Comic Market 102, the 102nd iteration of Japan’s biggest “doujin” (fan/amateur/hobbyist-made content) event, was held at Tokyo Big Sight on 12-13 August 2023.
Official website (ENG): https://www.comiket.co.jp/index_e.html
COVID-19 led to the event limiting entry following the guidelines determined by Doujin Japan 2020 since Comic Market 99, which resulted in less participants than pre-COVID days: While Comic Market 97 saw a grand total of 750,000 attendees over four days, making for an average of 187,500 people showing up each day, C99 limited attendees to 55,000 per day, and C100 increased the number to 85,000 which was still less than half C97’s count. C101 saw a slight increase to 90,000 attendees per day. Japan has formally determined that the COVID-19 crisis is over, however, and Comic Market 102 did away with the restrictions accordingly, resulting in over 260,000 people attending over two days.
- Participants (day 1): 130,000
- Participants (day 2): 130,000
- Doujin circles (day 1): 10,500
- Doujin circles (day 2): 10,500
- Cosplayers (day 1): Male – 1350, Female – 2390
- Cosplayers (day 2): Male – 1287, Female – 2003
- Corporate entities: 135
Though Japan had been seeing a record-breaking heat wave in the past few weeks, with temperatures shooting up to 39.1°C (102.4°F), this writer (who has been attending Comic Market for over 10 years) did not find Comic Market 102 to be particularly hotter than many previous summer Comic Markets; rather, the last few in recent memory seemed like the outliers in how they weren’t as hot as usual, mostly due to overcast skies (that being said, it was reported by the official Twitter account that there was a not-insignificant number of participants who suffered from heat stroke, mostly younger people in their teens and 20s). Though a typhoon had been approaching Tokyo and was projected to potentially hit the event, worrying participants, it changed direction a day before resulting in clear blue skies on the first day. Conversely, the second day saw drizzles before noon and heavier rain later in the day.
While Comic Market is known primarily for its doujin (fan-made content) side, consisting primarily of doujinshi (fan-made comics, books, and magazines) but also including doujin games (not just video games, but analog games like card and board games too), doujin music, and other things like keychains, stickers, and various accessories, the event also has a significant corporate presence including numerous anime and game companies promoting their latest works and selling merchandise, and we compiled an assortment of photographs of the corporate area at Comic Market 102 below.
While Comic Market might seem confusing to the point of being impenetrable to foreign visitors, the event does in fact have an international desk that can provide aid in English, Chinese, and Korean, and the official website also has a section to help foreign visitors.
Comic Market is something truly special, and anyone interested in otaku culture, manga, anime, Japanese video games, or cosplay should definitely check it out.
We had a professional photographer covering cosplay at the event too: A link to the article will be available below when it goes up! Follow Frontline Gaming Japan at @FrontlineJP to keep up with updates!
Also check out our coverage of previous Comic Markets!