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G-FEST XXVI Special Guests

The following special guests will be appearing at G-FEST XXVI:

Akira Takarada

Guest of Honor: Akira Takarada

Returning for his fourth visit is Godfather of G-FEST, actor Akira Takarada. Mr. Takarada had been scheduled to appear at G-FEST XXV, but unfortunately had to cancel due to emergency surgery. He previously made lasting impressions on all G-fans at the 2016, 2012 and 2010 conventions. Mr. Takarada was instrumental in arranging visits to Toho Studios on G-TOURs II and III. He is one of the most recognizable actors associated with the Godzilla series, portraying navy diver Hideto Ogata in the original Godzilla in 1954, and has appeared in numerous other Godzilla and Toho science fiction films to date. One of Toho’s most distinguished and successful actors, Mr. Takarada is a celebrity in Japan, still making appearances in television dramas, quiz shows, and commercials.

Shusuke Kaneko

Guest of Honor: Shusuke Kaneko

Director and screenwriter Shusuke Kaneko is best known to kaiju fans for directing the highly regarded Heisei Gamera trilogy in the 1990s. Due to the success of those films, he was then called upon by Toho Studios to direct the 25th entry in the Godilla series: Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack. This ended up being the most successful Godzilla film of the Millennium series. Mr. Kaneko followed this by directing several episodes of Tsuburaya Productions’ Ultra Series, and live-action adaptations of the popular manga Death Note.

Peggy Neal

Guest of Honor: Peggy Neal

Actress Peggy Neal began her career as an actress while attending Sophia University of Japan. She starred in the cult-classic fantasy films The Terror Beneath the Sea and The X From Outer Space in the 1960s, and finally Las Vegas Free-for-All, but seemingly vanished from acting after that. Amazingly, after a fifty year hiatus, Peggy may be returning to the big screen for the proposed film The Great Buddha Arrival!

Yoshikazu Ishii

Guest of Honor: Yoshikazu Ishii

Yoshikazu Ishii is a director and assistant special effects director whose work includes Ultraman Ginga, Gantz, and Daimajin Kanon. He was also first assistant director of special effects on Godzilla: Final Wars. This year, Mr. Ishii will bring a new film to premiere: Attack of the Giant Teacher, a tribute to the late spfx director Koichi Kawakita.

Takuji Yamada

Guest of Honor: Takuji Yamada

Takuji Yamada is an award-winning diorama modeler famous for his nostalgically evocative scale models of scenes from the Showa period. He started making models for fun as a child and won a local contest each year. He started freelancing as a professional modeler in 1987, and has since won the national championship four times. Mr. Yamada has also won a gold medal at a military model competition held in the United Kingdom.

Sonoe Nakajima

Special Friend of G-FEST: Sonoe Nakajima

Sonoe Nakajima is the daughter of Haruo Nakajima, the original Godzilla suit actor. She will be joining us at G-FEST this year to express her appreciation to her father’s adoring fans. Ms. Nakajima’s visit is sponsored by a group of G-fans, in thanks for making it possible for us to meet her father at his later convention appearances, where she accompanied him.

Philo Barnhart

Special Presenter: Philo Barnhart

Philo Barnhart is a professional film animator known for his work on feature-length films such as: The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, The Secret of NIMH, and special effects for Star Trek: The Motion Picture. His relevance for G-Fans is that he was an animator on the Hanna Barbera Godzilla series in the late 70s. Philo has also worked on numerous other animated TV shows and video games including The Smurfs, Scooby Doo, Dragons Lair, and many more.

Tony Isabella

Special Presenter: Tony Isabella

Tony Isabella is veteran of the comics industry, and was an editor and writer at Marvel Comics and for many other publishers. At DC Comics, he created Black Lightning, the company’s first prominent African-American superhero. He is the author of 1000 Comic Books You Must Read, one of comicdom’s most successful books of comics history and nostalgia. Tony was also the lead reviewer for and a contributing editor of Comics Buyer’s Guide for over two decades.

Naoki Endo

Special Presenter: Naoki Endo

Naoki Endo is the president of CCP Toys (Character Contents Production), producer of high quality hero and kaiju vinyl figures. Born in Hokkaido in 1968, he had a longing for a hero in his childhood and was actively involved as an Air Self-Defense Force Official. Naoki started his new career as a kickboxer in 1990, winning many awards, but retired due to injury. In 2001, Naoki started making figures in the characters departments of CSS Inc. The next year he became independent and established CCP Toys.

J.D. Lees

Special Guest: J.D. Lees

The driving force behind G-FAN Magazine, G-FEST, and G-TOUR, J.D. Lees will be present at G-FEST XXVI all weekend.