ART + CULTURE

COMIC MARKET 102 DRAWS CROWDS: 260,000 VISITORS OVER TWO DAYS, EASES RESTRICTIONS

Comic Market 102: A Resounding Success with Increased Attendees and Relaxed Restrictions

15.08.2023
BY JEMMA UTOMO
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Tokyo's bustling event scene came to life as Japan's largest doujinshi sale event, "Comic Market (Comiket) 102," unfolded at Tokyo Big Sight (Koto-ku, Tokyo) on August 12th and 13th. A remarkable turnout of approximately 260,000 attendees over the two days marked a significant increase from previous iterations. Notably, Comiket 102 decided to do away with the visitor limit that was imposed during Comiket 99-101 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in a much-relaxed admission policy. This move was met with enthusiasm and led to around 80,000 more attendees compared to the previous Comiket 101, which had attracted around 180,000 people.

Reflecting on its history, the first Comiket made its debut back in December 1975. With 32 circles participating and an estimated 700 attendees, it was the initial step toward what would become a monumental cultural phenomenon. The event has traversed multiple locations, from Harumi to Makuhari and Chiba, ultimately finding a long-standing home at Tokyo Big Sight since Comiket 50 in 1996. The previous edition, Comiket 97, held in December 2019, garnered record-breaking attendance, welcoming around 750,000 visitors over four days.

The shadow of the new coronavirus pandemic cast its impact on Comiket 98, initially planned for Golden Week in 2020, leading to its cancellation. The postponed Comiket 99 emerged in December 2021 after a two-year hiatus, adopting stringent entry requirements that included verifying vaccination certificates and PCR test results. However, the subsequent Comiket 100 in August 2022 and Comiket 101 in December of the same year saw these measures relaxed.

Comiket 102's decision to forego entry limits in the wake of the pandemic was a pivotal move. The surge in attendance by around 80,000 people compared to Comiket 101 demonstrated the unwavering appeal of this iconic event. With visitors from diverse backgrounds converging to celebrate doujinshi and showcase their creativity, Comic Market continues to be a vibrant hub for enthusiasts and creators alike.

The journey of the Comic Market has been marked by resilience and evolution. From its humble beginnings with 32 circles and 700 attendees, it has grown into a cultural phenomenon that captivates hundreds of thousands. The fervent support for Comiket 102, even in the face of the ongoing pandemic, signifies the enduring spirit of camaraderie and passion that defines this event. As the legacy of Comiket persists, attendees and creators eagerly anticipate future installments, where they can once again come together to share their love for doujinshi and creativity.

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