It’s surprising but one of the best anime conventions can actually be found in Sydney, Australia! SMASH, otherwise known as the Sydney Manga and Anime Show is an annual event that draws attendees from not only all over Australia, but the world as well.
Held at the International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney), SMASH saw a huge number of attendees drop by the 2 day event to check out all the awesome guests, activities and booths on display there. This included an itasha display, panels with international guests as well as over 400 artists booths from all around the world.
Guests for this iteration in 2023 included voice actors Sungwon Cho (ProZD) and Toru Furuya, esteemed artist LAM, high-energy performer LadyBeard as well as cosplayer Rithe! Attendees got to attend discussion panels and stage activities as well as meet & greet sessions where they got some up close and personal time with their favourite guests.
But of course what would an anime event be without cosplayers and we had a great number of them at the event. Ranging from anime favorites such as Jujutsu Kaisen and Chainsawman to games like The Legend of Zelda:Tears of the Kingdom as well as vtubers like Maria Marionette and more!
SMASH 2023 also hosted the Australia leg of the World Cosplay Summit 2024 selection with 10 pairs of cosplay hopefuls vying for the chance to represent Australia at the event in Nagoya next year. We were definitely super impressed with the high level of cosplay crafting and scripted performances they put up.
Compared to events in the South East Asia region, SMASH definitely felt much more orderly and spacious, along with a mulititude of activities to keep event goers occupied. Attendees definitely had a great time wandering around the event hall for their purchases and the mini stage activities. For photographers and cosplayers, the outdoor areas were fantastic for getting great photos too! Most impressive was also how polite and friendly the SMASH staffers & volunteers were towards the attendees, you’ll clearly have a fun time there.
We’re definitely looking forward to visiting Sydney again next year in 2024 to catch even more of the fun excitement that SMASH is going to serve up. If you’ve ever considered traveling Down Under and are looking for some ACG related activities, consider giving SMASH a go!