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Comiket C94 2018 Summer TripComiket C94 2018 Summer Trip

take123take123Il y a 8 moisDiary
Big post. Lots of pictures. Lots of words. Slow internet and slow readers beware.

This is my first time at Comiket. I have heard about it and was aware of what to expect. I thought a lot of what was said online and shown in Anime was funny, and then reality hits once you see it in person.... Having been there myself now, I wanted to let readers know what to expect and what to watch out for.

Background
This event is not for casuals. Newcomers who are not familiar with the scene may be surprised at the event, I would do some research beforehand or there will be culture shock... For hardcore anime fans this event is very much worth it and it is THE event to attend for artwork, cosplay, bags, and doujinshi (not so much figures here). I will be going back on C95 (winter Comiket). The merch at the event (largely Doujinshi) are 20% cheaper than what you can find outside and the quality of the works are extremely good. It is great seeing everyone gathered in one spot with similar interests. You will find stuff sold here that won't be sold outside. The cosplay quality are also excellent and those with high end cameras will have a lot of fun taking photos with the cosplay models which are some of the best I've seen, there is a lot of detail in their works. The fanbase is larger than anything else I've seen.

The event is largely for doujinshi or fan made art or comics. There are not really any figures here. Cosplay is also a big part of the event. There are material for both male and female fans. Day 1 is more generic, Day 2 was largely for female (it's funny how they turned a lot of the Male bathrooms into female only due to the large number of female attendees), and Day 3 is for 18+ male audience (day 3 was much busier by far than the first two days).

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For prospective attendees, be warned this is not your normal event. Around 600,000 attend the Comiket over the 3 days. Yes people, there are 5 zeros in that number. For reference, Wonfes is probably 50,000 max (which was already crowded I felt, boy was I wrong), and Comicon in the USA is around 160,000 people, these are not even close.

There isn't anything like Comiket really. Do not expect anybody to seriously help you (especially if you don't speak Japanese) if you're lost (unless you're dying) as everyone is quickly rushing to buy their items. There isn't enough time in the event due to all the queues and people so people usually divide and conquer to help each other buy items. English will be limited so try to learn some basic Japanese. I learned how to say phrases like "where is", "I don't understand", "do you have", "how much" and count up to large numbers then fill in the rest with Japanglish or awkward Katakana and pictures/translations on your phone.

Unless you have also have companions who know what to expect, I would not go with friends or bring your boyfriend/girlfriend as it is not like going to the beach for a chill day. I wouldn't bring children or babies, not necessarily because of some of the 18+ but because it will be really hard on them. It is very hard to follow someone through all the people and it's just much more enjoyable to run around on your own and buying what interests you.

The event will be like a full body workout. You will be exhausted at the end.

Some things to note:
It is incredibly crowded: Although the venue is absolutely ridiculously ginormous it still doesn't help. A lot of the elevators and escalators are not allowed for non-staff use or turned off (I guess they're afraid of the stampede of otakus breaking the machinery). Moving up and down floors often requires walking a lot or walking up and down ramps outside in 35C sun. The amount of time to walk around even short distances is very long. You can't really walk in a straight line either.

These photos below are from first day. The 3rd day I would say was 50-70% more people. The photos below still had some empty space gaps on the 1st day in the outside walk halls.
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Extremely hot: If you thought Tokyo gets hot in the summer, it is up to 5-10C hotter INSIDE the building than outside. Outside is around 33-35C already which is very hot with 70-80% humidity. Drink lots of water or you will get dizzy and feel nauseous. The Tokyo Metro / JR lines to the Yurikamome line is usually okay with good air conditioning. But once you get on the Yurikamome line destined for Tokyo Big Sight it is like a toasty sauna. The moment you enter that Yurikamome train to Big Sight the 35-40C heat conditions starts and it will not end for many hours until you go home and exit your Yurikamome train's final destination station.

It will smell: People in Japan are usually very hygenic. It honestly isn't that bad. Surprisingly the bathrooms were still very sanitary despite being used constantly. However there is nothing you can do when you are sweating profusely under 100% humidity and 40C temperatures and you are elbow to elbow to another similar sweaty male/female. Everyone will be sweating like they're in a swampy sauna. Bring a towel and deodorant and just live with it, there's nothing you can do about it.

Humid and wet: There is lots of sweat and human breathing vapor getting evaporated upwards and condensing inside the building. It got so bad that the windows starting to have fog and dew (not kidding look at the photo). There's a joke that the mass of people can cause a man made cloud to form inside the building. And that the mass of people and their steam can cause typhoons and rain clouds to blow away. Ironically Typhoon Shanshan was scheduled to hit the heart of Tokyo but eventually deflected out towards the ocean at the last minute. There was literally no rain at the event which would of helped the heat.
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Lining up: Despite the massive number of people the Japanese usually organize themselves into organized queues and follow the rules. Just wait in line and eventually you will get your turn. One thing to note, if you want to line up very early before the start there are some logistic challenges. For example, how do you use the toilet if you have to wait in line for 6 hours. Will somebody really save your spot while you go find a bathroom somewhere outside while everyone else is standing in line? There are reports of adults wetting their pants while waiting in line. What if it rains (umbrellas are not usually allowed in large lines). Bring a raincoat or plastic bag on head instead of a umbrella.

Just about everything needs a line: getting in the event (we're talking about hours of waiting and miles long lines), getting out of the event, waiting to take a poo in the toilet (if you got to go don't wait until the end... go early), going to the 7-Eleven convenience store, food from a stand, buying from popular artists, getting vendor merch, buying a train ticket, entering and exiting with said train ticket, entering the train once finally inside the said train station, etc.... You will be standing and walking for many hours and if you are not physically fit it will be hard.

Here is a photo showing some hardcore fans standing in line under 35C heat/sun to get hands on their doujin (from a popular artist) before they sell out. Many of these poor souls have been waiting overnight to get into the Big Sight early. Note popular stands will have tables facing OUTWARDS as the lines just get too long to fit inside the halls. Some popular artists get unpredictably large number of buyers and they will organize lines outside and have staff carry chunks of the line inside with their arms raised. Once inside the last person in line will hold a sign notifying newcomers that this is not the start of the line. You need to follow the rules and avoid cutting the line (if a line looks short and sounds too good to be true it likely has a very long line outside for congestion control).
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On the left below is a photo of the line on day 3 (male targeted 18+ doujinshi day) 2 hours after opening! It was a mile+ long (I shot the photo of line closer to the entrance with the iconic big sight building and stairs). The bottom right photo show a line to one of the high profile artists I was in line for. I only had to wait 20 minutes here.
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Safety first! I would not go if you're claustrophobic, have panic attacks, have poor breathing conditions, have heart conditions, have trouble standing or walking for many hours, have bathroom troubles (you will have to wait in line unless you're a guy and only have to do #1, girls will have to wait in line for eternity...) or any other complication. The temperature inside the Big Sight went probably 5-10C over what was outside (which was already 33-35C) and it is very wet from humidity inside. I saw several people lying on the floor with paramedics due to what appears to be heat exhaustion. And there were ambulances on standby. Be sure to keep drinking water and get proper salt intake. Safety first! I would say I am decently fit but I honestly got nauseous and light headed while on the Yurikamome train due to the heat and having been standing for so long, but drinking sports drink with salt helped. There are a lot of drink machines around the halls, just buy it despite the higher price (better than dying).

My Gear
I wanted to travel as light as possible as I would be standing or walking for 8 hours. You should get a small backpack or bag. Don't get one of those big ones as you want to be as "flat" as possible due to so many people. The really hardcore people have roller bags since they buy too much stuff, I don't understand how that is practically feasible.

I had a change of clothes, toothbrush, wifi router, USB battery charger, phone wallet, 100YEN/500YEN coins, passport (I went to Akihabara afterwards if you want 8% off from tax-free you need a passport), towel (use it to shield the sun while waiting in line and for after washing your hands and sweating). I also had sunscreen, you need sunscreen. Bring a lot of 100Y and 500Y coins and 1000Y notes. Handing over a 5000Y or 10000Y note to a small Doujinshi artist, he or she will have a very hard time giving you that much change back. Exact change is preferred, high efficiency and saves time for the long line of people waiting. You can give 10000Y notes to the big stands if you really have to, they are loaded with cash. Most doujins cost 500Y and larger artbooks can cost 1000-2500Y.

One thing I wish I brought that I did not is one of those clear file folders to store the doujinshi to prevent damage. I think I will bring gloves next time also to protect handling the artists's display books (common courtesy) and handling of my books (your hands will be very sweaty and dirty).
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Getting into Comiket
To get the highest priority items you need to line up overnight. Since this is my first event I decided to go after the crowd has largely moved in (i.e 11-12pm). The lines will extend out from the Tokyo Big Sight for up to several miles when the event first starts. If you are coming out of the Yurikamome line train do not expect you can walk directly into the halls. You will likely be routed in a big circle around to the main entrance stairs. Just follow the crowd control personnel and you can eventually (eventually....) get in.

I took the Yurikamome line from Shimbashi Station or Toyosu Station (Toyosu is closer number of stops). Both options are cheap (around 2.5$ to 3.8$ one way). If you use Shimbashi you will likely be on the extremely crowded train. I ended up using Toyosu on the 2nd and 3rd days. The line is above ground and you have a nice view of the river crossing if you come from Shimbashi. The Yurikamome train will be extremely hot from Shimbasi as the air conditioners can't function with all the people inside. I think it was around 30-35C inside the train. I recommend taking a taxi if you are claustrophobic or have problems breathing. Get a SUICA or PASMO card (it's easy to get one from the machines) to just beep your way in. Don't use the ticket buying machine to and from the event ever, it will take FOREVER. The line at the ticket machine at the Big Sight is very long especially on day 3.

Photo of Shimbashi station in downtown Tokyo (close to Shiodome). This area is known as the 'salaryman' location, a lot of men come from subway here to work in big companies.
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Photos of the Yurikamome line at the Shiodome I took while in another high rise building. It's a funny looking train with tires on a raised concrete track.

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The people density is high so looking from far away everyone looks like ants. There's a joke that if there is a disaster at the Comiket event, it will create a noticeable dent in the otaku population and anime total addressable market... Photo while on the Yurikamome line while going around the "loop" to get on the 'Rainbow' bridge.
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Photos of the Big Sight. The iconic pyramid looking thingy that can be seen miles away wasn't really used. Everything was on the massive halls (there is a East and West hall side). The vendor hall was on the top floor of the East hall. It probably takes 15-30min to walk from end of East hall to end of West hall during high usage hours.

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What's inside
When you first enter the Big Sight you will be greeted with the front entrance which won't have any displays. It will have your ATM machines and convenience stores and such. You can either go right to the 西 or WEST hall or left to the 東 EAST hall. Both have doujinshi and artists on the ground floors. East hall is much larger. The 西 WEST hall on the top floor has the vendor hall with merch like tapestries, dakimakuras, shirts, posters, keychains, and other gear.

Here are photos showing the East hall mania. The garage-like doors are open around the perimeter to allow air in (thank god) and you can enter/exit there. Larger artists are along the perimeter of the halls and there are lines there usually pointing outward. In the center of the halls are thousands of artists. Fully exploring just one side of the West hall will already take hours. It is hard to see everything in Comiket in the time it was open for.

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Here are some photos of the vendor hall. I don't think the vendor hall changed after the 1st day. It was busy on the 1st day and then it got emptier afterwards. I would say most were prioritizing the doujin halls after they got/saw what they wanted.

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Cosplay
Sadly I did not take photos of Cosplay as I did not have time and it was just too hot outside. Note you cannot wear your cosplay into the event. You have to change (people bring roller luggage) at the event. There are dedicated cosplay areas and you shouldn't take photos while inside the halls due to crowd control maintenance. The most busy cosplay area is to the left of the outside main front entrance. You will have to wait in very long lines just to take photos of every model there. Most people there will have professional cameras. There will be more casual cosplayers on the perimeter of the halls. You can take photos there as well. There are common Comiket Cosplay etiquette you should follow which I won't list here. Next Comiket (winter) it should be colder outside which I prefer so I think I will bring my SLR camera which is very heavy to take some higher quality cosplay photos.

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My Purchases
I think I ended up buying a lot of Fate art... I would say in this Comiket, Fate took the crown in terms of number of circles. I didn't see so much Kancolle, maybe it died down as Kancolle was popular in past years.

I was impressed that the non-professional artists are surprisingly good. If you missed out on purchasing some doujinshi at Comiket, it may be available after the event in Melonbooks or Comic Toranoana in Akihabara. Note those stores get SUPER packed right after Comiket and it's nearly impossible to shop properly and the prices are usually higher to make profit.

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See you next time :)
2,100 vues • 23 commentaires

Commentaires23

Commentaires intéressants
18pt
Thanks for the write up! And nice artbooks you've picked up. Man this brings up memories... I've been to Comiket a few times and thankfully only in winter so it was way more tolerable (though you get the lovely experience of waking up at 4am, rush for the first train then waiting in the darkness at 2 degree Celsius for 5 hours for it to open. Fun times). From your descriptions though summer is absolutely horrid and I don't think I'll ever try that. I remember the Tunnel of Horrors between east/west halls were bad enough in winter I can't imagine that at 40+ degrees *shudder

I was one of those people who brought a mini suitcase every time because there is just SO MUCH TO BUY. The end result is usually a full case + bags etc on top or hanging off the side (thank you. Artist bonuses) and waayyyyy too much money spent in the heat of the moment haha

Here's some loot photos I dug up:
Voir le spoilerCacher le spoilerhttps://i.gyazo.com/5a2b1316764c4d69159f5d50aee4ac37.jpg

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Miku for reference


Other memorable moments for Comi are:
- No toilet break (40mins spent lining up for bathroom is a waste of time)
- No food (other than 2 nikuman in the morning)
- Spent weeks before planning your battle maps Voir le spoilerCacher le spoilerhttps://i.gyazo.com/8ae473320fd4d253e59cb86f43afdab1.jpg
- Pouring hours over said battle map for the tables you'll visit and getting lost
- lining up for 1 & 1/2 hours to find out the new books are sold out (thank you hummel & inumog)
- Official booths? yeah good luck lol (Type Moon lines are on another level)
- Being rejected from buying R18 stuff because I forgot to bring my passport (I had to plead and eventually they relented because I'm a foreigner)
- Acted as a proxy once. Never again
- Rinse and repeat for 3 days :'D

I really want to go back
Il y a 8 mois
Commentaires récents
1pt
Nice timing man! This was my first Comiket as well haha, I decided since I'm in Japan I might as well attend. I only attended on Days 2 and 3, since I wanted to grab one of the Karory Polo shirts (daily sales were sold out on Day 2 so I revisited on Day 3).

I'm not too into the hobby anymore but it was an amazing experience for a former hardcore fan! I even got into the girls-baseball mobile game (八月のシンデレラナイン) thanks to the corporate booth they had set up.
Il y a 8 mois
1pt
Just saw on their website:

www.comiket.co....

It seems they have to reconstruct the East hall due to olympics. And that means they will have to use the South hall and move the vendor hall somewhere else... Space will be reduced to 75% of original capacity (what a nightmare) so they spread the event over 4 days for the first time instead of the usual 3 days.

Comic Market 96
Schedule: Friday, August 9, 2019 to Monday, December 12, 2019
Place: Tokyo Big Sight West Exhibition Building · South Exhibition Building (Circle) / Qinghai Exhibition Building (Corporate Booth)

Comic Market 97
Schedule: Saturday, December 28, 2019 - Tuesday, 31 (Tuesday)
Place: Tokyo Big Sight West Exhibition Building · South Exhibition Building (Circle) / Qinghai Exhibition Building (Corporate Booth)
Il y a 8 mois
1pt
WindsorSeven SHSL Vegone
take123 (Il y a 8 mois) #38803185How is shipping those books out of Japan like? Is the weight very expensive.
I don't have any concrete numbers floating around, as I haven't ordered any doujinshi recently, but I'd say it's not terribly expensive. If you order ten books maybe, but keep in mind that doujinshi is usually small both in size and weight.
Il y a 8 mois
1pt
darkfader lolicon
ecchi_shiyo (Il y a 8 mois) #38798966Which site(s) did you order from?
Melonbooks, Toranoana. Both have their drawbacks and advantages. Multiple small shipments may increase consolidation costs.
Il y a 8 mois
1pt
WindsorSeven (Il y a 8 mois) #38800405Toranoana, MelonBooks, AliceBooks (to a lesser extent) and Y!JA are all sites I can think of where you can order online.

How is shipping those books out of Japan like? Is the weight very expensive.
Il y a 8 mois
1pt
WindsorSeven SHSL Vegone
ecchi_shiyo (Il y a 8 mois) #38798966Which site(s) did you order from?
Toranoana, MelonBooks, AliceBooks (to a lesser extent) and Y!JA are all sites I can think of where you can order online.

satsuyurami (Il y a 8 mois) #38743861A friend of mine went to comiket this year, but sadly he didn't do research first.
Oh man, how did that go...?
Il y a 8 mois
1pt
darkfader (Il y a 8 mois) #38790677I went once when I didn't follow any circles. I would die if I were to go again but probably save a lot of money. Already ordered over 100 online for C94 doujinshi. It's that bad already.
Which site(s) did you order from?
Il y a 8 mois
1pt
darkfader lolicon
I went once when I didn't follow any circles. I would die if I were to go again but probably save a lot of money. Already ordered over 100 online for C94 doujinshi. It's that bad already.
Il y a 8 mois
1pt
I added a photo of the Yurikamome train at the Shimbashi/Shiodome station area. It's an impressively developed area that's got multi layers of development.

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1791/43996653712_a3fa0378fc_c.jpgIMG_5260
Il y a 8 mois
1pt
Thank you so much for the additional information.

A friend of mine went to comiket this year, but sadly he didn't do research first.
Il y a 8 mois
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