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Japan's Manga / Doujinshi Convention "Comiket" in Tokyo Big Sight

October 22, 2019

Comic Market (Comiket, for short; Japanese love shortening words) is a huuuge manga convention, where some super chill, independent artists try to sell their fan-made, fan-published manga, doujinshi, and other goods. And since Runa is a sucker for handing artists money, she considered her trip to be a very good, very profitable day.

The Tokyo Big Sight was a beautiful location to have a convention. The rooms were very spacious, and at first, I was worried about wearing my big winter jacket to an indoor convention (in Tokyo nonetheless!), but I'm actually glad I brought it, because the rooms had big, open doors to the outside (wasn't actually indoors only), and it was actually kind of chilly. Which I thought was great compared to the hot, packed rooms I'm used to in state-side conventions.

Awesome thing about Comiket, too, was no entrance fee. So I could just waltz right in and start handing money to artists right away. It was brilliant. Especially compared to the steep ticket prices it costs to get into Anime Central (my local anime convention in the Midwest coughcough more than $60 per person to get in now omg).

Another something I noticed that struck me as odd right away with this convention, though, was that - though it all felt very convention-esque and very nostalgic for me (sending me all sorts of nostalgic vibes of me and my little sisters con-going) - the people there were all pretty average. At Anime Central, I'm used to people going all out in cosplay, being loud and crazy with their friends, and really, being free to unleash their inner nerds. But here at Comiket, everybody (minus some of the great cosplayers I saw), really looked and acted pretty average. For a big-time Tokyo convention, it seemed pretty laid-back, I thought.

I found some great stuff, complimented many an artist on their amazing drawing skills, and gave lots of money to lots of starving artists. After one of my purchases, one circle (group of artists that make doujinshi) was so happy to meet another person of the same fandom, that they gave me another free comic, too! I was insistent to give them money for it, but they refused.

And that's another thing I noticed, actually. They are very insistent with not tipping. I would do it all the time in Chicago (handing an artist a $20 for a $5 item and saying, "Keep the change."), but here at Comiket, that was a no-no.

Some people were iffy with photos, too. While some people were like, "Sure, sure, go ahead!", sometimes, when I would ask an artist to take a picture of their booth, they would get really shy and hide. Whereas, in Chicago, everyone seems pretty open to photos. (But then again, this is Japan, and culturally-speaking, photos aren't always welcome in stores or at events.)

And these last few photos are of me, taking the opposite train all the way - for fun - and then back again, just to check out the sights. I LOVE the Yurikamome line; the view is sooo pretty!

So, yeah! Great day! :D And remember to hug your artist today!


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