Anime Expo 2011 Presents IDEA FACTORY’s Kenta Sugano and Katsuyuki Hirano as Guests of Honor




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LOS ANGELES (June 2, 2011) — Anime Expo, North America’s largest anime and manga celebration, has announced two of video game company Idea Factory’s major creative forces — Director Kenta Sugano and Lead Artist Katsuyuki Hirano — as Guests of Honor. Mr. Sugano and Mr. Hirano will participate in an attendee panel that explores the making of role-play video games (RPG) during Anime Expo, which takes place from July 1 – 4, 2011 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

Founded in 1994, Idea Factory group (Idea Factory Co Ltd, Compile Heart Co Ltd and Design Factory Co Ltd) is a multi-platform Japanese video game developer and publisher. Recognized as one the leaders of the visual novel genre in Japan with widely acclaimed titles such as “Hakuoki” and “Hiiro no Kakera,” Idea Factory is also well-known worldwide for developing hardcore RPG games with series such as “Spectral Souls,” “Record of Agarest War,” and “Hyperdimension Netpunia.”

One of the most prolific game directors at Idea Factory/Compile Heart, Kenta Sugano is famous for epic simulation RPGs including “Spectral Souls,” “Blazing Souls,” the “Record of Agarest War” series, and the “Hyperdimension Neptunia” series. He is currently directing the highly anticipated “Hyperdimension Neptunia Mk2.” “I love to surprise and challenge players with deep and complex game mechanics,” says Mr. Sugano. “I can’t wait to meet with RPG fans at Anime Expo and share insights on the creation of our most popular series.”

A life-long fan of heroic fantasies who grew up playing “Dragon Quest ®” and “Final Fantasy ®” and dreaming of making his own RPGs, Katsuyuki Hirano is today the Lead Artist at Idea Factory/Compile Heart. Mr. Hirano is most well-known for his character work on “Spectral Souls” and the “Record of Agarest War” series. “I am so excited about Anime Expo and hope to meet with fellow heroic fantasy and RPG fans from the US,” says Mr. Hirano.

In addition to Mr. Sugano and Mr. Hirano, Anime Expo 2011 has announced a line-up of Guests of Honor that includes chart-topping Japanese pop trio Kalafina, Japanese TV Host and blogger Danny Choo, voice actress and singer Miyuki Sawashiro, voice actor Vic Mignogna and video game developer Sohei Niikawa, as well as Anime Expo’s first ever Virtual Guest of Honor, Digital Pop Idol Hatsune Miku. 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.

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About Anime Expo

Held annually in Los Angeles, Anime Expo is North America’s largest anime and manga celebration. Anime Expo gives fans the rare opportunity to meet and hear from some of the most famous anime, manga and musical artists from Japan and get into the action through everything from costume play, karaoke and video competitions to exclusive screenings, non-stop video gaming competitions and the wildly popular Masquerade, in which fans transform themselves into their favorite characters through creative costuming, accessories and make-up and put on their own show before an audience of thousands.   AX 2011 will be held July 1 – July 4, 2011 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. To register or for more information, please visit www.anime-expo.org.

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®.   For more information, please visit www.spja.org.

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