Friday, 23 December 2011

Christmas blogging

I'm surprised how busy the end of the year has been for me. I've been out of the state for a few days over last weekend, and I've just had the chance to get home, unpack my things, and then repack them all before heading back to my parents' place for Christmas. I'm heading straight on from my parents' place to Japan after Christmas, so I had a fair bit of planning to do (not exactly my strong suit), and I'm still worried I've forgotten something essential.

In the meantime, I'm just taking it easy for a couple of days. The internet here is all sorts of terrible, and any websites that aren't entirely text-based are just a chore to visit, so I'm glad I'm not sticking around for too long. I seriously wonder how I would live my life if I was deprived of an internet connection for any length of time. Maybe I'd actually start on my backlog. Maybe.

I'd put a picture of a cute girl wearing a santa hat here
but the internet's too slow, so just imagine her.

Whinging aside, I quite like Christmas with my family. I think the main reason for this is that I have no relatives in this country aside from my immediate family. I really don't like the sound of a big Christmas with an extended family. We don't do anything really special, just the standard fare - a big meal with lots of prawns and some other seafood/salads on the side, and then probably a long nap in the afternoon. Lazy Christmases are the best Christmases. "Christmases" can be substituted for pretty much anything and that sentence will still hold true.

I'm still doing some last minute planning for my trip, but I'm not doing too much. Despite the impression you might have gotten from my last post, I'm not really one to plan most things in any depth. Comiket, sure, I've got my list nailed down pretty tight, but my time in Japan apart from that is mostly just going to happen as it happens. I'm not sure if I'll be blogging at all while I'm over there, but if the hostels I'm staying at have any decent wireless I'll probably make a post or two in some downtime. Otherwise I won't be making any posts for a while. So it'll be just like usual.

So, I hope you all have a good Christmas and New Years, whether you're spending them with your family, friends, or waifu. And as always, take it easy.

Monday, 5 December 2011

C81 guide

EDIT: the catalogue has been on the internet for a few days now. I'm not going to link it, but if you're having trouble finding it I'd suggest you google "CCC81 torrent".

Comiket 81 is less than a month away!  People with a lot more experience than I have written proper guides to Comiket, but I decided to write a brief one with a bit of info, mostly to jog my own memory before I go to C81 myself at the end of the month. I’ve only been to one Comiket before (C79) so I'm far from an expert, but there is some information I’d like to have known before I went last time that might be useful to others.

The basics:
Dates: 29-31 December
Times: 10am-4pm each day (corporate booths close at 5pm for the first two days)
Comiket is a three-day event happening twice a year. The upcoming Comiket (C81) is happening on the last three days of the year like all winter Comikets. Different days have different focuses, which can roughly be generalised as:

Day 1: Yaoi, shounen, other manga-related works. Also things based on video games.
Day 2: Touhou (doujin, music, games). Some misc anime stuff, gundam, more yaoi.
Day 3: Porn and lots of it. Also doujinsoft, Vocaloid, works based on VNs and anime. 
(This is a generalisation, see here [jp] for a comprehensive breakdown.)

This refers to the doujin circles, as each circle is only there for one of the three days; there are also company booths in a separate area which are open all three days and sell the same thing each day, or at least until they sell out.

Entry is free, but it’s very crowded. As in, VERY crowded. In fact, it redefined the word 'crowd' for me to the extent that I've found nothing to be truly 'crowded' since. This means it can be hard to get where you want to, and that you’ll have to wait in queues for anything remotely popular. If there are specific items that you're after, you can’t just rock up on the day and expect to get anywhere.

Doors open at 10am, but people start arriving from 5am (or even the previous night) to line up. Lining up is worth it if you’re after popular items, as it gives you the chance to get one or two things before the queues for circles get really big. Lining up from early morning gets you in at around 10:30am, while if you arrive at 10am you won’t get in until after 11am. If you arrive at or after noon there won’t be any queue to get in.

Each day ends at 4pm, so you’ve got a very limited window of time to work in. Considering you’ll be doing well to get in before 11am, and most things will be sold out by 3pm, and that queues can be huge, you really need to economise on your time usage.