After the cancellation of AnimeJapan 2020, two more big anime events in Japan are also cancelled. The first is the biggest doujinshi event on earth, Comiket 98, which was supposed to happen in May. The other is Tokushima’s Machi Asobi Vol. 24 event. Both are considered as two of the biggest anime events not only in Japan, but in the entire world. Both events have an international following and showcase the very best of anime, manga, and video games.

For Comiket, they will still release the catalog as  it is already printed. They will encourage fans to buy the book in support of the event. They also released this statement in their official English Facebook page:

In order to prevent further spread of COVID-19, we are cancelling Comic Market 98, originally planned for May 2-5, at Tokyo Big Sight.

Following the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, it is still unclear, whether the Tokyo Big Sigh can be used in July/August 2020, or in what form it will be available in December 2020.
Therefore we are not considering postponing Comic Market 98 to July/August 2020. Plans for Comic Market 99 (Winter 2020) will be announced separately, once the schedule and venue have been confirmed.

Following our previous announcement on March 15, we have been carefully following announcements and recommendations by national and local governments, towards holding Comic Market 98. However, given the reinforcement and extension of government requests against holding large-scale events, with the date approaching to a little more than a month, until Comic Market 98, and taking into consideration the official recommendation by “Expert Meeting on the Novel Coronavirus Disease Control”, the government panel of experts, we have reached this conclusion to cancel the event.

This was not an easy decision for the Comic Market. As mentioned in our previous announcements, Comic Market defines itself as a “space” that functions to expand the possibilities of self-expression, where the aim is to accept creators of doujinshi and all other types of creative endeavors and maintain continuity. As such, canceling the event has been a very difficult decision for us.

Since the first Comic Market in 1975, we have faced numerous challenges to the continuance of the event, but this is the first time in our history, that a Comic Market had to make a decision to cancel the event.

We would like to thank everybody who had been preparing and cooperating towards successfully holding Comic Market 98. Also, our sincere respect and full gratitude goes to the heroic efforts of worldwide medical personnel and everybody working tirelessly towards stemming the current global outbreak of COVID-19.

There is not much we can do, other than trying to preserve the “space” that is Comic Market for the future. Nevertheless, our hearts are with you. We will do our best towards continuing the event. Therefore, we ask for your understanding and cooperation in these difficult times.

Cancellation of the Comic Market 98 should not be used as a “precedent” for other events, including Dojinshi Events and any other types of events, exhibition, fairs etc. We must take into consideration the scale, timing, location and specific uniqueness of the event, of which we had taken into consideration to make the hard choice of cancelling the event.

Please mind the following:
For general participants:
– The Comic Market 98 paper catalog planned for release on April 11 is already in printing and will be sold as planned. Please purchase them as a way to support the future continuance of Comic Market
– Sale of Admission Wristband originally planned for release on the same day has been canceled
– Sale of the DVD version of the catalog planned for release on April 18 has been canceled

For participating circles (publishing groups):
– Refund of participation fees to circles not accepted to Comic Market 98 is currently planned for April 15, at a 5-day delay from the original plan due to congestion at the Postal Bank office that is handling the refund
– Refunds of participation fees to accepted circles is currently being considered, pending on-going negotiations on obtaining refunds of the venue costs. As promised in the circle application, we will try our best and will keep you updated on our webpage
– Already-paid parking fees for circles will be refunded. Details will be announced together with the refund of participation fees

The Comic Market 98 catalog to be released on April 11 mentions Comic Market 99 to be held December 29-31, 2020. However, given the changed situation surrounding the Tokyo Big Sight, concrete plans for Comic Market 99 will be announced separately, once the schedule and venue have been confirmed.

Finally, the current restrictions on use of the Tokyo Big Sight and Makuhari Messe are expected to further continue due to the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. Since last autumn, many events have already been forced into cancellation, change venues or scale down, due to the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, with effects on event venues nationwide. Additionally, COVID-19 and government requests for refraining from holding large-scale events are forcing even more events into cancellation. We strongly urge the government and all related authorities and parties to take this predicament of Doujinshi Events and other events in need of venues into their upcoming considerations for the postponing of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, seriously.

March 27, 2020
Comic Market Committee Co-Representatives
Kaoru Yasuda, Yoshiyuki Fudetani, Koichi Ichikawa

As for Machi Asobi, the staff cited the safety of staff and visitors was their highest priority, and decided to cance the event. However, they are still preparing for the Fall edition of the event, and will provide more information in the event’s official website.

Anime studio, ufotable (Fate/Zero) organizes the event in Tokushima.

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sources: Comiket official website and Facebook Page, Machi Asobi official website

 

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