It’s that time of year again; it’s cold, we’re suffering from the various bugs going round, public transport is manic, and yet we somehow have to fit in shopping for that magical time of year – Christmas. Whether you celebrate it or not, with the bombardment of TV adverts from the likes of Boots to Asda on constant repetition to check out their ‘3 for 2’ sales or supposedly cheap turkeys, it’s hard not to feel the pressure to go out into the cold with the end result being every poor sap emptying their wallets. With Christmas just days away, there’ll be many scrambling into shops to finish their shopping or manically clicking online to grab a bargain to have it delivered to their door in time.
But at some time or another we’ll eventually be stuck for present ideas; whether for a family member, friend or someone we’re lumped with at work. So at the most wonderful time of year, why not give the wonderful gift of Japanese animation and comics? As Christmas draws near I’ve complied a mini list of present suggestions for those who we’re most likely to buy for; hoping I can spark some inspiration into you, or at least a chuckle.
Have fun reading!
For the Kiddies
Children can be difficult to buy for, with today’s generation wanting the latest (and expensive) gadget, conflicting with parents wanting something educational and safe. But if you’re looking to get their anime/manga fandom starting early, Christmas is the perfect time to do so. Studio Ghibli has a great library of films; for the younger audience Kiki’s Delivery Service and Spirited Away will keep the children glued to the screen for the entire film’s run and stay with them for many years to come. If your kids are fans of the Professor Layton DS games then make sure to pick up Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva, a fully animated and fun puzzle solving movie for all ages to enjoy. Appropriate reading material for children is important for parents and luckily there’s great manga series for kids to enjoy; starting with the girls, pick up Codename: Sailor V and its worldly beloved sequel Sailor Moon. Who doesn’t love a group of beautiful, strong girls fighting evil with the power of love and friendship? Cardcaptor Sakura is also highly recommended. The boys are also spoilt for choice with many boy-centric and long running series such as Naruto (who doesn’t love ninja?) and One Piece (or pirates?).
For the Teens
If your teenage girl has the supernatural romance bug, then introduce them to Vampire Knight – both anime seasons and the ongoing manga are easily available in stores. If your teens are itching for the return of the Walking Dead then give them High School of the Dead to tide them over. If they want something a little more thought provoking and original, then you can’t go wrong with Death Note – you can pick up the entire anime and manga online easily. If you have the kind of teens with a need for speed then wrap up Redline – a wild, ridiculous and fun ride with fantastic animation to boot.
For the Already-Made Anime/Manga fan
Do you have a friend who’s already an anime fan but don’t know what to get them or what series they’re currently into? Any fan will most likely own a Ghibli DVD or two, so why not upgrade their collection with a blu-ray edition? You can find hi-def versions of the classic My Neighbour Totoro to the more recent Ghibli feature, Arrietty. Also, 2012 has seen some great releases such as Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood, Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Black Butler and Spice and Wolf to name but a few – any of those will be a great addition to any anime collection.
If your friend is more of a manga fan; get them an omnibus. With many series being re-released in this format there’s a wide selection available as well as being good value for money. CLAMP’s highly acclaimed works from Magic Knight Rayearth to Chobits can now be found in this format with glorious colour art pages to make the purchase extra special. Several of Tokyopop’s old series such as Loveless, Love Hina and Alice in the Country of Hearts are now available in the same way; did your friend miss out on them previously? Now’s the time to surprise them with the re-release!
For Your Reluctant parents and/or Grandparents
It’s never too late to jump on the anime bandwagon, but you can’t just shove any mecha or magical girlfriend show in your parents faces without scaring them half to death, so what to get them? Romeo x Juliet is a great series that takes the classic story with a new fantasy twist, romance or English literature fans will latch onto it straight away. Together with the English dub using the Shakespearian language so eloquently, even the stiffest upper-lipped English major would appreciate the effort put into it. If the parents are history buffs, surprise them with Hetalia. The cute and colourful characters will throw them off at first but once they see how the series closely follows history, down to the very specific details and humorous take on stereotypes, they will be most impressed and laugh shortly after.
For Secret Santas
Ah yes, that awkward moment in the office when you must pull out a piece of paper and read the name of the colleague you know the least. Since Secret Santa’s whole concept is based upon not knowing the person who gave you the gift; why not buy a cheap anime disc to enlighten your colleague’s life? You could be giving birth to a new anime fan! All of these recommendations are £10 or less at the time of writing as Secret Santas tend to be inexpensive. You can’t go wrong with the classic Akira or perhaps Vampire Hunter D if your colleague looks like a more traditional vampire fan. You can throw them into the mammoth fandom of Neon Genesis Evangelion with the first Rebuild movie rather cheaply. The Girl Who Leapt through Time is a fantastic film to perk their spirits up during their hangover on New Year’s Day. Or if you really want to surprise your office, throw in the live action Cutie Honey movie!
Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all Anime UK News fans.