On August 2, the Comic Market Preparatory Meeting announced that the world’s largest doujinshi fair, Comiket 99, which had been postponed, will be held at Tokyo Big Sight (East, West, and South Exhibition Building) from December 30 to 31, 2021 as a new schedule.
The Committee informed that with the confirmation of the effectiveness of vaccines and their steady availability, it was the right decision to bring Comiket back this year. Also the fact that other doujin events from May 2021 onwards were ongoing without issues – though this was before the Delta strain – that Comiket 99 can go ahead in December.
The staff stated regarding the announcement:
While there still is a high degree of uncertainty, with infections again on the rise, we are today announcing our plans for Comic Market 99 in 2021 Winter, given the necessary time for preparations such as application by circles, looking at the effects of vaccination, and the increase in cases in recent weeks, we are trying to predict the situation a few months into the future. Therefore, we can’t deny the possibility of another postponing, in case that vaccination does not sufficiently improve the situation by the end of the year. However, if we don’t plan and start with preparations now, there will certainly be no Comic Market.
This will be the first Comiket since December 2019, with all the others either canceled or postponed due to government regulation at the time as cases steeped. However, in the report on the Comiket website, the committee mentioned the event may still find limitations and face postponement again in the case of COVID going out of control.
Additionally, instead of a 200,000-participant-per-day event as in previous years, the event will likely restrict participation to several tens of thousands of people per day. At this time, Tokyo is reporting record cases, with Japan as a whole reporting record cases as well, mostly due to the new Delta strain, with vaccines currently in short supply, leaving the younger generations, who are the prime demographic of Comiket, without protections in a State of Emergency that so far doesn’t seem to be working.
International circles and attendees may be out of luck for now, due to government restrictions, however, for those domestically, the staff will probably implement a lottery system for passes to purchase in advance. The committee has also noted that if the government expands a State of Emergency close or during Comiket 99, the organization may not be able to refund the circles.
The Comiket 98 event that was planned to take place from May 2-5, 2020 was canceled to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The event was planned for May 2020 instead of the normal August timeframe due to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics’ original schedule in July-August 2020.
The last in-person Comic Market event was Comic Market 97 in December 2019, which attracted a record 750,000 attendees across four days.