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Comiket’s crowds continue to swell, pushing the venue to its limits.

Comiket, short for Comic Market, is the world’s largest amateur comic event, bringing together otaku from all over Japan, and even the world. As well as the exhibitors who manage to fill all the cavernous halls at the huge Tokyo Big Sight exhibition venue are thousands of fans who swoop in to grab limited edition merch, much of which won’t be found anywhere after the event except on Yahoo! Auctions for 10 times the original price. Despite the struggle it takes to fight your way through the crowds to get to the booths you want—something which has caused some to describe Comiket as a veritable battleground—the promise of sweet anime goodness keeps people coming back year after year.

But before we talk about this year’s event, let’s look at the stats for Comiket 88, held in Summer 2015. There were 46,000 applications out of which 35,000 circles (doujinshi creators) were actually able to attend, as well as 127 companies. The event saw 180,000 attendees on Day One, 160,000 attendees on Day Two, and 210,000 attendees on Day Three, making for a grand total of 550,000 attendees over the three-day period. That’s over half a million people.

The numbers have generally been holding steady over the past few years, probably because many people go once and decide that’s enough for their lifetime, but if the crowds were to grow any further one has to worry for the safety of the attendees.

Take a look at the following videos and photos to see the madness that ensued during the last days of 2015 when Comiket 89 ran from December 29 to 31.

▼ The first train of the day arriving at Tōkyō Kokusai Tenjijō Station at 5.44 am.

▼ The station workers ready themselves at their posts. I’m thinking that these guys drew some kind of short straw.

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▼ The first brave soul comes hurtling through the barriers.

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▼ And the floodgates are open.

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▼ The scene below will now persist for most of the day.

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▼ It’s now become somewhat of a spectator sport to hit up the station early to watch and film the infamous “Running of the Nerds“.

https://twitter.com/Charon1023/status/681582230561398784

▼ Comiket volunteers also ready themselves for the long day ahead, a sense of tension in the air.

▼ Those who have made it to the frontlines are coralled towards the Big Sight building.

https://twitter.com/touhounotouen/status/681578142176182272

▼ And it’s not just first thing in the morning; the madness lasts all day long with the event officially running from 10am to 5pm. While the crowds arriving in the morning are a sight to behold, at least they’re staggered, while everyone ends up trying to get home around the same time.

▼ At some point the escalator going down to the platform at Shinkiba Station had to be stopped as the platform had reached capacity.

https://twitter.com/l_lo_3_ol_l/status/681575434870337536

▼ And after an exhausting day at Comiket, your feet aching and your shoulders weighed down with the spoils of war, all you want to do is get on the train and get home. Yeah…good luck with that.

But with the new year, memories of the hell that was Comiket 89 are already fading and it’s time to start planning for the fresh tortures of Comiket 90! Onwards and upwards!

Header Image: @6vmetamon on Twitter
Sources: Jin115 Comiket 1, 2