Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Event Report: Comifuro 6

On Saturday, August 22, 2015, I went to Comifuro 6 with my boyfriend. Comifuro, stands for Comic Frontier, is an event that accommodates independent creative circles to market their products. We can also say that Comifuro is one of a few doujinshi market events that are held every once in a while in Jakarta, Indonesia. This is my third time going to Comifuro. Unlike the previous Comifuro, this event already has its own mascot and more solid branding. As the previous one, this event was held at Smesco Exhibition Hall. This venue is informally known for its shaking elevators among its previous visitors. Having experienced a few seconds of terrifying moment in such shaky elevators, we took stairs to go from the parking lot to the venue room. F&B-wise, we had our lunch before going to this event, because there was only one outlet of 7-11 convenience store nearby to replenish our energy. Later I found out that there were a few food booths outside the venue, but there were not so many accommodating seats, so the customers had to sit on the stairs and floor to eat and drink. Therefore, it was still recommended to eat your lunch somewhere else first before going to this event

To be brutally honest, I did not expect much from this event. The last time I went to such doujinshi market was on Cocoon Festival 2015, which was held around May 2015. Cocoon Festival 2015 was dominated by fan merchandises of Japanese browser games such as Touken Ranbu and Kancolle, and sports anime especially Free!, Kuroko no Basuke and Haikyuu!. While I used to play Touken Ranbu, I admit I am not really fond of sports anime. I do not play Kancolle either. Furthermore, while I am cool with LGBTQ, I am not a big fan of shipping fictional characters as homosexual couples. In Cocoon Festival 2015, there were lots of fan merchandises that involved such shippings, and much less ones that portray just individual characters. I had quite big expectation back then, that I allocated quite big budget for the event as well. However, I went home with only a few key chains, a couple of art prints, a doujinshi about Mana (a Gothic Lolita icon), and a lot of sweats because of the small, crowded venue. It was quite disappointing, although relieving for my wallet :p. 

Last weekend’s Comifuro, however, exceeded my expectation greatly. There were a lot more varieties in fandoms and mediums offered in Comifuro 6. While there were still a lot of Touken Ranbu fan works, there were significantly less Kancolle and sports anime ones. Unexpectedly, there were noticeably a lot of circles selling Gangsta. and Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure’s fan works. There were also some fan works of other anime, manga and western series, the ones that are still ongoing and already finished. Besides on the fan work front, there were a few memorable moments that told us how the visitors and participants of this event have grown to enjoy more variety of series. When we entered the venue room, a lot of visitors were singing Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure’s opening theme for the first part. Some participants even recognized the Psycho-Pass kanshikan jacket I was wearing. That was quite a hopeless wish in the previous doujinshi market events we visited in Jakarta, since we assumed that Psycho-Pass and other seinen or more “masculine” anime were not really popular here. Anyway. There were a lot of original works in various forms such as light novels, comics, games and music as well. That was much an exciting event.

Some interesting-looking randos encountered at Comifuro 6.

Medium-wise, the products offered by the participating circles in Comifuro 6 were also more varied compared to the previous events. Previously, there were mostly keychains, phone straps, badges, doujinshis, fanbooks and art prints that mostly involved BL. This time, there were handmade straps, a few tote bags, small pouches, mobile phone cases, mugs, et cetera. There were also squishy keychains or small pillows featuring the artist's drawing.

On booths and stages arrangement front, I am happy to see some improvements. There was more space between booth groups, which allows 3-4 “lanes” of people passing the way without having to bump to each other or even create a “traffic jam”. There were two stages that are noticeably smaller, of which in my opinion is more appropriate than one big noisy stage on the previous Comifuro. One of them was located at the corner of the spacious venue room, and another one outside the venue room but still inside the building. Again, I think the placement of those stages were appropriate, considering that Comifuro is more known for its doujinshi market rather than anime karaoke stage and other creative industry-related stage shows. It is also convenient that the stages on this Comifuro was not placed too near to the circle booths, in contrast to how one big stage was placed directly in front of the furthest booth groups on the previous Comifuro. That made the karaoke did not feel too loud for the visitors. On the previous Comifuro, my ears suffered quite intensely when I came around the booths that were too near to the big stage that were currently holding a very loud karaoke session. It was very noisy. Thankfully, I did not experience that on Comifuro 6.

Anyway, there was also a maid and butler cafe outside the doujinshi market room. I am not a big fan of such thing, so I did not go in it and cannot make any comments on the cafe. There was also a lolita booth outside the doujin market room. Apparently there was a lolita makeup workshop as well, which I did not attend.

I bought quite a lot of stuffs from this event. They were mostly original light novels, art prints and art books. I also bought a few bookmarks, stickers, key chains and badges on mostly Psycho-Pass and Gangsta, and a few ones on Tokyo Ghoul, Durarara!!, Touken Ranbu and Katamari Damacy. I intended to show off my event haul again *laughs*, but I have not gotten any chance to take their photos under daylight setting. I may will update this post later for those photos.

The next events I plan to attend are the Indonesia International Book Fair 2015 on early September, Jakarta Comic Con 2015 on late September, and Indonesia Comic Con 2015 on November. I have been considering to skip this year's AFAID because I kind of losing interest to it, after all those anisong and utaite-oriented marketing campaigns. I will get back on writing about that sometime after I post the Jakarta Comic Con 2015 report, so do look forward to it! 

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