[UPDATED: December 2014]
With the season of giving fast approaching, many people are scrambling to find presents for everyone on their list that will make them happy. This can be a difficult task if one of those people is an anime fan. Buying DVDs and manga are typically not a good idea because anime fans typically already own the anime and manga series that they like. If this is the case with the person you are trying to find a gift for, don’t worry, there are plenty of other options for you.
Oishi Fun Boxes
Oishi means “yummy” in Japanese, and the brand does offer some of the tastiest treats you can find. Your anime fan will definitely enjoy a boxful of Oishi snacks. You can get different boxes from Oishi Fun for only $25.
One of the defining things about any anime series is its art style. High-budget anime will usually have its characters designed by popular artists in order to draw in a larger audience and boost its popularity. Such artists include Kantoku, Tony Taka, Itaru Hinoue, and Ume Aoki. Artbooks can either focus on a specific series, specific artist, or have a mixture of styles from different series and/or artists. It’s the perfect gift for an anime fan that appreciates animation as an art.
Lots of girls love jewelry, and despite the stereotype, there are a lot of girls that are also anime fans. It then makes perfect sense for there to be jewelry based on anime. I’m not talking about plastic rings or necklaces, but ones made of actual gold, silver, and diamonds. These can come with a heavy price tag and they’re not easy to obtain, but would definitely be a unique present for someone close to you.
If you’re on a tight budget and are looking for something fun instead, there’s always canned bread. As the name suggests, it’s bread that comes in a sealed can. How does it relate to anime? Well, every season they release new batches with different characters printed on the cans. For those wondering, yes, the bread is edible, and yes, it does taste like bread (I’ve had some myself). Just remember that there is an expiry date so you shouldn’t keep it around for too long.
Liking the idea of canned bread, but don’t know what a certain anime fan’s favourite character is? Then why not get something more generic like Tentacle Grape, a grape-flavoured soft drink. Nearly every anime fan knows what tentacles imply in anime (they’re only used for one thing), so they would likely find Tentacle Grape to be both refreshing and amusing.
Those anime fans having trouble sleeping at night may benefit from a body pillow, even more so if that body pillow has their favourite character on it. A dakimakura is a body pillow cover that has an anime character printed on it, usually as if they were lying in bed as well.
In the last several years, scaled plastic figures have really gained popularity among anime fans. The most common size is 1/8 scale, which makes most characters stand a little under 20cm. The majority of scaled figures are far more detailed than any action figure toy. They make nice items to display on a shelf or desk and admire.
If static objects like figures don’t tickle the fancy of the person you’re shopping for, then perhaps a virtual figure that you can interact with would be better. ARis is an augmented reality program that features a small maid named Alice that you can play around with. All you have to do is point a webcam at a special paper cube and Alice will appear above it on the screen. You can then interact with her as if she actually existed.
Playing around with ARis may be fun for most people, but anime fans that are also gamers might be more interested in a visual novel. A lot of romantic comedies and harem anime are based on visual novels, so they’re a good gift for anyone that enjoys those genres. While visual novels mostly involve reading text, there are also some that contain various mini games and others that play more like RPGs.
A lot of people end up taking an interest in Japanese because of anime. If you think the person you are shopping for would benefit from learning a new language, why not enroll them in some Japanese lessons. Cheaper options include books, computer programs, and even video games.
Anime clothing can be rather noticeable and seem out of place in public, but that doesn’t mean that all anime clothing is like that. Contrary to popular belief, not all anime fans are poor dressers, but if you know one that is, why not help them out by finding something stylish that still expresses their love of anime. Companies like Uniqlo produce anime clothing that most fans can appreciate and don’t make the wearer look like an overzealous otaku.
The availability of the items above will vary from country to country, but if you can’t find something where you live, there’s always the option of online shopping. Below are some anime stores where you can find some of the above items.