Official Press Release
The New York Anime Festival (NYAF) today announced Hideyuki Kikuchi — the author of the Vampire Hunter D novel series — will appear at the 2008 New York Anime Festival as a Guest of Honor and Mr. Kikuchi’s long-time friend and translator of the Vampire Hunter D books, Kevin Leahy, will attend as a Featured Guest. Both Mr. Kikuchi and Mr. Leahy are co-sponsored by Dark Horse Comics, the US publisher of the Vampire Hunter D book series. The New York Anime Festival, an anime, manga, and Japanese pop culture convention from the creators of New York Comic Con, takes place September 26th through the 28th at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.
The Vampire Hunter D novel series follows “D” — a half-human, half-vampire swordsman — through a dystopic future ruled by vampires. The first novel, penned in Japan in 1983, has been followed by over 15 sequels, with the most recent — D: Throng of Heretics — released in Japan in 2007. The Vampire Hunter D novel series started publication for the first time in the United States in 2005 through Dark Horse Comics. The D novels have been adapted into anime, manga, and video games, and the first Vampire Hunter D animation, distributed in the US in 1993, is largely responsible for introducing a generation of Americans to Japanese animation.
While Hideyuki Kikuchi is best known in the United States as the author of Vampire Hunter D, D is only one of the writer’s works. One of Japan’s most prolific horror novelists, Mr. Kikuchi has penned close to a hundred books, many of which — including A Wind Named Amnesia, Demon City Shinjuku, and Wicked City — have also been adapted into animated motion pictures.
The New York Anime Festival is a showcase for best of Japanese pop culture, and it will devote immense time and space to the anime titles which are currently captivating both America and Japan, but NYAF’s focus is beyond just what is big and popular now, exploring the creators and the creations that first and forever defined anime and manga in America. Since the first Vampire Hunter D film was released in the United States, it was been creating followers. Now, more than 20 years since the movie’s debut, it is a staple among America anime fans, and with the original Vampire Hunter D novels now available in America for the first time through Dark Horse, fans are discovering D as never before. D is a character who some have loved for over 20 years and others are falling in love with only today.
“Vampire Hunter D is what brought me into anime,” New York Anime Festival Programming Manager Peter Tatara revealed. “Bringing Mr. Kikuchi and Mr. Leahy to NYAF personally means very, very much to me, and I hope they’ll both mean very much to all of NYAF’s attendees.”
Tickets to the 2008 New York Anime Festival are now on sale at newyorkanimefestival.com.
ABOUT HIDEYUKI KIKUCHI:
Hideyuki Kikuchi is one of Japana[euro](TM)s most prolific horror novelists, writing in the tradition of horror authors including Fritz Leiber, Robert Bloch, H.P. Lovecraft, and Stephen King. Mr. Kikuchi wrote his first novel, Demon City Shinjuku, in 1982 and has since penned close to a hundred books, many of which — including A Wind Named Amnesia, Darkside Blues, and Wicked City — have been adapted into anime. Mr. Kikuchi is most famous for creating Vampire Hunter D, a novel series following a half-human, half-vampire swordsman through a dystopic future ruled by vampires. The D novels have been the basis for anime, manga, and video games, and Vampire Hunter D is largely responsible for introducing a generation of Americans to Japanese animation. Hideyuki Kikuchi is co-sponsored at NYAF by Dark Horse Comics.
ABOUT KEVIN LEAHY:
Kevin Leahy is a long-time friend of horror author Hideyuki Kikuchi and the man trusted with translating the Vampire Hunter D novel series into English. Born in Boston and introduced to Vampire Hunter D on VHS while in college, Kevin was immediately struck and would, a few years later, move to Japan as an English teacher. Over 15 years have passed since then, and Kevin still lives in Japan, now with a wife, two daughters, a few pet turtles, and Mr. Kikuchi as a personal friend.
ABOUT DARK HORSE COMICS:
Founded in 1986 by Mike Richardson, behind the concept of establishing an ideal atmosphere for creative professionals, Dark Horse Comics has grown to become the third-largest comics publisher in the United States and is acclaimed internationally for the quality and diversity of its line. By attracting the top talent in the comics field, Dark Horse continues to change the shape of the industry and grow its brand throughout the world. In conjunction with its sister company, Dark Horse Entertainment, Dark Horse has over 350 properties currently represented under the Dark Horse banner, serving as the jumping-off point for comics, books, films, television, electronic games, toys, and collectibles. In 2008, Dark Horse distributes its characters and concepts into more than fifty countries, continuing its mission of content creation and distribution in all of its forms throughout the world.
ABOUT THE NEW YORK ANIME FESTIVAL:
The New York Anime Festival takes place September 26-28, 2008 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in Midtown Manhattan and is organized by Reed Exhibitions, the creators of New York Comic Con. The New York Anime Festival showcases the best of anime pop culture, including the latest anime, manga, Japanese cinema, music, and games, and anime-influenced comics, animation, and films from around the world. The festival features exclusive and extensive screenings, a gala cosplay masquerade, sessions with the some of the biggest names in anime from Japan, Asia, and America, and explores the Japanese cultural experience with displays of both traditional and cutting-edge Japanese life. NYAF’s sponsors include Bandai Entertainment, BookExpo America, Dark Horse Comics, Del Rey Manga, Kinokuniya Bookstore, New York Comic Con, Subway Cinema, and TOKYOPOP. Further information can be found at newyorkanimefestival.com.
ABOUT REED EXHIBITIONS:
The New York Anime Festival is operated by Reed Exhibitions, the world’s leading events organizer. In 2007, Reed brought together over six million industry professionals from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today, Reed events are held in 34 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia and organized by 37 global offices. Reed Exhibitions is part of Reed Elsevier Group plc, a FTSE-100 company and world-leading publisher and information provider. For more, visit reedexpo.com.