One of the biggest anime conventions in Australia is the Animania festival, which is organised by Aurora Entertainment.
In 2011 the convention is celebrating it's tenth year and the event is scheduled for March 5, 2011 at Rydges Melbourne, before touring through Australia's capital cities.
Animania is a celebration of of anime, manga and Japanese pop-culture and features events such as Cosplay, various anime screenings and workshops, the chance to participate in karaoke and play a number of video games, including the popular Dance Dance Revolution.
For the uninitiated Cosplay is a very popular event - and the winner/s of the events at Animania have the chance to represent Australia at the World Cosplay Summit - held annually and televised in Japan. The name 'Cosplay' - is short for 'costume play'. In a 'Cosplay' event, the participants must register in advance to enter the competition - in recent years there have been two separate events at Animania - the Animania Festival Cosplay Competition and the World Cosplay Summit (WCS) Preliminary Competition for Australia.
However in 2011, it has been announced that there will be three separate events - a 'Cosplay Catwalk' - as the title suggests, a quick presentation of your costume on a catwalk, a 'Cosplay Show' which will feature entrants performing skits and the WCS competition is audition based. If you need further information regrading the changes to the 2011 'Cosplay' events at Animania, see here or contact Animania here.
In 'Cosplay' events, entrants dress-up in self-made costumes as their favorite Japanese pop culture characters from a Japanese anime, manga or video game. You can enter the competition as an individual or as part of a group. On the Main Stage the entrants 'perform' as their respective character on stage. Popular 'Cosplay' characters are often inspired by Sailor Moon, Death Note, Final Fantasy and Bleach.
Please note at Armageddon Expo the Cosplay Parade differs as entrants are able to dress-up as characters from live-action feature film and television, for example Star Trek, Star Wars, Doctor Who, The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter - as it is a pop-culture convention, while Animania is a convention dedicated to anime and manga.
The convention also usually has special guest speakers - the full schedule is yet to be released but stayed tuned to the AnimaniaFacebook page and Twitter.
Adding to the fun on the day are a number of competitions, ARTspace, a Japanese Food Fair and Cafe Luciole, which is inspired by the popularity of Maid Cafes in Japan, in which waitresses are dressed as French maids.
Advance tickets for this event are yet to go on sale, but keep checking the Animania website for details. Tickets are also available at the door.