This weekend, Funkytown becomes a gateway to Japan by hosting the first Crunchyroll-powered Frontier Anime. The brand’s launch of experiential events will be “the ultimate Japanese pop culture experience,” say the creators of the nation’s second largest anime convention, Anime NYC.
Left Media aims to take over Fort Worth from December 3-5 with “the greatest talent and content the Japanese pop culture industry has to offer to the Lone Star State.”
Japanese popular culture is a major force in entertainment. Left Media’s NYC Anime, held in November, was sold out with 53,000 fans in attendance. The innovators behind the nationally recognized convention expect the Fort Worth experiential event to be a similar big draw.
The three-day Anime Frontier features over 300 unique experiences, including unique activations, never-before-seen experiences, and exclusive previews. “It’s about celebrating all that is cool in Japan,” say the organizers.
Why Fort Worth?
The anime brand chose Fort Worth for its expansion in Texas “where the West begins,” said Peter Tatara, director of Anime NYC and Anime Frontier. “Fort Worth is a perfect representation of American heritage and modern innovation in an incredible community, and we are deeply delighted to now bring the future of Japanese entertainment to its heart,” he said in a communicated.
Anime NYC brings together fans and the biggest guests and studios in the world of Japanese pop culture, Tatara says. “We are delighted to now develop this same experience in Texas. We can’t wait to create a Fort Worth gathering place for fans of anime, manga, cosplay, Japanese music, and more.
Pop-up gallery of the acclaimed “Attack on Titan” exhibition
Fort Worth and New York are the only two cities in the United States to host an exhibition featuring the famous international manga and anime “Attack on Titan” at the event, presented at the Anime Frontier Exhibition Center at the Fort Worth Convention Center.
The pop-up gallery of the work of series creator and artist Hajime Isayama represents the evolution of more than a decade of storytelling that obsesses fans around the world.
“’Attack on Titan’ is one of the greatest manga series of the 21st century, and its ending is a tremendous moment for Japanese popular culture as a whole,” Tatara said.
The exhibition celebrates the conclusion of the series’ 11-year saga. It sits between last spring’s manga finale and the final season of the animated TV series, which is set to arrive in January 2022.
“We are very excited to bring the ‘Attack on Titan’ manga gallery to Texas,” Kodansha USA Events Director Misaki Kido said in a statement. “Texas fans rarely get the chance to be part of experiences like this, and it’s important for us to share this celebration with you as well. Texas is known for having a huge anime and manga community, and we want to recognize that by presenting this testament to the meaning of Attack on Titan with fans around the world with Anime Frontier fans.
Powered by Crunchroll
The Crunchyroll anime streaming platform is the title sponsor of the event.
Crunchyroll, considered by many to be the world’s most popular anime brand, was acquired by Sony’s Funimation for $ 1.175 billion in August.
“The era of Big Anime has officially arrived,” Wired wrote at the time of the deal that merged the anime interests of Sony and AT&T. (Dallas Innovators may recall Sony’s acquisition of Flower Mound-based Funimation in 2017.)
What to expect when you go
The Anime Frontier experience includes a “massive exhibition floor” with over 100 companies and publishers to explore. Fans can also meet their favorite celebrities in person, take photos, and purchase autographs. An Artist Alley will feature hundreds of fan artists, and other features are an Itasha car showcase, video game tournaments, Japanese pachinko, and J-Pop DJs.
On Saturday, December 4, cosplay will take over the main stage with Anime Frontier’s Masquerade. Cosplayers can compete to win prizes for crafting and staging.
There is something for everyone, says Tatara.
“From our amazing cosplayers, to our creators and artists who will be in attendance, veteran fans and newbies alike are welcome to explore and connect with our community!” he said.
Highlights of the event
Provided by Anime Frontier
Participants can listen to Q&A sessions with celebrities, experience editor panels to find out what’s going on in the world of anime and manga; and see projections. This includes “never-before-seen trailers, new artwork and animated films never seen before in Texas,” according to Left Media. Here are some highlights. (As always, check Anime Frontier’s schedules online for last-minute changes.)
Bryce papenbrook Questions and answers – 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. [Ballroom AB]
The voice of The attack of the Titansis Eren Jaeger, Demon slayerInosuke Hashibira, will talk about his roles, his career and his future.
Japan 2.5D Stage Play World: Anime, Manga & Game Theater Online, Panel 2 – 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. [Room 202 BCD]
2.5D describes theatrical presentations based on Japanese manga and video games. The meaning implies that theatrical performances exist somewhere between 2D, the realm of manga, anime, and video games, and 3D, the realm of theater. Japan 2.5D Stage Play World will feature rare clips of Japanese 2.5D plays that are rarely seen in the US
Zombieland Saga LIVE ～ FranChouChou Saga yo tomoni waite kure ～ Panel 3 – 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. [Room 203 AB]
Dubbed the “greatest live event in Zombieland Saga history,” this is a special presentation of a concert originally presented in October at Makuhari Messe in Japan. This is an exclusive opportunity outside of Japan, shown only at Anime NYC and Fort Worth at Anime Frontier.
Colleen clinkenbeard Questions and Answers, Panel 2 – 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. [Room 202 BCD]
A playby Monkey D. Luffy, My hero universityit’s Momo Yaoyorozu, Black cloveris Erza Scarlet.
PROMARE screening – 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. [Ballroom AB]
The first feature film from renowned studio TRIGGER, creator of the hit series KILL KILL and Little Witches Academy, and director Hiroyuki Imaishi (GURREN LAGANN, KILL KILL). The film uses a bold cel-shaded visual style to tell “a mind-boggling action-adventure story and is the spiritual successor to many older works by director Imaishi.”
Introduction to the Japanese Language – Brought to you by Japan-America Company of Dallas / Fort Worth, Panel 1 – 11h00 to 12h00 [Room 201 AB]
Curious to learn Japanese? Join Anime Frontier and the Japan-American Society for a lesson in Japanese language and culture! An interactive presentation includes topics on Japanese characters, greetings, and bows.
Panel i ☆ Ris, Panel 3 – 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. [Room 203 AB]
The music group Idol i ☆ Ris makes a unique virtual appearance thanks to Avex Pictures! Fans can experience the highlights of the i ☆ Ris 2021 ～ Carnival ～ 6th Tour live concert, a pre-signed autograph gift, and an exclusive i ☆ Ris pre-recorded Q&A with questions submitted by fans. Note that * i ☆ Ris does not physically appear at the convention.
Satoshi Kon: The Illusionist, Documentary Panel 1 – 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. [Room 201 AB]
Satoshi Kon: The illusionist recalls the trajectory of a lonely author whose life was dedicated to the power of comics and animation. Animation filmmaker Satoshi Kon died suddenly in 2010 at the age of 46, leaving behind a short and unfinished collection. His work has become one of the most widely disseminated and influential in the history of contemporary Japanese culture. Ten years after his death, his family and his collaborators finally express themselves on his work, while his heirs, in Japan, in France and in Hollywood, look back on his artistic heritage.
Black Trailblazers in Anime, Panel 2 – 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. [Room 202 BCD]
Popular and influential black professionals are leading the way for diversity in the anime industry. Panelists include Anairis Quiñones, AJ Beckles and Zeno Robinson.
Stagecrowd presents: Sword Art Online Film Orchestra Concert 2021 Anime Frontier Edition, Panel 3 – 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. [Room 203 AB]
This special edition was edited exclusively for Anime Frontier and will feature the first half of the Tokyo concert. Fans can experience Sword Art Online through orchestral renditions of the original score, with musical arrangements and the supervision of composer Yuki Kajiura.
OVERCOME ー JAM Project THE MOVIE ー Panel 3 – 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. [Room 203 AB]
The first documentary film to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the formation of Japanese rock group JAM Project has been closely covered with the group over a 15-month period, starting with their live anniversary in 2019.
SUNDAY DECEMBER 5
Ramen Culture in Texas – Brought to you by Kintaro Ramen, Panel 3 – 11h00 to 12h00
Award-winning ramen and sushi chef and Kintaro Ramen founder Jesus Garcia leads a discussion about ramen culture in Texas.
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Entertainment District Arc Screening (Sub-Program) and Talk Show, Panel 2 – 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. [Room 202 BCD]
Enter the Yoshiwara neighborhood with a special screening of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Arc of the entertainment district. After the screening, a talk show with the English actors Zach Aguilar (Tanjiro), Aleks Le (Zenitsu) and Bryce Papenbrook (Inosuke)!
A New World: intimate music from the FINAL FANTASY concert – 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. [Ballroom AB]
Listen to “spectacular” arrangements of music from over 30 years old from the FINAL FANTASY catalog. With string quartets, piano and guitar solos and other mixed groups of instrumentalists, the program aims to transport listeners to a personal encounter with the themes, characters and settings of FINAL FANTASY. The concert concludes the first annual Frontier Anime. “This show is much more than a concert; it is a celebration of the legacy that the FINAL FANTASY franchise has left for generations of audiences, ”say the organizers.
Anime border details
For more information go here.
3-5 December 2021
Fort Worth Convention Center
1201 Houston Street
Fort Worth, Texas 76102
Tickets start at $ 30. The packages include:
Three-day ticket package: $ 50
Set of 4 Sunday families and friends: $ 75
Find tickets here.
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