Thanksgiving in anime – giving thanks for meaningful meals

So, you may be thinking “Thanksgiving in anime? I thought Thanksgiving was an American holiday!”. And you’d be mostly be right. Thanksgiving doesn’t fit into the mold I’ve previously used in my other holidays in anime articles. It is even different from the way I shared Halloween in that respect. Instead, I will focus on meaningful meals. Getting together with friends and family around a table bursting with food is a fantastic way to give thanks. Lucky for us, in the world of anime there is never enough food.

In case you are interested in my other holiday in anime posts, you can check them out at these links:

Christmas/New Year’sValentine’s DayCherry Blossom Festival

Father’s DayTanabata Star FestivalBon Festival

National Dog DayMental Health Awareness DayHalloween

How can I incorporate that meaningful meal concept into an article on thanksgiving in anime? Let’s gather around the table to celebrate. We’ll be going literal here. These meals are about giving thanks. There’s a special feeling to revel in during a shared meal.

Warning: Spoilers will be present but hopefully that won’t stop you from enjoying this article. These scenes revolve around meaningful meals that celebrate giving thanks. They will mostly not hit major plot points. So, I’m hoping you’ll enjoy them and be willing to give these anime a try asap!


Thanksgiving in anime: Thanks for the effort

Thanksgiving in anime - Haikyuu
Anime: Haikyuu!! – Gif: Sentai Filmworks

In this case, our protagonists of the Karasuno Volleyball Club are reaching the end of the Fukurodani training camp. Hinata and Kageyama haven’t exactly synchronized their new combination attack. In fact, the team has only won a handful of practice matches over the course of the whole week and thus found themselves running many penalty laps. You’d imagine their spirits low. On the other hand, the coaches conspire to hold a barbecue in celebration of a productive week of practice. The meat and veggies are a thanks to the effort all the players expend.


Thanksgiving in anime: Thanks for coming home together

Thanksgiving in anime - Food Wars
Anime: Food Wars – Image: Sentai Filmworks

Coincidentally my second example is one that follows a week of another training camp. The residents of the Polaris dorm return home after surviving the pruning process of the Totsuki training camp from hell. They set out for the resort with the goal to return together. The students’ homecoming is celebrated with a feast cooked by a master chef. While the students are awed by the skills of Joichiro, they embrace the opportunity to enjoy the spirit of the meal. Joichiro genuinely thanks them for returning home as promised.


Thanksgiving in anime: Thanks for the safe harbor

Thanksgiving in anime - Free!
Anime: Free! – Image: Funimation

How about some more training camp thankfulness? Similarly, the boys of the Iwatobi Swim Club make a journey to test their mettle in a distance swimming camp. Rather than being treated to a celebratory meal, they must create one themselves after saving both Rei and Makoto out of the ocean during an overnight storm. It may be some leftover food and water, but it is a feast in the face of their exhaustion and relief that they are all safe. Nagisa, Rei, Makoto, and Haruka rejoice that no one found themselves injured or hurt. The security of the rest house and its roof is a safe harbor for all of them.


Thanksgiving in anime: Thanks for friendship

Thanksgiving in anime - Durarara!!
Anime: Durarara!! – Image: Aniplex

If my entire article on the magic of Durarara didn’t say enough, this addition should help. There are so many dissimilar groups of people in this story – students, gang members, headless riders, and other freaks of nature. However, they all make their way to Celty and Shinra’s apartment for a communal hot pot meal. The interpersonals in this hodgepodge of individuals simple boggles the mind. I call this a thanks for friendship, but it is just coincidence that all these disparate people come together. If you look at the variety of ingredients that go into hot pot, then there is a parallel to the people around giving thanks for this strange web friendships.


Thanksgiving in anime: No thanks to Papa

Thanksgiving in anime - Darling in the Franxx
Anime: Darling in the Franxx – Image: Crunchyroll

After a being virtually abandoned for a month by their command structure, the parasites of Mistilteinn begin to do for themselves. They had previously been provided for by the adults but learn how to take care of themselves (in the guise of an experiment they are unaware of). Doing things like laundry and filtering water leads them to a pride in their self-reliance. This pride climaxes when they prepare a meal with fish they catch, vegetables they forage, and bread they bake. Eschewing the usual prayer to Papa for what they receive, Zorome voices his opinion that no thanks is necessary. The parasites did all the work and should enjoy the fruits of their labors.


Thanksgiving in anime: Conclusion

With Thanksgiving just behind us, it is an appropriate time to be mindful about what we have to be thankful for. Whether it is effort, being home, being safe, or some other reason, this is the time we celebrate that thankfulness. I’m thankful for the family meal I got to share on Thursday and tomorrow I’ll be with my friends for #friendsgiving. I also want to thank Liz & Lindi here on Pure Fandom for the opportunity to write these articles and share what I love. What things are you thankful for this year, anime or real life related? Let’s talk on my social media (FacebookTwitterInstagram) or leave a comment here! I’ll be sure to respond!


Featured image: Studio Ghibli


The Otaku Antics

Hello there – I’m Steven. I’m some combination of otaku, hikikomori, nerd, weeb, dork, and geek. Within this passion comes a fact that I cannot ignore: I love sharing the things that I obsess over. That’s what I want to write about in these articles. There’s nothing more exciting than getting someone interested in the things I hold dear. I also love dogs and occasionally moonlight as a cosplay handler for some of the most creatively geeky people. I get caught in binge-spirals watching all kinds of wonderful things. But here in this space I want to share a bit of my mania for all things anime, manga, and light novels with you!

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