Waiting in line. Something EVERYONE has been through in some form or fashion in life. No matter how old or young, you got to wait in line for something. Standing there and moving ahead one step at a time is not a fun experience. If you happen to be around other people to make the experience better helps a lot but still, you are waiting in line.
In my experience, waiting in line comes up in gatherings, conventions, and meetups. Most of mine are of the anime and otaku variety. Waiting in line to get registered, get into a panel you want to get to, trying to get anywhere in an anime convention. There is a line. Hell, I’ve had to wait in line for an instructional panel where I WAS THE HOST. If there is a maddening experience it’s waiting in line for something you are actually putting on and hosting.
But I’ve never been in something like this. Hopefully, you haven’t either or never will.
This takes place in Japan at the twice a year occurrence called Comiket. Comiket is known as a gathering of anime fans and otaku, with the specific goal of selling Dojin, or fan-made comics. It is a massive event that is known throughout much of anime fandom. Mostly because it is considered one of the biggest attended otaku conventions in the world.
Just to get you to imagine the size of this, attendance for these event going back at least a decade has been more than 500,000 people. That’s half a million otaku. Imagine the lines to get into the building. And add to that the temperature for the latest event (The summer gathering) was north of 100 degrees (Fahrenheit). That many people in that hot of a place in Tokyo (Tokyo Big Sight) would normally create a disaster.
But there is video evidence to show that while conditions are not the best for standing in line to get into such a revered event amongst the anime and doujin fans, the whole thing goes extremely smoothly and everyone is able to get in okay.
A Twitter user in Japan (Netiel) posted a time-lapse video of the entrance way to the big event and there are a lot of people lining up to get in. They wait and sections are let in at a time. Nice and orderly.
Now, this is a gathering held at least twice a year since 1975 and have been pushing the world’s attendance numbers for quite a while, so the people who put on the event shouldn’t be that surprised by things, so they know what to do. The video is also a time lapse and taken from quite a distance away, so who knows if anyone in the group is actually happy standing there or not, but they keep things moving and in an orderly fashion. That is a wonderful thing to watch, not just for otaku, but of anyone that has a memory or story of standing in long lines.
The place could speak a lot about it. Japan is known for calmness and organization fo things like that, but I would think the experience of an event that routinely draws half a million people and does it twice a year probably has a lot to do with it too. I and many more otaku can tell you stories of long lines under the watch of an inexperienced volunteer who is taken by surprise and doesn’t know what to do,
As scary as that can be, at least no one set off a fire alarm.