Article by PatrickD    (03-18-08 03:12 PM)
Anaheim, California (March 18, 2008) -- The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA), the overseeing body of the nation's largest anime/manga convention (Anime Expo®), will be presenting a symposium presentation/discussion about the history, current status and future of the U.S. Anime/Manga Industries at Tokyo International Anime Fair held within Tokyo Big Sight's Special Theatre 2(Thursday; March 27, 2008; 16:30-18:00-Tokyo time). In addition, announcements of the finalists of the highly recognized and coveted SPJA Industry Awards will also be made. More information can be found on the website www.spja.org.

Symposium participants include:

Trulee Karahashi, Society for the Promotion of Japanese Anime-Chief Executive Officer
Prior to becoming the Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Karahashi held the position of Chief Financial Officer for the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA), Ms. Karahashi was a Financial Consultant for Merrill Lynch Private Client Group in the San Francisco Bay Area. A graduate from the University of California at Berkeley, Ms. Karahashi has been involved with Anime Expo® since 1996 (beginning as a volunteer staff) including positions such as Industry Liaison, Division Director and Department Manager. As the CFO for the organization that puts together the nation's largest Anime/Manga convention, Ms. Karahashi dealt with the internal/external financial needs of its members as well as the analysis of industry trends & relations and financial projections for the organization.

Christopher Macdonald, Anime News Network/Protoculture Addicts-Editor in Chief/Publisher
Christopher Macdonald joined Anime News Network in 2001. Since then, through the dedication of its staff, and its unique position as a media outlet that understands anime fans and the anime industry, Anime News Network has grown into one of the largest, most respected anime websites in the world and a successful business.

Anime News Network's influence as a voice for anime fans is such that it has influenced business patterns within the industry, and it is frequently used by businesses to learn more about their customer base. Anime News Network continues to bring anime fans and the anime industry together in an open, unbiased environment of understanding.

In 2004, Anime News Network took over the publishing of Protoculture Addicts, North America's oldest running anime magazine.

Summer Mullins, Anime Insider Magazine-Editor
Summer Mullins is the Editor of Anime Insider magazine, the #1 anime magazine in America. During her tenure, she's overseen the expansion of the magazine's content to include coverage of Japanese music and culture, as well as cosplay and regular manga excerpts. She wrote the magazine's letters column until she got tired of people asking her when Sakura and Naruto would get married. Before signing on with Anime Insider, Mullins worked in book publishing. She first entered the field at White Wolf Publishing, the publisher of popular role-playing games like Vampire: The Masquerade, before moving to a smaller publisher in Arizona to enjoy the desert heat.

Marc Perez, Society for the Promotion of Japanese Anime-Board of Directors-Chairman
Prior to becoming the Chairman, Mr. Perez held the position of AVS Live Programming Co-Manager at Anime Expo. Mr. Marc Perez is a California University Graduate and a Systems Analyst for the defense industry and has been part of the Anime Expo® family as a volunteer since 2004. His skills stem from management in: IT service and support, retail sales and customer service.

Topics of discussion will be:

  • The History of Anime/Manga in the U.S.
  • Sales Trends
  • U.S. Industry Status
  • U.S. Industry Barriers
  • The Future of Anime/Manga in the U.S.

In addition, announcement of the SPJA Industry Awards will be made. With twenty-one (21) official categories, industry companies have been allowed to submit one (1) entry per category.

SPJA Industry Awards official criteria for eligibility, rules, procedures and forms can be downloaded from the official SPJA website www.spja.org. Inquiries can be made to Awards@spja.org

SPJA Industry Awards Categories

Category 01: BEST VOICE ACTOR (JAPANESE)
Japanese male voice for an animated role in a TV or OVA series; does not necessarily have to be the main male lead in the series.

Category 02: BEST VOICE ACTOR (ENGLISH)
English male voice for an animated role in a TV or OVA series; does not necessarily have to be the main male lead in the series.

Category 03: BEST VOICE ACTRESS (JAPANESE)
Japanese female voice for an animated role in a TV or OVA series; does not necessarily have to be the main female lead in the series.

Category 04: BEST VOICE ACTRESS (ENGLISH)
English female voice for an animated role in a TV or OVA series; does not necessarily have to be the main female lead in the series.

Category 05: BEST CASTING DIRECTOR
The English casting director that best casts the roles of all spoken parts in an anime TV or OVA series in contrast to the original Japanese version.

Category 06: BEST CHARACTER DESIGNER
The designer is responsible for designing, drawing, and interpreting original production characters for an anime TV or OVA series.

Category 07: BEST MECHANICAL DESIGNER
The mechanical designer is based upon the design and drawing of key production mechanisms for a TV or OVA series including mecha, ships, space stations, and other working mechanics.

Category 08: BEST MALE CHARACTER
The male character is a non-female gender character in a TV or OVA series; does not necessarily have to be the main male lead in the series. This category will factor in overall character design, development, and voice.

Category 08: BEST FEMALE CHARACTER
The female character is a non-male gender character in a TV or OVA series; does not necessarily have to be the main female lead in the series. This category will factor in overall character design, development, and voice.

Category 10: BEST MASCOT CHARACTER
The mascot is a character that primarily does not take on human form and portrays a supporting role in a TV or OVA series.

Category 11: BEST BACKGROUND DESIGNER
The background designer is responsible for designing and drawing key production backgrounds for a TV or OVA series.

Category 12: BEST ORIGINAL VIDEO ANIMATION
Anime series that is made specially to be released on home video formats, with a majority release without prior showings on broadcast TV or in theaters. It is usually referred to as an OVA or OAV series.

Category 13: BEST FEATURE FILM
Anime feature film which is made specially to be released in theaters, with a majority release without prior showings on TV. No distinction shall be made with regards to short films or series films.

Category 14: BEST TELEVISION SERIES
Anime series that was made originally for broadcast television in Japan. Usually consists of thirteen (13) or more episodes.

Category 15: BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
An original score is a substantial body of music in the form of dramatic underscoring originating with the submitting anime TV series.

Category 16: BEST ORIGINAL SONG
An original song consists of words and music, both of which are original and written specifically for the anime TV series. There must be a clearly audible, intelligible, substantive rendition (not necessarily visually presented) of both lyric and melody, used in the body of the series or as the opening and/or ending credits.

Category 17: BEST DIRECTOR
The person responsible for the best interpretive aspects of a TV or OVA series; including the integration of all the elements as acting, staging, artistry required to realize the writer's conception.

Category 18: BEST MANGA - ACTION
Manga class of creative works characterized by a greater emphasis on exciting action sequences than on character development or story-telling.

Category 19: BEST MANGA - COMEDY
Manga class of creative works characterized by a greater emphasis on humorous sequences than on character development or story-telling.

Category 20: BEST MANGA - DRAMA
Manga class of creative works characterized by a series of events consisting of vivid, emotional, conflicting, or striking interest in character development and story-telling.

Category 21: BEST PUBLICATION
Includes periodicals such as magazines, scholarly journals, and newspapers covering anime and manga.

About Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation
The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA) is a non-profit organization with a mission 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®. More information can be found at its website (www.spja.org).

The statements made in this press release that are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements." These forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties. The Company cautions readers of this press release that a number of important factors could cause Anime Expo®/SPJA's actual future results to differ materially from those expressed in any such forward-looking statements. Such factors include, without limitation, product delays, industry competition, rapid changes in technology and industry standards, protection of proprietary rights, maintenance of relationships with key personnel, vendors and third-party developers, international economic and political conditions. The Company may change its intention, belief or expectation, at any time and without notice, based upon any changes in such factors, in the Company's assumptions or otherwise. The Company undertakes no obligation to release publicly any revisions to any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

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