At Anime Expo 2009, hosted a panel on Thursday, July 2nd, the first day of the convention. While this had been the second time that we had a panel at AX, there were many firsts to this year’s panel: our very own Site Founder, Jon Platt made an appearance at the panel. The panelists also consisted of Xion, the host of Bento Beatbox and vocalist of Los Angeles-based Jrock band, VAEIDOS and Bento Beatbox producer Ai Aota of Neu Bauhaus.

The panel was set to start at 5PM, but we were able to begin 15 minutes ahead of time due to the many panel attendees that had filed in very early. During this time, premiered the second episode of Bento Beatbox. The fans cheered with excitement as they saw LM.C’s mini interview as well as the other artists featured in that episode. personnel in attendance included Krystal, the Fashion Blog Editor, Reiko, our West Coast Events Coordinator, and Aoi-Jenni, Graphics Designer. Once introductions by staff were made, they handed the floor over to Jon Platt, who began by asking if people had already heard about and how many people visited the homepage. Topics he covered included our very own Bento Beatbox TV series featuring host Xion and numerous PVs/videos by various Jrock artists. He mentioned that many artists support the purpose of the show and were looking forward to being featured in future episodes, which makes having your voice heard that much more important! The last topic – but certainly not least – was the announcement of’s very own label called The JRR Label Group, also known as JRR Records. More information about the label can be found right here at the site.

Jon brought up a lot cool things going on with Please check back with the site for more announcements, more changes and future opportunities.

Following our first presenter, Xion spoke a bit about his band, VAEIDOS, and his overall experience as the Bento Beatbox host. He also gave a small bio consisting of where he was from and when he decided to come to the U.S. and when he decided to start a band. More information on this can be found at the site. Don’t forget to keep an eye on his blog, which can be found on the front page (just look for his picture, you can’t miss it!).

Ai Aota took the stage next, starting out by talking about the previous companies that she had worked with as well as her current company that she founded. She spoke a lot about how and when she became a fan of Jrock. Of course, she didn’t forget to mention the VAMPS tour and that VAMPS is featured on the cover of the newest Cure magazine!

The first Cure artist, Satsuki, entered the panel room to warm greetings by fans. President of Cure Magazine, Natsuno, gave a brief introduction of who he was, followed by Rika, Cure Magazine Staff, who also gave a brief introduction as well as talked a little bit about Cure USA, Cure’s new magazine, written in English. Rika also mentioned that the first issue is now on sale, and for everyone to check out the Cure USA website for more information.

After Rika had given her introduction and talked about Cure USA, they played a DVD that contained short messages from the bands from’s first Cure PickUp Artist Contest, such as NightingeiL and ALSDEAD. Many of those messages were

about how each band was hoping to come to the States and perform. After the video was done playing, the second Cure band, auncia, appeared and the fans were very enthusiastic and made them feel very welcome. As they all joined the long line of panelists, the band members were able to introduce themselves and give a short message.

The Visual Kei Fashion Contest was the next segment. Reiko took to the microphone and introduced, as well as explained, the contest, which was to be judged by the Cure artists. There were five contestants, all having very good visual kei inspired outfits. Each of them walked into the panel room, with Kaya’s Ouka as the runway music. Fans did a fantastic job cheering and encouraging the contestants as they showed off their great costumes.

Once the voting had ended and tabulations were collected by Fashion Contest Coordinator, Cecelia,

it was time for the Q&A. Some of the questions asked for the artists consisted of: “What American artist influences you?” and “Is your image of America still the same after coming here?” Satsuki happened to answer, “Yes”, in English, to that last question. auncia had their amusing little antics during the Q&A, such as drummer Hikari urging the other members to speak into the microphone to ensure that they would be heard. A question that Jon received was asking about the possibility of a second Jrock Revolution Festival. He began with a, “I’m glad you asked…” and proceeded to talk about the Jrock Revolution 2 Festival Petition up on the site. He mentioned that many more signatures would be needed in order to be presented to the Jrock Revolution 1 Festival promoters.

As the panel came to an end, all the votes were tallied into final scores ready to have the winners announced. Reiko first announced the two runners-up (it was a tie), followed by the first place winner. All three contestants received outstanding prizes and thus the panel came to a close. Jon thanked everyone for attending, including Cure Magazine and their artists, who were given a final applause before making their exit. As everyone filed out, the street team handed out VAMPS and fliers to all who attended. The three winning contestants were then taken to be interviewed by Xion. would like to thank everyone who attended the panel and we hope to see everybody back again next year!

Report by: Reiko
Contributed & Edited by: Ali W.

Special thanks to our very special guests, Satsuki, auncia, CURE Magazine and Neu Bauhaus

Also stay tuned for the panel gallery, coming soon!