The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Time-lapse video: How Japan handles long shopping lines

As you slog through the annual American shopping chaos that is Black Friday, you might find yourself asking if there's another way to organize such enormous numbers of consumers.

Here's how they do it at Japan's Comiket, a semi-annual Tokyo comic book fair, where attendance typically exceeds half a million. This time-lapse video shows how organizers managed long lines at the December 2011 Comiket.

The efficiency and speed of the lines – particularly once they really start moving, around the 2:05 mark – might give today's shoppers a touch of jealousy.