Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Comiket 79

One of the things which I find alluring about Comiket is not necessarily what they have on the show floor, but rather all that I potentially missed over the years. A little as two years ago InsertCredit would have run several entries with the convention’s highlights. With their demise though (something which pains me every time the topic of videogames enters my mental framework), an excellent source for Comiket info is gone. With that in mind, here’s an entry with stuff cribbed from a variety of other places. Do NOT look at this while at work, since while I have endeavoured to keep it clean, you really shouldn’t be wasting office time on it. (Comiket bunny girl courtesy of Kevin Slong’s Flickr account)

Comiket 79 took place from 29 to 31 December at the Tokyo Big Site in Japan. We’re a month late, but meh, more coverage online is better than less. The Comiket convention being a place where hobbyists distribute their doujin wares. It started in 1975 and now has over half a million people attending every year. There’s an entire sub-culture surrounding the event, and the official English page contains a neat PDF with images and information explaining its history. Worth a read!

Lee from HG101’s forums (who also write the Philippines entry) started a topic on Comiket 79: The Comic Market (Comiket 79) came and went in Japan last month, and I have been searching the net for doujin games sold there. I have found two noteworthy titles, Umineko Ougon Musou Kyoku and Touhou Koumajou Densetsu II.

Umineko Ougon Musou Kyoku is a 2-D fighting game developed and published by 07th Expansion. It is based on the Umineko visual novel series. The game play is pretty tight, and graphics are more impressive than Melty Blood.

Touhou Koumajou Densetsu II is the second Touhouvania. The game has been improved greatly, and the soundtrack is very nice. I highly recommend this one. Here is a link to a page with more info.

I found another fighting game released at the Comiket. This one is called Hinokakera: Chaotic Eclipse. It is a revision of an older doujin fighting game of which I never knew existed. The action is primarily 3-D on a 2-D plane, kinda like the old Tobal games. The graphic looks pretty average, but this video I found of the super moves is awesome. Moves do not get much more over the top than this:

Feyman added: Crimson Clover saw its full release at C79 as well. It's a pretty awesome vertical shmup, and certainly leagues beyond those lame Tohou shooters everybody's always raving about.

El Diabolico from SomethingAwful forums also started a topic, with plenty of information and links: What once had humble beginnings as a small local fair meant to promote and distribute "Doujinshi", independently published books, has since grown in to a massive beast with thousands of groups and individuals over the years hocking their own "doujin" works no longer limited to just books but to just about everything: Books, Comics, Music, Anime, etc. etc. Even the larger Companies have taken note and use their opportunity to sell their branded goods to the otaku masses. Of course this triggers a large otaku migration which grows larger and larger as the years go by.

His topic includes a Torrent to the Comiket 79 catalogue, which sounds promising, though I’ve never been able to get Torrents to work with my firewall. As El Diabolico points out, the whole event is usually ignored in the west. It's spoken about only by the super hardcore (hypercore?) and followers of Japan. The games released also often end up stupidly rare or even impossible to find
later without paying exorbitant sums. Many are forgotten. With recent insidious trends for people to hate on Japan and those who like its games, it is now quadruply as important for the remaining faithful to preach the good word and foster greater awareness of all games Japanese.

Comiket is also never mentioned in print magazines – the one time I twisted my editor’s arm to get a half page of coverage into Retro Gamer, entire forum boards exploded with hatred for me. Well, fuck the haters, because obscure shit like this is my goddamned mojo - and I will relentlessly man the ramparts. I’m cribbing pretty hard from SomethingAwful, simply because this year they appear to be the biggest English resource – or very least the most easily accessible. Thanks to all those whose shoulders I’m standing on.

El Diabolico also provided several links to lists of what turned up, and shops where you can buy this stuff. Some recommendations he listed:

Akamajou Densetsu 2 by Frontier Aja
Ehh.. The spelling on the title may be wrong but it's a Castlevania pun. And this? A sequel to last year's Castlevania X Touhou mash-up. The last one was pretty snappy. Hopefully, this one will be the same.

Umineko no naku koro ni: Episode 8 by 7th Expansion
The 8th installment of this celebrated visual novel series.

Ougon Musou Kyoku (Song of Golden Dreams) by 7th Expansion
Umineko.. the fighting game?! Maybe it'll be interesting? Maybe it'll flop? Who knows? It'll certainly be one of the more interesting fighting games to come out judging by future releases within the genre.

Motto!? Fushigi no Gensoukyou ~Under the Moonlight~(More!? Mysterious Gensoukyou) by Aqua Style
A sequel. A touhou themed rogue-like done in the style of Chun Soft's 'Mysterious Dungeon' series of games. Like any rogue-like, half the fun is figuring it out.

aiHD also posted a link to a PDF guide he made for westerners thinking of attempting a Comiket visit (search:
overnighting guide). He also did what appears to be a translation hack for those who have the Comiket catalogue CD. It’s also worth stopping by their thread to check out aiHD’s level-headed discussion on the quality of porn at the convention, and an in-depth explanation of everything else you can expect at the show, from the cramped conditions, to available music, other products and general advice. Well done that man (or woman).

And while we’re on the subject, here are some scans from Technopolis magazine from our Japanese PC article, courtesy of Tokugawa, covering Comiket of the past.
As you can see, every year the convention produces a large quantity of content, a lot of which ends up obscure and forgotten.

Finally, random Google crap I found. The lack of English stuff only highlights how limited the coverage for this actually is.


Hunting the Elusive


Armored Core


  1. Googling the Comiket usually just brings up alot of hentai nonsense, but if you check on eBay stores dealing in doujin games you can find more cool stuff released. That new censorship law in Japan may have spurned a few would be game makers from going to Comiket this year, which is unfortunate.

  2. hypercore might be a word worth coining, since "hardcore gamer" means something completely different to what it did 7 or 8 years ago...