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Coronavirus Concerns Cause Comiket Cancellation
By Yung Namahage • 2 months ago • 8 comments

Fuck me, the news really is just one depressing thing after another these days. I'm based in the UK, and since Monday the government has put the whole country on lockdown. Stores, restaurants, and other businesses have closed while armed police walk around ready to slap a fine on anyone outside without a good reason. Not that I mind that much myself, like any good weeb ya boi hardly leaves the house anyway. But you have to spare a thought for people that need to work to survive or see their loved ones. 

Festivals, concerts and other events I've been looking forward to are getting postponed left, right and center. And this isn't just a local issue; every country is dealing with their own coronavirus-related problems. Even the Mecca of otalu culture has been hit with the corona curse. 

Since 1975, Tokyo's Big Sight convention center has hosted Comic Market, better known as Comiket, a huge bi-annual gathering of doujin artists, cosplayers and anime fans alike. Its 98th installment was moved forward to May instead of its usual August date to avoid clashing with the now postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympics. But the official Comiket website recently issued a statement announcing that the event has been cancelled:

“Since March 15, we have been carefully monitoring announcements from all involved parties, including the national and Tokyo municipal governments while still examining the possibility of holding Comiket. However, with the extension and strengthening of government requests to refrain from holding large-scale events, we are unable to estimate when it will be safe to do so. With barely more than a month remaining before opening day, and taking into consideration the spread of new-type coronavirus within Japan and reports such as those from the government’s committee on new-type coronavirus countermeasures, we have arrived at our decision [to cancel Comiket].”

This is the first time since the inception of Comiket that an event was cancelled, but ultimately, it was probably for the best. Last December's event reportedly had 750,000 attendees from across the globe, and that many people mixing together in a single location while there's a dangerous and highly transmittable disease going around could spell disaster.

Reinstating Comiket 98 to its original August date is off the table according to the organizers as we have no idea how long the pandemic will last. Even Comiket 99, which is scheduled for late December this year, may be affected while the organizers consider altering the date or even the venue depending on the coronavirus situation. Whatever the case, I'm sure the next Comiket is bound to be the biggest and best yet. All these lockdowns and quarantines and general misery regarding coronavirus are bound to teach people not to take life for granted once this is all over.

What do you guys make of this? How have you been dealing with the corona curse? What are you plans for when (or if) things return to normal? Sound off below!