December 7, 2009

Bento Bako Weekly: Christmas 2009 Shopping Guide

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Written by: Kristin
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bbwharuhixmasThis week’s Bento Bako Weekly is a shopping guide for the manga or anime fan on your list.  The best places to find this stuff are, honestly, online.  In stores, selection is widely varied, and more expensive.  That said, I have had decent luck at Fry’s Electronics (for anime) and Barnes and Noble (for manga).  Availability at these stores will likely depend on your area.  Otherwise, your best bets are, Anime Castle, and Right Stuf.

I’ll start off by showing you my personal list, which will likely scream “Tolkien fanatic” more than it will “otaku.”

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone
Mary Poppins 45th Special Anniversary Ed.

Kamikaze Girls
Full Metal Alchemist: The Movie: The Conqueror of Shamballa
The Twelve Kingdoms Complete Collection

The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Kalevala: An Epic Poem after Oral Tradition by Elias Lonnrot
The Count of Monte Cristo
by Alexandre Dumas, unabridged
The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien by Christopher Tolkien and Humphrey Carpenter

Nostalgia (Nintendo DS)
Prince of Persia (Xbox 360)
Assassin’s Creed 2 (Xbox 360)
Halo Wars (Xbox 360)

Watchmen movie soundtrack
A Tale of Two Cities – original concept recording CD

Already there’s a couple of things to get your lovable otaku.  This winter the new Evangelion film was released on DVD in America.  It’s a great addition to the likely huge collection of Evangelion related items your fan of the show likely owns.  Kamikaze Girls, while it’s not exactly recent (2004 in Japan, 2006 in the States), is an excellent addition to any girl’s library of films.  It’s a live action, Amelie-like adaptation of a sweet and humorous story about friendship between girls.  The Full Metal Alchemist movie wraps up the ending of the anime series, and is a must have for fans of the show (it also released on Blu-Ray this year).  The Twelve Kingdoms is an excellent anime series, and any fantasy fan (high and epic fantasy) should have this in their collection.  The complete collection was released this year (it was previously available in two sets).  Nostalgia is a Japanese RPG for the DS, reminiscent of games like (early) Final Fantasy (it was designed by the team behind FFIII on the DS) and Skies of Arcadia.

gsgilteatrinoWhat does your otaku like?  Ninjas?  This year FUNimation released Nabari no Ou on DVD, the story of an apathetic high school boy who just so happens to be the host of a powerful spirit that everyone in the ninja world wants to control.

Stories about melancholy little girls who wield guns?  The second season of Gunslinger Girl, Il Teatrino, was released by FUNimation this year, and continues the story of the unfortunate children who were made into cyborg assassins for the government.

Pretty boys flirting with each other?  Try the soon to be released thin-pack for Gakuen Heaven, from Media Blasters.

Hilarious gag comedies?  Try Bandai’s release of Hayate the Combat Butler, about a constantly-in-debt butler who serves a constantly-in-trouble rich young lady.

Giant robots?  Bandai released three sets of Mobile Suit Gundam 00 this year.

For those who prefer live action stories, give them the Mushi-Shi/Bugmaster live action adaptation from FUNimation.

twelvekingdoms3New takes on classic love stories?  Pick up FUNimation’s release of Gonzo’s beautiful Romeo x Juliet (one of my personal favorites).

For wonderfully depressing tearjerkers, grab Clannad and Clannad: After Story from ADV and Sentai Filmworks.

Fantasy stories with epic mythology?  Try the paperback release of the third volume of The Twelve Kingdoms light novel, The Vast Spread of the Seas.

Feudal era romance stories?  Start your otaku off right with FUNimation’s complete first season of The Story of Saiunkoku.

Never ending explosions and shootouts, accompanied by a super ass-kicking female?  FUNimation re-released Geneon’s Black Lagoon into a single set collection this fall.

Natsuki Takaya fan?  Her three volume Tsubasa: Those With Wings completed its American Tokyopop release late this summer.  (I reviewed it here.)

Do you know a girl you’d like to get interested in comics or manga?  Try the newly released first volume of Itazura Na Kiss, a charming story about an unlikely couple thrown together by accidental circumstances, from Digital Manga Publishing.

kh358daysJRPG fan?  Likes Disney?  Played the console Kingdom Hearts games?  Then make sure they don’t go without a copy of Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days for the Nintendo DS.

Interested in manga, but can’t decide where to start?  You could try giving a subscription to either Viz Media’s Shonen Jump magazine, or Yen Press’s Yen Plus magazine.

Dragon Ball fanatic?  If they don’t already own the episodes (and maybe even if they do!  These are cleaned up.), the Dragon Ball Z: Dragon Box One DVD box set from FUNimation collects the first 42 episodes of the series, and comes with a 48-page booklet.

If you’re still having trouble coming up with gift ideas for your otaku, you could try downloading or ordering Right Stuf’s fall 2009 catalog, and have them circle anything they are interested in from the enormous collection laid out in its pages.  But I hope that gets you off to a good start!  I recommend shopping around for things like this, to find the best deal.  And for the record, I have ordered from Amazon, Anime Castle, and Right Stuf, and had good experiences all around.




  1. This is amazing.

    I will be utilizing this list for my significant other.

  2. That’s the idea. 🙂
    I hope it’s helpful.

  3. InfiniteSpeech

    helpful indeed!

  4. billy

    Nice list Kris! Ahem, Andy, significant other?

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