Guess who’s back! Kind of. Sort of. Not really. Whatever lol
I’ve been debating for a while now on coming back to the blogging scene and this event gave me a good excuse to get back into it.
Please prepare yourself for an incoming slew of really horribly taken photos. Sorry if some of the photos repeat, I uploaded them all to WordPress at once and that made the website freak out so some uploaded…some didn’t… it’s all a huge mess… I gave up after a while trying to figure out if I’d used a photo before or not… whatever…
So I’ve actually never heard of ComicUp before (in fact I’ve never gone to a con before in general) and literally the only reason why I heard about this con is because I follow Ken ga Toki (rejet’s mobage sword game) on WeChat and they had an announcement saying they’d have a stall at CP22 in Shanghai. So I last minute decided to go and bought myself a ticket. Like really last minute. I bought the ticket on the 16th or 17th I think. Originally I wanted to go to day 1 (ComicUp is a 2 day affair) but unsurprisingly tickets were pretty much all sold out.
Basically there are different “tiers” of tickets. There were regular tickets and VIP tickets. You could buy a single day ticket or two day tickets for both of those tiers. A single day reg ticket was 48 RMB, so approximately 7-8 USD at current exchange rates. Two day tickets were 99 RMB I think so about 19-20 USD. Then VIP tickets started at like 99 I think for a single day? And two day tickets were like close to 200 maybe??? So about 19-20 then about 40 USD for VIP two day tix. I think. I can’t actually remember lol and you can’t check prices anymore so whatever haha. In conclusion aka what I’m trying to say is, tickets were cheap so I said yolo why not.
Anyways only day 2 regular tickets were left so I just bought one of those. The entire event is hosted at the Shanghai National Exhibition and Convention Center (NECC) which is conveniently located on two different metro lines I believe? The most convenient being Line 2, which is one of the oldest (and most used) metro lines here in SH. I took a cab because I’m a lazy fuck and because the cab got me there in like 30 minutes whereas the metro would take almost a full 60 minutes lol. Also it was raining and I couldn’t be bothered to walk to the metro station.
Anywhoooo, the con took place in event halls 5.1 and 6.1. 5.1 was the hall for doujin artists (同人馆) while 6.1 was the area for official companies (企业馆). You had to enter through 6.1 and then you could move between both areas freely as they’re connected.
To be honest I was a little worried about how to get around. I got dropped off luckily at the entrance that was closest to where I needed to go in order to get through security for CP22, but it was pretty confusing. The International Beauty Fair (?? sth like that) was also going on so it was interesting to see a mix of women dressed in beautiful evening wear and then a bunch of people dressed up in cosplay and full Lolita walking around haha. I felt so insanely out of place because I was just wearing a dress whereas everyone else was dressed up hahaha there were way more Lolitas than I was expecting, in fact I’d say there were more girls dressed in full Lolita than cosplayers? Maybe.
So basically when I got there I had to go to the event hall area 3.1 and 4.1 where security was. Then I had to walk in this big half circle to get over to 6.1 where I got in using my ticket. At first I accidentally headed straight to 5.1/6.1 because I was like “that’s where the event is” but there were people yelling where to go and all the cosplayers were going in the opposite direction so I was like “ya know what, follow the cosplayers” and whaddya know following them was the right thing to do lol.
NECC is honestly really big and they blockaded it really terribly and inconveniently. I think they did it so nobody could sneak in from the exits but holy shit was it annoying trying to go from exit 7 on one side to exit 14 on the other when I needed to get a cab to go home. Normally you should be able to walk straight through NECC to get to the opposite side but they blockaded it so you had to go all the way around instead. Fuckin’ China, yo.
In the (likely) case you don’t know what NECC looks like, basically just imagine a big hollow flower. In the center is a circle and then it has four petals surrounding it. Those four petals are the event halls (which are split into 2 that are connected together) and you can walk in the center of the flower in a circle to get to the different event halls essentially.
Or you can just google (or baidu!) a picture of what NECC looks like and you’ll know what I’m talking about after that. ٩( ᐛ )و
Doors opened at 10am and I got there at about 10:30. Took me maybe 15-20 total to get into the actual event hall? Mostly cus I got lost and doubted myself a few times LOL. The line was long to get through security but it never stopped, it was just crowded but it was constantly moving… So it wasn’t too bad.
Once I got into 6.1 getting through the line was really fast luckily enough lol there were like maybe 3 people in front of me. The entrance where you scan your ticket was separated by VIP, physical tickets and digital tickets etc.
After that you can walk around the event hall and participate in the different official stalls and stores. The event hall was kind of just this gigantic concrete-esque room that reminded me of a warehouse lol and in the official area they had set up booths for each company. They were all pretty fun to look at!
I got a little lost just trying to find the xiimoon x Rejet stall because I forgot which booth they were at so I just sort of wandered around for a while and looked at the other stalls around me but didn’t really pay close attention. I would say you had to line up for most of the stalls to buy goods because they were all pretty small, but the lines weren’t terrible for such a crowded event. There were some events going on at various stalls like playing games and winning prizes, and there were a ton of gacha machines and crane machines and good/merch shops. Some of the events were hilarious, they were doing some kind of quiz game and every time some anime girl came up as an answer all the guys in the crowd would go “oOOoOOhhHHHHH!!!” and cheer haha. I’m gonna be honest tho I have no idea why they were cheering. Seeing their waifu on the big screen maybe? Who knows. Lol
I finally found Ken ga Toki at like the very back of the event hall. The stall was tiny and they had a little gacha where you had to line up in order to play it haha. There’s also a thing right by the gacha where you could get a fortune I think? I didn’t do it but I did see some other girls doing it with the help of the shopkeepers. I think after you pull a slip of paper they give you some kinda fortune with one of the guys/gals on it? Like I said, not entirely sure.
They had a small area where you could play the game and a display of the different goods you could buy. You had to line up in order to buy things and they gave you a sheet where you could mark off what you wanted and you handed it to the employees after you were done. I believe you could also order the goods through the Comicup App? Or something? I think because I saw girls ordering on their phones and just going up and picking their things up.
If you followed the game development group on WeChat or another platform, I think it was Weibo? They’d give you a free little clear card:
I didn’t buy much to be honest. I kind of wish I had but ended up somehow having enough self control to not buy every fuckin pin and keychain haha. I only ended up buying four pins, a card and a keychain. Things weren’t horribly expensive, the pins and card(s) were 10RMB each (under $1.50 USD at current exchange rate) the keychain was like 25 RMB (about $3.70 USD? ish at current exchange rate).
And they put all of those little things… in this massive ass bag. Like they only had this one size of bag and I’m pretty sure they were handing them out like candy as advertisement because I saw two shop girls with just flat bags handing them out to people in the middle of the event hall but straight up this bag if I put it on the ground on it’s side is probably as tall as halfway up to me (not that that’s saying that much since I’m short) but lord lol I was like how the fuck do I hold this thing???? I kept whacking people with it when I’d turn around cus I put it on my shoulder and it kept getting caught on people whenever I was walking through a crowd lmao! As I was telling Amayan on twitter, when I got in my cab to go home I ended up getting a bigger cab (like mini-van cab) and it was literally me in my seat and then my giant ass Ken ga Toki bag taking up the other two seats LOL. Amazing.
There were quite a few stalls in the official event hall but I didn’t recognize most games. There were a LOT of mobage games though I’m pretty sure as that’s the most popular style of game here in China.
I recognized the Fate/Grand Order stall and there was a stall that I recognized but couldn’t put my finger on the name of the game. I think there was a LoveLive! stall as well. Also they had a big box/maze thing where people could draw all over it. A lot of the stalls you could draw on and some of them you could write notes on sticky notes and stick them on the wall. At one point I thought one of the stalls was peeling but in reality it was just sticky notes girls had written to hot 2D men.
To be honest I wasn’t really interested in any of the stalls other than Ken ga Toki LMAO. There were official like merch stores in the event hall as well where you could buy merch and figs and play gacha/crane games. There were even a few booths that were literally just like fig booths. They had assembled figs and you could go through and look at them. I ended up buying some Ensemble Stars stuff that I 100% didn’t need but like when has that ever stopped me lmao. As expected, everything was a bit overpriced I think but not too horrible?
The only thing 100% not worth it were the gacha machines. Basically a gacha machine would normally be like what, 100, 200 yen? In China though you have to buy little coins to put into the gacha and one coin costs 10 RMB = about $1.50 USD. Most of these machines were 2-4 coins so you were spending 20 RMB just for a pin, about $3 USD.
I still played it twice tho cus I’m a twat
A lot of the booths in the official area were mobage. There were a few of those ‘otome’-esque mobage stalls. The one that caught my eye was called Butlers. It’s gonna be an anime I think??? And a game I’m guessing??? I actually have no clue. I do know that after 11 they were giving away a random pin of the guys and a sticker sheet to people who followed them on either QQ or Weibo. If the internet hadn’t been so shitty I would have created myself an account to follow them but alas…. my internet was total fuckin shit and I couldn’t find the WiFi password. Woe is me.
But the best part about that Butlers thing is that I passed by it on my way in and it didn’t really catch my eye but when I was wandering around again I saw the 11 o’clock thing and then I realized they had hired two foreigners to stand around in the school (?) uniform for the game/anime/whatever this thing is and… have staring contests??? Or something??? With people??? Lmao I actually have no fucking clue but I don’t know if either of those guys spoke any Mandarin cus they couldn’t really converse with the girls who came by to play the staring game and squeal at them lmao. I don’t know why but it made me laugh that they hired two like Standard White Guys (TM) to play… I dunno… students? Cus they def weren’t cosplaying any of the characters from the game/anime/thing lmao just wearing the same costume. Legit though they were hired to stand around and look serious in their costumes basically.
Anyways I ended up wandering around the area for a while, bought myself some merch before heading over into the doujin area.
The doujin area completely overwhelmed me haha. I don’t follow like ANY artists so I had no idea who would be here (although there is a full list of doujin artists on day 1 and day 2 in the CP app but lmao that’s like 13000 some circles for day 2 alone like u think I got time for that shit????) and unlike the official area which had clearly demarcated booths for each company, the doujin area was literally just rows upon rows of stalls.
Have I mentioned yet this was my first time at a con? I was a little overwhelmed. I should note that I also went alone to this so it’s not like I had anybody else to take over the reigns haha.
The doujin area was all organized alphabetically but also broken up into sections by series I think. Each stall had a flag above it which indicated what like letter it was and number the stall, and some areas which were broken up into different series. Some areas that were of one series the flags were different and had the series listed and the flag was that series themed. Biggest area was definitely the Fate series. Anyways I went straight towards the exit first for some reason and then suddenly Lolita! Lolita everywhere!
I was super surprised to find the entire like right side of the hall was all small Lolita pop up shops. I only recognized Metamorphose and Berry-Q. I think Berry-Q is a taobao shop? While Metamorphose is a JP brand but who knows if that pop up shop was real this is China ya know haha. Anyways the rest were all taobao shops pretty much and that’s when I figured out why so many Lolitas were at CP22 lmao. Hilariously enough while I was browsing the Lolita area I heard a MOSAIC.WAV song being sung live and I was like “wow this sounds just like the artist. I wonder who’s doing it cus it sounds live! Is it a playback performance or something?”
Then as I got closer to the sound I realized it was coming from a small stage and that someone was actually performing. I’m pretty sure it was MOSAIC.WAV? I’ve never seen the band or whatever in person but holy shit did it sound exactly like her. I don’t actually know though because I can’t find any info on it slash am too lazy to look it up so meh. Coulda just been fakes. Like I said, this is China after all. Haha
Anyways I didn’t browse too much through the doujin section. I was pretty tired by then and I hadn’t eaten breakfast or lunch so I kinda just wanted to breeze through the stalls before getting something to eat then heading home. I bought a few things from one stall, some ensemble stars (and one touken ranbu) pins and charms but otherwise I skipped out on most everything else and didn’t even really take that close of a look at a lot of the goods/merch on sale. There were a lot of series I didn’t recognize, like Chinese novel series and some other anime I didn’t know but there was a lot of really beautiful artwork and goods.
Pretty much all the Touken Ranbu stuff I could find was pretty much all BL lol with the majority of it focusing on like the same exact couples. In fact I’d say a looooot of the stuff I saw was BL/Yuri (in a lot of the series available) and since I’m not really interested in either genre I guess stuff was kind of limited to me? I am a fine connoisseur of pretty artwork tho so I still got a nice eyeful regardless heh. Honestly though there were just a ton of stalls and not enough energy in me to keep looking around.
I do regret not taking a more thorough look at the doujin area because it was so large and there was so much, but after I ate lunch I was pretty tired and I just wanted to go home at that point. I’m old, okay?? The event ended at 4 o’clock anyways (kinda early I feel like?) and by the time I left it was already like 2:30 ish.
All in all it was still a fun time for me.
I do have some regrets obviously. I kinda wish I bought more stuff but at the same time it was probably better on my wallet that I didn’t lmao. A lot of the doujin things weren’t super pricy or anything so I really wish I would have just sucked it up and looked around more haha. I’m not the type to normally get too overwhelmed by anything but since I kinda chose to go last minute and didn’t really have a plan in mind I think the sight of all the stalls and the fact that I couldn’t completely figure out how it was organized just sorta made me more exhausted. If I had bothered to focus and actually try to figure out how the series sections were broken down and set up I probably could have done it? But when I’m tired my mind looks at Chinese characters and just goes nah fam haha. Prrroooooobably should have eaten breakfast before I went, but by the time I got up it was like 9:30 am or something so I was like fuck it, put on my makeup and walked out the door.
Well, even if I didn’t get a lot and I didn’t stay that long I still had a lot of fun! It was a good experience and I enjoyed seeing everyone in costume and in Lolita. The stalls were fun and interesting to look at. I’m not really sure how cons normally are so I don’t know how this one would stack up to other ones but at the very least I didn’t feel claustrophobic (the event halls are like monstrously huge tbh lol) and even though it was crowded I wasn’t constantly being squished or anything. There were a few occasions where I felt kind of warm but despite the number of people it wasn’t hot in the halls. I think it’s probably because of how large and relatively high the ceiling was but also because A/C was on and it was a relatively cool day on Sunday as well.
Anywho, here’s some shit that I got!
I can’t get over how huge this bag is. Like why tho lol
Anyways that’s it!
As for the future of this blog, I’ve gotten back into otome gaming pretty consistently although my backlog is still, somehow, ten years long so I’ve definitely got content at the very least. No promises obviously but I’ll do my best I have plans to buy a Switch in the future (even if otome games fail on that platform) so hopefully I’ll be able to play Cendrillon Palika whenever it releases in the future. Legit praying the switch to Switch will go well because otherwise the only platform we have left is mobile….
honestly mobage was a mistake
As usual thanks to everyone who for some reason still comments/reads/follows me even tho I’ve been inactive for a while now. I’m still pretty active on twitter despite The Great Firewall (TM)
although if I’m honest I mostly just retweet animal pictures so feel free to request a follow if you’d like~