An enthusiastic fan of all things associated with Japanese anime and comics, wish kid Annika, 14, knew exactly where she wanted to go for her one true wish – Comiket, the world’s largest anime and manga (Japanese comics) fair which is hosted every year in Tokyo, Japan.
“My father and I are total geeks when it comes to comic-cons, anime and costume making,” said Annika. “When I was in the hospital I used to draw and read manga a lot, so I knew where I wanted to go when my wish granters asked me about my one true wish.”
“Though we knew what a big event Comiket is, it was still shocking to see how long AND wide the line was with people waiting to be a part of everything,” said Jason, Annika’s dad.
Annika’s family enjoyed a full day of the Comiket, starting with a short (and jam-packed according to Jason) train ride.
At Comiket, Annika and her sister Rachel dressed up in custom-designed Cosplay outfits and posed with some of their favorite characters, as well as other fans in costume. Annika not only saw the art and manga writers but also had the opportunity to meet them.
“Comiket is not like the comic-cons here in the U.S.” said Annika. “The artists themselves write, draw AND sell the manga. Some of the artists drew big posters of anime right in front of us.”
The family was able to experience Japan for an entire week, thanks to Make-A-Wish® Arizona and Make-A-Wish Japan creating options perfect for first-time international travelers.
The week-long wish trip also included a visit to the oldest Buddhist temple in Japan, the opportunity to sit on the famous Plexiglas floor “lookdown windows” of Tokyo Tower, and, just what every anime fan dreams of, a trip to the Electric City.
Akihabara the “Electric City” is a shopping center for manga, figurines and comic art. “My dad and I loved it here! I think it was the only place we went multiple times because we loved it so much,” said Annika.
“The whole experience was wonderful and once in a lifetime,” said Annika.