Comiket Summer 2013 Field Report

Despite Mother Nature’s best attempts otherwise, AmiAmi’s Survey Corps has returned in one piece from the wilds of Comiket. It wasn’t easy, and we nearly perished on the way, but it was worth it to bring back these priceless cosplay photos and dojinshi. See below for our field report.

Temperatures broke the critical 40°C/104°F point on all three days. A body temperature of  40°C or over makes you susceptible to heat stroke, and after suffering the long weekend of horrors we would have to agree. Over 400 people were taken to the infirmary on the first day alone. When we asked the staff how many collapsed on Day Two, their only answer was “a lot.”Assuming that even 1,000 out of the record-breaking 590,000 visitors were stricken, that still puts your chances at less than one in 500--odds we can live with!

The real killer wasn’t the heat, but the humidity. Near the end of Day Two the relative humidity hit over 90% indoors, resulting in a cloud of evaporated sweat that hung over the dealer’s hall like a threadbare gym sock. The air was so saturated with perspiration that it was causing the dojinshi to curl. Bleh!

At least this year you could call for help if things got bad. Normally the network congestion renders smartphones utterly stupid, but the major mobile providers were on the scene with truck-mounted base stations to boost the signal. Thanks to the efforts of au’s walking WiFi transmitters, our staff was able to keep in touch and regroup after being torn apart by the crowd.

Aside from the chaos and heat stroke, the event went off without a hitch. We celebrated the triumphant return of Kuroko's Basketball after a year of terrorist letters threatening to bomb Big Sight with poison gas. Things had stabilized enough to support politicians like Yamato-shi city council member Mitsuhiro Yamamoto who was there to rekindle youth interest in government policies. Politics and manga make strange bedfellows, but we’ve certainly seen stranger pairings.  

 

Everyone present displayed remarkable dedication, from the volunteer staff to the attendees themselves. Cosplayers were sweating through their makeup and vendors were all smiles even as their brains boiled in their skulls. Attack on Titan parodies dominated the dealers tables and appears to have influenced the community as well. Participating in Comiket is like making an oath to your fellow otaku-in-arms. You don’t need to slay any giants, but making sure your actions don’t spoil it for the rest of us is a colossal task in itself.