Thou­sands make their way into Taipei Comic Ex­hi­bi­tion

The China Post - - TAIWAN BUSINESS -

Tens of thou­sands of comic book and anime fans pushed and shoved their way into the 2015 Comic Ex­hi­bi­tion in Taipei Thurs­day to seize lim­ited-edi­tion prod­ucts at the an­nual expo.

Large crowds of mostly stu­dents sprinted into the venue at the Taipei World Trade Cen­ter Ex­hi­bi­tion Hall 1 as soon as the doors opened at 10 a.m., knock­ing over por­ta­ble rail­ings as they dashed to­ward the more pop­u­lar booths.

Comic book fan Vin­cent Chi­ang said he and over a dozen friends had taken turns camp­ing out­side the venue for a week so that they could buy lim­ited-edi­tion gift boxes from the ac­tion anime “Fate/Stay Night: Un­lim­ited Blade Works.”

“I like the spe­cial ef­fects and the por­trayal of hu­man na­ture in the anime,” the 17-year-old high school stu­dent said.

Chi­ang and his friends al­most cleared all of the “Fate” gift boxes from the shelves. The boxes, each priced at NT$650 (US$20.52), con­sist of posters, note­books, pro­ject fold­ers, sig­na­tures of one of the voice ac­tors and other items.

One fan who did not man­age to get a box was heard beg­ging oth­ers to spare him one.

Another comics fan, 25-year-old Yen Tzu-fa, pur­chased NT$3,000worth of prod­ucts re­lated to the best­selling Ja­panese manga “One Piece.”

Yen, who was plan­ning to spend NT$5,000 at the fair, said he likes the manga be­cause “it is pas­sion­ate and the story is touch­ing.”

As of noon Thurs­day, the fair had al­ready at­tracted around 50,000 peo­ple, ac­cord­ing to ini­tial fig­ures re­leased by the event’s main or­ga­nizer, the Taipei-based Chi­nese An­i­ma­tion and Comic Pub­lish­ers As­so­ci­a­tion.

Over 70 pub­lish­ers have set up 610 booths at the fair, a 15 per­cent in­crease from last year, ac­cord­ing to the as­so­ci­a­tion.

A to­tal of 50 graphic artists, au­thors, voice ac­tors and an­i­ma­tion pro­duc­ers from Tai­wan and Ja­pan will hold 34 book-sign­ings and other events at the fair, now in its 16th year.

Among them are Ja­panese au­thors Chise Ogawa and Ryo Tak­agi and Tai­wanese light nov­el­ists Yang­hane, Yu Wo and Mao Luo.

A booth fea­tur­ing “Star Wars” prod­ucts is be­ing set up for the first time at the fair. Heads were turned when sev­eral peo­ple dressed as “Star Wars” char­ac­ters Darth Vader and stormtroop­ers marched into the venue to open the fair, with the “Star Wars” theme song play­ing in the back­ground.

Although Typhoon Soude­lor is ex­pected to bring wind and rain to Tai­wan in the com­ing two days, Roger Kao, sec­re­tary-gen­eral of the as­so­ci­a­tion, said the ex­hi­bi­tion will not be can­celed or post­poned and will con­tinue as planned.

Safety mea­sures have be taken and fans will be asked to queue in­doors in­stead of out­doors, he said.

Last year, the fair at­tracted 601,000 visi­tors and gen­er­ated around NT$260 mil­lion in sales, ac­cord­ing to the as­so­ci­a­tion. It will run un­til Aug. 11.


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