Anime merchandise is often hard to find outside of convention centers, or specialized websites. Here’s a few anime and manga fan gift ideas for people who love Japanese Pop Culture.
Anime Fan Gift Ideas
Looking for inspiration on what to get the anime fan and anime lover in your life?
Well, look no further! This (holiday) gift guide will cover: anime, manga, video games, and even apparel gift ideas for both male and female anime fans, boyfriends, girlfriends, nieces, nephews, and everything in-between.
Popular anime merchandise that would make great gifts include: Backpacks, pitanui, keychains, cellphone charms, regular plushies, figures, stickers, pins, t-shirts or hoodie themed apparel, stationary, and throw blankets for bedding.
Anime Fanart from Redbubble Gift Ideas
There is a great amount of fanart on websites like Redbubble that can be found simply by typing in the anime or manga series title into the search bar. Stationary, notebooks, stickers and even phone cases can be found here, as well.
Popular Anime Shows in 2022
If you’re not sure what show the person might like, here are a few ideas based on what anime were popular this year.
Popular anime from 2022 include Attack on Titan, Chainsaw Man, Spy x Family, Bleach, Boku no Hero Academia, My Dress-Up Darling, Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (Season 5), Ranking of Kings and Kaguya-sama: Love Is War.
Popular Classic and Contemporary Shonen Anime Shows
Shonen (aimed at males of a certain age) series like Jujutsu Kaisen, Demon Slayer, and Tokyo Revengers have also become popular in recent years.
Classic shonen anime shows from the 90s and early 2000s popular with males usually include: Rurouni Kenshin, the Big 3 – Bleach, Naruto (+ Naruto Shippuden), YuYu Hakusho, One Piece, and Dragon Ball Z.
Popular Classic and Contemporary Shojo Anime Shows
Shojo (aimed at girls of a certain age) usually include Sailor Moon, Clannad, Nichijou, Fruits Basket, Natsume Yuujinchou and Inuyasha.
This is not a strict list, as shows like Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood and Jojos Bizarre Adventure are generally enjoyed by all. Oh, and Pokemon!
Unique Anime Gift Ideas
Of course, we all strive to give personalized or unique gifts to the ones we love. Here are even more options that go outside of the box.
What to Get Someone Who is Obsessed with Anime?
A wall scroll, anime figurines, coffee mugs, themed stationery, a body pillow, hoodie, or a subscription to an anime streaming website are all suitable gifts to get a boyfriend, a girlfriend, or anyone who is obsessed with anime.
What is the Best Anime Streaming Service?
Anime Streaming has changed in recent months with Sony’s acquisition of various long-time streaming services. At the time of writing this – Crunchyroll, Hulu, and (oddly enough) Disney+ are all legal subscription-based streaming services with extensive catalogs that an anime fan may enjoy receiving as a gift.
Anime DVDs and Blu-Ray as Gifts
If you know the specific show the gift recipient may like, it may be a good idea to get them a DVD or Blu-ray edition of their favorite anime show.
Usually, Blu-ray DVDs have been corrected since airing and have higher-quality animations and the option to toggle between English (or your chosen language) and Japanese. It is best to try and attempt to find the legal and/or official publisher online if you want to order something.
Rightstuf is a specialized website dedicated to animanga, figurines, and general Japanese Pop Culture that has a pretty decent selection of anime show DVDs. Be sure to read the descriptions to confirm whether the episode set is complete for the season, or if it’s been split up into multiple disks.
Gift ideas for Manga Lovers
Manga is essentially Japanese graphic novels, and most anime nowadays are adapted from a popular manga series which is used as the season’s source material. Manga can be sold separately by volumes (usually 4 – 5 books) or even in an omnibus format.
Manga Recommendations for Boys
Shonen manga are aimed at adolescent boys and males between the ages of 12 – 18. They tend to deal with (supernatural) fighting, school relationships, and the Power of Friendship.
The Big 3 are Naruto, Bleach, and One Piece. These are well-known titles most people grew up on and watched anime adaptations for in the early 2000s.
Contemporary titles that are popular include: Tokyo Revengers, Demon Slayer (Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba), My Hero Academia (Boku no Hero Academia), Spy x Family, Jujutsu Kaisen, Blue Lock, Chainsaw Man, and Attack on Titan (Shingeki no Kyojin).
Sometimes titles switch genres as the story progresses (like Attack on Titan’s themes in later chapters would target Seinen audiences, or young adult males) so be sure to check out reviews or do a quick Google search of titles if you plan on gifting manga to young boys or girls.
Manga Recommendations for Girls
Shojo manga is targeted at tween and teenage girls and usually focuses on fluffy stories based on romance, school life, and friendship. Josei is targeted at adult women, and the Yuri genre showcases (romantic) female relationships while fujoshi deals with stories surrounding Yaoi, BL, and other same-sex male relationships.
Shojo manga has unfortunately been quite scarce in recent years, but popular titles include: My Little Monster (Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun), From Me to You (Kimi ni Todoke), Say I Love You (Sukitte Ii na yo), Blue Spring Ride (Ao Haru Ride), Orange, Natsume’s Book of Friends (Natsume Yuujinchou), and Ouran High School Host Club.
Recommendations for a Gift for Someone Who Likes Manga?
Generally, it would be best to try and get the manga to an anime you know the person might enjoy. If not, you can always get something popular within a genre that may fit them.
For boys, that may be something like My Hero Academia, One Piece, or Jujutsu Kaisen.
For girls, that may be Kimi ni Todoke, Ouran High School Host Club, or Ao Haru Ride.
Manga series like Spy x Family and Kaguya-sama: Love is War (Kaguya Wants to Confess) can be enjoyed by all.
Where to Buy Manga Books
Brick and Mortar stores like Barnes and Noble have decent selections of popular manga titles in English, and sometimes even art books or special guides.
Specialized websites like Books-A-Million or RightStuf have extensive catalogues, and places like Kinokuniya have manga titles in English and Japanese if you’re feeling adventurous.
You can save 15% off your order of $35 or more on your order with Books-A-Million by using code 15DEC.
Light Novels for Manga and Anime Series
Light Novels are novels with limited high-quality illustrations of key scenes between characters in a story. Sometimes, an anime show, movie, or manga series may have a light novel that expands on the background of a narrative.
LN are still quite hard to find physical copies of in stores, but you can use J-Novel Club as a legal alternative to reading light novels outside of Japan.
What to Get Someone Who Likes Japanese Things?
People who like Japanese Culture often appreciate the wide variety of unique Japanese snacks and drinks offered in the country. We can’t always travel abroad, but what if the delicious snacks could come to your home?
For anime fans who want to enjoy Japanese snacks – the best bet would be to try and track down any Japanese or even Asian shops in your local area. If that is not possible, places like Dainobu offer snacks across the U.S. and Canada.
Best Japanese Snack Box to Try?
There are popular Japanese snack subscription boxes available for those who want something special delivered monthly to their home.
Bokksu is a great option if you’d like a rich experience in contemporary snacks.
Read my Bokksu snack box review.
Sakuraco is excellent if you would like wagashi and other traditional sweets. Each month has a different theme and features 100% authentic and artisanal snacks from local makers in Japan.
Read my Sakuraco snack box review.
Both Bokksu and Sakuraco are great options that suit differing tastes in Japanese snacks.
Anime Cookbook and Kitchen Gift Ideas
Ramen, udon, onigiri, curry and taiyaki are all popular foods often shown in anime.
For the anime fan who is a budding chef: official merchandise like a Naruto Shippuden Ichiraku ramen soup mug with lid along with a Ramen 101 Ramen Recipe Book might make a great gift from websites like BoxLunch.
Boxlunch is owned by Hot Topic, a company that always had interesting nerdy anime and manga themed- apparel back in the day.
Anime Figure Gift Ideas
If you’re a gambling person, you could try searching Amazon for retailers like figuartsZERO.
Oddly enough, Brick and Mortar stores like Target often have anime or niche interest items like vinyl Funko pops in a section toward the middle of the store. Target is also great for themed trade card games (like Yu-Gi-Oh or Pokémon) and plushies.
Video Game Gift Ideas for Anime Fans
What Games Do Anime Fans Play?
If you enjoy anime or need video game gift ideas for an anime fan, I recommend the following titles:
Popular Japanese Video Game Franchises
Persona is a spin-off series from Atlus’ Megami Tensei. I’d personally recommend Persona 5: Royal.
Animal Crossing is a laid-back game featuring cute animals and crippling debt. While Animal Crossing: New Horizons brought something new to the table with island customization, it was missing many features freely given in previous games.
For that reason (amongst many) I would personally recommend Animal Crossing: New Leaf for the older Nintendo 3DS console.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a critically acclaimed installment in Nintendo’s popular Zelda video game series. If you are a fan of Zelda and want an open world game with more freedom from strict linear storytelling – this one is for you (or a friend ☺).
Pokémon is a (semi) JRPG most children in the 90s grew up playing. While there is always controversy surrounding the import of previously caught ‘mon in games, there is a public consensus that recent games in the franchise have lost heart – Pokémon Sword and Shield being one such installment.
If you’re not a fan of retro gaming and playing the classics but want something exciting and fresh (for Nintendo gaming at least) with an open world feel, check out Pokemon Legends: Arceus.
JRPG I have not personally played but always heard good things about:
Danganronpa, NieR:Automata, Dragon Quest, Elden Ring, Final Fantasy (your milage may vary depending on the FF title chosen).
Most of these video games can be found at any major retailer online or in store. You can use websites like Deku Deals to see and track the lowest prices across all platforms.
Visual Novel Recommendations for Anime Fans
Visual novels are stories primarily told through interactive actions by the user with dialogue almost exclusively delivered through text. Visual novels can be experienced on mobile devices but are mainly enjoyed on computers.
The Best Visual Novel Anime?
Steins;Gate, Clannad and Clannad: After Story, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, Muv-Luv and Muv-Luv Alternative, and Higurashi When They Cry (Higurashi no Naku Koro ni) are all considered very popular visual novels within the anime community.
Adult-themed Visual Novels
There are also adult themed visual novels known as ‘eroge’ available like School Days.
(Which is a terrible visual novel and anime, don’t play it.)
Where Can You Get Visual Novels in the West?
Note – Right Stuf has phased out most of the adult content on their website after their recent acquisition by Crunchyroll.
Hello Kitty Fan Gift Ideas
For Hello Kitty fans, Sanrio’s website would be a good place to check.
The company often does collaborations with popular (and obscure) brands periodically and usually sell hello kitty-themed merchandise in Brick-and-Mortar stores like Target.
Gift Ideas for Studio Ghibli Fans
Studio Ghibli fans can also benefit from websites like Boxlunch, Rightstuf or even Redbubble and Etsy for movie posters, throw blanket and mugs.
Western Animated Series Anime Fans Love
While not technically a Japanese anime series but rather an American one, Avatar: the Last Airbender is an insanely popular and well-received show by people of all ages. If you know anybody around my age (early 30s) who enjoys the show, chances are they also lamented the absolute drought of official Nickelodeon ATLA merchandise while growing up.
What Do You Get An Avatar: the Last Airbender Fan as a Gift?
Boxlunch delivers again when it comes to Avatar: the Last Airbender merchandise.
Something as simple as an Avatar: The Last Airbender Four Nations Map Mug could make a long-time fan’s day.
Avatar: the Last Airbender Graphic Novels
Nickelodeon had no interest in continuing the series past Book 3 despite critical reception from fans, so creators Bryke turned to the creative medium of graphic novels instead to finish the Avatar’s tales.
There are graphic novels for both Avatar: the Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra that are available through Dark Horse, RightStuf , Books-A-Million in addition to Brick-and-Mortar stores like Target or Barnes and Noble.
This is only scratching the surface, but I hope this guide could help you find the perfect gift for the anime or manga fan in your life.
Did I miss anything? Where is your favorite place to purchase anime merchandise?
We are also creating Anime and Japanese fashion-inspired merchandise for fellow fans, Visit our Redbubble store if you have a chance – you get cool gear, and it helps support the blog!
☆ In Asian Spaces