Akumakon 2015 - Galway’s celebration of Japan and manga

Yutaka Yamamoto to be special guest at festival

The River Corrib and canals welkway off O'Brien's Bridge as depicted in the Japanese cartoon Fractale.

The River Corrib and canals welkway off O'Brien's Bridge as depicted in the Japanese cartoon Fractale.

YUTAKA YAMAMOTO, the Japanese animator and director who created a cartoon series set in Galway, will discuss how and why the city was such an inspiration to him, when he attends this year’s Akumakon festival.

Anime, Japan’s distinctive form of animation, and manga, Japan’s long tradition of comic books, will be celebrated during Akumakon 2015 - the largest convention for Japanese anime, manga, and culture in the west of Ireland - in NUI Galway from Friday January 16 to Sunday 19.

The special guest will be Mr Yamamoto, the director and founder of Japan’s Studio Ordet. He also directed Fractale, an anime series set in 22nd Century Ireland, and which used Galway locations such as the Salmon Weir Bridge, St Nicholas’ Collegiate Church, Shop Street, the city canals, and Anthony Ryan’s as a setting for a number of episodes.

Fractale RYANS/ST NICHOLAS'

He will also give a talk at Akumakon on Saturday 17 at 3.30pm, discussing how Galway inspired his, his work in general, and about how the animation industry works in Japan.

Another special guests is Patrick Seitz, a prolific voice actor, scriptwriter, and director from California, who has worked in the anime and gaming industries in America for almost 15 years. His anime roles include Ira Gamagori in Kill La Kill, Franky in One Piece, Sky High in Tiger & Bunny, Keith Shardis in Attack on Titan, Isshin Kurosaki and Kenpachi Zaraki in Bleach. He also voices a lead character in the new World of Warcraft expansion.

Also attending is Spike Spencer, who has voiced episodes of Evangelion, Bleach, Vampire Knight, Durarara!, Nura, Buso Renkin, and Redline. Cos Play superstar Giada Robin will also attend and judge the cosplay competitions.

Events run daily from 10am to 10pm and include screenings, signings, workshops, gaming tournaments, cos play masquerade, and author panels covering a wide range of subjects, including the language and literature of Japan. Wá cafe will host a traditional maid cafe. Traders will showcase the latest anime and cos play accessories.

Tickets are €5 for Mr Yamamoto’s talk or €25 for the full weekend of events. Tickets are available on the door. Proceeds will go to Jigsaw Galway, a free, non-judgmental and confidential support service for young people (15 - 25 ) in Galway city and county. See www.akumakon.com

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