Today was the last day of Comiket 97 in Tokyo, the event focusing on all things otaku that brings fans of video games, anime, manga, and doujinshi together twice a year.
The official press release is just in, and this time around the event was visited by 750,000 attendees, beating the previous record of 730,000 achieved last summer.
On top of that, over 25,000 cosplayers registered across the four days of the event, split between 8,245 men and 16,888 women.
For those unfamiliar with Comiket, it’s a grassroots, volunteer-run event that, following its humble beginnings in 1975, has grown into an absolutely massive fan-gathering drawing attendees from all over the world.
The growth of its importance is also demonstrated by the fact that despite the focus on doujin work (independent creations self-published by fans, often inspired by existing IPs), official publishers participate as well with their own booths, and it’s always nice to see fan-creators and official ones side-by-side.
This year, there was one small difference: Twinfinite was in attendance.
Like with every edition, the proceedings started with the traditional “Shihatsu Dash,” or the “first train dash.” Hundreds of fans bolted out of the first train, through the ticket gates, and to the Tokyo Big Sight convention center in order to be first in line to purchase the latest labors of love of their favorite creators. In many cases, popular books and products were sold out quite quickly.
You can see what it looked like below, courtesy of Twitter user MagicGirlMaple.
Doujin creators sat at their tables across multiple halls selling pretty much everything in between doujinshi manga and accessories inspired by their favorite series.
Each day featured a different series of genres. For instance, we visited on Day 2 when one of the major themes was Type-Moon’s games. Believe me, you won’t see so much Fate/Grand Order gathered in the same place anywhere else in the world.
On the other hand, official publishers hadtheir booths in a different area split in two halls, selling plenty of merchandise dedicated to their products.
Below you can check out a tour of the corporate area shot by yours truly.
Among game publishers we saw the likes of Square Enix, Koei Tecmo, âge Soft (creators of Muv-Luv), Yostar, Arc System Works, Nippon Ichi Software, Nitroplus, Aquaplus, and many more.
Of course, as the numbers at the beginning of this article indicate, another big element of Comiket is cosplay.
Thousands of passionate cosplayers gathered in multiple areas around the convention center in order to show off their creations that often required months of hard work. The lines to snap a picture of many of them could last as long as half an hour or more.
Below and at the top of the post you can see a few examples (the charming Kaga from Azur Lane is @ttteeeuuusan. While I could not catch the social media info of the Final Fantasy XIV group, I’d like to thank them for taking the time to pose for my camera just after climbing a massive ramp to the fourth floor of the convention center).
Ultimately, Comiket continues to grow in scope and popularity, easily overshadowing events organized by massive corporation despite its grassroots nature.
Whether you love Japanese video games, manga, anime, cosplay, or basically any other facet of local geek culture, it’s an event that you shouldn’t miss if you happen to be around Tokyo in the right timeframe.
The next chance is going to be in late spring, between May 2 and May 5.