Highlights from Comiket 94: Summer-Themed Booths and Viral Cosplay
posted on by Kim Morrissy
Summer Comiket has always been associated with hellish humidity and suffocating crowds, and this year that was even more pronounced than usual. This summer has been one of the hottest in recent record, prompting greater concerns of heat stroke. Meanwhile, the third day of Comiket tied its highest single-day visitor turnout in all of the event's history.
For what purpose were all those people gathering in the boiling heat for? Here are some of the highlights from Comiket 94.
It's official: mobile games have invaded everything. Not only does the Fate series have the most doujinshi circles this year, you couldn't walk two meters around the venue without coming across a Fate/Grand Order or a Cygames ad.
Mobile game companies in general had some of the biggest and most flashiest booths this year. The Coly booth was particularly noticeable due to the huge crowds it attracted. The lines trailed all the way outside for those who wanted access to the shop.
Coly is the developer of popular female-oriented mobile games such as Stand My Heroes and On Air!.
Azur Lane, the Chinese side-scrolling shoot 'em up mobile game set in World War II, also had a significantly larger following this year. The Japanese and English-language distributor of the game Yostar had a massive booth this summer, complete with their own branded car.
Other corporate booths stood out among the crowd with their creative designs, like the Nitroplus booth, which was modeled like a beach house. Aizu Railway paired with the Ashinomaki Onsen Station and the Nora, Princess, and Stray Cat visual novel to produce a booth modeled like an onsen.
Images of summer also dominated the Ufotable booth, especially for fans of Today's Menu for Emiya Family. (Touken Ranbu fans were out of luck, though.)
Out of consideration for their visitors, many booths handed out free fans. The Nekopara booth took things a step even further. The booth assistants, decked out in cat maid cosplay, handed out ice packs. These came in handy!
It was nice of Big Sight's organizers to provide plenty of “cool spots” in the outdoor cosplay area for people to sit down and have cool air sprayed on them. But that doesn't stop cosplay from being exhausting work. I got tired just from photographing them!
Rikazou (@licca_0829_cos) attracted a lot of attention on the first day with her cute Cells at Work! cosplay.
Professional cosplayer Enako (@enako_cos) brought out her Fairy Dance Asuna cosplay from Sword Art Online at Comiket this year. Enako has previously worn this cosplay at other Sword Art Online events. She also revealed in 2016 that she earned 10 million yen in just two days of summer Comiket.
Virtual Youtuber cosplay exploded in popularity this year. Chinese cosplayer Liyu (@Liyu0109) made a splash with her Kizuna Ai cosplay, which she brought out on day 3.
However, my favorite cosplay was this reenactment of Japanese theaters' anti-piracy ad that plays before every film screening. Twitter user @sudokeeeeen uploaded a video of themself reenacting the ad (complete with the voice over and sound effects), which became viral overnight.
This will be the last Summer Comiket in a while to take place solely at Big Sight, as the 2019 events are set to take place in both Big Sight and the smaller Aomi Exhibition Hall, which is currently under construction. The event is also set to take place over four days instead of three. As anime fandom grows and changes, Comiket is constantly under change, too. It will be interesting to see what kind of surprises next year brings.