Press Releases

May 29, 2007

News for Anime Expo 2007:

Anime Expo 2007 announces second US guest of honor

Nation's Largest Convention Teams Up with Sony Pictures Entertainment

Anaheim, California (May 29, 2007) -- TEKKONKINKREET director Michael Arias is the latest addition to the hottest line up of Anime Expo® 2007 Guests of Honors for the highly anticipated 2007 convention June 29-July 2 at the Long Beach Convention Center. More information can be found on the website TEKKONKINKREET is Arias' feature film directing debut and will be screened at Anime Expo® 2007 in 35 mm format on [TBD]. TEKKONKINKREET, the first feature-length anime film written and directed by American filmmakers, will release in limited theatres on July 13.

In TEKKONKINKREET, Michael Arias smoothly translates the unconventional work of popular "underground" manga artist Taiyo Matsumoto into a dynamic feature-length animated film. In the opening scene, a raven ominously soars across Tokyo's vast skies before diving down to saunter along the streets of a ramshackle old neighborhood. Good and evil play out mesmerizingly to the tune of progress, in the guise of real estate development. Originally published serially in the manga magazine Weekly Big Comic Spirits in 1993, the story revolves around two uncompromising street urchins--one of whom possesses magical powers and can be found in startling positions (atop telephone poles, for example, looking for lurking adult oppressors).

Michael Arias began his filmmaking career more than 20 years ago at Dream Quest Images, where he worked as a motion-control cameraperson on effects-heavy films such as THE ABYSS and TOTAL RECALL. Arias then worked under director Douglas Trumbull as Ride Programmer for Universal Studios' BACK TO THE FUTURE, THE RIDE, which to this day remains the gold standard in immersive entertainment. Mr. Arias then moved to Japan, first to post-production monolith Imagica, and then to game giant Sega, where he co-directed the ridefilm MEGALOPOLICE, exhibited as part of the SIGGRAPH 1993 Electronic Theater. In 1992 Mr. Arias co-founded CG animation boutique Syzygy Digital Cinema, where he created sequences for feature films M. BUTTERFLY, THE HUDSUCKER PROXY, PRET-A-PORTER, and the Spike Lee films CROOKLYN and CLOCKERS. At 3D-animation software innovator Softimage Co., Mr. Arias developed and patented the Toon Shaders, software for combining traditional animation and computer graphics. Mr. Arias has worked closely with the animation staff of Dreamworks and Studio Ghibli to add a distinct visual flavor to the films PRINCE OF EGYPT, THE ROAD TO EL DORADO, and Miyazaki's masterpieces THE PRINCESS MONONOKE, and SPIRITED AWAY. Most recently, Mr. Arias produced Warner Bros' Matrix-inspired animation anthology ANIMATRIX.

Michael Arias joins Tetsuro Araki, Minori Chihara, Yuko Goto, Aya Hirano, Eisaku Inoue, Masaru Kitao, Mary Elizabeth McGlynn and ORESKABAND as Anime Expo® 2007 Official Guests of Honor.

All registrants who register before the end of May are automatically placed into the drawing. Those who have already pre-registered are also automatically entered into this drawing. Secure pre-registration can be done via online at:

Attendees interested in booking flights, car rentals and/or other hotels for Anime Expo® 2007 can do so via the AX Travel Store located at

About Anime Expo®
Located in Long Beach, California - Anime Expo®, the nation's largest anime/manga convention, serves to foster trade, commerce and the interests of the general public and animation/ comics industry. This event serves as a key meeting place for the general public to express their interest and explore various aspects of anime/manga, as well as for members of the industry to conduct business. AX 2007 will be held June 29 - July 2, 2007 at the Long Beach Convention Center in Southern California. SPONSORS: ADV Films, Bandai Entertainment, Copic Markers, Digital Manga, Gaia Online, Go! Media, Infinity Studios, Imaginasian TV (IaTV) and the Los Angeles Times. More information can be found at its website (

About Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation
The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation (SPJA) is a non-profit organization with a mission to popularize and educate the American 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®. More information can be found at its website (