The event lands in Japan! The world's largest pop culture event Tokyo Comic Convention was held at Makuhari Messe International Exhibition Center for three days in 2016 on December 2 (Fri), 3 (Sat), and 4 (Sun).
In addition to an array of props and precious items that were actually used in epic Hollywood films, the halls of the event are replete with booths where figures and American comic goods can be purchased. And this time, there was a food area that appealed to culinary senses with Japanese-style that made comic fans lick their chops. Further on the hall stage there were on-stage events by glam Hollywood stars, cosplay contests, fashion shows, and others that took place.
And Mr. Stan Lee (94), the legend of the American comic community and the original creator of numerous super hero comics, came to Japan as Tokyo Comic Con’s honorary goodwill ambassador!
As Stan Lee looked across and surveyed the scene he spoke very highly of it stating, "The quality is second to none and cannot even be compared to Comic Con in the U.S.”. The Tokyo Comic Convention 2016 attracted 32,010 comic con fans exceeding original estimates in a venue that was brimming with enthusiasm and closed out a stunning success.
The vehicles that are a favorite of blockbuster Hollywood movies to the invaluable items used in the actual filming of them made the exhibition an irresistible experience for movie fans. For starters once you pass through the entrance gate the "DeLorean" time machine of the "BACK TO THE FUTURE" movie series and the dream car "Knight 2000" of the US drama "KNIGHT RIDER" are there to welcome visitors!
Also, exhibited in the center of the venue was the “Batsuit” worn by Christian Bale who played Bruce Wayne (Batman) in Batman "The Dark Knight Rises" and the actual "Terminator T - 800" Android used in the filming of the “Terminator” movies series.
In addition, you can behold rarely seen items like the arm of the Android TX that appeared in "Terminator 3", the electric car and Wonka Chocolates Bars from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” or the dishes that were used in the filming of Titanic amongst other memorabilia that add to the excitement that is Comic Con.
Starting with the author of superhero comics and the legend of the American comic world Stan Lee, the event featured a distinguished and stunning line up of talk show guests including our very own Japanese producer and composer Shunichi Tokura who officiated as general supervisor. Also, the Pink Babies idol group, the official successors to the Pink Lady duo, lit up the crowd when they took the stage for a moving special live performance. Further, the simulation drift game "Fearless D" was introduced with its new sense of real G’s produced by VR sound and a public relations event was held for the movie "Resident Evil: The Final Chapter". In addition, there was an admission-fee preview screening of “GEHENNA Where Death Lives” the horror movie nominated at each national film festival and an on-stage greeting event by its director Hiroshi Katagiri and the cast including Lance Henriksen who made a cameo appearance in the film.
One of the attractions of comic cons are the Hollywood stars that make guest appearances. At the 1st Tokyo Comic Con, many stars held autograph and photograph sessions which captured the gaze of comic con fans. Here is a list of some of them below.
● Stan Lee / The living legend of the American comic community. The father of the super hero.
● Jeremy Renner / Academy Award Nominated Actor. Movie: 'Avengers' series, role: Hawkeye.
● Matthew Lewis / Movie: "Harry Potter", role: Neville Longbottom.
● Billy Boyd / Movie: "Lord of the Rings", role: Pippin.
Over the 3-day period approximately 8,700 fans in total participated in the autograph and photo sessions making for an area that was teeming with people nonstop. Some fans even cried when they met their admired idols. Likewise, the stars also totally enjoyed interacting with their fans.
At the convention companies and organizations exhibited a wide array of entertainment genres and technologies including movies, games, and American comics. In addition, individual exhibitions by popular American comic authors on "Artist Alley" resulted in a total of 108 booths. There are booths where beautiful companion models dressed as American comic characters will come over to greet you, you can experience the latest VR games, there are precious figures are on display as well as the actual costumes used in hit movies for planned screenings and so much more was there to be experienced. All manner of things entertainment was gathered together here in one place! Also, representing Japanese space technology, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) had an exhibition booth with goods for sale including food for space flight and a replica of the "Hayabusa" Asteroid Explorer / Return Capsule on display.
One of the pastimes featured at entertainment festival Comic Con is cosplay! Comic Con’s held around the world attract cosplaying participants from all over the planet. Visitors cosplaying as American celebrities and Hollywood movie stars reveled at the first Tokyo Comic Con! Further, there was a cosplay fashion show and contest where members of the audience were recruited to come up on stage. The theme of the cosplay fashion show was “American Comics, Hollywood, Overseas Dramas, Games” and attracted a community of high level cosplayers. The contest was a collaboration commemorating the release of the movie "Resident Evil: The Final Chapter" and an on-stage performance by a cosplayer dressed as a monster character of the "Resident Evil" series that was overwhelming.
Being able to fully enjoy Japan’s proud “food” culture is an allure of Tokyo Comic Con. And at the very first Comic Con we served up food that can only be found in Japan. A highlight of this was the Chanko-nabe at the “Sumo Chaya Terao” booth. The restaurant is a multi-generation establishment in Tokyo’s Ryogoku. Here you could enjoy the subtle (sweet soy sauce taste) flavor of a soup that brought out the taste of the ingredients used in it! In addition, Tokyo Comic Com is sponsored by Shizuoka prefecture’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries which determines the top seafood gourmet in Japan at the spectacular "4th Fish-1 Grand Prix" (held November 2016). As a result, you could delight in regional Japanese local delicacies including "Ito Nuggets" made from minced mackerel produced in Ito, Shizuoka, a dish that shined in the Fast Fish category at the Grand Prix. In addition, one could also enjoy "Izumo soba" from the “city of marriage” Izumo, the soul food of Matsuyama City in Ehime prefecture, "Mitsuhamayaki" in addition to a selection of many other items.