Tag Archives: Sydney

FF XIV ONLINE-THEMED SYDNEY GAY & LESBIAN MARDI GRAS PARADE FLOAT REVEALED

Sydney, 5th March 2019 – The first images of the successful collaboration with Sydney Gaymers that saw FINAL FANTASY® XIV Online become the first video game to march as part of a float in Sydney’s Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade on Saturday 2nd March are now being unveiled.
The float, which made its debut during the 2019 Parade Night, saw inflatables of a Moogle, Cactuar and Cherry Bomb take center stage while 80 marchers made up from members of both the FINAL FANTASY XIV Online and Sydney Gaymers’ communities celebrated around it under the banner “Realms United”.

The collaboration was first announced in February 2019 and marks the coming together of Australia’s 2,600-strong Sydney Gaymer community with the critically-acclaimed MMO. The following quotes were offered at the time:


“Sydney Gaymers is thrilled to be collaborating with FINAL FANTASY XIV Online for its 2019 float entry, titled Realms United.  It means so much to receive direct support, validation and acknowledgement from such a force in the industry. Not only that, to be supported by a game where so much of our community and values are represented. The FINAL FANTASY XIV Online community does not discriminate and respects everyone’s freedom and their individual values equally. For many LGBTQI+ people, online communities provide a space for the journey and exploration of personal identities They allow us to connect, and celebrate, and they reinforce that we are not alone. Sydney Gaymers could not have a better sponsor to help create the most ambitious float it has ever undertaken.”


– Organiser for Sydney Gaymers, Peak Distapan

“This collaboration could never have been realised without the efforts of our community. When FFXIV took part in PAX Australia, it was the FFXIV players in Australia who offered us the greatest welcome and utmost support. This led on to our community and Sydney Gaymers working together to make the collaboration a reality. To see it makes me very happy indeed, both as the person in charge of FFXIV and also as just another player of the game. FFXIV is another world that continues to grow and expand online. In that world people become adventurers, known as the Warriors of Light, and can continue to be free. I would like to continue developing this world, hand in hand with communities across the globe.”


– FINAL FANTASY XIV Online Producer and Director, Naoki Yoshida

Now in its 41st year, the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras is an annual two-week long festival to celebrate the power and diversity of the LGBTQI+ community, culminating in a parade through central Sydney, Australia. The bustling extravaganza brings Sydney to a standstill and shines a global spotlight on LGBTQI+ lives, culture, communities and creativity. Sydney Gaymers entered its fifth year participating in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade in 2019.


For more information on Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, please visit: http://www.mardigras.org.au/
You can check out more of the action on Sydney Gaymers’ Twitter and Instagram.

Review: VIXX Shangri-la In Sydney

*Reproduced with permission from Asian Pop Radio*

Welcome to the first of a series of reviews from the Asian Pop Radio team on VIXX’s Shangri-la tour in Australia! We will be covering both the Sydney and Melbourne legs of the tour; showing you, our APR crew member’s experiences and each sharing our favourite highlights.

Our first review comes from crew member Katy, who attended the Sydney concert on Monday the 27th. Please look forward to the others we have in store for you!

On Monday evening VIXX kicked off the Australian leg of their Shangri-la tour, performing at the Big Top in Luna Park, Sydney. Fans lined up from early in the day, and were excitedly chatting with each other around the venue, setting the place abuzz with energy well before the show started.

As a ST☆RLIGHT; a member of VIXX’s fandom, I too was excited for the evening performance. This would be the first time the 6-member group would be coming to Australia, and expectations had already been raised when Ravi appeared at Rapbeat: promising a tour together with the other members soon after. Now the day had arrived, and I was more than ready to get inside and dance to their live performances!

When we were finally allowed inside, the attendees were more than ready to start the concert as soon as possible. Cheers and fanchants erupted even as the music videos counted down the minutes until the boys appeared on-stage.

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Finally, the time came and the screams grew even louder as the six idols stepped into view. From my spot in the Silver standing section I had a clear view of the stage, and was able to watch all of the amazing choreography that accompanied the songs. Starting with the more recent songs: Fantasy and Desperate, VIXX set the standard for the evening very high straight away.

Midway, VIXX took the chance to answer several questions posed by fans; showing what they had been doing recently, where they had been in Sydney, and throwing in some aegyo for good measure. Main vocalist Ken was being his usual cheeky self; messing around and teasing leader N whenever possible during the talk, while youngest member Hyuk forced Hongbin to pull cutesy poses.

​My favourite parts of the concert were towards the end: as the show drew to a close, VIXX returned to their earlier hits: On and On, Error, Love Equation and Angel. The fans in the venue went wild; chanting, singing and dancing along, and I couldn’t help but join in too! As the concert drew to a close, everyone kept calling for more songs, and the show finished on a high note. All the members looked happy and waved farewell with smiles and many love hearts.

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​I thoroughly enjoyed the evening out, and was very happy with the experience I had. Though there were fewer people there than at other concerts, this gave those in the standing area room to dance and thoroughly enjoy themselves.

I hope that VIXX return soon with another concert, and for Melbourne ST☆RLIGHT: this is one concert you don’t want to miss!

Written by: Katy Phillips
Facebook: facebook.com/asianpopradio
Twitter: @sonymusicsg

Interview – Vera Chimera (Cosplayer)

Following on from naming her as the Japandaman Cosplayer Of The Month, we now have our interview with Vera Chimera which she kindly agreed to. Vera’s done some stunning  cosplays from Tracer (Overwatch), Ada Wong (Resident Evil), Black Cat (Marvel), Katrina (League of Legends), Tifa (Final Fantasy) plus a whole swagload more!


Japandaman: When did you first discover cosplay & what inspired you to start cosplaying yourself?

Vera Chimera: Every time I answer this question, I’m reminded how long I’ve been cosplaying, and how much more I still have to learn haha!

I’ve been cosplaying for around 10 years now. Probably over the last 5 years I’ve tried to step thins up and learn new skills. Originally I began cosplaying to escape a not-so-nice reality, but these days I cosplay simply for the fun and exploration of self-identity.

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Photo by Lark Visuals

J: Which of your cosplays is your favourite & why?

VC: My current favourite is Tracer from Overwatch, It took me a couple of months to pull her together, learning how to wire my own LEDs and understand the functionality of the suit. Wearing her gave me the opportunity to compose some really awesome photoshoots with friends, and even score several gigs with Blizzard Australia which were a real blast! I have plans for the future to create her Slipstream skin, now that I’ve literally worn the original costume to death.

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Pic by Lark Visuals

Another favourite is Championship Riven from League of Legends. Took only 3 weeks to make and I learnt so much about armour and prop construction. I’ve worn her at Gamestart in Singapore and several local cons. She’s also currently retired from excessive damage. I go all-out in photoshoots, even if the end result doesn’t work.

J: Is there something you’re planning on making in the future that you’re really excited about?

VC: Honestly I am the worst when it comes to sticking to one cosplay idea! I have all these sick ideas, then a new game/skin will come out and I ditch everything! However these days I’ve tried to slow down and choose costumes I know I’ll suit AND make in time. PROJECT Katarina and genderbend Reaper are my two upcoming costumes, and have already started putting the budgets together. I have a bajillion other things I’m excited about but want to wait it out to see if it’s just a phase. Really should get Jessica Rabbit done, as well… It’s my most requested cosplay idea haha!

J: How do you find the Sydney Cosplay scene? Are people supportive of your work?

VC: The Sydney cosplay scene is great. Like every group there have been hiccups here and there, but these days the waters are smooth. I think it all has to do with age and personal life experiences that eventually mould us. Australia has an abundance of talented cosplayers that the world needs to discover. We’re all very supportive of each other and cheer on our champions.

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Pic by Beethy Photography

J: Who is your cosplay idol?

VC: I have two idols: Lightning Cosplay and Maul Cosplay. Extremely talented cosplayers who perfectly transform into their character of choice. Lightning also has some fantastic tutorials on armour and crop construction.

J: Your cosplays are so intricate, how long does it take you to put one together?

VC: It all depends on 2 things: spare time and level of energy. Sometimes I can pop out a costume within a few days, other times it can take a few months! Back in the day it was easier since I had a casual job; I could shoot out several costumes in 1 year. Now that I have a full time job and am saving for a house, I’ve been a bit constrained. I hope to set up a schedule to work around though, as I’m getting the itch to make more and more haha!

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Pic by TiMarsh Digital Imaging

J: What is your all time favourite anime or game?

VC: Anime: It’s hard to choose. Fullmetal Alchemist, Evangelion, Ergo Proxy, and One Punch Man are my top contenders. Sadly I don’t watch much anime these days as the Western comics and series have kidnapped me. Game: currently it’s Overwatch, But Halo, Deus Ex: HR, Abe’s Oddysee, Planetside 2, and Injustice are my top faves.

J: What draws you to a character? Personality, design?

VC: A bit of both. I like a costume that’s a mix of both fabric and armour, and try to work with some LEDs here and there. I also like to pick out characters that’s spunky or sensual, but need to keep in mind if they will suit me physically.

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Pic by Lark Design and Photography

J: Is there a type of character you enjoy doing?

VC: I like strong, spunky, sexy, and charismatic characters who are iconic in their own way. I mainly aim for the “strong” trope, since my natural bitch-face works very well for photoshoots. Less work, great results, haha!

J: Do you have a Favourite convention in Australia or overseas?

VC: Sydney: Gotta say Supanova. I’ve been attending for many years and it’s still as fun as ever. Overseas: Gamestart Asia is fantastic, as is Blizzcon. Travelling to Singapore and America introduced me to a new kind of cosplay talent. Very inspiring!

Vera, thank you for your time! Everyone at Japandaman really appreciates you taking time out of your busy schedule to talk to us! We wish you all the best in the future!

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.

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.

SMASH! 2016 GUEST PROFILE:

COSPLAYER TAKAHIRO (GOLDY) SAKAI

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 ’.

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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’.

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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.

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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.

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

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.

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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).

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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.

 

Interview: Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

The J-Pop Harajuku Kawaii Amabassador, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, is performing in Sydney, Australia on the 23rd of March as part of her current world tour. Japandaman HQ was lucky enough to snag a few minutes of her precious time for an interview which she graciously agreed to. Many thanks to Katey Smile for assistance with the questions, Handsome Tours and Angela Henley Publicity.

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Japandaman: Are you excited to come to Australia?

Kyary Pamyu Pamyu: Yes very much! This will be my first time in Australia so I am very excited to meet local fans! I’ve never been to the Southern hemisphere so I am wondering if the climate is really opposite from what we have in Japan. Last but not least I would love to see sharks and koalas!

J: Who are your current influences?

KPP: I just love Katy Perry. Her cuteness is just perfect in every way. She is also a very humorous and kind person. Of course I respect her very much as an artist.

J: What is your favourite music video and song that you’ve released?

KPP: “Mottai-Nightland” video expresses the world of fantasy I love so much. On the other hand “Fashion Monster” is the very first video that I could express rock and the world’s quite different from the colourful popness like in other videos. Still it is very hard to pick which one is the best though.

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J: What is your favourite costume that you’ve worn?

KPP: I love the Fashion Monster costume. I tend to wear quite colourful and ‘full of pop’ costumes but with Fashion Monster I wanted to challenge something rock and cool so I feel very attached to the costume.

fashion monster

J: Did you think you would end up being this successful when you started on You Tube?

KPP: I haven’t expected anything like this when I first uploaded the “PON PON PON” video on you tube. So I was honestly surprised to see the attention from overseas. I feel very fortunate that people find out about me on the Internet and they come see me on stage when I am touring their local cities for the first time.

J: Which artist would you like to collaborate with?

KPP: I cannot imagine to collaborate with anyone yet.

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J: You have many fans that don’t speak Japanese but love your music, why do you think this is so?

KPP: I sing mostly in Japanese but the lyrics really don’t have a clear meaning. You can just enjoy the way it sounds. I think that’s why people enjoy my music even if they don’t speak Japanese or they are too young to understand the language.

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J: How do you come up with the ideas for your clothes and music videos?

KPP: I get a lot of inspiration when I am going through the Internet. I pick up some pictures or videos I liked and I just talk with my stylist. Often our discussion starts with me drawing my images.

J: What else would you like to achieve through your music?

KPP: I want to achieve a lot of things through my music and fashion. Other than that I am not really interested. I just don’t want to be a jack-of-all-trades.

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J: Outside of music, what’s next for you with your fashion projects?

KPP: I always want to design a costume like no one has ever seen. It is boring to keep doing the same things so I want to keep challenging new things.

Kyary, thank you so much for your time. We at Japandaman and all our readers appreciate it and wish you all the best with your world tour.

Kyary waving

Arigatou gozaimasu!