Comiket

JapanaTour: Comiket

Oct 13 // Chris Walden
I'm sure there are some of you that are wondering what Comiket is all about. Essentially, it is a huge fair held in the Tokyo Big Sight (yes, Sight and not Site!) that sells large quantities of dōjinshi, which are self-published products. Fan-made manga, music and games are but the tip of the iceberg in terms of wares you can expect to see for sale. There are also licensed products available, so if you are still looking for that elusive hugging pillow, you may just find it here! There is a huge amount of cosplaying, as well as a stage for live music, so there really is something for everyone. Better yet, it has free entry! Fun fact time! Did you know that the Tokyo Big Sight is officially known as the Tokyo International Exhibition Centre, or to the Japanese, the Tōkyō Kokusai Tenjijō? The first thing on the agenda is preparation for the weekend itself. If you take a trip into Akihabara a week or two before the event, you'll be able to pick up a guide that is packed full of useful information, even for us lot that don't understand the native lingo! Not only does it include seller information, which is handy when you're hunting out a particular circle, but it includes those all-important maps! Next, you'll want to find a bag and take a few bottles of water and a towel. If you're going in the summer and your home country doesn't get 35 degree and above heat, you'll need that towel! Even the Japanese do it, so don't worry about looking out of place. Drink the water sparingly too, you'll run into trouble if you need to use the loos in there! Be prepared for ridiculously long queues if you decide to chance it.  There are several ways to get to the venue, but the best way would be to go via train. You'll want to be aiming for the Kokusai-Tenjijo station, as the Big Sight is just a ten or so minute walk away. You can get there on the Rinkai line via: JR Shibuya Station (approximately 20 minutes) JR Shinjuku Station (approximately 25 minutes) JR Ikebukuro Station (approximately 30 minutes) If you had planned to visit Palette Town at all during your trip, then it is also possible to walk from there. Just beware of the heat in the summer and getting sore feet! Palette Town, other than being an alternative spelling of the town where Ash Ketchum was born and raised, is an extraordinary shopping mall. We'll talk about that some other time! Fun fact time! If you end up going to Comiket, you may notice a giant, red-handled saw. This is an art piece called 'Saw, Sawwing' by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen, and is one of nine different works of art scattered around the Tokyo Big Sight.  As you might expect, the crowds of people at Comiket are a sight to behold in their own right. Be prepared to be barged about a sea of bodies before reaching one of the sales halls. The morning is definitely the worst time for this, but it's a price you must pay if you are aiming to collect goods from some of the top circles. If you want to go just to see what it's like, it's worth considering popping in during the afternoon. You may often see people holding large signs to indicate the end of queues leading to a particular circle, so be wary of them!  You'll find a large stage outside the exhibition hall, which features chatter from famous individuals and performances from various musical acts. You'll need to check the guide when you get one to see what exactly will be going on each day, but there's usually a few well known groups performing. At Comiket 80, I had the pleasure of watching a particularly... colourful idol group (whose name I do not know, sorry!) as well as an appearance from Yuichiro Nagashima, who you may know as the cosplay kickboxer. Anyone can end up on that stage, so be sure to look it up prior to arriving! Fun fact time! The first ever Comiket was held on December 21st 1975, and there were roughly 600 attendees. Nowadays, the event attracts over 560,000 people over the three day weekend. There are a few rules that you must follow while over there, not counting the obvious things like barging into queues and the like. Photography and video recording is the big issue here. Inside the exhibition hall and by the stage, don't start taking photos! You will likely be asked by one of the staff to stop. Taking photos of cosplayers should also be kept outside.  The other main rule you may not have heard of regards cosplay. If you intend to cosplay at the event, you must get changed at the Tokyo Big Sight, and not wear your costume to and from the venue. There are changing rooms available for this purpose, so please use them! That brings us to a close, so I hope you enjoyed this quick look into the world of Comiket. If you want to write about your experiences, have any further questions or even have some tips of your own concerning Comiket, leave them in the comments below! 
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Welcome to the first edition of a new segment us folks like to call JapanaTour, a glance at some of the awesome places and events Japan has to offer. The authors of these articles will be people who have actually visited the ...

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Comiket's over! And with the tide of otaku exiting Tokyo Big Sight comes a tailing wave of sweet, sweet cosplay pictures, including yet more portayals of Madoka Magica. Now, I know a few of you demanded that I stop gathering ...

The Cosplay of Comiket 80: Day Two

Aug 14 // Josh Tolentino
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Gosh, is it day two of Comiket cosplay already? It's as if our day one Comiket cosplay gallery went up just yesterday! Wait, that makes perfect sense. Cosplay goodness continues as Comiket slowly starts to wind down. The cosp...

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The Cosplay of Comiket 80: Day One


Aug 13
// Josh Tolentino
Ah, Comiket! That most essential of otaku events is going full speed ahead, and the first day has just passed. And before everyone is overwhelmed by the tide of perverted doujinshi and other obscene material (that's for day t...
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Comiket 78: Yui vs. Uiharu!


Aug 16
// Ben Huber
So Comiket 78 has been pretty intense so far with a massive amount of people attending: 560,000!But, that's nothing compared to what Canned Dogs mentioned earlier today. Apparently K-On's Yui and Railgun's Uiharu got into a v...

Check out some of Fall's anime in shaky-cam glory

Aug 14 // Josh Tolentino
A Certain Magical Index 2 Hakouki 2 Motto To LoveRu>A World Only God Knows  Soredemo Machi ha Mawatteiru> Otome Youkai Zakuro  Togainu no Chi  A Certain Scientific Railgun OVA Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade Works
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It's that second time of year, and the summer Comiket is upon Glorious Nippon. Besides sweltering heat, teeming masses of sweaty otaku, and countless instances of quietly ignored copyright infringement, there's also anime.Spe...

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Mr. Frontier Create, I have newfound respect for you


Aug 09
// Brad Rice
This latest single, "Ultra Tengu," is an impressive piece from 2010's Summer Comiket. I am also fearful of all things Touhou for the rest of my life. Thank you?
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Touhou oil painting for the true fan (auction of the day)


Dec 16
// Ben Huber
Who here likes Touhou? What's better than bullet hell shooters featuring shrine maidens? Not much, apparently, as Pixiv artist Kabaji has put up on the Yahoo! Japan auction site three Touhou oil paintings featuring: Marisa, R...
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Monthly Musing Reminder: The Best Thing Ever


Nov 20
// Pedro Cortes
Hey everybody, don't forget about this months musing. Tell us what is the best thing ever. It can be a show that you've watched, are currently watching, are currently dating, are currently doing naughty things to, whatever!&n...
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Promo buses prowl Akiba, bring you maid hostesses and creepy cosplay


Aug 25
// Josh Tolentino
Now these are buses I wouldn't mind being thrown under. Taking the grand tradition of the customized otaku car (ita-sha), promotional ita-buses are becoming a more common sight in nerd-infested areas. The one seen abov...
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Like Monster Hunter? Like it enough to put these panties on your head?


Aug 25
// Josh Tolentino
Monster Hunter is a phenomenon. In fact, just one iteration of the series, Portable 2nd G, has sold more copies in Japan alone than there are people in the country of Kuwait. In case you were wondering, that's a lot.The franc...
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My God, it's full of nerds: Comiket 76 draws half a million otaku


Aug 19
// Josh Tolentino
The pilgrimage has concluded, and the numbers are in: Comiket 76 broke the attendance records once again, drawing more than 560,000 visitors over three days, ten thousand more than last summer's Comiket 74. Though the raw num...
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Highlights of Comiket 76 cosplay part 2


Aug 18
// Brad Rice
I couldn't help but go with the Nia cosplayer for this set. I think you know why.So, for the second group of Comiket 76 photos courtesy of Moeyo, there's simply one thing I have to say: there is the most amazing Master Roshi ...
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Highlights of Comiket 76 cosplay part 1


Aug 18
// Brad Rice
Sadly, we're not at Comiket 76 in any official fashion this year. Pedro and Eva are braving the tides, but I couldn't imagine making them take photos while trying to carry all of their goods and fight against the language bar...
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FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUU: Check out the Comiket crowds


Aug 15
// Dale North
Odaiba is a sandbar that sits in the Tokyo bay. It's basically an entertainment island where shopping centers and restaurants and the like are piled up, all set on a beach. Nice place for a date, really. It's also the home o...

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