With "Brand-New Debuts", TAKII fans are introduced to the newest celebs in our midst through detailed bios, personal quotes, multimedia presentations, & more. While being a "Brand-New Debut" would mean that they haven't ever been a guest or performer at a season of TAKII, these special brands of collective talents are always more than ready to get their feet wet & hands dirty as they celebrate Asian culture fandom "to the extreme" with their most passionate admirers, TAKII fanatics! For TAKII 23, we say "HAJIMEMASHITE" to some very special guests:



It is said that Michele Knotz hails from a distant faraway planetoid called New Jersey. She commutes to New York to work on this series you may have heard of called Pokémon. Now in their 20th season, Sun & Moon, Michele returns as the voice of Team Rocket’s Jessie & as an added bonus, she voices Bewear! Michele is also extremely excited to be in FUNimation’s theatrical release of One Piece Film: Gold as the voice of Carina! In addition to everything else she's got going on, Michele's a script adapter for various dubbing projects & lends her voice to many other types of work (all of which can be seen HERE). We're honored to be featuring this fabulous voice actress at our jam-Poké-packed season known as TAKII 23 ~Gotta Catch 'Em All!~!


Chris Smith has been attending conventions for 8+ years & has always been most interested in the industry side & speaking with the guests. Chris spent 3 years working with 91.8 The Fan as their Guest Relations Manager. He scheduled & managed interviews with voice talent & industry professionals in person at conventions & through the online radio station. His experience & expertise with communication through these mediums has now brought him to the creation of Brilliant Arrow Booking, where he seeks to bring conventions & guests together in order to turn a good con into a great one. A Pokémon master in his own right, Chris Smith will be producing quite a few Poké-themed "X-Treme X-Posé" panels at TAKII 23 & our fusion festival fans can't wait to see what he's got up his fandom-soaked sleeves!


Carter Cathcart is an American voice actor, voice director, pianist & vocalist. He has been playing with bands since high school & has been the vocalist of the Carter Cathcart Band since 1981. Cathcart's 1st voiceover part was O.G. Readmore on the ABC Weekend Special. After that, he recorded voice overs for Kit Kat, Good Humor, Coors Light, & others. Mr. Cathcart later auditioned to be a voice actor & has since become known for a prolific amount of anime dub voice work for 4Kids Entertainment, Central Park Media, Media Blasters, DuArt Film & Video, TAJ Productions, & NYAV Post. Many would even say that Carter's work as James (1/2 of the duo known as Team Rocket from the Pokémon franchise) is some of his best yet (^_^). With his partner in Poké-crime, Michele Knotz (voice actress of Team Rocket's Jessie), at his side, the TAKII Family will need to "prepare for trouble -- make it double" at TAKII 23 ~Gotta Catch 'Em All!~ (^_*)!


Kyo Daiko (founded in 2005) is a Philadelphia-based community taiko drumming ensemble. All members are volunteers that perform for love of the art & the energy that the great drums bring to them. Kyo Daiko performs regularly at a wide range of venues: school & community events, Phillies baseball games, Japanese festivals (including Washington, D.C.’s National Cherry Blossom Festival), roller derbies, & museums, to name a few. In 2013, Kyo Daiko was showcased during the Philadelphia International Festival Of The Arts (PIFA) in a commissioned piece with Watanabe Kaoru, performing both at the Settlement Music School & at Shofuso Japanese House and Garden. This taiko troupe will be putting on a mini-concert & fan participation "X-Treme X-Posé" panel at TAKII 23 ~Gotta Catch 'Em All!~ & our TAKII Family couldn't be any happier!


Making his Philly, PA debut exclusively at TAKII 23 ~Gotta Catch 'Em All!~, REAKT is a Japanese artist from Tokyo, Japan currently living in the USA. His music is a mix of Japanese Pop, EDM, & Hip Hop. When REAKT's not busy performing on the Atlantic coast or Far East Asia, he's also dabbling in audio engineering & modeling (an entertainment triple threat that is a treat for all of one's senses ^_^). Long story short, REAKT's musical purpose is to spread his sound & message of peace to the world; & in these trying times, that is something we ALL could use more of.