If you love Japanese pop culture, the Sydney Manga and Anime Show (SMASH!) is for you. It’s an annual event that’s held at the International Convention Centre at Darling Harbour in July each year.
For the uninitiated, ‘manga’ are Japanese comics and cartoons. ‘Anime’ is a style of Japanese animation that features colourful graphics, vibrant characters and fantasy themes.
Manga and anime are very popular in Japan. If you’re an enthusiast, this show is where you’ll meet like-minded fans from all around Sydney. You’ll find out all about local fan clubs and how you can join. There’s something for everyone at SMASH! Special guests for this convention include popular game and animation directors, as well as voice actors. You’ll be able to meet with them and discuss your mutual manga and anime passions.
You’ll also have the opportunity to watch or make your own anime music videos, as well play popular games at SMASH! And when you’re feeling hungry, you’ll be able to be served by maids and butlers in anime-themed uniforms. It’s a totally immersive experience where you’ll feel like you’re in another world.
A range of live performers also appear at SMASH! They’ll sing all your favourite anime tunes to get you up and dancing. There’s also an exhibitor hall where you can buy anime merchandise, as well as an artist’s market where you can buy custom-made goods made by anime fans.
Darling Harbour is about three kilometres west of the CBD via the Western Distributor/A4. Public transport is a great option to get there, with regular bus, train and ferry services available. The nearest train station is Town Hall on the City Circle Line.