Ariake Limited Edition
George Ferguson managed to find an empty space near a wall and was able to sit down for the first time in over three hours.
“Ugh, my legs already feel as stiff as sticks………..”
His leg muscles were screaming after doing nothing but standing in line all this time. Naturally he was used to standing all day from attending different events inside the royal palace, but the environment there was monstrously different from these tightly packed lines in the middle of a hot day.
“Because the line could start moving at any time, you can’t afford to be negligent. Plus you will have to look at the catalog carefully in order to know exactly what you want to buy as soon as you’ve reached a circle……..I can only imagine what it must feel like to jump into the end of a line for a wall instead.”¹
This was George’s first time coming to Comiket, and he had never thought it would be this hard…………George sighed, opening up his knapsack to pull out a plastic bottle only to find that it was already empty.
“……….that’s right, I had to buy another one. Haa………..is there a long line in front of the store as well?”
It’s almost noon now, but his exhaustion and the heat was making it really hard to get any food down his throat. Well, it’d be another terrible line if he were to try and buy a meal anyway.
“Lunch aside, I’m going to end up dead if I don’t get myself something to drink.”
Since there was no other choice, George started moving to jump into another line for some juice……….but before he was able to stand up, a plastic bottle of water suddenly appeared in front of his face.
“Eh? Is this for me? Thank……….”
A white haired monkey pulling along a bag was standing before George’s eyes.
“……….You’re Sis’s pet………..Haley?”
For some reason, his sister’s pet had suddenly materialized in front of him. George didn’t bother looking around. There was no way his lazy sister would be here as well………..
Haley opened up his own bottle of mineral water and took a big gulp.
“Eh? When drinking under this kind of heat, you want to avoid taking small swigs because it wastes energy and will make you waste time having to go to the bathroom more often?”
As George repeated aloud the warning he had just been given, Haley nodded his head and shoved a tiny finger right in George’s face.
“Ooki! Ookiooki, Ook!”
“You should avoid drinks like pop because they just end up making you thirstier!? You should stick to water, tea, or sports drinks to quench your thirst?”
The monkey gave a cocky, self-satisfied look after having been completely understood.
“Haley you, are you perhaps a pro at Comiket?”
Haley nodded once again, skillfully opening a locket that was attached to the bag he had been pulling along. Under a blue sky and where several pavilions had been set up together, it was a picture of several different cosplayers wearing sailor scout costumes all gathered around and pampering Haley.
“You’re on a completely different level than some whipper-snapper who doesn’t even know what Gamera Pavilion is!? So……….what is Gamera Pavilion then?”²
George was proving Haley’s point by asking a question on something he really didn’t know anything about, but Haley didn’t pay the question any mind as he unexpectedly started fishing through George’s knapsack.
“Oi, don’t just grab somebody else’s bag!”
Haley continued ignoring him, only handing George his bag back after looking through all of it and making a disappointed shrug.
“As you thought it’s only major group books from the first floor of the annex and aren’t very interesting? That’s none of your business! ………….is there anything else on the first floor of the annex to buy though?”
George’s newbishness was showing, so he readied himself to receive instruction from Haley who was turning out to be an experienced veteran.
“Ooki, Ookiki, Ookii!”
“So I should pay more attention to the smaller circles too? Take a good look at the circle’s samples inside the catalog? One of the event’s great pleasures is taking a look at the future talents? …………….so, it’s something like I should support the artists”
Haley made a serious nod as if to say that’s only natural, and then turned his head off towards the distance and remembered his long gone youth.
“You can always buy the new books from major groups later on at bookstores? Isn’t the whole reason why we shed our normal lives and come to this hall so that we can have fun and share passionate discussions with our unnamed allies?”
Thinking about Haley’s words for a moment, George eventually shook his head.
“No, more than anything I just really want to read the newest works from famous authors as quickly as possible”
“What an asshole customer……….you don’t have to go that far”
While George was getting a scolding from the monkey, Elliott came into sight from within the dense crowd. Elliott’s face stood out quite well among the flock of Japanese people. George waved his hand, catching Elliott’s attention and getting him to run over.
“Oh, George! So you’re safe!”
“Your Highness! I’m safe and well! I’m relieved to see you are too!”
George let out a relieved sigh and instantly became more cheerful since the two friends could reunite after being separated as soon as they had entered the assembly hall.
………….only for the men to notice Haley’s outspokenly scrutinizing gaze.
“Eh? Did we get so caught up in buying things that we forgot about each other’s well-being? Hahaha, we were just joking Haley.”
The tired Prince crumpled down to the ground, not paying any attention to his vassal and the monkey’s conversation.
“Really, there are even more people here than I’d heard. I planned my path with the catalog to be able to see as much as I could, but there were so many places that were already sold out by the time I got there, I couldn’t really buy that much.”
“Seriously………I feel like I’ve come to a sold-out pop idol concert.”
Haley once again started rifling through Elliott’s bag on his own, and pulling out Elliott’s marked floor plan, he spread it out on the ground without permission.
“‘There’s no way you can go around to all these super famous circles!’ is what you’re saying right? Well it’s our first time coming here.”
“We should’ve marked each booth in order of importance through an ABC system and then systematically worked our way down the list? No Monkey, we really didn’t know this was such a serious event.”
Suddenly noticing something, Elliott started looking around.
“By the way George, have you seen Sykes?”
“After going through the adult comics, he separated from me and headed towards the industry booths………”
Seeing Haley press his hands together and offering a small prayer, Elliott and George were able to guess the type of results Sykes was meeting with.
Haley started fishing through his own bag.
“Since it can’t be helped, you’ll share with us some of the comics you were going to give away as souvenirs……….”
Haley handed several doujinshis over to Elliott.
“‘They’re racy, so don’t die from the excitement’, is it? You, what’s a monkey doing buying adult only human content? Does Rachel read stuff like this?”
Elliott lined up the small books the monkey had given him on the ground in front of him.
Hot Night in the Gorilla House
Chimpanzee in Your Eyes
The Man, Bonobo
*NTR Warning* My Pygmy Marmoset with that Charismatic Man………..!
When I Reincarnated Into Another World, I had a Snub-Nosed Monkey Harem
“What circle did you buy these from Monkey!? The person who wrote these, what were they thinking making a doujinshi like this with such a niche fanbase!?”
“As expected of Comiket, they have something for everyone………….and it’s a big world out there.”
Suddenly Elliott stopped berating Haley for his carefully selected collection of doujin, and he gave a panicked look at his watch.
“Oh no, is it already that time? Dang it!”
“All of the popular circles would be sold out now anyway? No not that, Margaret told me she would be in the cosplay plaza at noon! I have to perfectly record Margaret’s gallant figure!”
Elliott hurriedly stuffed the doujin he had bought back into his bag and pulled out his camera before slinging his knapsack over his back.
“Even if I am excited over my first time, I should avoid getting too greedy or else risk falling over? Haha, you’re misunderstanding something here Monkey! It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say I came here for this exact moment, so I made sure to bring the proper equipment here with me!”
Elliott fixed the extended camera lens onto his tool and slung the strap around his neck.
“What I have here is a full lens 105mm / F2.5 with a medium telephoto lens capable of shooting 10 frames a second! It’s difficult to photograph someone who is moving using a single focus, but I’ve done a ton of practice in advance! With this I will be able to capture Margaret’s cuteness in full!”
The monkey timidly pulled on the continuously excitable Prince’s trousers.
Elliott and George glanced over in the direction that Haley pointed towards………..
“Please No Pushing! Please No Pushing!”
A member of the facility’s staff was shouting over a microphone while the east-west connecting passageway to the cosplay plaza was packed with people as far as the eye could see.
“It Will Take Two Hours to Cross Over at this Point! Major Congestion Problems! Please Don’t Go Unless Absolutely Necessary!”
Even for the heavily attended Comiket, the area was ridiculously crowded, surpassing even the crowds of the commuter train during rush hour…………..
Haley climbed up on top of George’s head and tapped Elliott’s shoulder.
The monkey had clear pity in his eyes and made it clear it was time to give up, and so Elliott’s resolve shook…………
“…………….U, UOOooooooooooh! I WON’T LOSE!!!”
Elliott raised his camera above his head so that it wouldn’t get smashed when he rushed the line as his shout left his subordinate dumbfounded.
“Your Highness, it’s impossible!?”
“ALWAYS FORWARD! NEVER BEG! DON’T LOOK BACK! THAT’S HOW I LIVE MY LIFE!”
Regardless of George’s shouts, Elliott charged the crowd………..and was immediately swallowed by the wave of humans and disappeared.
While Rachel was lying in bed and reading a literary magazine, she received a visitor at an unusual time during the middle of the day. Most likely they had slipped in while the castle was receiving its supplies.
Without taking her eyes off the magazine she was reading she called out to this mystery woman even before they had a chance to pull back their hood.
“It’s rather rare for Sofia to come at this time of day yourself.”
The ashen haired girl gave a bow before answering in a slightly fed-up tone.
“Most of the other maids have the day off. As a result I’ve got my hands full and”
“Did they all go to Ariake together? Standing in line inside a foreign country, thank you all for your hard work.”
“There are people who like that kind of thing.”
Sofia forcefully pushed over a small bundle of thin books. They were all the books she had been asked to give to her Lady.
“Almost all of them participated in the event by making their own circles.”
“To go that far”
“There are many people who choose to live by My Lady’s example, for better or worse.”
“It makes me a little proud to hear that I’m their role-model.”
“On that note”
Sofia’s face was expressionless as she opened up one of the doujins and pointed out the publication information.
“The most influential group among the maids have taken to calling themselves the ‘Fujoshi Maids’.”³
“………that, isn’t on me.”
While disinterestedly flipping through her copy of the book, Rachel glanced up at Sofia.
“It would have been fine for you to go too you know?”
Sofia shrugged her shoulders while continuing to direct the rest of the goods being delivered.
“Participating in circles, running around in cosplay–all of that should be left to the indiscretions of youth……….I’m fine as I am.”
“But, you and I are the same age?”
“A woman’s past is a mysterious thing, My Lady.”
Sofia looked back at her master.
“Although, I would think My Lady would be interested in this kind of event.”
Rachel was a natural shut-in, so this didn’t really have to be explicitly asked………..
“I wouldn’t miss it.”
and yet Rachel surprisingly affirmed Sofia’s suspicions. She then proudly motioned to all of the electrical equipment that had just been brought in.
“And now, the preparations are finished.”
Rachel’s cell had just been outfitted with a 100 inch monitor and 5.1 surround sound.
“Actually, because I wanted to experience the feel of Comiket inside the venue, I gave a camera to somebody who was going there and have a live feed streaming back to here!”
Rachel sat down in her chair surrounded by her new speakers, and she pressed the power button on the remote while keeping an expectant eye on Sofia and the other members of the Black Cat Firm that were with her.
The oversized screen lit up, showing a clear image from the camera………..but, the point of view was only about a foot off the ground.
The scene changed as the cameraman zipped this way and that through a forest made up of a myriad of feet. The video stopped and focused on a pair of denim jeans, getting an extreme close-up, but apparently not satisfied, it quickly moved over to some plaid pants instead. In an instant the view shot upwards, glossing over someone’s back until the person’s full head of black hair was in plain view.
The large venue was packed, a sea of black hair spreading out across the screen. The camera then suddenly jumped high into the air, and right when you think it’s flown up several meters, it landed a short bit away. Immediately afterwards the image jumped again, floating a few seconds in midair before once again landing on somebody’s head. The camera continued repeating this movement over and over again without end.
Rachel watched all of this silently for a moment before pausing the video and quietly standing up from her chair.
“…………..what is it?”
“I think you would have been much better off handing the camera over to one of the maids rather than attaching it to Haley”
“Haley’s more nimble, and I thought it would make a more interesting video………..*ugh*”
“Would you like to drink something to help with your motion sickness?”
“Asking me if I want something to drink right now…………for just a bit, please don’t talk to me…………”
Inside the train heading home, Sykes was left depressed after not being able to get any spoils from his hard fought war, yet he was still able to exhaustively tug on George’s sleeve.
Sykes pointed towards the seat across from his own where Elliott was lying back, completely burned out with all the blood drained from his face.
“His Highness, what happened to him?”
George gave the empty husk that was once his boss a pitiful look.
“After spending his whole afternoon crushed and flattened trying to get to the cosplay plaza, he found out that Margaret was cosplaying a male character.”
“Oh……….I wonder if he’s going to start crying”
1. Here is a handy guide I found online to help explain a lot of terminology when it comes to Comiket. https://blog.otakumode.com/2014/12/27/winter-comike/
2. Comiket is held inside the Tokyo Big Sight. The Gamera Pavilion is what otaku call the building that is usually used as the main venue for any large event.
3. Fujoshi are girls who really love gay male love.