It’s June, so time to start preparing for the summer's largest (and most physically challenging) cosplay event, The Comic Market. Similar post to last time but with a few tweaks, clarification on the metal weapon policy, and a more recent cosplay guide book link.
http://www.comiket.co.jp/index_e.html (Official English Pages)
Comiket Cosplay Guide Book (Japanese Only)
August 10th: 10:00~5:00 (Cosplay 10:00~4:00)
August 11th: 10:00~5:00 (Cosplay 10:00~4:00)
August 12th: 10:00~4:00 (Cosplay 10:00~3:00)
Where: Tokyo Big Site
in Odaiba, greater Tokyo area.
Free to enter, but Cosplay is Y800 per day.
What is Comiket?
The Comic Market (Comiket for short) is the largest amateur comic market event in the world. Comiket now averages about 35,000 comic artists and 540,000 attendees. The event was founded in 1975 by fans and comic artists in protest of the barring of an artist from the Japan Comic Convention. From the very beginning, Comiket was an event “by fans for fans” with an ideal that the censorship of material or the barring of an artist was unacceptable. Although there have been some ups and downs in this regard, especially following the Miyazaki incident in 1989, the Comic Market has more or less remained a place for the freedom of expression through amateur comics and has come to embrace pc doujin works and cosplay.
General Cosplay Information
Although Comiket is free to enter, you must pay a Y800 fee at the changing room to get your cosplay guidebook and a registration sticker for that day. Without the cosplayer book you will not be permitted to enter the Cosplay Areas while wearing a costume.
At Comiket, any costume theme is acceptable. Everything is fair game from anime & games to historical costumes, TV dramas, Hollywood movies, and even original fashion. But there are restrictions on props, width of a costume, and where photos can be taken.
Photos of cosplayers can only be taken in the designated cosplay areas. You may wander around the event in costume, but stopping to pose for a photo outside the cosplay area is prohibited. When in the cosplay area photos are not supposed to be taken without first getting permission from the cosplayer. To post pictures on the internet you must likewise first ask for permission.
The cosplay areas are all outside so take the heat and lots of direct sunlight into account. There are a total of 3 different cosplay areas. The days in which each is open varies. See page 10 of the Cosplay Guide Book link for a map of how to get to each of the cosplay areas.
Cosplay Area 1 (Open all 3 days) is located just before the east halls and is best described as a courtyard. There are a few trees and a shaded area. It is the smallest of the cosplay areas, but popular. (Bottom left of the guide book map)
Cosplay Area 2 (Open on days 1&2) is in a parking lot located out past the west hall. The area is quite large and usually has a lot of free space since it’s not exactly photogenic. (Upper right of the guide book map)
Cosplay Area 3 (Open on day 3 only) is the old cosplay area located on the west hall's 4th floor terrace. The terrace is rather large and overlooks Tokyo Bay so it is very popular. (The arrow leading up stairs on the center right of the guide book map)
Helpful Japanese for reading signs:
コスプレ = Cosplay
女子更衣室 = Women’s Changing Room
男子更衣室 = Men’s Changing Room
Do not wear your costume to or from the event. You must change into costume in a designated changing room. This includes coming/going from the event wearing “excessive” makeup and “distracting” color contacts.
You can't apply hairspray in the changing room, it'd be near impossible to not spray someone else by accident. You also can't apply hairspray outside or in a bathroom. We figured that one out when we sprayed my hair orange outside and had to run away from security… Oh, and no running! There was an escalator accident several years back during Wonder Festival so Tokyo Big Site has become strict on this issue.
Wings: Wings are a no go. But for anyone who has been to Comiket you understand why. They’d just get destroyed anyway.
Cleavage Rule: Women aren’t to expose more than 1/3 of their breasts. Oh, and if you’re wearing a skirt, panty flashes are ダメ... See Cosplay Guide Book page 17, it dedicates a whole page to this.
Real Weapons: Metal weapons ARE permitted. But they cannot have a sharp edge. A metal replica sword is acceptable so long as it is exactly that, a replica. The swords sold at cosplay shops such as ACOS, Cospa, ect meet this regulation. But don't swing the sword around, mock fight, or even hint of it. Pocket knives and box cutters however will get you arrested. No joke.
Cosplay Weapons: Most cosplay props are fine, but remember it is very crowded. The rule is no longer than 2 meters (6.5 feet) in length. So a FF7 cosplay sword is good to go! Sword, Staff, Spear, Gun, all are fine so long as they are not sharp, are handled responsibly, and are put away in a bag when walking around.
Guns: Airsoft guns are 100% acceptable. This includes full scale RPG/rocket launchers. Just ammunition is not allowed. The weapon must be unloaded and you must not carry any ammo on you. You may not carry the gun while walking around. It must be kept in a bag/case. You can take it out when standing still.
Small hand held props are also acceptable, but “throwing” items such as my WWII German stick grenade are not to be held as if you are going to throw them. Having it on you is fine, but don’t pose like you will throw the item.
Musical Instruments/Noise Makers: Instruments are fine so long is it is not capable of making sound. Example; electric guitar is fine because it can’t be heard without an amplifier. Horns, brass instruments, and woodwind instruments are ok so long as you remove the mouth piece so that it can’t actually be played. Megaphones are ok, but batteries must be removed so that it cannot make noise. Whistles are supposed to be prohibited, but no one has ever said anything about my police whistle although I don’t blow into it either. In short, if it is supposed to make noise, make it so it won’t and you are ok.
Eye Patches/Vision Obstruction: Costumes are not allowed to impair your vision when you are walking (eye patches, helmets with visors, ect). But, this rule only applies when you are walking around. If you are just standing in the cosplay area for photos then you are perfectly fine. Once you start to walk around though you must take it off so that you're vision is not impaired in any way.
Bulky Costumes/Mecha: My understanding is that "oversized" costumes such as Gundams, ect. are not to be more than 2 Meters (6.5 feet) tall and no more than 1 meter (3.2 feet) wide. For more information on Mech stuff it would be best to contact Edo or Goldy.
Glass: Glass items & props are prohibited in the cosplay area. So no glass potion bottles!… yeah, this is another one we learned the hard way.
My recommendation is the JR Saikyo/Rinkai Line.
From Osaki Station (大崎駅) take the Rinkai Line going towards Shin-Kiba. Get off at Kokusai Tenjijo (国際展示場) and just follow the herd of people and anime posters.
By Monorail: (from JR Shinbashi Station, 新橋駅)- Take the Yurikamome Line to "Kokusai Tenjijo Seimon" station (国際展示場正門駅).
By Kotsu Metro Bus - From Hamamatsu Chou Station (浜松町駅) to Toyko Big Site (東京ビッグサイト) about 40 minutes
By Airport Bus - From Haneda Airport (羽田空港) to "東京ビッグサイト" (Tokyo Big Site) ~ about 25 minutes
Map of the area around Tokyo Big Site