MadFest is a Japanese pop culture convention run by Australian entertainment company ‘Madman’. Madman looks after distributing Asian film, television, comics and merchandise throughout Australia and New Zealand. So when I heard that they had started up their very own conventions I was beyond excited. So far theis year their conventions have been held in two Australian capital cities – Brisbane & Perth. This weekend, 4-5 November, they held their third convention in Melbourne!
Thanks to the incredible team at Madman I was given a media pass to check the convention out. I recorded all of my experiences at Madman on Twitter and Instagram – make sure to check them out! Unfortunately I was only able to attend yesterday, as I am currently moving from Melbourne to Sydney and needed to spend today to keep packing my boxes & work on final assignments.
Exhibitions & Goodies
The convention was divided into two main areas – the expo hall and the AnimeLab Arena. First off, I’ll be talking about the expo hall. The expo hall held four anime exhibitions, all the stores and the artist alley. The exhibitions featured Attack on Titan, Cowboy Bebop, Sword Art Online and Your Name. I couldn’t believe how work and effort was done in each of the exhibits. The Attack on Titan one was particularly breathtaking as it had exerts from the manga and special prints hanging. There was also a Attack on Titan VR experience you could pay to try, however as I get bad motion sickness I didn’t want to risk it.
I haven’t watched Cowboy Bebop but I still enjoyed the exhibition, it also had a number of prints hanging up, some cut outs you can post with, and also a special area where you could practice shooting with Nerf guns.
Besides the exhibitions, there were a bunch of other goodies to check out! There was a special gaming area which had different consoles and games set up, a gundam building section, Animelab watching area and, most impressive of all, a cosplay photoshoot area. There were about five different ‘sets’ that cosplayers could post on from a classroom to a pool side.
I’ve send it before, but I’ll say it again, my favourite part of conventions is meeting the community. I loved seeing everyone make an effort to showcase their love for various fandoms and characters from ita-bags to full on cosplay, it was such fun! Madfest had a big cosplay parade happen towards the end of the day, it was really interesting to hear from cosplayers about how they put together their outfits, some were bought, some hand-made but most a mixture of both. If you want to see more Cosplay pics, head over to my Facebook page.
MadFest had a bunch of exciting guests this weekend – such as Shinichiro Watanabe (Director of Cowboy Bebop), Ladybeard (Pop Idol) and Kana Ueda (voice actress). Autographs were free at MadFest and many participants lined up early to get the coveted autograph tokens, unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to get an autograph. I did, however, go to ‘Kawaii Time with Ladybeard’ – which was in the second area of the convention. I’ve been a fan of Ladybeard for a few years, and it was so exciting to see him in real life.
One special part of Madman that I was pumped for was their Ichiban Kuji. Ichiban Kuji are really popular in Japan, essentially there’s a series of prizes you can get, say like from A – G. There may be 20 G prizes, 15 F prizes, 10 E, 5 D, 3 C, 2 B and 1 A. You pay a sum of money (at Madman tickets were $15) and choose a ticket and open it – whatever letter is on the ticket corresponds to which prize you’ll get! I found an Attack on Titan Kuji and just had to try it, I ended up wining the H prize. The G prize was a statue of Levi, I was so close ;_; . Anywho I managed to win a folder of my husbando Erwin and all the peeps.
As always, I did check out the Creator Zone where individuals sell original and fan art. The Zone was so packed, and the creators were incredibly busy, so unfortunately I didn’t have a chance to interview anyone like I did when I was at Oz Comic Con. At the Creator’s Zone I did get two things. Firstly, I bought a bunch of stickers from a super cute store, unfortunately the artist didn’t give me a card, and I know many artists don’t like pictures of their art to be posted without credit, so I won’t post a picture of what I bought from her store here. I also bought these adorable doughnut earrings from Sparkle Liscious! The earrings were $10, the artist had a bunch of different sweet and unique designs.
I had so much fun at MadFest, there were so many things to see and do. Just walking around the convention you could feel the buzz of excitement and activity. The convention not only gave me a chance to connect to the anime community, but also learn about Japanese culture. I can’t wait for MadFest 2018 :D!