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Guest Announcement: Tara Sands

Tara Jayne Sands can be heard as over 50 characters in the original English “Pokemon” tv series including Bulbasaur, Richie, Jasmine, Oddish, and Tori. Some other roles include Biscuit in “Hunter x Hunter,” Mokuba Kaiba in “Yu-Gi-Oh!,” Kari in “Digimon Adventure Tri,” Anna in “Shaman King,” Kombu Infinity in “One Punch Man,” Circe in “Generator Rex,” Young Jin in “Anohana,” Kippie in “Glitter Force,” Karla in “Gundam Thunderbolt,” Yota and Soku in “Naruto,” Filia Ul Copt in “Slayers,” Summer in “Barbie: Life in The Dreamhouse,” Death 13/Mannish Boy in “Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure,” Namida in Biruto, and multiple roles in “Sailor Moon” including Queen Badiane. She also provides narration on over 200 audio books and can be heard in the video games “Dead Island,” “Fire Emblem,” “Singularity,” “Final Fantasy,” and “Call of Juarez” among others…

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Guest Announcement: BEASTARS group

Shinichi Matsumi

Born in 1959, Tokyo, Japan. Matsumi is the Director for the animated series BEASTARS. Matsumi worked as assistant director for Porco Rosso at Studio Ghibli, and participated in many works at Studio 4C. Matsumi is known to be one of the early adopters of CG animation in Japan. Matsumi has been working with Orange since Land of the Lustrous as episode director and he has returned for BEASTARS as director to try challenging new methods of animation production. Matsumi’s past work includes Rage of Bahamut (Assistant Director), Thunder Cats (Director), Steamboy (Technical Director), and more.

Yoshihiro Watanabe

Born in 1982, Japan. He is a producer at Orange, and currently working on BEASTARS as its business producer. Yoshihiro grew up in Los Angeles and after graduating from college, he joined the US branch of the animation studio Madhouse. At Madhouse, Yoshihiro gained unique international production experience ranging from live-action to collaboration projects. On January 2019, Yoshihiro produced the League of Legend short, New Journey, at the animation studio P.A.WORKS. On June 2019, Yoshihiro joined Orange for BEASTARS and future series. 

Sayaka Sembongi

Born on November 24th, Japan. Sembongi stars as Hal the dwarf rabbit in the animated series BEASTARS. Sembongi stars in numerous popular shows including as Mumei from Kabaneri of Iron Fortress, Kikuna from Pocket Monsters (TV 2019), Trish Una from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind, Mariella from Black Clover, Shuna from That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime, Chitose Karasuma from Girlish Number, and more.

Guest Announcement: Hisashi Kagawa

Hisashi Kagawa is best known for being the character designer of SaiKano: She, The Ultimate Weapon, One Piece: Defeat The Pirate Ganzak!, Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne, Toriko TV,  and Dream 9 Toriko x One Piece x Dragon Ball Z Super Collabo Special.

Some of his other works as an animation director includes Pokémon (1997), Angelic Layer (2001), Fresh Pretty Cure (2009), Soul Eater (2008) and Toriko (2011)….

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Guest Announcement: Cassandra Lee Morris

Cassandra Lee Morris is an award-winning voice actor who has broughtover 100 characters to life for video games, anime and animation. Someof her fan-favorite roles include Morgana in Persona 5, Elora the Fawnin Spyro: Reignited Trilogy, Sarah Hotep in Fortnite: Save the World,Leafa in Sword Art Online, Operator 6O in Nier: Automata, Nami in Leagueof Legends, Taiga in Toradora!, Kyubey in Madoka Magica, Kota in My HeroAcademia and Edea Lee in Bravely Default. Other notable roles includeBenio in Twin Star Exorcists, Nero in Fate/Extra Last Encore, Julia inFire Emblem Heroes, Fie Claussel and Princess Alfin in the Trails ofCold Steel franchise, Atra in Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron Blooded Orphans,and Cere-Cere and Calaveras in the Sailor Moon franchise.  

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Guest Announcement: BLUE ENCOUNT

Sakura Con is proud to host the first U.S. appearance for BLUE ENCOUNT!!

Hailing from Kumamoto and now based in Tokyo, BLUE ENCOUNT is a four-piece, emotional rock band that has been creating buzz with their intense, in-your-face, hot-blooded performances.

They made their major debut in September 2014 with EP TIMELESS ROOKIE.  Their first single “Motto Hikari wo,” released January 2015, played heavily on 35 radio stations nationwide, an extraordinary achievement for an up-and-coming band.  In May the same year, they released their single “DAY x DAY,” which became the opening theme of the popular anime series Gintama (Season 3).  This was followed by their first full-length album titled, ≒ (Nearly Equal).  

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Guest Announcement: Sayuri

Sayuri is a 2.5D singer/songwriter, who sings while strumming her acoustic guitar.  Her activities on SNS and the Web are based in 2D imagery, and she incorporates these into her 3D live performances, hence why she is said to live in the 2.5D world.  

Sayuri made her major debut on August 26, 2015 with “Mikazuki”, the closing theme of Fuji TV’s Noitamina anime series “Rampo Kitan: Game of Laplace”.  The rough-hewn beauty of the song linked strongly to the world of the anime and she won tremendous support with a hit right from the start. Her 4th single “Furaregai Girl”, written and produced by RADWIMPS’ Yojiro Noda, also garnered great attention.

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Guest Announcement: Billy Kametz

Billy is an actor from Hershey Pennsylvania who now lives in the Los Angeles area. He came out to CA 4 years ago to play Aladdin in the Aladdin Musical Spectacular in Disney’s California Adventure for the final year of the show’s 13 year run. Since that time Billy has been fortunate enough to lend his voice to anime, video games, cartoons, live action dubs, and commercials. You can hear Billy as Josuke in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable, Naofumi in The Rising of the Shield Hero, Metal Lee in Boruto: Naruto Next Generations, Osomatsu in Mr. Osomatsu, White Blood Cell in Cells At Work, Hakuno in Fate/EXTRA, Fubuki in BeyBlade Burst Turbo, as well as a multitude of other roles that he cannot wait to share with you at some point in the near future! Keep up with Billy on Twitter and Instagram @billykametz   

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Guest Announcement; Mary Elizabeth McGlynn

Mary Elizabeth McGlynn is a voice over actress, writer, singer and director. As an actress, she portrayed Major Motoko Kusanagi in Ghost In The Shell InnocenceSolid State Society and Ghost In The Shell: Stand Alone Complex for which she won the American Anime Award for Best Actress. You can also hear her as the Female Crusader in Diablo III: Reaper of Souls, Kurutsu in Ghost in the Shell Arise, Mrs. Maheswaran in Steven Universe, Sei in Alpha Protocol and Nora in Final Fantasy XIII. Some of her other popular roles are Cornelia in Code Geass, Kurenai from Naruto, Julia from Cowboy Bebop, Zanpakuto from Bleach, Helba and Bordeau from .hack, Jagura from Wolf’s Rain, Nuriko in Fushigi Yuugi and Caroline from Vampire Hunter D. She recurs on Geek & Sundry’s Critical Role as Zahra Hydris, a tiefling warlock.

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Closing Cosplay Contest Submissions Early

Due to an extremely high volume of submissions, SakuraCon’s Cosplay Contest will be closing submissions early.  At this time, all places in the main competition have been filled, and wait-lists have been started for every category.  For those interested in getting a spot on the waitlist, submissions will remain open until Next Saturday, January 18th at 11:59PM Pacific Time.  At that time, submissions will be closed

Rules and Submission Form can be found HERE

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Guest Announcement: Xander Mobus

Xander Mobus is a voice over actor from LA. You might know his work from anime and video games including Persona 5 as The Protagonist, Super Smash Bros as Ren Amamiya, Street Fighter V, Soul Calibur VI, One Punch Man, Mob Psycho 100, Hunter x Hunter, Detective Pikachu, Erased, Boruto, Boruto’s Dad (aka Naruto), Rising of the Shield Hero, Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse, Fire Emblem Heroes, Fire Emblem Warriors, Spyro Reignited Trilogy, Beyblade Burst Turbo, B: The Beginning, Blue Exorcist and many more!

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Cosplay Contest Signups are Open!

Want to show off your cosplay crafting and/or performance chops? 

Sign-ups are now open for Sakura-Con’s Cosplay Contest!  

All submissions are on a first come, first serve basis, and will be open until March 1st, but don’t wait too long — spots fill quickly, and if we fill up, you could end up on the wait list. Please read the Cosplay Contest Rules and fill out the form at the bottom of the page to sign up!  Please email cosplay@sakuracon.org with any questions.

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