Anime USA 2015 Programming Schedule

Panel descriptions now available!

anime_usa_2015_programming_schedule_screenshot The wait is finally over! Thank you so much for your patience while we work hard behind-the-scenes to put on the best show yet! This year’s programming schedule features a special Cowboy Bebop Screening with the cast of Cowboy Bebop, Q&A and autograph sessions with your favorite guests, cosplay masquerade, dances, educational workshops, and more!

View the Anime USA 2015 Programming Schedule

Trick-or-Treat Starting Now

Trick-or-Treat for all children attendees will be starting now, and last until 3pm! Here are the trick-or-treat locations:

– Dealer’s Room (Dealer’s Ops booth)
– Artist Alley (Artist Alley Ops booth)
– Programming (Park Tower Room 8216)
– Mobile Tech (ParkTower Room 8212)
– Medical (Radio Ops – across Registration)
– Con Ops (Park Tower Room 8210)


Panel Cancellations

The following panels have been cancelled:

  • History of Japanese Travel
  • Anime abs American Cinema
  • Anime Parliament
  • Cosplay and Consent

We apologize for the inconvenience. Please adjust your schedules accordingly and enjoy the rest of the convention!

Five Questions with Nicole Salomone

Nicole Salomone

Nicole Salomone

1. First off, tell us more about yourself and what you do!

My name is Nicole Salomone I am an independent scholar, focusing on eig

hteenth-century scholarly medicine – especially having to do with premature burial.

In 2011, I published my book, forgotten, which focuses on the medicine and interpersonal relationships during the American Revolution. It is historical fiction. However, it bases out of historical fact, complete with bibliography.

I love coming up with fun and interesting ways to present history to a modern audience. And I am currently working my way through school in order to become a history professor.

2. Do you have a favorite anime?

I grew up on the anime of the 80 ‘ s, so I have a soft spot for it… especially The Littl’ Bits, the Noozles, Voltron, and Grimms Fairy Tale Classics.

3. Since Halloween is incoming at Anime USA, what’s the scariest 18th century medical fact you can name?

Your question actually stunned me. I don’t usually have to pick just one. But I suppose, the one that I go to most often, has to do with the cauterization of wounds. Cauterization was imperative to stop puncture wound bleeding. One of the most common ways of doing this was to cauterize it with a hot poker. That is they would stick the end of the poker, which is something like a fireplace poker into the fire until it turned red, and then they would put the end of the poker into the wound in order to burn the edges. Of course this was very painful, as we are talking about a time before anesthesia. Often fevers and infections would follow. Another way that they cauterized wounds, which was less invasive, was the application of turpentine. This is not the day glow green stuff that we find in the hardware store today, but rather the resin of pine trees. This was found to have protective and disinfecting properties nearly 200 years before

4. Can you tell us more about one of your panels?

The history of medicine is all around us, if only you know where to look. Harry Potter stories emphasize this in ways that people don’t even realize. Charms, divination, and even the fantastical creatures that Rowling included in the books all come into play through the perspective of medical history. I hope that my audience members walk away with a better understanding of the great strides that medicine has taken in the past few hundred years, and the brilliance of Rowling to make an esoteric subject accessible to a whole new generation.

5. Finally, what are you most excited for at Anime USA? 

I am so excited to get to know a whole new audience of people. I cannot wait to show my perspective on history the history of medicine, and gain new perspective from the audience members. I’m also looking forward to showing off my new costume!


Panel Descriptions


Anime USA will be offering a children’s track for the first time in 2015. We invite all of our younger otaku and their parents to stop by for crafts, activities, and other great ways to Explore Japan! The room will be open throughout the weekend with scheduled activities, or drop in for
free play any time.

Unfortunately Anime USA is not able to allow unaccompanied children to visit the children’s track.

Scheduled Activities:
Doll Making Workshops—Doll educator Anne Cox will be present all weekend, leading free doll making workshops and teaching children about the different types of dolls in Japan. Come make our mascot Kaede, her pet cat, ninja warriors, and more. Workshop times on the schedule are approximate. Doll making may be limited due to the number of kits/table space available.

Costume Parade—Celebrate Halloween with our mascot Kaede by going on a costume parade throughout the convention and showing off your exciting Halloween costume. Meet in the Children’s Room before the parade departs!

Hinamatsuri Party—Celebrate Japanese style with a Children’s Day party. Children will have a chance to try a Japanese treat, play games, and see how children in Japan play.

Kimono—Dress up in a kimono and learn what Japanese children traditionally wore!

Macabre Tales and Spooky Lore—Join storyteller and convention guest Lilith Lore for some child-appropriate ‘scary’ stories and storytelling activities to celebrate Halloween.

Trick-or-Treating—Children 12 and younger will be able to trick or treat throughout the hotel Saturday afternoon to receive candy or small toys from our convention staff. Pick up a map with locations throughout the convention, and visit our staff offices for some treats. No tricks!
Free Play Activities:

  • Anime
  • Coloring
  • Kimono dress-up
  • Legos
  • Songs

Anime/Manga/Video Games

A Brief History of Anime—Brent P. Newhall of Otaku, No Video (ONVPodcast on YouTube) will take you on a hundred-year trip through the history of Japanese animation, from World War II propaganda through Astro Boy, Gundam, and Akira and up to the anime that’s changing the industry today.

AmiiboBro—Amiibos. Love them or hate them, they are undeniably THE thing many of us have hunted for over the past year and a half. It doesn’t look like the ride will slow down anytime soon. Join us to discuss the trials, tribulations, and frustrations in the Amiibo hunt. The only question you should be asking yourself is, “Do you even Amiibo, Bro?”

Anime and American Cinema—Many American film companies have made live action and animated adaptions of popular anime. Some you may have heard of (Dragon Ball: Evolution) and some you may never knew existed (Fist of the North Star). Most have been critical and financial flops. Join me as we take a look at what went wrong.

Anime or Hentai (18+)—Lots of times while watching anime targeted at children one might wonder how this is considered child-appropriate material. Come down and watch clips from both anime and hentai to test your skills of purity (or perversion).

Anime Openings Through The Decades—The opening is always when a show puts its best foot forward to grab the viewer’s attention. Join us as we take a look at some of the best openings from the past 40 years!

Bad Fanfiction Bingo (18+)—A journey through the questionably popular, over-used, and tiresome fanfiction tropes and conventions in AO3. Visit different fandoms and see how quickly you can reach bingo.

Before An Unexpected Journey—Before An Unexpected Journey, anime played the field when Studio TOPCRAFT made the first offering of Middle Earth on screen. Long passed over by the regular otaku crowd, our investigative panelists would like to share a story with you of American company Rankin/Bass, TOPCRAFT, Tad Mochinaga, and the magical world called “Animagic.” [A Manly Battleships® Production]

Behind the Mask: Analyzing the Symbolism of Tokyo Ghoul—Tarot, checkerboard, nervous ticks…Ishida Sui carefully laces symbolism through the pages of Tokyo Ghoul, quietly whetting our appetite with veiled references and a subtle flick of the pen. Join us as we decipher the meaning behind the hidden messages.

But That’s NOT Anime!—Anime used to be easily recognized by its unique art style and origin from Japan. Now anime is a much broader concept, and titles like Avatar: The Last Airbender and RWBY have caused fans to ask the question: How do you define anime? Come explore titles both popular and obscure that fall into the grey areas of anime.

Diamonds in the Rough: Video Game Edition—Covering some less than stellar games/series that you should still give a chance despite their many flaws. Audience participation is encouraged!

DISORGAAAAAH Video Game Cartoons: (De)FireFlowered (18+)—From the co-creator of Super Mario Super Panel and some hobos off the street comes a new panel that delves further into the horrors that are television adaptations of video games. Watch these “classics,” play games, and don’t be afraid to give away your P-Wing. A collaborative creation of Disorganization XIII and Substandard Science.

Don’t Judge a Show By Its Cover: Good Anime with Odd Features—At first glance, plenty of anime out there look incredible. But some have one or two odd quirks that lead to them getting overlooked immediately. This panel will explain why you should always give shows a second chance—some might end up surprising you.

Doujinshi 101 (18+)—What are doujinshi? Join us for a trip through the storied history of Japanese fan comics. We’ll teach you about the origin of the art form, talk about some of the influential creators, discuss the modern legislature that has affected how doujinshi are distributed and written, and teach you how to go about buying doujinshi for yourself!

Fate/Servant Theory—Who would be the greatest servant of all time? Who would be the worst? Fate/Zero and Unlimited Blade Works are about servants from history fighting a war, and we will discuss who would be the greatest servants for each class! (Spoilers for the show.)

Get Wrecked with the Survey Corps! (18+)—Unwind with the survey corps like never before with raw unfiltered facts straight from the horse’s mouth (and we don’t mean Jean). Ask your corps members your burning questions, no holds barred. Warning: we will be discussing current canon according to the manga, and possibly exploring meta territory. Get wrecked.

Girl Power: Feminism and the Magical Girl Genre—What could be better than girls teaming up to kick some butt? Fans of the magical girl genre probably can’t think of much. Come explore the different takes American and Japanese feminists have on everything from Sailor Moon to Kill la Kill.

Gotta Love that Abridged Series!—Do you like Yu-Gi-Oh Abridged? 50% off? Dragonball Z Abridged? Haven’t heard of any of these and want to know more? Come join us as we discuss some of the many different abridged series out there!

How Ink and Paint Come Alive: How Anime is Made—Brent P. Newhall (ONVPodcast on YouTube) takes you through the animation processes that bring your favorite anime to life, from initial meetings to key animation, all the way to voice recordings and sound effects.

Japanese Car Culture, Anime, And the Art of the Drift—From the very beginning of anime, flashy and fast cars have found their way into anime and pop culture. Join us as we look at the history of the Japanese car scene, its progression, and its worldwide legacy. We will also be exploring some of the many ties that car culture has had to anime and how the love of the automobile shines in popular art and media.

Jojo’s Influential Adventure: The Influence of JJBA on Anime and Games—Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, while being one of the most entertaining manga/shows of all time, isn’t just that. Because of its long running and storied success, it has become a powerhouse in the anime and gaming industry that many developers draw from. Here, we’ll look at what Jojo has influenced and what made it so… bizarre.

Kamen Rider Sampler Platter—Mode and Skeptic look into the slice of life known as tokusatsu. This genre includes the long-running Ultraman and Kamen Rider series. This blitz panel will give a flavor of everything in the Heisen era of KR.

Kingdom Hearts Series Fan Panel—Disney + Square = Kingdom Hearts. That’s simple enough, but Kingdom Hearts is anything but simple! Feel free to join our discussion of the many complicated plotlines of Kingdom Hearts (be warned: there will likely be spoilers). We’re also hosting a few small games with prizes, so be ready for a challenge!

Magi: Friendship, Magic, and Depravity—Bright colors, great characters, surprisingly smart writing…there are a lot of things to love in Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic. Join us as we take a look at how Magi uses character driven storytelling and bright colors to explore friendship, fate, classism, evil, forgiveness, and what it means to be a good ruler.

Ouran Panel of Fabulousness—Welcome to the Ouran High School Host Club! We hope you’ll enjoy our fabulous panel full of games, Q&As, funny stories, and much more! We’ll also hold a fun raffle free of charge to everyone who attends the panel.

Phone a Prince—Otome gaming on smartphones: what games are available, which games you should get, and which ones you shouldn’t waste your time and money on.

Shounen Heroes—From the notorious Captain Luffy to power-hungry Yagami Light, and even tortured Shinji Ikari, let’s take a look at our beloved shounen protagonists, their strengths, flaws, and frustratingly annoying mottos. Believe it!

Speedrunning: The Art of Beating Games Fast—This panel is a 101 session on what speedrunning is and an introduction into some of the more well-known runs. Videos of some world-record breaking paces will be shown and any questions that can be answered about the community or the “sport” itself will be!

That Shouldn’t Fit (18+)—Like a Buick in a shotglass.

The Evangelion Fan Panel—This is for all those Evangelion fans who can’t seem to stop talking about the series. This is an open-discussion panel for the entire audience to talk about ANY aspect of Evangelion you can think of. It’s encouraged to come with questions or thoughts about the series as a whole, but listening in is fine as well!

The Garden of Words and Lessons—Makoto Shinkai’s most recent work, The Garden of Words, is one of his most famous. He presents a different look at many aspects of Japanese society and expectations. This panel is going to look at all the things that he was trying to tell his viewers and how he accomplished it.

The State of the Anime Community: Past, Present, & Future—This panel will be a discussion on the past, present, and future of the anime community. Come prepared to discuss all your opinions about the community’s state as well as bring an open mind.

This is Otakudom™: Fandom History and the American Otaku—It’s easy to take the fan world of the otaku for granted today. The medium of anime—once obscure—has become nearly mainstream in terms of public awareness and acceptability. The modern otaku doesn’t have to worry about the experiences of the anime of old. Drop by for a presentation on the history of the fandom, a talk on the different generations involved, and enjoy an investigation into the origins of the Otakudom you enjoy today. [A Manly Battleships® Production]
ToraDora: How to do Good Characters
—ToraDora (aka the greatest love story ever told) still holds a spot as a rock solid romantic comedy, even though it was released 8 years ago. This panel is going to attempt to take a look at the characters and how they interacted with each other and why everything worked as well as it did.

Understanding Japan through Anime: Anime that Reveals Japanese Culture—Want to know more about the culture of Japan itself? Want to do it by watching anime? Brent P. Newhall (ONVPodcast on YouTube) shares anime series and movies that reveal real Japanese culture, from history to religion to everyday life.

Violent Japanimations From Japan: Hyperviolent Cartoons You Should be Watching (18+)—Remember when Blockbuster would stock child friendly anime like Totoro next to such violent masterpieces as Ninja Scroll and Legend of the Overfiend? We’re here to revel in the glory of the early days of anime when it was those crazy “violent Japanimations” that your mom didn’t want you to see.

Wait What Was Kingdom Hearts About Again?—Nine years ago, Disorganization XIII got their start on the convention circuit by presenting a panel about what might be in Kingdom Hearts 3. This year, Disorganization XIII returns to give you a panel about…what might be in Kingdom Hearts 3. What the heck has Tetsuya Nomura been doing all these years? Come and join us as we go over the incredibly convoluted plot of the Kingdom Hearts franchise.

What Makes a Villain?—From Joker to Dr. Wily, Griffith to Sauron, villains are the stuff that drive great stories. This panel will dissect great elements of villainy. What villains have worked, which ones have failed, or even which iterations of certain villains fell short.

When Subtitles Go Wrong
—Adding subtitles into anime aren’t easy. There’s mistranslations, Japanese jokes that don’t work well in English, getting the timing and typesetting right, and having it make sense. This panel is going to be about all those times when the translations just don’t end up the right way.

Why Your Favorite Anime Got Made: The Business Behind the Animation and the Hard Numbers—Brent P. Newhall (ONVPodcast on YouTube) takes you through the business processes that bring your favorite anime to reality. Includes hard numbers on costs, prices, and the popularity of various media.


A Card Game Called Tarot—Ever had a question you needed answered? A situation enlightened? Or just a certain feeling that makes your senses twitch? Maybe a quick card spread is the answer. Come and join us for a crash course in Tarot Cards! This panel will cover basics in styles, techniques, information, and more!

A Glimpse Into Fear: The History of Japanese Horror (18+)—American horror has its own chills and thrills, but Japanese horror is packed with a variety of sights that will frighten and creep you out, as well as provide a worthwhile life lesson. From mythological folklore to movies, anime, and video games, The Anime Rest Stop wants you to cross over to the other side and experience the supernatural like never before! This is not for the faint of heart! Come and glimpse into fear…if you dare!

Abnormal America: 50 Spooks, Monsters, and Paranormal Stories from Every State in the Union with Sarah Hodge-Wetherbe— Every state in the union has its own spooky stories and unsolved mysteries. Alien abduction, Bigfoot, the Bunny-man and the Beast of Bray road- these are only some of the strange things can be found across the country. In this presentation, we’ll highlight one story from each state (Bonus DC and Puerto Rico included!)

Animedicine After Dark: Spoopy Edition (18+)—Halloween is upon us, and it’s time for Animedicine to get 2Spoopy4U! Join a couple of real living undead med students (lack of sleep does that to us) as we discuss the all-too-creppy medicine behind your favorite horrifying anime. There are no 2spoopy questions, so come armed! Warning: we ARE med students, and we will not shy away from gore.

Dangan Ronpa: Halloweeny Life—Come watch the students of Hope’s Peak Academy celebrate the amazing holiday of Halloween! You can pester them with questions, play fun games together, and maybe even answer some trivia and win a few prizes! The students are at your disposal!

Harry Potter Halloween Social—Come hang out with fellow Hogwarts students, Death Eaters, Ministry bureaucrats, and other non-muggles. Just watch out for trolls in the dungeon.

The History of the Science and Magic of Harry Potter with Nicole Salomone—The world of Harry Potter seems very magical, and it’s easy to believe that these ideas are purely fiction. But this is not the case! Come learn how sciences of the Renaissance and Early Modern Europe came together to form the basis for the wizarding world as we know it. Included will be not so mythical creatures, herbology, potions, ancient codex, and, of course, magic.

Poison Apples & Pretty Witches with Lilith Lore—Gather ’round for Lilith’s wickedly salacious retelling of classic stories from around the world. Be prepared to see the darker side of heroes and heroines and to have illuminated the twisted motives of your favorite villains. Once upon a time…but only rarely happily ever after.

The Rise of the British Vampire with Nicole Salomone—Come learn about a time in English history when the lines between life and death were blurred due to medical misunderstandings. You’ll hear about the fear and commonality of being buried alive and the lengths people went to in order to control that fear.

Soul Sucking Snow Women with Sarah Hodge-Wetherbe—​Japan has a long tradition of monsters, demons, and ghosts in their folklore. Anime has dipped into these stories and brought them to a worldwide audience. We’ll be sharing some of the weirdest and spookiest of the supernatural tradition, and see how anime is adapting them for a worldwide audience.

Teen Wolf and Japanese Myth—Japanese myth and folklore made its way into Teen Wolf during Season 3b. Here we will be talking about the Kitsune myth, how it is portrayed on the show, and the original Japanese myth.

The Forgotten Thirteen—Throughout history, we have heard that the number thirteen is a special number. In mythology, mysticism, and theology, the number appears as the position that is forgotten and foreboded. Come join this panel to explore the oddity and connections that is the Forgotten Thirteen.

Twerk or Treat: Twerking in that Cosplay Making it Werk—Need to let off some steam? Want to do it in the silliest way possible? Join Hunty and the Gathers to learn how to twerk in your cosplay!

Vampires in Anime & Manga with Patrick Drazen—Despite the romanticized image in the west, vampires in anime/manga are either viewed as comic figures or monsters. Author Patrick Drazen looks at the history of the characters.

Yurei, Yokai, & School Girls—This panel will take a look at Japanese myth & lore shown in various anime as well as list the various types of yurei, yokai, and oni that tend to pop up.


A+ in Anime—Are you a student who wants to watch, draw, or read anime and manga at school? A teacher or home educator looking for ideas in your classroom for your disengaged otaku students? A parent looking for reasons why these big-eyed cartoons your children are obsessed with might actually be good for them? This panel is a hands-on approach to learning from and working with anime in English, Science, and Social Studies that is middle and high school student-appropriate, providing ideas, resources, and lessons that you can take home with you and try in your classroom.

Advanced Japanese Rope Bondage (18+)—Do you already know a few knots, or have you been to the Basic Rope Bondage panel already? If so, come on down for some more advanced techniques! We’ll be going over Takate Kote (Japanese box tie), futomomo, non-rope bondage, and how to use everything in both panels in a practical environment. Attendance of the basic course is recommended, but not required.

Affording the Scene (18+)—When beginning your journey into the scene, many things can be intimidating—finding a play partner, attending your first event, or even purchasing your first toys. Affording toys and events shouldn’t have to be one of the things. The purpose of this discussion-based class is to aid in the journey into the lifestyle and help you afford the scene on a budget while still having a blast!

Anime and Manga in Libraries: Yomiko Readman’s My Hero with Sarah Hodge-Wetherbe—Ever wonder how to get your local library to carry your favorite manga series? Whose car do you have to wash to get the library to have an anime club? Why is “Loveless” classified as an Adult Graphic novel? We’ll discuss how libraries work, how they are catching up with anime and manga fans, and how you can help your local library become anime savvy!

Art Legal Issue Panel—Where is the legal line drawn with fanart? What happens if you get hit with a Cease and Desist order? How do you protect your original work? Real life advice from a real life attorney.

Beginner Japanese Rope Bondage (18+)—Sciguy has been rigging for BDSM for over eight years. Let him show you the ropes and learn the basics of how to tie up your partner! This is an introductory panel that will go over safety, basic single and two-column restraints, harnesses, and will include demos.

Conventions for “Everyone!”—If you have someone with special needs, or have special needs yourself, come to this panel. We will discuss how to go about a convention when you get on overload from the size of the crowd to standing in long lines, how to support those you care about when you know nothing about anime or cosplay, and what conventions have to offer you so you can have a great time.

Cloud Age Symphony with Sarah Hodge-Wetherbe—Steampunk and its various spin-off genres have influenced anime for years. In this panel we look at the anime that have taken inspiration from steampunk and examine how anime has in turn influenced some aspects of steampunk.

Fan Fiction 101: The Attack of the Mary Sues with Sarah Hodge-Wetherbe—What’s a fan who truly loves their fandom to do when the property just isn’t enough? Write your own stories based on the fandom of course! In this workshop, we’ll talk about the history of fan fiction in America and move on to legal issues, critique, and avoiding the pitfalls of bad fan fiction writing.

Frolicking Animals and the Origins of Anime—In peaceful Kōzan-ji in Kyoto, monks maintain a 1000-year watch over a quartet of scrolls whose origins and significance remain a mystery. The scrolls depict pastoral scenes of human-like animals playing, warring, and going about their daily lives. Panelists Robert and Peggy Zelenka and Lee Cannon invite you to view images and replicas of the original scrolls and weigh in on the question of whether and how such wordless scrolling stories may have played a role in the development of Japanese graphic arts.

History of Japanese Rope Bondage (18+)—We’ve seen the modern interpretations of the techniques the Japanese created hundreds of years ago, but where did they all come from? Join Sciguy as he discusses the historical context of rope in Japan, how rope fit within the social class system, and how it was used for torture and punishment.

Holy Anime! with Patrick Drazen—Christianity has been an outsider religion in Japan for five centuries, and the Japanese have taken a LOT of liberties with it. Author Patrick Drazen looks at some of these variations, from the strange to the blasphemous.

Homosexuality in Japan (18+)—We’ll provide an overview of homosexuality in Japan, both from a historical and contemporary perspective from erotic prints, short stories, television shows, movies, women’s boy’s love manga, and men’s comics.

Hojojutsu: The Warrior’s Rope with Lord Ramirez—Hojojutsu is the feudal Japanese martial art of taking down and restraining an enemy with rope. This art, which began on the battlefields, blossomed during the Edo period and is even taught to modern Japanese police today. Join Lord Ramirez for a fascinating look into the history and techniques of this art.

How to Mentally Survive a Con—Do you feel like it’s impossible to make friends when you’re at an anime convention? Do you feel overwhelmed when you’re surrounded by thousands and thousands of people? Do you have a feeling that nobody would understand what you’re going through? You’re not alone! In this panel we’ll discuss on ways to make things better when you’re suffering all kind of anxieties and social disorders.

Japanese Fan Dancing with Lord Ramirez—Did you ever want to learn how to flip open a fan or do all those pretty moves you saw in Memoirs of a Geisha? Join Lord Ramirez for a class on how to do all those fancy fan tricks, and learn some of the basic movements with the Japanese folding fan. Students should be prepared to move and bring with them a sturdy folding fan to practice with.

Kawaii Culture—The kawaii craze is sweeping Asia by storm! But what is “kawaii” anyway? Surely it means “cute,” but there’s much more to it than that! Come learn about all things kawaii, moe, and aegyo, and how it’s becoming a lifestyle overseas! Also find out how and where to get all of the cute clothes, accessories, and collectibles yourself!

Koto with Kyoko Okamoto—World-renowned koto player Kyoko Okamoto will present a short concert on this amazing traditional instrument, while discussing the history of koto music in Japan and the education and skills required to successfully play it.

NOT By the Book: Western Lit in Anime with Patrick Drazen (18+)—Adapting a book to another medium always brings challenges. Author Patrick Drazen shows that some western classics have been turned into classic anime.

Oicho Kabu: The Card Game of the Yakuza with Lord Ramirez—Oicho Kabu is the traditional gambling game of the Yakuza. Join Lord Ramirez as he explains its history and teaches you how to play. He will show you the traditional cards and how you can play this game with a western deck.

Okinawan Karate for Self-Defense—Learn what original Okinawan karate is all about as you acquire practical, so-easy-a-child-can-do-it self-defense techniques. Real, effective karate doesn’t require backflips, board breaking, or years of studying in a temple, but those do help.

Panelist Community Discussion—A panel by panelists for panelists! Whether you’re a seasoned veteran, a complete newbie, or even just considering running a panel, come join us. This will be a roundtable style panel where we’ll discuss how to run a panel, how to work together with convention staff, and what tips and tricks us old folks have discovered over the years. Shameless promotion of your own panel is encouraged!

Psycho Pass: Truth and Lies of a Dystopian World—Do you love Psycho Pass? If yes, come and discuss with us the art and architecture, society and legal issues, neurology and psychology, philosophy and literature, music, characters, and story design of the series and how these elements and their interplay build the dystopia presented in Psycho Pass.

Tea Ceremony—Please join Chado Urasenke Tankokai Washington DC as they present a traditional Japanese tea ceremony. They will discuss the history, importance, and skills associated with different elements of the practice and answer any questions people might have.

The Art of Tsuri Zeme with Lord Ramirez (18+)—Just as the cherry blossom floats gently in the sky, so does she, bound in a kimono, float in the air…Tsuri Zeme, the art of Japanese rope suspension, is an art normally reserved for seedy nightclubs in Roppongi. Join Lord Ramirez for a chance to experience this unique performance experience. He will give us a little background, the performance itself, and finally a Q&A session to ask questions with him and his model. Attendance will be limited based on the space available. No photography will be allowed.

The Future of Mental Illness Research—A presentation and discussion of recent research findings in schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, and other mental illnesses. We will also discuss the recent efforts aimed toward reforming diagnostic definitions of mental illnesses and how they are intended to help researchers gain better insight into the neurobiology of mental illness.

When Otaku Attack with Sarah Hodge-Wetherbe—Fandoms are wonderful communities, but like all communities they have a dark side. From body-shaming cosplayers to sexual harassment at con, there are many problems within the fan community. We’ll examine the many issues that come up in fan communities and talk about ways to help make them welcoming for all fans.

When Senpai Notices You: Kink Edition (18+)
When Senpai Notices You: Advanced Kink Edition (18+)—We will be discussing the safety and feasibility of BDSM acts seen in popular hentai, video games, anime, and manga. BDSM is something that must be done properly to ensure the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of all participants. Unfortunately hentai, anime, video games, and manga do not typically follow these procedures, and hentai lovers were unintentionally hurting themselves and others without proper education. Our class was inspired by several such incidents, and we want to educate people on how to properly practice BDSM. We will talk about what is safe to do in real life, what can seriously hurt a partner, and good safety precautions that should be taken for various scenes. We will demonstrate on a demo bottom how to properly perform many of the common acts and present widely-accepted safety precautions to take. We will have a Q&A session at the end and are happy to talk about anything from our panel to the demos seen to our lifestyle. Our goal is to educate, point out great resources, and promote safe, sane, and consensual kink and BDSM.

World of Tea—Ever wonder what goes in to a delicious cup of tea? How to brew the perfect cup? Well come on down to find out the differences in oolongs, whites, blacks, greens, herbals, and chais. All are delicious, some more so than others.

Theme—Exploring Japan

50 Things to Try in Tokyo with Aeric Holbrook—From the ultramodern to the long preserved customs, this city offers it all. But when you want that full Tokyo experience, where do you start? Here’s your plan of action for that trip to Tokyo!

A Day in the Life of a Japanese Student with Aeric Holbrook—From senpai and bento to cram school and the sports club. You’ve seen Japanese students featured throughout a number of popular series. In this panel you can learn all about their daily lives and experiences.

A Study Abroad Guide to Japan with Aeric Holbrook—Before you hop a plane to the island nation, make sure you’re prepared to go! This panel offers valuable tips on everything you can do to prepare from one year to one day before you leave to study abroad in Japan and more.

Everything You Should Know Before You Go to Japan! with Aeric Holbrook—What does “this” gesture mean? Where can I study manga? What’s in Nagoya? Does everyone watch Naruto in Japan? When you say the centipedes are deadly, how deadly are we talking about? Just a few things you may want to know before you go to Japan.

History of Japanese Travel—For centuries, people have been traveling throughout Japan for business, pleasure, religious pilgrimages, sightseeing, trade, and more. Foreign tourists have been visiting for centuries, even during the closed Edo era. Come learn a bit about the history of travel in Japan and why journeys in the past aren’t that much different than ones people take today.

Japanese Pilgrimage—So, it’s time for you to take that step and go to Japan for that life-altering experience. But there’s more than just Tokyo to explore. Come join us in going through the many types of Japanese trips you can take, including a few actual pilgrimages. We’ll show you what to bring and buy, and how to prepare your mind, body, and wallet.

Kabuki Fusion with Lord Ramirez—Kumadori, the elaborate makeup used in Kabuki theatre, is quite visually impacting. In this panel, Lord Ramirez will enlighten us as to its use in Kabuki and what these elaborately painted faces tell us about the character. Then he will show us in a live demonstration how we can paint these designs on ourselves using modern stage makeup.

One Week in Japan: Go Big or Stay Home—Going to Japan for only one week, but want to do more than the basics? From idol shows to themed cafés, to the cosplay studio and Japan’s oldest amusement park, join us for a look at some things to make a week in Japan extra amazing!

What’s the Difference: Visiting Japan vs. South Korea—Thinking about traveling in Asia? Know before you go! In this panel we will talk about the major differences between traveling in Japan and South Korea and what you should expect and plan for.

You, Your Backpack, and the 47 Prefectures of Japan with Aeric Holbrook—Have you ever experienced the food mecca of Hokkaido, the Tsukuba Space Center in Ibaraki, or the coastal sand dunes of Tottori? Come explore the food, regional cultures, natural vistas, and great innovations of the 47 prefectures of Japan.

General Topics

10 Unforgettable Sega Saturn Games—A look back at some of the defining moments and undiscovered gems of one of Sega’s flagship consoles that revolutionized the era. Must-have domestic and import coverage and info for collectors , and some awesome surprises!

Art Guests Panel—Come meet some of our Anime USA official artists!

Avoiding Con Crash with Lilith Lore—Join personal trainer and long-time con attendee Lilith Lore for a discussion of how best to avoid and mitigate the doldrums we all experience after returning home from a convention.

Con Staff After Dark—Akin to the ever- popular “Guests Uncensored” but with current (and former) convention staffers. There will be stories, tales, and fun times!

Fan Wrangling Basics—Ever considered running a large fandom event but weren’t sure where to start? Then this is the panel for you! Join experienced photoshoot and panel runners for tips and tricks on how to execute a successful event, from planning the initial details to the day of the event itself.

Hangover Release with Lilith Lore—Personal trainer Lilith Lore will lead the group through a series of stretches and light movement to help wake you up and banish that hangover. Wear comfortable clothes and bring your yoga mats and water bottles if you’ve got them!

Harrumph! High Class, High Proof (18+)—Those lovable, lucrative, and last-but-not-least LOADED mustached mountebanks are back for their 3RD ANIMEUSA APPEARANCE! Join the league of distinguished gentlemen as they show you what it means to be high class all while consuming the finest high proof drinks! They will teach you what it means to stand straight, fly right, toast a glass, throw down, and look gosh darn good doing it. If you cannot fathom or even have no desire to acquire, fret not: they’ll educate you anyway. So join our comedy show that will send your mustache a- twirling and where envelopes will be pushed, licked, and delivered!

Harry Potter Time Turner Party (18+)—What would you do with a Time Turner? Help save Buckbeak? Free Sirius? Or just spend an hour doing unspeakable things to the Harry Potter canon? Crackpot fan theories, bad erotic writings, and more await at the Time Turner’s party. And afterward, we’ll turn the clock back and it’ll be like it never happened.

Hotel Tours—Come take a tour of the hotel so you’re ready to hit the ground running Friday. Tours leave on the half hour.

Keyblade Jeopardy—Think you know the deepest secrets of the Kingdom Hearts series? Attend for a chance to compete or watch an intense game of jeopardy. All participants win nerdy prizes!

Kigurumi Party (18+)—Come grab a drink and hang out in your Kigurumi.

Man At Arms—Join Matt Stagmer and Ilya Alekseyev from the popular YouTube series MAN AT ARMS:REFORGED. Teamed with other talented craftsmen, they bring to life the most requested fantasy arms and armor from your favorite video games, anime, and other pop culture genres.

NeuroDecoding—Introductory lecture covering current research in reading minds by decoding brain signals obtained from diverse methods. Includes topics in electroencephalography (EEG), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and brain implants, as well as how these tools are used to allow people to operate machines with their minds.

Serenity Found with Sarah Hodge-Wetherbe—American folklore, mythological archetypes, and clashing cultures are just some of what made Joss Wheadon’s cult classic series ‘Firefly” so successful. In this workshop, we will discuss the elements of the show that tap into these areas, and explore why the program has such a long lasting fan following.

Single Mingle Game Night—Returning for the fourth year at AUSA is the ever-popular, Single Mingle Game Night! Looking to make some friends at the con? This is the place for you! SMGN is a board game party where you can break the ice by rolling dice. The best people in the world art congoers, so join us for a fun time and leave with some new friends.

Social Media Panel with Mikomi Chan of Mikomi’s Costumed World—Do you have a new online shop where you sell amazing geek themed accessories? Do you have a new comic you’re trying to develop? In this panel, learn the ins and outs of how to market yourself on the final marketing frontier: social media.

Welcome to Night Vale—A live performance of the popular podcast “Welcome to Night Vale.” We will perform two episodes.

Writing Discussions—Returning for the fourth year at AUSA, we will be having an open discussion about writing in all forms. Whether you write fanfics, manga, or are mapping out a novel, you’re welcome to join us and talk about the various stages of writing and what works for you. This is a fun opportunity to network with other writers and learn tips and tricks of the trade.

So You Want To Staff A Con…-Ever wonder what makes a con tick? Been wondering how to get your foot in the door? Join Anime USA’s Convention Chair as he pulls back the curtain with anecdotes, insights, and answers about what really goes on behind the scenes.

AMV (Anime Music Video)

2015 AUSA AMV Contest Screening—Welcome to the 2015 AUSA AMV contest! Come see what the editors, new and old, have come up with this year! This year you’ll be voting for best in each category, and then we’ll tally all the votes and the video with the most will be the overall contest winner. Every vote counts! Don’t forget to give your ballots to the judges as you leave!

After Hours AMV Showcase (18+)—This year we have some new and some old AMVs that cannot be shown to a general audience!

AMV Award Ceremony—Come find out the winners of the 2015 AUSA AMV Contest! Any editors in the audience will receive their rewards right then and there!

AMV Closedown Showcase—Thank you for coming to our convention and visiting the AMV Track Programming this year! Come see highlights of the whole weekend!

AMV Coordinator Thoughts! by Jon Webb—Ever wonder what would inspire someone to step into an established AMV track? How about what would inspire someone to start an AMV track at a convention that doesn’t have one? I’ll tell you how I became the Coordinator of AUSA’s AMV Track Programing as well as what I like about AMVs in general.

AMV Experience Panel by Gene Starwind—This panel will showcase some of my favorite AMVs of all time and share my experience in the AMV editing community over the past 13 years. Come see some of the most inspirational AMVs and what AMVs from the early 2000s looked like, to the AMVs of today.

AMV Hell 6.66: This is (Not) The End (18+)—What better way to finish Halloween but with this installment of AMV HELL! Come see what is coming and what was done!

AMV Hell 7 (18+)—Once again Anime USA is proud to present AMV Hell 7. Come see what could be some of the funniest jokes!

AMV Launch Showcase—Missed last year’s AMV contest? Well you’re in luck! We’ll play last year’s contest and some other AMVs to pep you up for the rest of the weekend!

AMV Showcase—A general showing of AMVs from past and present, new and old editors!

Concept and Theories / Basics of AMV Editing Pt.2 by Gene Starwind—Come join Gene Starwind 21122 for a talk about what makes a great AMV and what hurts it. We’ll show some examples that execute ideas well and some that do not, along with the basic techniques used to create an AMV: storyboarding, gathering clips, analyzing music, and much more.

Fanboy Soze/Showcase—Scott Melzer and NoN.D.E. Films are here with another parody! This time it is Fanboy Soze vs. The Reanimators of the Otakulypse. Come find out what happens in our near future! Perhaps it is an alternate reality!

Game AMVs by Bridget Corcoran—When you see the term AMV, you may think it will be something to do with anime, but there are many AMVs done with video games. Come see a brief and rough history on game AMVs.

Halloween/Horror AMV Contest (18+)—Welcome to Halloween! This year the AUSA AMV Staff would love to show you what the editors thought could horrify and scare you! After the contest viewing, the AUSA AMV Staff will play some more horror themed AMVs!

Highly Influential AMV’s by Justin Davis—Did you know AMVs have been around for quite some time? Even the best editors need to get inspiration from somewhere! From the old skool to the new cool, come join us for the most influential AMVs of all time!

Horror AMV Showcase (18+)—Come see more AMVs that will horrify and scare you!

How Not to Make an AMV by Bridget Corcoran—So you got a really cool idea for an AMV? Well, some cool ideas turn out to be not the best. For ages, people used lead-based paint even though it’s not a great substance for humans to be around! Come and hear about some ideas that sound great in your head but aren’t so good in reality!

Intro to Editing in Sony Vegas by Megan Miranda—Editing AMVs can be a very daunting task. There are many tools available; one of the easier tools to work with is the Sony Vegas editor suite of programs. Come learn the basics of editing AMVs with Sony Vegas!

Judging an AMV contest by Jon Webb and the AMV Staff—Ever wondered what the judges go through when getting these contests ready? This is my second year as AUSA’s AMV Track Coordinator, and I would love to share my experiences with you and give insight on what we judges look for in your AMVs and what pitfalls to avoid.

Mad Skills from a Mad Editor by Kevin Latchford (18+)—Come hear producer and editor Kevin Latchford talk about his various video projects. You’ll find out great ways to get inspired to create outstanding works, figure out how to cut scenes with precision, block sequences like a pro, and how to get the best materials for anime music videos.

This is Otakudom!—Scott Melzer and NoN.D.E. Films used footage from several anime series, most notably Fushigi Yugi, combined with original voice acting, to tell the story of Suzie Sweetrie and her friends, who decide on a whim to attend Otakon.


All About Spandex—Everything you need to know about sewing and crafting with this amazing super stretchy fabric. From super hero costumes to robotic armor, this fabric can do almost anything.

Ancient Japanese Costuming with Kass McGann—Most of us think of the Heian period (794-1172) as “Ancient Japan.” But Japan (and Japanese Costume) was around for centuries before that. Come to this lecture and learn about what the residents of Amato wore before Heian-jidai.

Back In My Day: Conventions and Cosplay In The Last 10 Years—The world of cosplay and conventions has made leaps and bounds over the last ten years, sometimes for good and sometimes for bad. Join us for a discussion on the pros and cons of the growth and changes of the community with our panel of seasoned veterans.

Colourful Steampunk with Kass McGann—Do you want to do Steampunk but hate brown? Nullify that monochromatic nonsense! There is no reason Steampunk can’t be colourful. Learn about the Victorian origin of brightly-colored clothing and bust the myth that people in the past were dressed drab.

Con-safe Katana: How to Make and Modify with Shikarius—“What do you mean I can’t carry a pointy steel katana in a crowd!?” Everything you need to know about scratch-making and modifying prop katana that conform to most any convention prop policy and are built to travel! We’ll cover different raw materials, necessary tools, and pattern considerations as well as what to look for in a pre-made base. We’ll discuss various methods of blade finishing, tsuka (hilt) wrapping, tsuba (guard) construction, and ornamentation as time allows.

Con and Cosplay Etiquette: Uncensored Edition (18+)—We all have those things about conventions we love…and things we don’t like so much. Want to voice your opinion about the convention culture and the do’s and don’ts? Come join our discussion about the good, the bad, and the ugly of the convention world.

Cos Play cost Mon Nae—What if people had free access to a business attorney who could show them how to turn their love for cosplay into a profitable business? Well you don’t want to miss this panel. Join “The Dutchess of Justice” attorney Shena Dixon Mason as she explains why and how people would want to create a business around their love for anime.

Cosplay and Consent—Learn first hand from “The Dutchess of Justice, Protector of Niota” attorney, Shena Dixon Mason, Esquire, on the legal ramifications of cosplay and consent.

Cosplay Dance-off—The 10th anniversary of the Cosplay Dance-off is here, with colorful costumed dancers of your favorite characters dance battling it out to the beats of DJ Nak.

Cosplay: Living in Costume—Have you ever wanted to get into cosplay but aren’t sure how? Have you ever just wanted to learn about cosplay or know what it’s like in the eyes of a cosplayer? Here’s your chance. This panel will talk about the struggles, joys, and fears of cosplay and con life. Learn about what goes on behind the scenes with cosplayers, how we function as a family, and all the make up, sweat, and tears that goes into getting the best costume.

Cosplay Photography Master Class with Anna Fischer—Have a well-rounded grasp on how to take photos and want to push your skills to the limit? This panel is focused on advanced skills to push photography to the professional level.

Cosplaying in Japan: How, Where, and Why! with Shikarius—Comiket, CosDay, Cosplay Photo Studios, Cosplay Purikura! Cosplaying while in Japan can be an exciting concept, but a little difficult to plan for without a strong grasp of the language. Cosplayers Shikarius and Kazu will attempt to demystify several aspects of cosplaying in Tokyo, from costume buying and studio reservation to large-scale cosplay event etiquette. Special consideration will be paid to the social and logistical differences between US and Japanese cosplay gatherings with an emphasis on… not getting arrested!?

CosplayNYC Magazine Presents: Be A Poser—Have you ever tried to figure out what pose to do when photographers suddenly ask for a picture at conventions? Ever wonder what to do during photo shoots? We have all the tips to make sure you and your cosplays look the best in photos.

Embellishment for Cosplay 101: Shine Bright Like Swarovski! with Shikarius—In the first of two panels on embellishment, we’ll focus on determining how to embellish an otherwise flatly or plainly drawn costume to create visual appeal and depth. Taking inspiration from Broadway, circus costumes, and the like, we’ll discuss basic methods of embellishment such as the use of textured accents, rhinestone application, tone-on-tone painting, lace overlays, basic beading, and controlled glitter application(!?!). No experience is required!

Embellishment for Cosplay 9001: The Masochism Tango with Shikarius—In the second of two panels on embellishment, we’ll discuss more complex (read: masochistic) methods of costume embellishment derived from couture fashion and theater. Topics covered include large coverage beading, tambour beading for both beads and sequins, metal thread goldwork, and decorative cover embroidery. Special emphasis will be placed on fitting the methods of embellishment to both the project and fabric. Previous sewing experience recommended, but not required!

Firefly Costuming with Kass McGann—Although short-lived, the costuming on Firefly was distinctive and greatly representative of Joss Whedon’s ‘Verse. More than 10 years later it’s still nearly unmistakable for anything else. What made it so? Come hear about the cultural influences that went into the costuming on “Firefly” and how series Costume Designer Shawna Trpcic used aspects of the traditional clothing of different cultures to evoke the multicultural atmosphere of Joss Whedon’s setting for the show.

Framing Cosplay Identities and Sacred Spaces—A brief history of cosplay and conventions in the United States. Discuss in an open form cosplay, fandom, and conventions. Where do you cosplay? How do you chose your character and why? Does your neighborhood/city have a cosplay community or similar fandom group? What are the current trends and issues in the community? What are the effects of mainstream media representation?

Look Better In or Take Better Photographs with Anna Fischer—Every cosplayer and cosplay photographer wishes to create better shots of cosplayers in character. Here, a cosplayer can learn how to better arrange themselves for photos, and photographers can learn new skills towards snapping even better shots.

Love Your Cosplay Body—Tired of limiting yourself based on your size, height, race, or gender? Tired of not being as happy in your cosplay as you should be? Come to the Love Your Cosplay Body panel and we will show you tips and tricks to make you love your body and be more confident in your cosplays and in the real world. We will discuss a range of topics from costume construction to dealing with bullies. Cosplay is for everyone! All are welcome!

Makeup and Prosthetic Effects—Everything from prosthetics and appliances to body paint and SFX makeup, come check out some expert techniques and learn how to make your personal makeup last. We will also be covering makeup types and cheap ways to fill in your kit!

Men’s Fashion History for Steampunk with Kass McGann—What “period” is Steampunk? From the Regency to the Gilded Age, we’ll take a look at men’s costume history and talk about the historical garments and accessories that are most often used in Steampunk costumes.

Mold Making and Materials—If you ever wonder how those great props of resin and rubber are made, you can come check out the Materials and Mold Making demonstration with MabieKnot Designs and Cosplay. We will cover just about everything you would want to know to get started in the world of Silicone, latex, resin, and MORE!

Neko Chan/Kun: Making Cat Faces With Makeup with Lord Ramirez—In this workshop Lord Ramirez will be teaching you how to design cat faces using theatrical makeup and prosthetics. He will be showing you the designs for both male and female faces.

Photography on Location with Anna Fischer—Cosplayers and photographers can sometimes be limited in places to shoot at a convention. Learn how to use the available space in unique ways in order to capture amazing cosplay photographs.

Professor Fuzzle’s Impractical Contraptions—Have you ever wanted to build your own mechanical fist? Have you ever wished to create a cane for any occasion? Do you have an idea for your very own prop, but just can’t get it on paper? Fear not! Professor Fuzzle is here to guide you through the treacherous waters of Steampunk Prop creation. With a plethora of props and advice for inspiration, we will turn your dreams into clockwork reality.

Reenactment as Cosplay with Kass McGann—Both dress up in outfits no one outside the hobby understands. Both spend tons of time and money on their gear. Both are passionate about getting things right. Are Historical Reenactors and Cosplayers in opposition? Or are we all part of the same club? Let’s discuss it together.

Samurai Armor Construction—The Samurai dominated Feudal Japan until 1868. The armor is one of the most recognizable items in anime and games. Learn how to begin constructing your suit of armor for cosplay or SCA purposes. Learn all of the major parts of a suit of armor, their proper names, and how to assemble so that you may fight for your lord (or conquer Japan should the need arise).

Screw Your Passion: Turn Your Hobby Into a Real Business with Kass McGann—Lots of websites and books will tell you how to follow your passion and find your dream job. I’m telling you that’s rot! Not everything you love can earn you a living. But you can make money doing something related to your hobby. Come find out how Kass McGann fell in love with historical clothing and then figured out how to turn it into her living. She’s run Reconstructing History patterns for 12 years, so she must know what she’s doing!

Steampunk 101—Join Anime USA’s favorite steampunks for their fourth annual civilized discussion about steampunk fashion and culture. Learn the difference between gaiters and spats, find out how to repurpose your grandmother’s old mink collars, and debate if boho steampunk is really a thing or just a way to be lazy while putting together your costume. We’ll also take a crack at if steampunk is a lifestyle or a fandom, and how you too can become the sort of person who has elegant Edwardian dinner parties.

The History of Cross-Cultural Fashion Borrowing with Kass McGann—Ever seen those 18th century French paintings of French women dressed as harem girls? What about the fashion for all things Japanese in the 1890s? Did you know there was even a brief trend for ruffs and breeches in 16th century Japan? Cross-cultural fashion borrowing has been going on about as long as humans had other cultures from whom to borrow. This lecture will explore the interesting and weird borrowings throughout history.

Women’s Fashion History for Steampunk with Kass McGann—What “period” is Steampunk? From the Regency to the Gilded Age, we’ll take a look at women’s costume history and talk about the historical garments and accessories that are most often used in Steampunk costumes.

What Shape Does That Make with Kass McGann—Ever looked at a costume and were just completely baffled how to make fabric make those shapes? Come learn how to look at a picture or garment that you want to make and determine if you should cut a circle skirt or a trumpet skirt, if the sleeves are simple tubes or trumpet shaped, if a bodice has darts in it or not, etc. Includes a super-secret link to a PDF showing all the shapes discussed in the panel and more!

Five Questions With Man-At-Arms: Ilya Alekseyev and Matt Stagmer

Ilya Alekseyev

Matt Stagmer

1. First off, tell us more about yourself and what you do!
Matt: I am a full time sword maker. I spend my working hours grinding 95% of all blades that come out of BKS. I enjoy comic books and movies. I have been a hardcore gamer my whole life. I am the leader of the oldest FPS gaming clan in the world (CYBA). I am currently playing CS:Go and League of Legends primarily.

Ilya: I started doing swords and armor professionally when I needed a job in graduate school studying philosophy. I primarily focus on competition grade, high end armor for Battle of Nations. When the Man at Arms project came around, I found the idea of making anime, pop culture, and video game weapons and armor for the viewer’s entertainment to be a dandy idea.

2. What’s your favorite thing about Japan? Do you have a favorite anime?
Matt:My favorite thing about Japan is the craftsmanship that goes into smithing and other artistic avenues. My favorite Anime at the moment is the Fate series. I am more of a gamer then Anime fan, but I dabble.

Illya: Ink painting and the food are my two favorite things about Japan.
The choice for my favorite anime is between Inuyasha, Kamisama Hajimemashita, and Nisekoi.

3. How did you get involved in blacksmithing? What’s your favorite piece that you’ve done on the channel?
Matt: I started down the blacksmithing path when I was in high school and needed a job. It fit with all of my artistic and engineering training and I never have done anything else since. My favorite piece that we have build on the show so far is the scissor blade. It’s the piece that changed everything for us. Once we stepped up the game on that episode we raised the bar and have had a high-level difficulty in at least two builds a season ever since.

Ilya: I got involved because of my medieval reenactment background. My favorite piece is Saber’s Excalibur, with the Skyrim helmet being a close runner up.

4. Can you tell us more about one of your panels?
Both: Our panels are unique. We really open ourselves up to the crowd and field a ton of questions. We don’t shy away from anything. Ilya and I have very contrasting perspective on things and keep the crowd lively with our banter. Our goal is to give the attendees a unique look into the challenges faced with bringing huge, wacky and sometimes poorly designed arms and armor into real life. We also give an in depth look at how we choose the builds for the episodes and some background on the craftsmen. We bring several pieces that we have made and talk about them in detail.

5. Finally, what are you most excited for at Anime USA?
Matt:I am most excited about connecting with the fans. We don’t come to make money. I am slo excited to meet the cast of Cowboy Beebop and other guests. Of course I am always excited to see what crazy cosplays the community comes up with.

Ilya: I’m most excited for the Host Club.

AnimeUSA Welcomes Anna Fischer

Anna FischerRounding off our guest announcements is Anna Fischer, fine art and cosplay photographer extraordinaire! She’s taken her talents around the world, from Iceland to Malibu and everywhere in-between! She’s worked for publications such as Anime Insider, Time Out New York, The Wall Street Journal and more! You’ll be able to learn the tricks of the trade as she hosts several panels on photography, including how to take advantage of our hotel for shots!