Press Release from Aniplex of America Inc.
SANTA MONICA, CA (May 6th, 2011) – Aniplex of America Inc. announced today that “American Idol” Season 6 finalist Blake Lewis has been cast in the company's English language production of the highly popular anime series, Durarara!! The fan-favorite vocalist will perform the voiceover of the character Kasuka Heiwajima (a movie idol and the younger brother of Shizuo Heiwajima, one of the primary characters on the show) in the forthcoming Durarara!! Episode 25.
As viewers of “American Idol” Season 6 came to discover, the free-spirited and musically-gifted Lewis marches to the beatbox of a different drummer and this latest project reflects his diverse talents. “I'm excited to be a part of the world of anime, I'm a huge fan and I've been watching it for over a decade,” says Lewis. “I loved working on Durarara!!! I love digging into a character and having fun with it. My character "Kasuka‟ was an upbeat news reporter and since I'm familiar with being in front of cameras, I felt like I could relate to him and put a lot of myself in him.”
About Blake LewisAnyone who tuned in to season six of American Idol knew to expect the unexpected of Blake Lewis. Through talent, instinct, creativity and unapologetic brashness, Blake managed to make it all the way to the finale as first runner-up. His performance of “You Give Love A Bad Name” currently has nearly 3 million YouTube views, and is considered one of the most popular performances in American Idol's history.
Ever the stand-out performer, Lewis earned the unprecedented distinction of being the only former “American Idol” contestant to top both of the Billboard Hot Dance Airplay Chart and the Billboard Dance/Club Play Chart at #1 with his hit single “Heartbreak on Vinyl” in 2010.
He has entertained at numerous shows, including charity events, Pride festivals, and DJ gigs across the country. His multifaceted background demonstrates his skills. He even taught First Lady Michelle Obama to break out her beatboxing skills during a performance at a luncheon in her honor.
Currently, Blake appears in videos for DJ Dan's “Operator” and BT's “Suddenly.” He writes a weekly “American Idol” column for AOL, his next single “Till We See The Sun,” is coming out this summer, and Blake is working in the studio on his forthcoming release.
About Durarara!! Episode 25This episode is a stand-alone “special” episode that will be included in Durarara!! DVD Part 3, which is due out May 31st, 2011.
Kasuka Heiwajima, the younger brother of Shizuo Heiwajima, is a young, talented actor, better known by his famous stage name “Yuhei Hanejima,” but not everyone‟s an adoring fan, as someone issues a death threat online. While on location shooting and hosting “Love Love Star Chance! Find Ikebukuro‟s Number One Couple!”, Yuhei looks for a cute couple to star in his upcoming movie, but will it be Mikado and Anri who are suddenly put on the spot?
Amongst the street audience gathered around for the show, Shizuo calmly keeps an eye on his brother, but things are about to get way out of hand as tempers flare and vending machines and signposts are flung when he finds out that Yuhei is being set up for a trap orchestrated by his archrival, Izaya Orihara!
About Durarara!!Durarara!! the animated TV series is based on the eponymous hit novel by RYOHGO NARITA, who also penned the award-winning novel series-turned anime series Baccano! With an “off-the-wall” style of storytelling and pacing, Mr. Narita represents a new breed of unconventional authors on the rise and drawing accolades from teen readers and critics alike within Japan‟s highly competitive light-novel industry. The Durarara!! series has shocked readers with its unique, quirky and wildly unpredictable characters and intriguingly interwoven plots that form an out-of-this-world story.
About Aniplex of America Inc.Aniplex of America Inc. (Santa Monica, California) is a subsidiary of Aniplex Inc. (headquartered in Tokyo, Japan), a group of Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc. and leading provider of anime content and music production and distribution in Japan. Aniplex Inc. has introduced a variety of properties including such hits as Gurren Lagann, Fullmetal Alchemist, Kuroshitsuji (Black Butler), Rurouni Kenshin, R.O.D -THE TV-, and Blood+, all of which are licensed and distributed worldwide. In addition to its licensing business, the company's direct video release business focuses on delivering coveted titles to North America, including fan-favorite releases such as Gurren Lagann the Movie –Childhood’s End- and -The Lights in the Sky Are Stars-, Durarara!!, R.O.D -THE COMPLETE- Blu-ray Box, the Garden of sinners Blu-ray Disc Box (now sold out) and Baccano! Blu-ray Disc Box. The company's ever-growing line-up of shows is distributed across various digital platforms, available as downloadable and/or streaming video content, such as the recently launched Blue Exorcist simulcast streaming through Hulu, Crunchyroll, Anime News Network and VIZ Anime.