In which Shingo details the latter half of HD’s Comiket 70 adventure, skipping the second day and boldly proceeding to chronicle Sunday’s (eroday’s) madness. And food. Mmm,
smoked herb cheese… and pineapple hamburger curry. And doujinshi. Lots and lots of doujinshi.
I accidentally set my alarm for 3:30 on Sunday… afternoon, and woke up with a start at 4:10 AM to the frantic realization that I may have just missed my ride. Upon checking email I saw I was only a few minutes late, so after a bit of frantic dressing and double-checking of supplies I found myself at 4:20 dashing for the 7-11 near my house, not for munchies but to meet up with Xiarobo and Eima.
I’ve lost track of the number of events I’ve been to with these guys over the past year and a half, and if I started now it would probably take me the next ten years to repay them for allowing me to piggyback in on their circle tickets and decades of accumulated otaku wisdom. This time around I was once again the third man on Xiarobo’s circle team, which would allow me to bypass the regular queue and enter the event hall scandalously early; before that though was the trek that had by now become ritual: by car to Miyahara station, by train to Shinbashi, by monorail to the Big Sight.
But first – a stop for breakfast, at the usual Sukiya. I ordered herb cheese gyudon, as they were fresh out of the smoked variety:
The rest of the journey that morning seemed quicker than usual, for some reason – perhaps it’s starting to become such a matter of course that I can nod off a bit while in transit, though as we made the final approach to the Big Sight the usual excitement started to build.
We disembarked from the monorail and headed toward the venue, circle tickets in hand.
Passing the crowds lined up to wait in front of the Big Sight’s main entrance was something of a guilty pleasure…
As we entered the east halls they were already a hive of activity, thousands of other circles having arrived before us – and thousands more yet to come. We made our way to Xiarobo’s appointed spot and began setting up, or watching him set up; he’s rather particular about doing everything just so. Feeling like a fifth wheel I cut out to chat with some friends from other circles; Animaestro stopped by to say hi before the event opened as well.
The remainder of the time before the 10:00 opening was spent wolfing down a ham and egg sandwich and half a liter of water to carb up for the mad dash ahead, along with a last minute look through the 14-page circle list I had printed out the previous evening. No matter how many Comikets I attend it always takes a few minutes at the beginning to get my bearings and interface the hall layout with the printed map.
10:00 hit, the hall erupted in applause, and the race was on.
this crappy video taken from a west hall escalator gives a hint of the madness (thanks to shut for the YouTube upload)
Over the next five hours I managed to gain more weight in doujinshi than I lost in sweat, but probably not by much; the towel I had brought to keep from dripping on stacks of books was thoroughly drenched by the end of the day and I was a good bit thinner, though that may have been due to the pressure of being squeezed immobile in the frantic press of fellow doujin hunters than any real shedding of fat. All in all a typical third day of Comiket.
A cursory visual inspection revealed that this summer’s winners in the doujin wars were Haruhi (obviously) and Kimikiss, along with perennial favorites Fate, To Heart 2, Jump titles, and the major console games. Shinra Banshou made a decent showing as well, and the season’s pair of blades (Queen’s and Witch) made their first event appearances. Genshiken lost ground at this event, though Ogiue’s popularity seems as strong as ever, if not moreso.
While my haul was hardly a representative sample of what was on sale (outside of a few select genres), as a visual aid it may be of some use:
By three o’clock I had finished the final pass of outer ring circles, made the last few purchases my wallet would allow, and was ready to stop sweating and start the slow process of recuperation that would eventually lead to this post. Alas, said recuperation would be put off for another couple of hours as Xiarobo’s custom is to stay to the bitter end of these events. He didn’t start packing until the official closing applause at four, and we didn’t make it out of the hall until five, by which time massive semi trailers had been parked throughout the east halls and were loading up the thousands of tables and chairs in use over the past three days.
We finally escaped the Big Sight and began the homeward trek, thankfully not making an Akiba detour – laden with several dozen pounds of doujinshi I don’t think my back could’ve handled it. On the way home we stopped at Bikkuri Donkey for dinner, and I had the pine curry-burg dish:
This would be the end of the story of a very satisfying day, were it not for Eima deciding he was too tired to drive all the way home after dinner and choosing to sleep for an hour in a convenience store parking lot instead. Thus I wound up walking in the door a little after eleven, 19 hours after waking up and still on a contact high from all that porn… a day or two of recuperation was certainly in order.
All in all, C70 was a solid event – the mission, such as it was, could certainly be termed accomplished. New contacts were made, old ones were caught up with, the HD word was spread, and I came away with enough quality doujinshi to last at least a week – at which point Wonder Festival will be more than enough to keep things hopping around here.
Shingo note: Stay tuned to HD for further Comiket-related news, reviews, and features, as well as our upcoming coverage of Wonder Festival, the biannual garage kit paradise!