AcademicAnime Punch is proud to always bring a wide selection of academics to the table to ensure that our panels are the most interesting and educational as possible. It is taken as rule that you WILL learn something new at every panel you attend. Along with our staff, these guests bring research, knowledge, and expertise together in numbers you're unlikely to find elsewhere!
Toren Smith has spent his whole life working and living with science fiction, comics, and manga. He has worked almost every angle of the comic industry, including writing, drawing, translating, and importing manga. In his days he has worked closely with the Japanese industry, and was one of the first to bring manga to the west. He even lived with the founding members of Studio GAINAX (Eva, FLCL, Nadia) during the early days of their company.
Toren will be making his first convention experience in over 10 years to share his unparalled experiences, insights, opinions, and a couple of beers with the Anime Punch crowd.
This will be Lawrence's sixth year at the Armageddicon, and he's prepared a fistful of panels to inform, amuse, and enlighten (and he's been known to give away fun prizes to people who are willing to prove their otakuness in public). Lawrence holds a PhD from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he studied and wrote about otaku culture in the US. A die hard anime fan since he first saw Space Battleship Yamato on TV over 30 years ago, he turned his love of the medium into a multi-year academic project studying anime and manga fandom in America. Lawrence still does otaku studies when he's not working as a consultant in the IT industry..
Lawrence has presented his work on otaku culture in fan, professional, and academic settings, such as the Japan Society in New York City, and has been cited and quoted in numerous publications. Some of his writings have been published in Contemporary Youth Culture: An International Encyclopedia, the Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, Success Stories: Japan, and Ga-Netchu! Das Manga Anime Syndrom.
Since 1998, he has maintained a personal website containing many of his essays and articles. One of his most well-known sites is thought experiments lain, a serial experiments lain information site. He also founded the Anime and Manga Research Circle, an informal organization of scholars from around the world who study anime, manga, and their associated fandoms.
thought experiments lain: http://www.cjas.org/~leng/open.htm
Anime and Manga Research Circle: http://www.cjas.org/~leng/amrc.htm
Vancouver-born and raised, Brad began acting in elementary school and, once in high school, had his first audition for an animated series. This first voice acting gig took the form of a pony named "Ace" in My Little Pony Tales and soon afterwards, he landed his first anime role as "Mousse" in Ranma 1/2. Some of his more notable characters include Amuro, Quatre, Dearka and Auel (on their respective Gundam series'), Gohan (from Dragon Ball Z), Kicker (Transformers: Energon) and Lan (Megaman: NT Warrior). As well as voicing the role of "Nightcrawler" in X-men Evolution, Brad has worked on several anime series' including Inu-Yasha, Hikaru No Go, Hamtaro, Maison Ikkoku, Infinite Ryvius, Tokyo Underground, Soul Taker, Project Arms, Boys Over Flowers, Kimba the White Lion, Shakugan No Shana, Dokkoida, Saber Marionette J, Video Girl Ai, Arjuna, Zoids and Dragon Drive. Along with voice acting, Brad continues to work professionally as a Graphic Designer/Illustrator and, when not at the hockey rink or on the baseball field, enjoys playing drums and guitar (often while doodling in his sketchbook).
More recently, Brad can be heard as "Light" in Death Note (and the live-action Death Note films), "Rock" in Black Lagoon, "Ryuki" in The Story of Saiunkoku and "Setsuna F. Seiei " in his most recent mecha project, Gundam 00. His latest video game appearance rears its giant, creepy head as the deranged mascot "Slappy" in Capcom's Dead Rising 2. Brad looks forward to discussing his current and recently completed voice projects (but must wait until they've been officially announced...sorry).
Jared Hedges, Joel Bergen & Alex Muniz
Jared, Joel & Alex have written nearly every episode of the American re-versioning of the hit Adult Swim series, Shin Chan, with Jared serving as Head Writer during the show's entire run.
Besides their work on Shin Chan, the Los Angeles-based trio has also written the American dub of Sgt. Frog. Jared and Joel have written traditional dub scripts for Dragon Ball Z, Dragon Ball, YuYu Hakusho, Fullmetal Alchemist, Case Closed, Samurai 7, Moon Phase, Speed Grapher, Tsubasa, Darker Than BLACK and others.
Jared served as Head Writer on most of these shows and has also written the dub for Fullmetal Alchemist the Movie: Conqueror of Shamballa.
Joel & Alex have written as a team for Nickelodeon's Back at the Barnyard and the Disney Channel series, The Emperor's New School and The Replacements. This is Jared, Joel & Alex's first appearance at Anime Punch!. They are excited to meet Ohio anime fans and to see if your McDonald's has a different menu than theirs.
Returning from the depths of despair, rising above the robotic chaos, our lyrical allies The Protomen return again
to dominate Anime Punch. Were you tragic enough to have missed your chance to see them in 2009, fear not.
They return to set our souls ablaze with the power and the fury that only a militia of rock ten men strong could father.
The Protomen perform a rock opera inspired by the events of the hit game Mega Man (known in Japan as Rockman.) Their legend is told through the eyes of Dr. Light, the brooding father who sent his robotic son out to fight to save mankind from the evil and tyrannical Dr. Wiley. After the death of his first son, Protoman, Light became a broken man and constructed a second son, Rockman. Unable to reconcile his past, Light shelters his new son, terrified of losing what he has left.
Unwilling to watch the city burn safe in his father's arms, Rockman takes up his brother's M-Buster and explodes into battle.
Web site: TheProtomen.com