The Guests of Honor - 14th Impact
In 2013, Japan Expo hosted no less than 232 876 attendees around a hundred guests, delighted to meet them and share their passion. Among them, the Guests of Honor invited you into their universes, highlighting some of the most striking aspects of Japanese pop culture: manga, animation, video games, and J-music.
With an outstanding conference, signings and an exhibit, Hokuto no Ken’s 30th anniversary was celebrated in the best way with Tetsuo HARA himself as the Manga Guest of Honor of the festival. On Thursday, Friday, and Sunday, he gave autographs and many fans were present to get one from the great mangaka.
On Sunday, along with his publisher of old, Nobuhiko HORIE, he went back over his career and the evolution of his style during a conference that proved to be both enlightening and fun, on the main stage. He talked about the birth and history of Hokuto no Ken, a cult series in 90s, before tackling other projects marked out his career such as Souten no Ken or more recently Ikusa no Ko, a historical manga about Nobunaga ODA, a major daimyo in Japanese History. You also admired a giant original illustration from that new title.
Like every year, Japan Expo dedicated an exhibit to its Manga Guest of Honor: Tetsuo Hara, a 30 years’ fight. At the heart of the exhibit stood a giant statue of Raoh and his horse.
Animation had pride of honor thanks to a great Anime Guest of Honor, a genius of mecha-design and animation direction: Shôji KAWAMORI. Present on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, he gave signing sessions everyday (5 in all!), two conferences, and presented the screening of Macross F - Sayonara no Tsubasa. He also visited the Live House, among the audience this time, during May’n’s show, the singer being the voice of Sheryl Nome in Macross Frontier.
During the first conference, he went back over his career: 30 years of success! From Macross to AKB0048 (an episode of which was also showed during the festival), Vision of Escaflowne, Macross Plus, or Eureka Seven AO and starting with Ulysse 31 for which he came up with the idea of the Odysseus, he mentioned every step in his career, talked about his passions and inspirations, which he often finds travelling. He ended the conference drawing a big illustration live.
Shôji KAWAMORI took part in another conference about the Satelight studio for which he’s working along with Thomas ROMAIN, also part of the event. Both artists mentioned their common projects, the series Basquash and AKB0048, or the forthcoming Nobunaga the Fool. Thomas ROMAIN was back on Sunday with the whole team of the ongoing Les Deux Reines for a presentation Shôji KAWAMORI attended as a member of the audience.
5 Video Game Guests of Honor with Square Enix
Video game fans were spoiled this year at Japan Expo with up to 5 Guests of Honor from two of Square Enix main licenses, Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts: Shinji HASHIMOTO, Yoshinori KITASE, Motomu TORIYAMA, Naoki YOSHIDA, and a last minute guest, Tetsuya NOMURA.
The 5 video game stars were meeting their fans during signing sessions and on stage with two conferences and exclusive revelations. During the first one on Thursday, dedicated to Final Fantasy, Yoshinori KITASE unveiled a few secrets about the upcoming Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster, followed by Motomu TORIYAMA, come for the first time at Japan Expo to introduce Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, and by Naoki YOSHIDA, the producer and director of Final Fantasy XIV : A Realm Reborn.
The second conference on Saturday focused on Kingdom Hearts. After showing the latest trailer from Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX, Shinji HASHIMOTO mentioned the game specifics, with a few brand new revelations. For the occasion, Tetsuya NOMURA was also present on stage.
The 14th Impact Music Guests of Honor deserved their name well: the attendees of Japan Expo definitely had a crush on °C-ute. Lead by Suzuka from French TV channel Nolife, the conference the 5 idols gave, dressed in yukata, brought together a much interested and charmed audience.
For their first time in Paris, they had also performed on stage at La Cigale on Friday night and were back at Japan Expo on Saturday for two handshake sessions to meet their European fans!
Photos © Anadore; © Julien Chicoisne;
© Christophe Cussat-Blanc; © Incorp Agency - Guillaume Deperrois;
© Florent L'Hélias; © Audrey Marchand; © All rights reserved
- Square Enix conferences
- Tetsuo HARA
- Shôji KAWAMORI
- Shinji HASHIMOTO
- Yoshinori KITASE
- Motomu TORIYAMA
- Naoki YOSHIDA
- Square Enix's conference, the report!
- To Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts fans
- The second Square Enix conference made quite a lot of people happy!
- Tetsuo HARA proposed an exceptional masterclass on the main stage
- Shôji KAWAMORI has quite a career!