This is going to be a retrospect post, for myself and maybe for other people who go to this thing the first time. (in the summer, winter is probably way different due to the weather)
Day 1 Comiket:
What's sold today: Random circles, BL, game-based doujin (not actual games), corporate stuff
Beginner level, but still an indication of things to come. Comiket officially opens at 10am, but that time is sort of useless to know. We all came early, at around 8AM, though I forget the exact time we actually reached Big Sight. If you come that late though you don't even wait on the steps leading up to Comiket, rather you are lead around in circles to the sides of the hall next to the ocean on these really hard rocks. Spending hours there was not a pleasant experience in the summer with tons of sweaty people. I failed my first circle here, waiting in line for 40 minutes at Wirehigh (東A61a). Saikoubi is the line end but large large circles will have signs indicating the MIDDLE of the line instead of the end. Unfortunately I failed to learn the biggest lesson, the difference between a wall circle and an outdoor wall circle. So wall circles are everything starting with A, シ in the east 東 and あ and れ in the west 西. You expect a certain length of line for these circles, as their location is based on sales numbers. However, there are certain numbers that are mandatory outside lines: 4, 5, 6, 15, 16 ,17, 28, 29, 44, 45, 60, 61, 72, 73, 74, 83, 84, and 85 for east and 19, 20, 34, 35, 43, 44, 51, 52 in the west. On the first day maybe this isn't that important, but it's very important on day 2 and 3. These are the circles you can expect to wait 30+ minutes or more for, depending on your luck. Day 1 is still really light for most people though, so a lot of people go for Corporate on the first day. Corporate booths are sort of nightmares, though with a pretty guaranteed stock. They are in their own tower in West 3 and 4, and because the space is more limited the line organization is way more insane. You're basically moved in groups of human tetris pieces on the roof in extreme heat. Also I fucked up at Corporate and bought way too much. Corporate pricing is generally 5-6x more expensive than circles, so it is really easy to lose money. Case in point, I didn't have any corporate booths listed period on my list because I felt I didn't need them, I ended up spending like 150 there as opposed to like the 30? I spent for all my circles. One more thing about corporate is that a lot of them can sell each other's brands. Meaning you can get an Aoko t-shirt not at Typemoon and it can be official too. Plus a lot of them have special sets unique to the corporation, so in fact it is highly likely said Aoko t-shirt CAN'T be bought at Type-moon. It's sort of a deceptive system and honestly only if you remember what they all had on their websites beforehand are you going to know exactly where to go. I saw an Anzu bag from Exorcist, decided I wanted it and then ended up waiting 1.5 hours for it, and at the counter I was like that was way too much time for a 1000yen bag and just bought a random S;G Chris tapestry and an Aoko set to go along with it. On the flipside, Tenco's line was EXTREMELY short, to the point that I froze when I reached the counter because I had all of 3 seconds to think. Ended up buying the towel/tapestry and artbook (which I totally didn't need or want!) before rethinking, regetting into the line (3 seconds) and buying the C82 set as well. So now I've got a Tenco artbook I need to sell I guess.
Day 2 Comiket:
What's sold today: More BL, Touhou, Doujin games and music
We came around the same time as Day 1 but the line to get in was even longer. Waited on the lovely rocks by the shipyards in no man's land again. To be honest my initial list for this day was pretty weak because even with the status of "Touhou fag" in the group I've never really cared too much for Touhou doujins. I really should have looked for more clean Touhou stuff in the catalog to buy. I got some additions when I started seriously looking at the games though. A couple major regrets/losses for this day. The first is that I took no time to browse character sections (such as Patchouli) as I was going in a preset order. The second is I totally did not use the color-coded priorities properly for Day 2 (and Day 3). Meaning I had very little idea what a lot of the things on my list were without pictures and when they were all set to "neutral" priority. I really should have gone over the list more thoroughly and put more items at higher priority status. The third was not going to West early. The general format of "start in the East, go to West," sort of doesn't apply to Day 2, especially in regards to doujin games. Because CDs/DVDs etc. are way heavier than books, the vendors often carry less stock, and they are overwhelmingly in the West Hall. Since most of my list was games and not books, I really should have started there. Ghost92, Edelweiss's Astebreed, Revoler 360, OJ's QP shooting, Diverse System's new music release, Lion Heart's Tenshi platformer, etc. etc., these were all gone. I went to Tasofro's no line booth and...actually turned around without buying anything lol. OHBA once again fucking trolled me when I asked about the difference between the two disks (one is an expansion), he was sold out of the original. Whatever it's OHBA, the people who gave me a youtube strike and refused to remove it for a year. I got that weird shooting RPG game from eikyuu loop, Suwako 3D shooting just for a troll, Genso no Ronde (I haven't installed it yet, I'm hearing it is bad unfortunately.) Since QP2 was sold out I bought AOS2 just for support's sake. Because of a friend I randomly bought Lethal Crisis and Lethal Crisis Proto Sphere as well. Got Hachimitsu's Touhou defense game, and Snowgale's Valkyrie Profile clone as well. Remilia game from Youmu Ys people was a 100 yen demo, so just got that for whatever's sake. My first real line for the day was Angeltype, which went smoothly enough, but I was wondering what the fuck the line next to it was as it was 4 people wide and like 4 times as long. Kept wondering until I finally reached the table, looked left and saw Zun and his wife with a Shanghai Alice banner. Oh. The other high priorities I had marked were the OTHER gaijin circle (after woof) named Medical Whiskey that no less than 3 internet denizens recommended to me ("I KNOW A GUY THERE" from all three), but they were out of their erohon, and desu no, to say Hi to him for mauve. I felt sort of awkward since I have played very little of his games and his newest release was a fandisk for his previous games...so I bought like one of the random games there. He gave me four? free fandisks though for being mauve's friend so that was cool. Day 2 is also the first day I experienced "I'm not here trolls." Simodoriru's space was COMPLETELY EMPTY except for the green circle registration card that's usually there when the hall opens for participants, I took a picture out of bewilderment. PlatineDispositif showed up with NONE OF THEIR GAMES, not even old ones. I'm sortta irked at that kind of thing, because I'm pretty aware that other people get their applications rejected by Comiket quite frequently. To show up (or not show up) and bring nothing is sort of ass. The high percentage of misses on this day forced me to reconsider my strategy for day 3, and we got back very late as well because of the 2v2 Game Rhino tournament...so I was not feeling good about my chances. The group had discussions about how early they wanted to go for tomorrow, and I think they agreed on something like wake up at 5AM leave at 6am...but I wasn't sure if we could pull that off with how tired we were.
Day 3 Comiket:
What's sold today: Everything else, everyone famous, mainly ero.
I woke up at 4:30am or so, realized everyone else was dead, and left alone on a mission. Grabbing two maps, I went to withdraw 50k yen first, and then straight to Asakusa station. It was really obvious even this early in the morning that a lot of people were going early to line up for day 3 as well, I reached Big Sight around 6am this time and actually got to line up in the front area (that walks up the huge steps to Comiket) instead of being shuffled off to shipyard rock land. Reminded of yesterday, I knew that it was foolish to expect multiple outdoor wall circles. My priorities were rearranged as 1. Oyari and the few things in his hall section -> 2. Straight to West for S.E.C. and everything there 3. return to East. Even coming super early and getting into the hall at 10:10, Oyari sold out of clearfiles right before I reached the table. I was able to buy 3 copies of his newest IMAS book however, so good enough. Cleaned up that hall section, then went straight to West and got S.E.C. (who wasn't an outdoor wall, just a normal wall). West more or less went smoothly (Harada was there as well), and I returned to East pretty early. From there I made the same mistake as yesterday without seriously redoing my color coding, as such I went by section of the halls one by one instead of jumping around to highest priority. As I was alone this time (because I felt the others would wake up too late for what I really wanted) I couldn't afford to just tackle entire areas by myself, even close together, I took a lot of time going through them. I made out pretty well though, save for obvious omissions on certain outdoor walls. This is where I learned there is a further distinction among outdoor wall circles as well. I went to nisemidi's line pretty late in the day, only to find that it didn't exist. Since I was there I hopped into bolze's line next to him, got his stuff, then just hopped into the 1 second line that was nisemidi's and got his as well. Not bad for two outer wall circles. Cut a Dash had TONs of stock left as well late in the day, but by then I had actually burned through a lot of my 50k yen and had to make choices. Since a lot of the outer wall circles also know they charge a premium, 1ks add up way faster than 500s, and sets and stuff at 3k add up even faster. Tony of course was sacrificed the second I decided I wanted Oyari, and regrettably Digital Lover and Udonya as well. When I finally reached their booths both tables were cleaned and it was just Digital Lover signing autographs (probably because she's cute.) SAZ still had stuff left, Blade was out, as was F4, Clesta, and ponkotsu works. American Kenpou I got rather early, and I didn't really try hard for CCC. Oh right and before I forget, hounori showed up with nothing but a little white card saying SORRY I COULDN'T MAKE ANYTHING IN TIME FOR COMIKET. :V All in all though day 3 probably went the best it could have been with me being solo, I was actually running out of money before circles.
"Day 4 Comiket:"
Super herpaderp here. A TON of people resell their shit at Toranoana and Melonbooks the day after Comiket. Unfortunately knowing what is sold is sort of a crapshoot, and there are some rather obvious omissions. I was able to find Diverse Systems music here, but Revolver 360, Tenshi platformer, and Astebreed were no where to be found. In terms of doujins, a lot of super wall circles actually release here as well, but coincidentally most of the one that were selling I actually bought already at Comiket. Knowing if someone is reselling at Toranoana sort of depends on how much the person updates their website.