It’s that time of the year again where Sydney’s #1 Japanese pop-culture convention, SMASH! Sydney Manga and Anime Show, exploded the Australian pop-culture scene on August 9 and 10. For fans of comic, manga, and anime, SMASH! is a true anime-fest that would have impressed many Australian geek fans with its spectacular two-day convention, bringing back plenty of fan-favourite events and attractions. It was a chance for convention-goers to explore and immerse themselves in a legitimate Japanese pop-culture environment, and here at Ctrl+GeekGirl…we absolutely had a fantastic time at SMASH! 2014!.See below for our overall impression of the event!
Four Fun Facts about SMASH! 2014
- It was a two-day convention, meaning there was twice as many events and attractions (and longer) at SMASH! 2014 including guest panels, workshops, cosplay, gaming, Maid Cafe, industry panels, competitions, and many more.
- SMASH! 2014 had the largest vendor hall seen in SMASH! history with over 170 vendors, including merchandise vendors, artists, and food stalls.
- There was TWO major cosplay events: the annual Madman Cosplay Competition AND the Australian Preliminary Competition of World Cosplay Summit 2015. Talk about cosplay galore!
- And of course… we can’t forget about this year’s special SMASH! guests. This year, SMASH! welcomed Japan’s #1 cosplay superstar Reika; animation director Toshihiro Kawamoto (Wolf’s Rain, Gundam OVA series, Cowboy Bebop); and voice-actress Kotono Mitsuishi who is best known as Sailor Moon from the popular ‘90s anime series, and the current Sailor Moon reboot series.
Each guest is clearly special and talented in their respective areas. We’re still shaken by Mitsuishi-san’s powerful live performance of “MOON, PRISM, POWER, MAKEUP” at her guest panel; plus learning a few tips from Mr Kawamoto himself about illustration and animation; AND we honestly can’t help but gush over Reika’s Levi (Attack on Titan) and Sakon Shima (Sengoku Basara) costumes that she had worn across the weekend.
SMASH! 2014 Highlights (Saturday + Sunday)
Cosplay has always played a major role at SMASH! conventions, and this year was no different. It was definitely THE year of Sailor Moon with many Sailor Scouts roaming around the picturesque location of Rosehill Gardens in their pretty Sailor outfits and recreating the badass poses. Lolitas and Pokemon onesies were also a hit with the crowd, and this year, it was surprising to see an increase of attendees cosplaying as Western characters including Frozen‘s Anna and Elsa, Adventure Time heroes and Despicable Me minions. See some photos below!
Featuring a unique collection of artworks, the SMASH! Travelling Artbook (and items donated by our guests) was auctioned off to donate proceeds to the Fred Hollows Foundation. Check out some of the amazing artworks below! What makes the SMASH! Travelling Artbook so special is the communal effort as it encourages artists within the SMASH! community to collaborate with their art, and raising money for charity.
Thanks to the newest partnership with Japanese Karaoke company Daiichi Kosho Co, SMASH! brought the ultimate karaoke experience with the famous Live DAM karaoke system. Prominent in many karaoke bars and establishments in Japan and filled with thousands of songs, this karaoke system delivers a singing experience rarely seen outside of Japan.
This was the first time that Live Dam Karaoke has been seen and used in Australia. Even Reika also dropped by the Live Dam Karaoke Room and had some fun singing various songs!
- Video 1: Reika singing ‘Zankoku na Tenshi no Tēze’ from Neon Genesis Evangelion: Post by Michelle Wong.
Madman Entertainment’s Sword Art Online Exhibition
Madman Entertainment’s Sword Art Online Exhibition made an appearance at this year’s SMASH! with the rare exhibition featuring original artworks from the popular anime series. Fans also got the opportunity to purchase official merchandise as well.
SMASH! 2014 Exhibitors and Artists
With so many vendors and artist circle stallholders this year, we couldn’t contain our excitement! For those into art and merchandise, this year’s SMASH! convention was the place to be as there was a great range of university clubs, handmade artists, anime merchandise stalls, and lots more. It was a great experience seeing some of the best rising creative artists of the industry — by the end of the day, no doubt that it will inspire you to bring out that inner creative talent of yours!
Here are some of Ctrl+GeekGirl’s favourite SMASH! artist stalls:
- Risachantag / 7th Heaven
- Warrick Wong Design and Haruki Art
- Fire and Ash
- Georgie Loons
- Make my Clay
…And Ctrl+Geekgirl’s favourite SMASH! exhibitor stalls:
And behold! We’ve got even more photos!
Because we’re currently having post-convention blues. Here are MORE photos from previous SMASH! conventions …..
For more information, visit www.smash.org.au