Dec 5, 2016
Tokyo Comic Con 2016 wrapped up today after it's weekend residence at Makuhari Messe International Exhibition Hall, Chiba. This year was the first Tokyo Comic Con, the brain child of Tokyo Comic Convention Committee Chairman Mitsuaki Munegumi, who spotted a need to quench the thirst for American comic books and Hollywood produced movies amongst Japanese readers and enthusiasts. Stars at Tokyo Comic Con included a 93-year-old Stan Lee, the man who helped bring into our live's comic book legends like Spider-Man, Iron Man, Hulk, X-Men ... a staggering list, basically. Jeremy Renner (the dude from Hurt Locker) was also floating around somewhere, presumably on the back of his character Hawkeye in the Avengers movies. Those who like their sci-fi of a older vintage would have enjoyed the prospect of meeting Lance Henriksen who played the android Bishop in Aliens.
When you hear or read the noun phrase 'comic con', those in the relative know will likely think of the San Diego Comic-Con (with a hyphen). By all accounts, Tokyo Comic Con cannot compare its Californian counter part in size or scale, nor is it as big, noisy, and sexy as the Tokyo Game Show. But it's still a lot of fun.
The first Tokyo Comic Con laid out it's stall early doors; as soon as you entered the DeLorean time machine from Back to the Future, and KITT from Knight Rider lay in wait, and you knew that American productions were ruling the roost at this convention. The Stan Lee influence was best reflected in the number of Spider-Man cosplayers wandering among the booths. Batman, The Joker, and Stormtroopers (along with other Star Wars characters), were also well represented by the delightfully bonkers cosplayers in attendance on the Sunday.
A lot of the booths at Tokyo Comic Con displayed/sold models of super hero mainstays. Some of the detail that goes into these things is staggering. As are some of the prices they were selling for (this blogger didn't see much money changing hands other than at the official Tokyo Comic Con souvenir area). But whilst most models seemed to be aimed at collectors, there were plenty of 'cute' versions of Spider-Man et al going for far more accessible prices.
There were a couple of spaces at Tokyo Comic Con for cosplayers to pose and for regular visitors to take photos. It probably doesn't need to be said, but the visitors with the best photography kit were the otaku, and they weren't really interested in the dudes dressed as Spider-Man. At the other end of the scale, plenty of giddy tourists were bouncing off the walls in the their attempts to take a selfie with the maddest/cutest cosplayers they could latch onto.
Video game, and soon-to-be movie, Assassin's Creed had a pretty big presence at Tokyo Comic Con, as did Japanese staple Biohazard (Resident Evil to everyone else). Star Wars fans also had plenty to get their teeth into, including the chance to mess around with some lightsabers, debate about whether or not to pick a very smart looking 'coffee table' book, and ogle models/figures that basically most of us can't justify buying.
This blogger enjoyed the chance at Tokyo Comic Con to check out props and replicas from movies which included some bit and bobs from the Alien and Predator stories.
As the for the sex-sells (or sex-increases-the-chance-that-you'll-go-home-with-our-flyers) ethos that you can find at, say, the Tokyo Game Show or any exhibit that involves cars/motorbikes, well it was at Tokyo Comic Con, too, just less of it. With all the fantastic cosplayers wandering around, it seemed a bit pointless and boring anyway.
Enough of the words and on to the pictures. Here are images taken by me of cosplayers and kit at Tokyo Comic Con 2016.
Toys, props, originals, and replicas
Iron Man outside the Hot Toys booth
Godzilla seems to have a goofy grin from this angle.
T-800 (Terminator) gets a change of look with the lights.
DeLorean (Back to the Future)
KITT (Knight Rider)
CooProps use the original moulds to recreate props from classic movies like Predator and the Alien franchise.
Some of the models/figures from Prime Studio 1 drew a lot of attention from both fans and regular visitors. The attention to detail is quite frankly jaw dropping.
The Pop collection of toys from Funko do a sterling job of blending 'cool' and 'cute'.
Tokyo Comic Con Cosplay
As I said earlier, there were two 'cosplay' zones at Tokyo Comic Con, as well as cosplayers walking between booths, contests, and special events/photo session organized by exhibitors.
There had been a bit of furore online about a decision by organizers to prevent males dressing up as females for the purposes of cosplay at this convention. I can't remember what became of this bizarre decision, but I don't recall seeing any 'crossdressing' cosplayers (on the male side) which might have been to the detriment of the spectacle. I don't know.
Data storage device producer drobo organized a cosplay session on the Sunday.
There were plenty of Star Wars cosplayers to spot Tokyo Comic Con.
This blogger arrived at Tokyo Comic Con early afternoon on the Sunday. Given the swarms of people pouring out of Kaihimmakuhari Station I had that sinking feeling that getting into the convention was going to be a major hassle. It wasn't, and it wasn't that crowded around the booths either. I got my 'ticket on the day' within about 5 mins (2,000 yen) and after security had a cursory look inside my bag, I was in amongst the action. There's a bit a food court in there, and when you exit you get a stamp on the hand that'll let you back in again.
Website (Japanese): http://tokyocomiccon.jp/