‘Cause i’m going to punctuate long overdue updates on my trip to Japan with sporadic Comiket updates…
And it may not be uncommon to see a Bazett or Caren roaming around either~
Anyway, this was pretty much the sole thing I went to Japan for, the rest of the days were pretty much akin to side-dishes. A prelude to the main course, if you will.
The thing about Comiket (both summer and fuyucomi) is that so many people tend to liken it to sacred ground upon which all Otaku must tread, and hence akin to a field of blades wherein it’s an endless struggle for that last limited edition copy of the Strike Witches “いっしょうだよ” doujin or Drama CD set.
It’s kind of like the crusades, only shorter, less bloody and with significantly less major motion picture adaptations.
As such, I think i took it a tad too seriously and decided to camp overnight on the first day of C75, despite the egging pain in the back of my mind screaming it’d have been in my health’s better sense to not do so (besides, I wanted at least give it a shot)
So after re-checking all the research I’d done up earlier on how to get there (since I was going at camping overnight alone), I found that Comiket is held at the Tokyo Big Sight in Ariake and most easily accessed through two lines:
1. The Yurikamome line, which essentially runs an enormous circle around Odaiba and goes to the kokusai-tenjijo-seimon station which is connected to the Big Sight via an overhead bridge. In my opinion, this is the most efficient way to access the big sight via train stop, but unless it can be a bit of a pain to get on board the train especially if you stay in the Tokyo area.
Props to this line having a website in english though, makes navigation a breeze.
2. Via the Rinkai line, which’d constitute a slightly longer walk (by about 5 minutes lol) and stops in front of the Big Sight at kokusai-tenjijo. This is, by far, one of the best lines to take if you stay in the Tokyo area comprising of Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, Shibuya and Osaki.
No website in English though 🙁
Being the paranoid asshole I am, I took the Yurikamome line there around 11 pm or so, and damn, it was one longass wait for both the train and for the train to get there
Somehow Chaos;Head popped into my mind…
Reminiscent of a scene from Cloverfield
I couldn’t really figure out how to take a good, stationary shot while the train was moving since all the good shots only show up when the damn thing’s moving at breakneck speed.
That aside, when I reached the venue ( a tad early to boot, it was about 11pm-12 midnight), the minute I got out of the train and walked down the stairs I was greeted by some pretty serious religious preaching advertising.
Agressive religious preaching should be prohibited
The catalogue (both print and CD) state camping overnight is prohibited. I think ’cause of previous years, this is more of a half-truth fabricated to fool all but Comiket veterans.
Apparently by the time I got there, otaku were already recce-ing the place to get a sense of the layout this time round due to the presence of several new commercial booths and the placement of several larger booths for big-name companies like minori and TYPE-MOON.
Once again, sorry for the blurry pictures. Doesn’t help I have shaky hands and it was near-0 degrees.
’twas was a pretty empty place upon first sight, but upon venturing deeper in reveals that i’m not the only one there. BY FAR.
Comiket is an unprecedented serious affair
Coke stalks me wherever I go O_O
It does seem to appear that police officers are extremely fking srs about Comiket; seeing as there were at least 3 patrolling the stairway leading to the upper floor of the West Hall when I got there.
Perhaps the mountains upon mountains of complaint letters that ended up in the Ariake regional police department’s offices were the last straw that broke that Camel’s back 🙄
Regardless of that, there didn’t seem to be much activity going on so I grabbed a copy of Melty Blood Volume 3 and a cup of cheap (but warm!) coffee and decided to wait it out.
At about 1.00 (if I recall) the police and organizers started shunting people towards the pathway leading up to the big sight. Seems like “ゆっくり していって ね” is one of their favourite phrases as well, so thank god for Touhou~!
At around this time the queue started to take shape in front of the big sight. Needless to say I came woefully unprepared (that’s why I reccommend for any fuyucomiket-goer, get a portable stool and warm food) and thus had to make do with the cold, hard floor and whatever sleep I could attempt to manage to grab.
Thankfully I managed to grab some insulation by squeezing near some Japanese guys with heated blankets and warm food, so it wasn’t all bad.
Did I mention they had PSPs? God, I need a PSP.
That aside, by the time I got up, dawn was breaking and the queue had stretched even further than before. But thankfully that also meant that the front queue would be moving soon.
So at about 9.40, the queue started to move a tiny bit, but hey, motion is better than stagnation.
And I do stress, Darkmirage and LianYL weren’t lying when they said that this:
…is the head of the line for the commercial booths
Although, something i’ve learnt is that when you’re at Comiket and you DON’T have a press pass and have a DSLR, you’d better be an even better ninja than the original shinobi or you learn how to speak Japanese with JLPT1-level-fluency and run an enormously popular anime blog.
Then again there’s always the alternative of using Point-and-shoot cameras which you can easily sling around your wrist and hide in your sleeve.
See PP, DSLRs are over-rated!
Personally my expenditure for the day was meant to be rather limited, if it weren’t for bj0rn asking me to get Key’s CLANNAD/Little Busters set for him (which cost me an additional 3 hours worth of queuing) and I ended up living on microwaved pasta and cheap, can-drink-vending-machine-bought coke.
Yes, I also realize the innuendo that the words “living on coke” may carry 😛
That aside, first booth of the Day was Type-Moon’s, seeing as they were releasing the All Around Type Moon 2: Brand New Heroines clear poster set and CONCET artwork anthology detailing all their releases since C65.
Personally, another day at ahnernerbe would have been even better 😉
Just as expected Type-Moon had a special queue running around the west hall’s carpark just for them. Not much of a change from previous years though (excluding C74)
So after braving the queue, biting wind and numerous otaku pushing me left, right and center…I reach the area surrounding Type-Moon’s booth!
..only to find out that a person can only buy one copy of the AATM2 poster set at a time. RAGE
Oddly enough I think they invested a little more in the CONCEPT artbook ’cause I vividly remember there being a rule saying you could buy 2 at a time.
Although…I didn’t buy the Ryougi Shiki moe moe bath towel ’cause that’d have been a serious waste of money and i’d have end up being stranded at the big sight overnight.
Fast forward to a few hours later, I end up stranded in the Visual Arts/Key booth doing my part to show the counter force of Alaya that humans aren’t self-destructive, selfish individuals so that it won’t kill us all being an altruistic, good natured soul and helping do a favour for bj0rn by buying the CLANNAD/Little Busters! set (even if I don’t know much about the fuss surrounding Little Busters, except that people want it to get animated and stuff)
That, however, turned out to be my last commercial booth for the day…and so I headed over to the East Halls for some random doujinshi pickings.
According to iluna the kanji labeling the halls is misleading :O
By then I had a feeling that most of the decent games would’ve been sold out (although at the time I wasn’t aware of Ake-bre) since the shift of the majority of doujin soft sales to Day 1. So I went around randomly picking out stuff that I thought looked good from the wall/shutter circles.
Surprisingly enough, wandering aimlessly led me to a few gems like yan-yam’s booth where I managed to grab their C75 release of injyoku marina (based off G00) coupled with the clear see-through plastic sheet to boot [obligatory NSFW warning]
Also, I chanced upon Yakan Hikou’s PPD2+ release. Got to say that was really worth it.
At the end of it all, as the sun sets on the Big Sight, it made me think that somehow, to me…Comiket is akin to the holy grail war (and yes, there was a doujin about it) for both circle and consumer alike.
Sun sets on our heaven’s feel
Whereas artists/circles fight against deadlines, print rushes, stocks and more all for the sake of reaching Comiket, consumers fight it out amongst one another to see who’s going to be the last one who gets their hands on that A-list doujin.
Liken it to a few seconds of your heart’s desire after the long, winding, journey. And yes, it is all worth it.
As for loot:
Kiritsugu X Irisviel – Fate/Zero OTP
fittingly enough, one of the kanji translates to “disgraced”
Shirou is a megane-zokusei
Day 2 will have cosplay pictures, I swear!
EDIT1: Pardon the horribad grammar. fix’d and it’s 4.55 am over here 🙁