Bento Bako Weekly: (Mostly) Manga Gift Guide 2010
Christmas is just around the corner. Maybe you have a manga or anime fan to shop for. Maybe you need some help finding the perfect gift. Well, take a deep breath and relax! I’m here to help. Here are some select titles for the various types of fans that may be in your life.
For the sports fan: The absolutely wonderful Cross Game Omnibus volume 1 (review here) from Viz Media. Safe for the young baseball fan in your life, but equally entertaining for any age. Guys, you can even read this along with your girls.
For the girl who loves period romances: The Story of Saiunkoku from Viz Media is sure to be a hit (review here). With a strong heroine and an intriguing story, this is one of the strongest new titles of 2010. It’s also available in anime form.
For the Sci-Fi fan: Try Vertical Inc.’s Twin Spica or Viz Media’s Saturn Apartments (review here). Twin Spica follows a young girl who strives to be an astronaut, while Saturn Apartments follows a group of window cleaners who clean the outside of a massive ring hanging in the upper atmosphere of the Earth.
For the thriller/mystery fan: Viz Media will release the first Death Note Black omnibus volume just after Christmas on December 28. They also released the surprisingly excellent and suspenseful MAOH: Juvenile Remix (reviews here and here) this year.
For the woman who loves boys with other boys: Digital Manga Publishing’s In the Walnut (reviews here and here) is a beautiful, touching yaoi series perfect for newcomers and yaoi veterans. Bonus if you’re an art fan! The main character runs a very unique art gallery.
For the person who likes crime drama like CSI or hospital drama like House: You can’t go wrong with Tezuka’s Black Jack from Vertical Inc. A genius doctor who works outside the law.
For fans of steampunk: Give Viz Media’s Tegami Bachi Letter Bee a try (review here). Mail carriers deliver their letters across dangerous, permanently dark lands populated by giant insects.
Got a girl who likes the occasional zombie attack?: Try Kaori Yuki’s new gothic tale Grand Guignol Orchestra from Viz Media (review here). A traveling orchestra fights zombie-like dolls as they search for their purpose in life.
Does your friend or loved one love adorable things?: Give them Vertical Inc.’s Chi’s Sweet Home, the adventures of the world’s most adorable kitten.
JRPG fan?: If they have a PSP, Persona 3 Portable (review here), an updated version of one of the best PS2 RPG games. For the Xbox (or PS3), NIER, a lovely melancholy game about a man searching for a cure for his ailing daughter. For the Wii, the beautiful and excellently creepy Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon. For the DS, the newly released Golden Sun: Dark Dawn.
For Fumi Yoshinaga fans: Not Love But Delicious Foods, which comes out just before Christmas from Yen Press, on December 21. Also a good choice for the foodie in your life.
For vampire fans (of the pretty boy variety): The Vampire Knight Official Handbook (review here) from Viz Media. You could also buy any of the DVDs of the Vampire Knight anime, or pre-order for late gifting the entire first series, which comes out in January from Viz Media. Also newly available is a box set of the first ten volumes of the manga (a $100 set currently on sale for $62.99 at Amazon).
For the young-uns: I think the best thing I can do for you is to point you to the Yotsuba&! Manga Moveable Feast review archive. This MMF spotlights Yotsuba&!, but also points out various other excellent kid friendly manga.
If your giftee enjoys older, classic manga: Look no further than Tezuka’s Ayako (review here) from Vertical Inc. A dark and tragic Tezuka masterpiece about a twisted family who pins all their problems on an innocent child, Ayako.
If there’s a Japanophile in the family: Make it simple (and easy on yourself) and give them a gift certificate to J-List, which has an enormous and incredible collection of all kinds of Japanese items, from the traditional to the bizarre, and everything in between.
If your otaku loves anime: Give the gift that gives a lot with a gift certificate to Right Stuf. With their regular and amazing sales, a smart shopper could gift themselves with a sizable addition to their collection without hurting your or their wallet.
For more gift ideas, Daniella of All About Manga has collected manga gift guides from across the web. If you’d like further suggestions from yours truly, or more explanation on suggestions already given, please leave a comment or drop me an email! I’d be happy to help out.