AH, SUMMER. It’s here but it’s wrapping up. When you think of summer, what comes to mind? Heat? Heat stroke…? ….Waiting in lines…
Of course, Comic Market! 夏コミ or Sumer Comiket is a biannual event where all kinds of creators and artists come together and sell their latest works, be it music, art, or any other merchandise or ideas they can think of. Of course, this also means the newest albums and EPs from our favorite BEMANI artists and their associated circles.
As the day starts, thousands of visitors flooded through the nearby train stations as early as the first train arrived:
The lines start as early as the day before although it’s not recommended – and visitors are let into the hall at 10am sharp. Circles are let in early to set up their tables between 7:00-9:30am. Even during that time, the crowd is quite a sight:
Heading inside at 10am, everyone powerwalks (running is strictly prohibited) to their favorite circle’s booth to line up for whatever they were looking to buy. Here’s what I managed to buy:
Let’s break it all down. On Comiket’s 2nd day – known for Touhou Project, Kancolle, etc. – Tatsh was selling a new mini-album he paired up with illustrator MAYA to create: FioRA. It features a new original song, plus long versions of his most recent works from crossbeats and Groove Coaster:
The 3rd day of Comiket is when most of the Bemani-related magic happens. In recent years, it seems that more and more artists are bringing major releases to Comiket, and this time was definitely no exception.
First up, we the stylish circle wavforme‘s Back to Summer, a “Modern 80’s Compilation”
Featured Artists: MK, Kanae Asaba, Nhato, Ujico*, KaSa, Hommarju
If you’re looking for some relaxing Candy-Future-House-Bass-Pop, Lilium Records has you covered with POPOVER+TEATIME 2
Featured Artists: kamome sano, ginkiha, colate
How about something more hardcore and extreme? DJ TECHNORCH’s 999 Records had 完全健康体 available for purchase along with various other albums:
A sequel to last year’s DRILL, 瓶底眼鏡女子同盟 (Binzoko Girls Union) was back with the latest in their Trap/Bass series – メカドリル (MECHA DRILL)!
Featured Artists: DJ Noriken, Nhato, PHQUASE, KaSa, lapix, Ujico*
Right next door to them was BEMANI vocalist Yukacco’s circle Alkanet, with her new compilation album Another Wor1d, featuring various composers and her own vocals.
Featured Artists: lapix, DJ Noriken, Dj Genki, Hommarju
One thing that stood out to me this time around was this neat project that combined art, music, space travel, and sweets all into one fun limited-edition: Delicious Solaris by ラクエスク (RaqesQue)! Take a look at the crossfade video to really get a feel for this.
Guess who’s back? Bemani legend good-cool and Pop’n Music vocalist Atsushi Shindo! They’ve recently formed a new unit, A2COOL, and released their first single under the G-C VIBES label: DESIREEEEEE!!
Right next door was veteran Comiket circle Diverse System. They became famous for Bemani remixes, but have been transitioning to original works recently. There were three major releases on sale this time. First, ULTRA BADASS, a Dubstep/Trap/Bass compilation somewhat similar to DRILL, but with a different style. This is also a sequel to last year’s BADASS.
Featured Artists: DJ Noriken, USAO, KaSa, Hommarju, lapix
Next was their latest themed release, AD:HOUSE 5. This 2-disc special is notable for inclusion of several noteworthy former Bemani stars.
Featured Artists: good-cool, Shoichiro Hirata, Togo Project, Dirty Androids, Sana
And of course, RADIAL, the circle’s ultimate release for its 15th anniversary. Over the past year, this project has released one song each week, but only for that week. 53 songs over the year have been compiled into this huge 5-disc collection.
Featured Artists: 削除 (Sakuzyo), good-cool, xi, Masayoshi Minoshima, DJ TECHNORCH, sasakure.uk, Maozon, Nhato, kors k, Ryu☆, REDALiCE, t+pazolite, onoken, Osamu Kubota & many, many more
Next up, a trio you may recognize – The 4th featuring Mayumi Morinaga! Their booth featured a trio of releases as well. First, The 4th EP2 with two original songs and plenty of remixes.
Featured Artists: kors k, Ryu☆, Mayumi Morinaga, Hommarju, P*Light, DJ Shimamura, KAN TAKAHIKO, Akira Complex
Illustrator MAYA also teamed up with kors k for another sequel, Xenna EP2: Dark One.
The booth space was shared with Ryu* as well, who released his next color: ShiRo – EP
Finally, THE DETONATOR himself, MC Kent also had a new compilation CD on offer, J-CORE CORE!!
Featured Artists: lapix, The 4th, DJ Shimamura, DJ SHARPNEL, m1dy, DJ Genki, Yukacco
At the next booth over, HARDCORE TANO*C, ALiCE’S EMOTION, and SKETCH UP! Rec. were sharing space and had (you guessed it) three new albums available. First, HARDCORE SYNDROME X, an album celebrating the tenth in the SYNDROME series with plenty of well-known artists and interesting collaborations.
Featured Artists: REDALiCE, t+pazolite, 源屋 (Minamotoya), USAO, RoughSketch, DJ Noriken, Noizenecio, P*Light, DJ Genki, DJ Myosuke, Kobaryo, Ryu☆, kors k, Nhato, DJ Shimamura, BlackY, Yooh, lapix, Hommarju, onoken, Camellia
DJ Noriken produced A/LOG:2, a new album as well, with a Hardcore-J-EDM-Bass style and plenty of surprises!
Featured Artists: DJ Noriken, DJ Shimamura, DJ Genki, Hommarju
DJ Genki also surprised everyone by releasing Make Some Toy Box, which can only be described as pure high-energy upbeat toycore+more!
Featured Artists: DJ Genki, Camellia, lapix, Hommarju, t+pazolite, RoughSketch, Kobaryo
At the next table over, pichnopop, Hommarju and P*Light were selling their new UNIVERSECORE dual-album, Double Universe!
Featured Artists: P*Light, Hommarju, Mayumi Morinaga, kors k, Ryu☆, BlackY, Yooh
t+pazolite’s circle C.H.S. (Cutie Headshaking Sounds) next door also had two new releases on tap. First, WE ARE THE BOSS, which is exactly what it sounds like. Difficult, extreme, and hard BOSS SONGS.
Featured Artists: BlackY, 青龍 (Seiryuu/Ryu*), Eagle, Godspeed, Camellia, xi, cosMo@bosouP, ぺのれり (Penoreri)
Next was another hardcore release by t+pazolite, KAKATTEKOYEAH 2!!!!
Featured Artists: P*Light, 削除 (Sakuzyo), RoughSketch, Nanahira, m1dy
Under his newly-rebranded label MEGAREX, relative newcomer to Bemani, lapix, also had a new album available for sale: Ultra Hitech 02
Featured Artists: lapix, kors k, Camellia, t+pazolite, Kobaryo, MK, Hommarju, DJ Noriken, xi
Camellia and Nanahira of Confetto had 4 releases on tap and we managed to grab two. すりーぷ！(3leep!/SLEEP!) was a mix of Camellia and Nanahira, although PHQUASE, P*Light, Nana Takahashi, and moimoi all made appearances as well!
Nanahira also had her own happy-denpa release, Wonder trick
Featured Artists: ARM, Camellia, cosMo@BSP, SAISEN TURN, t+pazolite
Of course, Comic Market isn’t just about music, so many circles also offered various goods for sale as well! One thing that many Comiket visitors will always have a need for is…bags. Buying so many albums and doujinshi books, everyone’s quickly overloaded.
My personal favorite, and one I’ll be bringing to future events, is this awesome “works” bag from Diverse System:
Below, a Nanahira-print totebag was available:
If you purchased Hommarju and P*Light’s Double Universe Limited Edition Set, you got one of these neat double-sided bags as well:
That set also included a special remix disc with two songs, plus this fan:
Take a look more closely at that. Actually, the area in the dotted outline is supposed to be cut out and used as an alternative album artwork jacket. Why is Hommarju holding a Dyson vacuum…? Why is P*Light dressed like THAT…? Buy the album and find out! (Maybe)
The set also came with these wristbands and a secret unannounced song available download code:
Back over at The 4th’s booth, some awesome pin buttons were on sale. MAYA also drew Xenna2 buttons and an IC-card pass-case:
At wavforme’s booth, a cool new Nhato keychain was being sold:
Diverse System also had a RADIAL/AD:HOUSE5 clear file folder available when you purchased all new items:
They also teamed up with Binzokomegane Girls Union to create this ULTRA BADASS/MECHA DRILL folder, available when purchasing either album from either circle:
This year’s Comiket was hotter than ever on the 2nd day, although day 3 brought some relief with scattered clouds and some nice breeze. The heat didn’t stop the crowds, though:
Heading back home, I took one look at the the line to get into either of the nearby train stations and immediately turned around, and went over to the nearby, under-appreciated ferry terminal, grabbed a ticket for just under $4.50, and was on my way after a quick bite to eat.
Comiket’s C91 will be held December 29th (Thursday) ~ 31st (Saturday), 2016 at the Tokyo Big Sight expo center. More info is available here.
See you next time!