Tuesday, 18 January 2011


Comiket was the main reason I went Tokyo. Yes it was for my dissertation research but mainly it was out of my own interest thanks to the magical Genshiken and their adventures to the convention. For those who don’t know (mostly family) Comiket is short from ‘Comic Market’ and is a HUGE gathering over 3 days where people sell comics, games, music, fanfiction and other random things that they’ve made. Over 500,000 people will attend in a weekend. And although it cost a bit to get there the entry is free! Woot!

This was basically my first trip out of my own since I’d come to Japan (second technically but the first wasn’t all day). OMG it was sooo nice to get out without worrying about other people and just wander around at my own leisure. I had to get up early to get to the Tokyo Big Site at 10:30. Perfect timing I think because I could go straight in even though there were hundreds of people. Comiket is famous for having people que from 5am so they can get the doujinshi (fan made comics) from their favorite circles (these things are made in groups mostly rather then individuals).

I knew it was going to be big…I just didn’t realise the full scale of how big it is! Two huge halls the size of football pitches full of stands and people. Apparently there are something like 1500 stalls which change each day. Every day has different things and so I went for all three days.

Day 1 was mostly the comics aimed at girls. I have never seen so many Japanese women concentrated in once place. Of course there were men as well. Actually I was surprised to see that although mostly people in 20s there were also a lot of people who were older and middle aged. Even those selling stuff!

On day 2 there was an even mix of people and I met a middle aged woman selling…you wouldn’t believe it, Japanese fanfiction of BBC’s Sherlock Holmes! Turns out she had ordered it from England and her friend had subbed it for her. She was the first person I interviewed for my research and ahhh I made such a mess XD Oh well. She said I could e-mail her so if I had any questions I could ask her…I really should e-mail her ^^; woops. And then my second interview was of this guy who was selling a music CD he and his friends had made and he was really nice and GAVE me one of his CDs as a present! I didn't know what to say! Mainly because I didn't know how to say "I can't accept this" in Japanese but also because I was speachless. So kind! Half way through the day I randomly ran into this French guy who had come to London for the con. He was interesting, but I felt really awkward doing interviews with him standing there. He ended up coming round with me for the rest of the day. So much for having time to myself. Oh well. He was an interesting character to talk to and was also interested in the differences of practices between Japanese and foreign otaku.

Day 3 was New Years eve and yet the con was still going! Louise and Sheila met up with me for the con. Unfortunately it was also the busiest I’d seen it, and we could barely move through the crowds! I don’t know if they enjoyed it, I felt kind of bad dragging them around and kept worrying about them. We also went through quite quickly, missing out rows of vendors. So it was an early finish that day as they were both still tired and probably a little jet lagged. Oh well, can’t be helped. ^-^

At least I can say that I felt very happy and fulfilled after the 3 days at Comiket. I'd spent more money that I should have, taken LOADS of shiny cosplay photos and has succesfully interviewed a large number of people for my project ^_^ (Minor note: You can't take photos inside the con because of anamity, so only outside and cosplay pictures)

Later that day was New Years…I know technically the beginning of the day was new years, but in my mind the events got separated into two (probably because they’re just so different)

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