Tokyo Comic con is an up and coming convention hailing originally from the United States that takes place in the enormous Makuhari Messe, located in Chiba, Japan. As opposed to other conventions held in Japan, this convention focuses exclusively on Western comic media.
While cosplay is still very popular at the convention, you won’t see just your typical slew of anime impersonators here. Instead you will find famous Western superheroes such as Spiderman, Batman, and the like. Though anime is still present to some degree at the convention, stepping through the gates into comic con is stepping into the world of Marvel and DC.
A view of the convention from above, booths run from wall to wall in the Makuhari Messe. To the right, off screen is a large open food court, set up for participants to stay fueled as they explore the event.
Tokyo comic con is very new to Japan. This was only its second year, but nonetheless fans of Western comic books flooded in by the thousands to celebrate comic book sub culture. The Messe was crowded with enthusiasts from wall to wall. Lines were long for the autograph signings, with fans eager to meet and greet with their favorite celebrities. This year’s list included Stan Lee, the father of American comics, Karl Urban from the hit shoe, Supernatural, Nathan Fillion, Michael Rooker, and Japanese star Karen Fukuhara.
Two nearly life size transformer replicas standing on display in front of the Transformers booth.
The exhibits at comic con were some of the highlights of the convention. Superman’s original costume was on display, as well as an original terminator, a back to the future police car, a star ship trooper ship straight from the movie, and of course the original batman suit. Other exhibits included items from movies such as Men in Black, Pirates of the Caribbean, Titanic, Jurassic Park, Star wars, blade runner, and more.
A life like T-800 endoskeleton from the Terminator movies on display. Fans could snap pictures freely.
Star wars was a heavy theme at this year’s comic con. In the center of the convention stood the biggest booth, which was filled with star wars paraphernalia for sale. You could also play the new virtual reality star wars game, where you wield a light saber and do battle as a Jedi. A remote control BB-8 rolled around onlookers, and smaller droids were set up, which con goers could test out via wireless controllers inside the booth. All of it had a very futuristic and playful feeling.
A storm trooper stands beside an AT-ST walker model just outside the Star wars booth. Notice the little stuffed Ewok sitting atop the walker for flavor.
Comic con is also filled to the brim with collectables. Many booths were devoted to a specific series, such as Transformers But an equal amount were a mix and match of all things geek, and offered very detailed figurines and collectables that would be hard to find anywhere else. Tokyo comic con also had its own official line of collectables for those who want to preserve their memory of the event.
A character figurine from the video game Bloodborne. The amount of detail put into these creations is captivation.
I was able to see the cosplay fashion show, one of three separate cosplay themed events held on the main stage over the course of the convention’s weekend. Marvel and DC characters were a popular choice among fans. Multiple Jokers, Harley Quinn, and Deadpool costumes were part of the show, each with a unique twist. The cosplay fashion show was a celebration of character and fun, with little sense of competition felt between the participants. It seemed that everyone was enjoying each other. There was even a young raven from Suicide Squad, who joined in the fun.
The young raven, Superman, Batman, the Joker, and Harley Quinn together on stage of the cosplay fashion show.
Cosplay wasn’t just for the stage at Comic con this year. Inside the massive crowd of attendees, all sorts of costumes could be found. From the terrifying, to the downright sexy, men and women of all ages could participate. Inside the crowd there was a feeling of excitement and what might be discovered just around the next turn.
A devout cosplayer dressed as a character from the popular series Resident evil wandered the floor of Comic con. His costume inspired awe, terror, and a little bit of joy in onlookers.
While comic con is still new to Japan, it is sure to continue to grow in both size and popularity. It is nice to see Western Comic culture starting to take root in the east, just as Anime and Manga have blossomed in the West. Behind the costumes and comics, a feeling of acceptance, and a blend of the American and Japanese worlds is happening. It is something that should be nurtured and celebrated for years to come.
The participants of the cosplay fashion show all together on stage at the end of the event.
Tokyo Comic Con (2018 will be held Nov 30, Dec 1, Dec 2)
2 Chome-1 Nakase, Mihama-ku, Chiba-shi, Chiba-ken 261-8550