Thoughts from Winter Comiket 2018 コミケの感想
I’ve just come back from Tokyo Comiket — the world’s largest fan event and a reminder of Japan’s passion for manga, anime and independent creation. It really is the biggest. Imagine the USA equivalent Comicon in Japan, only four times bigger. Much like Comicon in San Diego, it started off as an event for comic book enthusiasts but has now become a must for the big studios and franchises. Not to mention cosplayers. Here’s my top 12:
- Getting there: Is the first challenge. The Tokyo Big Sight convention centre is a 20 min monorail from Shinbashi in which you will be crammed with some of the other half a million attendees over the 3 day event.
3. Buying Stuff: I head straight to the corporate booths. First stop, the official Tohoku Zunko stand where there is a healthy line forming.
4. Aniplex. Part of the Sony Music group, this studio is a force in anime, lead by prolific producer Iwakami-san. The hitmaker has spawned many successful franchises such as Madoka Magika, Monogatari series and of course the Fate franchise which seems to be everywhere these days.
5. Type-Moon: The creators of the Fate series were originally a Doujin outfit with roots at Comiket so not surprising to see their continued presence.
6. Other studios representing: Wit Studio (part of the Production IG group) with Kuroko no Baske, porn empire DMM who have successfully diversified into many businesses including anime and games, Shochiku (a lovely film studio who are not only famed for outstanding movies, but also synonymous with Japanese culture as the home of Kabuki)
7. Anything can be anime-fied: Here I present 5 examples.
(i) Branded loyalty cards. Tsutaya is Japan’s largest physical retailer of books, video and music with one of the country’s best databases of consumer purchase habits. One pillar is the ubiquitous T-Point card which can be used to collect points at many POS’ across multiple retailers in/out the Tsutaya network. Getting a T-point card is free but here you can pay to get a card branded with your favourite character or idol, often with a physical collectible bundled. Prices range from 500 to 5000 yen.
(ii) Sporting events. The Tama River Powerboat Races.
(iv) Japanese regional prefectures such as Niigata.
(v) Pants. (Underpants that is)
9. A surprisingly large number of men dressed as women.
10. Downstairs with the Doujin
11. Promoting new January broadcast anime: Winter Comiket is great timing to promote the new anime series debuting on Japanese TV in the January window. If they haven’t been snapped up by Netflix or Amazon that is.
12. Meanwhile, girls and automatic weapons continue to fascinate.
Originally published at medium.com on December 31, 2018.