(English follows) 激カワちびたちが揃っちゃいました！「ファミリーマートｘ呪術廻戦キャンペーン」にて。満開の桜を背景に並べて撮ったり、会社近くのベッカーズで一緒に朝食したり。あ、もう可愛くてメロメロ。写真見てね
Something embarrassing happened to me yesterday, a Monday. Tokyo’s state of emergency has been lifted on the 21st of this month, meaning it’s back to the office for me and my colleagues. I woke up early, whistling a lively tune, thinking I’ll be going to my nearest FamilyMart convenience store on my way to the office and get a hold of the Jujutsu Kaisen giveaways I wrote about previously.
This week it’s pinback buttons, chibi version. Yey! I never buy these tin badges on their own because I’ve nowhere left to put them, but if they come with food then it’s gimme gimme xD Who doesn’t want a free Megumi Fushiguro button?
So I made sure to be at the door of a FamilyMart five minutes before 7:00, since I’d been anticipating a queue of Satoru Gojo fans eager to grab one of his pinbacks.
There was no queue at all.
I walked up to the counter staff and asked plaintively, “Don’t you have the new Jujutsu Kaisen giveaways? You know, the 缶バッジ ?” Pinback buttons are called ‘can badge’ in Japan.
He threw me a confused look, so I took out my iPhone and clicked on the FamilyMart Jujutsu Kaisen campaign page I’ve bookmarked. We watched as the page loaded and found that… the pinbacks are available on the 23rd, a Tuesday.
At this point in time it’s a Monday, the 22nd.
“Sorry,” I mumbled, coloring up. “I thought it was today.”
He laughed and said, “I’ll make sure to have the new products up on display by 7 o’clock sharp, tomorrow.”
“I’ll be back,” I said, Terminator-style, ducking and making a beeline for the train station.
Ugh, how embarrassing! I felt like a dumbass kid who forgot what day it was. I blame the pandemic and work-from-home for confusing the calendar in my head! xD
Anyway, I did go back again the following day (today, a Tuesday) and got my pinbacks. Tokyo is bursting with cherry blossoms this week, so I line up the buttons with a sakura tree in full bloom in the background.
Aren’t they adorable? Cuteness overload if you ask me! Yuji Itadori is such a sweet cutie pie, and so is Best Girl Nobara Kugisaki. If the flowers last until the weekend, I might have a chance to take the buttons out of their packaging and shoot closeups with the blossoms. Stay tuned!
There’s a Becker’s coffee shop near my office so I have breakfast there with the four. To assuage my feelings of guilt for buying all that bad-for-you candy, I order a plain croissant and salad with basil dressing.
Upon arriving at the office I conveniently offload most of the candy into our office candy jar. Let’s hope they don’t give anyone a toothache xD
I message a colleague of mine who works on a different floor, “Got me a Gojo badge. U want it?”
“Thanks but no, thanks,” came the reply, “Got one myself!” Attached was a pic of chibi Gojo pinned to a bento bag.
We decide to meet for lunch and exchange candy. I learnt that my friend, whom I’ll call GB (for ‘Gojo’s Bitch’), had to line up at 6:45 in the morning so as not to miss the badge of the man with Six Eyes. She’s still living in her old flat close to her alma mater. When you live in a university town you have lots of rivals for these manga campaigns.
“Don’t you think we’re getting a bit too old for this?” I ask as I open my bento box.
“Too old for what?”
“You know, this whole anime mania thingy.”
She raises a perfectly plucked eyebrow at me. “What’re you talking about? We’re younger than Gojo-sensei!”
Satoru Gojo, the strongest and most popular character in Jujutsu Kaisen, is twenty-eight. Birthday? December, just like Levi Ackermann.
“So as long as we’re younger than some of the characters then we get a pass?”
“Well, Gakuganji is seventy-six,” I point out, referring to the principal of the Kyoto Jujutsu school. “Does that mean we can go on like this until we’re 後期高齢者?” Koukikoureisha means anyone over seventy-five.
“Doesn’t it make you feel stupid sometimes?”
“Oh JB! Don’t be like that!” she says, sighing dramatically, calling me by a nickname she bestowed upon me a couple of years ago, which stands for ‘Jean’s Bitch’, Jean as in Jean Kirschtein of Attack on Titan.
“The convenience store guy must think I’m crazy,” I say, worriedly.
“Nope, he doesn’t. He’s probably used to bitches like us.”
“Sometimes anime makes me feel really old,” I confess as I gaze at my shiny new buttons. “I feel I should’ve left all these behind, back in junior high.”
“Who cares how old we are? No one cares! I will fangirl One Piece until the day I die!”
GB has been a reader of the pirate adventure manga since she was a child. “The way I see it,” she goes on, “our eternal fanhood is actually helping people earn a livelihood.”
“We’re contributing to the life of the manga and anime industries, aren’t we?” relents moi. “I guess there’s no harm in that.”
“We’re doing a good thing,” GB reassures me, picking out the umeboshi (pickled plum) from her bento and dumping it in mine. She knows I’m capable of eating a plum tree.
Next week the giveaways are pinback buttons but with a different character design.