Christmas Buyer’s Guide: Gifts for the anime and manga fan

10 mins read
List by Clark A.

Buying the perfect Christmas gift can be difficult, if not impossible. Somehow you’re expected to not only understand the hobbies and interests of someone that you may or may not spend much time with, but you need to do it on a budget, and then somehow be able to tell what is good, and what is not worthwhile.

Luckily that’s why we’re here! Is someone you need to buy a gift for a big fan of anime and manga? The good news is that chances are they’ll absolutely love a whole bunch of stuff, and there’s plenty that you’ll be able to pick up that won’t break the bank balance. Below you’ll find some suggestions from us – hopefully this gets you going with ideas (or even delivers the perfect idea right in front of you!)

Studio Ghibli Limited Editions – Chances are that if you know someone who likes anime, then they’re going to love the work of Studio Ghibli. And just in time for Christmas there are some truly awesome limited edition box sets that are available. If you’re in Australia, you can buy them from JB Hi-Fi here. Within the Limited Edition box package you’re getting your lucky friend or loved one a hardcover art book, a Blu-Ray/ DVD disc, art postcards and a collectible. The Wind Rises, Kiki’s Delivery Service and Howl’s Moving Castle… any of these would be perfect choices because they’re all brilliant films.

Price: $94 – $122

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Wacom Intuos Manga Pen & Touch Small – Why not empower the anime fan in the household with the ability to draw their own manga and characters? That’s precisely what the Intuos Manga Pen & Touch is designed for. Priced reasonably for all aspiring artists, it comes with editing software for PC or Mac specifically designed for drawing Manga characters, and backed by technology designed by the undisputed master of digital artist hardware, Wacom, it’s guaranteed to unleash the inner talent in any aspiring young artist.

Price: $99

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Princess Knight Complete Collection – This is a DVD box than any self-respecting anime fan must have in their collection. One of the early works by Mr. Astro Boy himself, the animation and storytelling quality of this series in unparalleled. Because it is so old it has been difficult to track down a copy too, so thank goodness that Hanabee has made it so very easy for a collector to get access to it all (or for you to find the perfect gift to surprise him/ her with).

Price: $50

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Hatsune Miku V3 English – If you know an anime or manga fan, then chances are that they are also a fan of Hatsune Miku, the most adorable virtual instrument ever designed. See, Miku is a bit of software that you plug into a sound recording studio and then “she” behaves like a digital piano or synthisiser, only instead of playing notes, she sings. It’s amazing technology for both the anime fan (who can now make their own Miku music) and the aspiring musician (who gets access to an idol that performs sold-out concerts without needing to hire Lady Gaga for a recording session). All for the cost of a single download. It’s both fun to play with and creative!

Price: $150

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Monogatari Series – Want to get your friend or loved one a truly strange gift? The Monogatari anime series is nothing short of confusing at times, being both philosophically dense and filled with innuendo that doesn’t make a lot of sense outside of Japan. But at the same time it’s so intelligent, and the production values are so high, that it’s worth any anime fan getting into, because once they start watching they’ll find it impossible to stop watching. Start with Bakemonogatari, but if you’re feeling generous there are plenty of other box sets available in the series now.

Price (for Bakemonogatari box set): $80

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Hentai Kamen – This is easily the best joke gift you will ever get your anime/ manga fan relative/ loved one/ friend. The beauty of this gift is not just that it’s a gentle ribbing at their favourite hobby (though it certainly pokes fun a the entire otaku culture). No, it’s such a good gift because it’s also incredibly good fun for those people. If this film doesn’t have you rolling in the floor in laughter, than nothing will.

Price: $30

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Shakugan No Shana Season One – S.A.V.E. – Anime can often end up at somewhat luxurious price points, especially with all the premium bundles on the market, but there are still plenty of options for our frugal friends. Shakugan no Shana should go down with just about any anime fan as, though it’s a rather entry-level action show on the surface, there’s plenty of depth in the form of consistent character development and more nuanced romantic elements than you’ll see from 90% of shounen stories. The series is dirt cheap, too, especially considering your anime-loving pal is getting 24 episodes worth and bonus features to boot. Granted, you might be humorously branded a cheapskate for giving a package that touts its cheaper price point in giant capital letters, but you can always rip off the shrink wrap and toss away the unnecessary cardboard if you’re feeling self-conscious.

Price: $26

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Toradora! Complete Series Premium Edition – If you’re someone who likes to tie in your gifts with the holiday itself in someway, Toradora fits the bill without being overwhelmingly holiday-themed either. There’s no shortage of Christmas specials out there, but Toradora is a special case in that many pivotal moments of the series take place smack-dab during the holiday festivities; the effects of Christmas celebrations have tangible, lasting effects on every major character. Besides that, this is as good a “straightforward” love story you’re going to find from the medium. It’s seasonal and your anime fan will associate the series with the holidays for years to come.

Price: $103.99

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Black Rock Shooter T-Shirt: Color-Blocked Group – What better way to display one’s love of anime to the world than through the wonders of self-inflicted commercialism? Snark aside, there are plenty of great t-shirt designs out there and the bulk of them are cheap enough that you can buy multiples. You could go a number of routes depending on the taste of the anime fan in question, but we’re going to recommend this Black Rock Shooter tee for its simplicity and swanky colours. If you’re extra generous, you can toss in this cheap wristband to complete the look for under $20.

Price: $13.59 + $4.79

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Durarara!! Playing Cards – Lastly, here’s the perfect little stocking stuffer; a set of Durarara!! playing cards. Everyone has a set of cards lying around the house already, no doubt, but this set absolutely looks the part as a collectible for fans of Ryogo Narita’s genre-bending masterpiece. It’s the sort of thing that encourages family togetherness during the downtime right after the big Christmas dinner. And even if your friend or loved one isn’t actually familiar with the series, they’re no doubt going to be intrigued after seeing the manipulative genius, Izaya Orihara’s lovely visage plastered all over these.

Price: $5.59

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– Clark A
Anime Editor

This is the bio under which all legacy articles are published (as in the 12,000-odd, before we moved to the new Website and platform). This is not a member of the DDNet Team. Please see the article's text for byline attribution.

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