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Comiket attendance numbers are apparently in long-term decline, prompting much speculation as to why – and some scepticism about the official position that lingering disruptions from the earthquake and the strong yen driving off barbarian attendees being the main cause of C81′s “low” numbers.

According to official estimates, Comiket 81 saw some 500,000 attendees over the 3 day period it was held, making it of course the largest event of its kind.

However, these numbers appear to be declining precipitously – overall attendance is down for the second Comiket running, with 20,000 fewer visitors on the third day than on last year’s winter event (C79 saw 200,000 on day 3).

Comiket 80 saw 540,000 visitors, whilst Comiket 79 saw 520,000 (the record for a winter Comiket). Summer 2009′s C76 is the event’s high water mark, with 560,000.

Organisers claim this decline is “primarily due” to “the influence of the earthquake” (this appears to be stretching things as there is no longer any discernible impact outside Fukushima prefecture), and “the strong yen” (which implies that tens of thousands of international otaku have been discouraged from attending, something which there is some scepticism about).

Strangely, the fact that Tokyo is being run by a political clique of elderly LDP curmudgeons who view the culture of young people as aberrant is not mentioned – Comiket’s organisers have apparently chosen the winning strategy of hoping their critics will go away if they do nothing hard enough, perhaps noting how effective it was in fending off the Tokyo government.

The status of the event is also not helped by the fact police and city authorities could shut it down on a whim – most of the doujinshi featured are actually illegal as they involve gratuitous copyright infringement (although usually this requires a complaint from the copyright holder).

Japanese police have also occasionally randomly arrested ero-manga publishers for publishing “obscene” comics; the imbecilic censorship featured in such comics is supposed to protect them from “obscenity” charges, but as the only definition of obscenity is what the police decide not to allow, authorities have enormous leeway in this area.

The recent Tokyo manga ban may also technically outlaw most of the sales at the event – although Tokyo reassuringly promised that although it has banned the event and can shut it down at any time, it will not.

This has not stopped the organisers from banning various material themselves in the hopes of pre-empting attacks from the authorities – most notably ero-cosplay CDs, which have largely been driven out of the event along with (allegedly) some of the ero-cosplayers themselves.

Given the direction Japan appears to be heading in recent years, they may be the first of many to disappear from the event.

News of the declining attendance has prompted the expected otaku hysteria:

“Comiket is finished.”

“Harsh.”

“Only 500,000?”

“Were there really tens of thousands of foreigners attending Comiket?”

“The Gundam generation are all in their forties now. Anyone with a decent life won’t be thinking of Comiket. And with the declining birth rates attendance can only go down from here on.”

“It certainly was easier to get in this time.”

“It’s just a cosplay party now.”

“Amazing that there are 500,000 visitors…”

“I only went to day 3, but it was very clear that there were fewer people there. Like 30 or 40 thousand less, for sure.”

“Who needs doujin manga? Dlsite is far superior when it comes to doujin eroge and so on.”

“The doujinshi you get now are really nicely made though, although they are quite thin.”

“They probably only just started counting the numbers honestly.”

“The gender balance is really shifting in favour of women. Animate is just packed with fujoshi, you don’t feel nearly as much of a masculine presence now.”

“You guys don’t know anything about this business!”

“In this day and age, paper is just too finished.”


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    132 Comments
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    Avatar of cats2
    Comment by cats2
    05:47 02/01/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    They're right about dlsite, getchu, etc., being much better options really.

    If you want to see the cosplayers you'll see them in galleries, and avoid the HIDEOUS and/or 35++ year old ones like in the "Day 3" gallery..

    But I guess it's built into them to go to comiket..

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:38 01/01/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    520k, 540k, 500k... aren't we just seeing random statistical fluctuations?

    Avatar of Kinny Riddle
    Comment by Kinny Riddle
    02:50 02/01/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Exactly. 20,000-30,000 out of 500,000-560,000 is like a fluctuation of around 5-10%. I would be more alarmed if the fall in attendance is over 50,000, so all this hysterical doom mongering is a bit OTT if you ask me.

    I went yesterday on the 3rd day and the place looked rather packed to me. Though I did noticed there weren't that many Caucasian visitors around this time around, so the high yen excuse might actually have some weight. And you'd be surprised by the amount of doom mongering in foreign media reports about how Japan is becoming inhabitable after the 3-11 quake and nuke incident. While it may not stop the very devoted "gaijin ota" from coming , it might just be enough to deter the more gullible and less informed ones.

    Avatar of Tere
    Comment by Tere
    17:57 02/01/2012 # ! Good (+0.4)

    It's a fluctuation of about 4.5%. That's generally well within normal shifts. It seems that the median attendance is around 500,000, if attendance drops below half that, then worrying would be justified.

    But this is just typical Chicken-Littling.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:08 02/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Did it make it easier to get the items you wanted? I went on day 1 and day 3 of C78 with day 3 unable to get anything I want (heck, popular stuff so cannot complain too much)...

    Would have wanted to go if my winter break was any longer than 1 week though... Not the piss rich type that can casually afford a 1.4k ticket to Japan for under 1 week.

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:37 02/01/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    4 words...

    "Much ado about nothing."

    Avatar of Dan Hibiki
    Comment by Dan Hibiki
    02:47 02/01/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    absolutely. just another case of media sensationalism.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:05 02/01/2012 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Let me ask to make sure!
    To all Sancom Comrade.
    Are there SanCom conrade don't want to come to Comiket ? ( I mean if someone else prepare for you the trip ticket / place to stay during 3days of Comiket )

    PS: - If my comments down-rate then I think Comiket really finished.
    - But If it up-rate then nothing to worry about.

    Comment by Anonymous
    03:20 02/01/2012 # ! Good (+0.8)

    2 words...
    "Sankaku Complex"

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:43 02/01/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    I also love how there's always "one line in sitation marks" in headline as to make it seem the sentence was heard from a mouth that isn't sankaku complex, even though it is.

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:45 02/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    i think its a quick prediction from number of copy officially reported to sell.

    Avatar of ArrowInTheKnee
    Comment by ArrowInTheKnee
    00:11 02/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Probably still too early to decided if its finished but I am pretty sure if they won't allow anymore loli doujin that will be the end of the world...

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:48 02/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    And it's totally impossible keep doing comiket in smaller scale?

    Avatar of Vincent Giannell
    Comment by Vincent Giannell
    05:25 02/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    No it's not impossible.

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:52 05/01/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    i wanna fuck so badly!!!

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:05 01/01/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    Unscensor it and they will come.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:05 02/01/2012 # ! Quality (+1.0)

    need to kill that shitty old man first

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:48 02/01/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Who of our kin shall be the one to step forward and drive off this dreadful plague known as Ishihara? At ease men, one shall rise as our liberator. Freeing us of our shackles, ending this perpetual cycle of suffering, banishing the agitation of this senile tyrant and claiming the glory as our savior. I ask of thee to step forth and reveal thy name.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:19 02/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Need to practice Hokuto Shinken first...

    Comment by Anonymous
    02:09 04/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Was hoping for one of them suicidal hikkikomoris to at least make good use of their deaths and kamikaze.

    Guns are hard to obtain in this day and age without some connections...

    Avatar of Animaksiat
    Comment by Animaksiat
    12:18 02/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    why don't you step forth then? don't just sit and wait for the result!

    Comment by Anonymous
    13:57 02/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    And the first thing come to mind when I here comiket is finished is
    - Ishihara: we must ban the Comiket as well.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:50 02/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yes, the Legion of Anon will make sure he falls in order to bring about an era of peace for our kin.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:25 02/01/2012 # ! Good (+0.8)

    Uncensored with faux lesbians. Need to see Lenfried and Ushijima together, and uncensored.

    Why?

    Because if I can't have either of them, I want pictures of them having each other, together, and doing more than just a little camera teasing.

    Avatar of Gitami
    Comment by Gitami
    13:01 02/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I am certain there are cornfield in Fukushima where it is possible.

    Avatar of CowExtract
    Comment by CowExtract
    01:14 02/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    @ 22:05
    Iseewhatyoudidthere :3

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:46 01/01/2012 # ! Good (+0.6)

    “In this day and age, paper is just too finished.”

    Don't get the fossils at Kodansha & Jump hear that, they'll have a heart attack.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:46 02/01/2012 # ! Good (+0.6)

    Make less touhou and more people shall come.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:53 02/01/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.4)

    Dont forget make less yaoi too

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:25 17/02/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Actually, make less BL/yaoi and more people will come.

    Avatar of Yoshii-kun
    Comment by Yoshii-kun
    22:31 01/01/2012 # ! Good (+0.3)

    >> Earthquake
    >> (supposedly) Radiation scare
    >> Strong yen
    >> Censorship
    >> ZUNE's Touhou Ban

    And half a million still came.
    They worry too much, I tell ya.

    There's sure to be ups and downs for any event attendance. And its Comiket for crying out loud, it'll never die.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:20 01/01/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Sure it won't die, but it sure won't be getting any better while the manga ban and such is still in place. Artists and authors aren't just willing to risk their necks for some corporate bullshit and morality police.

    Avatar of Shimazaki
    Comment by Shimazaki
    03:03 02/01/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    “It’s just a cosplay party now.”

    True Story...........

    Ero manga and all "ero" content will fall to, so, better to go back to good stories in the 90's instead of gratious and nonsense naked girls fucking every fucking guy.

    Avatar of Octopi
    Comment by Octopi
    00:15 02/01/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    oh, a no ero cosplayers? i knew it! i knew those beautiful girls from previous years had to be undercover whores. it's sad but true. normal cosplayers are 89% ugly.
    i rember almost getting killed for saying that in a 2009 SDCC, but it's the truth if you are ugly please stay away from Pincess Leia Bikini as well as from any Sailor Moon outfit!

    Avatar of yaku
    Comment by yaku
    08:51 02/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    While I don't think everyone who aren't remotely attractive should deter from cosplay, I do agree on always looking for costumes that either match or complement your body, and many costumes that aren't revealing or skin tight can be used to hide/enhance curve, so yeah girls, if you can't fill a bikini (or you overfill it) then choose another costume.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:40 02/01/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    If they didn't censor so much, i can guaranty that they will see that the amount of attenders will rise dramatically.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:57 01/01/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    For me the strong yen surely has cut my imports to half, tough im not sure if it's also has an effect on comiket visitors.

    Governements sure makes everything wrong these days.

    Avatar of yaku
    Comment by yaku
    08:57 02/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I have almost no orders from Japan either, in fact I only ordered two things in 2011 against the over 25 orders I used to.

    Avatar of Baronight
    Comment by Baronight
    22:00 01/01/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    It's slowly showing the effect. Give it another 10-20 years and see if the declining birth rate can indirectly forced comiket to go out of business

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:32 02/01/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    Get rid of isahara and everything will be good again I think government cracked everything down again. Hell even china told japan stop censorship. Sell uncensored stuff people will come

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:25 01/01/2012 # ! Neutral (+0.2)

    I should still be sleeping, but my stupid bitch of a sister-inlaw called me at 6:40 AM after she stayed up all night drinking, to whine about how nobody likes her now that my brother's dead. Well, yeah, you're a FN nasty, crazy in the head drunk bitch. What's to like about that?

    Sorry. Just had to vent anonymously. :lol:

    Avatar of yuriphoria
    Comment by yuriphoria
    23:43 01/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Dude she totally wanted you to jump her bones.

    Dunno what you meant with nasty, but if she was hot you totally blew it.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:54 02/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    This is why girls think men are stupid.

    Stupid boy thinks a girl talking to you = she wants sex with you

    You must be in friend zone a lot.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:12 02/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Spoken like someone who doesn't have any siblings. Grass. Greener. Other side.

    Comment by Anonymous
    07:57 02/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    if 05:54 has siblings or not that doesn't make the fact less true.....

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:38 01/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    LOL thanks for the story

    Avatar of alex251
    Comment by alex251
    Comment by Anonymous
    22:48 01/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    I need to stop this.. I'm arguing with myself again.

    Comment by Anonymous
    22:47 01/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    So you should still be sleeping, but your stupid bitch of a sister-inlaw called you at 6:40 AM after she stayed up all night drinking, to whine about how nobody likes her now that your brother is dead. Then thinking she's a FN nasty, crazy in the head drunk bitch.

    And now you're sorry for venting out anonymously.. What's to like about that? Geez..!

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:58 02/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    she wants to fuck

    Comment by Anonymous
    04:54 05/01/2014 # ! Neutral (0)

    sex sells everything

    Avatar of Shizu's Waki Obsessor: MaidNiac
    02:58 02/01/2012 # ! Neutral (0)

    Told ya having a "life" and abandoning otaku life sucks..

    Sorry about your bro, though.






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