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Special Guests 2010

The Otafest Team proudly presents this year's special guests!

Todd Haberkorn

This one’s for all you fangirls out there (you know who you are)! Put your hands together and welcome Todd Haberkorn to Otafest!

Todd is in high demand these days as a voice actor, ADR director and script writer for FUNimation Entertainment!

You know him best as Hikaru Hitachiin (Ouran High School), Watanuki (xxxHolic) and Death the Kid (Soul Eater), but did you know that he was also the ADR director for D. Gray-man (of which he also played Allen Walker), Shuffle!, Claymore, and also did the ADR script for One Piece.

Todd’s been to dozens of cons, but this will be his first time in Calgary! Give him a warm welcome, and check out his panels and autograph sessions!
Michelle Ruff

For Otafest 2010, we are very pleased to present Michelle Ruff as our headlining guest of honour!

Having voiced well over 100 different characters, you’ll know her best in fan favourite roles such as Rukia (Bleach), Yoko (Gurren Lagann), Chi (Chobits) & Princess Euphemia (Code Geass)!

Michelle is probably best known for playing the leading lady more often than not, but as an extremely versatile actress, she is able to voice women, boys and girls, from young children to adults alike! She has also been awarded as Best Voice Actress (English) in the 2009 SPJA Industry Awards!

While Michelle has been up to Canada for conventions before, this will be her first time out west! Please join us in welcoming Michelle Ruff to Otafest 2010, and be sure to grab an autograph and attend her panels!
VGCats – Scott Ramsoomair

It’s VGCATS!!! One of the most popular videogame humour based webcomics over the last decade has been VGCats, created, written and drawn by Canadian cartoonist Scott Ramsoomair! The comic has been ongoing since September 2001 and has over 250 strips, featuring the adventures of video game loving anthropomorphic cats, Aeris & Leo Leonardo. Scott was nominated for various Web Cartoonist's Choice Awards every year from 2003 – 2008, and won several in 2005 & 2006!

Be sure to visit Scott in the artist’s alley during Otafest 2010 and attend his panels too! And don’t forget to visit the strip!

The 404s

Theeeeeey’re back! The 404s are a touring group of improv performers based in Alberta, Canada. Presenting their own brand of improv comedy at events across Canada and in the United States, they combine heavy audience participation with their own witty charm, and leave every show with a bloody trail of busted guts and teary eyes in their wake. Perennial favorites at Otafest since Otafest 2005, we are very pleased to have the 404s return!

For a schedule of the 404's performances, check out their website here!

Synaptic Chaos Theatre

Otafest is pleased to present Synaptic Chaos Theatre! Formed in 2010 by alumni from The 404s, SCT will be providing an explosion of live comedy performances including improv, scripted comedy and semi-scripted comedy shows such as videos, podcasts, and the popular “The 99 Yen Challenge”! These guys are a riot! For more information about SCT, check out their website!

Midnight Taiko

Midnight Taiko is a group of taiko drummers, spreading their love of the art of Japanese drumming in Calgary. The group is so named because they are very passionate about good taiko and would gladly stay up all night playing! Midnight Taiko has played at Otafest the last 3 years, and due to their unique brand of audience participation, they put on a show you are sure not to want to miss! For more information on Taiko, check out Midnight Taiko’s website here!

Dave Rathnow & Shin Ken Kai Nobara

Iaido is the art of Japanese sword practice done with a live blade. Dave Rathnow has practiced the art for 14 years, and has given regular demonstration and talk on Iaido at the Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens in Lethbridge. Be sure to check out his demonstration and mini-lecture on this exquisite art!

Iaido is a non-combative martial art that involves no direct physical contact or combat with other individuals in the dojo. Practitioners perform patterns, called "kata", that represent confrontational situations where he or she is attacked by one or more opponents. Almost all patterns are solo; that is, there is no physical enemy. There are some two-person kata, but these are choreographed, with one person defending against a pre-defined series of attacks. Solo kata involve drawing the sword, making one or more cuts, cleaning the blade, and returning the sword to the scabbard with concentration and focus.

For more information on Iaido, check out Shin Ken Kai Nobara's website here!

From their humble beginnings as grumpy ceiling-dwellers, waiting for their big break to drop and crush passing heroes, THWOMP have rocked the airwaves with the sounds of video game nostalgia. Drawing on influences from the golden age of console gaming, from composers such as Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy), Koji Kondo (Super Mario Bros), Yasunori Mitsuda (Chrono Trigger), Yumiko Kanki (F-Zero) and others, THWOMP speak to the inner child of a generation of gamers.

You probably know the music but you've never heard nor seen it like this. Cranked at 115 decibels through screaming amps with even screaminger guitar solos, it's 16 bits of sonic bliss. It doesn't stop there: THWOMP are known to wear eccentric costumes, evoking everything from mad scientists in lab coats to sword-wielding heroes. The audience joins in the fun too: gamers in the audience are often invited to play the very games THWOMP is rocking out on vintage consoles on-stage.

For more information on THWOMP, check out THWOMP's website here!

Hailing from Northern Alberta, Pinku Polkadotsu (formerly known as Over 9000) is a band specializing in performing covers of anime songs from shows such as Haruhi, Trigun, Nana and many more! Be sure to check out their concert!