So here we are. The final stretch. The final stretch into what looks like a followup to our most favourite convention of all times run last year. SMASH! is almost here again and it’ll be the first time we’ll be covering it– as in the main convention– in any official capacity ever.

As we’ve previously stated, the thing we’re most pumped to see this year at the Sydney Manga and Anime SHow! is the karaoke contest. What’s interesting is that now there may or may not be another karaoke contest. There are two of them, the Saturday finals and the: “ DAM Presents, NIPPON World Karaoke Grand Prix’” and all entrants to the previous are now in the running for that. Or at least, that’s what how we interpreted the information. Definitely contact the SMASH! team @smashcon on Twitter if you’re confused (we are a little too now).

However, we’re also incredibly keen on seeing live panels by the special guests. In particular we’re looking forward to the voice actress of Misato from Evangelion, Kotono Mitsuishi, but we’re also quite interested in the other guests as Cosplay and Gundam are things we like a lot. The other guests are, Reika, the cosplay legend from Japan and Toshihiro Kawamoto, the lead animator from Studio Bones. Although he also did some Gundam designs for one of our favourite series, 0083: Stardust memory.

Of course, like every year, cosplayers are already planning to attend the show in droves, so it’ll definitely be a colourful and fashionable place to be. What makes this even more lofty is that it’s being held at Rosehill Gardens Event Centre, which is supposed to be a pretty nice place to hold an event. We don’t know much about the actual location other than it’s supposed to be pretty and horses. So expect pretty I guess.

Apparently the easiest way to get there is by going through Parramatta, catching a bus, and then walking it. The bus is like, a 5-10minute trip. You could also jump off at Clyde and walk for 15mins. We suppose that waiting for the bus and having to buy the ticket for the bus at the newsagent might take the extra 5 mins it takes to walk. Clyde is literally 5mins from Parramatta by train as well. It might be easiest to get off at Clyde.

There will be an amazing assortment of things to do at the event. Last year saw some pretty odd, but fun, events taking place. Like the Cosplay Battle Royale. We’re not sure what the rules for that are, but we associate it with Pokemon meets humans. It is returning this year, so if you’re a Cosplayer, or interested in watching, take a look at that.

One of the things we’re hoping to see at SMASH! is an assortment of vendors all stocking JoJo figures. Seriously. The last two years have seen no JoJo’s for sale. We want the JoJo’s! We’d also like to see more armbands and Anime Ninja needs a new headband, so hopefully someone will be vending Naruto gear or something. We want to spend money on stuff. Each year there are a plethora of stalls, we hope this new location means more space, so that way we can have even more choice when it comes to our buying options.

Overall, it looks like this year is going to be interesting event for SMASH! We expect it to rival years previous and if it can, SMASH! will continue to our personal favourite event for another year. Thanks for the great times so far, SMASH! staff!

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