Held for the first time in 2016, "Tokyo Comic Con" - an annual festival of Japanese and American pop culture - has aroused great excitement every year. This year, the fourth was held at Makuhari Messe from November 22nd to 24th. There were a lot of Japanese comic fans who came on the first day despite the bad weather. Let's look back on the first day of this event where many Hollywood actors who played heroes in popular movies attended.
Although it was cold and raining heavily during the weekdays, a long queue was formed by eager fans waiting for the opening of "Tokyo Comic Con". The opening ceremony started with Misato Ugaki, an announcer and the director of public relations at the Tokyo Comic Con.
Following the greetings by Executive Committee Chairman Mitsuaki Chugumi and Honorary Special Advisor Shintaro Ito, Tokyo Comic Con Ambassador Tadanobu Asano, who was shooting the Hollywood version of “Mortal Kombat” in Australia, appeared on the stage with fans' exciting screams!
"Finally! I was looking forward to this day! I just landed in Tokyo this morning. I was shooting the Hollywood version of “Mortal Kombat” in Australia, but I came back because this is absolutely not to be missed (Tokyo Comic Con)! There are already a lot of unbelievably amazing guests in the back (backstage), so let's make some more noise!!"
After a passionate declaration "How are you guys, are you ready? Let's make memories together with Tokyo Comic Con! ", Hollywood actors who have played unique characters and heroes in many cinematic hits finally appeared on the stage.
Daniel Logan, who seems to be a frequent visitor at the Tokyo Comic Con, brought his son along. "Hello, everyone! Hi Tokyo Comic Con! How're you doing?" - he said in Japanese. The stage is surrounded by cheers of the fans. "Tadaima"(I'm back) -said Daniel. The audience responded with "Okaeri" (Welcome home) then he said "Thank you very much" in Japanese again.
Rupert Grint appeared in a long black coat with a dinosaur sweater and a dignified appearance, like Ron's appearance.
“Konichiwa (Hello)! I’m really excited. I’ll see you soon!”
Ian Somerhalder blew a kiss to the audiences while heading to the center of the stage that caused wild cheering among the fangirls in the venue! "Konnichiwa (Hello) Tokyo Comic Con. I'm loved and supported so much by Japanese fans so I want to express my appreciation for you today"
Next came Zachary Levi. "Hello, Japan! Thank you for warmly welcoming me and other actors. This is my second visit to Japan, it's already been my favorite country in the world. I'm so excited."
He walked on the stage and talked and did some overaction to make audiences laugh. In the end, he pointed to an interpreter and hilariously asked: “What he say?”
Audience cheered loudly with the appearance of Jude Law, a veteran star who was wearing a black suit, bringing a sexy look to the stage.
"I came to Japan 15 years ago, but this is the first time I visited this wonderful country just for Comic Con. Thank you for having me today."
A thrill of wild cheering came from the audience seats and around the stage, with the appearance of Thundergod Thor, Chris Hemsworth.
"This is the first time I came to Tokyo Comic Con but I'm so happy to be warmly welcomed by you guys. Japanese people are always welcoming and I really love to come. Thank you"
A Kagami biraki ceremony (Japanese traditional ceremony where they stood together, open a Kagami mochi or a cask of sake) was held to pray for the success of the Tokyo Comic Con. In the barrel on the left side of the stage, there is a full line-up of Chris Hemsworth, Zachary Levi, and Tadanobu Asano. The venue was bustling with fan reciprocation services, such as Chris used Mjornia, the weapon of Thor on Kagami Biraki.
"That's amazing as expected. I felt like a hero just by being there together. Wasn’t it great?"- said Tadanobu Asano when asked for a comment after the ceremony closed. As for being with Chris and Zachary who co-starred in “Thor” in the Kagami biraki ceremony, “I remembered them from when the movies were filmed. They all grew up much more since we last met. Super cool! I hope we can work together again." He answered with enthusiasm.
In the end, Honorary Executive Committee Chairman Akiko Santo, who was late for the National Diet, appeared on stage. She talked about expectations "Tokyo Comic Con will get more and more exciting each year", the opening ceremony ended successfully with great enthusiasm.
As the final series “Star Wars /The Rise Of Skywalker” is coming soon, many Star Wars-related exhibits and merchandises are showcased.
There were interactive contents where you could see the inside of the Millennium Falcon and the X-Wing cockpit from a free perspective through exhibitions using posters from successive series and a spherical screen. Many exhibitions, such as “Star Wars in 5 minutes”, which summarized the flow of the series so far, attracted the attention of many fans.
The world's largest exhibition “STAR WARS Identities”, where you can fully enjoy the world of Star Wars, is being held at Terada Warehouse in Tennozu Isle until January 13rd, 2020. Anyone who couldn't go to the Tokyo Comic Con may be able to immerse and enjoy themself in the world of Star Wars.
Main exhibition pieces include logos of the successive series and the main visuals. You could feel the atmosphere of the world of Star Wars just by watching its history, which has continued throughout the years along with the progression of cinematic entertainment around the world.
The actual Droids and Sith trooper used in the film were also on display. The full, complete gunmetal Captain Phasma was really cool.
INTO THE GALAXY set in the front of the booth offers various objects that guests can touch. Because of the smoothly moving viewpoint, the cockpit of Millennium Falcon could be viewed from any angles.
Although it is summarized comically, you might cry again watching the pitiable, wretched life of Anakin/Darth Vader (Understand Star Wars within 5 minutes).
Various Star Wars official merchandise are available in the Pop-up Shops.
The monument decorated with flowers was set in the center of the site, in rememberance of Stan Lee, who was an iconic existence in the American comic field and the honorary ambassador of Tokyo Comic Con before passing away last year.
Knight 2000 in Delorean, T800&motocycle of John Connor in Terminator 2 and the bus in Speed, most of the used automobiles and props in actual filming were showcased this year as well. An endless stream of visitors filled the venue to have a close-up look of these masterpieces created for the classic films.
The increasingly popular Marvel exhibitions were displayed around the venue. Life-sized Avengers with great verisimilitude gathered in the Hottoys where high-quality action figures were showcased.
The Marvel merchandise were also highly favored in the Pop-up Store. The enterprise merchandise from the Stark Industry of Ironman/Tony Stark attracted much attention.
Widely anticipated DC film "Birds of Prey" and surprisingly popular "IT" from Warner Brothers are displayed in the front, which was a big hit. High-quality cosplayers also gained popularity.
In Sony Pictures, an exhibition showing the history of Columbia Pictures for the 95th anniversary will be held. In the center of it, we can see the projection of the famous "Columbia Lady" mascot appearing in the opening of all their movies, in the projection, you may find her cutting down zombies and trying on the sunglasses from Men in Black, enjoying a playful time.
Photo service with Venom and Spiderman was a big success. Will they cooperate in the movie of Sony Pictures?
There is the photo booth showing the famous scene in The Shining in the collaboration booth of Skyperfecttv showcasing their overseas drama and movie channels.
The Souvenir photo booth area with special guests from overseas formed endless long lines and was always crowded throughout the exhibition period.
ARTIST ARRAY, where you can purchase the works of artists of Marvel and DC, and even commission for paintings directly, was a big success this year as well. In addition to Zeng, who participated in web design as an illustrator and now lives in London, Gurihiru, a Japanese artist who participated in the work of「Gwen Poole」from Marvel Comic, Kia Asamia, known for SILENT MÖBIUS, My Favorite Carrera, Steam Detectives etc. also participated at Tokyo Comic Con this year.
It is very special to be able to view the exhibition of such a Hollywood masterpiece all at once. It is available only in Tokyo Comic Con. With high anticipation of the new upcoming releases, let's immerse ourselves in the world with figures, original goods, watching movies and comics.
Coverage. Report. Photograph = Saito Naoki