Friday, May 22, 2015

6 New Guests & 13 More Exhibitors Announced at 2nd CharaExpo Press Conference

In attendance at the second CharaExpo 2015 press conference: (from left) Bushiroad CEO Takaaki Kidani, singer-voice actress Aimi, New Japan Pro-Wrestling President Kaname Tezuka and Albirex Nigata goalkeeper Kenjiro Ogino

Anisong extraordinaire Maon Kurosaki, manga artists Yoichi Tsukahashi (Captain Tsubasa), Akira Itou (Cardfight!! Vanguard), Mitsuhisa Tamura (Future Card Buddyfight), voice actors Ryo Horikawa (Vegeta from Dragon Ball), Mikoi Sasaki and Shuuta Morishima are some of the talents who will be landing on the shores of sunny Singapore come this June for the inaugural CharaExpo 2015. They were the latest wave of guests announced at the second CharaExpo press conference on May 20, which saw voice actress-singer Aimi and New Japan Pro Wrestling President Kaname Tezuka gracing the event at the flagship 313@Somerset Sony Store.

Check out our full coverage of CharaExpo 2015 here.


The press conference started off with an introduction of the premise of CharaExpo. With CharaExpo, the organising committee's vision is for it to be a fun-filled event during the summer holidays which everyone can participate in. The focus is on providing more exposure for the creators in the anime industry, for fans to get to know the people behind the works they enjoy and love so much. CharaExpo is also intended as a platform to showcase the end-of-spring content and to promote upcoming summer content to anime enthusiasts. Seeing as how there are no major conventions happening around June, CharaExpo aims to fill the void and be the major mid-year event for anime fans to be at, paralleling how Anime Festival Asia draws in a huge crowd at every year-end.


Shortly after, the ever-modest and amiable Takaaki Kidani, founder of Bushiroad, took the stage to rouse the audience for CharaExpo, eliciting loud cheers of delight. I felt that his appearance was especially noteworthy as it is uncommon to witness a high-ranking CEO of a huge corporation heading down to the ground to interact with the local community of fans. For him to fly all the way down to Singapore from Japan, attend the half-day long shop visits on two days and greet the fans, it really is a noble feat and gives a personal feel to the marketing of the event. For that, I really look up to him for his self-effacing demeanour. For that, CharaExpo is completely deserving of my support.


At the press conference, new guests such as Maon Kurosaki, Captain Tsubasa creator Yoichi Takahashi, the voice of Vegeta from Dragon Ball, Ryo Horikawa and more were announced. New exhibitors including Chara-Ani, Cospa, Pony Canyon and Shaft-Kantoku collaboration MAGICAL SUITE PRISM NANA were also announced, bringing the total to over 40. In addition, featured content and convention highlights were also unveiled, including the Bushiroad Spring Fest 2015, New Japan Pro-Wrestling Wrestling World 2015 in Singapore, movie screenings, featured anime and programmes taking place at the main Entertainment Stage.

Check out our full coverage of CharaExpo 2015 here. 

New guests

New exhibitors

Featured content

Wrestling World 2015 in Singapore


Midway through the press conference, the buoyant and chirpy 23 year-old singer-voice actress Aimi, most famous for voicing Suiko Tatsunagi from Cardfight Vanguard!!, came on stage to share about her current projects. She is currently working on BanG_Dream!, a mixed-media music project about a group of high school girls in a band. A comic serialisation is currently running in Bushiroad Monthly and she, together with two other talents, Ayasa Ito and Rimi Nishimoto, play the characters in real life, staging a variety of activities such as live performances. Aimi plays the main character Toyama Kasumi, who plays the guitars and is the vocalist for the band. They had recently performed their first live in April and their second live will be held on June 14, exactly one week before CharaExpo. When asked if they would like to see Aimi bring her musical talent to CharaExpo, the audience responded in unison eagerly.

Aimi is all smiles

After the conference, Aimi embarked on a series of shop visits together with Bushiroad CEO Taakaki Kidani. They were touring the Western region of Singapore today. I rushed down to one of the shops as soon as the conference had ended and got her autograph. Aimi is always smiling and I think that is one charming trait of her which everyone likes. After taking a brief respite at home, I went out again in the evening to meet my friends and caught her at the last stop in Funan DigitaLife Mall. We took a few shop photos together and said our goodbyes, looking forward to meeting her at CharaExpo again. You may catch a short snippet of BanG_Dream!'s first live performance and original song below.

Aimi's autograph!


With all the direct-from-Japan exhibitors, big-name guests and creators behind your favourite works coming down, I am sure that many of you are eagerly looking forward to the first major anime, comics and games event of the year. CharaExpo 2015 will be held in Singapore Expo Hall 7, over the weekend of June 20 and 21, from 10am to 6pm (so you don't have to worry about getting home late). Early bird tickets are now on sale at S$6 while on-site tickets will be sold at S$8. This is the most affordably-priced ticketed anime event which you can attend! If you're 12 or under, admission is even free! With all the exclusive Japanese content that the organisers will be bringing down, it definitely offers the best bang for your buck so don't wait and get your tickets now!


Think that's all? The first 15,000 attendees will even receive an exclusive CharaExpo 2015 Goodie Bag filled with a bunch of mystery items for free. All the more reason to head down! You may purchase your tickets from the SONY Stores in Singapore (313@Somerset, IMM, Bugis and NEX outlets), various hobby stores in Singapore and Malaysia, and even through the convenient Peatix Online Ticketing System. A full list of physical ticket sale locations can be found on the CharaExpo website.


Picture says it all. "Come to CharaExpo 2015!"

Among other names already announced such as character designer Akio Watanabe (Bakemonogatari, The World God Only Knows), illustrator Asuka Nishi, the artist of Bushiroad's mascot, Shiyoko, Grisaia no Kajitsu key animation artist Nanakamai, gyoza researcher Izumi Kitta and voice actor Tsubasa Yonaga (Nagisa from Free!), who recently tied the knot with fellow seiyuu Yuka Nishigaki, CharaExpo 2015 looks set to be the biggest anime, comics and games (and wrestling) event for the summer in Southeast Asia. They still have a couple of unannounced guests so stay tuned to their Facebook page for more updates and keep checking XDantheManX Online. We'll bring you the latest news when they break!

We hope that you have enjoyed reading XDantheManX Online's highlights of the second CharaExpo press conference and see you at CharaExpo 2015!

See you at CharaExpo 2015!