Special thanks to Maria at the Double Tree Fort Smith for getting us a smooth $89 a night rate. The hotel is conveniently attached to the convention center, so you don’t even have to go outside to get to your room. With free parking and comfy beds, the DoubleTree will be able to get you rest so you can enjoy all the awesomeness of A2F! To book a room, call 479-783-1000, tell them that you are with Arkansas Anime Festival. Should they ask for a discount booking code, give them the three letters: ANI.
The martial arts academy USA competition team is made up of 6 members that travel around the tri-state area to performing demos and competing on a national level. During the A2F weekend, they will be demonstrating their skills with multiple weapons and hand to hand self-defense. Come watch as the lights turn off for the only LED martial arts weapon show in the Midwest. Then as the sun goes down, watch as they put their speed and strength to the test breaking boards that have been set on fire, then demonstrating fire staffs and fire katanas.
New Challenger is a hard rock band from OKC, performing their rock opera inspired by the Street Fighter series. They recently made their live debut at Fierce Punch 2, an OKC charity Street Fighter tournament, and will be perfoming at A2F River Valley.
Check out the EP “Master of the Fist” at NewChallengerBand.com
Ben Reeder is the author of the popular Demon’s Apprentice series, the Zompoc Survivor series and Ash Fall, the first book in the Apocalypse of Enoch: Everwinter series from New Babel books. He is also the co-author of the Verge Walker series with George Canfield. Born in Hawaii and raised in South Texas, he learned many of the vital zombie survival skills at an early age, spending much of his time as a young man outdoors.
When he wasn’t trekking through the wilds of Texas, Ben was traveling through places like Middle Earth, Hyperborea, and Earthsea or exploring the depths of outer space through science fiction and fantasy. A role-player since junior high school, he discovered that he had a penchant for telling stories early on, and by the time he was in high school, he was writing pulp fiction style stories for his friends to read.
After trying his hand at being an adult for several years, Ben returned to his first passion, storytelling, and in 2011, released his first book, The Demon’s Apprentice. In 2014, he got the rights to the Demon’s Apprentice back from his publisher and self-published the Zompoc Survivor series, and realized his life-long dream of becoming a full-time writer in 2015. When he isn’t traveling to conventions, he lives in Springfield, Missouri with his girlfriend Randi and several cats who have trained him to feed them on command.
You can read the first chapter of The Demon’s Apprentice on his website: ChanceFortunato.com
Kazha is a 3 piece rock band from Japan. Lead singer Kazuha Oda is a classically trained singer born in Japan, spent her childhood in several different countries including Brazil. She started out as a solo singer and recorded over 20 different records/projects from classic to heavy metal music in Japan. She has worked with wide variety of performers including Grammy winner Bob James. Her work has appeared on the iTunes Top 100 charts of numerous countries for a significant amount of time.
After releasing Kazha’s first album “Overture” in 2010, they had their first North America tour (including Mexico) debuting at Asian Heritage Street Celebration in San Francisco playing with the American Hip Hop group “Far East Movement”. Since then, the band have been touring around the world, appearing at various festivals and conventions. Kazha also have been performing at local venues including The World Famous Whiskey A Go Go (Los Angeles) and RockHouse Live (Memphis), sharing stage with musicians such as Gilby Clarke, Lynch Mob, Tantric, LA Guns, and Y&T. In Memphis TN, Kazha is now working on a new project with an engineer Lawrence “Boo” Mitchelle who recently won a Grammy with the song “Up Town Funk” sung by Bruno Mars.
Kazha continue their musical adventure armed with their strong belief in their music and aspirations of achieving their goal. Their music combines the softness of a falling feather and the heaviness of a hurricane. Kazha represents a new future of the world music: a fusion of cultures and musical view points that create their sound.
Leah Clark is an American voice actor primarily associated with FUNimation productions. This year she has been heard in the broadcast dubs of Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid (Kobayashi); Touken Ranbu (Gokotai); Show By Rock (Ailane); Shonen Maid (Miyako); Fuuka (Suzuka); Alderamin On the Sky (Haroma); Aria the Scarlet Ammo AA (Aria), Keijo (Ayako); Izetta: The Last Witch (Elizabeth), and Yuri On Ice (Mari).
Memorable titles and roles include Negima (Nodoka); Fairy Tail/Fairy Tail Zero (Mavis); Soul Eater (Blair); One Piece (Coby/Miss Doublefinger); Eden Of This East (Saki); Baka and Test (Minami); Deadman Wonderland (Minatsuki/Hummingbird); Assassination Classroom (Kanzaki); Suzuka (Suzuka); Rosario + Vampire (Ruby); Fullmetal Alchemist: The Movie – Conqueror of Shamballa (Noah); Pokémon the Movie: Black – Victini and Reshiram (Carlita) and Pokémon the Movie: White – Victini and Zekrom (Carlita)
Leah has also worked as a script writer on such projects as: Panty and Stocking, Suzuka, Peach Girl, Baka and Test, Sasami: Magical Girl Club, B Gata H Kei – Yamada’s First Time; Sekirei, and Strike Witches. As an ADR director, Leah has worked on Sasami: Magical Girl Club; Shuffle, The Tower of Druaga, and Case Closed.
Leah’s first love was theatre and she trained in music theatre at Circle in the Square in New York. She performs regularly on stages in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area. Along with regular voice work at Funimation, her voice can also be heard on industrials and video games. She supports her acting habit by working as a commercial and independent film producer.
Peculiar Cosplayers is a growing cosplay group based out of Peculiar, MO. Formed in 2011, the Peculiar Cosplayers have attended a number of conventions, including Naka Kon in Kansas City, Kansas City Comic Con, Planet Comicon, and Cosplacon in Jefferson City. They have a wide array of talents, including prop building, makeup and body painting, and chainmailing. They are excited to be running the Cosplay Classroom at A2F, and look forward to sharing cosplay tips and tricks!
You can find pictures of their latest cosplay projects at Facebook.com/PeculiarCosplayers.