Shitsuji Tora no Ana 4: A Hayate no Gotoku Only Event, 05/06/09

First, let us open with a story told in pictures along with some not-very-witty commentary.

It took me longer than I thought it would to get there. Not too long, but longer than expected. Resulted in me arriving 30 minutes late, but I knew I was running late right as I walked out the door.

There were a few other events in here as well, and one of them happened to be a Touhou event. There were people lined up all around the block. All of the events were rather small, but had enough people so that it wasn’t totally crowded. This Touhou event was the same size as the others, but about 100 times the amount of people wanted to get in.

The beginning of the massive Touhou line. You can’t really assess its size from this photo, though.

After some wandering around the Tokyo Trade Center for about 15 minutes, I finally found my way into the event space.

I would steal Shingo’s old joke about Japanese people having a horrible disease which causes their faces to get blurry whenever photographed, but he’s not around to call me on that.

Not quite Comiket. More like an Otakon artists alley.

Since I arrived late, I missed Bolze’s book. I had only found out that he was going to be in attendance hours prior, so I didn’t really care. He was nice enough to let me photograph his sexy Nagi illustration. Still can’t find his new book in doujin shops, though. I wonder if it was even a new release or just a reprint of old stuff. Since he was sold out, I’m guessing it was a new book but I’m too lazy to check.

I left after about 90 minutes, if I recall correctly, and the Touhou line was still alive and kicking. To make things even better, it had started raining while I was inside. Good thing I brought my umbrella, because when it rains in Japan, it’s always for the whole day, and it’s never, ever a light drizzle. I met up with kransom and penguinman a few moments later, in said horrifying Touhou line. After waiting for them to do their run, we went and acted like nerds in Akiba for a bit.

Here’s an ad for a DVD box only 2000 people bought.

My modest loot pile. I only bought that HinaxHamsterxTrapHayate book because the circle selling it had a free file you could take. I had forgotten my bag, so I needed something to hold my books, but I didn’t just want to take her file without buying anything, so I bought her book after some thought. If anyone wants it I’ll sell it to them for what I bought it for.

And now, some brief impressions.

Golden Week is prime time for otaku events. In fact, in the days prior to this one both Comic 1 and Comitia happened. I didn’t go to those–I didn’t want my first doujin event to be something big and scary. Thusly, I decided to skip those, and instead check out this small “Only”–as they call it in Japan–event for my (somewhat, season 2 is grating on my nerves) beloved Hayate no Gotoku.

The event was as small as I expected it to be. The quality of the books was generally fine, but there was some real homely stuff being sold. The best example was–and I really should have bought it, in retrospect–was this horrible Hinagiku-centric copy-bon. The art was completely done in pencil, and looked as if it was drawn by a third grader. I think it was ero, too. Not sure. The guy was so desperate, yelling “please, take a look” at anyone who passed by. As such, his book was the first I looked at.

There was a line forming for something popular, so I just got in it on a whim. When I was about half-way into the line the big “our new issue is sold out” announcement was made, and everyone dispersed. I really had no idea what it was, but it looked fine from when I caught a quick glance at it earlier.

One thing that’s interesting about an event like this is that you get to the see the faces of people who make the books you buy. Well, that is if they’re not wearing a kaze mask. Whether this is a good or bad thing is up to you. What surprised me is how many not-horrible-looking women were behind some of the booths. Actually, a good number of the people I bought from were women. I’m not sure if they were actually the artists, though. On the same vein, some people I follow on pixiv were there, so it was cool to see what they looked like.

Overall, I had a fine time. It wasn’t the vigorous Comiket experience, but it was still nice in its own, chilled out way. As my first event, I thought it was good, but I really feel like tackling bigger events in the future. However, I think the only real big event coming up next is… Comiket.