2017 Gift Guide: What to buy anime lovers

Contributed by
Dec 4, 2017

Whether you know an anime fan, want to impress an anime lover, or are so obsessed with anime yourself that you just have to find a way to get your best friend into it, you don't need to catch the next plane to Tokyo to find something sugoi.

From the magical realms of Hayao Miyazaki to a cyberpunk city to the life of a high school student turned grim reaper, anime takes on many forms and genres. And anime fans are just as diverse. Looking for people who want to cosplay as Naruto? Shopping for a Studio Ghibli superfan who has every single DVD or Blu-ray from Arietty to Totoro? Got a pal who really likes stories about flesh-eating humanoids and in need of new zombie material? Don't worry, we've got you covered. And just remember, if all else fails, there's always a Crunchyroll subscription.

Akira limited edition 35th anniversary box set

Manga is the source of almost all anime, which makes it likely that your anime fan loves manga, too. And whether they are manga experts, or just learning about Japanese comics, they'll definitely be into a classic series like Katushirio Otomo’s Akira. The manga series is a must even for someone who's seen the movie, because there are even more characters and adventures in this cyberpunk altverse that blast and zoom through Neo-Tokyo over a much longer time frame. This is also ideal for anyone obsessed with Blade Runner.

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The Art of Howl's Moving Castle by Hayao Miyazaki

This book covers all of the sorcery that went into one of Studio Ghibli's most iconic movies. It is a must for Miyazaki lovers and anime noobs alike, because who wouldn't want to get into Japanimation after entering this fantastical and sometimes haunting dreamscape? The concept art from which Howl’s Moving Castle was conjured from is just as magical as the movie. Flip through character sketches that detail everything from the mysterious rooms and compartments in that walking contraption to Howl's ever-changing hairstyles. Even someone who never knew the wonders of Ghibli will fall under its spell.

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Bandai Sailor Moon Pretty Guardian light-up edition wand pens

In the name of the moon, I will put that in writing! While jotting down Queen Beryl's evil master plans on paper may be the closest thing to moon prism power these can release, they still look pretty magical sitting on your desk. They also come in a gold-embossed white box that looks like a gift from the cosmos. Did I mention that Usagi's moon stick actually lights up? At least that will make people think you're casting some sort of celestial spell.

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Bleach complete anime box set

When you're looking for a gateway to anime, look no further than Tite Kubo's Bleach — you won't even need a black butterfly to take you there (oh, it's a thing from the comic). Anyone just this side of normal can identify with Ichigo Kurosaki, and just tell me how someone can’t get absorbed in the saga of a character who is able to jump in and out of his body at will.

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Square Enix Black Butler 10th Anniversary Funtom Bitter Rabbit

You wouldn't expect a boy who lives in a cavernous 19th century mansion with his demon butler to play with normal toys, so anyone possessed by the Gothic Victorian series Black Butler probably doesn't have a room full of fluffy pink teddy bears, either. Bitter Rabbit is basically Ciel Phantomhive in rabbit form, right down to the eye patch. He's obviously not going to have a smiling face, because Ciel hasn't smiled since… that's another story. For anyone who's ever wanted a piece of the Funtom Toy Co., Bitter Rabbit is worth the hunting down on eBay. Now, if only they made Funtom candy.

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Bandai One Piece Gum Gum Devil Fruit

While it won't give you superpowers that give you a rubber physique, this 3D paramecia-type devil fruit plucked right from One Piece does look pretty cool. And plus, it's inedible, which means you won't be tempted to try to eat the very vile fruit. It also costs much less than most real devil fruits would on the black market, so all in all, this is a pretty great deal.

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Look Human Tokyo Ghoul coffee sweatshirt

Coffee is a ghoul must-have because they find everything else revolting except for a certain kind of meat, so evidence of someone hoarding it is a (literal) dead giveaway. No one has to know why that coffee always must be blacker than black or what’s in those suspicious sugar cubes being swirled into it. Hey, it's either that or human flesh.

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Naruto Leaf Village cosplay headband

Now you know why you see so many ninjas in these practicing their stealth moves at cons. Naruto is the third best-selling manga series ever, and has exploded into an anime, movies, video games, and tons and tons of merch. This is for any Naruto-phile who has ever tried to make their own headband out of an old T-shirt at the last minute. It goes without saying that it's way more authentic than anything scribbled on with a Sharpie, so wearing it feels like swearing pride and fealty to the Hidden Leaf Village without the side effect of bleeding marker ink. Just don't gift it with a really awful wig.

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Attack on Titan Eren fleece cozy

So you (or someone on your gift list) want to be Eren Yager but don't really feel like fighting off enormous humanoids that crave human flesh, even if you do have an undying vendetta to obliterate them from the face of the Earth. Yeah, we know the feeling. We too would rather marathon Attack on Titan and chill while feeling totally boss in this fierce fleece cozy that far surpasses the common Snuggie. It has everything you'd need to pajama-cosplay Eren, including that badass cape emblazoned with the Survey Corps symbol. You might transform into Eren when you put this on, but at least you won't have to worry about morphing into a Titan.

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Totoro hat & gloves

Who doesn't know Totoro? This extremely kawaii hat and gloves will charm even those who didn't become totally obsessed with Studio Ghibli after watching the whimsical story of two girls who encounter all sorts of things that shouldn't exist after befriending a huge, furry forest spirit. Half cosplay and half practical, these ears and paws are really going to come in handy once winter gets legit. They may or may not summon a cat bus, which would be an awesome bonus. The only downside is that they aren't waterproof; if it rains at the bus stop, you're still going to need an umbrella (or a leaf).

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Kotobukiya Black Butler Undertaker statue

Bestow the choicest laughter upon the Undertaker, and his laugh might scare you enough to forget what favor you ventured into his lair to ask him for. So will that killer death scythe. Sculpted by artist Koei Matsumoto, the grim reaper to bury all grim reapers appears to have jumped right out of The Book of the Atlantic from the shock of white hair to those glowing green eyes and facial stitches that should tell you something isn't quite alive about this character. The incredible detail on his scythe of human bones is just beyond. Sure beats that pair of scissors Grell calls a weapon.

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Spirited Away Noh Face phone case

Transform your smartphone into the masked entity from Spirited Away. This non-magica incarnation of Noh Face won't fade in and out, so you don't have to worry about him randomly disappearing even though you swore you put him in your pocket seconds ago. Being made of vinyl means he has no appetite, so he won't voraciously consume everything in sight. Ideal for being a phone guardian while you catch up on Facebook and Twitter in a day spa where most of the patrons aren't human. Just don't take a bath with it.

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Bleach Kon backpack

Now you can have your very own Kon as a backpack without all the backtalk. Yuzu Kurosaki's stuffed lion, which took on a life of its own when it swallowed a misplaced piece of Soul Candy, will now submit to guarding anything you stuff him with and never whine or run away on his own furry feet. From claws to tail to those beady eyes that could be ogling girly magazines at one moment and staring daggers at Ichigo the next, Kon is about as authentic as he can get without making a sound. He still definitely looks as if he's about to say something crass.

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The Death Note notebook

We all have those days that we just wish we could obliterate someone just by scrawling their name down... and now anyone who finds this notebook under the tree, in a stocking, in the gutter or wherever will now be able to do it just like sociopathic teenage overlord Light Yagami in his serial killer Kira persona. This is the authentic notebook that caused so much chaos in the manga, anime and Japanese live-action film (let's pretend that Netflix monstrosity never happened). It includes all the directions that must be followed to make sure the intended victim meets an untimely demise. Shinigami not included.

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