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08 January 2009 @ 00:11
I didn't do a proper review of Comiket before, so here it is now.

I headed off early, but not too early, and arrived about 10.45am. The queues were shorter than I remember from Summer Comiket and I got in around 11.30am. Not too bad, really.

Once inside, I went looking for the changing rooms. The layout has changed from previous year. The place that used to be the cosplay area is now being used to contain the queues that result from the official booth room. The cosplay area is now in a small garden area, which is much nicer for photos (it's the only place you're allowed to take them). I've no idea if it's smaller or bigger than before -- it seems smaller, but I never looked around the cosplay area before.

Once you've decided to cosplay, you line up outside the changing rooms (took me ages to find), pay your money (800 en) and receive a little pamphlet. What I didn't realise initially is that this tiny booklet is actually a certificate that you paid money and have permission to cosplay. Luckily they requested I show it on the way out, or else I would have lost it very quickly.

I don't know what I was expecting from the changing room, but it was chaos. It was just a big room and everywhere you looked, there were people changing and there wasn't much space left. I kept my head down and it was only on the second day that I noticed a big sign that said in English, "Do not use color spray or moose." I think I managed okay, really.

Another thing about the chaos? Everywhere you looked there was a Sebastian. Or a Grell. Or Madam Red. Or Girl!Ciel. But mostly Sebastian. Even I, as a foreigner, was cosplaying as him! :P Of the costumes, I was impressed that there was a guy who had turned up as girl!Ciel. I think out of all the people who had simply taken the opportunity to dress up as a character from Kuroshitsuji and still look their usual pretty selves as Girl!Ciel, he was the one that got it right. Sebastian/Girl!Ciel was also a popular cosplay for m/f couples, which is missing the point a little, I think. A group that really impressed me did the entire household, including Tanaka. Oh, and a Lelouch Zero who had gone to the trouble of sculpting the helmet professionally. It looked amazing. There were also plenty of gag characters, including Mariocart versions of Mario and Luigi with Gachapin.

I have some photos, but I'm not sure it's okay to just post them on LJ, even if I asked permission to take them. Instead, here are links to the cosplay photos from Hobby Channel.

Hobby Channel: Post 1 // Hobby Channel: Post 2 // Hobby Channel: Post 3 // Hobby Channel: Post 4
Hobby Channel: Post 5 // Hobby Channel: Post 6 // Hobby Channel: Post 7
Hobby Channel: Post 8 // Hobby Channel: Post 9 // Hobby Channel: Post 10

I don't think it's particularly representative of the kind of costumes that were there. If there are none of Sebastian, it's hardly representative -- I'm not just saying that. That's how many of us there were. Having said that, it paints a fairly true picture of who was being photographed -- younger women in skimpy outfits. Kind of creepy.

On the second day, I arrived about half an hour later and got in roughly the same time. It was a lot easier finding the changing rooms this time. After that, I went straight to the Kuroshitsuji area. One lady behind me in the queue sparkled at me and was going "OMG SEBASTIAN!?!?" (followed by: "Err... Can you actually read the manga?"). On the first day, before all the other Sebastians showed up, one girl took one look at me and started squealing, "Se...Se...Se...SEBASTIAN!!!". That was a mix of awesome and embarrassing. ^^ I would have said something, but I was already past her before I realised she was talking about me.

Anyway, I looked around and bought SEBASTIAN TENTACLE PORN. One day, Sebastian is playing happily with his kitty, then tentacles from hell appear. For the next twenty pages or so. I was so excited by this discovery, that I texted dilettantka while waiting in the next queue.

I also bought a few other doujinshi from the Tennis no Oujisama section and looked around a little more. I went to the cosplay area, took some photographs, and then headed to the official booth area. I'd looked around it the previous day and found a huge queue for the Aniplex booth. When the guy at the booth told me he couldn't tell me the waiting time, but it would be a matter of hours, I gave up. So I got my Kuroshitsuji goods set on day two, but with no free Kuroshitsuji stickers.

After that, I went to meet up with dilettantka, who was no doubt eager to see my Sebastian/Tentacles doujinshi. She said she was at a certain booth, but when I got there I found myself in the Hetalia section. I was surprised, because I figured if there was any booth she was stopping at for a while, it would be connected to YSK in some way.

It turned out she was helping out youkofujima, who was dressed as Taiwan and selling Hetalia doujinshi. She immediately tried to sell me on the anime that's coming out this month. One way she did this was telling me I'd make a good Austria. I was initially suspicious of this because I had been under the impression that Hetalia was only about WW2...So yeah. Turns out it covers the history of the world. I'm really looking forward to the anime now, especially since dilettantka lent me the manga. It's not offensive as I had read, but I've been living in Japan for a while and the bar for 'internationally offensive' is set pretty damn high now. :( I'm finding it funny and can even see a budding relationship between Deutsch and Italia. I suspect that if you can't see it, it's not the manga for you.

And yeah, maybe I could cosplay a Hetalia character in summer and keep my glasses on. It would be really cool if I could do this in a group... *hint hint*

But yeah, it was nice meeting everyone. A fabulous Comike all round.

As you might have guessed, none of the photos in this entry are from Comiket, but from new year in Tokyo. kuroe and I went to TGI Friday's in Shibuya with his parents. Afterwards, we went to the Red-White Road and watched the NHK screen there. They even showed where we were standing from an overhead airship! That was pretty cool. (Quick explanation: NHK is a tv broadcaster and the Red-White Road (紅白ロード/Kouhaku Road) is located outside its studio, red and white being traditional new year colours. The road is decorated in red and white, with a large TV screen at the end showing the new year show as it is broadcast.) Unlike usual, however, we didn't head to the Hachikou Crossing once it approached midnight. We figured his parents would get lost in the crowds.

The TV show ended about fifteen minutes before midnight with the song "Hotaru no Hikari", which is a Japanese poem sung to the tune of Auld Lang Syne. Then a group of random celebrities came on stage to introduce the countdown -- Nagareboshi (a comedy double act), three girls from Tokyo Brass Style, Komatsu Kouji (TV announcer) and U-ji Kouji (a manzai double act). They counted down and then silver streamers exploded over us. Overall, far more satisfying than the crossing outside the station.

Then all four of us joined hands and sang the real version of Auld Lang Syne, as passersby looked on in bemusement. kuroe and I then headed to the Meiji Jingu shrine, but it seemed like it was going to take ages. We were about to go home the way we came, but a policeman diverted us... through the eating area! We stopped and had a beer plus a jacket potato. There was also amazing mulled wine, which we had the next day, after the new year sales exhibition.

Although I've never done it before, there's a tradition in Japan to package up random goods and sell them as 'fukubukuro' (lucky grab bags). You typically get goods of a significantly higher value, although it's a matter of luck whether you want them or not...

I was pretty lucky. I got goods of seven times the value of some really good brands. Other items... not so lucky. I went for an Atelier BOZ grab bag (mens) and the result was two nice shirts and... a long thing. I tried it on, deeply suspicious. Nice collar, buttons that start and the top and then disappear inside the lining when this item fans out a little. The buttons are on the right side, but... well... it's a man-dress! It looks incredibly silly on me and yet it alone is worth more than the cost of the bag. I want to sell it for the price I paid (for the bag) -- it's going to suit someone really well, I'm just not that person. Could anyone suggest where I could go? I've never seen anyone sell this kind of stuff on eBay.

Alternatively, I could become a priest with this thing.

Photo 1: Lantern at Meiji Jingu.
Photo 2: kuroe and myself in the area outside the studio where celebrities stand to be photographed.
Photo 3: Silver streamers in the trees.

Some links:

Regret The Error

New Scientist: "We accidentally referred to a “stellar sea lion” (29 November, p 6). The featured mammal is a Steller’s sea lion."

Screenwriting Drafts of History

How Hollywood scriptwriters approach writing about historical figures.

Write Or Die

A gimmicky approach to getting the words out.

2008 In Photographs (1) (Caution!) // 2008 In Photographs (2) (Caution!) // 2008 In Photographs (3) (Caution!)

Some of these are inspiring, some are horrifically violent. You take your chances.

Pink Iguana Identified On Lone Galapagos Volcano

Genji Spot

Click on 'spot movie' near the top to get a fourteen second long trailer for the Genji anime.

Zoku Natsume Yuujin Chou Trailer

Apparently, you can view the trailer here, but I think you need Windows Media Player.

Portfollies.com Survey

Someone is trying to set up a fandom/origific social networking site.
Jubei: PoT: Ryoma - Too tiredjubeichan on 7th January 2009 12:58 (UTC)
Oh wow I've never read a comiket from a cosplayer's point of view! I heard you had to pay but at least you can change in a room... instead of a bathroom. It seems really interesting~

Have people called Hetalia offensive? It's just extremely gay to me XD; and kinda cute! I know all the magazines are pimping it out like crazy. PASH, NewType ect and it's gotten me interested in watching it.

;>> it's also gotten me interested in Black Butler but I think I may wait a bit before starting that one.
Williamgenkischuldich on 8th January 2009 08:49 (UTC)
Believe me, the toilets would probably have been better. Without the queues, of course.

The very first thing I heard about it was that it was incredibly offensive. Turns out, not so much. Yet?
腹蛇: [kitty] ^_^youkofujima on 7th January 2009 13:27 (UTC)
You wanna do a group? You wanna do a group?? XD I have two European nation costumes!

*loves cosplay*
Williamgenkischuldich on 8th January 2009 09:29 (UTC)
Sure! And it looks like dilettantka might be up for it. So... which countries do you have?

And how do I actually MAKE a costume?
腹蛇: [hetalia] Lithuaniayoukofujima on 12th January 2009 10:10 (UTC)
Ohhh that sounds great XD

Well, we actually have quite a bit! We have the Axis Powers: Japan, Germany, Northern Italy...

Allied Powers: America, UK, France, China, Russia

Baltic States: Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia

Slavs: Ukraine, Belarus (both girls)

Scandinavia: Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland

Ancient times: Germania, Roman Antiquita, Holy Roman Empire, Knights of the Teutonic Order (aka young Prussia)

European nations: Hungary (girl), Austria, Spain, Southern Italy, Sealand, Switzerland, Liechtenstein (girl), Belgium (girl), Poland, Prussia

North America: Canada, Cuba

Asia: Korea, Taiwan (girl), Vietnam (girl), Tibet, Hong Kong, Thailand

Africa: Seychelles, Egypt

Mediterranean: Greece, Turkey, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

I honestly think that's it O_O;;; whew.

You can just look at their pictures and make one, I suppose--they're mostly just modified military uniforms. Yahoo Japan also has auctions for them, too.
Thomas Vye: Irako Katanathomasvye on 7th January 2009 14:29 (UTC)
Genji looks awesome. I am looking forward to it. :D
Williamgenkischuldich on 8th January 2009 09:30 (UTC)
I knew a handful of people were. :)
キモさ満々♡ 미친 외국인: 耽美: クララ様の一流dilettantka on 7th January 2009 22:32 (UTC)
I am so horribly amused by the man-dress.

Confession: I sort of want to cosplay again :x
Williamgenkischuldich on 8th January 2009 09:39 (UTC)
I'm not... It feels like snakes are eating me. I will either sell it or become a preacher.

Oh, and youkofujima did say you would be a good Bulgaria, didn't she?

Somehow I think you'd be a great Deutsch, but it's more a personality thing than looks as he's blond and has no glasses. XDDDD
キモさ満々♡ 미친 외국인dilettantka on 8th January 2009 21:59 (UTC)
Pretty sure one can wear wigs when cosplaying...

I still have to read that manga at some point, lol.
Jesshideincarnate on 8th January 2009 09:39 (UTC)
Hetalia is a riot. Especially since they captured how I have always jokingly referred to the US-UK relationship. XD;

As for the man-dress, besides ebay, if it's gothic/lolita/punk fashion, there are selling communities on LJ. Otherwise, take it to a store like Closet Child - they'll buy it off of you, though I don't know for how much. XD
Jesshideincarnate on 8th January 2009 09:39 (UTC)
I've always wanted to by a fukubukuro but well a) can't fit into Japanese clothes b) there is no X Japan fukubukuro D= (and I would probably own it all already).
Williamgenkischuldich on 8th January 2009 09:48 (UTC)
It's funny, but I fit Japanese clothes better than British ones and at smaller sizes. And I'm not tiny by any means.
Jesshideincarnate on 8th January 2009 09:58 (UTC)
well you certainly are smaller than I am. XD I have the shoulders of a man, breasts that Japan can't even conceive of, and an ass to match.
Williamgenkischuldich on 8th January 2009 09:47 (UTC)
I'm moving through it pretty slowly, so I haven't really got there yet. The kanji is easy, but the slang is tough.

The problem is I have no 'presence' in any fashion communities and so it feels like I'm asking for trouble by just turning up and starting selling. I was considering Closet Child, but they don't post their buying prices (probably because they vary massively). I'll probably poke around and do Closet Child anyway, I guess.
Jesshideincarnate on 8th January 2009 09:59 (UTC)
I read scanlations. =P

It's probably easier to do Closet Child anyway - no shipping worries etc etc.
bladderwrackbladderwrack on 8th January 2009 13:16 (UTC)
"permission to cosplay"? XD wow.
Williamgenkischuldich on 9th January 2009 23:59 (UTC)
Yeah, it's how they make money though, since entrance is free.
Eskelxoxeskel on 14th January 2009 08:31 (UTC)
If you're trying to sell clothes, may I suggest trying egl_comm_sales?
Williamgenkischuldich on 15th January 2009 09:58 (UTC)
Thank you very much for the tip. That's just what I was looking for.