On August 17th, 2019 history was made: Southern Oregon had its first anime convention as Ani-Medford came to Ramada, Medford to celebrate anime and Japanese pop culture.
The inaugural show brought a strong celebrity guest lineup to Medford. Coming all the way from Texas was the FUNimation star Bryn Apprill, who has lent her voice to over 80 different characters, including Kotori Itsuka from Date A Live, Hiyori Iki from Noragami, Christa Lenz from Attack on Titan, Cyan from Show by Rock!, Meldy from Fairy Tail, and Ibara Shiozaki in My Hero Academia.
Bryn Apprill was joined by her often onscreen partner and a prolific voice over actress Morgan Berry whose credits include Kakunsa in Dragon Ball Super, Thirteen in My Hero Academia, Madam Sharley in One Piece, Glass in The Rising of the Shield Hero, Nfirea Bareare in Overlord, Kitakami in KanColle, Underling in Hyperdimension Neptunia, Tokaku Azuma in Riddle Story of Evil, and Ichirohiko in The Boy and the Beast among others. At the panel, Morgan was joined by Brandon Yates, a contract composer and voice actor primarily known for his music work on Rooster Teeth's "Death Battle series.
Fans of classic anime could meet Eddie Frierson, an actor known for his work on Mobile Suit Gundam, Robotech, Captain Harlock and the Queen of a Thousand Years, Naruto, Ghost in the Shell, and Noein, and Paul St. Peter who voiced Kurama in Naruto, and worked on Akira, Cowboy Bebop, Mobile Suit Gundam, Digimon, Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, Dragon Ball Super, Bleach, and many other anime shows.
Ani-Medford also brought an array of Oregon homegrown cosplay guests — Cosplaimee, The Faustian Spider, Miss Bellabean, and Sydabee who also judged the cosplay contest.
Special Cosplay Guest Cosplaimee hosted a fan's favorite lip sync battle, and Ani-Medford Official Host Zaxel moderated celebrity panels where the guests shared their experience voicing iconic anime characters.
The show also featured local artists and vendors, Itasha cars, video games, LARPing, Magic: The Gathering tournament hosted by Wabi Sabi, and anime screening where fans could watch Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, Mazinger Z vs Getter Robo, Galaxy Express 999, Orguss, and Macross: Do You Remember Love?