The third proper year of having Comic Con in Japan was certainly bigger and probably better too as the organisers tweaked things here and there resulting in a more efficient and well-organised event. To be fair, you would kind of hope that they’d have got a reasonable grasp of it all by now anyway! One such example was the task of getting an entrance ticket (¥3500) and the subsequent cosplay ticket (¥1000) which was all very smooth and took just a couple of minutes unlike last year where there was a lot of walking around and going back and forth.
This convention returned to the huge Makuhari Messe convention centre in Chiba where ‘Star Wars Celebration Japan‘ was held just over a decade ago. Many other annual events like Tokyo Motor Show, Tokyo Game Show and the Summer Sonic music festivals take place there too. I just wish it was a bit closer to central Tokyo! It was held over three full days starting at 10am but one day is enough for me and I didn’t even do the whole thing choosing to rock up around lunchtime. I met friend Robert at Kaihimmakuhari Station by chance which was strange as I’d have expected him to be at his Tokyo Saber Guild stand from start to finish every day. However, he had worked a night shift too on top of going back and forth between his home and the convention centre! That’s dedication for you!
Having got changed and given my bag in, I went down to the convention floor and typically the first person I noticed within a minute was Robert. It’s always good to chat to him though and I spent a fair amount of time hovering around his stall throughout the day where many Star Wars cosplayers were stationed. The next post on Tokyo Fox will be a cosplay special though there may be a bit of overlap here too as it’s hard to distinguish between a cosplayer and a curator at times.
A huge proportion of the arena is for the celebrity signing and photo sessions with this years guests including original RoboCop actor Peter Weller (armour signed by him can be seen below), Tom Hiddlestone, Ezra Matthew Miller, Jeremy Renner and the Phelps Brothers, I’ve not heard of all of those and I may have been tempted to meet one or two of them had it not been for the £100+ price for a few seconds with them. Still, the pricing has to be that way I guess to control the demand more effectively.
Legendary comic book writing legend Stan Lee passed away just last month and there was a memorial monument where fans could write messages of condolences and thanks to the man behind Spider-Man, the Incredible Hulk, Wolverine and so on. He was one of the main guests at the previous Tokyo ComicCon events and Neil and I just happened to be standing in that area when a load of Deadpool characters paraded through the hall to this shrine where they kneeled down and paid their respects.
The Knight Rider car KITT and the Back To The Future Delorean were there as usual but…
…this time there was the addition of Mr Bean’s pea-green mini, and I was later very amused to see a guy dressed up as the character with a turkey on his head. It’s a reference to the classic ‘Merry Christmas, Mr Bean‘ (1992) episode which I re-watch every festive season and mentioned in ‘Christmas In Tokyo‘ posts in 2015 and 2016.
Authentic and fully certified costumes and props are always interesting to see. Many were repeats of previous years exhibits but I guess they deserve to be on show again as there are new fans visiting each year. Michael Jackson’s jacket from a famous American TV interview was a returnee but the shorts worn by Sly Stallone in ‘Rocky III‘ (1982) were a new addition.
There were the same Terminator props as previous years and likewise for the Batman suit. I think the Superman bodysuit worn by Christopher Reeve in ‘Superman III‘ (1983) was new though.
Loads of Japanese and international artists had tables in a section known as artist alley where they produced live art and/or sold their works. It was interesting to see and nice to speak to a few of them which is, along with the cosplaying, what makes this event for me as I’m not too bothered by the celebrities present or the on-stage stuff. My friend of Glitter Factory fame was there again and very busy throughout but we did have time for a nice chat towards the end as things finally dried up a bit. In contrast to all those fine artists it’s perhaps ironic that the only piece of art which I will feature here is one of batman (below) created from bloody jelly beans! It’s wholly impressive none the less!
One big difference between Tokyo ComicCon and its far more famous San Diego counterpart is that there are usually no interview panels. As an English speaker this is almost a relief as such interviews really don’t flow well due to the constant need to translate. World premiere previews are a common trait in San Diego too and this Tokyo event was recipient to a teaser trailer for next years ‘Godzilla: King Of The Monsters‘ film which was being heavily promoted by Legendary Pictures at this event. There was even an interview panel too with director Michael Dougherty but that was on the Saturday so I didn’t see it. You can watch edited highlights of it here though courtesy of our friends at Maction Planet.
There were dozens and dozens of booths of varying sizes featuring companies with obvious connections to such an event, and some who seem bizarrely out of place. The one thing most of them had in common was that they offered some kind of interaction or photo opportunity.
A couple of interactive things I tried were a Spider-Man 3D thing where they film your face from many angles and then play it on the big screen later at a certain time. In the video, Spider-man swings around the skyscrapers and eventually takes off his mask to reveal your face for all to see. It’s about two seconds of fame among a short clip and can then be seen on their website and shared on social media. It was an interesting encounter and my hopes were not really met by the disappointing reality! The other thing was a Star Wars Millennium Falcon cockpit experience which I did twice. The first time was fairly normal but later in the day there was a surprise appearance from Darth Vader and some stormtroopers which I sadly couldn’t enjoy as I had a touch of cramp in my leg!!
Late afternoon I stepped outside into the car park outside one of the exits which resembled some kind of festival with all manner of food trucks (including the animal-shaped one below) and high tables for people to take a break from the geeking-out. Well not quite as there was a huge Patlabor figure which was erected from its reclining position on the back of a truck every couple of hours. It was a pretty cool spectacle and this car park was a great addition to this years event.
It’s mere impossible to recall everything that was going on and there will have been a load of things that I missed, and there in lies the beauty of such an event as everyones experience is different.
Click here to read ‘Cosplaying At Tokyo ComicCon 2018’
Click here to read ‘Tokyo ComicCon 2017’
Click here to read ‘Cosplaying At Tokyo ComicCon 2017’
Click here to read ‘Tokyo ComicCon 2016’
Click here to read ‘Cosplaying At Tokyo ComicCon 2016’
Click here to read ‘Meeting Two Sith At Tokyo ComicCon 2015’
Click here to read ‘Cosplaying At Tokyo ComicCon 2015’