Jun 30

JQ Magazine: Nippon Coast to Coast — Anime Expo, JAnime, ‘Demon Slayer’ Live

By JQ magazine editor Justin Tedaldi (CIR Kobe-shi, 2001-02). Justin has written about Japanese arts and entertainment for JETAA since 2005. For more of his articles, click here. 

Before and after the outdoor fireworks, enjoy some summer events in the cool indoors, whether it’s taking in anime’s biggest event on the West Coast, or catching a Studio Ghibli classic.

This month’s highlights include:

Toei Animation/GKIDS
Courtesy of Anime-Expo.org

July 1-4 

Anime Expo

Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles


The largest anime convention in North America, Anime Expo serves up exclusive anime screenings and renowned guests courtesy of international animation and manga publishers. Play the latest in Japanese gaming technology; chow down on Japanese delicacies and fusion cuisine; rock out to live musical guests and cosplay masquerades; and more! Centerpiece events this year include a conversation with YOSHIKI (July 2), a composer, classically-trained pianist, rock drummer, and the leader of the rock groups X JAPAN and THE LAST ROCKSTARS, and the North American premiere of THE FIRST SLAM DUNK (July 3), the first new feature-length film from the globally cherished franchise in over 28 years, as well as original manga creator Takehiko Inoue’s Japan Academy Prize-winning directorial debut.

Courtesy of JACCC
JACCC Campus

Sunday, July 2, 11:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. 


JACCC Campus, 244 San Pedro Street, Los Angeles 

Free, $40 for Food Wars Cafe and $12 for Tea Ceremony events

The Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC) invites you to JAnime, a celebration of Japanese and Japanese American culture through the lens of anime. This event immerses all in the history of Japanese and Japanese American anime culture through art, food, history and performances set against the backdrop of the Japanese season of tanabata. Among a variety of anime- and Japanese culture-related lectures and demonstrations, guests can enjoy the Food Wars-inspired higher-end menu highlighted by Japanese Wagyu delicacies, and traditional tea ceremony in which audiences will be able to experience and taste the way of tea in an authentic tea room, as well as live taiko and anime music performances with food matsuri and official Kirin beer garden! The party reaches fever pitch with a set from DJ Tsugu Itagaki, who will be spinning an all vinyl set of City Pop, J-Pop, and everything in between.


July 9, 11 

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

Various locations 


Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, written and directed by Academy Award-winner Hayao Miyazaki, is an epic masterpiece of sweeping scope and grandeur that remains one of the most breathtaking and exhilarating animated films of all time. A thousand years after the Seven Days of Fire destroyed civilization, warring human factions survive in a world devastated by atmospheric poisons and swarming with gigantic insects. The peaceful Valley of the Wind is nestled on the edge of the Toxic Forest and led by the courageous Princess Nausicaä, whose love of all living things leads her into terrible danger, as she fights to restore balance between humans and nature. The English-dubbed (July 9 screenings) features the voices of Alison Lohman, Uma Thurman, Patrick Stewart, Edward James Olmos and Shia LaBeouf.

 July 10, 12 

Castle in the Sky

Various locations


Castle in the Sky is a timeless story of courage and friendship, with stunning animation from acclaimed Academy Award-winning director Hayao Miyazaki. This high-flying adventure begins when Pazu, an engineer’s apprentice, spies a young girl, Sheeta, floating down from the sky, held aloft by a glowing pendant. Both Sheeta and Pazu are searching for the legendary floating castle, Laputa, and they vow to travel there together to unravel the mystery of the luminous crystal. But their quest won’t be easy, as soon they are being pursued by greedy air pirates, the military, and secret government agents, who all seek the power Sheeta alone can control. The English-dubbed (July 10 screenings) cast includes the vocal talents of Anna Paquin, James Van Der Beek, Cloris Leachman, Mark Hamill, Mandy Patinkin, and more!

Tuesday, July 18, 7:00 p.m.

Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba ON STAGE

Various locations 


U.S. premiere! The stage program is a live capture and features cast members who bring the series’ world to life, as they perform an exclusive live reading of an original story and a special live dubbing performance.  

Mugen Train Arc: Tanjiro, Zenitsu, and Inosuke were at the Butterfly Mansion resting to heal the wounds they beared during the intense life or death battle at the Mugen Train. One day, seeing Tanjiro feeling deeply sorrowful in memory of Rengoku, Zenitsu and Inosuke try to figure out a way to make him feel better, but…

Entertainment District Arc: After overcoming the fierce battle at the Entertainment District, Tanjiro, Nezuko, Zenitsu, Inosuke, and Uzui gather together to reflect and create a report of the incidents. From their encounter with Uzui at the Butterfly Mansion, to their infiltration of the Entertainment District, and their battle to the death against Upper Rank Demons, they discuss their thoughts after overcoming these many hurdles…

For more JQ articles, click here.

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