Tag Archives: SMASH!

SMASH! 2017 Wrap-up

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.

SMASH! 2016 Pictorial Wrap Up

SMASH! (Sydney Manga and Anime Show) was held in Sydney during August which I was lucky enough to attend as part of It’s Japan, Man! It’s been a busy time for cons with as many as three in as many weeks so I’m only just getting around to this pictorial update now. This is just a collection of pictures from the two day event which also marked the 10th anniversary for SMASH! THE IJM squirrels are busy at work putting together the video from the event which will be online in the very near future so keep an eye out for that!

More pics will be coming in the near future so keep an eye out on my Twitter for updates to this gallery.

Cosplayer Of The Month July 2016: REIKA

Time to choose the Japandaman Cosplayer of the Month! And this time around it’s none other than REIKA! Reika is regarded as one of the most highly technical cosplayers around. Her cosplays are extremely intricate which she puts together all herself, her wigs are nothing short of astounding and her make up skills are unparalleled. One aspect of her cosplays that she is well known for is primarily cosplaying as male characters, or what’s commonly called, crossplay. No matter what she does, you just know that it’s going to be nothing short of amazing, impressive and something you won’t forget.

We were lucky enough to interview Reika at SMASH! 2014 for It’s Japan, Man. Here’s myself and Neko with the interview.

IA Vocaloid Coming to SMASH! 2016

SMASH! have just dropped a massive bit of news, vocaloid superstar IA will be making an appearance at this year’s event! Here’s the press release with the amazing news.


Sydney, NSW, July 29th, 2016: Get ready to party — Australia’s #1 Japanese pop-culture event has once again catapulted to world-class status (and beyond)! In an Australian first, international Vocaloid sensation, IA , will be coming to SMASH! Sydney Manga and Anime Show to perform live at SMASH!’s 10th anniversary event on August 20th.


A virtual popstar created as part of the vocal synthesis program ‘VOCALOIDTM3’, IA is the world’s latest muse that has taken the world by storm. For many fans and creators of the industry, IA has been praised as a reliable voice-bank library in which users can create unique songs and videos. Since IA’s debut in 2011, she has has collectively garnered more than 100 million views in Japan and abroad, and her popularity will no doubt rise even further when she makes her Australian debut.

Presented by The Japan Foundation, Sydney, this cultural collaboration between JPF Sydney and SMASH! Sydney Manga and Anime Show marks the fourth consecutive year for both organisations. Acknowledging SMASH!’s dedication to bringing the best of Japan to Australia, JPF Sydney’s representative Jessica Chow congratulates the SMASH! team for “reaching a significant milestone”.

“The Japan Foundation, Sydney supports devoted anime fans in pursuing their passion and interests,” Chow said.

“By sponsoring special guests for conventions like SMASH!, fans will be able to meet and interact with Japanese stars, and reaffirm their love for pop culture.

IA is an ambassador for Japan’s modern culture and technology. Her debut in Australia is a great opportunity to connect with anime fans, as well as people in other fields. We look forward to seeing the new possibilities that her appearance may bring to Australia’s arts scene.”


Since her debut in Japan, IA has reached out to her international audience with many successful solo concerts in France, London, Singapore, and Taiwan. Following a string of recent successful concerts in United States including New York and Los Angeles, SMASH! President Andrew Qiu could not be more “ecstatic” about IA’s first Australian appearance.

“IA’s appearance at SMASH! 2016 solidifies the convention’s position as the #1 platform for Japanese pop-culture in Australia,” Qiu said.

“With JPF Sydney’s continuous support, it is SMASH!’s mission to bring unique talents, and deliver world-class content and entertainment every year. And what better way to celebrate SMASH!’s 10th anniversary than having superstar IA perform at our event.”

In addition to IA’s exclusive performance, she will be joined by the likes of Hachioji P and DJ Catalystic at the anniversary party. Other SMASH! 2016 guests include Japanese voice actor Hideo Ishikawa (Naruto), Japanese voice actress Ai Nonaka (Madoka Magica), and cosplayers Yuegene Fay and Goldy.

Smash 2016 Update – Mecha Cosplayer Announced For 4th Guest

And the special guests keep rolling out for SMASH! 2016. This time it’s mecha cosplayer,TAKAHIRO (GOLDY) SAKAI! It’s shaping up to be an amazing looking convention for it’s 10th anniversary. Here’s the press release with all the info below.



Official Website: http://gadgettool.web.fc2.com/ Facebook: www.facebook.com/Goldy-1549129935365479/

Meet TAKAHIRO (GOLDY) SAKAI also known as ‘The Gundam G u y ’.


With over ten years experience in constructing mecha costumes and armour accessories, Goldy has become one of the world’s greatest craftsmen.

Inspired by mecha characters from Japanese pop-culture such as Gundam and Evangelion, the mecha enthusiast has transformed this passion into something more complex and fulfilling.

In 2006, Goldy was one of Japan’s representatives for the World Cosplay Summit Championship, and was also the recipient of Brother Industries’‘Special Award’.


Sharing his knowledge with like-minded peers, Goldy regularly conducts cosplay workshops in Akihabara, Tokyo. During these workshops, cosplayers get the opportunity to spend a few hours with Goldy to learn the basics of armour crafting.


Despite so little is known about him, there is significant respect for Goldy beyond Japan. Not only has Goldy been invited as a special guest, but he has also been a judge and speaker at various conventions such as Anime Expo, London’s MCM Comic Con, Philippines’ Cosplay Mania, and North Carolina’s Cosplay America.


This will be Goldy’s first Australian appearance at SMASH! Sydney Manga and Anime Show 2016.

Smash 2016 Update – Cosplayer Announced For 3rd Guest

SMASH! have just announced their 3rd special guest for this year’s event and it’s an amazing cosplayer. None other than Yuegene Fay! Here’s the official press release from SMASH!

For fans of geek and pop-culture, cosplay fever is returning to SMASH! Sydney Manga and Anime Show in spectacular style. SMASH! is delighted to announce that the internationally recognised cosplayer, YUEGENE FAY, will be coming to celebrate SMASH!’s 10th anniversary event on August 20th and 21st.

YUEGENE FAY is Thailand’s top-ranking cosplayer who is well-renowned for her accurate ‘cross-play’ portrayal of characters from the multi-verse realms of manga, anime, gaming and music.

Amongst her anime and gaming cosplays, Yuegene Fay is best known for cosplays such as Mikasa Ackerman (Attack on Titan), Rin Matsuoka (Free! Iwatobi Swim Club), and Mikoto Suoh (K).


Yuegene Fay’s attendance comes after having international cosplay guests REIKA and KANAME⭐ at SMASH! 2015. The popular cosplay duo attracted thousands of fans to Q&As, tutorials and signings.

SMASH! President Andrew Qiu believes Yuegene’s attendance reflects fans’ “enthusiasm for authentic cosplay talent” at pop-culture conventions like SMASH!.

“With a profound status in the cosplay scene, Yuegene Fay is without a doubt a fitting guest choice for SMASH! 2016,” Qiu said.

“Regardless of gender and skills, cosplay has the power to unite like-minded fans. It offers them the opportunity to dress up and express their passion for pop-culture in the unique form of cosplay.”

Yuegene Fay will join previously announced guests: Japanese voice actor Hideo Ishikawa (Naruto) and Japanese voice actress Ai Nonaka (Puella Magi Madoka Magica).

SMASH! 2016 is a two-day pop-culture convention to be held at Rosehill Gardens on August 20th and 21st. Featuring a line-up of cosplay, gaming and anime events, SMASH! Sydney Manga and Anime Show is an event not to be missed. For more information, visit www.smash.org.au

SMASH! 2016 Update – Second Confirmed Guest

SMASH! 2016 is getting closer and closer and we’ve just heard the exciting news of a second guest being confirmed. Japanese voice actress AI NONAKA has been confirmed as attending SMASH! this year. I’ve included all the important information below straight from the press release.

Sydney, NSW, June 6th, 2016 — Sydney’s #1 Japanese pop-culture convention, SMASH! Sydney

Manga and Anime Show, continues to surprise fans by expanding its spectacular guest list. Following

the guest announcement of Naruto voice actor Hideo Ishikawa, SMASH! is ecstatic to reveal the

second official guest for SMASH! 2016: Japanese voice actress AI NONAKA.


AI NONAKA is a prolific Japanese voice actress and singer who is best known for her roles as Kyouko

Sakura (Puella Magi Madoka Magica), Noramyako (Doraemon), and Mansherry (One Piece).

Some of Nonaka’s recent anime roles include Tirami (Amagi Brilliant Park), Ichijou (Paniponi Dash to

Kafuka in Gofu Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei), and Imae Megumi (WataMote).


SMASH! President Andrew Qiu believes the attendance of a second voice actor at SMASH! 2016

demonstrates the “growing community of passionate manga and anime fans” within Australia.

“Year after year, voice-acting guests are a huge hit amongst SMASH! attendees,” Qiu said.

“With Australian fans well-informed of Japan’s latest animation releases, there is a significant demand

to bring Japanese voice talent from Japan. In doing so, SMASH! is the perfect platform for fans to meet

the actors behind the characters they love, and share their love for pop-culture in a unique way.”

Fans will have the opportunity to meet Miss Nonaka at the convention, and attend a special Q&A panel.

SMASH! Sydney Manga and Anime Show 2016 is a two-day convention to be held at Rosehill

Gardens on August 20th and 21st. For more information, visit www.smash.org.au.


SMASH! 2016 Update – Voice Actor Confirmed First Guest

Hot off the press comes a press release from SMASH! announcing the first special guest for this year’s event. It’s none other than Japanese voice actor HIDEO ISHIKAWA. Known for a number of roles across Bleach, Naruto and more. I’ve included the official press release down below. SMASH! runs from August 20th and 21st at Rosehill Gardens, NSW.

Sydney, NSW, May 30th, 2016 — The wait is finally over! Bringing back the best and biggest convention year yet, SMASH! Sydney Anime and Manga Show is delighted to announce the first guest for SMASH! 2016: Japanese voice actor HIDEO ISHIKAWA.

itachi(Ishikawa, Hideo)

With a career that spans over twenty years, Hideo Ishikawa is a Japanese voice actor who has worked on numerous titles across the anime and gaming industry. Hideo Ishikawa is best known for his roles as Itachi Uchiha (Naruto), Jushiro Ukitake (Bleach), Kiccho Fukuda (Slam Dunk), and Full Body (One Piece).

This will be the second Naruto voice actor to attend SMASH! Sydney Manga and Anime Show. Fellow Japanese voice actor Noriaki Sugiyama — best known for his role as Sasuke Uchiha — previously attended SMASH! 2015 as a special guest.

SMASH! President Andrew Qiu believes Ishikawa’s guest attendance “reflects SMASH!’s ongoing commitment to bringing the best of Japanese pop-culture to Australia”.

“This is our 10th anniversary year and what better way to kick off the guest line-up than with Mr Hideo Ishikawa himself,” Qiu said. “Naruto is one of Japan’s successful franchises with millions of fans around the world, including Australia. This will be a great opportunity to learn more about Ishikawa’s Naruto journey, and his experiences as a voice actor in the animation industry.”