Let’s Talk About Comiket 87 / A Few Useful Tips

comiket 87 tokyo
click to enlarge

My trip to Japan has come to an end and I’m already back in Germany. Since I still have some more days until I have to go to work again, I’ll have enough time to talk about the trip to my heart’s content.

Though, to not post entries that are too long, I’m gonna divide my final summary of the trip into two parts. The first one is going to be this post, in which I will solely talk about Comiket, while the next one will be about the rest of the trip. With that said, let’s start right away.

This year’s winter Comiket was held from December 28th to the 30th. Our little group, consisting of 3 people, was present on all three days. For those that don’t know, day 1 focuses on anything anime and manga-related, day 2 is all about Touhou and Kantai Collection and day 3 focuses on original works, as well as adult doujinshi.

I read a lot of guides, warnings, and survival tips before going there, and thanks to all of these posts, I was mildly afraid of what was going to happen. Most people said that it was hell going there, since you have to wait in lines for hours, people will just push you around because it’s so stuffed in all the halls, and some even said that you won’t get anything unless you have at least 2 other people with you that you can simply send away to get your stuff.

Since we were all a little worried that we wouldn’t get anything done, we prepared some lists in which we wrote down all the booths we wanted to visit in the order that would take us the least time. Surprisingly, even though we didn’t split up, we ended up getting almost everything we wanted (I think it’s noteworthy to mention that I was the one who probably bought twice as much as the other two. :P)

comiket 87 tokyo

On day one, we arrived at 11 AM, an hour after the gates opened for all the visitors. Even though the trains were packed with people and they already needed like hundreds of staff members to manage all the people from the train station into Tokyo Big Sight (the exhibition grounds) alone, we didn’t have to stand in line that long and ended up in the first hall pretty fast. We made our walking route according to the popularity of the artists, so we could get them before they were sold out. Though, I had to realize that most of our assumptions were totally wrong.

We visited Vivit Gray‘s booth first. Well, she’s my favorite artist, and I was almost sure that she had a huge fanbase, though there was almost no one waiting in line, and I immediately got my copy of her doujin (unfortunately, this was the first time she didn’t release a MokoKeine one…). That I was surprised is probably an understatement, but this at least gave me the opportunity to ask for a signature (or to let a friend of mine ask for it :P).

Next up we visited CITRON’s booth. It was right where all the other yuri Madoka Magica doujinshi artists had their booths, so it was the perfect place to get a lot of things on our list. When I got there, I was yet again surprised, but this time by the sheer amount of people waiting in line. I had to go outside the halls to get to the end of the line, and it wasn’t any different for other Madoka Magica artists like Pikachi or Momoya Chika. Though, it was all worth it, since I got loads of extras from CITRON, like an awesome bag for all my stuff, a new year’s gift that turned out to be a MadoHomu towel, and some postcards. I had to stand in line for like 30 minutes, which was the most I had to stand in line for for any other yuri doujin artist.

Strangely enough, two other MadoHomu artists that I though to be really popular only had a few people standing in line for their works. I’m talking about Forest Village and Tama II. Though, Tama II didn’t have a booth on the first, but only on the last day of Comiket.

Next up is the big block of original doujin artists: Takemiya Jin, Amano Shuninta, Nanzaki Iku, and Momono Moto.

Most of them had their booths right next to each other, so it was really easy to get all the doujinshi I wanted. The lines were also surprisingly small. I thought that artists like these, who mostly already released numerous yuri manga would be more popular, but I guess things work a little differently at Comiket. Also, since there were only a few people waiting, I asked for Amano Shuninta’s signature, which she happily gave me. I think I can even say that she was happy to see a foreigner knowing and loving her works, so I guess it was a win-win situation for both of us. 😛

Last but not least, we also visited Itou Hachi, but since our calculation was yet again totally wrong, her most recent work was already sold out, and I unfortunately didn’t find it in any doujin store afterwards…. Though, I’m still happy I at least got to see her in person.

comiket 87 yuri doujinshi
What I got on the first day.

That wraps up the first day of Comiket, so let’s get right to the second one.

Since we had a far bigger list to work through this time we already arrived at 9 AM. However, we had to wait in line outside for about 2 hours. It was raining, it was cold, and for the last 30 minutes, we had to pack away our umbrellas because there was just not enough space for everyone. So yeah, it was hell. Though as soon as we got in, there were still not that many people inside, so we didn’t have to wait in line for too long.

Since we mostly got music CDs on day two, I only have a few artists to talk about.

Other than for PURE (Minakata Sunao), we didn’t have to wait in line for any of the artists we visited that day. His/her line (I’m not sure about the gender since there was a man and a woman selling these works) was really large, though they were selling both Touhou doujinshi and a super awesome doujinshi of Akuma no Riddle. Isn’t it great when artists make yuri doujinshi of their own original manga?

The ones we visited were: Poprication, Sleeper (猫村), Personal Color, Yonurime, Atoki and Uro (JalapenoChips).

I yet again got signatures from Yonurime and Sleeper. Yes, I got my porn signed… so what?! 😀

comiket 87 yuri doujinshi
What I got on day two, though that’s not all. Click here if you want to see everything.

On day three, we bought some original albums and, just like all of you already guessed, a lot of adult magazines. Funnily, I think day three was the most crowded of all of them. There were some halls that had so many people that I really had to squeeze my way through the crowd there, which was unpleasant but manageable. This time, our predictions were a little better, so we first made our way to the big block of Love Live! doujinshi. I swear that Love Live! is so freaking big in Japan, that wherever you’re going, you’ll see and also hear about it. Comiket wasn’t an exception, though I will talk about this a little more in my next post.

So we first went to Ooshima Tomo (Sweat Pea) and Oshiwa Tomo’s (COCOA BREAK) booths. Since they had one big booth together, it was fairly easy to get their works. Though, their lines were huge, and I yet again had to wait outside. It was all worth it eventually, since I got like 3 doujinshi and one NicoMaki button as a little extra.

Next, I went to Waterfall’s booth, where I also got a signature, then to Niratama, and finally to Kasumi (Mura Mura Pocky) and SinoSino (Sinohara Sinome).

The lines for all of those artists were medium size, except for Ooshima’s booth.

After all the Love Live! greatness, we changed halls and ended up in a hall that only had one artist that I wanted to see, but since she ranks pretty damn high in my priority ranking, we just had to make that little detour so I wouldn’t risk not getting any of her doujinshi in the end. I’m talking about isya (434 Not Found), who had her little booth right in the middle of the probably most crowded hall of them all. We fortunately managed to make our way through to her, and I bought three doujinshi and got a signature again, as well as a super awesome tweet from her afterwards. Seriously, read it and be jealous. 😛

As a side note: In my Anticipating C87 entry, I said that isya might be releasing some of her works in English this Comiket. As I was informed by Yuri-ism, she’s working together with them, but couldn’t manage to finish in time, so they’ll be released at another time.

Lastly, we also visited Minase Ruruu, Mytyl, and Yutaka Hiiragi. The lines were, yet again, really small, but in case of Minase Ruruu and Yutaka Hiiragi, I managed to get the last copy of their works, which was a really close call. Minase seemingly didn’t release anything new, so I only got her doujin collection Girl’s Talk, but I also got a little extra that is 4 pages of a very short yuri doujin.

comiket 87 yuri doujinshi
What I got on day 3

Out of everything that I got over these 3 days—besides the music—what I probably love the most are the doujinshi by Sleeper and Yutaka Hiiragi. I still haven’t read them, but damn, the previews look so good! Yes, I know those are both 18+ works, but you already know I’m a pervert, so who really cares anyway? 😛

Lastly I’d like to talk about something that probably surprised me the most. When reading doujinshi or manga, I usually try to figure out, from both the art style, as well as how the story is told, is whether it was written and drawn by a man or a woman. In many cases, especially in adult works, it’s easy to tell, or at least that’s what I thought.

In almost all cases, I was surprised to find out that the artists are female. Each and every booth I visited had a girl selling the doujinshi. Even in case of Mura Mura Pocky and SinoSino, two girls sold the doujinshi, which was especially surprising since on his/her Twitter, it says Kasumi is a guy. So maybe, in some cases, the real artists didn’t show up and let others take care of the selling instead. Though, I asked for signatures a lot, and I got them from the actual artists that were always girls. The only booth that I visited that had two guys selling their works was Forest Village. In some halls, there were even whole sections that only had yuri doujinshi, and there were only girls selling them.

I know, for some of you this is not a big deal, but for me, this is simply an awesome fact, knowing that even adult works are done by women. Well, just to make sure that no one thinks I’m hating on men, I just think that it’s nice to see so many women being okay with drawing and even selling lesbian works in Japan. Though, admittedly, most of the people standing in line for these works were male. 😛

comiket 87 tokyo
The view from outside the halls. Nice isn’t it~

As my last words, I’d like to encourage all of you to go there if you have the chance to do so. It was an awesome experience, and probably the three greatest days of all of my time in Japan. You can meet your favorite artists in person, you can even talk to them if you like, and by the end of the day, your whole body might be sore, but you can return with loads of your favorite new doujinshi, and that’s simply the best feeling ever.

I have spent a lot of money on this trip, especially on these three days, but it was so awesome that I think I’ll start saving up money right away so I can go again as soon as possible. Just trust me, it’s all worth it, especially if you consider the fact that you’ll get a lot of extras at Comiket that you can’t get anywhere else.

I really learned a lot of useful things that I couldn’t find in any other guide online, so if you’re interested, here are some tips you might want to read before going there yourself.

  • It’s not as hell-like as many other people describe it to be, but you still need to make some plans
  • You can buy the Comiket Cataloge, but it’s mostly way easier to plan everything online: https://webcatalog-free.circle.ms/ It’s free, and you can mark circles and print their locations as maps, so you can find them pretty easily
  • Make plans for your path by considering the following aspects: the location, how popular the circle is, and how important their work is to you
  • Since you often don’t know how popular a certain circle is, you can already guess it by checking where their booth is located. If it is somewhere in the middle of the hall, there is not that much room for long lines, so you can already guess that they don’t expect that many visitors. The ones that have their booth right next to the entrance or right at the outer lines of the halls are usually the ones that expect huge lines to build, so they need the extra space outside
  • Consider the fact that you might have to wait for long periods of time inside, but also outside the halls, so dress up as warmly as possible
  • Check the weather forecast, and don’t forget to bring an umbrella and waterproof clothing
  • Bring whatever medicine you might need. I suddenly got a terrible stomachache while waiting outside, but we were prepared for whatever sickness might happen 😛
  • Bring your own bags. In some cases, you get bags from the circles, but not all of them give them away, so bring your own just in case
  • Bring water and some snacks. It’s going to be exhausting, and you’ll need something to drink, trust me.
  • You don’t need to be there hours before the gates open. In the end, even if you get there much earlier, you will still have to wait as long as most other people
  • Change your money so you have enough 1000 Yen bills. Most CDs are exactly 1000 Yen, while many doujinshi cost 500 Yen. It’s all about being fast, so waiting to get your money changed every time you buy something might turn out to be a problem in the end
  • If you already know that you have a lot to buy, you might want to bring your DS or PSP or whatever you have, so you can do something while waiting
  • Always remember to go to the toilet BEFORE it gets hard to hold. Even for the toilets, the lines can be so big that you might even have to wait for more than half an hour
  • Remember that even if Comiket is opened from 10 AM to 5 PM, many circles are sold out by like 1 PM or even faster, so just don’t waste too much time and come up with a good walking route

If you have any questions regarding anything related to the Comiket or its participants, don’t hesitate to ask~

And lastly, here’s Mai’s version of the Comiket madness. Feel free to read her entry as well~

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68 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Comiket 87 / A Few Useful Tips

  1. I was curious/bored, so I read the draft of this last night. 😛

    I wish I could get my porn signed, but that's impossible, since I don't have any. 😛

    Were you able to sneak any photos of the artists themselves or were you worried they would confiscate your camera and kick you out?

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  2. Cool! Klingt nach anstrengenden 3 Tagen, aber es scheint sich ja wirklich gelohnt zu haben hehe.
    Freue mich für dich, der Tweet is ja mal echt nice! Nächste mal dated ihr dann? ;D

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  3. can someone explain to me Touhou and Kantai Collection popularity. you talked about them a few times and i read many doujinshi about them. The games didn't seem remarkable or maybe that's just me. Why are they so popular? also your trip looked so fun, as a broke a collage student i hope i can go there one day.

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  4. Here she discusses Touhou in-depth. It's a good read.

    I know practically nothing about KanColle, so I can't help you there.

    I think Lena should make a similar post focusing on KanColle, considering the anime is about to debut. 😀

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  5. that was a good read. Really surprising that one man built the game, reminds me of the creator of dust. I'm really excited for the Kantai Collection anime. I wonder how much subtext it is going to have.

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  6. Side Note:
    TT__TT I just finished watching Yuuki Yuuna wa Yuusha de Aru and I now I know why Yuri Nation called this the one of the best animes of 2014.

    I have to recommend, when you have time for it, you Must watch the “Yuyuyu” anime as one of the series to see in free time. It wasn't at all the simple anime I thought it to be at all. Go watch it without knowing what to expect. It's too good to pass up. It almost felt like Madoka partway, but turned out to be slightly bigger than that. I'm gonna rewatch it when spring break comes around so I can cry properly at the right scenes :p

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  7. Says the one who occasionally send me porn to see whether I like it 😀

    I wasn't allowed to take pics, though I took some from far away when waiting in line for Ooshima².
    You can't see anything 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Well, in all honesty, I played Touhou and I don't get it either.
    The gameplay is probably challenging enough to have people try to master the game, the character and their story look interesting and what I really like best about it all is the background music.
    Though, this all doesn't really justify how ridiculously big this has gotten over the years.

    Can't complain about it though 😛

    In case of Kantai Collection it's probably totally different.
    The game looks really nice with many different artists contributing their art for certain characters.
    They are voiced by famous seiyuus too and the game play is much more intricate than what you see in Touhou.
    The background music probably plays a big role too, but I think one of the main reasons why this became so popular is that you play as an admiral, having a fleet full of beautiful and cute girls and you kind of want to collect them all 😛

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  9. Hehe, well most of my favorite artists have already or regularly draw NSFW yuri doujinshi.
    Though, I can't just not ask for a signature just because they only released porn this time, so yeah… 😀

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  10. We were wondering about that as well.
    Mai was the one who wanted to see this artist, but there were a man and a woman selling the doujinshi, and since Mai didn't ask for a signature we still don't know who it is…
    Though, when we were waiting in front of their booth, a “customer” was only talking to the woman, so maybe that's a clue.

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  11. Bigger than Madoka?
    That's something that I won't believe unless I see it.
    And YuriNation called it one of the best shows of 2014?
    I believe in his judgement, but the first episode looked so weak to me…
    Damn it, now I have to watch it 😛

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  12. I said bigger than madoka only 'cause it felt that way to me since it was character driven, not plot driven.
    Bonus extra short visual novel that came with first volume dvd/bluray release
    Here's a sample scene of the bonus game, which obviously supports the superb level of subtext in the anime+manga:

    I thought the first episode was weak too. Then I forced myself to watch the others and stalled at episode 5. But weeks later (today), I finished the rest of the series and found out how much I missed .-. I regret not watching it with diligence before.The subtext for this show is way higher than symphogear, if I had to rank it. and that's alot.
    Btw, the initial PVs for the anime tell you nothing of what to really expect from the show. They only show the slice-of-life playful scenes of the anime.
    PVs like these for example, tell little of the truth hidden in this anime. I mean it xP:



    https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=結城友奈は勇者である++pv

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  13. Haha, dann will ich aber Fotos von euch auf dem Tokyo Tower. Hast du sie denn auch in ehrfurcht angestarrt? 😀 Oh man ich mal mir hier so viele Bilder aus wie euer aufeinandertreffen abgelaufen sein könnte haha.

    Oh nice, welche Charaktere stehen bei dir denn ganz oben? Die Zeichnungen will ich dann aber auch sehen 😛

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  14. Oh und bitte bitte sag bescheid, wenn der Akuma no Riddle Doujinshi ins englische übersetzt und online gestellt wurde (wird doch passieren oder?), kanns kaum abwarten!

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  15. Ich hab sie echt angestarrt 😀
    Aber wir haben bei ihr der Verkehr aufgehalten und da wir so viel bei ihr gekauft haben und dann noch Autogramme wollten, wurde sie richtig hektisch 😛

    Ich wünschte ich könnte das nochmal miterleben 😛

    Hmm, ich glaube ich würde sie nach Yayoi x Shion von PsychoPass fragen. Das passt zu ihren Stories und es sind endlich mal bisschen ältere Charactere.
    Ansonsten vielleicht noch Touhou charactere wie Sakuya und Meiling~

    Sollte der Akuma no Riddle doujin übersetzt werden, kriegst du das wahrscheinlich auch so mit. Da werden nämlich sehr viele Leute ausflippen 😀

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  16. hahaha oh man die arme. Schade, dass so viel Verkehr war (wenn auch gut für sie). Sonst hätte sie bestimmt noch gerne länger mit dir geplaudert 😀
    Haste eigentlich nur englisch oder auch japanisch geredet?

    Yayoi & Shion fänd ich auch gut 😀 Touhou kenn'sch net 😡 (noch nicht? :D)

    Eine dicke Frage zum AnR-Doujin hab ich aber noch, ganz wichtig!: Gibt's Isuke x Haruki momente? Ich finde die beiden so klasse *~*

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  17. It's really heavy on the symbolism, depending on your views it'll either be unbearably (haha) pretentious or incredibly interesting.

    There are a couple of interpretations floating around that I think are really well thought out, one I like is that the humans represent “innocent” love (hand holding, cuddling, meeting societal expectations etc), whereas the bears represent sex and desire (the bears hunger and need to consume). The extinction wall could be seen as the barrier between the emotional and the physical, and the “invisible storm” could be sexual desire. If this interpretation is correct then the series will be about the MC and the bears bringing together the physical and emotional parts of love. This could also play out as commentary on the yuri genre in general, since yuri in anime is often starkly divided in how you tend to get just romantic/emotional yuri or fanservice with no emotions attached.

    Anyways, some food for thought. I personally think that it would be a mistake to dismiss this series after watching only one episode but we'll see how it goes.

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  18. Ich glaube ich hätte nicht viele Worte rausgebracht 😀
    Vielleicht hab ich Glück und sie erkennt mich nächstes Mal, dann muss ich wohl reden, vielleicht sogar mehr.
    Ok ich red Müll ich weiß 😀

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  19. YES! YOU MUST WATCH IT NAO~! A GOOD NEW ANIME IS BEST MEDICINE FOR THE SICK! YUYUYU WILL CURE YOU! WATCH IT WATCHITWATCHITNAONAONAONOWNAO!

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  20. Hahaha ihr könnt auch gleich zur Sache gehen, wer brauch schon reden pffff haha 😀 Sry.
    Das wäre doch bombe, wenn sie dich wiedererkennt! Wenn sie dich so umwerfend schön fand, sollte das ja wohl möglich sein 😉

    Ich flieg ja jetzt september oktober nach japan. Komm mit! 😀 Gibts in dem Zeitraum überhaupt möglichkeiten sie zu treffen? ^.^'

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  21. I made a huge mistake and just watched it while totally shutting off my brain at first.
    You can imagine what my reaction was.
    Though, I watched it again and read some theories.
    My first impression will follow within the next few days if not tomorrow already.

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  22. Comiket wird in diesem Zeitraum leider nicht stattfinden, aber es kommen immer mal wieder kleinere Events, zum Teil auch yuri events. Musst einfach mal gucken, vielleicht hast du Glück.

    Und du hast also auch bald das Glück? Ich kann dir jetzt schon was versprechen, es wird super 😛

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  23. It's a slow burn, it gets much better as the series progresses. The early going can be a big of a drag since it feels like an uninspired magical girl anime, although they do a good job of inserting a subtle feeling of unease and Yuki/Togo is really sweet from the get-go. I gave up on it as well for a bit until I saw people start to rave about how good it was around the mid-point.

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  24. Ja werde mich noch rechtzeitig erkundigen :] Wäre gut, wenns da n paar events gäbe.
    Kollegen waren jetzt über weihnachten/Silvester in Japan… Wäre gerne mit gekommen, aber mit 4 Kerlen zusammen reisen… hmm… mhmm….. mmhmmmmmmmmmm… ne 😀

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  25. You can't understand Touhou/KanColle until you've played them yourself 😛
    But as it's a bit complicated to get into one of them, I'll help a bit.
    KanColle: you can build up your own fleet, you're the admiral, you're surrounded by pretty girls who even make certain comments (like “do you want to eat, take a bath or me” ;D). But obviously it's not only a game for guys 😀 (because errm, I'm enjoying this game too…).
    It's a game you can stop at any time, there are seasonal events where you can get rare ship girls and equipment~ and also see how overpowered some ship girls are. The fights are mostly automatically generated, but you have to choose/plan the path, equip your fleet etc.
    The best thing is you can marry your favorite ships at a certain point, but not only one girl (I think 4 is maximum).
    That was a small insight to the big KanColle world, but as Kadokawa is the publisher, I still prefer the Touhou-side.
    Touhou because most work is done by fans, ZUN just helps out by releasing his games and new characters/stories. He's even happy if people do arrangements of his songs.
    The official Touhou art doesn't look so pretty, but it's amazing how the fandom develops own stories of the characters or even make fan-animes to it.

    However I have to admit that the KanColle hype is too exaggerated. It's just a game, but of course Kadokawa wants to earn lots of money with the goods and game. You know, many people spend real money for ingame-stuff, not much different from MMORPGs.
    Stop- I'm writing too much, sorry 😀 Hope you could get a little overview about the two weird fandoms 😉
    (P.S. mostly if you're Touhou-Fan, you also are (will be) a KanColle fan: it's just the same target group)

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  26. Not gonna spoil anymore. Go watch it anyway. It's worth the entire run. And you'll understand why the many yuri fans luv it once you complete it.

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  27. Ich glaube an sich in größeren Gruppen zu gehen ist ehr ungünstig, gerade nach Japan und ich stell mir das auch lusitg vor für die Comiket. Das würde absolut gar nicht gehen 😀

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  28. Thinking about it, I get the feeling Madoka was treated just like this at first, people didn't know what was so great about it.
    Tho, both animes are completely different to me~ Also, Yuyuyu was easier to emotionally connect to too and I like it more~ 😛

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  29. Jaa eben. Das hatte ich mir dann auch gedacht. Lieber das Geld aufsparen und mit der besten Freundin hingehen. Die angelt sich dann nen (reichen) Japaner und sichert mir einen Schlafplatz fürs Leben :'D Das ist unser Plan haha.

    Ich wette, wenn ich einmal da bin, will ich gar nicht mehr weg. Ich muss weiterhin fleißig japanisch lernen :3

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  30. Your anime/manga themed convention survival guide is most useful Euroninja. I commend you on completing your mission and returning to home base safe and sound alongside your (I assume) amusing accomplice. May the spoils benefit you for years to come.

    Like

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