Anime-ZAP! is more of a fun social event than an event focused on meeting special guests. However, a few of our favorite guests love our fans so much they want to hang out with you in Peoria!
Shinichi Watanabe, or more popularly “Nabeshin,” is known to anime fans as a larger-than-life, iconic figure with an outrageous sense of humor. He directed the comedy anime series Excel Saga, Nerima Daikon Brothers, and Puni Puni Poemy, which feature frenetic pacing and appearances by his animated alter ego, a mysterious, recurring character with an afro and distinctive outfit who is tangential to the story. Nabeshin has also served as series director for The Wallflower and Tenchi Muyo! GXP, and he can be found in these series as well, in cameo or supporting roles.
Nabeshin has been quoted as saying that he places great importance in making viewers laugh. Stating that he values laughter as much as tears, his preference is to motivate viewers to have fun and enjoy a show. He reasons that his success stems from provoking the same, strong emotional investment in a humorous way as a traditional, sentimental story does.
Nabeshin has also written lyrics for the opening songs of Excel Saga and Tenchi Muyo! GXP, and has served as storyboarder and episode director for a variety of other anime series.
He’s baaaaack! And he’s brought his revamped and updated Notorious [Zombie Related] Fanfic Show with him! Videogame fans know him as Albert Wesker in seven “Resident Evil” games — from 2007’s “Umbrella Chronicles” to 2016’s “Umbrella Corp” — a decade of badassery. Also: Legion in “Mass Effect” 2 & 3, Kamoshida in “Persona 5,” Pod 042 in “Nier: Automata,” Azrael in “Blazeblue,” Zero in “Zero Time Dilemma 3,” Raven in “Tekken 6,” Gafka in "Radiant Historia: APC,” Alexei in “Tales of Vesperia,” and many more Japanese RPGs.
Anime fans may know him as X Drake in “One Piece,” Jasley in “Mobile Suit Gundam: IBO,” Shoot McMahon in “Hunter x Hunter,” Vincent in “Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt: Bandit Flower,” The Professor in “Cyborg 009,” and more! Cartoon fans may know him as the original voice of Chase for four seasons on “Transformers: Rescue Bots,” as Colonel Rawls on the final season of “Regular Show!,” or as the evil trickster Mick in “The Tom and Jerry Show."
Film & TV fans may know him as Pa Kettle in “Z Nation,” Bud in “Sharknado 2,” Zepht in “Star Trek: Enterprise,” or from his other 200 appearances on random shows and weird films over the last 25 years. Check him out on IMDB and DCDouglas.com to spot more titles you know. Just remember, if you only see one thing of his this weekend, make sure it’s his 2018 Notorious [Zombie Related] Fanfic Show!
Chuck’s most recent anime roles are Reever in D-Gray Man Hallow, Austria in Hetalia, Jajuka in Escaflowne, Kuro (Sleepy Ash) in Servamp, Kuniharu in The Disastrous Life of Saiki K, Asanaga in Endride, Petra’s Father in Attack on Titan, Kyūta’s Father in The Boy and Beast, Tony Stark in Death Battle, Jason the Toymaker in Creepy Pasta and Emperor Pilaf in the DBZ movies and upcoming DBZ Super. Chuck hosts the weekly DubTrax podcast commenting with guests and characters on anime episodes and the GameChurch podcast which discusses how to live life if it’s a video game. Chuck’s digital presence is at chuckhuber.org and @chuck_huber in the twitter. Chuck Huber started acting in Anime in the roles of Garlic Jr., Android 17, Kibito, Master Shen and Mr. Shoe in DBZ. Since then he has voiced hundreds of characters including Hiei in YuYu Hakusho, Stein in Soul Eater, Kululu in Sgt. Frog, Mohji in One Piece, Shou Tucker in Full Metal Alchemist, Hiro in Shin Chan, Ash in Black Butler, Reever in D. Gray Man, Hector in Glass Fleet, Yuichi in Initial D., Akai in Oh Edo Rocket, Melt in The Tower of Druaga, Adashino in Mushishi, Eric Nishijima in Darker Than Black, Havel in Trinity Blood. He has been a writer on Hetalia, Sgt. Frog, Baccano, Spice and Wolf, Strike Witches, Dragonaut and the upcoming Skip Beat!. Video games Chuck has contributed voices for include Borderlands II, Ghostbusters, The Walking Dead, Aeon Flux, DBZ, Smite, The Killing Floor …among others. As a filmmaker Chuck has acted, produced, written or directed for Arbor Day – The Musical currently on Amazon Prime, Prince Adventures, The Troubadoors, The Fragility of Seconds, The Mechanical Grave, Odd Man Out among others. He began acting in Chicago at the Goodman Theater, Court Theater, Steppenwolf Theater after graduating from DePaul University and continues to work on stages in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Most recently he played Hugh Jameison in the movie Parkland, produced by Tom Hanks and starring Billy Bob Thornton and Paul Giamatti. He plays Russian bad guy, Colonel Kashoid, in AmeriGeddon and the demon Baal in The Crossroads of Hunter Wilde directed by Mike Norris (son of Chuck Norris), plays Dr. McCoy in Star Trek Continues; Dean Hansen on Season 2 of American Crime on ABC and Detective Swinton in the upcoming feature film The Harrowing.
Greg "Greggo" Wicker
Greg Wicker (or “Greggo” as he’s fondly known) has been producing and hosting game shows at anime conventions since 1999, when he premiered Anime Match Game at Project A-Kon in Dallas. Since then, Greggo has done anime-themed versions of several classic game shows, created a few games of his own, and even had an original project that very nearly turned into an actual television show on Anime Network. These days Greggo is concentrating on perfecting his craft and making game shows available for conventions everywhere, bringing his rapier wit and friendly personality with him wherever he goes. You can see some of Greggo’s past game show efforts on his YouTube page at http://www.youtube.com/gregdasgo or visit his website at http://www.facebook.com/greggosgameshows.
Kid Yuki and the Otakus
Kid Yuki and The Otakus is a rock band united under one mission: to bring your favorite anime, video game, and other nerdy music to life. From Naruto to Sword Art Online to Kingdom Hearts, Sonic the Hedgehog, Steven Universe and so much more, there’s a good chance our show will melt your face off. Check out www.youtube.com/c/kidyuki1 for a taste of what’s in store.
Greg Ayres can usually be found rockin’ out somewhere, whether animated or not. From the loud-mouthed Hideki in Nerima Daikon Brothers, to Koyuki, singing with the the band in Beck:Mongolian Chop Squad, he’s always glad to shake things up a bit. He is thrilled to be able to add the roles of Uesugi Kenshin in Sengoku Basara, Seikechi Tayama in Oh Edo Rocket, and Abe in Big Windup to his list of new roles. He can also be head as Son Goku in Saiyuki, Chrono in Chrono Crusade, Kaoru Hitachiin in Ouran High School Host Club, Yuki in The Wallflower, Leo in Ghost Stories , Satoshi Hiwatari in DNAngel, Kaworu Nagisa in the Director’s Cut of Neon Genesis Evangelion, Negi Springfield in Negima, Heihachi in Samurai 7, Jr. in Xenosaga:The Animation, Tsujido in Speed Grapher, Roan in Ragnorok The Animation, Yamazaki in Welcome to the NHK, Nowy in Glass Fleet, Gau Ban in Shadow Skill, Pope Alessandro XVIII in Trinity Blood, and a bunch of other titles he’ll probably forget to mention. FUNimation recently announced Greg as Nagisa in Free!
When he’s not in a booth with headphones on, you can usually find him sporting headphones of another variety behind “the decks”. A veteran nightclub DJ of many years, Greg has really enjoyed the opportunity of doing something else that he truly loves at conventions. From packed rooms at anime conventions, to the legendary stage of The Knitting Factory (NYC), Greg never misses an opportunity to share his love of music with anyone who will listen.