The holiday shopping season is finally here and once again a lot of us are scrambling to find that loved one, close friend or co-worker a gift that we think they will enjoy. Sometimes we need a helping hand to point us to the right gift for the right person because, let’s face it, your niece Brenda would have really loved an Emma: A Victorian Romance box set than a Snuggie for Christmas last year.
So we present to you our first holiday Anime Buyer’s Guide to help you pick a gift for that anime lover in your family or circle of friends. Considering the fact that 2011 has been a good year for anime fans, there are a number of standout releases that should suit all tastes whether you’re a fan of romance, action or sci-fi. Here are some titles that have made enough of an impression that they are on our own holiday gift list for the anime fans in our lives.
Yu Yu Hakusho: Ghost Files, The Complete Season One and Season Two (Blu-ray)
Recommendation: An instant classic even back in the day, FUNimation brings this series back for the high-definition crowd and does not disappoint in the very least. You can find Season One and Season Two with the third season being released later this month so this is definitely one for any stocking. Here’s the review for Season One and Season Two.
Fruits Basket, The Complete Series (Collector’s Edition)
Recommendation: Ask any anime fan and they’ll tell you that among the romance/comedies, Fruits Basket is on the top of their favorites and if you watch it you will see why. The series has been released before but this year brought us a Collector’s Edition set that is perfect for the holidays or for any time for that matter. Check out the review.
Spice and Wolf, Season One (Blu-ray)
Recommendation: Season Two of this series is definitely one to buy but FUNimation has made our year by releasing the first season on Blu-ray. Now Holo and Lawrence’s first encounter is even more stunning in HD and one we cannot recommend enough.
Chobits, The Complete Series (Anime Classics – Blu-ray)
Recommendation: The new Anime Classics line is the perfect way to get to know new anime classics and Chobits is definitely a classic that deserves the Blu-ray treatment. This CLAMP love story isn’t just for fans of romance but for anyone who is interested in anime.
Eden of the East: The King of Eden, Movie 1, Blu-ray/DVD Combo
Recommendation: Eden of the East has easily become one of our favorite and more intriguing series so you better believe that when we heard that the story continues in the form of two movies we were excited. The King of Eden is the first movie and, by far, the best so this is certainly one any Eden of the East fan should not be without. Here’s the review.
Utena, Revolutionary Girl DVD Set 1 and Set 2
Recommendation: Utena is a true classic in every sense and both box sets – sold individually, of course – make for the perfect gift for that special somebody who loves a series with the right dose of girl power. A third box set is slated to be released and trust us when we say you will want all three sets. Here’s the review.
Sound of the Sky (Sora No Wato), Complete Set
Recommendation: A beautiful and meaningful series about an all-female military unit in a world that has been ravaged by war, Sound of the Sky is simply amazing and should not be missed. It’s also the perfect gift for any anime fan out there. Check out the review.
Junjo Romantica, Season One and Two
Recommendation: We know there are yaoi fans out there that already know about this series and were thankful that RightStuf!/Nozomi Entertainment released two DVD sets this year. If your loved one loves yaoi and never then you cannot go wrong buying this as a gift. Here is the review for Season One and Season Two.
Antique Bakery, Complete Collection
Recommendation: We wouldn’t call Antique Bakery yaoi (although it does have yaoi elements) but rather a complex and totally fascinating tale about a group of hot guys who make their unique bakery one of the hottest spots in town. This is one that should not be missed so here’s the review.
Clannad, Complete First Season (Blu-ray)
Recommendation: No anime collection is complete without a classic and for those who love a good romance then you should look no further than the first season of this beloved series. Humorous, touching and heartfelt, you will not help but fall in love with this one. This one is for the romance fan in your gift list. If you don’t believe us, here’s the review.
Angel Beats!, Complete Collection (Blu-ray)
Recommendation: Imagine waking up in a high school where a handful of students have targeted a young girl who they all consider a sort of angel of death. It’s the mystery behind the school and the gun-toting action that make this an interesting series with a lot to offer. This one is for the fan who is looking for a different kind of high school series. Just check out the review.
Night Raid 1931, Complete Collection
Recommendation: A group of super powered operatives are on a dangerous but necessary mission right before the world goes to war for the second time and believe me when I say that you will be totally captivated by it. This is perfect for anyone looking for a slightly darker and action-packed good time. Here’s the review.
High School of the Dead, Complete Collection (Blu-ray)
Recommendation: If you like big boobs, panty-flashing every few seconds and zombie-slaughter then you will find High School of the Dead to be that campy-yet-awesome series you will be ashamed of loving. Your action-horror loving loved one will definitely appreciate this one on Blu-ray, believe us. The review for this zombie-killing series can be found here.
Arakawa Under The Bridge, Season One DVD/Blu-ray Premium Edition
Recommendation: A surreal and crazy-in-an-awesome-way anime series with enough humor and quirky characters. Arakawa is for that special someone who likes their comedies with an unusual sense of humor. Plus, the package includes both the Blu-ray and DVD version. On top of that, the Premium Editions NIS America puts make the perfect gifts. This one is for that quirky family member or friend. Check out our review here.
Katanagatari, Volume 1 and Volume 2
Recommendation: Katanagatari is one of those near perfect and beautifully animated series that displays plenty of heart and soul. You’ll come for the original animation and stay for the sweeping story of a girl and a human “sword.” Both volumes are sold separately as a Blu-ray/DVD combo plus the hardcover books. This is for any anime fan on your list. Here is the review for Volume 1 and Volume 2.
Wagnaria!!, Complete Series Premium Edition
Recommendation: Like Arakawa Under The Bridge, Wagnaria!! is filled with colorful characters and a great sense of humor that makes this series such a rare treat to watch. This one is for that hard-working friend who likes a good laugh. Check out our review here.
ANIPLEX OF AMERICA
Oreimo, Limited Edition Box Set
Recommendation: Oreimo is like a love letter to the otaku culture as well as giving us a look at how other see otaku. Either way, this is one seriously entertaining and masterfully executed series with a lot to offer any anime fan who considers themselves otaku. Just take a look at the review.
Blue Exorcist, Volume 1
Recommendation: Without a doubt, Blue Exorcist is one of those likable shonen series with a delightful supernatural twist we have seen before in other series. Thankfully, Blue Exorcist does it in its own style that makes this work thus making this a perfect gift for those who like a good supernatural-action tale. Here’s the review.
MEDIA BLASTERS/ANIME WORKS
Genshiken DX, TV Series One & OVA Collection
Recommendation: While this particular DVD collection was released a long while back, we got a chance to review it this year and we have quickly become Genshiken fans. The reason for that is simple: this is an engrossing and highly enjoyable series about the love for anime, manga, games, cosplay and everything else otaku. This is for the otaku in your life without a doubt. You can find the review right here.
All of us here at Animanga Nation would like to wish all of you a happy Thanksgiving and a safe holiday shopping season to all of you. We are certainly grateful to all of you, our dear readers, as well as all the companies that drive his site forward now and into the future.