What do you get the anime fan in your life for Christmas? An already difficult task is made even more challenging if you’re looking to gift something that fits within the boundaries of faith, items that are safe to give in a Christian household but still fun for the receiver. If you’re faced with that dilemma, we’ve got you covered this Christmas season. Below are nine gifts that the anime fan in your life will love, that are also safe—and some even spiritually uplifting!
1. Shonen Jump
If you have a manga reader in the family, one of the best things you can get them is a Shonen Jump subscription. Shonen Jump (SJ) was one of the foremost shonen manga publications in print the U.S. Now, as a digital magazine, it’s even better. For $1.99 a month, an SJ subscription grants you access to SJ’s entire current lineup as well as a huge archive of historic manga. Want to read all of the Dragon Ball manga beginning in the early 80s? SJ has you covered. Interested in learning more about the romance manga Boys Over Flowers? It’s there along with the most current Season 2 chapters. Enjoy the nonsense of JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure? Parts 1 through 3 are there in full and VIZ is slowly adding all of Part 4. As part of the greater VIZ manga family, more and more options are being added all the time to the SJ vault. Currently, VIZ does not offer gift subscriptions to SJ, however, you can pay for your subscription month to month. We recommend getting your friend or family member a $25 Google Play or iTunes gift card and tell them to enjoy all the manga at their fingertips for a full year.
Google Play or iTunes Gift Cards can be purchased from Amazon.
2. Cool anime clothing and streetwear
There’s an episode of Genshiken, the classic series about an anime club, where super otaku Madarame goes out shopping for clothes in an attempt to be stylish. It’s not only an uncomfortable experience for him; it leads to a real questioning of who he is and how he identifies because, after all, being an anime fan means dressing cheaply and sloppily, right? Well, if it ever did, it does not not—you can look good while sporting threads that show off your fandom. While Amazon and other outlets sell shirts anime-related shirts that don’t look particularly great, you’re better off doing a little research to find stylish clothing developed by real fashion designers. Take for example Wooji, whose clothing would be at home on a runway, but is priced well. Imouri, on the other hand, has a bright, cute design that more outwardly demonstrates a fandom. Go with a brand that would fit the person you’re gifting, and check out other stores as well by searching through tags like #animeclothing and #streetwear.
3. Manga Majesty
If ever there was a portion of scripture that would fit into manga format, it’s the Book of Revelation with its imagery of good and evil, and redemption and love. And that’s exactly what the folks at Next Manga have adapted for their latest release. Manga Majesty artfully and scripturally illustrates the final book of the Bible, including the powerful prophecy that makes up much of it. While this manga makes for a wonderful study resource for Christian readers (and potential evangelistic material), it’s also just plain well-made, and engaging from a reader’s perspective. It unfolds like the powerful narrative it is, compete with full-colored illustrations that capture both the majesty and fear of the end times. And thus, it’s a double gift of sorts, one that’s a feast for the eyes and good for the soul, and really, what else more could you ask for on Christmas?
Manga Majesty is available for purchase from Amazon.
4. Crunchyroll Gift Membership
If you are buying for an anime or manga fan, chances are they watch their anime on various streaming services. Maybe they have Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime Video (or all three). However, if you are looking for a streaming service that specializes in anime, look no further than Crunchyroll. From classics like Fist of the North Star to current ongoing series like My Hero Academia, Crunchyroll has something to offer for every anime fan. Have anime fans who are children? No problem. Crunchyroll has some great series like Shonen Ashibe! GO! GO! Goma-chan and Bananya that offer up fun for the whole family. In addition to their anime offerings, a premium Crunchyroll subscription offers access to a decent catalog of manga. While their manga app is imperfect, web reading works very well and a number of currently ongoing series are simul-published by Crunchyroll.
Gift subscriptions can be purchased directly from Crunchyroll.
5. Anime DVDs and Manga volumes
Of course, it seems natural to buy the anime fan anime for Christmas—the barrier, though, is that there is so much anime out there that it can be difficult to determine which your recipient will like. And how do you select series that avoid content which you find inappropriate? We’ve got you covered. We have an anime recommendation list which provides titles that are both entertaining and spiritually enriching; we also include content information so that you won’t be surprised by levels of violence, sexualization, or other material in the series. We recently expanded the list, giving the full rundown on a number of shows, but also giving quick recommendations for dozens of others. We also encourage you to just search through our website, looking for topics that pique your interest (ex. grace), to find other series that might be specifically made for the person in your life.
Check our anime series and anime movie recommendations.
6. Dragon Ball FighterZ
Did you know that 2018’s Fighting Game of the Year at The Game Awards was an anime based game? ESPN”s “Game of the Year” was the same anime game in 2018. What was that game? Dragon Ball FighterZ. Dragon Ball FighterZ is a fantastic fighting game taking characters from throughout the full Dragon Ball franchise and making it incredibly fun. Arc System’s game mechanics remind you of the first time you played Marvel vs Capcom. It is a lot of fun for fans of the Dragon Ball franchise and newbies alike. I (MDMRN) bought it for myself last year on Black Friday as a non-Dragon Ball fan and, frankly, it turned me into one. Get it for your friends or family members who enjoy fighting games and anime if they don’t already own it. Believe me, they’ll thank you after trying it out.
Dragon Ball FighterZ is available for purchase from Amazon for the Nintendo Switch, XBoxOne, and Playstation 4.
7. Gear for fans of anime and gaming
Speaking of games, chances are that the person in your life that you’re buying for is probably not only a fan of anime, but a gamer as well. The two often go hand in hand, so in addition to the recommendation for Dragon Ball FighterZ we gave above, we also encourage you to check out Fan Gamer, a store that has a ton of wonderful merchandise that gamers will adore. We can attest that they carry products that hit that sweet spot of being both cool and high quality. You could surf the site all day (and you might want to!), but we’ll give four products we’re liking right now: Okami and Samurai Shodown t-shirts, a book about the history of the NES, and a set of awesome playing cards.
Give Fan Gamer a visit and check out their selection!
8. An Anime Convention Pass
If there’s one thing that unites all high school and college otaku, it’s this: They’re broke. The anime fandom for many fans, young and old alike, isn’t based necessarily on TV series and manga—its centered on the convention scene. Facebook and Twitter feeds relating to conventions are absolutely filled with griping about the cost of conventions—remember that besides the entrance fees, which can easily go over $100, attendees have to pay for food, parking, hotel, souvenirs, and their own cosplay. It adds up and leads many to skip out on events they dearly want to attend. You can encourage them and help defray the costs by looking ahead and buying tickets to an event. Also note that many conventions occur during the spring and summer, so there’s another advantage to making this your gift—at this time of year, you might be able to get an early bird discount as well.
Check out some of the conventions we attend and cover here on Beneath the Tangles.
9. Reading material
You don’t necessarily have to look to a TV or video game screen to find series for your anime fan to enjoy. Just as in the west, and even more so, anime films and shows are adapted from previous works, mostly divided into two categories: manga (Japanese comics) and light novels (serialized books that contain illustrations). And just as with anime, we’ve got you covered here, too, with plenty of recommendations for both accompanied by explanations about the content within. These make for great gifts because all of these series have at least several volumes in release in the English language, meaning that you can pick up several issues as a present. And here’s another insight: manga and light novels are often (usually?) more addicting than anime series. Chances are that if you buy several for your loved one, they won’t be able to put the tomes down until they finish!
Check our manga and light novel recommendations.
And there you have it—we did 90% of the legwork for you. Now there’s no reason to indulge your anime fan at home with something that they’ll love without worrying about neglecting or breaking your faith values. Go forth and purchase! And have a wonderful Christmas!