meteordust: (Default)
On Saturday, I went to SMASH!, for the first time in five years. It was out at Rosehill Gardens, and I was pretty stunned at how huge it had become. So many people! (I was also a little stunned that it was now $45 for the day.)

AnimeUNSW )

A Bride's Story: Same-Sex Love and Unions )

Shopping )

Photos )
meteordust: (Default)
So I wasn't planning to go to SMASH! this year, after feeling a bit too dinosaur last time, and deterred by the rising ticket prices (now $29 prepaid or $35 at the door). But. Shin-ichiro Miki. Who has played a billion roles in anime, including Allen Schezar from The Vision of Escaflowne.

All right. Maybe one more time.

Highlights )

Photos )
meteordust: (Default)
An abbreviated SMASH! report for an abbreviated day, due to a hectic weekend.

I went in ambivalent about the new venue, the Sydney Convention Centre, at Darling Harbour. While a high profile setting, it seemed to run counter to the original idea of SMASH! as an intimate artist and fan gathering, plus I suspected it played a role in hiking the ticket price up to $25.

The biggest advantage, however, was that for the first time ever (unlike the UNSW Roundhouse or the Sydney Town Hall), the auditorium was a separate room. This meant that the ambient noise of the vendor hall didn't interfere with the panels and the cosplay comp.

I had a wander of the stalls, did a spot of shopping, watched the cosplay comp and the karaoke finals, and got to catch up with [ profile] _leareth, [ profile] xfire and [ profile] kawak.

Photos )

Also, COLLEEN DORAN IS COMING TO SYDNEY. Which apparently everyone has already known for months. ^^;

SMASH! 2010

Aug. 9th, 2010 11:10 pm
meteordust: (Default)
So for this year's SMASH! the Japanese seiyuu guest of honour was Yuko Miyamura, most famous for her role as Asuka from Evangelion. I thought I would be late for her panel, but I should have known that these things never start on time. Anyway, she came across as a warm and lovely person, and hardly seemed old enough to have been doing this fifteen years ago.

Most of the questions were general, but one I found interesting was that she was the one who came up with the "Kimochi warui" line at the end of the original Eva movies, after director Hideaki Anno asked her what she would say if she woke up to find someone strangling her. On request, Miyamura performed the "Anata baka!" line and demonstrated the Eva roar. But the highlight was the live dubbing session, where three scenes from Eva were played, and she voiced Asuka's part in front of us. The first was a fight with the Angels where she kicked ass, the second was her introducing Shinji to her Eva unit, and the third was where she and Shinji were having an argument after a battle. I was amazed at how swiftly and completely she dropped into character, full of fire and energy. Very impressive transformation.

The cosplay comp was pretty entertaining and largely pain free. Highlights included a guy who danced an Idol Master routine with a dead serious expression and complete knowledge of the moves, the most adorable 12 year old and 8 year old sister pair as winged characters from Touhou Project, an FFXIII group whose white robe costumes were unveiled to reveal another set of fighting costumes beneath, and a Loveless dance that was unsettlingly charged but a genuine example of dance as story that I have never seen at a con before.

I caught a few of the AMVs and some of the karaoke finals, and wandered through the stalls without picking up anything this time. Although I did stand in front of a plush Mokona for several minutes wondering if I really was too old for it.

I have to say, I'm still not completely sold on the Town Hall venue, although it is convenient to be able to just go upstairs from the train station. It's a bit of a maze, and the sound still carries between the main stage and the art stage, with ambient noise permeating both. It is a lovely building though, and to be able to watch the cosplay from plush red velvet seats in the gallery was kind of cool.

I caught up with [ profile] aerias, [ profile] kawak, [ profile] xfire and Chris. Everyone else though seemed like they were ten years younger than me. Some of these kids probably weren't even born when Eva first screened. I felt like a bit of a dinosaur, and kind of wished there were more of my fellow dinosaurs around to chat about the prehistoric days.

I had a caramel mousse cake from the Guylian Cafe for dinner, since there was no one to stop me, and then I headed on to GRAPHIC!

Photos )

SMASH! 2009

Aug. 8th, 2009 11:35 pm
meteordust: (Default)
I always say that Supanova is the one convention I go to every year, but perhaps I need to add SMASH! to that count too. Today I went to the third one in three years, and enjoyed it as thoroughly as the first.

SMASH! is small and intimate and fannish, with the additional nostalgia value of being at my old stomping grounds of UNSW. Much of the pleasure is in catching up with friends, or watching people go by, dressed up and enthusiastic and having a good time.

I picked up Adventures of an OG Addict (an FFXI anthology) by Libbie, The Credit of Time by Poshua, and the new Dylan Bradley: The Dark War by FIGHT!! Comics.

Highlights of the cosplay contest included a giant plush Mokona, [ profile] kawak's Utena group, and a Sailor Moon who was six feet of blond awesomeness.

We finished the day with dinner at GPK. What more could you ask for?

SMASH! 2008

Aug. 7th, 2008 12:33 am
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So SMASH! is in its sophomore year, and showing no signs of slump. Very healthy turnout when I went on Saturday, hordes of cosplayers and artists and enthusiastic young folk and even a good swathe of the old crowd. Sometimes it's good just to hang out and let the carnival swirl around you.

There was one event I had to check out though - the interview with guest of honour Hidenobu Kiuchi, the first Japanese seiyuu to attend a convention on these shores. The interviewer seemed inexperienced with bilingual interviewing and did a few awkward things, like ask questions using long and convoluted sentences, and engage in patter aimed primarily at the audience, which made things hard for the translator. But it kind of smoothed out towards the end. The questions were mostly general - how did you get your start, what's the recording process like, etc - but the audience was enthusiastic and the mood positive.

The interview was followed by a live dubbing session, in which Kiuchi performed his lines as various scenes from his anime were played. It was interesting to witness the differences between the roles and how he modulated his voice for each one. Plus bonus audience participation in the supporting roles, which was entertaining.

I went easy on the shopping this time - just picked up some cute Bleach bookmarks and an even cuter postcard with two lovely guys kissing and the caption "The closet is for clothes."

The day seemed to pass too quickly, and I wonder if SMASH! will eventually become a full weekend event. In any case, I'm sure it will be back next year, and all the fans with it.


Aug. 20th, 2007 11:33 pm
meteordust: (Default)
Went to SMASH! on the weekend - the first con I've been to in nearly a year. It had a pretty good turnout - hundreds of people, it seemed - and it was affirming to see so many fans gathered together and having a good time. It was also kind of nostalgic being back at UNSW and hanging at the Roundhouse. I caught a couple of the events, but for the most part I was content to relax and enjoy catching up with friends. I ended up doing a bit more shopping than I originally intended, and came away with a swag of comics and stuff. (I have to mention RAE's Cabin Boys, which is quite possibly *the* best title ever for a yaoi comic, especially when you factor in the barechested pirates on the cover.)


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