On August 19-20, cosplayers, gamers and fans of Japanese pop culture flocked to Rosehill Racecourse for the annual SMASH! Sydney Manga and Anime Show. The highly anticipated convention is one of the biggest events in the Australian cosplay calendar. It certainly didn’t disappoint. Here’s our video highlighting some of the cosplay we saw on the weekend.
There were cosplayers who dressed up as characters from Japanese pop culture classics like Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball, Street Fighter and Zelda. Besides the classics, however, there was everything you can think of. A crew of classy Disney princesses, a comedic Jim Carey lookalike, a towering inflatable dinosaur, traditional kimono wearers, superheroes, supervillains: all brought their own flair, interacted with each other, and gave SMASH! Sydney Manga and Anime Show a wonderfully eclectic atmosphere.
The crowd had the same energy and enthusiasm as the crowd on football grand final night. Unlike football, there was no hint of rivalry between the different teams – or in this case, the different genres of cosplaying. You can see the genuine surprise and delight from fans who were excited to see some of their favourite characters walking around.
The cosplayers, whenever a photo was requested, sure knew how to put on a show. They would drop whatever they were doing, assume the right pose, work different angles and did it all with a smile. Another request would come ten minutes later from someone else and they would do the same. It was as though, for one glorious weekend, they were the A-list celebrities in town.
It’s easy to understand why. At SMASH! Sydney Manga and Anime Show, it was the cosplayer’s time to shine. Many of the cosplayers had outfits that would have taken months to make. Months of painful threading, sewing, painting and whatever it would take to get the outfit right. The dedication to their craft and the skills they acquired are truly admirable and were on full display.
Sydney’s cosplay scene is huge, vibrant and here to stay. Events like SMASH! Sydney Manga and Anime Show prove it. I’m sure SMASH! Sydney Manga and Anime Show will be back bigger and better than ever next year. And while you’re reading this, I’m sure some dedicated cosplayers who were at SMASH! Sydney Manga and Anime Show are already working on their next costume.