At first I thought about not writing up my Comiket74 experience, but I figured that some people would like to have an idea of what I went through in preparation for when they go. Anyway this is my first Summer Comiket that I have attended but it is my 2nd Comiket. The last time I went was during Winter for Comiket69. So hit the jump to read on about my battle for goods over the three days.
15th August – Day 1
The night before I was still going over the Comiket Catalog due to the previous few nights I’ve kind of been too lazy, or drunk to actually read through it. At that point I figured that there was no point in sleeping as I would be up in a few hours, but fatigue had gotten the better of me and I ended up getting 2 hours of sleep. Once we got out the door we headed to the JR Hamamatsu-cho station and took a short trip to Yurakucho station, there we changed to the Metro Line heading for Shin-Kiba. Waiting at Yuraku-cho, we could see that there were plenty of people about and that we would be taking the third train, since we missed the first train by 20 minutes.
Of course with the trains heading towards Shin-Kiba, I expected to be pushed in like sardines, but thankfully it was early in the morning and wasn’t all that hot. Upon getting to Shin-Kiba we changed trains once more for the Rinkai line, and this is where the Suica card comes in handy where you can pretty much bypass all the people lining up to buy tickets. The photo above is the pack of people getting onto the train from Shin-Kiba, heading to Koukusai-tenjijyo. If you ever plan to hit up the industrial section of Comiket first, you should take this route so you can join the line for the West Halls.
Going along with the flow of the crowd, we got to the lining up section and there were probably a good few thousand people ahead of us. Time of arrival: 6:10am. Now it was a matter of playing the waiting game. Thankfully I had my PSP and DS to keep me occupied, as well as the companionship of my comrades, even though they were all focused on their own DS’s. I also met up with Rin from Koi Aichaku to find out that he arrived since 4am. Lucky bastards for staying at a hotel near Tokyo Big Sight. At that point I gave him a few pointers about what to do before we went back to our lining positions. Still the long wait was getting to me and only having two hours of sleep was starting to kick in. The only thing that keep my mind awake was 2.5 hours of Sudoku!
It was about 9am and they got everyone prepared to start moving, but the line itself starting moving around 9:35am. The sun was shining but it still wasn’t that hot. We each had our own sections to go to, but I got one of my comrades to line up in the AugustSoft line for me. Following the crowd, we got to the main section of where the lines are formed for the industrial booths and pointing my friend to the AugustSoft line, I also went on my own. Later would I find out that my friend did the biggest gaijin teleport EVER.
Having a look at my map, the first line I joined up was Circus. I noticed just how short the line was and jumped in straight way. The wait itself was moderate, about 25 minutes. Upon reaching the store itself, I was just stunned at how all the girls serving us were wearing the Da Capo uniform. One was dressed as Otome, one as Yume, and another as Nemu. How I wished I could’ve taken a picture. They were all so cute. The next booth I hit up after that was literally across from the Circus booth: S.O.F.T, which also had more Da Capo goodies. probably another 25 minutes of lining up. Yeah, there’s a lot of lining up to do at Comiket.
My map had a number of booths I wanted to hit up, but at this point there was no point in trying to line up for the really popular stuff. Thus I headed out towards other stores and managed to enter a few and get out within less than 10 minutes. I managed to hit up an extra 7 booths in 2 hours with the longest line I waited in was Little Witch, and that was about 40 minutes. And the funny thing is that the items were for a good friend of mine.
It was getting close to 1pm and still wondering the West Halls, I bumped into two comrades of mine, who were carrying pretty much nothing. I was carrying quite a bit at this point and they were surprised at how much I bought. Also taking photos was not an option since one hand was carrying bags, whilst the other was using a fan to cool myself down. It was also time to head over to the East Halls to acquire some doujinshi, but a rest was required and for me to reorganise the bags I’m carrying. Managing to compact everything into as little bags as possible, I headed off to the East Halls.
Thankfully my list of doujinshis to get was small for the first day and I was done within 40 minutes. Though I would definitely say that the East Halls were more packed than the West Halls. Having finished up it was time to head back to the hotel. This time I took the monorail, however it took me a good 40 minutes to get inside the station itself, and since I was going the long way to Shimbashi, it was another 20-30 minutes. Once I got back onto the JR Yamanote line heading for Hamamatsu-cho, carrying a lot of bags with cute anime girls printed on them tends to bring a lot of attention.On the train, a business man actually was asking me something, but I told him I don’t speak Japanese. From what I gathered he was either asking me what was in the bags, or he was telling me that I’m carrying quite a bit there.
Getting back to the hotel I see that my friend who I sent to the AugustSoft line had acquired what I asked, and he got some items of his own. He also told me he got back to the hotel just before midday. This was rather strange as I expected him to wait in line for at least three hours. This is the story: he walked along to find the end of the line, but as the line was going down a ramp, he took an elevator back up. Upon exiting the elevator he got pushed into the front section of the line. Gaijin teleport FTW! The rest of the day was spent sifting through my purchases and resting up for the rest of the day.
16th August – Day 2
Day 2 of Comiket74. For me this day would be the most relaxed of the three days. Waking up at a more normal time, myself and two comrades headed to Tokyo Big Sight. This time instead of the metro lines, we took the monorail from Toyosu and got off at Koukusai-tenjijyo station. Following the flow of the crowds it came to a surprise that I had to line up once again. We arrived about 11:30am and from what I have been told from veterans is that around midday you can normally walk in. Not that it matter since the wait was about 30 minutes before we got inside. This was also the hottest day of the 3 days, but I brought an umbrella this time around.
The main goal was to hit up the East Halls first as my list for doujinshi was moderate. Of course arriving around midday meant that I probably had no chance of getting stuff from the popular circles, but I still managed to get quite a few. The longest line I waited in this time was Sima-Sima, and that was about 40 minutes. One problem about having a list of doujinshi I wanted meant that I don’t spend as much time looking around at other circles unless I stop and look. Most of the time I spend maneuvering through the crowds as quick as possible.
Finishing up at the East Halls, I ventured across to the West Halls to check out the other doujinshi section and acquire any other goods that I missed out on from Day 1. The doujinshi section I went to was mainly the doujin music and majority of the Hatsune Miku related items. Let’s just say I spent qite a bit here. Next was back upstairs to the industrial section, and with some gaijin teleporting of my own, I got there pretty quick. Luckily some of the items I wanted were still available, and out of sheer curiosity, I went back to the places I bought from on Day 1 to see what was sold out. Most of the items I bought were sold out already. Taking a short rest, due to the weight of doujinshi I was carrying, I noticed that a lot of people were carrying this large bag for Zettai Shogeki ~Platonic Heart~. The person I sat next to had one so I bravely asked where he got it from with the broken Japanese that I know. He realised quickly that I was not Japanese and decided to show me where, thus I followed and thanked him for guiding me. A fellow otaku helping out another otaku, that’s what it’s all about!
I also took this opportunity to check out the booths without buying stuff! GSC had a booth with figures for display, and this is what I took with the Canon IXUS:
I was shaking quite a bit due to the weight of doujinshi in my backpack and trying to squeeze through the crowd to take photos. Eventually it was time to head back as the weather started to look pretty grim. This time I didn’t take the monorail as to not repeat Day 1′s dilemma. I headed down the stairs below the monorail station and took a bus to Tokyo station. The bus ride itself was about 30 minutes, so much less time than the monorail. Getting back to the hotel, I found my comrades there as well, who arrived back many hours before I did. Thus ends Day 2 and some much more rest in preparation for Day 3.
17th August – Day 3
Day 3, also known as porn day. This is probably the one day I’ve been waiting for out of all 3 days of Comiket. My list was significantly large, as was my wallet before I set off. Now I bought some ero-doujins on both Day 1 and Day 2, but Day 3 will blow them both out of the water. The day started with me waking up at 4a.m once again, but the difference is that I’m going solo this time. The streets were really quite as was the station.
The route I chose for Day 3 is a little different this time. Getting off at Yurakucho station to change lines and along the transfer I could see fellow Comiket goers ahead of me. From the Yurakucho on the Yurakucho line to Toyosu station I changed once again to head to the monorail. It was surprising to see so many people running just to get ahead of the crowd. From there I got off at Ariake station and followed the crowd to line up for the East Halls. I was a bit sleepy and wasn’t walking as fast as I should so quite a number of people powered on ahead of me.
Finally getting into my section it was 6a.m on the dot. Such a challenge as this time I’m on my own but I came prepared with CalorieMates, an energy drink, my PSP, and more sudoku! The hours went on by before I had to get up now and then to stretch. Thankfully the weather was overcast. Perfect weather as it wouldn’t get as hot throughout the day, but fear of rain was still lingering about. I probably came close to nodding off in line numerous times but sudoku helped me get through it all. Eventually the line started moving and soon enough I was inside the East Halls, only to go back outside and join the line for Ice and Choco (Nanao Naru’s circle name).
It’s a good thing I can at least read hiragana thus finding the end of the line was easy. But from where I joined the line, I could see that the wait was at least an hour long. Looking to my right however I was more surprised at how long the T2 Art Works line was. Ok picture this: Ice and Choco’s table was outside Gate A and I joined the line pretty close to Gate A, T2′s table was more towards Gate C, and the end of the line was just outside Gate A. Yeah that’s a really long line. Thankfully the Ice and Choco line was moving at least every 6-7 minutes, but you know how in any line, the person in front will always end up screwing the person behind. That happpened to me exactly. Just as I had 20 people in front of me they announced they sold out of the special set. Having waited 1 hour and 10 minutes I got jipped pretty badly. So after waiting for so long I decided to buy two copies of the latest work.
Looking at my map and looking around my surroundings, I gave up the idea of lining up at the more popular circles like Joker-Type etc and thus decided to delve into the depths of hell itself: the smaller circles. The third day is always the most packed and maneuvering through the crowds can be quite tough. For the first timer, it’s usually best that you don’t fight through the flow of the crowd, but in some cases you have to. In my case I did it quite often but damn I’m just grateful that it was an overcast day.
Along my route I managed to stop by to see Shingo of Heisei Democracy who was running a table. It’s been 2.5 years since I last saw him so it was good to see him again. Continuing on I managed to hit up some of the outer circle tables and acquired their latest works but soon I came to a standoff point. I was down to my last few thousand yens, and I was still in the East Halls. However there was only a select few circles I wanted to see in the West Halls but I gave up on that idea as I was carrying quite a large stack of doujinshi, and the travel to the other side through the crowd was not worth it. Taking a rest I got in contact with both Windbell and ron~ to meet up with them. I also got to meet with danie~ with came along with ron~ as well as dice who tagged along with Windbell. It was a short meet up as we planned to meet up later that night for dinner, so parting ways it was time to head back to the hotel.
However at this point it was raining, and it looked to start raining more heavily in a few minutes. Not wanting to wait for the monorail, or a bus, I opted to take a taxi with both Windbell and dice following me. Next time I’m definitely taking a taxi back to the hotel from Comiket as it makes things so much easier. I got back to the hotel pretty much in 25 minutes and off loaded my stuff before crashing onto the bed in exhaustion. Later that night I met up with everyone again along with Rin outside Gamers in Akiba. I also opted to not eat in Akiba as there aren’t that many nice places to eat, so we all headed towards Ueno.
Wondering around Ueno we eventually came across a simple restaurant as other shops were starting to close up soon. ron~ also decided to take a group photo of us together. I must say, it’s rather strange to be in photos as I’m the one who is usually doing the photography. From the left: ron~, Windbell, me, dice, Rin, and Rin’s friend B-chan. Thanks for the picture ron~! This was also Rin’s last day in Japan so we all gave him our farewells and we all went our separate ways.
So that concludes my Comiket weekend experience. I actually wrote a lot more than I thought but I hope this post will give some of you an idea of what Comiket is like. As mentioned in my short post, I estimated that I spent ¥174,200 over the three days and having a look at the calculations again, it’s pretty spot on. At the time of writing, I haven’t gone through all my loot just yet as I’ve been rather lazy, and work has been a bit hectic but soon you will see what I bought. So keep an eye out for that post and more post about my Japan trip.