Doujin Market, also known as Doujima, is Singapore’s largest pop culture inspired art and independent fan creator’s event. It took place from 11-12 May at Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre Halls, 403, 404 and 405.

“Doujin” refers to individuals working by themselves or in groups (also called circles) to produce and showcase their works. Modern doujin is often associated with pop-culture, such as comics, games, manga and others. This year’s event welcomed more than 600 passionate creators from 15 countries, each one showcasing their own works to eager event-goers.

Shinnosuke Uchida posing with this article’s author, Jaden Png, during Doujima 2024. Photo credit: Kristel Tan

One of those creators is Shinnosuke Uchida, a manga live painter from Japan. She told the UrbanWire that it was her first time in Singapore and shared that: “Singapore events are different from Japan as there are so many goodies and the decorations are so elaborate that I can’t wait to see them.”

There were over 600 stalls selling merchandise, from keychains and posters based on popular anime shows and games, to stickers and tote bags featuring their own illustrations. These creators sold their products alongside stores such as newnew and G-Max Essentials,

This year saw the debut of Comic Toranoana in Doujima 2024, which is regarded as the world’s biggest otaku shop with nearly thirty years of history. The term “otaku” describes young people who are obsessed with particular aspects of popular culture. The World’s Leading Doujinshi Retailer showcased a selection of their products.

Geoffrey Chia, founder and game designer of Good Spirit Games, one of the developers featured in the showcase. Photo credit: Adrienne Tan

Doujima 2024 saw the inclusion of an Indie Games showcase, with indie game developers in the tabletop and video sphere sharing their works. This was made possible through a partnership with Singapore Games Association (SGGA). 9 games were featured, including those by homegrown studios Cloud of Pinky LLC (Harpy Raiders), Daffodil Starlight (Meow Meow Wizard Arena) and Miniversal Games (Mimicries).

In a media release, Ms Cheryl Chong, the Project Manager of SGGA, commented that she was elated to see indie games given a spotlight alongside the many talented creators that Doujima is known for. She added that she is looking forward to seeing local creators take steps to collaborate with game developers.

A Dungeons & Dragons session in progress.  (Neo Tokyo Project, Press Release)

There was also a section of the even known as the “Tabletop Playspace”, which let visitors try out playing Dungeons & Dragons, miniature painting as well as play board game demos by Origame.

Sean Lam, creator of the graphic novel Geungsi, sharing his work during Doujima 2024. Photo credit: Adrienne Tan

This year saw the return of Portfolio Reviews, with the creator of the Geungsi graphic novel, Sean Lam, present at the event.  Also present were veteran artists Darren Tan and Julian Kok, who are known for their work in the popular trading card game Magic: The Gathering. All of them showcased their recent work and shared their experiences to curious event-goers.

Lee drawing on the Art Wall. Photo credit: Kristel Tan

Some attendees were drawn to the art on display during the event, with some seen drawing on the Art Wall sponsored by Pentel.  Lee, one of the attendees drawing on the Art Wall, shared that he was mainly at Doujima 2024 for the art because he is a self-taught artist. 

Jinko, pictured on the right, talking to event-goers during Doujima 2024. Photo credit: Kristel Tan

Doujima 2024 also saw attendees dressing up as their favourite characters. Jinko, who has been cosplaying for ten years, was helping out at her friend’s stall during the event. 

“I’m usually [one of] the people buying stuff, so this is my first time helping out at a booth”, she shared. “The reception has been pretty good, since we kind of do a little bit of role-play. Sometimes I have people come up to me and role-play back to me, and that’s actually been really fun!”

Event-goers browsing the stalls during Doujima 2024. Photo credit: Kristel Tan

In a pre-event media release, Jason Koh, the founder and producer of Doujin Market, said: “We want to make Doujima a show for creators of every stripe – not just arts and illustration. What better time to do this than during our 10th anniversary?”

“We’ve taken the best parts of what made us Singapore’s premier pop culture creators convention over the years, and dialled it up to 11. We’ll continue striving to provide creators in Singapore and the region with an affordable, accessible, and most importantly, visible platform in the years to come,” he added.

Check out details for the next Doujin Market on NeoTokyo Project’s website. Also, check out The UrbanWire’s full YouTube video on Doujima 2024, where we sat down and interviewed some local indie game developers, and found out more about the local indie game scene.