A cosplayer visits the 2017 SMASH Sydney Manga and Anime Show at Rosehill Gardens in Sydney, Aug. 20, 2017. (Xinhua/Bai Xuefei)
SYDNEY, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- More than 15,000 Sydneysiders met up on Saturday and Sunday, to celebrate all things anime, at Australia's biggest convention for Japanese pop art.
In its 11th year, the SMASH! event brings together comic lovers, gamers, artists and the fanatical fanbase of the cosplay community, who adorn the extravagant costumes of their favourite cartoon characters.
"I think cosplay is a very unique form of expression," president of SMASH! Andrew Qiu told Xinhua on Sunday.
"People have been using fashion to express themselves, but if you combine that with what you love, the character, the games all the content that you love, you can become who you really love and that's really taken off."
At the moment, anime has been soaring in popularity in Australia and according to Qiu, he believes this is due to the wide embrace of multiculturalism down under.
"Because we celebrate different cultures [in Australia], it makes it much easier for people to accept and enjoy anime," Qiu said.
"being together with other people who do the same, it creates a good vibe."
Over recent years, a very tight knit community of cosplayers has developed in Australian, as participation in the trend continues to grow.
"A lot of people know what each other are doing, they coordinate cosplay together... and that's what is fun about it, you are part of a creation together."
For many at the event, it's the community of likeminded people that make dressing up so enjoyable.
One cosplayer who spoke to Xinhua at the convention revealed it took her over one month to create her costume.
"A lot of money goes into it as well and just time, stress, blood, sweat and tears," the cosplayer said.
"It's a lot of effort, but at the end of the day it's all worth it, when you come to a convention and see the photo's that people get and see the smile of people's faces."