It’s the hottest season for the hottest event in Japan. It’s the season for the Comic Market (Comiket), Japan’s largest doujinshi fair!
This summer’s Comiket was held for three days in August 12-14 at Tokyo Big Sight. It was filled with lots of attractions. I’ll write about this comiket in two parts; this first part is the event report of the first day, and the second part will be about event guidelines and tips for first time attendees who want to enjoy one in the near future!
Manga.Tokyo managed to get some gifts for you from Comiket! You can find details at the bottom of this article. Don’t forget to take part for a chance to win some amazing stuff!
What is Comiket?
Comiket is a doujinshi marketplace held twice a year, once in August and once in December. This is the 90th Comiket being held in Japan. The ones held in summer are called Natsu Comi (Summer Comiket), and the ones held in winter are called Fuyu Comi (Winter Comiket). Doujinshi are self-published works by groups of individuals who share the same hobby. The groups of doujin members who participate in Comiket are referred to as Saakuru or Circle(s). There are about 35,000 of these circles who participate in Comiket. The venue is filled with so many booths.
The participants include not only the circles, but also cosplayers and corporations. More than 500,000 people, including general attendees, gather at Tokyo Big Sight over these three days. Lately, we’ve see an increase in international attendees from China, North America, and Europe. It is the world’s largest indoor public gathering for otakus.
Entrance is free for general attendees
Entrance to Comiket is free for general attendees. General attendees come to purchase doujinshi and/or merchandise from corporate booths, and to take pictures of cosplayers. The participating circles need to apply in advance and pay a charge. Cosplayers can attend without advanced applying, but they will be charged for registration at the venue.
Comiket 90 Event Report
Just look at this densely-packed crowd. There are people everywhere!
I stood in awed silence at the venue, seeing all this crowd. It is reported that more than 150,000 attendees came in just on the first day.
I got in through the press entrance, but people were waiting in line for at least an hour. There were so many press corps, proving that the event attracts a great deal of attention.
Popular Circle booths
Most attendees come to Comiket to purchase doujinshi.
The first thing I did was to go to the booths of the most popular circles, called Kabe (wall) circles. Kabe circles are known for their doujinshi sales and usually have very long queues. Therefore, these circles get their booths on the wall side (so that the lines can extend outside), which is why they are referred to as kabe, wall.
When I got to the Kabe circle I wanted, there was already a long line of about 100 people.
When you stand in the tail of the line, you will be given a panel like the one in the picture.
You’re supposed to raise this panel high above your head so that others can see it well. When someone else comes to stand in the line behind you, you give her the panel. The staff members will guide you through, so follow their instructions. Cutting in line is never allowed!
After twenty minutes of standing in line, I finally managed to purchase a doujinshi. I bought manga about the love romance (R18) of Eren and Levi from Attack on Titan. I bought two copies of those for 1,200 yen. I can’t show them to you in the article since I am not allowed to take a photo of them, but their front covers have very beautiful illustrations.
There were more circles I wanted to visit, but all publications were sold out by the time I got there. The publications of popular circles are usually sold out before noon. If you are patient enough to wait in a very long line, I’d recommend you go to the popular circle’s booths first.
This circle’s publications were all sold out by 11 p.m.
Other circles’ booths
You can also find some good less famous circles with hidden gems.
Some people think doujinshi is all about BL and sex, but that’s not all about it.
For example, this publication is a recipe book about the dishes that appear in a ninja anime called Nintama Rantarou.
I write Anime Recipes, so this type of books are very interesting to me.
This one is a guidebook full of photos of places in Japan that were used in anime and manga. In Japan, the places used in anime or manga are referred to as “聖地: Seichi (holy place)” by enthusiastic fans and visiting these sights is referred to as “聖地巡礼: Seichi junrei (pilgrimage)”. Otaku pilgrimages are very popular these days.
As you can see, there is a wide variety of genres for dounjinshi in Comiket.
I went on the first day of the Comiket 90, and I saw BL (Boys Love), anime, and shounen. Some titles are regarded as their own genre and are categorized separately, including TIGER & BUNNY, Gintama, and others. This special categorization is unique to Comiket’s marketplace. It strongly reflects the times and its increasing popularity.
Another highlight of Comiket is the cosplayers’ performance.
There are many cosplay areas set at the venue where cosplayers gather.
There are approximately 20,000 cosplayers attending Comiket. Cosplayers vary from expert levels to funny, just-having-fun types. They are all in various costumes of different characters.
You can easily find your favorite cosplayers there!
Comiket is a space for doujinshi circles to express their individuality as artists, and there are some people who do not appreciate the corporate entities that take part in the event. But corporate booths are also very popular as you can purchase official merchandise.
There are many attendees who will stand in a very long line expanding outside the venue for a chance to get some of the official merchandise. This picture shows the tail end of such a line.
Manga Giveaway from Comiket 90
We couldn’t leave Comiket 90 without a few gifts for the readers of Manga.Tokyo!
If you want to win them, just leave an awesome comment down below. Tell us a few things about yourself, or share your favorite Otaku quote! Show us your otaku side! One of you will win a packet with some amazing gifts from Comiket!
Read on for more information!
You must be older than 18 years old to apply because the gifts include manga in the R18 category.
You don’t want us to go to jail, do you? Thank you for your understanding.
September 2-9, 2016(noon, Japanese time)
[A] Doujin manga, Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan) – Type A(R18) [B] Doujin manga, Shingeki no Kyojin (Attack on Titan) – Type B(R18) [C] Doujin publication on anime pilgrimage of Chuunibyou demo koi ga shitai (Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions) [D] Comiket press
The winner will be random-picked. We will send you a message via Facebook. In case we cannot contact you for any reason we will choose another winner.
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