Comiket, Japan’s largest doujinshi publishing market and anime convention has decided to cancel its 98th event due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Traditionally held twice a year at the Tokyo International Exhibition Center (Tokyo Big sight), Comiket is ground zero for new fanworks such as hentai doujinshi, derivative video games (doujin soft), and other original works.
The cancellation of Comiket 98 will be the first time in Comiket’s 45 year history that the event has ever been cancelled. With only a little over a month before the event was planned, Comiket organizers apologized and explained their reasoning for the cancellation in an official announcement on their website.
“Comic Market 98 (held from May 2nd to 5th at Tokyo Big Sight) will be closed from the perspective of preventing the spread of new coronavirus infection (COVID-19).
Since the announcement on the comic market official website on March 15 ( https://www.comiket.co.jp/info-a/C98/C98Covid19Notice1.html ), we have been closely watching announcements from the government, Tokyo, and other related areas. And we continued examination for holding. However, as the government and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government are trying to cut off a month before holding the comic market without the prospect of restarting the large-scale event due to strengthening and extending self-restraint requests for large-scale events, etc., the new coronavirus in Japan Recommendations from the expert meeting of the New Coronavirus Control Headquarters based on the spread of infectious diseases ( https://www.mhlw.go.jp/content/10900000/000610566.pdf ) (March 19, 2020) Comprehensive considerations have led to this conclusion.
As mentioned in the previous announcement, the comic market is based on the idea that “it is a” place “to expand the possibilities of expression for the purpose of accepting and continuing all creators, mainly doujinshi.” ( Https://www.comiket.co.jp/info-c/C86/C86comiketmanual.pdf ) It is a difficult decision to cancel the event.”
(Translation: Google Translate)
Comiket will be offering refunds for vendors who have already paid for parking and lottery allotted positions in the event hall.
The Comiket 98 catalog will still be sold as printing and binding has already begun, would-be attendees and fans are asked to purchase the catalog in spite of the event cancellation, to show their support for the event.
This includes the postponement of GDC, and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, along with the cancellation of E3 2020. At this time, Gamescom 2020 is still being prepared, with organizers monitoring local regulations and the virus’ spread.
The Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering are mapping the virus’ spread [1, 2]. As of this time of writing, there have been almost 586,000 confirmed cases worldwide, and over 26,800 deaths. Over 131,000 people have made a “total recovery.”