Yes, it’s that time of year again when we all get excited as the Madman Anime Festival rolls into Melbourne for 2017. Last year was the debut of the festival, put together by Australia’s largest distributor of quality anime, manga and heaps more otaku goodies, Madman. 2017 also saw the festival branch out to Perth and Brisbane before hitting up Melbourne for the last local convention of the year.
Japandaman will be at both days joined by Japandaman.com editor, Farrah! We’ll be doing our weeb best to bring you pictures and videos of all the fun and action going down over the weekend. Make sure you check out our social media links below and give us a follow so you don’t miss out on any of the fun!
I love my fast cars especially Japanese import cars so better believe I watched classic racing anime, Initial D, like a man possessed. So I’m beyond super excited to hear that the author of Initial D, Shuuichi Shigeno, is launching a new manga and better yet, it’s another racing one.
The series is called MF Ghost and is set in the future revolving around an era where petrol is being phased out and cars that drive themselves are the norm. Enter Kanata Livington, a 19 year old driving prodigy who has been studying abroad in England at a driving school to complete a promise he made years earlier.
For more info or to check it out for yourself, you can catch it in the weekly seinen manga magazine Young Magazine.
This past weekend saw SMASH! roll into Rosehill Gardens in NSW. It’s an event that everyone at Japandaman HQ looks forward to as it’s always such an amazing event with loads to do and see. Throw in some absolutely stunning cosplay, stellar guests and it’s not hard to see why SMASH! is an event that everyone waits each year for, drawing massive crowds each time.
This year was no exception with an amazing array of guests that entertained the crowds with signings, photo opportunities and panels that were informative and a way to learn more about their favourite artists. This year we had voice actress Shizuka Itoh, voice actress Shiori Mikami, voice actor Daisuke Sakaguchi, manga artist Asami Hagiwara, cosplay duo Baozi and Hana, producer Hiroaki Yura, illustrator Yusuke Kozaki, illustrator redjuice. Throw in some guests for the after hours party including D-Jadeabella, Kenaz, Yui Kanan and Teddyloid and you can see that SMASH! spares no expense in gathering an exciting array of guests each year.
The first thing I noticed was that the Artists Alley had expanded enormously compared to past years. In the past, it was relegated to a hall that was a decent size however this year saw the attraction moved to another area of the venue that was easily 3 times bigger with many amazingly talented artists showing their stunning creations all available for very reasonable prices. I filmed some of the Artists Alley which I’ll put together in my video wrap up but the level of art was completely fantastic with a variety of genres covered across anime, manga,video games and more.
SMASH! also hosts the annual Australia leg of the World Cosplay Summit for 2018 with this year the Australian team being successful were Kirilee Cosplay and Giorgia Costumes. We wish them all the luck over in Nagoya in 2018!
Speaking of the guests, I was lucky enough to interview the voice of Krista Lenz from Attack On Titan, among many others, Shiori Mikami! She was extremely pleasant, down to earth and really friendly. Unfortunately it was an audio only interview with no video allowed so I’ll be transcribing the interview for the site in the next day or so. My amazing co-host on It’s Japan, Man!, Neko, also did a couple of interviews. She was lucky enough to interview one of the DJ guests, Teddyloid, as well as super cosplay duo, Baozi and Hana. All the guests were amazing to talk to and we were so grateful for their time during what was a very busy weekend for them!
If you’ve never been to this amazing convention before, I really can’t rave enough about it. It has the elements which make it a successful event that keeps the public and special guests coming back. There’s an awesome energy and vibe in the air which a lot of other conventions don’t have enough of and the space allocated to it was huge. Speaking of space, 2017 marks the last year for SMASH! at Rosehill Gardens as 2018 will see it hosted at the International Convention Centre which is the middle of Sydney CBD. This should make it easier to get to as Rosehill Gardens is literally close to an hour away from the CBD. I personally can’t wait to see it at the new venue and along with the new venue, it also has a new time slot. It won’t be in August as it has been since we’ve been going, instead it’ll be in July from the 14th and the 15th.
From cosplay, Gundam, Maid Cafe, video games, art and heaps more, there’s something for everyone and without a doubt, every year it’s something to look forward to. A massive thank you to the SMASH! family who look after us including Susan Ma and Sinead Simpkins.
WonFes 2017 just wrapped and if you missed it, Japandaman figure expert Kat did a post on it which you can check out here! Apart from the awesome figures that are on display, there’s always a massive amount of cosplayers who are all keen to show what they’ve been working on. Thanks to YouTuber, Rescue The Princess, here’s a look at the WonFes cosplay with some amazing outfits on show.
The Death Note series has been on a roll lately with the upcoming Death Note movie generating quite a bit of buzz of late. The Death Note manga has now been collected into one massive compendium consisting of 2,400 pages. And it’s also a hefty 8cm in thickness which is quite a challenge to carry around with you but if you’re a collector, then why not?
It goes on sale in Japan on October 4, 2016 and will retail for ¥2, 500.
Hugely popular series Gantz has a much loved manga, anime and a couple of live action movies to keep the fans happy. But there’s more coming to appease the fans. A trailer has just dropped for Gantz: 0, which follows the events of the “Osaka Arc” from the manga. On top of the, the film is a 3DCG affair which looks absolutely amazing and gorgeous! Check out the trailer below to see what I mean.
We already know that Akihabara is Ground Zero for all things otaku, right?
Well, now there’s a new store opening up from a very popular chain. Animate has its main store in Ikebukuro, seen as a more female friendly part of Tokyo, catering for the female otaku. But they now have a new store opening up in Akihabara as of June 2016. The new store boasts 7 floors of oatku goodness and is also known as “AKIBA Girls Station”. What separates this store from the others in Akihabara, which tends to be more male-centric, is that the anime/manga are going to be geared more towards their female audience, much like in Ikebukuro. It’s also conveniently located very close to the JR Akihabara station, only about 5 minutes away.
Woke up to this bit of exciting news!! Really get excited when I hear of a new convention coming into town but even better when it’s a con aimed at Asian pop culture. This is straight from the press release.
Announcing Madman Anime Festival 2016
Two day celebration of anime and Japanese culture at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, presented by Madman Entertainment and AnimeLab
Tuesday 22 March, 2016 – Madman Anime Festival, in its inaugural year, will be held on September 3rd and 4th, 2016 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. The event is a celebration of anime and Japanese culture, brought to you by Australia’s biggest name in anime, Madman Entertainment, together with Australia’s #1 anime streaming service AnimeLab.
With exciting international guests and exhibitors, cosplay, live stage performances, pop-up shops, gaming, screenings, and exclusive anime events, Madman Anime Festival will have something for all fans!
“Madman was founded because we loved anime and wanted to share it with audiences in Australia. Our twentieth birthday is this year (hip-hip hooray!) and we could think of no better way of celebrating it than creating an amazing event to bring Australian fans even closer to the genre we all love. We are working hard with Madman’s many partners and contacts to make this event truly an exceptional one!”, says Tim Anderson, Co-Founder & Managing Director of Madman Entertainment.
Confirmed special guests so far include Yuko Miyamura (Asuka Langley in Neon Genesis Evangelion) and Tiffany Grant (Nojiko in One Piece, Martel in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood). Many more notable names in Japanese anime and pop culture are to be announced as Madman Anime Festival 2016 approaches.
Games, exhibitions and more!
Bandai Namco Entertainment will also be attending the Madman Anime Festival with the latest new release and forthcoming titles from Square Enix, Bandai Namco Entertainment, and NIS America, with more details and announcements to be revealed soon!
For the first time ever in Australia, Madman Anime Festival will showcase the Tokyo Ghoul Art Exhibition – featuring original storyboards, sketches, character settings and more straight from the production studio. Check out episode of Tokyo Ghoul and more great anime on Animelab here.
A celebration of cosplay
Madman Anime Festival will also host the Victorian preliminary round of the Madman National Cosplay Championship. Now in its 8th year, the Madman National Cosplay Championship is Australia’s premiere cosplay contest. The winner of the Victorian preliminary round will go on to the final event at Supanova Expo Brisbane in November.
Ticket Prices are $40 for a single day pass, or $60 for a weekend pass
Madman MegaFan Passes are available in limited quantities at $290 each
Madman Anime Festival is a celebration of anime and Japanese culture. Held onSeptember 3rd and 4th, 2016 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Brought to you by Australia’s biggest name in anime, Madman Entertainment and AnimeLab, streaming anime hits direct from Japan, anytime, anywhere.
For those of you who don’t know, apart from running this fine site, I also host and produce a TV show on community TV called It’s Japan, Man! I’ll provide the relevant links at the bottom. We were recently in Sydney covering SMASH! and were lucky enough to get some great interviews with a few of the special guests such as Japanese cosplayer Kaname, musical group Garnidelia and otaku world leader and comrade to everyone across the globe, Danny Choo!
Danny has been a huge source of inspiration to me and this site wouldn’t even exist in the first place. It was Danny’s own site that gave me the confidence and motivation to start japandaman.com and then a few years later to start the TV show It’s Japan, Man!
Here’s a few pics of me meeting Danny and exchanging business cards with him. Needless to say, this was a massive highlight for me. Not just for SMASH! but as a massive tick on my life highlight!
Here are those links for It’s Japan, Man! Hope you give us a follow, a Like, watch our videos or whatever way you choose to say hello and interact with us 🙂 Thanks!
The weekend that just passed saw the commencement of the convention season for 2015 with Supanova rolling into Melbourne. Melbourne is the first of many stops for the Supanova train. Always attracting many Supa Star guests, this year was no different. From Christopher Lloyd from Back to the Future, George Takei from Star Trek, Charisma Carpenter from Buffy and Angel, Jason David Frank from Power Rangers and loads more!
A convention of this calibre is always a great spot for cosplayers to converge and show off what they’ve been working on, sometimes up to months before the actual event. They come from all over Australia to meet up and arrange photoshoots and make new friends. Here’s a photo album from the IJM Facebook page.
Japandaman was on site doing his duties for TV show It’s Japan, Man! along with co-host, the always kawaii Neko. This year IJM decided to put together a little cosplayer highlights video so even if you couldn’t make it, this video will give you an idea of the fun that went down.
Hope you’ve had a look at the photo gallery above, now here’s the It’s Japan, Man! cosplay video highlight reel.