The true Comiket experience was in full force this Winter with Comiket 97. The 4-day Winter event was once again held in three areas over Odaiba, thanks to Tokyo 2020. Our Japan Correspondent, Daryl Harding, braved the wintery winds and headed back to Comiket to see all the cosplay he missed out on at Comiket 96.
Comiket is an experience every anime fan should try at least once. Whether it’s going to buy doujinshi (fan-made manga), checking out all the amazing cosplay, or trying your hand at getting some exclusive goods from a series you love. The event has been featured in Lucky Star, Saekano -How to Raise a Boring Girlfriend-, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, and many more. The latest Comiket, Comic Market 97, brought 740,000 people to Tokyo Big Sight over the 4 days.
The line for Comiket with Tokyo Tower in the background
Introduced during NatsuComi in August, you needed to pay to get into the doujin halls at Tokyo Big Sight. The corporate halls and cosplay areas were in separate areas due to the renovations occurring inside Big Sight for the upcoming Olympic games next year. If you buy the catalog, you’re only paying 500 yen (US$4.60) to get in per day, but if you waited till the day to buy a ticket to get in, you’d have to pay 1,000 yen (US$9.20). That’s a significant leap!
Business Area of Comiket 97
This year, I spent the majority of my time in the cosplay and business areas. Again, Aomi Exhibition Hall near Diver City (where the life-sized Gundam is), was filled to the brim with people and booths—but still, the booths that just aren’t as good Jump Festa or Anime Japan. Full of merch, and people in the lines, I was glad to see Steins;Gate getting so much representation in its 10th anniversary of the game’s release.
The Visual Arts booth was one of the bigger ones and the busiest. News broke over the weekend that the booth had run out of its three day supply of goods on the first day, which is crazy!
Arc System Works also have their own booth where they were very proudly displaying a dakimakura of Mai Hazuki from BlazBlue. When I say proudly, I mean he posed for me unprompted!
Type-Moon also had a laughably huge booth, with one side having a giant creepy clown face, another side with a stage-like area that was just for selling goods, and another side with a live drawing demonstration.
Comiket also has an international area, where they had images and comics bought over from New York Comic-Con. The people running the booth said they had no relationship with the American convention but wanted to show off “otaku from around the world.” The comics they had were mainly from indie publishers in the US.
Comiket 97 Cosplay
While the cosplay at Comiket 97 were in the usual spots just outside Tokyo Big Sight, the best places to see the best cosplay were in the park close to the giant exhibition center. Here is where all the popular cosplayers gather to have their massive photoshoots. Like this ring of photographers I saw when I walked into the park from the Yurikamome station.
The photographers were for the above cosplayer, who sadly I wasn’t able to get the name of but her cosplay looked amazing (if not a little cold in the wind!)
Bunny Rem by @motumoti_cos also appears on the scene in an adorable pose!
Another majestic cosplayer I sadly didn’t get the name of due to the sheer amount of photographers around her. It was a real gem of a costume!
@rena_hashi pulled out all the stops as a cute Kizuna Ai. Too bad Crunchyroll-Hime wasn’t around to get a double cosplay picture, maybe next year!
@ChitoseAmeya as Megumin from KONOSUBA -God’s blessing on this wonderful world! made my heart EXPLODE by how good she looked! She was able to convey the personality of the arch wizard really well through her posing!
Speaking of amazing posing, @HbTagg5I9sXzSbY was perfecting cosplaying Shinobu Kocho from Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. There were times during the shoot where she was on one foot doing such intricate posing, and she fell over because I was too slow shooting! Oops!
I did my best in trying to get an image of @tapiko3’s amazing costume, with so many photographers around it was really difficult!
Bewitching the cosplay area was @Enlike_s as Marisa Kirisame from Touhou Project, sweeping up the convention with that realistic broom. Sadly, she can’t fly on it!
And finally, as China Dress Yoshiko from Love Live! Sunshine!! was @cure_cosplay, who I had the most fun photographing on that day!
In my previous event report on Comiket, I denounced NatsuComi (Summer Comiket) as a tough experience due to the heat and people, saying that FuyuComi’s “temperature isn’t the highest in the world” but “the humidity is and that’s what’ll get you.” Luckily, FuyuComi (Winter Comiket) doesn’t have that problem, instead, you get the cold sea breeze from Tokyo Bay. Which, if you’re cosplaying like the above girls, could be an issue, but all in all, is the better of the two seasons to go in.
Unlike normal years, next year’s NatsuComi will be held over Golden Week in May to leave the venue free for the Olympic games. That’ll make it the prime time to go to Comiket as you neither have the blistering cold or the unbearable heat, to contend with. For that reason, I’m more than excited to go!
What amazing, or interesting, costumes do you want to see cosplayers at Comiket try at Comiket 98? Let us know down in the comments below or on Crunchyroll’s social media!
Daryl Harding is a Japan Correspondent for Crunchyroll News. He also runs the YouTube channel about Japan stuff called TheDoctorDazza, tweets at @DoctorDazza and posts photos of his travels on Instagram.
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