Tokyo Comic Con 2017 entered its second day Saturday as Japanese fans demonstrated their enthusiasm for comic and sci-fi imports from the West with Star Wars featuring heavily ahead of “Last Jedi” release later in December.

A huge scale model of Star Wars’ iconic Millennium Falcon, watched over by miniature Stormtroopers and Darth Vader, was set up at the three-day pop culture and technology event at Chiba’s Makuhari Messe convention center, east of Tokyo.  Han Solo’s much-loved ride was one of many Star Wars-themed exhibits, booths and cosplayers on show at Tokyo Comic Con as anticipation builds ahead of the saga’s latest installment, “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”, set for a December 15 release in Japan.  

The second day of Tokyo Comic Con also saw a return of the Star Wars Cosplay Showcase during which Star Wars fans could cosplay their favorite characters from the franchise, embellished with song, dance or the acting out of favorite scenes.  Fans were selected from an SMS campaign held during November.

Alongside Star Wars, characters from the Warner Bros. Pictures film "Justice League" (released in Japan towards the end of November) are another common theme at Comic Con.

With Spiderman and X-Men creator Stan Lee playing a key role in bringing a comic con to Tokyo, Marvel Comics, the home of many of Lee’s creations, also maintains a strong presence at the event.  The publisher has its own cosplay showcase and present among the special guests across the three days is actor Michael Rooker who plays Yondu in the MARVEL Studios films "Guardians of the Galaxy" (2014) and "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 " (2017).

Yondu cosplayers were among the myriad of characters on display at day-two of Tokyo Comic Con as Japanese fans showed their enthusiasm for the West’s answer to anime and manga.  Together with their foreign counterparts and casual visitors, event organisers have anticipated visitor numbers to hit around 50,000 over the three days.

“Compared to other ‘amecon’ events in Japan, Tokyo Comic Con stands out as being more friendly with so many foreigners happy to be here.”, said one member of a group of young Japanese cosplayers who regularly attend Japan’s many ‘amecon’ events.

Invited to attend Tokyo Comic Con 2017 after taking part in a campaign on Twitter, the group expressed confidence that the event, which they collectively described as “gorgeous”, in only its second year, would continue to grow due to the popularity of comics, and particularly their movie adaptations, here in Japan.  

Tokyo Comic Con 2017 runs until Sunday Dec. 3 with over 150 companies and organizations involved at the event.  Founder Steve Wozniak (also one of the co-founders of Apple Inc.) and honorary goodwill ambassador Stan Lee will both be in attendance across the three days of the convention.

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