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Producer Masao Maruyama and director Matsubara return for 12th Otakon

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Veteran producer Masao Maruyama will resume his standing as an honorary Otakon staff member in 2014. Otakorp, Inc. is pleased to announce that the legendary force in the Japanese animation industry will make his 12th appearance at Otakon.

The founder and former creative director of Madhouse Studios, Maruyama has had a hand in the Japanese animation industry for forty years. In the early 1970s, he helped establish the revered animation studio and led the team as a creative producer for many years.

Over the next three decades, Maruyama would oversee countless television, OAV, and theatrical releases, developing a reputation for finding and nurturing talented directors. Under his guidance, talents like Satoshi Kon and Atsuko Ishizuka flourished. Maruyama also engaged with overseas partners, working with the Wachowskis on the Animatrix project, and overseeing anime takes on classic American comic book characters.

In 2011, Maruyama left Madhouse and formed MAPPA (Maruyama Animation Produce Project Association). MAPPA allows him greater creative freedom to pursue projects that may be less obviously commercial. The studio's first major project was the critically-acclaimed Kids on the Slope, which reunited most of the creative teams behind Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo.

He continues to consult with Madhouse on various projects, such as Hunter x Hunter and the Fighting Spirits: Hajime No Ippo series. Maruyama is currently developing the highly-anticipated TV animation series Rage of Bahamut, as well as director Shinichiro Watanabe’s Terror In

Resonance, and the theatrical project At The Corner Of This World, directed by Sunao Katabuchi.

Maruyama’s list of credits has produced an amazing library of animation, including Barefoot Gen, Dagger of Kamui, Record of Lodoss War, Vampire Hunter D, Ninja Scroll, Card Captor Sakura, Trigun, Perfect Blue, X, Boogiepop Phantom, Chobits, PitaTen, Abenobashi Maho Shotengai, Gungrave, Gunslinger Girl, Black Lagoon, Kiba, Nana, Tokyo Tribe 2, Beck, Monster, Highlander:

Search for Vengeance, Devil May Cry, Death Note, RAINBOW and Red Line. Maruyama has also overseen production of critically acclaimed films such as Paprika, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, and Summer Wars.

Also attending this year is animation director Hidenori Matsubara. Otakorp, Inc. is pleased to announce the appearance will represent his second time at Otakon.

As a young and hungry animator, Matsubara worked as an in-betweener on the Project A-Ko movies. From there, he served as an animator on Bubblegum Crisis and Gunbuster. Graduating to animation director for Nadia: Secret of Blue Water, he completed the opening animation for Bubblegum Crash, and then served as animation director on Otaku no Video (the inspiration for the name Otakon). Other credits in this period include work as an animator on Perfect Blue, Gunsmith Cats, and the original Neon Genesis Evangelion series. For the Oh My Goddess! series (and later for the movie), Matsubara served as character designer and chief animation director; more recently, he was character designer for The Count of Monte Cristo. He also served as the character designer of the hit game series Sakura Wars.

Matsubara has worked with director Hideaki Anno as an animator and animation director on the new series of Evangelion: 1.0 You Are (Not) Alone, Evangelion: 2.0 You Can (Not) Advance, and Evangelion 3.0 You Can (Not) Redo. His other theatrical credits include The Princess and the Pilot and Space Battleship Yamato 2199. Matsubara is currently working with the famed director Sunao Katabuchi on an upcoming theatrical film, At The Corner Of This World.

Otakon 2014 will be held August 8-10 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, MD. Now entering its twenty first year, Otakon is an annual celebration of Japanese and East Asian popular culture, and also one of the largest gatherings of fans in the United States. Otakon celebrates popular culture as a gateway to deeper understanding of Asian culture, and has grown along with the enthusiasm for anime, manga, video games, and music from the Far East. Since 1999, Otakon has been held in Baltimore, Maryland; currently, Otakon is one of Baltimore's few large, city-wide events, drawing over 34,000 people for three days each year (for a paid attendance of over 100,000 turnstile attendees). Otakon is a membership based convention sponsored by Otakorp, Inc., a Pennsylvania-based, 501(c)3 educational non-profit whose mission is to promote the appreciation of Asian culture, primarily through its media and entertainment. Otakorp, Inc. is directed by an all-volunteer, unpaid staff – we are run by fans, for fans.

For more information about Otakorp, Inc., see http://www.otakon.com/otakorp/index.asp

For more information and the latest news on Otakon 2014, see http://www.otakon.com/

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