Never underestimate the power of the elevator.
Besides enjoying all the anime, manga, video games and cosplay at the biannual comic convention known as Winter Comiket, early birds can also witness a mad rush dubbed as “The Running of the Nerds”.
The unofficial event is the result of eager attendees charging out of the first train towards the ticket gates, with this year’s Winter Comiket dash marking the last in the Heisei era as the Emperor will be abdicating the throne next year.
▼ And as the video below shows, the dash is still as exciting as ever.
— きまな (@kimarium) December 28, 2018
Audiences gathered outside the ticket gates to watch the spectacle, but unlike previous years, a secret weapon had been employed: the elevator. As the doors opened, out came what would be the first winners of the race. One attendee even pumped his fists victoriously as if he had won a marathon at the ten-second mark of the video.
The main group of people arrived a few moments later, scrambling their way to the golden gates in an immense human wave. One spectator can be seen waving a hand to bid farewell to the last Heisei-era dash.
▼ Even in the midst of all this madness,
everyone scanned their train cards on the readers like proper law-abiding citizens.
— れいとぅ@始発ダッシュ撮るだけの人 (@Rei_To_beam) December 28, 2018
▼ Spectators who could not get prime positions in the station
managed to get a piece of the action outside.
— Fantasticれふと (@Fantastic_RefT) December 29, 2018
Japanese netizens responded with amusement:
“And to think there are people who arrive even earlier to film them.”
“The elevator turned out to be the fastest by a long margin.”
“Whenever I watch such videos, I can’t help but think that our country is so peaceful.”
“I laughed when someone cheered for them. They’ve become athletes.”
“I saw myself in the video!”
The Comiket tradition of hurtling towards the ticket gates has slowly become a spectator sport, with this year introducing a new element in the form of the formidable elevator. Fortunately for attendees, the conspicuous red shirt-wearing predator has not made an appearance this time around.