Our Interview with Guests of Virtual Crunchyroll Expo!

We are so close to Virtual Crunchyroll Expo 2020 and they have an amazing line up of guests! You’ll absolutely want to check out this event if you are a fan of Anime! 

Be sure to go to the Virtual Crunchyroll Expo website for more info and to register for a free pass
here. We got to interview their guests and are excited to share their answers with you all! 
Panel Information
  • Session: Anime and Race
    • Friday, September 4 from 5:15 – 6:15 PM PT
    • Stage: Hime Stage
Roland Kelts Q&A
When you are down and out on some days creatively, what do you do to help yourself regain your focus?
Take long walks in nearby parks. Meiji Shrine Park, Yoyogi Park and Shinjuku Gyoen Park are all close to my office. Take long showers. Stare out the window. Read poems or pages by an author whose writing I feel close to. That’s not always the same as an author whose work I love to read. I need to feel close to the voice and style of a particular writer to have their work drive me to write.
You have had so much success over the years thanks to your writing and dedication, out of all the articles or interviews you have done, which one meant the most to you personally and why?
The novel I’m writing now excites me the most. You can read a small excerpt from it here. It’s very close to capturing the way I see and feel existence.
Arthell Isom Q&A
Being a geek and a person of color myself, I am so excited that D’ART Shtajio is the first black-owned animation studio in Japan. What advice do you have for POC content creators out there trying to turn their passion into their main source of income?
My advice would be, rise above the expectations of others and find a way to shine. Second, if it’s to be a source of income that means you have to apply work ethic to your passion. It can no longer just be for fun. Work is hard and demands a different type of energy. But if you’re truly passionate about your craft, you won’t mind the countless hours of practice and failure you must overcome to succeed.  
Out of all of the work you have done over the years, what are you most proud of and why?
I need an answer here but I don’t have one yet. I’m constantly searching for that one creation. That one that makes me sit down in awe of myself and my pencil.  
Panel Information
Okina Baba Q&A
So I’m a Spider, So What? is such a fun series that is already beloved by many anime/manga fans. But I am curious, what manga are you personally a fan of whether it is current or something more classic?
There are several. I can’t narrow it down to just one. There was a time I was reading so many, I was practically going to the bookstore everyday. I like everything from famous series to unknown ones, and they all have their unique appeal.
Over the years you have written various scenes that are fun, witty, and memorable. Out of all of them, which one scene do you take the most pride in and why?
There’s isn’t a scene that instantly comes to mind. I think the interconnectedness of scenes is more important than a single scene. This scene shines because we had that scene. In that sense, I think I am proud of all my scenes.
Tsukasa Kiryu Q&A
You are an incredible illustrator that many fans can’t help but marvel at your work. Out of all the years of artwork, what piece was your favorite?
Thank you! I’m so grateful to all the fans that reach out. I’m particularly fond of the covers for Volume 1, Volume 5 (I drew a lot of fruit because I wanted to give Kumoko something good to eat) , and the special (slated to release in Japan this winter). For inserted art, the encyclopedia art of the Small Lesser Taratect and Volume 11’s full spread illustration are particular favorites.
Which illustrators do you enjoy the most or that inspired you?

There are so many I couldn’t possibly name them all, but if I were to name one it would be shadow artist Seiji Fujishiro. When I was little, my mom took me to a shadow play, and the brilliant colors and contrast I saw are still burned into my mind till this day.  That use of color really inspired me.

I came to like pen art thanks to the Romance of the Three Kingdoms lianhuanhua (it’s a masterpiece that has super dense and high quality art on every single page) I had at home, and Katsuya Terada. When I learned how Terada could produce an amazing piece of art in a single go with a drawing pen, I thought to myself, “He can produce something so amazing with the same pen I have. I’ll try it too!”

Panel Information
  • The guests will appear as judges at Crunchyroll Hime’s Cosplay Cup.
    • It’s going to be a showcase of fandom creations judged by performance, construction, and innovation like no other.
  • Date/Time: Saturday, September 5 from 7:00-9:00 PM PT
  • Stage: Crunchyroll Stage
Kamui Cosplay Q&A
You just radiate such confidence and the swagger of a champion. However, a lot of geeks often struggle with overwhelming self-doubt, anxiety, and depression. When you have those bad days and get down on yourself, what do you do to remind yourself that you are wonderful?
Oh, thank you! I think failing, crying, and being desperate is actually an essential part of cosplay. It’s about taking on challenges, struggling and having doubts about all kind of things. That’s okay though and only makes us stronger. Just don’t force it, take your time, and don’t stress yourself. Cosplay is about having fun and that’s all that matters. You don’t owe anybody anything. If I personally encounter some of these days (and I have many of them!), I also just take a break, play some video games and just wait until I’m in the mood for crafting again. It also helps me a lot to start a new project, maybe write a new book or do a silly, random YouTube video. Right now I have 5 unfinished costumes laying around and I begun already a next project. So what? I have fun and that’s fine!
Out of all the cosplays you have ever done which one was your personal favorite even if it was not super well received by fans?
I think my favorite one was my Nergigante armor from Monster Hunter World. Monster Hunter World was already out for a few months and while a lot of people enjoyed it, it didn’t really had a huge fanbase within the cosplay community. I absolutely loved the armor and weapon design though and totally adored the cuteness of the Nergigante monster in the game. While most of my fans never played Monster Hunter before, they still liked the costume choice though. Later however I noticed, that many of them got into Monster Hunter as well and even begun working on their own armor sets from the game. Well, and once the costume was done, the reach for this project just exploded and people went completely crazy over it. So, it made me quite happy that I was able to give Monster Hunter so many new fans. 
Rock M. Sakura Q&A
You just radiate such confidence and the swagger of a champion. However, a lot of geeks often struggle with overwhelming self-doubt, anxiety, and depression. When you have those bad days and get down on yourself, what do you do to remind yourself that you are wonderful?

It’s so nice to hear that I radiate that confidence because the truth of the matter is every day is a struggle to stay confident, to not get bombarded with anxiety, and to get out of bed in the morning. Staying confident isn’t one of those things that you can just wish into existence. It’s not, really. It’s a day to day thing, where you have to let yourself know you love yourself in different ways.

Treat your body well, drink water, let yourself get sad, let yourself wear those clothes you think MIGHT look good on you. Be kind to yourself and let yourself fall in love with yourself.

For me, I have to remember when I have those down days, that I’ve survived every day until now 100%. I’m still here now, and I’m doing the best I can, and that’s ok. Remember regardless of where you are in life, you can achieve your goals. I worked in fast food before DR for 10 years, and most days I thought that was gonna be my life. I know now that, that is not true.

Vampy Bit Me Q&A
Being a fan of cosplay, I have seen your career flourish over the years and love to see you thrive! But going back to the early days of your career, what is an example of something that you felt was such an immense hurdle and how did you overcome it?
I would say the biggest hurdle was my family’s approval. They are very traditional and didn’t like the idea of me doing anything art related due to how expensive the hobby was and realized there was little return. For me, it was a passion of mine and they didn’t understand. They aren’t bad people, just came from a different generation, so I had to work very hard to prove to them this was something of value to me and my happiness. That was very hard but worth it in the end. Now they ask about my costumes and love hearing about the things I get to do with my work. It was hard but I’m happy I did all of it for my passion. 
All of your cosplays are nothing short of fantastic but I am curious, what is your personal favorite and why?
My personal favorite cosplay has to be my Gundam cosplays. I just love being a Gundam Girl! Someday I want to make a full suit with a full helmet. That’s a dream of mine! 
Don’t forget to check out more information on the event here and tune into the Expo from 9/4 – 9/6!

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