Hello everyone! This is Ayumi, your favorite MANGA.TOKYO otaku writer who went to Comic Market for the first time in winter 2016. I couldn’t sleep well the night before because I was so excited. The day started with forcing myself to get up at 5 a.m. to catch the first train…
Like an elementary student before a school trip, I only got three hours of sleep! I even wrote an article about how to prepare for Comiket, but I was the first to break the rules: I wasn’t ready on time. I’m so sorry! Last night I was out in Tokyo until the last train, so I wasn’t in a good shape at all.
What will happen to the writer, Ayumi? (that’s me by the way) Let’s see what happened to me as I rushed to get the first train to Comic Market 91!
Comiket FAQ: Comic Market Basic Terms
The first trains in Japan begin somewhere between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. in the morning. Usually, there are a few business men who commute so early in the morning, and it was supposed to be a quiet morning on the platform… The nearest station to the hotel where I stayed was quiet. This is normal around this time.
But when I arrived at the transfer point where everyone would get together, there was already a huge crowd of people heading for Comiket 91! As I was rushing through the transfer, moving as quickly as I could, I thought I had been in the earlier group. I was optimistic… That was my first mistake.
Most people use the Rinkai Line or the Yurikamome Line to get to the International Exhibition Center (Tokyo Big Sight) which is where Comiket is held. On this day, I used the Rinkai Line. I transferred at Shinkiba Station. Again, this was around 5 in the morning. Otaku mornings start early.
It was already jam-packed! The station attendant was desperately making announcements about safety. Thank you, early-morning station attendants!
No matter where you looked, there were people, people, people.
As I had charged my IC fare card, I could pass through the ticket gates smoothly! The battle had already begun, so there would’ve been no time to buy a ticket. Just touch the sensor with the card and it’s done. The power of science is amazing!
I feel like I’ve seen this sight in Shin Godzilla.
After passing three stations from Shinkiba Station, I arrived at Kokusai Tenjijo Station! The ads here are mostly about anime and light novels. It’s exciting, isn’t it!?
All these people were on the same train I took… I realized that I was in an overcrowded car.
At a cafe in the station yard, I saw a glimpse of the effect of Comiket: the restaurants in the vicinity were so busy even managers were working tables. Apparently, even if they prepare this much, it might not be enough. It’s all bread.
There were already a lot of Comiket volunteers after the ticket gate! They were guiding people: ‘Please don’t run’, ‘The west building is this way.’
The reason why the picture is blurry is because I was jostled in the crowds of people. I’m sorry! The sky was still dark. This staff was sorting and guiding people from the night before. I couldn’t thank them enough.
Thanks to the staff, I could join the line. All I had to do was wait for the venue to open. People kept arriving after me. This was a perfect time to quote Colonel Muska’s line, ‘Look! The people are like garbage!’
Remember what I told you to bring in my Comiket guide? A small chair!
I got this at the ¥100 shop, Daiso! (Although, it actually cost me ¥200.) Even though it was a line, you didn’t have to keep standing. The staff started telling us to sit down. Of course, the ground is so cold in winter, so the chair was really useful!
Not sitting directly on the ground changes how cold you feel. In terms of the temperature, maybe it wasn’t actually that cold, perhaps because of how closely the people were standing. Luckily, the wind was also calm.
If you asked the people around you (so they could remember that you were in line), you could go to the toilet or to a convenience store. I thought that was the only chance for me to get some food before the gate opened, so I went to a convenience store which was working hard, again typical of Comiket.
They had already set up a special booth outside. They were selling things like fried chicken, meat buns, hot drinks, and cup noodles. Of course they had hot water too, so you could eat ramen on the spot.
When I went inside, there was a huge line, and Comike hadn’t even begun yet…!
A normal convenience store (6 in the morning).
A convenience store during Comiket (6 in the morning).
I guess even the cashiers were elites: they were so dexterous and it was a quick checkout. It took about 10 seconds. There were lines, but thanks to the shop’s effort, I didn’t have to wait for long. I got back to the Comiket line in about 10 minutes.
The morning glow is bright… that is the battlefield…the battlefield of Comiket…
I was feeling like a warrior going to battle! It was too beautiful not to say, I’m getting married when this battle is over…!
After this declaration of war, I ended up sitting on the chair I brought and waited until the clock hit 10 a.m. I ate food, played games, and read books. It was a relatively warm day, and everyone was excited. I was so glad that the cold wasn’t so harsh . Thank you God for making it such a nice day!
Meanwhile, MANGA.TOKYO was setting up their booth.
Both the circle participants and the general participants were waiting eagerly for the opening. I, a first time participant, almost felt my stomach being turned from the inside out; I was so nervous. ‘What if I can’t buy goods? Even if I could, what if they’re random and not my favorite?’
As I was having these weird thoughts, I heard a loud applause… Comic Market 91 started! Hooray! Apparently, it’s a tradition to clap during the beginning and the end of each day. I was a little moved by the spectacular scene… While clapping, everyone headed to booths they wanted to see!
I was able to get goods and my favorite things (more on that on Vol.2 of my adventures at Comiket), so I was in a good mood. I bought goods at the MANGA.TOKYO booth as well. I had already started sailing in the ocean called Comiket … To be continued!
In my next article, I’ll report on Comic Market 91 in more detail, and with more fun! We’ll see more stories, some funny and some more serious. Don’t miss it ♪