If you harbour a secret love of anime despite the fact you’re now officially grown-up, then head to the SMASH! Sydney Manga and Anime Show this Saturday 14th July.
You can publicly declare your love for all your favourite characters – from Pikachu (Pokémon) and Astroboy, to Akira and Totoro, SMASH! is the place to be. Now in its 6th year, this one-day Japanese pop culture convention is a meet-up for artists, creators and fans, taking place at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre at Darling Harbour.
Whether you’re an aspiring artist or animator, a Japanese pop-culture buff, into Cosplay, or just want to meet up with like-minded anime fans, SMASH! has something for everyone.
Take a voice workshop with Yūko Miyamura, best known for the voice of Asuka Langley Soryu in Neon Genesis Evangelion.
If you like things more hands-on, then get yourself along to the Gundam workshop and build your very own Japanese model a la Voltron.
Head to the Animal Logic panel to get the lowdown from local digital artists and directors like Charles Santoso, and storyboard and comic artist W Chew Chan.
Or if you’re one of those people who wants to BE your favourite character, then get yourself into costume! Cosplay - short for costume play – is where fans dress up as their favourite anime, manga or video game characters.
This is a serious art form and Cosplayers don’t just stop at the outfit. To enter the SMASH! Cosplay competition, you have to devise an entertaining skit and act out your character. You can also take part in a Pokémon battle or Cosplay chess – where you get to be one of the chess pieces on the board. When a piece is taken, the players must perform a mock battle.
So who is your favourite character? and from which anime or manga series? Ghost in the Shell? My Neighbour Totoro? or Spirited Away?