With numerous dedicated streaming services like Crunchyroll and Funimation, mainstream attention from Netflix and even Amazon Prime making an effort to host more of Japan's finest animated exports, there's never been a better time to be a fan of anime. For the Japanimation fans in your home, a Blu-ray boxset or some merchandise related to their favorite anime series is always appreciated, and to help you tell the difference between My Hero Academia and Demon Slayer, we've put together a gift guide that should help you find some great presents.
You can never go wrong with a subscription to anime streaming services, and here are some of the best gifts for anime fans in 2021.
There aren't many anime video games that capture the look and feel of their respective show, but Dragon Ball FighterZ does so with the utmost grace and blazing fast action. The game earned an impressive 9/10 in GameSpot’s Dragon Ball FighterZ review. Critic Peter Brown wrote, "FighterZ is complex and distinct enough to be enjoyed by fighting game competitors, but there's no question that it's been designed to tap into the hearts of Dragon Ball's most dedicated fans, and no doubt those same qualities will win people over who've never given the series a chance."
The latest mainline Pokemon games, Pokemon Sword and Shield, released last year, and since then Nintendo has released the first of two DLC packages as part of the Pokemon Sword and Shield expansion pass. The Isle of Armor released earlier this year, while The Crown Tundra DLC is set to release October 22, which means both will be out by the holidays. If you're shopping for someone who missed out on Pokemon Sword and Shield last year, there's now an option to buy either one of the base games bundled with the full expansion pass. There's no discount for doing so--the bundle costs $90, the full price of the game and expansion--but it'd make a nice gift for a die-hard Pokemon fan. The games received a 9/10 in GameSpot's Pokemon Sword and Shield review for their rewarding raids, free exploration, and more.
Released in August, Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions is based on the popular sports anime and features a mix of fast-paced soccer gameplay and story modes that cover both the events of the anime and original content.
Jump Force is the ultimate anime-crossover fighting game, with characters from more than a dozen different series clashing in tag-team battles. GameSpot scored it a 7/10 in our Jump Force review, praising its action, character customization, and how it captures the feel of all of the characters.
Released this year, these new Studio Ghibli limited-edition steelbooks offer some of the Japanese animation studio's most popular films in a striking new package. Each steelbook comes with a Blu-ray and DVD copy, though unfortunately no digital copy is included. As always, these Blu-rays include neat bonus features like Behind the Microphone, which offers a behind-the-scenes look at the voiceover process; an audio commentary; feature-length storyboards; and more.
One of the biggest anime films of 2019, Promare is an action-heavy film set in a world where half of the human population has been killed by spontaneous combustion, leaving a group of mutants with pyrokinetic abilities behind. Developed by Studio Trigger, known for Kill la Kill and more, Promare is one of the must-see anime films of recent years, and it's available in this stunning limited-edition steelbook, which makes a great gift for any anime fan.
Directed by Makoto Shinkai (Your Name), Weathering with You is about a girl with the ability to manipulate the weather and her friendship with a boy who's run away from home. Beautiful, funny, and heartwrenching, Weathering with You is a worthy successor to Your Name, and even if the person you're shopping for has seen it, they'll appreciate having this gorgeous limited-edition steelbook, which comes with special features.
The entirety of Cowboy Bebop, a massively popular sci-fi anime about a group of galactic bounty hunters, is compiled in a brand-new steelbook package with four Blu-ray discs. It includes every episode of the anime along with special features like English and Japanese commentaries, interviews, and more. Cowboy Bebop is regarded as a rare classic, so this limited edition will be a real gem for any fan.
The entire Dragon Ball manga is collected in this complete box set, featuring all 16 volumes of the series that inspired the wildly popular show. The manga follows Goku, a strange kid with a tail, as he searches for seven artifacts known as the Dragon Balls, which are said to grant the wish of anyone who finds them all. If you were wondering were Goku's saga behind, this is a fantastic buy.
For those willing to go into full otaku mode, this box set compiles the rest of the Dragon Ball manga, which covers the events of the Dragon Ball Z anime. From Raditz to Majin Buu, this collection has it all. Goku and friends protect Earth (and the rest of the universe) from a barrage of bad guys, each more powerful than the last.
The first film in the Dragon Ball Super series reimagines the ultra-powerful Broly, making him a more interesting and sympathetic character. The evil Frieza wants to take advantage of the super-strong Saiyan, pitting him against Goku and Vegeta, who must combine forces to defeat their new foe. It's a perfect buy for any Dragon Ball Super marathon viewing.
This package includes the classic card game Uno, adorned with various characters, one of the most popular and longest-running anime series out there right now. It doesn't get much better than this.
Whether they're a longtime fan of Akira or want to read the acclaimed manga for the first time, this 35th anniversary box set is the ultimate gift. The set includes six beautiful hardcover volumes that cover the entire story of Akira, which takes place in a post-apocalyptic, cyberpunk version of Tokyo, and features the original Japanese art with the right-to-left reading format. In addition to the manga itself, the set also includes the Akira Club art book and an exclusive iron-on patch.
For fans of the movie, there's also a new 4K Blu-ray limited edition of Akira releasing December 22--if you preorder at Amazon, you'll get the Blu-ray on release day, just in time for Christmas. This limited edition contains a fully remastered version of the 1988 film in both 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray formats along with special features, including a storyboard collection, the end credits from the original theatrical release, and more.
Nendoroids are more expensive than Funko Pops, but they're also higher quality and feel like real collectibles. For anime fans, there are a ton of great Nendoroids out there, but this particularly adorable one featuring Alphonse Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood caught our eye. The Nendo comes with multiple faceplates to give Al different expressions or have him look different directions, and because he's also a cat lover, the Nendo comes with two little kittles to display near him.
For more anime Nendoroids, Good Smile is the best place to shop, but you can also find some of them at Amazon.
Fruits Basket was one of the most popular manga of the early 2000s, and with a remake of the original Fruits Basket anime currently in progress, there's definitely been a resurgence in Fruits Basket's popularity. This cute sticker set is only $1 at Right Stuf Anime and would make a nice stocking stuffer. If you want to get them a bigger Fruits Basket gift, you can also buy Blu-rays of the first and second parts of Season 1 at Amazon.
TeePublic offers thousands of designs from independent artists that can be printed on T-shirts and other apparel. It's worth browsing all of the store's designs--you can search "anime" if you want--but this particular design from Illustrata caught our eye with its retro, vaporwave-style design. You can really customize your order, from the color of the T-shirt and design to the cut and style of it.
These three Japanese-style teacups are just too cute and are sure to get plenty of use by the Ghibli fan in your life. The first two cups feature little images and the names of characters (both in English and Japanese) from My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away, while the third cup shows Big Totoro and his friends engaged in their iconic dondoko dance.
The entire Sailor Moon ColourPop collection is currently back in stock (at time of publish), and the standout product is this stunning eyeshadow palette, which features shade names inspired by the iconic anime. We've tested this palette ourselves and can vouch for its quality--the shades are ultra-pigmented and perfect for those who love pastel colors. The collection also includes blushes, glitter gels, and liquid lips, and you can buy it all as a bundle for $89. If you're shopping for someone who loves Sailor Moon and/or makeup, this is a must-buy.
My Hero Academia's protagonist, Deku, gets a new, limited-edition Funko Pop this November. Announced earlier this year during New York Toy Fair, this new glow-in-the-dark Pop is finally about to release and makes a great gift for fans of the hit manga and anime.
Released in North America earlier this year, the latest (and final) My Hero Academia film is available now on Blu-ray and makes a great gift for someone who wasn't able to see it in theaters. The movie follows Deku and the rest of Class 1-A as they temporarily take over a hero agency to learn how to respond to problems without hero supervision. You can purchase the Blu-ray at both Amazon and Best Buy--Amazon's edition comes with a free digital comic, while Best Buy's comes in a steelbook. Funimation has an exclusive bundle that comes with a stylish All Might Funko Pop.
On cold winter nights, there's nothing better than a big blanket to curl up in, and this throw inspired by Spirited Away will help keep them feeling cozy. It features landmarks from the hit film, such as the bridge and the bathhouse.
Aggretsuko is one of the best anime on Netflix right now, and this FigPin is perfect for someone who loves Sanrio's heavy metal-loving red panda. This 3-inch collectible pin can be displayed thanks to a backer card it comes with, and it also comes with a unique ID code that contains details on its edition run, artist bio, and rarity scale.
Funimation's gift cards can be used in its online store on various Blu-rays, merchandise, and more, including a Funimation Now subscription. Funimation Now provides access to a library of English-dubbed series, though some do feature an option to watch in the original Japanese with subtitles.
Right Stuf’s gift cards can be used on the anime retailer's website, which features a huge selection of products, ranging from Blu-rays and manga to figures, collectibles, and clothing. The gift certificate can be purchased in $10, $25, $50, and $100 options.
Funimation has an exclusive Chrome Funko Pop collection that would make for a great gift for anime fans. The collection comes with a whopping six Pops for only $50. You get Young Goku, Vegeta, and Beerus from Dragon Ball Z as well as All Might (My Hero Academia), Natsu (Fairy Tail), and Ken Kaneki (Tokyo Ghoul),
If you have a Dragon Ball fan on your list who happens to like FigPins, these premium Dragon Ball Super pins are a great choice. You get both Gogeta and Broly, each of which features an impressive attention to detail.
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