Some fear the tradition may never return, but most just hope so.
Shortly after sunrise on 13 August, a lone man wearing yellow stood outside of the doorway to Kokusai-Tenjijo Station. Though nervous about what was to come back, he stood strong and with confidence that he could handle the job assigned to him.
That job was to corral a whole bunch of stampeding otaku, hungry for independently produced content, in what has turn out to be often known as Comiket Dash. This biannual mass migration of otaku is a stupendous natural phenomenon by which otaku flood as fast as they’ll from the primary train of the day to the doorway of the Tokyo Big Sight convention center, which Kokusai-Tenjijo Station is the closest stop to.
Nevertheless, this time the flood was a mere trickle…
— おんさ@8/14フクダ電子アリーナ🙏🍵👾𝓟𝓟𝓔🐿🍒 (@onsa2235) August 12, 2022
That is the second time that the Comiket Dash has did not materialize. As a substitute of running through ticket gates with reckless abandon, the otaku appeared much more placid and orderly. For comparison here’s footage of a Comiket Dash from 2018.
When this scene didn’t unfold last winter, many pointed on the pandemic because the cause. The independent comic, cosplay, and video game convention was canceled 3 times resulting from COVID-19 and even last December it was on shaky ground, being held with attendance limits and fears that the plug might be pulled if things got out of hand.
Nevertheless, this summer, despite the record variety of infection cases, event restrictions in Japan have gotten increasingly relaxed, so old-fashioned Comiket Dash probably wouldn’t have been a problem anymore. Some suggested one other possible cause was that a typhoon was on a collision course with the world on the day of the event which might need encouraged to maintain everyone on their best behavior.
▼ Many attendees were battered with rain and wind while waiting patiently to enter the venue
However the most definitely reason that the Dash was dashed has to do with changes to the admission system. The variety of attendees was limited to between 80,000 and 90,000 this time, but more importantly tickets were sold upfront. When purchasing a ticket, attendees are given a scheduled check-in time window to intentionally unfolded the number of individuals entering at one time.
▼ It’s an event planning technique often known as “the Moe Howard.”
Since numbers are limited and entry is staggered, the inducement to run like mad has been greatly diminished and individuals are once more free to stop and ask for directions without fear of being trampled, as seen on this video.
— うわず (@uwaz_uzuz) August 12, 2022
Comments regarding this development seem completely happy with the change of pace and hope it becomes the norm.
“I believe they didn’t need to do a ticket system like this before because they didn’t consider themselves as a significant industrial event, but I believe we are able to see it’s idea.”
“Wow, add the Dash to things erased by COVID-19.”
“I looks like every other day except nobody’s wearing a suit.”
“The organizers probably lost quite a lot of money from the pandemic, so this can be approach to keep security costs down.”
“I don’t know why they didn’t do that sooner.”
“But I believe that was the one time quite a lot of these guys exercised.”
“I still think it’ll take only one person to start out running after which start a series response.”
There does appear to be a tipping point that may trigger a Dash relapse if numbers proceed to get large enough. Nevertheless, as one comment alluded to, Comiket should probably stop pretending prefer it’s still some intimate indie gathering and begin acting like the key event it has turn out to be. Curbing the mad dash that ensues each time could be first step, preferably followed by stopping sweat clouds from forming.