*warning, severe otaku talk ahead, you may want to skip this day*
I don the helmet and arms the bayonets. It’s war (comiket) time. With all the wisdom granted by Konata-sama, I heed her advices and load up plenty of supplies at the nearest Watson convenience store.
Gear check –
Bread buns. check.
Water and drinks. check.
Extra warm clothing. check.
Loose change… eh.. don’t think I’ll be buying but check.
If I don’t make it back to the rendezvous by 1300… please send someone after me Konata-sama -.-
Onward to doom!
Since there’s nothing I really wanted on Comiket D1, there is no need to be the first ones in. I timed my arrival around 8, a few hours before it opens at 10. (To be the ‘first ones’, one need to kill time at Odaiba (somehow, the onsen I suppose) the night before and then start lining up at 5am)
Even before arriving at Big Sight I feel the power of comiket. The Yurikamome is packed with others heading into battle.
Escalator up to Yurikamome
Into the hot zone
Comiket staff directing the crowd
Quick, go to the west or the east hall?
East hall is where the main doujin entries are, while the west has the commercial company booths.
Since there’s no doujins I’m aware of today, I picked west.
What followed is a long. long. long. did I mentioned long yet? walk to find the end of the queue. On the way I passed various cafes and stores packed with people. It reminds me of Taipei 101 on New Year’s eve, where people floods the nearby 7-11s while waiting for the countdown.
Shops has put up makeshift stands to sell breakfast
On and on to find the queue
The Sunkus convenience store have put out temporary counters outside
Uh oh, those buns and hot dogs are running low
Very good thing I already bought my breakfast. Thanks Konata-sama!
Are we there yet?
Nope keep walking
At the bridge already.. eeesh
End of the line, huray!
Finally, after over a kilometers, halfway onto the bridge connecting to western Odaiba, I see a big sign post indicating the end of the line.
I file in with the crowd, smartly picking the edge of the 40-abreast queue so I have access to view and fresh air.
Immediate after settling in a few groups breakout folding chairs or mats, sat down and start having breakfast. Experienced people they are!
I also fish out my bread roll and bite into the long wait to come.
I thought I’m already late at showing up, but then people just kept coming and coming, growing the queue behind.
The queue builds up behind
The queue grows over the bridge
And on and on it builds. It eventually reached a point where I can’t see the end anymore due to the rise of the bridge, only that there are plenty of people marching further and further away.
By the time Comiket starts at 10, I gather I’m maybe 2/3 in the whole line. That means the queue is probably 1.5km long in length…
Suddenly, like a sink unplugged. The crowd shuffles ahead at a quick pace that almost caught me off guard. I quickly put my drink away before being swept away.
Take the high ground
To say there are alot of people is an understatement.
To say there are alot of queues is a gross understatement.
I have never seen such a crowd. Inside the corporate exhibit hall it is impossible to move of your own accord, instead you get swallowed up by these ocean currents that sweeps you from one end of the hall to the other…
If you’re quick and lucky, you can nap the brochures being given out…
If you’re thinking about buying something, some limited edition figma from one of the booths perhaps, which thankfully I’m not, you best be prepared for a long wait….
There are queues for queues, like.. you have to go outside the exhibit hall, line up beneath one of the signs indicating which booth this queue is for, then once in a while someone will come and lead the queue back into the hall to queue up at the booth.
My respect goes out to the brave soldiers who have a long list of objectives which they must acquire before others get to them first.
Company exhibit hall
Lesson, my mobile phone’s camera is terrible. Or I’m terrible with cameras…
The convention is organized with typical Japanese neatness. Despite the huge crowd there’s no issue moving from west hall to east (unlike the hours Konata-sama suggests), perhaps they’ve improved the crowd control over the years. There are staffs at junction points all along the main corridors, shouting over speakers, directing people along specific routes.
First day comiket is the miscellaneous entries categories, that’s video games and things. All the good original illustrations are on day 3 (which sadly I cannot attend). Most of the doujin entries are actually by girls, which uh.. also means a huge number of entries are yaoi. The quality is also somewhat lacking. If Pixiv has 1 good drawing out of every 100, my guess is there’s 1 for every 500 here.
There are some people who are true fans, who’ll browse every table and buy anything they find the tiniest interest. Others zoom from pre-targetted doujin circles to doujin circles, hunting down objectives with brutal efficiency.
Lunch involves finding some out of the way courtyard. If you’re lucky you might even get a seat to sit down. There are restaurants in Big Sight, all incredibly packed, even with the 90min dining limit imposed specially for the day.
I leave in the late afternoon, my bag full of brochures and 3d anime character cards where the girls undresses as you tilt the card.
I stop by Gransta at Tokyo station to grab a bento. Figured since I was not taking the shinkansen, this might be as good a chance as any to try one of them bentos.
This one is advertised as the Gransta’s best seller… hmm I can see why, the meat is fatty and succulent, with a delicious sauce. The taste lack variety though, and I think maybe I should have gone with the nigiri bento, or perhaps one of those super expensive, 4000Y ones that comes in two layered box and 10 different dishes.