Sure, planning what to buy at Summer Comiket is important, but so is planning what/how to wash ahead of time.

Summer Comiket, Japan’s biggest gathering of dojinshi (independently published manga) is coming up in just a few weeks. We always have a fun time at the show ourselves, and to many fans of otaku culture, it’s the closest place in our mortal plane of existence to paradise.

But to your nose, it can be hell on earth.

The miasma of body odor at Comiket can get so bad it actually creates its own air-based localized weather patterns. On the one hand, it’s easy to point fingers at attendees with especially poor hygiene, but with so many people packed into the halls of Comiket venue Tokyo Big Sight, the polite thing to do would be for everyone to be especially committed to proper grooming and pleasant smells, since even mild hygiene deficiencies, when multiplied by the number of people in attendance, can have a catastrophic effect.

Cosplayer Ramune Aoi (@ramune_nanoda on Twitter) recently provided a crash course in hygiene prep for Comiket, which you can distill down to a baker’s half-dozen of key points, so let’s dive right in (and take notes, lest we contribute to the Comiket stank ourselves).

1. “Don’t try to trick people into thinking you took a shower by just putting on extra cologne.”

Adding pleasant fragrances doesn’t erase unpleasant ones. You just end up with a mix that momentarily seems agreeable before essentially slapping your nostrils with sweaty offensiveness (to say nothing of how some colognes and perfumes don’t even smell that nice in and of themselves).

2. “Take a shower in the morning.”

Ramune wants everyone to pay attention to the exact phrasing here, and not confuse it with the often-suggested “Take a shower before you go to Comiket.” That’s because most people in Japan shower at night, before going to bed, and just wash their faces in the morning. While that might be OK for ordinary circumstances, the close-quarters, day-long gathering of fans at Comiket calls for maximizing the freshness of your body’s wash for the time you show up at Big Sight, so get up a few minutes early and shower in the morning on the day of the event.

3. “Wash behind your ears.”

Anime has tons of characters who have hidden potential and secret powers. Don’t let that make you become a real-life source of latent stench and grime by not doing what you mom has probably been telling you to do since you were a little kid.

4. “Use cleansing, anti-oil shampoo.”

Even though we call it “body odor,” part of that nasty funk comes from poorly washed hair, so make sure your shampoo is up to the task.

5. “Don’t try to mask the smell of unwashed clothes with Febreze.”

Basically the same concept as Advice Point #1, just applied to the fabrics you’re putting on your body instead of your body itself.

6. “Don’t just use detergent. Use fabric softener and a laundry fragrance booster too.”

Again, since they’ll be part of the community-created smell that everyone experiences at Comiket, it’s best to make sure your clothing smells extra nice.

7. “Make all of these part of your regular grooming/laundry routine.”

If you’ve been stuck in a poor-hygiene loop for the past few days (or longer), things might have progressed past the point where a single good scrubbing will entirely alleviate the problem. Making these things a standard part of your grooming cycle is the way to go.

That will also make you much less likely to accidentally forget a step in the excitement of your pre-Comiket preparations, which is something everyone can be happy about.

Source: Twitter/@ramune_nanoda
Photos: Ramune Aoi
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where he smells like Sea Breeze Super Cool body soap.

[ Read in Japanese ]