We are excited to welcome a variety of additional guests for Zenkaikon 2012, including voice actors, DJs, and cultural presenters. Read all about them below!
Sonny Strait is most recognized as the voice of Krillin on DragonBall Z, and as an illustrator for the comic book series Elfquest. He has over 20 years of experience in the arts. He has voiced many popular animated characters including Maes Hughes from FullMetal Alchemist, Usopp from One Piece, and Cartoon Network’s laid back, robot host Toonami Tom. He has also worked as a writer and director on several TV series including DragonBall Z, Case Closed, and Lupin the Third.
As a comic book artist, he has seventeen published works to date including his self-published series Mr. Average, featured in The Comics Journal, and Elfquest, which was published by both WARP Graphics and DC Comics. He also wrote and illustrated a graphic novel about a reluctant punk rock, faerie princess named Goat. The book, called We Shadows, was published by Tokyopop and was nominated by The American Library Association for Best Graphic Novel in 2008.
Currently, Sonny is reprising his roles in both the new DragonBall Z and FullMetal Alchemist series and plays the title role in the Xbox game S’plosion Man. He also illustrates Marvel Comic’s sketch cards for Rittenhouse.
You may have heard of Michele Knotz from a little well-known anime series called Pokémon. Now in its 15th season, Michele has returned as the voice of Team Rocket’s Jessie and has picked up a few new Pokémon - Woobat, Swoobat, Minccino, and the female Snivy. Before Season 14, Michele voiced May, Nurse Joy, the Pokédex, Piplup, Manaphy, Squirtle, Bulbasaur, Chimecho, Beautifly, Masquerain, Dustox, Cacnea, and many others. She also voiced Misty for the Pokémon 10th Anniversary Special, The Mastermind of Mirage Pokémon. In the Pokémon Special Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, Team Go-Getters Out of the Gate, she voiced Chikorita. Other anime roles include Hajime Yagi in The World of Narue, Takako Kawashima in Shootfighter Tekken, Matsumoto and various additional characters in To Heart, Razali, Cindy, Greta, and The Fairy in The Third, Ogiue Chika in Genshiken, Koyuki Asagiri in Kujibiki Unbalance, Chou’un Shiryuu in Ikki Tousen, Tomoe and Airi in Queen’s Blade, and Potaru Tanaka and Inumi in Magical Witch Punie-Chan. In video games, Michele has voiced the Pokémon Trainer, Squirtle and various other Pokémon for the Nintendo Wii’s Super Smash Bros. Brawl, Piplup and many others in PokéPark Wii – Pikachu’s Great Adventure, Snivy, Piplup and many others in PokéPark 2 Wonders Beyond, and various characters in Heathcliff the Fast and the Furriest. Not only does Michele work on anime and video games, but she’s also a script adaptor for various dubbing projects and lends her voice to many other types of work. You can see all of Michele’s credits, pictures, and listen to her voice demos, on her website.
Hi5 was attending conventions long before he began DJing them. First taking the convention stage at Otakon, he last played the Zenkaikon rave in 2009 and is excited to be back! He attributes DDR as his original gateway to electronic dance music. Following the footsteps of Deadmau5, Porter Robinson, and BT, Hi5 works on his own productions, as well as remixes and instrumentals for other artists. Mashing up classic video game tunes with the latest in electro/progressive is his specialty. If you like high energy dance parties with some of your favorite songs, don’t miss him Saturday night!
DJ Kurono is a UK Hardcore/J-Core DJ and amateur hardcore music producer from the East Coast. He started mixing Japanese Happy Hardcore music in early 2009 and the happy tune of the melodies gave him a great interest to take things a step further. Kurono has done several live performances at raves, parties, and conventions, such as AnimeNEXT, Otakon, Kotoricon, and many others. A friendly collaboration with Japanese vocalist Elderberry began in July 2011 and they have produced a number of unreleased anime/video game remixes since they met. One of Kurono’s main focuses today is to promote Hard Dance/UK Hardcore/J-Core music and bring it straight to the dance floor with his own flavor of turntable scratching and mixing. Prepare yourself for the wave of Hardcore Sounds!
Samurai Dan & Jillian
The husband and wife team of Daniel and Jillian Coglan are full-time martial art instructors, specializing in 16th century Samurai Arts. When not teaching at their dojo, the Kojokan, they travel the United States performing and teaching the ancient ways of the most famous warriors in history. With a combined 35 years of experience, their show is a unique blend of history, combative skill, and humor, designed to educate and entertain audiences both large and small. Beyond their martial skills, the dynamic duo collaborated to write, direct, host, and star in a 12 episode TV series entitled, “The Way of The Samurai.” Daniel is also an author, with several martial art articles published, and is currently working on his second full-length novel.