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If you’re the outdoors type or athletically minded, summer might bring to mind trips to the beach or ballpark. But for anime and manga fans, summer means heading to Comic Market, also known as Comiket.

The country’s largest dojinshi (independently produced comics) convention will run from August 14 to 16 at Tokyo’s Big Sight. And while fun and passion are what draw the half-million-plus attendees, with so many people in one place it’s important for everyone to follow some basic rules of conduct, as explained in this English-subtitled video titled How to Survive Comic Market that follows one foreign otaku on his trek to the dojinshi paradise.

Japan has sort of a weird thing about providing translations on public service announcements about etiquette, as you’ll often see English text on posters about subway manners and before the start of movies in theaters (even when the feature is entirely in Japanese without any English subtitles). Nevertheless, Comiket has been attracting foreign attendees in increasing numbers, so it’s not entirely strange that How to Survive Comic Market has captions to help clue in viewers who don’t speak Japanese.

As the video starts, presenter Moe Tsurumi informs us that Comiket isn’t a free-for-all arena where anything goes in your quest to grab as much anime merch as you can.

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On the contrary, she assures us that Comiket is “one of the most severe event[s] on the earth,” but then goes on to remind us that it’s also a “very attractive place.” In order to reconcile those two seemingly opposite ideas, she explains it’s important to follow some basic guidelines about how to behave at the convention.

We’re then introduced to our protagonist, Visitor.

▼ Seen here following the otaku dress code of a checked button-up shirt, jeans, backpack, glasses, headband, and a shiny layer of sweat.

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Some of the rules, such as not driving to Comic Market (because parking can be hard to find near the venue) and not camping out on the street the night before the doors open probably weren’t part of most foreign attendees’ plans to begin with. The video also reminds guests to drink plenty of fluids, lest they suffer from dehydration and heat stroke, always concerns in the sweltering Japanese summer.

▼ Don’t end up like this otaku!

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It’s also important to listen to the instructions of the staff members running crowd control, and to honor their standing request to not run. While Big Sight is not equipped with death rays (contrary to the video’s dramatization), sprinting to get to the next booth you want to check out can result in collisions and serious injuries.

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And while a cosplay safari is half the fun of a day at Comiket…

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…it’s considered good form to ask permission before snapping away with your camera, and upskirt shots are summarily prohibited.

▼ Again, death rays

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Other tips include taking over holding the placard marking the end of a line as you join it and using small bills or exact change whenever possible in paying for purchases. The English subtitles also command attendees “When you buy, say quantities clear and loud…”

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…but oddly enough, doesn’t seem interested in teaching viewers how to actually do that in Japanese. Because of that oversight, here’s a crash course in buying artwork (and if you’re a generous enough customer to buy more than three copies of an item, we think the seller will be more than happy enough even if you just hold up fingers to communicate how many you want).

● kore: this
ichimai: one
nimai: two
sanmai: three
zutsu: each

Primarily, though, the video wants visitors to remember to take care of their bodies during Comiket, and its producer, the in Jelly brand of nutritional supplement drinks, wants to be of help in that regard.

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The video wraps up by proclaiming that it’s ready to help “Comiket warriors heading to the battle field,” and even when the fight is just for anime goodies, it’s good to know that you’ve got an ally.

Source, images: YouTube/Morinaga Seika