Sydney’s Manga and Anime Show (SMASH!) is here again this weekend at Rosehill Gardens. It’s celebrating its 10 year anniversary, and I can vaguely remember its humble beginnings back in 2007. It sure has come a long way from being an event with 1000 attendees to over 10,000. This year I was lucky enough to win a double weekend pass to SMASH, so I took this opportunity to wear my Gothic Lolita dress one last time :)
I wasn’t interested in getting autographs this year as I didn’t know any of the special guests. I spent most of the time wandering around the exhibitor area and checking out the artist alley. As always, cosplays are fun to see :D Hubby took most of these pictures (I snapped the Sailor Moon ones XD):
Seven years ago, Kaz and I had our first cosplay experience at Sydney Animania, dressing up as Tifa Lockhart and Rinoa Heartilly from the Final Fantasy series. Back then, the only non-convention photos we took were amateur shots of each other in our backyard. While it’s kinda cute and not too bad (yay for baby fat), we felt like the photos could look a lot better. Ever since Jacky purchased his DSLR, we discussed the possibility of dressing up once again and it got us all excited :D
Over the last few months, we did all sorts of preparation and research, with Jacky fine tuning his photography skills and us making enhancements to the costume.
After several delays due to the wet weather, we finally found a nice sunny Sunday! We spent about 2 hours getting ready with the hair and make-up. We started the shoot at 3pm and had 2 hours since the Gardens closed at 5pm. There really wasn’t a whole lot of time, but we fit in as much as we could. Jia also came along to help out with the shoot (or more like..to observe his model girlfriend ;D)
I really like how some of the shots came out. This one is my personal favourite:
Aren’t the feathers pretty?? *_* Jia, Kaz and I threw them into the air ^^”
I’ve always loved checking out new Sailor Moon fan creations, whether it’s fanart, cosplay, webmanga, fansites, toys, films, anything! Considering how old the series is, it’s really amazing how strong and passionate the Sailor Moon fan community is today :)
With Sailor Moon’s 20th Anniversary just around the corner, I’ve decided to share a small selection of moonie projects that I like. There are a ton of stuff out there, so this is just a tiny glimpse of awesomeness :}
Yesterday Jacky, Markos and I attended SMASH! 2008, it’s second time running so we expected it to be bigger and better than the last. Bigger? Yes. Better? Not..sure…? This year was a lot more crowded, with more people dressed up, and more people cosplaying. However, I’m not sure the quality is there as much as the quantity. This is not to say all the cosplays were bad, there’s always going to be some good ones, (as there will always be certain characters cosplayed every year, like from Chobits and Kingdom Hearts for example). There appears to be less stores, less food stores (or am I imagining things?), less games, less dolls in the dolls collection and less…panels? I may be wrong but that’s what I felt, anyway.
It’s the SMASH o8 Traveling Artist Book which Jacky and I drew in at Althea’s party earlier this year. It was finally being auctioned at the convention and was bought by a Cloud cosplayer for $205! Not bad =)
One of the highlights of this convention was a visit from a Special Guest Hidenobu Kiuchi, the first Japanese Seiyuu (voice actor) to attend an anime convention in Australia! He was best known for his role as Oshitari Yuushi (Prince of Tennis) and Ryohei Sasagawa (Katekyo Hitman Reborn)- however, I knew him as Ren Honjo from the awesome NANA.
On Saturday morning, Jacky and I decided to have a look at Parklea markets to see if we can find some remaining accessories for our “80s” costume. We could go as an 80s movie character or just something 80s in general. I chose the latter…leg warmers, side ponytail, fluoro pink off-shoulder shirt, mini skirt, leggings, plastic fluoro bracelets minus the make up. I cringed at the thought of it, but told myself.. “It’s for a good cause.” lol The crazy make up would have really done it.. but I couldn’t make myself to do it ^^;
We found it without much trouble and wandered around the markets. This place gave me a really…weird mixed feeling. As some of you may know, I use to work here back in 2005- for a year. Although some days were okay, the overall experience was unpleasant and I eventually quit working at the end of a full year. It ended on rather bad terms too, but I was happy I was freed from the nightmare. Now I’m back here again, and nothing about it seems to have changed. I recognised every shop, it’s location and their owners.. besides, I did see them for every weekend for a year.. I wasn’t sure if my ex-bosses still worked at the place, but decided I’d visit my god sis instead- who was at the center stage. We had some good chat and saw that Brian (her little brother) was also there- he hasn’t changed. So we were chatting until I asked her where we could get some good food. She mentioned there was this Hot food shop with two lovely owners. Shop 2, entrance five. I froze. Is it..really the same people she was referring to..? I was curious. I wanted to know.
After much hesitation, Jacky and I slowly headed towards the shop, but stayed far enough for them not to see me. Even without my glasses, I saw them. Instead of walking up to them, I continued to walk pass- there’s really nothing more to say. How to describe this… it’s like- suddenly seeing your ex after a few years. There’s awkwardness, not much to say but you’re wondering if grudges have disappeared or not. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, they say.
Well anyway, we headed home and realised we still had a couple of hours to spend. Randomly, Jacky opened a movie file I had on the computer and it was Kagen no Tsuki (Last Quarter of the Moon).I had forgotten I downloaded this ages ago, so we watched it unsure of what to expect. Ok- we got curious as to what we were watching so I paused it at the beginning to read a little summary on wiki, haha. It was a mystery, supernatural live action based on a three-volume shoujo manga by Yazawa Ai- creator of NANA! So we watched on.. I was slightly freaked out by some parts of it, but overall the plot was uninteresting, a little confusing and weird. lol. Oh wells… at least I didn’t watch it myself ^^;;
And..onto the most eventful part of the day!! Halil’s 21st Birthday Party =D
First of all, it was fun seeing everyone dressed up! We had a Indiana Jones, Michael Jackson, Bruce lee, Kamen Rider, Pazu and Sheeta (Laputa: Castle in the Sky), Marty McFly (Back to the Future), Flashdance, a 80s metal punk and the list goes on. Great atmosphere, good food and plenty of laughs (love the Bruce lee vs Indiana Jones show XD). We got some arm wrestles happening too and the funniest would have to go to Raycus ^^ Marcus went roaring while Ray was just..calm, lol.
Afterwards we had the awesomeness double layered chocolate ice-cream cake, it was gorgeous ^.^
And of course, since this was my first time visiting his place, I had to check it out XD His room has some really cute stuff!! Some of Halil’s creations:
SMASH was good, and went beyond my expectation. I think they did a pretty good job on this event and the roundhouse was filled! Go promos. Today I dressed in EGL (Elegant Gothic Lolita) style and Kaz cosplayed as Tifa- that was fun =) Jacky, Kaz, Mark and I went around checking out the cosplays, stalls, the artist alley, panel, games but actually started the day with “Anime Dating game”. It had a funny concept, but the questions went on for a bit too long and I lost interest. A male cross-dressing as Tomoyo was a bit too much for me ^^; There’s more to it but some things are best left unsaid.
I thought “Cosplay Chess” was one highlight of the day..it was so amusing!! I can’t believe only Tifa (Kaz), the pawn was left with Pegasus (King).. that was hilarious. I thought there was a lot of interaction between the audience, chess pieces (the cosplayers) and the chess players. Good stuff… still can’t believe they lost though. During this event I missed out on “Iron Artist” which happened on the same time…oh wells.
The “Barrel Game” was a little depressing…lol…missed a chance at obtaining the barrel (lost in the game of rock, scissors, paper XD) During the day we bumped into Newway and Alex, M12-Emily-Meeko, Peggy, Cabbage, Kabuki, Blox, a bunch of UNSW Anime Club members, Mark’s friends and Kazzy’s friends (did I miss anyone?) It was good to see them ^_^
We saw the Ouran Host Club, but didn’t really go in and sit down… the Maid Cafe had a maid, which was alright..there may have been more earlier on…I hope. We went out of kenso and had lunch at a Noodle House and got some hot stuff to eat. When we came back it was time for some entertainment at the main stage with the live dubbing, the skits and various games. I think the MCs were really good here.. much more entertaining than ones at Animania (who didnt seem to have much clue of anime)… these guys were funny and very good with improvisation- at least I was entertained.
The artist alley had some original work, some yaoi and some fanart. Some were impressive but I’m not sure if I got inspired or not. I went to SMASH intending to learn a few things at the panels, but wasn’t actually in the mood on the day. My my.. was that expected? =p
Now onto the Cosplay Competition! There were quite a lot of cosplayers, but the most popular this year had to be DEATH NOTE. A lot of Death Note appeared on stage and I’m not surprised considering its pretty popular.. Death Note was also screened during the day. There were quite a few anime I wasn’t familiar with but the costumes were nice to look at nevertheless. So glad Peggy end up cosplaying as Lulu again.. she was so cool >_< Ones from Final Fantasy this year were Songstress Yuna and Lenne and FFX Rikku.
I probably forgot to mention some things since I’m a bit sleepy at the moment. Overall.. I think this can be a substitute for Animania. It has more events, is a lot cheaper and the fandom is still there. I think people who didn’t go to SMASH this year should consider it next year anyway :)
Afterwards we headed home for dinner and watched 2 movies before Jacky left. ah.. need to sleep and be refreshed for some hard work tomorrow!
To those guys who went to Animania with me last year may remember a girl coming up to me asking if she could have a picture of my back ^_^; I must say, that was one very unusual experience- I didn’t quite know how to react. Well, I very randomly found it here. How random? Well, I was searching for pictures of Riku from Kingdom Hearts and ended up there. The fact I went to search for Riku pics is even more random (I’m not even a fan, but yeh =p it must be fate!).
Looking back at cosplay pics makes me want to cosplay again. I’m resisting though! Costume making is very time consuming, especially for beginners such as myself. With my busy schedule this year, I doubt I have the time to make a costume, and whether or not I’ll be attending Animana this year is another story. Guess only time can tell- who knows, I may be lucky enough to be on top of my workload (haha..asking a lot there..)
Another question posed is.. who do I want to cosplay as? I know Final Fantasy characters are waaaay overdone, but they’re the only ones I actually want to cosplay as. I’ve thought through a list of anime characters, but none particularly appeal to me. Sailor Moon is a character I’d LOVE to cosplay.. one day- like, if I’m ever super super good with sewing XD I donno if I have the long legs and good looks for that though, hahaa.. plus her hair will be crazy. So Sailor Moon out the window until I’m very very good (not that I’m practicing so the chances are very slim).
The only other costumes that came in mind were all overdone:
Summoner Yuna (FF X) – I love her outfit, it’s really really elegant.
Songstress Yuna (FFX-2)-Â I love the top and skirt.
Aeris (FF7)-Â I just like Aeris, lol.Â Her hair would be difficult since it’s so long, especially the fringe. Don’t think I could pull it off very well..haha.
Taking a break from the excessively boring Digital Theory and Aesthetic reader, I was browsing through Tamarket and came across the most ADORABLE figurines ^.^ They are so dead gorgeous, and Illya is just so funny there…
But anyways, since they’re SUPER RARE WONDERFEST ’06 EXCLUSIVE limited edition, they cost $175 ^^ Thats a bit too much even for a figurine maniac such as myself. lol. They shall remain here for me to look at, haha.
I also came across this Gothic Lolita dress, and it’s soooo pretty!! How lovely is this design? I would love to wear something like this, honestly. $185..hehe..