2019 Tokyo Speakers

Hollywood Meets Anime.

  • Hear from these inspiring speakers as they discuss how Anime has begun to influence the Entertainment Industry and the global impact of Japanese pop culture.

Dallas Middaugh

  • Nonlinear World

    Dallas Middaugh has worked in the manga and anime field for almost 20 years, during which time he has authored, edited or published over 2000 books. He is the founder of several manga publishing companies and imprints, including Penguin Random House’s Del Rey Manga in 2004, Seven Seas in 2005, and Kodansha Comics in 2010. He was the first person in the US to license Attack on Titan in 2011, two years before its anime debut. Middaugh spent four years at Crunchyroll, where, in addition to managing the manga program, he was head of events and was responsible for the creation and/or execution of Crunchyroll Expo, Crunchyroll Movie Night, and the Anime Awards. His company, Nonlinear World, is a pop culture consultancy working with clients in manga, comics, and anime on events, publishing, marketing, and industry analysis.

Rita Wang

  • President and Head of Acquisitions, Crunchyroll K.K.

    Rita Wang is the president and head of acquisitions for Crunchyroll K.K., the Japanese headquarters of the world’s most popular anime brand. Crunchyroll currently has more than 45 million registered users and two million subscribers globally. In this role, Wang oversees content licensing, acquisition strategy and local Japanese operations for the platform.
    Wang brings with her over 15 years of experience in content licensing and strategic acquisition. She joined Crunchyroll from Nelke Planning Co., where she was the project planning producer. Prior to that, she lead acquisitions at Mighty Media Co. as the general manager of the Tokyo branch.
    Wang is a graduate of The World College of Journalism and Communications.

Matt Schley

  • The Japan Times, Otaku USA Magazine

    Matt Schley writes about anime for The Japan Times and Otaku USA Magazine, where he’s held the role of Japan editor for the better part of a decade. He’s especially interested in the confluence of business and art from which anime is born, and the possibilities and challenges that new technologies bring to the table. Aside from anime journalism, Matt works as a script consultant for several Japan-focused documentary series on NHK’s international channel, NHK World-Japan. More often than not, he can be found at Meiji Jingu Stadium, cheering on the Yakult.

Tara McKinney

  • Sr. Manager, Conventions, Funimation

    Tara McKinney started in the media department and subsequently moved into Campaign Management where she used her event planning experience to transition into the conventions department. She has transformed and innovated Funimation’s presence at a variety of pop culture events across the United States and Canada.

Ken Iyadomi


    Mar 2018 to Current: Executive Expert, Sunrise Inc. in charge of film adaptation
    Nov 2014 to Mar 2018: Executive Officer at Anime Consortium Japan
    Jan 2007 to Mar 2013: CEO & President Bandai Entertainment Inc.
    June 1996 to Dec 2006: Executive Vice President, Bandai Entertainment Inc
    1986: Started Career at Bandai Co.,Ltd.

Robert Napton

  • SVP Publishing, Legendary

    Robert Napton oversees publishing for Legendary Comics, Legendary Pictures’ comics imprint. He has a long history in comics and anime, and prior to Legendary he worked at Bandai, where, among other duties, he was in charge of the company’s manga program.

Jon Baumgardner

  • JBranding

    Jon Baumgardner is the owner of JBranding, a boutique Public Relations agency located in Anaheim, California. Catering primarily to Japanese companies looking to grow their market in America, JBranding has proven that cost effective PR services do not have to come with an expensive price tag. The company’s services focus on publicity, disseminating news, media management and search engine marketing (SEM & SEO). JBranding’s specialized approach brings simplicity to the confusing world of communications and delivers measurable results.

Tak Furuichi

  • Director, Japan Music Culture Export (JMCE)

    Tak Furuichi is an international specialist of the Japanese music industry. Based in Tokyo, his career started at one of the largest independent labels in Japan, JVC Kenwood Victor Entertainment. For over two decades, he has played a key role in executing international businesses and creating extensive network of associates globally for the label. In 2015, in connection with the launch of the International Marketing Department of the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ), he took on the task at the association to help member labels take their artists, music and businesses international. In 2017, he took on a new challenge at the music industry trade body, Japan Music Culture Export (JMCE), to apply his expertise to help the Japanese music industry promote Japanese music internationally.

Kiyoko Kato

  • Dream Planet

    Kiyoko Kato has been involved in overseas anime event planning and content-related operations for about 15 years. Her company, Dream Planet, exports Japanese culture through cosplayers, voice actors, and J-Pop artists. She has partnered with overseas cosplayers for worldwide anime events, as well as connecting cosplayers with event sponsors. She has held a roundtable discussion on fan trends for companies several times and has access to a network of cosplayers all over the world.

  • Register for Project Anime: Tokyo 2019 now for your opportunity to learn from these notable professionals in the Japanese pop culture industry.

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