ANIME NEWS: Okinawa to host anime summit

January 23, 2012

Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.

The Okinawa Kariyushi Urban Resort Naha hotel in Okinawa Prefecture will host the Okinawa International Animation Contents Summit on Feb. 19.

The event is a product of an Okinawan prefectural government initiative in 2011 to bolster tourism and the local economy by promoting anime and other pop culture associated with the area, an organizer said.

It is also aimed at encouraging anime-related production in Okinawa and promoting the genre internationally.

An exhibition celebrating the 45th anniversary of the "Ultraman" series, created by the Okinawa-born screenwriter Tetsuo Kinjo, will be a centerpiece of the event.

After he left Tsuburaya Productions Co., Kinjo worked at Expo '75, an international marine exposition held in the prefecture from 1975 to 1976 to commemorate the return of Okinawa to Japanese sovereignty.

Another exhibition will highlight Okinawa's homegrown "Ryujin Mabuyer" superhero TV series and "Shimanchu MiRiKa," an animated series set in the prefecture.

There will also be a screening and symposium dedicated to "Ultraman." Episodes from the series and its predecessor, the "Ultra Q" series, will be showcased, in addition to Okinawa-themed short films.

"Ultraman" director Toshihiro Iijima and screenwriter Shozo Uehara will join the symposium. Actor Susumu Kurobe, who played Shin Hayata, the human form of Ultraman in the first installment of the series, and Hiroko Sakurai, who portrayed Akiko Fuji in the show, will also make appearances.

There will be a maid café at the summit and a live concert at Naha’s Namura Hall. Performers will include: Rica Matsumoto, who provides the voice for Satoshi in the "Pocket Monster" animated TV series; Yoko Takahashi, who sings the main theme song for "Neon Genesis Evangelion" anime series; Aya Hirano, who plays the title character in the animated adaptation of "The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya" TV series; Azumi Inoue, whose songs were used as main themes for "Laputa: Castle in the Sky" and "My Neighbor Totoro"; pop group T-Pistonz+KMC, which provided the theme songs for the "Inazuma Eleven" animated TV series; and pop duo Psychic Lover, best known for singing the main themes for "Samurai Sentai Shinkenger" and "Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger."

For more information, visit the official website at (http://www.kariyushi.co.jp/anime_contents_summit/).

Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.
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