Another year another action packed weekend from the team behind the Sydney Manga and Anime Show.
This was SMASH’s first outing at the rebuilt international Convention Centre in Darling Harbour and the second ever event we have been to at the location since Rooster Teeth opened the batting earlier in the year.
It was a significantly bigger undertaking for SMASH and is going to be even bigger still when OZ Comic con lands in September. So this was a good opportunity to see how the more fractured if modern surrounds cope with the crowds.
If Saturday morning is anything to go by we are a little nervous, the lines were the longest anyone has seen in years and they took hours to be whittled down once the doors opened. I had some friends tell me they waits over 90 minutes before they were even out of the cold let alone close enough to see how much it was going to cost them.
If anything it was a salutary lesson for both the attendee’s and the organisers, I’m sure next years lines will be better managed and more punters will be buying their tickets online given the slightly cheaper prices and much shorter wait time to get in.
Once inside it was a crush of people enjoying everything that the Anime scene in Sydney has to offer, stallholders flocked from all over the country along with the local players like Anime at Abbotsford.
The cosplay competition started nearly an hour late and if you didn’t arrive early you were made to wait in a line had was well out of view of the stage with no screens relaying the action.
The entrants were as amazing as usual though and for superfans, I have a feeling they would have waited all day to see their friends have their moment in the spotlight and marvel at the stunning eye candy that just kept coming.
There were some hilarious skits performed by some very talented young artists which were only let down by out of sync audio and sometimes the sound engineer played the completely wrong track resulting in some bewildered looking contestants but once those kinks were ironed out the show ran smooth enough.
Congratulations to K Cosplay and A.K. Wirru for winning the WCS cosplay competition on Sunday, they will be representing Australia at the World cosplay Summit in Japan next year. Funnily enough this years WCS is on right now and ends this Sunday the 5th of August. Kirilee and Giorgia will be representing Australia and we wish them the best of luck!
We will keep you posted on the winners of that of course but meanwhile back at SMASH there was still plenty to see and do.
A bigger than ever contingent of Artists of all kinds flooded artists alley with endless lines of stalls sating even the hungriest fan of original artwork. From badges to giant poster sized prints and clothing, these guys had everything a videogame or Anime fan could want.
Actual food was close at hand too with two cafes churning out burgers, sandwiches and these delicious little ‘friand’ pastries which put a dent in my dream of ever doing a believable Kratos cosplay..
There was a Stamp Rally Adventure for the kids along with drawing, writing and model making competitions. My own nine year old son couldn’t get enough of all of the above and was more than impressed with this Toothless cosplay worn by Jeff Salt.
The Gundamn model show also seemed to be larger than ever and while I never watched more than a few episodes I absolutely loved the attention to detail and obvious skill shown in creating the models on display.
There were celebrity guests galore from Japan, panels, karaoke rooms, Itasha car art displays, anime screenings, J-dancing on the main stage, trivia events, raffles and free to play console and PC gaming areas.
If all that got a little too overwhelming you could duck into the chill out room and flop onto a couch or beanbag to avoid the mayhem for a while.
All in all it was a massive weekend and while there were some teething issues with the venue and we felt the hall could be larger given the crush of the crowds in the peak periods the organisers did a great job overall.
Lets hope next year there are less technical difficulties and more amazing cosplay.
Bring on SMASH 2019
I know I can’t wait, till next time
(see more of our photos here! )