On December 29th-31st, Comiket (aka Comic Market) hosted their biannual event at Tokyo Big Sight in Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan as part of their winter edition. Comiket is the biggest anime gathering in the world. It’s not necessarily a convention with planned activities like panels, exhibitions, and various other things, but more like a cosplay gathering that also has various booths selling things in the world of anime with some of it being exclusive for this event. It was my first venture to this one of a kind experience during my trip to Japan.
I’ve been to Anime Expo and thought this was massive with about 100,000 people. This event annihilates the AX numbers. 100,000 is a lot of people, but 500,000 is a much bigger number, and that’s how many people attended Comiket. The numbers showed when it was quite a journey just to enter the venue. Sticking together with your party is a must because getting lost as a foreigner is definitely not too good because the signal at the venue is very unforgiving. There were lines everywhere, but we’ll get to the lines in a little bit.
The great thing is that it’s a free event. That usually sounds great and all considering that I’m used to shelling a lot of money to attend an anime convention as a fan. It is not what it seemed as it’s difficult to get from point A to point B. The only thing you really have to pay for at this event is if you’re cosplaying which they give you a designated spot so that photographers can come to take photos, and of course, you’d have to pay for a locker to put away your belongings. Paying for anything else there is optional.
If Anime Expo is the Super Bowl of cosplay events, then Comiket is the World Cup of cosplay events. Everyone came to cosplay or take pictures of cosplays. Some of the best cosplayers in the world posed for pictures for almost eternity. All photographers had to get in line to take photos of each cosplayer they wished to photograph. It’s hard for a fan with a camera phone to get in to take a picture of a specific cosplayer because of those lines. All of the photographers came with DSLRs, high tech lens, and a light set up. The photography at this event is definitely serious.
Remember the part where I would discuss the massive lines? Well, the Anime Expo 2017 lines to get into the venue were ridiculously long. Imagine that AX line but convert it to Comiket with the higher numbers. Next, imagine that AX line, but instead of entering the venue, it’s to buy specific merchandise. That’s what we were dealing with.
Every booth pretty much sold the same series. There were a lot of Love Live, Love Live Sunshine, Idolmaster, Fate, and Kantai Collection things. It was mostly a lot of the same series, but each booth all had different things. All booths gave out fliers listing all the items they sold at the time while some gave out freebies.
It was a unique experience to come to Comiket for the first time just as an attendee. I think with the knowledge I know now, next time should be a much more pleasant experience. I do prefer the traditional anime cons with activities to do even if I do have to pay because you also pay for the experience. This event is a serious business despite being free. It’s the ultimate showcase of photography, cosplay, and booths. With the massive lines just for merchandise, I should never complain about the “Anime Expo” Linecon ever again. I had to compare Comiket with AX because it’s the closest major event I had attended prior to Comiket.
Written by: Timtastic