Unique to SMASH! was the Maid Cafe’, and let’s make this crystal clear, a family friendly Maid Cafe’! It was perfectly located to capture the stunning views of Darling Harbour while a courteous Maid or Butler serves you. There is the option to go all out and have high tea or simply order from the menu selection.
Panel: Shin-ichiro Miki
I attended the panel for the Japanese voice actor Shin-ichiro Miki who is evidentially a very big deal in the Anime world. If you don’t know his name, you may have at least heard of some of his work on Pokemon, Fullmetal Alchemist and Bleach.
What made these panels unique was the use of a translator, even though it should be unsurprising as they are Japanese voice actors. What made it interesting was that the Japanese speakers in the audience would react first, followed by the delayed reaction from the rest of the audience when we finally heard the translation.
Shin-ichiro answered questions from the audience but the highlight was watching him perform a live dub. It involves playing the original scene with the pre-recorded voice overs, followed by a replay where he performs his role live. A highlight was an emotional scene from Fullmetal Alchemist, where Roy Mustang visits the grave of Maes Hughes, mainly because of the reaction from the fan girls and boys.
Ball Jointed Dolls
At SMASH! I was also introduced to Ball Jointed Dolls (BJD), these dolls are handmade and are able to be articulated into poses courtesy of the ‘joints’ consisting of a ball and socket.
These dolls are also customisable which is pretty much limited by the owner’s imagination, the more ‘obvious’ modifications include different wigs, eyes and clothing but there are owners who may take it even further by giving their doll a facial or even modifying their body!
Now for a bit of nostalgia, they had a Mario Kart 64 Tournament! Unfortunately I could not register in time before the cut off. It was probably for the best anyway, I grew up playing the less technologically advanced 2D Super Nintendo version!
There was also a free play section provided by Sydney Gamers League which included some of my favourite games Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe.
The convention floor is the mish-mash of Anime related goodies ranging from super kawaii (cute) to downright scary fashion and accessories, Manga, art, toys and more!
If any of this has peaked your interest, lock in August 10, 2013 for next year's SMASH!