From Comiket, Tokyo Big Sight Japan. Report from Arvin (Reporter) and Levin (Photographer)
We had the great opportunity to visit Comic Market 84(Also known as Comiket), a hallowed pilgrimage for Otakus from all over the world.
Comiket is first and foremost a doujin event. It is a place to get fan made works from many series and many other Indie products. However with the proliferation of Anime, Manga and Video games in Japan, the predominant products being sold were from such series.
After getting off Kokusaitenjijo station (国際展示場), we were greeting by a huge crowd and a barrage of Anime and Video games posters, telling us that we have reached the right place. We went to join the main queue which we found the end to be about 1km away from the entrance. Even after we joined the queue, there were still more people coming in. In the sweltering summer heat of 33 Degrees, it was certainly a demanding affair.
Summer Comiket Survivor Tip 1: Bring a Towel and at least 1.5 l of water.
At near 1000 Hrs, the queues started moving. It took us 1 and a half hour to even enter the hall and we immediately rushed to the West Hall.
Summer Comiket Survivor Tip 2: Buy the Comiket Catalogue or check it up online to know what circles or merchandise you want to buy.
Typically, it has been said that Day 1 is the mainstream day where doujins of popular anime such as the series from Jump or Sunrise are featured. There seems to be no consensus on what series are featured in Day 2 and whereas in Day 3, doujins of games and indie games are featured.
Tokyo Big Sight has a massive floor area of 230,873.07 m^2. The doujins are sold in the East Halls 1-3, East Halls 4-6 and West Halls 1-2 whereas the commercial merchandise are sold in West Halls 3-4. Do proper research and planning if you wish to get all your desired doujins. It is highly unrealistic to go from East Hall to West Hall if you desire the popular stuff. This was from our experience of having the chance to buy the limited edition stuff from the COSPA booth (Our first booth) only at 1300 Hrs.
Summer Comiket Survivor Tip 3: Comiket mist of sweat is a real thing. This phenomenon occurs at around 1200 Hours. Bring your towel.
With the release of Touhou 14, Day 3 was filled with a great number of Touhou fans and doujins. It was being sold at a low price of 1000 Yen limited to 1 per customer and still managed to sell out.. We even had the opportunity to meet Zun! We also had the chance to meet up with a Singaporean Circle (Collateral Damage Studio) and had a chat with them of their Doujin selling experience. http://www.collateralds.com/
Cosplay at Comiket was an affair unique to Japan. You are firstly not allowed to come to the event in cosplay and are required to change after you register. After registration you are allowed to go to the dedicated changing rooms. The cosplayers generally camp in designated cosplay areas to have their photos taken. It is bad practise to stop cosplayers walking around to take photos of them. Also photographers generally queue up in front of cosplayers to take photos of them giving them the liberty to request different poses from the cosplayers.
The spirit of cosplay was alive and kicking in comiket. There were many Comiket Staff and doujin booths members in cosplay. Due to the summer heat, there were many cosplayers in “cloth” cosplays. There were many people cosplaying from popular series such as Shingeki no Kyokin and To Aru Railgun but other rare series were equally cos-ed such as Drifters by Hellsing’s mangaka Hirano Kouta. There were so many cosplay areas that it was difficult to find all the cosplays around Comiket.
We certainly earned our Otaku stripes by attending Comiket for all 3 days but we certainly had great fun participating in it. However it was certainly a physically demanding affair and it is not something for the unprepared.
Hope you enjoyed reading this post as we prepare for ICDS.