Comiket: The Looting

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I should probably talk about this a little. When I went to Comiket, I went with the intention to totally dominate the event. I wanted many doujins, I wanted as many of their “novelties” (explain later) as possible. For that purpose, I slept after I have planned my “routes” and was up at 4.30 am everyday to ensure my stuff was packed and that I had all that I need. I was ON POINT.

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My interests vary, so there was something, some reason for me to go everyday. AND SO I DID! sure, I didn’t end up getting to see great cosplays (sadface). But, overall, I had a ball of a time! I had loot on all 3 days, though I am missing my day 3’s loot pictures for some reason – BUT IT’S ALL MADOKA, that’s all you need to know lol!

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If it isn’t clear in these pictures, and previous pictures, Comiket is attended by thousands of like-minded fans. Comiket has many fan made products that, for many, is only available at Comiket, especially the novelties. Novelties are basically little gifts that each doujin-ka has made, sort of as a thank you, for their fans. These novelties are limited, so once they are gone… THEY ARE GONE. you can potentially buy them from mandarake and other second hand places, but they are often over priced. Eg, the queue you’re looking at is for INUMOG’s latest Tourabu doujin, which came with a choice of 3 novelties. I think they were 2000yen with the novelties. by the time it got to Mandarake, it was 8000 yen for 1 doujin and 3 gifts.

So, yes, they are hot items.

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So, why would I attend comiket? what could potentially convince me to join the madness? isn’t that plenty of translated scans online? 

I totally can. But, I truly appreciate fan made stuff… They are so great, I can’t even describe. I even found a continuation of Inuyasha that completely aligned with what I had hope was the ending – that’s how great it was to me. So, sure, there are scans online, but me visiting these artists, throwing my money at them…

I helped a friend bought a doujin last year, and met the artist in place of her. She told me to thank the artist and what not. The artist was sitting in her alley, there was no queue at all in front of her booth. I went in and swooped all the sequels for my friend, and asked the artist to sign. I explained why and who it was for – I swear she was trembling with happiness, to the point where she signed the wrong name on the doujin (her circle name instead of her name). This kind of happiness, I can’t repeat with scanlations.

 

I follow the artists on twitter these days. I barely really look at my twitter, but, each time there’s a big event, I have a good look. I see them engaging, see the artwork they make in appreciation of all their fans. it made me so happy. That’s what I am supporting – them to continue their art in happiness.

 

So now I have a bunch of doujin at home, I have barely touched them since I came back XD I have been so busy and I am a slow reader in Japanese. I suppose, by the time I can read them with speed and sureness, I had probably be a retiree. but hey, I love them all the same.

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Your otaku-ness cannot compare to the comiket attendees :p

crawling some days

I think I said I was going to break up my comiket experience over a few posts. Life got busy – and I supposed that’s a good thing. There’s a lot on my mind now, and instead of sharing it on Facebook, I will talk about it here.

When dad passed away 3 years ago, I sent my sister to be officially diagnosed. It was not to confirm or deny what I thought I knew, nor was it to categorise her. Rather, my sister needs a lot of professional help that was going to be hard to get without a diagnosis. I was rather glad it happened as it paved the way to many things.

At the same time, several things remained the same: My mum’s influence, the stigma against autism, the lack of enough support in Singapore for my sister and my terrible temper. Perhaps I am used to it by now, I just don’t seem to have the patience for my sister at times. And right after being angry, I would also feel guilty. I mean, why am I so angry at someone who have difficulty recognising the issue at hand?

“I am a little concerned.”

“why?”

“coz x has grown long hair now but is unable to talk.”

I talk with my sister somewhat regularly, usually over Facebook messenger or Line. Discussions on the phone or over skype were often difficult, as she finds it hard to verbalise what she wants to say, and she has a strange anxiety about conversations. I am not quite sure what it is, but I feel that she is worried about getting the right answers to regular questions, like “how’s your day”, or anxious to answer you quickly. Over text messages though, the problems isn’t as prominent. she takes her time to say things, and I would correct her language as she goes along – though often she is upset by how bad her English is.

However, what is also interesting is her lack of, what we all took for granted and what we all think is “common sense”. I believe my mother started this, often making up answers for things that she could not explain with her minimal education. This allowed my sister to make up and believe little assumptions that she has not sought to prove otherwise. So, often, I see things from her point of view – which is, at times, all skewered, crazy and colourful. Like the above exchange – She presumed that babies would start talking once their hair has grown long – but that’s no real correlation between the two.

Where it comes to caring for her though, I sometimes find myself stressing over everything. I feel stumped. I feel like I am looking after a child, and I worry about making bad decisions for her. There’s no dad to talk to and consult, no comparisons to others (Since autism spectrum defers from person to person, case to case) that I can gauge myself by. I tried to gauge how she is doing by her level of happiness a few times, yet how do I know the “right steps” if she is sad too?

Whenever I leave the country, my sister is often the last person I see. I would watch her back slowly disappear into the sea of people, and often my heart breaks a little to see her cut a lonely figure in a country of millions. She has few friends, does not know how to socialise, make and maintain friends. Despite putting her through classes, sending her to therapies, asking her to go to church and her work place, the bonds she made were not strong, not lasting and still left her wanting for more.

“I feel so alone and stressed.”

In recent days, she was asked to leave her place of work. On the one hand, she’s glad to be leaving. On the other hand, she feels like a terrible person. She feels all she does is make a mess of her life and she doesn’t know how to fix it. She has had a few meltdowns in the last few weeks and no one can understand how she feels. I am pretty sure I further compound it too.

I wish that there is a place for her, where she doesn’t have to feel sad and lonely, but I am still looking.

it’s been quiet here

i haven’t written for a very long time. being busy does that to you, but so does many other things. I am glad for this space I have, the ability to express myself when i feel like it. it’s not going away, but my postings will be as sporadic as time would allow.

I am going away for my annual trip soon. this will mark the final time that i have to fulfil this particular obligation ritual wise. Nevertheless, I have also found this time away from life a very uplifting thing, even if i dislike many aspects of it. I will definitely continue to do this annually, although, perhaps, i will do shift it to a more convenient time of the year where I will have more time to visit people and enjoy local foods AND not worry about the extreme change in weather.

what hasn’t changed, though, is me missing dad. I am not surprised, to say the least, but sometimes there’s an awful, hollow feeling inside me and, recently, such days overwhelm me. I am more surprised by the intensity of it, perhaps like a delayed effect. I have taken to planning my days in a “professional” way. While I hate to manage people on a schedule, for now I will handle myself like that so I am doing things, keeping busy, keeping my footsteps forward.

Mum has been excluding me from all ritualistic activities, so I am not hopeful that she will even bother to do anything again this year. For someone who was so insistent on following all these rituals down to a T, down to particular dates so I technically miss out, mum has definitely not been following the rituals either. As usual, the stupid hypocrite. but this is my time with dad, so whether rituals are followed or not, i am still going to see him to “chat” with him.

I have been keeping busy otherwise, completely filled myself up with fun things to do, and some not so fun things. I am looking forward to the next 12 months :)