Comiket 88 Report

don't zoom in!Comiket: Memories I’ll never forget.  Just don’t zoom in too much.


Comiket, one of the biggest events in anime fandom.  Comiket, an event where talented young artists can show their stuff and try to make it big.  Comiket, an event filled with doujinshi as far as the eye can see.  Comiket, is all of these things.  It also is a sweltering mass of the Japanese libido such that I was this close to clawing out my eyes after the event.


Seen here: George “Char” “Wham” Micheal’s unseeing Comiket

Lets back up.  The first thing that everyone needs to know about Comiket is that it is the biggest event for Doujinshi creators and buyers in Japan.  In practice, this turns out to mean there will be a convention center which for a three day weekend is 90% dedicated purely to porn.  I have never watched Love Live or Kancolle, but I now know far more about those characters than I ever would have wanted too.  Its also unavoidable to see these images, because the way Comiket is set up is that the various Circles (the groups who are making the Doujinshi) have posters showing just what their booths are offering.  Those posters alone contain enough facials and anime characters you probably didn’t want to see naked that it made the event quite uncomfortable for me.  The ever changing sizes of character A’s Bust or character B’s hoo-ha isn’t my scene quite frankly.  Full disclosure: I did not go on the Fujoshi day (sorry Anaaga) so I didn’t see what those posters are like for the Yaoi fandom.  Though from the few Fate posters I saw of Lancer snuggling with Archer, it is exactly as you imagine.  Whatever that thing you imagine was.  I’m not judging.

You see the thing about Comiket is that it is a lot like the Cold War.  It is split into the West and East, and only sick Communist heathen psychos prefer the East.  The East is about 95% pure pornography, which as I described above, is enough to make you curse your eyes.  The West side, while maybe one quarter the size of the East, is the section that embodies all the positive aspects of Comiket.  You have musicians releasing all kinds of music from Vocaloid to chiptunes to symphonic works.  There were some indie animation projects I bought that I was quite impressed by.  People made a variety of comics, both borrowing from other IP or telling original works.  In short, if you ever go to Comiket make sure the West hall is your first stop, because unless you are going to Comiket to buy porn (again, no judging) you will definitely find you time better spent in the West.


Tying in to Area 88 is pretty great.  A shame Comiket 34 didn’t tie in to Mad Bull 34

Before I go into the cool stuff I actually saw/got, let me talk about the logistics.  The lines in Comiket are ridiculously long, and the humid Japanese summers coupled with the masses of people in very tight areas mean you will sweat gallons by the time the day is done.  With the way the trains work in Tokyo combined with where I was living, and I got to Comiket at around 9 am, but only got into the actual convention at around 10:30 am.  Bring a lot of water, some snacks, and maybe a folding chair if you can.  The good news is that after that first wait, while Comiket is insanely packed and you will get shoved and stepped on, the rest of the convention flows relatively smoothly, with the hottest booths amassing additional long lines.  The hottest booths are around the edges of the building, so you know where to head first/avoid to save time.  An average doujin costs about 500 Yen, which is a around $4.  CD’s and animations will be around 1500 yen, and physical knick-knacks range from cheap to over $100.  I set myself a fairly large budget, but I blew through it quite quickly.  Once inside, it is relatively easy to get snacks or drinks, and the Japanese toilets are in fairly hygienic state.

Image result for comiket 88

I talked to the guy on the left, he was really chill.

So what did I see that I really liked?  Well, this being Comiket 88, there was a lot of tie in material with the really good 80’s OAV Area 88.  For instance, the original author of Area 88 released several crossover manga with other Mangaka like Wada Shinji or Kenichi Sonoda.  It was an 80’s anime powerhouse.  I met several different foreigners who were working in various different circles, and the brief conversations we had were very enlightening.  There was a manga for the 3rd Arial Girsl (the Shirobako show) that sold out before I could get to it.  To prove that the cycle of doujin to legit to doujin again is quite healthy, there were pornographic doujins of Shokugeki no Soma.  Which is funny because the artist for Soma got their start making pornographic doujins.  Of course there was massive amounts of Cosplay going on, I waited in line for about 2 hours next to a guy dressed like that blonde girl from Kancolle.


Even if I never again go to Comiket, I’m glad I got to go at least once.  There was a mountain of neat stuff that I would love to buy but never get the chance too.  And I know going forward where the good stuff is, where the porn is, and how to avoid to unwanted stuff.  I do recommend people in Japan go to this event, and just walking through the convention hall is a fascinating experience.  But, and I cannot stress this enough, if you are not comfortable walking through halls decked out in hentai materials of all kinks and fetishes maybe you should rethink this.  The West hall is mostly free of the stuff, but that doesn’t mean its not there.  I thought I would be able to go my whole life without seeing Monogatari characters spread eagle and I was proven sadly wrong.  That kinda represents up my feelings about Comiket: filled with the stuff that I love but made thoroughly creepy and unenjoyable through the ever present libido coursing through this event.


As someone of questionable tastes and even more questionable ethics; if we laugh at the same things you are one of two things: A person of discerning taste or a weirdo. Guess where I fall.
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8 Responses to “Comiket 88 Report”

  1. Di Gi Kazune says:

    I bet Kancolle is still #1 on the *east section* followed by the dethroned Touhou.

  2. Overcooled says:

    Ah, I remember you speaking so optimistically of Comiket. How excited you were! How naive!

    I’m glad you had fun despite the visual assault of a certain section. I had no idea it was so heavy on the porn, although I feel like I should have expected it.

    Also, that is one huge convention hall. Good job making it out alive!

    • Samsura says:

      Who was I fooling? Only myself.
      What’s crazy is that that picture is only half of one room in the East wing. There are two rooms of that size in the East wing. It’s called Tokyo big site for a reason

  3. zztop says:

    That kinda represents up my feelings about Comiket: filled with the stuff that I love but made thoroughly creepy and unenjoyable through the ever present libido coursing through this event.

    Sometimes I read their works and wonder how the creative minds of Japanese mangaka and doujinka can come up with such perversions and excess. Perhaps this is a reflection of Japanese society; a rebellion against their social conformity and conservativeness?

  4. Phossil says:

    I know Comiket is more about manga but there is also a lot of cosplays outside the building. Never been there but I think you should take your time for the actual convention and surroundings as well.

    • Samsura says:

      Most of the cosplay stuff was groups of people in costume for people to take pictures of. Which is nice, but honestly not my scene. Its nothing like an American convention because there aren’t panels or events to go to, just stuff to buy.

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