Is Tokyo Comic Con Worth The Visit?A 2019 Recap

Sorry friends, it has been a while since I updated the site. I’ve been away and laziness has taken a toll on the blog. I was in Japan previously and since being gutted for missing the Open Registration for San Diego’s Comic Con, I attended Tokyo’s Comic Con!

(You can skip right to the bottom for some toys and my take of the event)

Tokyo Comic Con usually takes place during late November for an entire weekend from Friday to Sunday and covers a wide range of entertainment, services and products.

This major event for Tokyo boasts international comic artists, Hollywood celebrities, big entertainment brands, manga publishers, major movie studios, toy companies, indie toy creators to the crowd gathering event which happens at the Markuhari Messe Event Hall in Chiba (about 42 minutes ride from Tokyo Main Station).

Advance tickets for single day are sold at 3200-3500 yen while 3-day ones are sold at 7500 yen.

On-site tickets for single day are sold at 3500-3800 yen.

They also provide discount for the younger crowd at 2200 yen for advance tickets and 2500 yen for on-site.

I tend to find that their focus are on their feature of celebrities, toys and movie exhibits.

It's my second time attending this year and both years have seen Marvel and several really good celebrities visiting like Tom Hiddleston, Ezra Miller, Chris Hemsworth, and Orlando Bloom.

Sponsoring the event were Marvel, Star Wars, INSTICTOYS, Tsutaya, Sony, Hot Toys, Just Toys and several other Japanese companies - so it was inevitable these big names have their own big space showcasing their all products and recent releases.

It is hard to pin down a specific category for vendors as they vary widely. Bigger vendors this year were toy creators Unbox Industries, Kotobukiya, and Bandai. There was also a My Hero Academia booth teasing the upcoming Heroes Rising movie!

Smaller private booths included indie comic creators, toy makers, re-sellers and collectors and even their local comic store Blister Comics. I was able to find sofubi, vinyl toys along with plenty of movie memorabilia and anime collectibles around.

You can spot the full booth list here:

This year had the usual Marvel exhibition space - where 1:1 scale Marvel character statues were displayed before entering their sales section. Marvel seem to make a big deal out of Tokyo Comic Con probably due to the strong support they get from the amazing audience in Japan.

Queue to enter their merchandise square

The event also included the cult classic of Keanu Reeve's Speed bus exhibit which felt a little out of place among other DC, Star Wars and Terminator's movie replicas.

There were several hiccups with their celebrity signings before the actual day where some celebrities were cancelled due to their shooting schedule - at least according to them. But most of them were able to make it and they were big boys from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Chris Hemsworth, Zachary Levi, Rupert Grint, Ian Somerhalder, Jude Law, Mark Ruffalo and Orlando Bloom attended the con and you can get an exclusive signing signing and/or photo-taking session if you're willing to pay a hefty $200-300 sum.

Although they call it the Comic Con, the limelight on comics probably weren't the best. Which might not be a bad thing because that means you get to meet your artists up close without really crazy queues. You'd be surprise because they have really good artists. Several of my favourite artists that I've met or were there these two years included David Mack, Artgerm, Kunkka, Adi Granov, Mark Brooks, Matteo Scalera, Peach MoMoKo, Derrick Chew, Carlo Pugulayan, Andrew Griffith and more.

They also included lots of Stage Events with performers and giveaways - but the drawback is that it's in Japanese so I didn't pay much attention to it.

Main Stage of the event

We all know how Japan is known for their cosplay and incredible costumes. So without fail, the event is exceptionally cosplay friendly with lines and tents specially catered for people to change into their costumes.

You can sort of sum up Tokyo Comic Con as a platform where they bring "Hollywood" into Japan for the Japanese.

So what's good?

What I got away from this convention was that it is really a good step and platform for the Japan community to get together and enjoy the geeky stuffs. It's also a stage for many indie artists to share their creations and ideas.

Many a times I find awesome toy creators or comic artists during the event and they're usually free for a chat! So it's a nice place for you to hit up local artists or international comic creators more intimately.

Matteo Scalera sprinkling his talent onto my Cosmic Ghost Rider

And celebrities? If you're in to photo-taking and signings, this is a good place to meet your favorite film personalities.

Tickets are also not too expensive compared to bigger conventions.

What's bad?

All things aren't perfect and for the Tokyo Comic Con - I do find several things that I do not really enjoy about they could improve.

TCC is not the most international friendly convention because their main audience are the Japanese. Most of their advertisement, websites, stage performances are catered to their local crowd. Thus, it's not a surprise I find it difficult at times understanding certain instructions or feel completely left out. This is not a big problem for me at all, but I feel I could at least let everyone know.

The convention itself is a little small and you probably don't need 3 days to be honest. I could finish most booths within half a day if I exclude queues for signing or exclusives.

Although they call it a Comic Con, other than Comic Artists, there weren't much display or booths selling/showcasing comics at all.

Artist Alley gathers all the comic artists into one area

One of the problem that irks me the most is the way they disseminate information. I felt like there was nothing being released earlier to the crowd regarding queues, booths, or anything related to the convention really.

They do release videos about the convention but they were in Japanese and I'm not certain if they do talk about those things in them.

Several reasons why I felt that way:

1. I had no idea who's going to be there weeks before the event.

2. They have really poor updates or communication on their website and social media platforms.

3. I queued over 40 minutes to find out I was in the wrong line - nobody were there to communicate to me the information. They likely did it in Japanese to everyone and I didn't understand.

As much as these sound like complaints, I really do enjoy the convention and just hope they could do just slightly better to support non-Japanese fans.

Should you attend Tokyo Comic Con? (Conclusion)

If you happen to be in Tokyo or Japan, I think it's an absolute yes because there are many things to be enjoyed as a fan and a geek. You may find great signings, meet celebrities, check out some cool displays and get your hands on some exclusives even.

Tribute to Stan Lee

But if you intend to get a plane ticket from the USA, Singapore or what not - I would think it's not worth the flight unless your favorite celebrity is doing a signing, meet and greet which you find worth your time and money.

I hope this article has helped you in a way to know more about Tokyo Comic Con. If in any way I am misinformed about anything, please do let me know and I will make the changes required!

Check out some of the pictures of the toys below:

Thank you!



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