Source: Anime Expo News Release

LOS ANGELES (June 14, 2012) – Anime Expo (AX), North America’s largest anime, manga, and Japanese pop culture celebration, today announced three members of Madhouse studio’s “CHIHAYAFURU” creative team – Director Asaka Morio, Animation Director Kunihiko Hamada and Animation Producer Takuya Tsunoki – as Official Guests of Honor when it returns to the Los Angeles Convention Center from June 29 – July 2, 2012. 

Asaka Morio joined Madhouse’s creative department after graduating from Osaka Designer’s College.  Morio made his debut as an episode director on the television series “YAWARA! A FASHIONABLE JUDO GIRL!.”  He is the director of “CARD CAPTOR SAKURA,” the highly regarded TV anime series adapted from CLAMP’s popular manga series of the same name.  He has also worked on “POPS”, “MERMAID SCAR”, “GALAXY ANGEL”, “CHOBITS”, “GUNSLIGER GIRL”, “CLAMP IN WONDERLAND”, and “NANA”.  Morio’s most recent directorial work is the critically acclaimed karuta-action series “CHIHAYAFURU”.

During his long tenure at Madhouse, Kunihiko Hamada has contributed to many popular animation series.  He teamed up with Director Morio Asaka on the animation adaption of “CARD CAPTOR SAKURA” (Animation Director), and “NANA” (Character Design & Chief Animation Director).  His other works as Chief Animation Director include, “ULTIMATE SURVIVOR KAIJI,” “MORYO NO HAKO,” “SUMMER WARS.”  Most recently, he joined forces with Morio again to adapt “CHIHAYAFURU” into animation.

Takuya Tsunoki began his career in animation at Madhouse.  As a young producer, he is with the studio today to help it create the future of animation.  Tsunoki has been involved in projects such as “NANA,” “KAIJI ULTIMATE SURVIVOR” and “CASSHERN SINS.”  He is making his debut as a production producer on the critically acclaimed “CHIHAYAFURU.”  Tsunoki is currently preparing an upcoming TV series with the Madhouse production team.

The Madhouse team joins the previously announced Anime Expo 2012 line-up that includes composer Yuki Kajiura/”FictionJunction;” anime-inspired heavy metal band ANIMETAL USA; Culture Japan’s Danny Choo; Fate/Zero” creative team Hikaru Konda, Ei Aoki and Rikiya Koyama; animation director Tatsuo Sato; voice actors Ryo Horikawa, Nobuhiko Okamoto, Jamie Marchi, Monica Rial, Steve Blum, Joel McDonald and Ian Sinclair; Japanese pop star LiSA, Lolita fashion designer Cyril Lumboy, Lolita model Misako Aoki; Tokyo-based Gallery of Fantastic Art and popular cosplayer Jessica Nigri.

About Anime Expo

Now in its 21st year, Anime Expo is North America’s larges celebration of anime, manga and Japanese pop culture. Anime Expo gives fans the rare opportunity to meet and hear from some of the most famous anime, manga, musical, game, and fashion artitsts from Japan. AX 2012 will feature and exciting schedule of exclusive screenings; artists’ panels; live concerts; cosplay; dance parties, karaoke, and video competitions; non-stop video gaming and unsurpassed shopping from more than 3,000 vendors. AX 2012 takes place June 29-July 2, 2012 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. To register or for more information, please visit Connect with Anime Expo on Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube.

About the Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation

The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA) is a non-profit organization whose mission is to popularize and educate the America public about anime and manga, as well as provide a forum to facilitate communication between professionals and fans. This organization is more popularly known by its entertainment property, Anime Expo®. For more information, please visit

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