Twice a year otaku from all over Japan, and even the world, make the sacred pilgrimage to Tokyo Big Sight for Comic Market, better known as Comiket. Every year as I stand in the boiling heat or the freezing cold I ask myself ‘Why am I doing this?’, and yet there I am again the same time next year. It’s an almost masochistic experience, but the pleasure and limited-edition merch gained always outweighs the pain. Read on for photos and commentary from Summer Comiket 86.
- Krista Rogers
Aug 19, 2014
On Monday, we brought you a rather disturbing photo of a group of photographers taking photos up a Shimakaze cosplayer’s skirt at this summer’s Comiket. Both Japanese and English online opinion about the scene seems to be pretty evenly divided between one group that says “What’s the big deal if she doesn’t have a problem with it…and she’s probably making a few bucks, too,” and the other “That is just wrong and shouldn’t be allowed” group.
Regardless of how you feel about it, the original photo has now become fairly famous after being retweeted thousands of times over Japanese forums. One person even took it upon himself to recreate the photo using nothing but Legos…and it’s actually quite impressive!
It’s that time of the year again! Comiket, the world’s largest dōjinshi fair that’s held twice per year, is currently in full swing again at Tokyo Big Sight on Odaiba, the artificial island located in Tokyo Bay. Manga fans from around the world are lining up in droves and enduring hour-long waits in the hot sun just to get into the exhibition rooms that are jam-packed with merchandise.
Naturally, a comic festival as big as Comiket draws a ton of cosplayers, and while there are some truly impressive costumes out there, there are some other, shall we say, more unusual sights to be seen. Take the above picture, for example–what on earth is happening here??
- Scott R Dixon
Feb 11, 2014
With Japan’s reputation as a country serious about train travel, train stations are a ubiquitous sight across Japan where they serve as gateways to the country’s extensive rail network. And these gateways have their own little quirks that give each station its own unique personality. From one station’s catchy “here comes the train” theme tune to an insane rush of comic book geeks running through ticket gates, click below for five quirky looks at train stations across Japan!
Another winter Comiket has come and, unfortunately, gone. Though we have to say that fans probably welcome a break after a few days of hustling from booth to booth, and the convenience stores are most definitely glad for some respite. On the other hand, we can only imagine how overwhelmed the cleaning crews must be right now.
If only more fans were more like this sexy, young gentleman; the cleaning crews’ work would be cut by half!
- Michelle Lynn Dinh
Aug 15, 2013
Pictures of a bride and groom at the head of the line on opening day of Comic Market (Comiket for short) have surfaced on Twitter causing otaku everywhere to have wedding fever. For those of you who don’t know, Comiket is the world’s largest self-published manga and anime fair held biannually in Tokyo. The pair was seen leading a mass of sweaty nerds into the event site, the woman in a stunning wedding gown, the groom walking proudly by her side in a light grey tuxedo. But what were they doing there? Was this an actual Comic Market wedding or an ingenious way to prevent overeager nerds from ignoring staff guidance and running amuck to be one of the first into the event site?
- Preston Phro
Aug 14, 2013
Although Attack on Titan may feature some pretty gruesome, bloody scenes, it has, surprisingly enough, inspired one of the cutest cosplay costumes we’ve ever seen!
Spotted at Comiket and in Akihabara, this diminutive cosplayer may have just won the award for cutest thing ever. Check below for more pictures to leave you screaming “Kawaiiiii!”
Okay, so there isn’t an official event called “The Running of the Nerds” in Japan, or anywhere else in the world for that matter, but what else would you call this biannual spectacle of Japanese otaku frantically clamoring off a crowded train, sprinting up the platform stairs, rocketing past the turnstiles, and…patiently waiting in line for five hours? Read More
- Master Blaster
Aug 11, 2013
The 2013 Summer round of Comic Market (Comiket) began on 10 August, drawing flocks of anime, manga, and cosplay fans from Japan and abroad. The three-day event draws around half a million attendees on average.
For one resident of Odaiba where the event is held, this time of year is an absolute nightmare as he claims an abnormal smell emanates from the convention every time. The following is an translated open letter from the office worker in his 30s, who we’ll refer to as Mr. A.
- Michelle Lynn Dinh
Jan 3, 2013
The annual “running of the nerds” that takes place before the doors of Comiket (Comic Market) open to the public is a sight to be seen. Every year, Comiket offers hoards of otaku their chance at snagging some extremely limited edition items, and this year was no exception.
These enthusiastic comic-lovers are so obsessed with getting their hands on Comiket’s ultra rare items that one otaku shelled out 27,500 yen (US $316) for a poster that was given out for free.
Never underestimate the physical prowess of a nerd on the hunt.
Twice a year the first train of the day bound for Kokusai-tenjijo Station is packed to capacity with Japanese otaku (nerds) eager to be the first ones in line for the opening day of Comic Market, or “Comiket”, Japan’s largest comic convention held at the Tokyo Big Sight exhibition center every summer and winter.
You would think that just managing to get on the first train would be enough, but the moment the doors open the peaceful morning silence is broken as everyone makes a mad dash to get out of the station and up to the front of the line. It happens every time, and this year’s winter Comiket, being held December 29-31, is no exception.
While most attendees can think of little other than beating the crowd, a few derive greater enjoyment from watching the mad scramble rather than participating in it. And now, thanks to YouTube, you can to!
Nov 22, 2012
Microsoft Japan is getting serious about their anthropomorphic operating systems.
Until recently, these characters, also known as OS-tans, were nothing more than unofficial fan-made creations. However, as we saw last month with the popularity of the Windows 8 DSP edition, Microsoft has begun to embrace their anime mascots, perhaps realizing their marketing potential among the otaku, or nerd, demographic. And now, for the first time ever, Microsoft will be delving into the belly of the beast and running a booth at Japan’s largest comic book convention, Comic Market.
Comikets and ComiCons continue to escalate the chance of you bumping into someone dressed like a slime from Dragon Quest gets bigger and bigger. And hey, if you see someone dressed in shiny armor with a huge-ass sword or a half-naked goddess with her pet camel, you might just want to take a photo.
But hold your horses, Leibovitz: before you start snapping away at a bunch of guys dressed like dragon balls, there’s a code of conduct that you should adhere to. You wouldn’t want to tick her off at all by being all rude with your photography now would you?
While manga is ubiquitous in Japan — just ride the subway in any major city and you’ll see people from all walks of life flipping through a comic book — many Japanese people are surprised to hear how popular manga has become overseas. After all, aren’t Westerners only interested in macho superheroes or short comic strips?
Perhaps that was the case in America before, but in recent years many major bookstores have begun to reserve more space near the front of the store for Japanese comics and in some European countries like France and Germany manga occupies a large portion of overall comic sales.
Earlier this month, we sent one of our Japanese reporters to Comic Market (or “Comiket“), the world’s largest self-published comic book fair and otaku mecca, to interview real live foreigners and ask them why they like Japanese manga so much.
Many foreigners view Japan as some marvelous dreamland of technology and culture; a place where crazy is the norm and embracing fantasy in everyday life is acceptable.
But to Japanese people, Japan is just that place you were born. Everyone and everything is routine, and it’s often difficult to see why the rest of the world get’s so worked up about “Japanese culture.”
Earlier this month, we sent one of our Japanese reporters to Comic Market (or “Comiket“), the world’s largest self-published comic book fair and otaku mecca, to interview real live foreigners and ask them what it is they really think about this country.
Those wishing to participate should ready their Guy Fawkes masks and head to the Yagurabashi pedestrian bridge in front of Tokyo Big Site by 3pm. Participants should also be prepared to take home whatever trash they collect and dispose of it themselves (there are no trash cans on the street in Japan).
“Sutra Master” is Cute, Confusing, and a Little Controversial, Goes on Sale at Comiket 82 by Ryoho Temple
- Master Blaster
Aug 8, 2012
Tokyo’s famous Comic Market (Comiket) 82, the world’s largest doujinshi convention, is set to kick off on 10 August. We can be sure to expect cosplayers and original comics a plenty, but one particular creation has be stirring up a fair bit of hype weeks before the gates open – the PC game Sutra Master.
Sutras are, in a nutshell, short pearls of spiritual wisdom like something you might find in a high-brow fortune cookie and are often compared to prayers in other religions. Taken from Buddhist texts and often chanted during meditation or religious ceremonies, sutras are generally treated with solemn dignity but Sutra Master takes them to a weird new place.
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