The two days at SMASH marked my very first time attending an otaku convention outside Malaysia and Singapore, which also ended up to be a far more pleasant and enlightening experience than I had dared imagined. I mean, a country that frowns upon loli content? Their events can't be good right? Disregarding the fact that the two statements are in fact mutually exclusive, here are my exploits during both days, sans photos
I've only been in Sydney for roughly half a year, so it was inevitable that I would have to ask for directions to the venue. As it turned out, I really just had to find my way to the bus stand until I spotted a bunch of weeaboos, and then board whatever bus they took. Sort of like that episode of Lucky Star where Kagami knew she was heading to Comiket just by noticing the crowd that went along with her
Arrival And Venue
I initially thought this was going to be a commercialized event, the variety organized by the sponsors themselves; but as I found out later on, this was a joint project between four Sydney-based universities. This got me thinking about how the centers of tertiary education back home are eternally rivals and will never collaborate to organize an event of this sort
The capacity of the hall where the event was held was just about right, as the organizers also had certain activities like gaming and karaoke hosted elsewhere within the vicinity. Touching on the latter, I must commend the organizers on the logistical limitations foresight for allocating an isolated location for karaoke to reduce sound pollution and preventing my eardrums from irreversible damage. Not that they did a good job at filtering out contestants anyway, since the finalists themselves were still pretty bad, though I guess I should be thankful I wasn't subjected to the auditions as well. The crowd here were generally well behaved, though this would be my first time encountering rabid Caucasian fangirls, putting the ones back home to shame with their, for the lack of words, fervor
I don't go to any anime conventions with high expectations though I do place the quality of cosplayers above everything else when it comes to evaluating an anime convention. All I can say is that I'm terribly disappointed. Terribly disappointed at the lack of fail gaijin cosplay Absent were my Sailor Bubbas, Man Fayes and obese Konata cosplayers... Oh wait, the latter was present on the second day! The variety was decent enough, with a couple of characters from series I've not seen back home thrown into the mix, such as Shuffle! and even Umineko.
Although the following's pretty obvious, it's not something you'd usually think about when you're Malaysia as this convention highlights the fact that there are some characters that the Caucasians accomplish a lot better than their Asian counterparts, namely those of western origins. That said, the I prefer the Rankas back home(sorry OP image Rankas!) a lot better, though there was a particular one on the second day who piqued my interests in more ways than one(more about her later). I also still cannot seem to comprehend why 2 in every 3 fangirls enjoy crossdressing, and while there's nothing wrong with that, I do wish for more guys to follow suit.
The cosplay competition was okay, though the trend whereby the better ones seem to avoid it completely for some reason, reared its head again. What we were left is some decent ones to the downright forgettable. Most of the skits were terrible, but at least this time around, I didn't have to put up with mangled English unlike back home.
The booths varied between doujin artists to anime merchandise dealers, though for the latter, there weren't anything on bargain per se, and most of the figurines were fairly common ones you could find online, except for this one Wonderfest GSC Miku I spotted. As much as I liked the circles' works, I just couldn't afford them being a broke student However, if there's something you must have, the dealers here accept credit payment, which is relatively unheard of back home. Each university anime club also had their own booth, but mine was sort of disappointing as it offered only papercraft more than anything else. In hindsight it was marginally better than one which catered to furfags with its sale of animal ears and tails
Up till now, I've been comparing and contrasting the events between regions, though this was an experience that I have yet to encounter back home. The ball jointed dolls panel did pique my interest somewhat, considering that I've only ever seen pictures of dollfies on sites like DannyChoo. Needless to say, they look awesome up close and at that very instant, I could feel my fetish for doll joints re-manifesting itself Damn you Peach Pit! Damn you Adun and Simon!
However, what really made my day was the Yaoi panel towards the end of Sunday. While I've seen my fair share of yaoi fangirls, never have I seen so many congregate at a single location. What an eye opener it was, to see fujoshis venting their sexual frustration out loud and expressing their devotion for explicit male bonding. It started with a humble background story from those present, but they were relatively tame, in which they began with fanfiction. In comparison, I was first exposed to yaoi through Boku no Pico(which they listed as a recommended title) That said, I failed to ask whether or not the fact my lust for hot trap action constituted as yaoi
Remember the Ranka earlier? She turned out to be the panelist for this and I honestly felt the world crumble around me as my pure image of Ranka shattered right before my very eyes. Less than an hour ago, she was all (ﾉゝ∀・)~キラ☆ but seeing Ranka don her megane only to elaborate in gory detail on how she would much rather see Alto smex (YFGTL's note: smex means fuck) Brera was devastating to say the least. She also won best group cosplay with Sheryl but I call bias since Alto was one of the judges
If you managed to wade through that wall of text, then you'd know that I had a rather good time during SMASH, and getting to meet bloggers such as Adun, Optic, icie, Snark, Simon, Pudding and koshiko and Ou7 made the whole affair a lot sweeter as it was almost like attending one back home. If I had to bring up a downside, then it'd probably be the lack of special guests of any kind, if only because I want to upstage Setsuna Be sure to check out Adun and Optic's post for photos. Also, a gallery of both days by the anime club photographer as well(Thanks Bubby!)