Are your friends a bad influence? Mine are. Are you listening, Nami? My friends are a bad influence and you’re one of them!
Too bad Nami* doesn’t read my blog.
*not her real name – it’s my nickname for her, from the One Piece manga character she likes so much
Just the other day I wrote about wasting my money buying drinks I don’t even like, and a few days before that I’ve pat myself on the back for having enough self-control not to buy more stuff I don’t need.
But then this Golden Week – a ten-day (or so) vacation period in Japan wherein several national holidays come one after the other – Nami texted me to say she wanted me to go shopping with her at Yokohama.
Okay, I’ll be your shopping bag carrier, I replied. As long as all I have to do is carry bags, then I should be fine. Just don’t tempt me with stuff, okay?
“I’ll do the buying, you do the carrying, and I’ll treat you to lunch,” she said.
Alright, let’s go then. We went to Yokohama Loft, which I wrote about previously having a pop-up store event for Jujutsu Kaisen. It will end on May 13th, so better get your asses in here as fast as you can, said the Jujutsu Kaisen PLAZA official twitter account.
It was a weekday right in the middle of Golden Week, and lo and behold there weren’t that many customers at all. You could just go in and out of the event space without tickets or waiting in line or other restrictions. As long as you’re masked up and practice social distancing then it’s a free-for-all. Yay!
Because it wasn’t too crowded I got more pics than from the last time I went there. Let’s have a look:
Next to the entrance are the latest pinback buttons via a couple of gacha or capsule toy machines.
Then there are the carts. Above is one with pinback buttons and keychains. The catch is that they’re packaged ‘blind’, meaning you don’t know which character you’ll end up with. Great for those who love the entire cast, not so great for those only wanting a particular character.
Acrylic die-cut figurines as well as die-cut stickers. These ones you can choose! The stickers are JPY 400 each, while the acrylic figurines are JPY 1500 pre-tax.
The tote bag designs are exclusive to this event. I couldn’t decide which I liked better, the beige one with colourful characters, or the black one with the characters in white. They cost JPY 2700 each so unlike the other shopping bag product (half the price) these ones were still available. Below the bags are blowup mini-cushions of Satoru Gojo.
Yuji Itadori’s blowup cushion looks totally adorable! For some reason Nobara Kugisaki looks like she has eyeglasses on. Or is it just me? Each costs JPY 2200.
Here’s a shelf with rubber stamps, pinback buttons, cloth patches, and acrylic figurines with a summer festival theme. Below are hankies and plastic sleeves with Jujutsu Kaisen character-inspired patterns.
Yuji Itadori and Megumi Fushiguro plushies. Super cute! Below them are plastic sleeves.
Then we have the stationery shelf, with ballpoint pens, stickers, paper theatres, notebooks, tote bags etcetera, as well as even more acrylic figurines and pinback buttons.
The above photo shows acrylic figurines with the Ohanami (cherry blossom viewing) theme. See the middle shelf? One of the products is a folding paper screen of the gang doing ohanami, which I wrote about in a previous article. I bought the product at another store, Tokyu Hands, so this was a pass for me. The plastic sleeves below are from the Kung-Fu series.
Most of the products on the shelf above are from the DIY series as well as the Kung-fu series mentioned above. The DIY series features both the Tokyo and Kyoto students doing carpentry and such. There are also thermos bottles, with only one left of Gojo (the blue one on the right).
Above are stickers, acrylic cards with stand, notebooks, greeting cards and drawstring bags.
I was only supposed to accompany Nami and carry shopping bags. Guess what Nami bought? She got… Every. Single. Wooden. Cutout. Figure. Available. These ones:
They’re die-cut wooden figurines, which you pop out of their plates and put together to make a wooden stand, like the ones you see lining the top of the shelf. Each one costs JPY 1800 (pre-tax), and my friend bought all thirteen characters available, for a total of… OMFG.
“You’ll get everything?” I asked, incredulous.
“Of course,” she said with a degree of nonchalance I could only gawp at, “otherwise it won’t be a collection.”
“You’re crazy,” I said.
“Well, take a long hard look at yourself,” she retorted, eyeing my shopping basket.
To my shame, there was stuff in there that wasn’t supposed to be there. Why was I carrying my own shopping basket in the first place? Oh dear me!
For every JPY 2200 worth of purchase you get one postcard. Here are my postcards:
So you can now easily calculate how much I spent. I fully blame Nami’s bad influence.
To be fair, I suppose the only reason I didn’t buy the first time I went to this event was because I got there after a long day at work, and I had to wait in line due to the crowd, and so on and so forth. I took photos of the life-size panels, but by the time I made it inside the pop-up shop I was tired and only felt like going home. However, on a vacation day with a friend who wanted to build a proper collection, I couldn’t resist buying stuff for my own shelf. Talk about being easily influenced! xD
As for the merch I bought, I’ll have all these months to unpack them, ahaha! I now have enough material to last me an entire fucking year. Whether that’s good or bad depends on your perspective in life: you might die tomorrow so shop til you drop! OR you might live to be 150 years old so save up and stop buying shit.
When I’m with Nami I always feel like the latter. I need more prudent friends, ahaha!
“One of these days we’ll regret everything,” I told her as we ate lunch.
“Life is short, Hana. Live it up!” she said, in full materialistic mode.
Someone once said that your friends are a reflection of who you are.
“How long will we be doing retail therapy?” I asked.
“As long as it takes.”
“So we’ll be shopaholics for life?”
“No guilty feelings whatsoever? No self-criticism regarding acquisition as source of happiness? No agonising over possession-defined success?”
“No remorse over our role as mindless consumers in an exploitative capitalist system? No reflections about our need to seek external stimuli as a means to escape the realities of our own mortality?” I press on.
I look at my latest Satoru Gojo figurine on the table. My god, I adore him! For a fleeting moment I feel a surge of happiness. I grin at Nami, “That’s why I love you!”
Thank you so much for reading! Please take a moment to share a thought or two in the comment section below. Your comments give me life and are a real source of encouragement. xoxo – hana