August 11th 2006 was the first day of Comic Market 70, and HD was there – in multiple incarnations. This is Shingo’s story, in which you’ll find a good deal less Kanon than in Shipon’s offering, but a good deal more of Maritan telling you to masturbate. Also: video from a train station, industry loot pictures, and a mini-review of Toranoana’s newly opened Cafe With Cat. HD’s hot hot Comiket coverage continues!
The first day of Comic Market 70 began with a wakeup call at 4:00 AM, last minute preparations and a bike ride down to the train station that had us (myself and fellow ADTRW/Raspberry Heaven refugee Chikushou) southbound for Tokyo on the second train of the morning.
yes, that’s 5:30 AM
We made our way lilypad-hopping through train connections, finally reaching the Big Sight at eight o’clock sharp.
We opted to queue up for entrance to the east halls, which would put us in position to canvas for doujinshi before heading over to the industry area.
the long approach to the rear end of the east halls
We arrived in position in the huge parking lot behind the hall at around 8:10, and the wait began. The weather was persistently cloudy and humid, though relatively cool – on sum, the best weather one could reasonably expect for a summer Comiket. We spent the two-plus hours in line quite pleasantly as a result, before shuffling onward among the tide of thousands sweeping into the halls from the event’s opening at 10:00 AM.
I split up with Chikushou, agreeing to meet at 12:30 for lunch. There were only a couple of doujin items on my list for the first day, so I was able to take care of them in about twenty minutes and begin the journey to the west halls and the day’s main objective, the industry section. En route I encountered Bugarup, a standup fellow who posted recently in reply to an old HD.net Comiket post, and exchanged pleasantries before moving west.
From the beginning of the day I was struck by the relatively laid-back pace and lack of crowds typically associated with Comiket. The train station at Shin Kiba (leading directly to the Big Sight) didn’t have a line for tickets, and the east halls weren’t crowded to the point of strangulation. Heading west to the industry hall things picked up a bit, though, as I obviously wasn’t the only one with the thought of using the first day in this fashion.
With some persistence I managed to make my way through the stifling crowds wedged among the industry booths and come away with the items that were highest the day’s acquisition list:
- Inspire‘s Eidelweiss C70 set
- Hobby Japan’s Queen’s Blade illustrations & sketches 2006 and kisekae fan disc
- Moetan Listening CD vol. 2
- Maritan fan book Leatherneck vol. 2
- Wani Magazine‘s Robot vol. 6, Range Murata’s Futurecode, Border (robot back side story), Yoshitoshi ABe’s Gairo
Wani being the pretentious arthouse publisher they are (setting aside their very NWS “men’s corner“), the ABe and Border books were printed at pretentious arthouse size and were incredibly difficult to handle in the plain paper envelope in which they were sold. Luckily the stop immediately after Wani was the Hobby Japan booth, where a purchase of over 3,000 yen netted this even larger carrying bag:
This bag proved an invaluable resource while at the event, but it had one glaring flaw: Maritan, holding an erodoujin in outstretched hand (featuring her mother, no less), and sternly commanding all comers to “shigoiteyaru!”.
Translation: “Jerk it, bitches!”.
Yes, for the rest of the day I was stuck carrying a bag the size of a small coffee table that commanded all men in a one block radius to pleasure themselves.
I rejoined Chikushou at 12:30 for lunch, after which we decided to hit up the cash machine and make an early exit from the event. By pure luck we managed to bump into Animaestro, a fellow veteran of many doujin conventions, in line for the machine; he came with us on one last pass up to the industry booths and we got the chance to catch up a bit, which was quite nice.
We left the event at about 2:30, making our way through the horde of fellow escapees to the train station with relative ease. Note that when I say “relative ease” that doesn’t mean it was all traipsing through daisies or tiptoeing through tulips or trampling other assorted flowerbeds.
a video of the Comiket exodus at the nearby Kokusai-Tenjijou train station (thanks to shut for the YouTube upload)
As we still felt up for some punishment after a surprisingly moderate day of Comiketting, we decided to stop by Akiba on the way home. As had been the pattern since the beginning of the day, things were unusually quiet – the usually crowded post-Comiket district seemed abnormally… well, normal. We hit up K-books where Chiku picked up the back issues of Robot and I grabbed the Wonder Festival guidebook and Ando Hiroyuki’s latest volume of eromanga before moving on to Toranoana.
I was keen to see the inside of the new addition to Tora’s main Akihabara location, which had its grand opening on August 5th, so in we went.
The first floor of Toranoana’s new expansion was devoted to albums and DVDs, and aside from the items on the shelves was painted almost blindingly white. I’m guessing it looks rather different after the beating taken Sunday, but we were able to smell the new paint on the walls and enjoy a bit of shopping and exploration before settling down for a snack in the newly opened Cafe With Cat, occupying the Tora expansion’s entire second floor.
which do you like, “with cat” or “witch cat”?
As with our earlier expedition to Moe Burger, photography wasn’t allowed inside the restaurant – but there the comparison ended. Toranoana has proven they know what they’re doing on the marketing end of things, and that reputation holds into the cosplay cafe business as far as I’m concerned. The girls were cute and pleasant to talk with, the costumes and food were delicious, the atmosphere wasn’t at all claustrophobic – a great place to relax and unwind after a hard day, otaku or no. It was a great haven from the normal insanity of Akiba, and the food wasn’t so unrealistically priced that it would keep me from returning on a regular basis.
No, I don’t work for Toranoana. Though some of their wares did manage to enter my posession (along with the K-books loot mentioned earlier):
- Megami Creators vol. 6
- Wonder Festival summer 2006 guidebook
- Sunshine Creation 33 catalog
- Cafe With Cat napkins
- Moetan 3
- [ERO] Ando Hiroyuki eromanga “Pai-Nuki”
After idling for a bit in witch-cat bliss we resumed the homeward trek, several pounds of loot heavier (and several pounds of sweat lighter). We made it back to home base exhausted but triumphant, collapsing in a vaguely homoerotic heap before mustering energies to continue on to day three – the main event.
Report from day three – and the preparatory void that was day two – coming soon. Otanoshimi ni~!