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.