At a time when most, if not all, conventions have been postponed or canceled due to the current pandemic, DoKomi, Germany’s biggest Anime and Japan Expo brought the fun right to your homes. DigiKomi, the digital convention which emphasized interactivity, was held from May 23-24, on several digital platforms. Their main stage was hosted on Twitch, the art live streams were held on Discord along with some channels for discussion among fans, and their digital stores were lovingly rendered in the cute chat program VRChat.
The theme of this year’s DigiKomi was Wonderland and this is reflected on the hosts’ attires and the layout of the virtual world of Digikomi in VRChat, which is named “Creamy Island.”
Creamy Island is a vast world where avatars could freely roam around and bask in the sceneries of the Wonderland-themed island. Creamy Island is made up of several sections:the Exhibitors’ Area, the Stage Area, the Artist Alley, and the picturesque areas Wonderland, Matsuri, and Shrine.
Spotted below, Manga Planet and our sibling service futekiya’s poster in the Exhibitors’ Area.
The highlight of Cream Island is the charming Artist Alley, where each of the artists got a stall where they could showcase their digital wares.
Onwards to the Main Stage, several programs were shown on DoKomi’s Twitch channel. Excited fans get to interact and influence the program, all thanks to the chat box at the side.
No self-respecting anime convention would miss the chance to have people cosplay. Given that most of us are staying home, DigiKomi made the most of the situation by having cosplayers send in pictures of their cosplayed characters doing tasks that keep them busy while staying home.
DigiKomi also paid tribute to DoKomi’s most popular activity, the Cosplay Ball, by presenting a “Welcome to the Ballroom” dance skit and a trailer teaser for the cosplay, which seemed to be mermaid-centric.
Gamers got their fix since DigiKomi had a section for gaming news, which largely focused on the competitive scenes of popular shooter Overwatch and the wacky fighting game, Super Smash Bros.
The interactivity of Digikomi came into play when the Quiz show came on. With the participants on stage going head-to-head answering the questions, viewers were able to join in the fray by choosing their answer on the screen and gaining points when they chose the correct answer.
For music lovers, several performers took to the stage and performed music from popular anime shows. From a mini-orchestra (Minichestra) to popular cosplayers like Shiroku performing anisong, anime fans got to bop their hearts out.
For fledgling dancers, there was a Yosakoi dance workshop. Fans got to dance along and learn the moves of Souodori.
Team Kiseki held their audiences captive as they performed a Harvest Moon-inspired musical.
A dance mob video gathered from videos sent in were also shown during the program. It was nice to see that despite being in lockdown, people didn’t forget how to have fun.
Cosplay celebrities revealed a side that many people may not know as they play Otaku Exposed.
Artists had fun while drawing when they had to let the others guess what they’re drawing in the artists’ activity. Hilarity ensued as the participants gave answers.
Artists tested their mettle as they draw a character from memory in Artist vs. Artist.
While people could not go physically to a host club/maid cafe this year, the hosts from Sweet Spice alleviated the pain a bit by hosting a half-hour host club performance.
On the Discord side of things, fans participated in several fun channels where they discussed various topics. Of course, the more titillating topic like Boys’ Love had a channel of their own in the evening. Several artists like Muromaki, Miyase Parade, and Soenkai held a drawing live stream where they drew fans’ requests while answering their questions.
One of the highlights of Discord was the Karaoke channel, where anime music videos were played and participants sang along with or without their microphones turned on. Technology truly is a wonderful thing.
All in all, DigiKomi was a fun romp during a time when physical conventions are hard to organize due to the current situation. The emphasis on interactivity was refreshing and made one think that virtual conventions can be as fun-filled as physical conventions.
Did you join DigiKomi? What part of DigiKomi did you like most? We’d love to hear from you on our Twitter account!
About Manga Planet: Read manga, support artists
In 2012, Manga Planet started as a joint project between Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. and FANTASISTA, INC. to research and explore the ways manga is read throughout the world. Aiming to bring new manga to fans from all over the world and support artists and the industry, Manga Planet pushes for affordability and access to manga through a subscription-based service.
Readers who subscribe to Manga Planet and pay a flat monthly fee of $6.99 will have access to our expanding library of English-language manga. By the end of 2020, subscribers will have unlimited access to at least 500 titles. To subscribe, please go to read.mangaplanet.com and create an account. More information is in our guide.