SMASH! – Anime and Manga Convention – 2012

SMASH! -Sydney Manga and Anime Show- (not “Sydney Manga Show”…) is one of three, major conventions in Sydney that celebrate Japanese pop culture, held at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre in the heart of the City’s Darling Harbour precinct. The convention has grown rather quickly in popularity, and has become large enough to earn a mention in the prime-time light-entertainment program “The Project.” Run entirely by volunteers, this year’s convention was most definitely their biggest yet, with the site’s auditorium close to capacity at the show’s main event,
I was delighted to attend again this year and the following quick post is of my experience at this year’s convention.

(Side note – I’m still learning the rules and processes of photography, and for the moment. I have a basic understanding of some more technical sides, but still mostly relying on just spamming the shutter.)

I remember last year’s queue was a bit of a scramble, with much confusion around the entrance. I’m glad there was no repeat of that this year, in fact, it was incredibly efficient. Arriving on site at 8:50am, we were in well within half and hour in a quick moving line. Not sure what they did differently this time, but it most certainly worked. Good work guys. =)

Merchandise a plenty, (as always) with Madman and Siren Visual were there; distributing the majority of licensed Anime and Managa.

A lot of random stuff available for purchase too, from many of the artist corners, University clubs, and retailers, selling everything from figures and artbooks to badges and fan-art prints. (Sushi plushies too from the looks of it)

SMASH also hosts Australia’s Gunpla Builders World Cup, with dozens of entries displaying some incredible creativity from young and… older… using a good range of materials, paints and other decorative features to produce amazing set ups. Some of them are absolutely insane…

(Clear plastic is probably one of the most underused materials in my opinion, it can produce amazing effects.)

The Ball Jointed Doll display is always a feature at conventions, with some creepy, and some excessively cute outfits made for them. These things aren’t cheap either…

And now, what’s a Convention without cosplayers?

The main event of the show, the Madman Cosplay Competition almost filled the auditorium, and the front is lined with photographers and flashes! The following photos are of those who went up onstage, and is just a sample of the awesome costumes made.

^ This Makise Kurisu was a(n impressive) trap!

There are more photos of the event uploaded to my Flickr account.

Not surprisingly, I had a great time again at this year’s event, and I highly commend all those who made it possible! I look forward to getting a “volunteer” pass next year, as I’d love to be a part of the magic that creates such an amazing experience.

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