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Guests of Honour

Nobuo Uematsu (Japanese Guest of Honour)

Nobuo Uematsu

Nobuo Uematsu has composed for numerous blockbuster video game titles including the hugely popular game franchise, "Final Fantasy".  He is also CEO of Dog Ear Records Co.,Ltd and CEO of SMILE PLEASE CO.,LTD.

In his career path as a game composer, his achievement has gone beyond just in the games. The theme song from Final Fantasy VIII, Eyes On Me written and produced by Uematsu for Hong Kong pop star Faye Wong, sold over 400,000 copies worldwide, and its record breaking sales eventually lead the song to win the "Song of the Year (Western Music)" award at the 14th Annual Japan Gold Disc Awards in 1999. To this date, Eyes on Me still remains the only song from a video game to win the award, and it also remains as the best-selling song from a video game in the world.

In 2006, he collaborated with a Japanese pop singer-songwriter, Angela Aki, and wrote, Kiss me Goodbye, the theme song of Final Fantasy XII. The song became a smash hit and charted number six on the Oricon charts. He also collaborated with the legendary rock singer Ian Gillan (Deep Purple) on Blue Dragon and a two time Grammy winning artist, Sheena Easton, on Lost Odyssey.

Uematsu has been named as an "innovator" in Time Magazine's "Time 100: The Next Wave - Music" and chosen for Newsweek magazine "100 Japanese whom world respect".

The official Final Fantasy concert series, Distant Worlds ~Music from Final Fantasy~, has been touring worldwide, and Uematsu's music has been performed by Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Houston Symphony, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and many other renowned orchestras.

Most recently, Uematsu released an album, Octave Theory, with his newly formed rock band, "EARTHBOUND PAPAS". The band is actively performing in Japan and U.S. bringing an incredible musical experience with his music to fans all over the world.

Sound tracks:
Final Fantasy series, Lost Odyssey, Blue Dragon, Last Story, Fantasy Life, etc.
GuinSaga, etc.

Nobuo Uematsu's 10 Short Stories

Arnie Roth (Musical Guest of Honour)

Arnie Roth

Music Director Arnie Roth is a Grammy-winning artist known for his work with performers including Il Divo, Diana Ross, Jewel, The Irish Tenors, Charlotte Church, Peter Cetera, and Dennis DeYoung. Roth has conducted the London Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony, the Atlanta Symphony, the Hollywood Bowl Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Dallas Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the BBC Symphony, the Czech National Chamber Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, the San Diego Symphony, the Winnipeg Symphony, the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, the Detroit Symphony, the Ravinia Festival Orchestra, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tokyo Philharmonic and the Sydney Symphony.

Roth is well known in the world of video game music for his work with Nobuo Uematsu and Square Enix as Music Director and Conductor of the Distant Worlds: music from FINAL FANTASY, Dear Friends: music from FINAL FANTASY, More Friends: music from FINAL FANTASY, VOICES: music from FINAL FANTASY, as well as his role as Music Director and Conductor of  PLAY! A Video Game Symphony. He was the winner of the Best Score Award at the 2003 DVD Premier Awards for his score for the film BarbieTM as Rapunzel and was nominated for an Emmy in 2007 for his original song "Shine" from the movie BarbieTM in The Twelve Dancing Princesses. Roth has produced dozens of best-selling CDs. For more information, visit

Yui Ishikawa (Japanese Guest of Honour)

Yui Ishikawa

Yui Ishikawa is a well‐known voice actress and stage actress from Hyogo Prefecture. She is a member of the Sunaoka Agency and is most widely known as the voice of Mikasa Ackerman from Attack on Titan, China Kousaka from Gundam Build Fighters, Dhianeila Y Leisha Altoria Ol Yunos from Heroic Age, Yutika from Lupin III: Princess of the Breeze as well as many other anime series.

She has been also actively pursuing stage performing and recently starred in "Inori" and the musical "Soukyuu no Fafner".

Other notable mentions include her voice work for various video game characters. Her recent works include Filia from Sword Art Online: Hollow Fragment and Rosamia from Grand Blue Fantasy.

Yui Ishikawa is also featured on the NHK‐FM radio's Youth Adventure series: Sabaku no Utahime (Singer of the Desert), Gesshokutou no Mamono (Monster of Lunar Eclipse Island) and Dokurojou no Hanayome (Bride of Skull Castle). Her regular schedule includes performances on the nationally‐aired radio network Bunka Housou for the program "Super! A&G + Ai Nonaka and Yui Ishikawa Radio Operating System" and "A&G Girls Project Trefle".

Otakuthon will be her first appearance at a Canadian convention!

Special thanks to Navito World!

BABY, THE STARS SHINE BRIGHT (featuring Midori-chan) (Japanese Guest of Honour)


A leading designer brand from Japan specializing in Lolita clothing; BABY, THE STARS SHINE BRIGHT was formed to reflect the heartfelt dreams of all the girls who never forgot that "Once upon a time, happiness could be found in the simple enjoyment of feeling "pretty" and  "cute" while wearing clothes full of lace and frills, as a princess might."

In 2004, BABY, THE STARS SHINE BRIGHT expanded their repertoire to develop a sister brand known as "ALICE and the PIRATES". These unique designs flourished from the concept of "What would happen if Alice from Alice in Wonderland accidentally wandered into a world full of pirates?"

Currently, BABY has stores in multiple locations in Japan, as well as in Paris and San Francisco, and is active as an international name in Lolita culture.

Midori Fukasawa (Midori-chan) -an introduction-

Midori FukasawaMidori-chan is a Gothic & Lolita fashion model who also specializes in girly and casual Harajuku-style clothing. As one of the most prominent representatives of the Lolita fashion world, she participates in many Tea Parties and other related events on an international basis.

Midori-chan also serves as a special lecturer at the Ueda College of Fashion, in the Department of Fashion Creation.

Her hobbies include video games, manga, anime, watching theatre productions by the Takarazuka Revue, and bungee jumping.

Her style book, "Doll Classica" (published by Wani Books), is currently out in Japan.

Spike Spencer (North American Guest of Honour)

Spike Spencer

Spike Spencer has been a voice actor for over two decades. His video game credits include Bravely Default, The Bureau:XCOM, Bioshock:Infinite, Saints Row 3, World of Warcraft, Tales of Vesperia, BlazBlue, Dynasty and Samurai Warriors, Steambot Chronicles, Star Ocean 2, Lunar: Silver Star Harmony, and many others. He has voiced hundreds of episodes of anime including such notable titles as Evangelion, Bleach, Vampire Knight, Durarara!, Nura, Battle Angel, Suikoden, Orphen, Spriggan, Nadesico, Mar, PreTear, Buso Renkin, Gundam, Code Geass 2, and Kekkaishi.  Spike has also lent his voice to numerous radio and TV commercials.

An accomplished onscreen actor, he has worked with such notable stars as Tommy Lee Jones, Sandra Bullock, Frank Langella, Tia Carrere, and Scott Glenn and has been on set with many other stars. Spike is also an author, with titles such as "How to Be A Frickin Genius Voice Actor, Step One" and "What Happens At The Con, Stays At The Con?".

Spike has been a featured writer on dating/relationships/self improvement for Carlos Xuma, SinglesWarehouse, and Neil Strauss (author of "The Game"). Spike is currently in development on the TV pilot for his "Don't Kill Your Date (And Other Cooking Tips)" dating/cooking show (based on his panel from the Con circuit) and book. Spike is also a screenwriter with several projects in various stages and is in development on his first feature film that he scripted, "Dwindle Down."

Spike is also an avid sailor, cook, traveler, and enjoys a good bit of dancing from time to time.

Visit his official websites:

****Spike also teaches voice acting around the globe in person, via email and Skype. If you are interested in learning the art of Voice Acting from Spike, contact him at:

Shelley Calene-Black (North American Guest of Honour)

Shelley Calene-Black

Named one of the "Babes of Anime - America's hottest voice actresses" by Anime Insider Magazine and featured on IGN, Shelley has voiced hundreds of characters for anime series, films and games.  Most recently, she won the 2012 Behind the Voice Actors award for Best Female Lead Vocal Performance in an Anime TV Series/OVA as Hamyuts Meseta in The Book of Bantorra.

Shelley started her voice-over career with ADV Films in the late 90's voicing lead female characters in Sin: The Movie as JC Armack and the Sorcerous Stabber Orphen series as the obnoxious, though lovable, Cleao.  Some fan fave roles (and Shelley's too) over the years from ADV, Sentai Filmworks and Funimation include:  Mirielle in Noir, Captain Jonah in Starship Troopers, Cortana and Dr Halsey in Halo Legends; Kalifa in One Piece; Canaan in Canaan; Nike in Appleseed Saga; Mariko in Summer Wars, Kyou in Clannad; Sakuya in Red Garden; Kiyoko in Gilgamesh; Jennifer in This Ugly Yet Beautiful World, Mother Ant in Oh! Super Milk Chan, Leda in Cashern Sins, as well as live action films including:  Dark Water; Gamera; Conduct Zero, Synesthesia and Yesterday.

In addition to anime, Shelley has voiced numerous television, radio and television commercials, as well as maintains a healthy on-stage and on-camera career.  As an award winning stage actress, Shelley has performed at a number of regional theatres including Stages Repertory Theatre, the Tony Award Winning Alley Theatre and Catastrophic Theatre in Houston (where she was an original company member alongside Emmy Award Winning actor Jim Parsons).  Television and film roles include: Drop Dead Diva, Memphis Beat, Puncture, Playing House, Garrison, Esthers Diary, and Deep Terror.

Brett Weaver (North American Guest of Honour)

Brett Weaver

Born in 1966 in Lafayette, Louisiana and raised in the swamps of Houston, I was the youngest of five - two boys and three girls. I have been acting in anime since 1996 when a friend dared me to audition at ADV Films. Since then, I have been in multiple shows, such as Attack on Titan (Gunther), Sorcerer Hunters (Carrot), Evangelion (Touji), Martian Successor Nadesico (Gai Daigoji), Witchblade, One Piece (Mister One, Captain Morgan), Excel Saga (Nabeshin), Godannar (Goh Sawatari), Intrigue at the Bakamatsu, and Macross (Roy Fokker).

I am happily married to EK Weaver and we live in Austin, Texas with our two dogs and two cats.

Three important lessons I have learned:

1. No one decides to go have ice cream when they're angry.

2. Never look at what comes out of a surgeon's color printer.

3. If you're going to get in trouble, get in trouble for being yourself.

This my first time in Montreal, so be gentle...

Benyamin Nuss (Performing Guest of Honour)

Benyamin Nuss

Benyamin Nuss was born in Bergisch-Gladbach in 1989. At the age of six, he began piano lessons. He was inspired and encouraged by his father, the trombonist Ludwig Nuss, an internationally renowned jazz musician. Not only did Benyamin grow up with music from different genres, he really made classical music and jazz his passion. Inspired by "Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum" from "Children's Corner," he began at the age of ten to study the composer Claude Debussy, and soon after the works of Maurice Ravel.

How elegantly and emotionally he internalizes the music is demonstrated by his first prizes at the 2005 national Steinway Competition "Young Musicians", and the 2006 international competition "Prix d'Amadeo de Piano" as well as his grant from the Hochbegabtenstiftung (Foundation for the Gifted) "Best of NRW". Benyamin Nuss has been studying at the Cologne/Aachen conservatoire with Prof. Ilya Scheps since 2008. Besides his love for classical music and jazz, he always had a passion for video games and video game music. He was the featured soloist in the award winning "Symphonic Fantasies" recording and his first CD released by "Deutsche Grammophon" is a tribute to the legendary composer Nobuo Uematsu, who scored the music for the most famous role-playing game of all time, "Final Fantasy". He has appeared as a soloist in "Symphonic Fantasies" and "Distant Worlds" concerts in Tokyo, Chicago, Cologne and Stockholm. In 2012, he recorded his second CD for "Deutsche Grammophon" -"Exotica", which was equally successful and was followed by celebrated concerts in Tokyo and Singapore.

Besides his outstanding abilities as a classical performer, Benyamin is a gifted composer, and two of his composition can be heard on "Exotica". Apart from classical concerts, he also performs his music with his own Jazz Quartet or in a Trio together with his father Ludwig Nuss and the great bass player, John Goldsby.

Raj Ramayya (Performing Guest of Honor)

Raj Ramayya

Raj Ramayya is an Indo-Canadian singer, composer and lyricist based in Marin County, California. His claim to anime fame would be his musical collaborations with famed Japanese composer Yoko Kanno as a member of The Seatbelts. Raj sang the opening credits song "Ask DNA" and wrote the lyrics for "Cosmic Dare (Pretty with a Pistol)" from the fan favourite feature film Cowboy Bebop: the Movie, and both sang and wrote the lyrics for "Strangers" from the anime series Wolf's Rain. Not limited to music in anime, he has also worked on songs for video games from the likes of Konami, Sega, and Capcom.

Raj has been featured as a guest vocalist/composer with several distinguished artists, ranging from talented composers Yoko Kanno (Escaflowne, Cowboy Bebop, Wolf's Rain) and Tatsuya Oe (Captain Funk, Hotei), to gifted lyricists Chris Mosdell (Eric Clapton, YMO) and Ron Sexsmith, and everyone in-between. His work has won him multiple awards and critical acclaim from around the world.

Among his other projects are the electronic Indian fusion music project "Bhang Lassi", the alternative Indian-influenced folk rock band "The Beautiful Losers", and session singing for products ranging from Asahi Beer and KFC, to Toyota and Coca-Cola. He is also a guest vocalist with three different Japanese electronic music groups; Captain Funk, Akakage, and Studio Apartment, with SA's song "Strawberry Rainbow" (which Raj both sung and wrote lyrics for) hitting #1 on the iTunes Japan charts!

Raj is excited to be coming to Otakuthon for the first time and can't wait to meet everyone! For more information, and to keep up with Raj, you can visit him online at:

Masayuki Ozaki (Japanese Guest of Honour)

Masayuki OzakiUntil 2003, Masayuki Ozaki worked for GAGA COMMUNICATIONS, INC where he was involved in acquisitions of Hollywood titles as well as the distribution and promotion of domestic titles. In 2004, he began his career at Sunrise Inc. where he was a planning manager for the three-part movie series Mobile Suit Z GUNDAM: A New Translation. In 2005, Ozaki was working as a producer and a planning manager, launching Sgt. Frog (Keroro Gunsou), Zorori the Naughty Hero (Kaiketsu Zorori) and other anime projects based on popular manga or novels. His credits also include Dinosaur King, Inuyasha: The Final Act, Gintama: The Movie, TIGER & BUNNY and Aikatsu! His producer role goes beyond the realm of anime, being also involved with the production of music events, musicals, and other areas of show business.

neko (Japanese Guest of Honour)

nekoneko is a singer, songwriter, and CEO of "Tears of Today", an indies music label established in 2010. He started his musical career in 2008 when he uploaded some "utattemita" (cover song) videos on the popular website Nico Nico Douga, where he is now best known for his rock arrangements and for writing his own English lyrics to Japanese songs. Since then, he has conducted four nationwide tours within Japan, while further exploring and expanding his career in various aspects of the music industry. Aside from the three albums he has released with his own label, he provided the opening theme for Phi Brain: Kami no Puzzle - Shukuteki! Rätsel-hen in November of 2013, successfully making his major debut at the same time. As a songwriter, lyricist, sound arranger and producer, he has worked with artists such as Luschka, Gero, Nano, and many others.

Kaname☆ (Japanese Guest of Honour)

Kaname☆KANAME☆ is quite possibly the most renowned male cosplayer around the world today. Hailing from Japan, he has been working on his art since 2007. Canada will be the 11th country where he will represent the cosplay of his country and this will be his first time to North America as the honorary guest of a host event. In a world where female cosplay garners much attention, KANAME☆ holds the banner high for all male cosplayers and their fans. He's looking forward to his first trip to Montreal, Canada and you can find him at his booth and around the event at Otakuthon!