It’s been almost two years since the last iteration of Comiket, the ordinarily twice-a-year gathering of dojinshi artists, cosplayers, and other connoisseurs of otaku culture. The coronavirus pandemic put a swift stop to the fun entirely in 2020 and also prevented a summer Comiket from happening this year, but in August came the joyful announcement that Comiket will still slide into 2021 with a two-day event at the tail-end of the year.
At least, that’s the plan. The organizers have repeatedly stated that everything depends on public health conditions, as it’s unlikely that Japan will be completely out of the pandemic before we’re out of 2021.
Because of that, specific rules and regulations for Comiket 99, as the next event will be called, have been coming out on a gradual basis while monitoring the current situation, and on Nov 12 came the announcement that if you want to get into Comiket, you’re either going to have to show proof of vaccination or a PCR test with a negative result. With clinics administering vaccinations easier to find in Japan than ones performing PCR tests, for any otaku who have been putting their jabs off, this should make for a nice incentive.
The event guidelines include the following statement: “We firmly request that all visitors, both to protect themselves from infection and prevent transferring infection to others, not think of this year as being like past Comikets, and to thoroughly read through the precautions on the event’s official website.”
The latest announcement also says that, as of this moment, attendance will be capped at 55,000 guests per day. While that’s only a fraction of what Comiket drew in pre-pandemic times (total attendance for the four-day 2019 winter Comiket is listed as 750,000), the organizers say it will still be the highest-attendance event held in Japan in 2021, and that in order to avoid congestion the event will be separated into two areas at the Tokyo Big Sight convention center, an East Area and a Southwest Area.
The connecting passage between the two will be closed at 9 a.m., one hour before visitors are admitted, and will remain closed throughout the day to exhibitors and cosplayers, though transfer between the two areas may possibly be allowed for regular visitors at times, depending on conditions. There’s no guarantee, though, and tickets for regular visitors and cosplayers will specifically grant entrance to one zone or the other.
And again, the organizers stress that these regulations may change as the event draws near, deepening on public health conditions, government regulations, Big Sight management guidelines, and other factors. For now though, Comiket is still on track to take place on December 30 and 31.
Related: Comiket official website
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