stage and camera performing in several feature films and dozens of plays. He found success as a voice over artist, lending his voice to one of the first foreign made animated features to receive wide US release(The Sea Prince and the Fire Child). His first foray into television was as the voice of Rick Hunter in the groundbreaking animated series Robotech. Following that he turned his attention to writing but continued his voice acting career. In 1988 he joined Saban Entertainment as a story editor where he wrote and produced an award winning adaptation of The Jungle Book and story edited the long running Nickelodeon anime series "The Noozles".

In 1992, Tony was tapped to help create a new kind of children's television show. The result was the mega hit, The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. Tony not only served as the development producer and head writer but also wrote the pilot, Co-Produced the series, directed the voice actors, played the voice of Saba, and produced the Power Rangers live appearance at Universal Studios, which drew an estimated 50,000 people on a single day. Later in the year he co-developed and wrote the script for the international sensation Mighty Morphin Power Ranger - Live Tour.

Since leaving Saban Entertainment in 1999, Tony has continued to develop, produce, voice and direct numerous projects for TV, Video Games, and New Media including .hack//GU a multi-player online video game; Daigunder, for ABC Family/Disney; Gurren Lagann a breakthrough anime series airing on the Sci Fi Channel, Eureka Seven: Good Night, Sleep Tight, Young Lovers which premiered on screens nationwide, and Martha & Friends, from Martha Stewart and 4Kids Entertainment as well as voice directing numerous video games like League of Legends. Tony's many voice acting credits include, Hoodwinked Too, The Muppet's Wizard of Oz, Lupin in Lupin the 3rd, Hibiki in Vandread, Gojyo in Sayuki Reload, Harry in Gun Grave, Ranmaru in Tokko, Shinbo in Cho-bits, Ulquiorra in Bleach, Minato the 4th Hokage in Naruto, as well as voices in video games such as Delta Force: Black Hawk Down, Lord of the Rings: The War of the Ring, Dynasty Warriors, World of Warcraft, Everquest, Neverwinter Knights, Xenosaga, Magna Carta II, Kamen Rider: Dragon Knight, Basara 3, and BlazBlue. More recently he adapted and directed the English releases of K-ON! The Movie, Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan, Fate/Zero and Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic, voice directed the highly anticipated Dangan Ronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, and can be heard on Nickelodeon's NFL Rush Zone and the animated musical series Iesodo in the title role.

Facebook: http://facebook.com/tonyolivervoiceactor
Website: http://tonyoliverentertainment.com

Stephanie Sheh Stephanie Sheh
Voice actor, Writer, Voice Director

Stephanie is really excited to be attending Otakon. She is best known for her voice-acting in anime (Sailor Moon in Sailor Moon, Hinata in Naruto, Orihime in Bleach, Eureka in Eureka 7, Yui in K-on!, and Mikuru in Melancholy of Harui Suzumiya to name a few). She voices Zhu Li in Legend of Korra, Share Bear in the Hub's Care Bears: Welcome to Care-a-lot, Lisa in Warren Buffet's The Secret Millionaire's Club, Mrs. Rabbit in Nickelodeon's Peter Rabbit, Jinafire in Mattel's Monster High and Duchess Swan in Ever After High. Stephanie has also voiced numerous videogames such as Rebecca Chambers in the Resident Evil franchise, Bravely Default, and Natalia Kimlasca Landvaldeer in Tales of the Abyss.

Stephanie is also an ADR writer (Oscar nominated Ernest & Celestine) and voice director, and she produced the simultaneous release of the English Language Production of Gundam Unicorn in which she voiced Mineva. To stay up to date on her projects follow her on twitter.com/stephaniesheh or join her public Facebook page.

John Stocker John Stocker
Actor, Voice Actor, Voice Director

For four and a half decades, John Stocker has been a recognized force in the acting industry, working on-screen with the likes of John Candy, William Shatner, Dan Aykroyd, Mark Wahlberg, Rick Moranis, Eugene Levy and Gilda Radner, before sliding comfortably and melding seamlessly into the off-camera world.

As well as having been the voice of thousands of T.V. and radio commercials, John's animation performing life began with dozens of parts in Droids and Ewoks, and includes many iconic roles, like Beastly in Care Bears, Toad in Super Mario Brothers, Basil in Babar, Longarm in C.O.P.S., Ultron in The Avengers, Creed in X-Men, The Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man in The Real Ghostbusters, Thompson in Tin Tin, Newton Gimmick in Teddy Ruxpin and Bugsy in Dog City.

Still very active in the field, some of his more current works include Mayor Swifty in Sidekick, Mr. Owl in Franklin, Mission Control in Rob the Robot and both Naga and King Zenoheld in Bakugan.

Always diversifying, John's career has continued to expand throughout the years to include voice casting, voice coaching, demo production (animation and commercial) and the discipline that now keeps him busiest, voice directing. In that regard, John's been at the helm for many, many productions, including Totally Spies, Beyblade, Caillou, Redakai, Medabots, Pandalian, Mike the Knight, Ella the Elephant, and the one that started it all for him, Sailor Moon.

If you'd like more information, please visit John's website (johnstocker.ca), or look him up on I.M.D.B..

Ray Villard
Ray Villard
News Director for the Space Telescope Science Institute

Ray Villard is news director for the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), where he translates Hubble's discoveries into stories for the media and public. He has specialized in communicating astronomy since 1974 and received several NASA service awards for his contribution to publicizing Hubble science results.

Villard was previously associate editor for the popular magazine Astronomy. He has written a variety of freelance articles for magazines, encyclopedias and Internet blogs, and scripts for several syndicated science programs on public radio.

In 2004, Villard published an illustrated astronomy book on the discovery of extrasolar planets entitled Infinite Worlds. Villard co-wrote a video adaption of the book for the National Geographic Channel. That program, Alien Earth's, was nominated for the 2010 Prime Time Emmy Awards.

David Vincent David Vincent
Voice Actor, Actor, Producer

David Vincent is a professional voice actor / television producer based in Los Angeles, California. He has lent his voice to a variety of animation / anime and video game titles, as well as numerous national commercials for television and radio.

David was nominated "Best Voice Actor in an Anime" by the American Anime Awards for his work in GUN x SWORD. Some of his best­known animation credits include: Senketsu in Kill la Kill, Grimmjow Jeagerjaques & Kouga Kuchiki in Bleach, Li Xingke in Code Geass, Archer / Gilgamesh in Fate / Zero, Assassin in Fate / Stay Night, Van in GUN x SWORD, Seiji in Durarara!!, Arthur August Angel in Blue Exorcist, Daisuke Nagase in Persona 4, Sakon in Kekkaish, Chester Barklight in Tales Of Phantasia, General Logi in Blue Dragon, and Giichi in Blade Of The Immortal.

Some of his more recent video game credits include: Jin Kisaragi & Hakumen in the BlazBlue game series, Richard in Tales Of Graces F, Raymond Vester in Resident Evil: Revelations, Marshall Law & Forest Law in the Tekken franchise, Shin Kamiya in Tekken: Blood Vengance, Eliot in Dead Or Alive 5, Keiss in Final Fantasy: The Crystal Bearers, T­Hawk in Super Street Fighter IV, Morgan in Medal Of Honor, Blocter in The Last Remnant, Edward in Infinite Undiscovery, and Richter in Castlevania: Dracula X Chronicles.

Other titles include HALO 4, Soul Calibur V, Fire Emblem: Awakening, Spec Ops: The line, Alpha Protocol, plus many more new titles to be released this year. in addition to voice acting, David has also appeared in front of the camera in guest and co­starring roles on primetime television shows NCIS, Criminal Minds and the Mentalist, among others.

Please feel free to say hello to David on his official Facebook at:
https://www.facebook.com/OfficialDavidVincentFanpage
or join his fan club at:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/DavidVincentsWindorPanthers/

Yama Yama
Sumo Champion

Making a rare US appearance, all the way from Japan, is iconic sumo figure Yama, whose professional sumo fighting name is Yamamotoyama. Yama is an iconic sumo figure. At 6'4", 601 pounds, he is not only the largest Japanese sumo wrestler ever, but he is actually the largest Japanese HUMAN ever!

Yama has been practicing sumo for over 20 years. After winning numerous university sumo championships, he reached professional sumo's highest division ("makuuchi") in only two years, the second fastest pace in history.

Yama appears courtesy of USA SUMO, and will also appear on Thursday at the Otakon Matsuri.

Hiroaki Yura Hiroaki Yura
Producer, Director, Musician

Hiroaki Yura is a video producer and director for many video games and anime. He began his career as a classical solo violinist and later founded the Eminence Symphony Orchestra, a contemporary anime/videogame performance ensemble.

Yura is also founder to Creative Intelligence Arts, a company that blends international diversity with hard work and creativity. Yura's company houses the successfully funded Kickstarter, Project Phoenix. Project Phoenix is a JRPG set to come out in late 2015 and brings talent from around the world to create an experience that backers will enjoy.

He is also producing a Kickstarter for his new anime project Under the Dog, starting its campaign this August. The violin virtuoso is also credited with directing orchestral pieces for Diablo III, Soulcalibur IV, The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya, and Valkyrie Chronicles amongst many more titles.

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