Unfortunately, my flight was delayed by 2 hours, so I didn’t arrive until almost 6PM. Luckily, there were no panels on this day. Many of the special guests were in attendance, which gave early visitors the opportunity to visit them ahead of the Saturday crowd.
- Convention Overview
- Friday, August 16, 2019 (Preview Night) 4PM-8PM
- Saturday, August 17, 2019 – 9 AM (VIPs Only) 10AM-6PM
- Sunday, August 18, 2019 – 9 AM (VIPs Only) 10AM-5PM
There was a small group of visitors on Friday night. There were tables of vendors with plenty of boxes of tokusatsu goodies to look through. Not all of the artists were quite set up yet, so many of the booths were empty.
As posted on the website, every guest had a different price list, so some charged only for an autograph and selfie, but there were also professional photo-ops available later that weekend on Saturday and Sunday.
No surprise, but Kamen Rider Blade’s actor Takayuki Tsubaki had quite a line from the start. I opted to wait, since the mobile reception was poor in the basement level, so card payments weren’t really working.
The highlight of my evening was visiting Kenichi Muraeda’s table. Muraeda is the artist of Kamen Rider Spirits, a long-running manga series that began with Kamen Rider 1 and 2 but continued to showcase other Riders. He was busy drawing on those white boards with gold borders one often sees artists drawing on. Having read over the website before my arrival, I brought my copy of Kamen Rider Spirits with me. Muraeda was kind enough to draw a picture of Kamen Rider 1 in the interior cover of the manga, along with writing my name, and stamping his name. As an artist and comic creator, it was an unforgettable experience.
Since there were no panels on Friday, I opted to leave a bit early to visit the Paseo, which is the outdoor mall across the street from the convention center. On the right is Tokyo Wako, which is where the special guest dinner would be. I didn’t know who the guests were in advance, so I didn’t schedule an early reservation. Only eight visitors from the con could go if they bought a ticket early. If you’re interested in going in 2021, make sure to reserve your seat(s) early!