Montag, 17. Oktober 2016

Comic World Seoul


Comic World is one of the biggest Anime/ Manga related events in South Korea. The event is held monthly for 2 days in Busan and Seoul at different locations. The concept is based on the Comiket in Tokyo. During the 2 days you can buy Doujinshis and merchandise from Korean circles or companys, watch Cosplay-/ singingcompetitions or just stroll around in your Cosplay and meet friends.



Since I was in Japan and wanted to visit a country I have never been before, I decided to make a side trip to Seoul during the week where the Comic World would be held.
The Comic World Seoul is always held at 2 different locations (Setec and AT center). I visited the one held at the Yangjae Citizen´s Forest Station ATCenter. The location with 2 floors is split into a big entrance hall, a hall with a stage and huge artist alley and a big park.

Of course I also took the chance to Cosplay there. Like in Japan it is not allowed to come to the venue in Cosplay. The event provides changing rooms and a make up room for getting ready.


Outside of the venue
Get in the venue:
But before entering the location you need to buy a ticket at the outside of the venue.
The entrance fee is about 4.000 Won per day, there are no weekend tickets. After getting the ticket you just go the entrance and exchange your ticket to a stamp.
After going through the entrance hall you arrive at the hall with the huge artist alley.

How to Cosplay:
As I mentioned before it is not allowed to come in Cosplay to the venue. You have to change and register yourself as a Cosplayer.
The Cosplay registration system might be quite complicated and unusual for foreigners but I really like how efficient and thoughtful the event handles the process.


1. Fill out the form:
At first you go to the table and fill out the registration form for your Cosplay. You need to write drown your personal dates and also note, which Cosplay you are going to wear.
The registration is completely in Korean. Luckily a good Korean friend accompanied me and helped me in this matter.If you cannot speak or read Korean here a translated version of the form:


2. Register yourself:
Registration desk
Wristband and entrance stamp
After filling out the form you go to the registration table. You give them your form, pay the 1.000 won fee and get a wristband with a number on it. The wristband shows your registration number. If anything might happen they can find your personal dates with this number.

3. Get changed:
After getting the number you go to the changing or the make up room. Because I already did my make up I went directly to the changing room. The make up room is just a huge room where you can sit on the floor and finish your make up. There are no tables, chairs, amenities or mirrors provided. I really got the Comiket feel there. XD
Blue: changing room, pink: Make up room
But instead of a big room the changing room system is different than in Japan.
At the entrance of the changing room you show them your wristband and get a number.
This number is your changing room number.
Number and changing cabin

Cabins
You go to your own changing room cabin and change. At the entrance of the changing rooms is a big mirror where you can check if everything is in the right place.
Instead of changing in a big room with everyone together you get your own small changing space. After the Comiket I really started to appreciate this! The cabin wasn’t that big but much more space than you normally get in other events in Japan.


Number for the baggage
4. Get ride of your baggage:
After changing you can use their baggage drop service. I really loved that service!
You go to the next counter, grab a big black bag and just put your stuff inside of this bag and close it tightly.
Afterwards you go to the next counter and give them this bag.
In exchange you get a small number, which you need to keep. If you want to get your stuff back, you just show them your number and get your stuff.

If I am right you can get your bag and store your bag as often as you want during the day.
Baggage storage
5. Enjoy it:
After changing and getting ride of your baggage you can stroll around at the venue, go shopping or go outside and enjoy the other Cosplayers.
After enjoying yourself at the event, you take your baggage with your number and change back in the changing room.
Entrance hall
The Venue:
As I mentioned before the venue is split into 3 different sections.
The entrance hall, the main hall (2 floors) and the park.

At the entrance hall you can find the escalators to the 2nd floor, a caterer where you can get some food and drinks, toilets and a lot of Cosplayers sitting and strolling around.
In the summer season Korea seems to be very hot. Inside it is very nice and comfortable due to aircondition.
The main hall at the first floor contains a very huge artist alley where circles are selling their self-made Doujinshis, artbooks or other merchandise at nearly 1.000 booths.

Artist alley


Booth
The prices are rather cheap. You can get nice items already starting with about 1.000 won.
In this hall you also can find the main stage. At Sunday the karaoke and Cosplay contests are held there.
Stage
There are no chairs but a carpet where you can just sit down on the floor.
The Cosplay contests are quite different than in other countries. At the group performance contests, the people participate with bought costumes, because the performance is more important than the Cosplay itself.
Cosplay Contest
A performance can be about 10-20 minutes long because there seems to be no time limit.


I really enjoyed the show.
Next to the stage is the baggage storage and the changing room for the Cosplayers.
At the 2nd floor is another big artist alley. You also could find some commercial booths of bigger companies.
Behind the building is a huge park where you can find a lot of Cosplayer taking pictures, strolling around or just picnicking.
I got the feeling that buying is rather usual than making your costumes by yourself.
But I found some very very cute Love Live Cosplayers!!



Outside of the venue

Taking pictures:
It is not allowed to take pictures without asking beforehand.
Normally Cosplayers are happy to pose for you especially when they notice that you are a foreigner.
For the artist alley taking pictures are generally prohibit. But if you still want a picture you can just ask them if it´s ok. But some might be not happy about this request.

 
Personal opinion:
I really liked the experience to Cosplay in Seoul and really like the service for the Cosplayers. They not only provide changing rooms with separated cabins and make up rooms but also a baggage drop. The feeling was very different compared to other events I visited before but I really liked it.

What you need to keep in mind is that it is forbidden to take pictures of Cosplayers without asking them before hand and that it is permitted to go or leave the venue in Cosplay.
You need to register yourself and change at the venue.
You also need to know, that nearly no one can speak English. Some of them can speak Japanese but most of them only speak Korean.
The registration process can be a bit difficult without being fluent in Korean, so I would recommend going with a friend who is fluent.

Foreigners are rather unique there so everyone was staring at me when I talked in English, German or Japanese to my friends. They are just surprised and don’t want to be impolite.
Mostly they are very excited and open to meet foreign Cosplayer and fans. I also had a small chat with some of them in Japanese and got the feeling that it is a very open and warm community.

If you have the chance and like Cosplay or Doujinshis, I definitely would recommend to visit this event once.

 
Operation hours: Saturday – 11 am to 5 pm/ Sunday 10:30 am to 5 pm
Entrance fee: 4.000 Won per day
Cosplay fee: 1.000 Won per day
Table at the artist alley: about 35.000 won per table and day
(Registration for a table at website directly after the event or at the event at the Artist Alley registration booth)
Homepage: http://Comicw.co.kr/
Location: AT Center or Setec in Seoul, Bexco in Busan


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