It’s finally Comic Market Time!
MANGA.TOKYO will be here at Comiket 91 for all 3 days, from 29th to 31st of December.
We covered this year’s summer Comiket here, and Ayumi wrote a very handy guide to get you through all the necessary preparations.
Many of you may be unfamiliar with Comiket, so we’ve put together a few Frequently Asked Questions about this huge otaku and anime event.
What is Comic Market?
Comic Market (hereafter referred to as ‘Comiket’) is a massive indie goods fair. Here, regular people can sell anything they have produced themselves. As the name ‘Comic Market’ suggests, the most common items are self-published comics and magazines. These are called doujinshi in Japanese and can feature anything from original stories and travel guides to adult-oriented content.
I’ve heard both ‘Comiket’ and ‘Comike’. Which is correct?
There are many words used to refer to the event. Here are a few:
Comic Market (コミックマーケット)
The full name for the event.
From Comic Market. This seems to be the most common term in the English-speaking world.
An even further abbreviated version of ‘Comike’. This is a very common term in Japan.
‘Summer Comic Market’. This is used to refer to the August event.
‘Winter Comic Market’ This is used to refer to the December Comic Market.
Where is it held?
Comic Market is held at Tokyo Big Sight in Koto Ward, Tokyo, Japan. It is part of the famous Odaiba area in Tokyo Bay.
How many people take part?
There are some 35,000 ‘circles’ that take part in Comic Market. It’s impossible to know exactly how many visitors come each time as there are no tickets required for entry, but the official website and catalog state that an estimated half a million people visit Tokyo Big Sight during each Comic Market.
What is a circle?
A circle is an indie group that produces its own goods. They can consist of a solo person or a large group. Many people associate circles with doujinshi, but they can make many other kinds of goods too!
How do I get there?
Please use public transportation to come to Comiket. If you are coming by train, then the closest stations are Kokusai Tenjijo station on the Rinkai Line and Hokusai Tenjijo Seimon on the Yorikamome Line. We recommend that you use an IC card to help avoid waiting in line to buy train tickets.
When is it?
NatsuComi is always in August around the O-bon period. The next summer Comiket, Comic Market 92 is to be held in August 2017.
FuyuComi is always at the end of the year. This year’s winter Comic Market, Comic Market 91 has just begun and will be held from December 29th-31st 2016.
What do they sell?
The only rule for the Comic Market is that the goods must be self-produced. This means that there are a variety of goods. By far the most common type of good are doujinshi. These are self-published manga that can contain anything, from adult-oriented material featuring famous anime characters to recipe books produced by budding chefs.
Indie games (‘doujin games’) are also a very popular item, with some popular franchises starting off as doujin games.
There are also accessories, clothes, CDs, photos, edible items, and much more!
Does each day have the same goods?
Although the commercial booths will run for all three days, the indie booths run for only one day each. Each day usually has different themes, so if you are after something in particular then please check the catalogue!
What’s the difference between the East and West?
Tokyo Big Sight is split into the East and West sides. You can enter from whichever side you wish. The East Halls contain doujin circles and will change each day. The West halls contain commercial booths which run for all three days. However, West Hall 1 usually also contains doujin items and will change each day.
How can I find out which circles are participating?
The best way to find out what is being sold each day is to get the official catalog!
It’s a telephone book-sized catalog and contains images for each of the indie circles, as well as a list of commercial booths. It usually goes on sale a few weeks before Comiket and costs around 2500 yen from bookstores and anime goods shops. You can also buy the catalog outside the venue.
The catalogue is also available in DVD form and online.
The paper catalogue contains a pull-out event map! Very useful to carry with you after you choose which circles to visit.
How much does it cost?
Entry into Comiket is absolutely free!
However, if you are cosplaying you will have to pay a fee to use the changing rooms. More on that later.
If you want to participate in Comiket as a circle (creator) then you must pay a participation fee. You must have a Japanese address to register, so be careful of that if you are thinking of participating
Can I cosplay at Comiket?
Yes! One of the appeal points for Comiket is the cosplay! However, there are a few things you must note:
- You must not arrive to the venue in cosplay, you must change in to and out of your cosplay in the designated changing areas
- You can register to use the changing areas on the day and you will have to pay a fee (currently 1000 yen)
- Cosplay photography can only be done in the designated areas
- You can enter the venue wearing cosplay, but cosplay photography is not prohibited inside the venue.
There are also rules regarding the costumes and props, and they are available in the Catalogue in English, Chinese and Korean in the official catalog. You can also check our guides on how to prepare for a cosplay event, and a few tips on cosplay etiquette.
What time should I arrive?
It is prohibited to wait overnight near Tokyo Big Sight. There are a few different options when it comes to entry
1: To enter between 10-10:30 you need to take the first train to the venue and wait outside for around 5 hours.
2: To enter between 10:30 – 11:30 you can arrive at the venue around opening time and wait about an hour to enter
3: Arrive at the venue in the early afternoon. You won’t have to wait to get inside.
We only recommend the first option if you really want an item from a famous circle or commercial booth. If it’s your first time at Comiket, we recommend option 3.
Can I use a credit card?
Cash only! Try to bring your cash in 100-yen coins, 500-yen coins and 1000-yen bills.
Let’s meet at Comiket!
That’s all for now! If you have anything to ask about Comiket then leave your questions in the comments below!
Official Comic Market Website (English) http://www.comiket.co.jp/index_e.html