Happy Post-Thanksgiving Day, friends! It’s hard to believe that it’s already that time of the year again, when some of the best deals of the season are happening. It can be tempting to “celebrate” Black Friday for its financial benefits alone, but this year, we at BtT wanted to do something a little different. As we make our Black Friday plans, we’re going to remember what Tohru from Fruits Basket shows us, that this holiday isn’t about the sales, but about time spent with family and friends. So let’s continue that theme of friendship and thankfulness with the power of our imagination, and instead of the sometimes cutthroat reality of Black Friday, let’s dream of a shopping extravaganza that keeps friendship at the center!
If you remember The Labor Day Anime Cookout from a few months ago, we’re bringing back the anime fantasy fun, but this time we’re going shopping with some of our favorite characters! Yep, that’s right, the Tangles team is sharing their plans for who’s camping out in front of stores (and online!) to get those first-come-first-serve deals, what we’ll do while we wait for the doors to open, and we’re hoping to grab, and maybe who we’ll miss seeing amid all the Black Friday madness. So grab some of those Thanksgiving dinner leftovers and settle in for today’s shopping experience!
Who are you taking with you and why?
I’m pretty sure we’ve all heard about those “crazy people” who are willing to forego turkey dinner to set up camp in front of video game stores so they can get electronic devices for super cheap. In fact, here at Beneath the Tangles, I’m sure some of us are those kinds of people! Ha! So let’s see the Tangles crew’s picks for who they are taking with them for a midnight endeavor, regardless of rain or shine, as they camp out at the storefront or at home in front of their computer for those online events!
Josh: Contrary to popular opinion, I only participated in a Black Friday ONCE in my life. It was many moons ago, and the highlights involved washing my hands in Dead Sea salt, getting my thumbnail buffed to a shine, and having a stranger wrap heating pads around my waist. But I digress. I’m all for having a good time and for utility, so if I’m taking anyone with me to Black Friday, I have to say I’m taking Machi from Interviews With Monster Girls, Takeo Gouda from My Love Story, Shinji Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion and Marin Kitagawa from My Dress-Up Darling. Machi, being a Doulahan, will be invaluable in holding our spot in line with her lower half while her head is hoisted skyward to see whether there is a shorter line or any missed deals. Takeo is just the big and burley type of dude that could prove invaluable in fighting off the large crowds and doing the hoisting of Machi’s head skyward. Marin because, well, mama went to the bank and she could be an invaluable shopping advisor, and Shinji because, much like the Labor Day Cookout, this guy could do with some fun and shenanigans.
Twwk: I’m not my best self while in the middle of the night or super early in the morning after I’ve spent a day feasting on meals dotted with tryptophan. In fact, I’m not really in the mood to talk much at all beyond the essentials, like agreements about who goes where and where we’ll meet once we procure the items. Which all makes Celty Sturluson the perfect companion when lining up for Black Friday sales! She doesn’t have a thing to say, but can still communicate by nodding (“Do you want to tackle the anime Blu-Rays while I hit the mobile phones?” Shakes head back and forth. “Oh, I get it. You want to do the cell phones then?” Nods head. “We’ll meet out here when we’re done?” Nods head. “Sounds like a plan!”). Also, I won’t feel rude looking down at my phone, scrolling endlessly through who knows what (probably scary middle-of-the-night social media posts) because she’s addicted to her own.
Marg: I would have to choose the “Immortal Dragon” himself, Tatsu from The Way of the House Husband. He would know where to find all the best deals on Black Friday and he can also double as my bodyguard. And being the ex-yakuza boss that he is, I’m sure he could clear the area so I could shop in peace.
Laura: When I think of a shopping buddy I would love to have with me, Hinata from Haikyu!! is the first person that comes to mind! He’s my all-time favorite character and his excited energy could be the thing to carry us through the long waits and any impatient or rude people we meet. And yettttt… I also feel that Hinata would not help me exercise any restraint or reel in my enthusiasm for buying things simply because they are on sale. Ha! So, I’m ultimately going to choose Robin from One Piece! Not only would Robin be a lovely shopping companion, but her devil fruit power would definitely be helpful: rather than trying to
fight nudge our way through crowds, she could kindly slip through a mob group of people with her hands and grab items we wanted without any issues. Plus, after we’re done shopping, I want to be able to go grab a cup of tea with her and chat about our favorite books together!
How will you pass the time as you wait?
Regardless of whether you decide to set up camp the night before (literally at the store or at home), it’s inevitable that waiting will be part of the experience. But being with friends can help make the slow passage of time feel a little less unbearable!
Josh: Considering that I’m sharing company with a Doulahan, a gentle giant, an Evangelion Pilot, and a cosplaying fangirl, I can only imagine the conversations that we will have. Personally, I would probably talk about work, and some articles here at Beneath the Tangles. Shinji, no doubt, would be so sheepish and shy about sharing company with such an eclectic group, but Marin, seeing that Shinji is just as shy as a certain hina doll apprentice she knows and loves, would relate to him and manage to draw him out his shell! Takeo, of course, will be talking about Rinko and Sunakawa, who couldn’t make the trip for…reasons…and Machi is just taking it all in, wondering how in the world she is the most normal out of this group of crazies.
Twwk: Thank goodness we’ve curved inside the building—it was freezing outside! Now I can focus a little more and take a look around. Who’s that I spy waiting in line ahead of Celty and me? Could it be the members of Genshiken, The Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture? Well, this makes waiting easy—I’ll just sit here and people-watch! They seem to be all lined up to get the latest Playstation Switch X or whatever (sorry, not a gamer). Hey, I didn’t know this electronics store would be where you’d have the best chance to get them!
There seems to be one girl in the group that doesn’t belong. She’s not nerdy, in cosplay, or remotely interested in the conversation. She is smoking a cigarette though. And she’s…being approached from behind by some bespectacled guy holding bunny ears? He’s going to put them on her head? I don’t think this is going to end well…
Ouch! Nope, that didn’t end well at all.
Laura: I can think of no better bunch to hang out and pass the time with than The Dark Dragon and the Happy Hungry Bunch from Yona of the Dawn! While I thought of plenty of characters I would love to have help me pass the time—especially when there are only five minutes left until the sale begins and every single minute passes so slowly—I keep coming back to these fun characters. The Happy Hungry Bunch really is a happy bunch and I would love to be able to try some of Yun’s snacks, banter back and forth with Hak and Jaeha, share hugs with Yona and Zeno, and attempt not to be too starry-eyed around my favorite characters, Sinha and Gija. With all the fun shenanigans, it will be essential that I set a timer though, because otherwise, I have a feeling we could just talk and laugh the whole night away and miss the opening doors!
Marg: Hirotaka of Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku and I would pass the time by playing video games while we wait in the long lines to get in. We would be at the very end of the line because we woke up late due to our Turkey-induced comas from Thanksgiving. But that’s okay! We can make the most of it and get a good gaming sesh in. Perhaps we could battle it out in a turf war or team up to splat some salmonoids in Splatoon 3!
What are you aiming to get?
Not everyone would consider it worthwhile to stay up until midnight, let alone camp out for X number of days, since there really is no guarantee that you’ll get the items you’re hoping for. Buttttt! Desperate times call for desperate measures, right? So what might just make the risk and time investment worth it for you?
Josh: Going on the assumption that I actually have all my bills paid and have a pretty sizeable budget, I’m gonna go for a new MacBook Pro. They’ve got to be on sale, right? RIGHT?! Anyway, I’m sure Machi would go for a nice set of Beats headphones, Takeo would of course buy something for Rinko, Marin would be making a beeline for the cameras, and Shinji, knowing him, would probably not want to buy something for himself, but after some good-natured pressure from myself and the other dorks in our shopping troupe, would get an iPhone, because heaven knows he can’t keep using the same old DAT player in 2023. Time to get iTunes, my dude.
Laura: While in no way do I see him actually going out to brave the crowds with me, I do feel Kenma from Haikyu!! would definitely be interested in going to some online sales for video games. In fact, knowing him, he has probably already been following websites that inform shoppers as to which games will be on sale (or at least make predictions)! Hopefully, with his help, I could actually find and get a deal on Mario Party for the Wii Switch because that’s probably the only way I’d attempt to grab it! While I would be the one to try and squeeze in a nap before the sale starts, his best friend Kuroo would probably have to go check on him and make sure he does get some sleep before the sale begins instead of pulling an all-nighter or something. Ha!
Twwk: Well, I was only here to get some anime merch, but it being an electronics store, I just can’t help but look around at all the cool tech! TVs, mobile devices, and…what’s this? Espionage gadgets?! Cool! I’d like to get in there a little bit, but there’s a coolly intense guy squatting down and checking out the items. Could it be? Is he maybe…a real spy? Could he be working for Westalian Intelligence? There was a rumor online of a suave gentleman who does all sorts of covert operations…what was his code name again? Was it, Twi… Wait a second…it feels like there are crazed eyes watching me, like I’ve uncovered something I shouldn’t have. Let me turn around and look…
She looks like she knows what I’ know’m thinking! But how could she possibly? …I think I’d better just skedaddle away from here. Big screen TVs, here I come!
Marg: Nothing really! We’re just here to people-watch! Shigure of Fruits Basket and I will be standing off to the side watching people lose their minds. We’ll probably be eating popcorn as we watch all the drama unfold. Shigure will likely get involved at some point. If he were to make someone angry, I would have to go find Tatsu. Hopefully, we don’t see any high school girls.
Who do you think would turn down your invitation and why?
Of course, some people avoid Black Friday madness for a variety of reasons, including the possibility that they have already bought their Christmas presents early or simply want to avoid the big crowds. Either way, you won’t see them rushing to snag the best deals this year! But we still love ’em.
Josh: I would love to invite Kyoya from Ouran High School Host Club to the shenanigans, but as we’ve seen, he is NOT a morning person and would probably turn me down in a heartbeat. Probably for the best, really…besides, would he REALLY be that interested in catching a sale? When you have as much money as most small countries, would a sale really MATTER to you?
Laura: Hands down, I can’t think of any other character who would flat-out refuse to join in the Black Friday fun than Sakusa from Haikyu!! While he might consider—if only for a fleeting second and even that feels quite the stretch—going out and braving the crowds on Back Friday, it would only ever be for a massive cleaning supply sale. But even then, I feel pretty confident that nothing would get him outside the house to shop for deals if there were going to be huge crowds of people. It seems that the only thing that gets him out among crowds is volleyball, but even then, it’s mandatory that he wear a face mask and be able to take a bath first before anyone else hits the public baths. So the win-win for Sakusa is to simply avoid Black Friday at all costs, especially when it comes to public places.
Marg: I think Hanako-Kun from Toilet-Bound Hanako-Kun would turn down my invitation. For one, he’s… toilet-bound… And second, he’s got his hands full with keeping everyone, including the other six mysteries, in check at the school! It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it.
Twwk: I’m glad Celty did come with me, but I wonder where the rest of the group went? None of them turned me down, but no one else met us at the agreed spot, and none of them are answering their cell phones either. Where could Zoro, Chihaya, Nayuki, and Aizawa be??
Well, that’s i—SCRIIITTTCHH!!! [insert record scratch .wav]
EDIT (Claire): Hold up, hold up, y’all! How can no one have invited the Laid-Back Camp crew?!? This post can never be complete without our resident camping experts Rin, Nadeshiko, Aoi, Chiaki, Ena, and of course, Chikuwa in attendance! Not only will they come prepared with the latest in warming technology—from hand-warmers to thermal sleeping bags, snuggly scarfs to stylish wooly caps (these girls are always ready for winter)—but they’ll bring enough to share! And snacks too! As well as a camper stove so that we can have a few hot meals and drinks while we wait. As for the conversation, it’ll be that perfect mix of wacky craziness from Nadeshiko, outlandish (inappropriate) humor from Chiaki, heart-warming family stories from Aoi (about everyone’s favorite little sister, Akari), cute pet antics from Ena and Chikuwa, and last but not least—the highlight of the night for us introverts who may otherwise not exactly be vibing with the crowds—quiet contemplation of the stars and the wonder of life with Rin. Whatever happens next, whether or not we get that Coleman lamp, fold-up recliner chair, or cast iron frying pan for cooking up the perfect steak that the Outdoor Activities Club has been eyeing, the night will have been a success. Sakura nee-chan of course turned us down, not wanting to crowd her little sis, but I’m pretty sure I caught a glimpse of her checking on Nadeshiko from behind that streetlamp. And wait, is that the sound of a Triumph Thruxton I hear across the parking lot?
Hope you had fun shopping with friends (or chilling at home)!
Whether you’ve decided to take advantage of today’s sales at the stores or online, we’re thankful for you joining our fun time imagining some of our favorite characters on a Black Friday outing!
What would your ideal anime Black Friday look like? Let us know in the comments!