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Comic Market Waiting-People Time-Lapse Video

Japanese discipline was showed after the Eastern Japan Disaster 3/11 last year. And it is not only at earthquake.

The video by a Nico Nico Douga user munyaka is a time-lapse animation on the third day morning of the massive self-publishers’ comic conference Comic Market 81(Comike81), December 31, 2011.

The video started around 00:50, there were already some people lining up. Small red lights moving around are by Comike staff.

Around 5:30 a.m. (00:01:10 in the video), when the first trains were arriving (there are no owl trains in Japan), more and more people came and then Sun shine show up the whole battalion of people who aimed at purchasing popular comics as many as possible.

About 9:30 a.m. (00:02:05), the first group of the long line began to be guided by staff, to move into the convention centre. The more and more arriving people comes from upper-left of the frame.

The one re-uploaded on YouTube may be easier to watch as it does not have overlay Japanese comments (You may turn off the overlay comment by the right-bottom button on Nico Nico Douga embedded player). But this one does not clock, too.

via Hatena Bookmark

5 Trends In Japan’s Web And Mobile Worlds In 2011


2011 is over – reason enough to take a look at some of the key trends that shaped Japan’s web, mobile, and gaming industries last year.

I could think, in no particular order, of five major developments that made a significant impact last year:

March 11 Triple Disaster
The triple disaster that hit Japan on March 11, 2011, highlighted the power and importance of social media and the web at large when it comes to communicating and sharing information with others – especially as the phone networks went bust immediately after the earthquake and made voice communication impossible.

Challenges remain, such as the digital divide (young vs. old people, users who are web-savvy vs. those who aren’t, etc.) or the danger of mass-distributing false information through social media, but the web’s “reputation” has clearly risen in Japan.

Internationalization
The list of Japanese web, mobile, and gaming companies that started expanding across borders (or bolstered their efforts) in 2011 is long: Rakuten, DeNA, GREE, Dwango’s Nico Nico Douga, and CyberAgent are just the most prominent examples.

Quite a few startups are now creating services that are multi-lingual from the get-go (i.e. Sumally, Beatrobo, Crowsnest, etc., etc.).

The tech industry is maturing, Japan’s population is greying, and entrepreneurs need to deal with saturated markets: expect internationalization to only pick up speed in the next years.

Android Revolution
The smartphone revolution started earlier than 2011 (mainly driven by the smash success of the iPhone), but it was during the last year that Android really started gaining a foothold in Japan. Just one example: SoftBank’s winter 2011 cell phone line-up includes just one feature phone – but nine Android handsets.

Feature phones are still king in Japan, but market research companies like Tokyo-based MM Research are expecting smartphone shipments to outnumber those of traditional handsets next year.

Americanization
2011 is the year that Facebook started to become popular in Japan even though it will take at least another year to determine how sustainable the growth really is – not too few people think it has the potential to eventually throw market leader Mixi off the throne. Twitter has seen another massive boost in popularity after March 11 (see above).

In mobile, Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS are set to dominate the market in the next years – local mobile platforms have no chance in the foreseeable future.

Cool Japan
I saw Techwave editor-in-chief Tsuruaki Yukawa highlighting this trend in a recent presentation, and he’s right in saying that quite a few Japanese startups in 2011 started riding on the “Cool Japan” wave: Snapeee and Decopic are probably the most successful examples, next to Nico Nico’s new English version, Japan portal FindJPN, or e-commerce brand satisfaction guaranteed on Facebook.

Incubator Boom
I still hold there is a clear disconnect between the number of incubators in Japan and the number of startups and entrepreneurs they can “absorb”, but that didn’t stop venture capital (and other) companies in Japan from launching one incubator after the other in 2011.
The boom started with Open Network Lab in 2010, and now this country has well over ten full-scale startup incubation programs.

Other trends
Other interesting developments observed in 2011 include: