I think it’s safe to say that the Tiger & Bunny only doujin event GO NEXT! that was held yesterday has confirmed that this is no longer just an anime. This is a phenomenon.
These are just shoppers queueing to get in to the venue of the event. Aki pulled this picture from a Japanese blog where people were joking about how queueing requires Kotetsu’s endurance. Reports say that catalogs (which also act as tickets to the event) were sold out in advance, and many circles sold out before
the end of the event all the shoppers even managed to get in. (See comments for more on this.)
Of course events like this are just one way to measure popularity, but you have to take into account that just about all merchandise is selling out on preorders weeks or even months before they’re released. Figure preorders sell out in minutes. Aki talked to her Japanese friend who estimated that Tiger & Bunny is starting to hit the same level of popularity as series like Durarara!! and Hetalia which have been around for years. Tiger & Bunny is also extremely popular among 25-40 year old females.
The overall response to episode 16 has also been amazing. People who joked about Lunatic are apologizing now and joking about him isn’t cool anymore in general. Everyone seems to want Kotetsu and Barnaby to just be bros and hug it out and everything will be fine.
Director Sato, whatever you are doing, you are doing it so right that no one can keep up. Please don’t stop.
Aw man, this is so awesome! It’s nice that an actual good quality show is getting this kind of enthusiastic response.
I love it when good shows are successful!
As someone who tried to get the catalogue in advance, I can confirm that they were indeed sold out. I think they did a re-print of the catalogue or had some reserved for the actual day of the event, but that supply run out fast, too. In the end, they ended up selling single paper sheet with the map of the venue instead of the catalogues . Unfortunately, they only started this 15 minutes *after* the event was scheduled to open.
It’s not unusual for circles to sell out before the event is over, really. It’s actually quite common. What was unusual about GONEXT, however, was just how incredibly fast some of the circles sold out. Before those of us who had not been able to buy the catalogue in advance were even able to enter the event venue, some circles had already sold out.
Right now, Tiger & Bunny is actually probably bigger than Durarara or Hetalia, since both of those fandoms have already peaked in terms of popularity. Curiously enough, many of the circles attending GONEXT were previously into Durarara or Hetalia.
I went to some events when I was living in Japan, big and popular ones. (I was really into Sengoku Basara at the time and the Basara fever was pretty high then, so there was a big event.) But even there the circles, even the most popular ones, still had wares to sell toward the end.
I was really into Durarara!! before T&B started and I’m still waiting for some of my favourite circles to jump on the bandwagon. The amazing thing is how fast the switch to T&B from other fandoms has happened, and I know many circles already have several T&B books out.
In my experience, it is not that unusual for circles to sell out even as early as an hour into the event. Of course, this is an observation based solely on the events and fandoms that I have been into, such as the big general Tokyo events this past year, HaruComi the previous year, some of the Hetalia events this past year and Code Geass series specific & pairing specific events the past two and half years. As recently as this May, some Hetalia circles were selling out couple of hours into the event.
Now, it is fully possible I’ve simply been into fandoms and/or events that happen to have circles selling out and that it is not a common phenomenon. Still, I feel it would be somewhat misleading to say that T&B is especially popular based on circles selling out; a much better/more accurate measuring stick is how amazingly fast the circles are running out of merchandise. As you said, some circles already have published several T&B books, so having them miscalculate the demand so dramatically must signify something.
Just like you, I’m speaking from my own experiences. I’ve been to fandom specific events and general events (Comic City Spark where I arrived a bit late from another event but the stuff I was after was still available, and Winter Comiket). It may be the fandoms I was into at the time weren’t at the peak, but I never walked empty handed from an event because a circle had sold out.
If the popularity continues like this, I’m guessing the next time they hold a T&B only event they should consider doing it at Tokyo Big Sight.
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