Roxanne's will host AnimeFest this weekend, including sake sommelier, marketplace and 'Naruto' voice actor – Signal Tribune

Roxanne's will host AnimeFest this weekend, including sake sommelier, marketplace and 'Naruto' voice actor – Signal Tribune

Roxanne’s Lounge will be a scene of cosplay, anime and sake this Sunday as it gears up for a day of all-ages anime-themed merriment from noon to 6 p.m.
Community members are invited to cosplay their favorite characters, listen to music on three different stages, and enjoy a vendor marketplace selling anime, comic books and video game goods. 
“Beyond places like BoxLunch, Hot Topic, there really aren’t a lot of places you can go looking for apparel, for clothing, for accessories as far as anime stuff is concerned,” said Jim Torres, a spokesperson for Roxanne’s. “It’s gonna be a huge marketplace.”
The restaurant will also host guest of honor Steve Prince, a voice actor known for his roles such as Keitaro Urashima in “Love Hina”; DemiDevimon and Piedmon in “Digimon”; Uryu Ishida in “Bleach”; Iggy in “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders”; Vexen in the “Kingdom Hearts” series; and Shino Aburame in “Naruto.” Prince will do meet-and-greets and signings during the event.
​​Long Beach-based youth arts program Creative Flow Arts will have arts and crafts projects for kids. 
Local headlining band Japanese Lunchtime Rush will play hits from anime and video game scores from both past and present. They’ll be joined by local jazz bands, Blow Brass and the Sam Ross Trio. Torres described them as “a bunch of anime geeks.”
Japanese Lunchtime Rush bass player Greg Lariza said the band started playing scores from video games and anime such as “Final Fantasy Persona 5,” “Cowboy Bebop,” “Inuyasha” and “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure” because they’re “all a bunch of nerds.” 
Lariza described the band’s style as “fiery” and “high energy.” Attendees should expect plenty of guitar solos and “conversations” between instruments as they jam. Lariza said he’s not sure whether the band will dress up, but that their instruments might. 
“If you’ve never cosplayed before, this is a fun and exciting time to just try it out for the first time,” Torres said, adding that he bought a Pokemon Charizard onesie for the occasion. 
Roxanne’s has held themed events in the past, but they’re usually centered around spirits, such as their Rum-Tiki Social and Cumbia y Tequila-Fest. AnimeFest 2k22 will kick off Roxanne’s Summer on the Patio series. 
Attendees who purchase VIP tickets—half of which are already sold—are invited for all-you-can-drink sake and a chance to pose questions to a sake sommelier from Sake Secret, who will bring “his own very special inventory of sake,” Torres said. 
Those who prefer mixed drinks can enjoy a variety of anime-themed cocktails. 
VIP attendees can enjoy gin, whiskey and vodka tastings from Wille’s Tin Shop, a secret bar and distillery located behind Roxanne’s, which will host a house music silent disco. 
“Come on by for good food, some great drinks, an awesome lineup of music, and vendors,” Lariza said. “Whether or not you enjoy anime, this is more of an all-ages event, so if you have even the slightest interest, I think you should come on by.”
Tickets for the Sunday event can be purchased on Eventbrite
Presale general admission entry-only tickets cost $10 and include access to the marketplace and stages. General admission tickets for those 21+ cost $25 ($30 at the door) and include a welcome cocktail, distillery tastings and access to the marketplace. VIP tickets cost $50 and include general admission, access to the VIP lounge with all-you-can-drink sake with a sake sommelier, access to a silent rave inside the distillery and a food ticket. 
Roxanne’s is located at 1115 E Wardlow Rd. 
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