Great Gift Ideas For The Anime Fan

Whether you need a gift for Christmas, a birthday or other occasion, anime fans can be hard to buy for, especially if you know little about the world known as “anime”. First, let me explain a little about it. Anime is a type of animation that started in Japan. Basically, you can call it a Japanese version of cartoons. However, it has some big differences. Where American animation tends to be geared primarily towards children, there are actually many types of anime, geared for many ages and interests. For instance, there are series targeted squarely at young boys, young girls, young women and so on. There are also adult series, with more adult themes and content. There are also many different thematic styles of anime, including those centered around robots (called mecha), romantic series, fighting series, school life series and so on.

In order for you to choose a fantastic gift for the Japanese animation fan in your life, you first need an idea of what anime series or at least what kind of theme they enjoy. Find out by perusing their DVD collection or checking what they watch on TV. Once you know the series they like, here are some suggestions for surefire gifts for any anime fan:

Manga

Manga is simply the Japanese version of comic books or graphic novels. Many anime series are based on a manga series. Any anime fan would love the original manga their favorite series is based on. For original Japanese manga, you can usually find some on eBay and at Japanese importers like JustManga and Manga.com. For the most popular series, like Inuyasha, you can find English translated manga books at many major bookstores.

Live Action and Japanese Drama DVD’s

Some anime and manga series have a live action version, like Sailor Moon, that a Sailor Moon fan would likely be interested in. If they seem interested in Japanese culture, then consider getting them some Japanese TV drama series. There are many Japanese drama series aimed at tweens and teens that usually take place in school or high school. Check out Nodame Cantabile, Hana Yori Dango and Gokusen, each was based on anime or manga series or both. Look for these series at places like YesAsia and on eBay. Make sure to get the English subtitled versions.

Toys

Some anime series, like Gundam, Neon Genesis Evangelion and others, have many toys available. If you really want to get a special gift, try to get some of the toys that are imported from Japan. Toys available include action figures, vehicles, stuffed toys, models and dolls. You can find toys for the most popular series at major toy stores, but for not so popular series, try eBay, YesAsia and other import websites.

Video Games

Many of the most popular anime series like Naruto, Inuyasha and Bleach also have video games based on them. This is a great gift idea since what fan wouldn’t want to play a game as their favorite character? Make sure to find out what game system they have so you can get a game for their particular console or handheld.

Music

Many anime fans become interested in Japanese culture through anime, especially since popular Japanese artists and bands are used on the soundtracks to the majority of series. You can get them the soundtrack to the series or even a few JPOP or JROCK CD’s. JPOP and JROCK is the abbreviation of Japanese pop and Japanese rock music. Find many artists at both YesAsia and eBay. Popular Japanese music artists include Ayumi Hamasaki (pop), Utada Hikaru (pop/R&B), Arashi (pop boy band), L’Arc-en-Ciel (rock band), Morning Musume (pop girl band) and many more.

Collectibles & Decorative Items

There are also many collectibles and decorative items available for some series. Consider animation cells, limited edition toys, photo albums, calendars, posters and more. Find these at YesAsia and eBay.

Clothing & Apparel

Some anime fans enjoy dressing up as their favorite character, this is called “cosplay”. Try to find out who their favorite character is and get them a costume or accessories. For instance, an Inuyasha fan would love a necklace like the one Inuyasha wears or a play sword like he uses. Or go all out and get them a full costume just like their favorite character. One place to check out is CosplayMagic.com.

Language Books or Software

If your anime fan has a serious interest in Japanese culture, then consider getting them a book or audio learning set to help them learn, read and write Japanese. This is an excellent gift option if you’re having a hard time finding gifts from their favorite anime series. This is also a gift you can feel good about, since learning a new language is a very valuable skill for their future.

Food

From sushi to Pocky, if they have an interest in Japanese culture, they might like to try some of the food they have seen consumed in animes and dramas. Some suggestions include a sushi making kit, Japanese candy and gum, Pocky (a pretzel covered with chocolate), strange flavored Japanese versions of candy bars like KitKat and more. You can find many types of Japanese candy at AsianFoodGrocer and other Japanese food import sites.

Harajuku Girls – How to Get the Look

Gwen Stefani has brought the concept of Harajuku girls into popular western culture and introduced a new generation to this fashion style from Japan. In fact this style of fashion was popular long before Gwen discovered it and Harajuku has been a fashion hub for many years. But just what exactly is a Harajuku girl and where do you start to look for clothes if you want to dress like one?

Harajuku is a trendy area of Tokyo where young people go to hang out with their friends, show off their latest fashions and hopefully get spotted by one of the street fashion photographers or model head hunters looking for the coolest new looks. It is also a popular hangout for cosplayers where teenagers will gather at the weekends dressed up as their favorite anime character.

There are various sub cultures within Japanese Fashion including Goth, Lolita and Gothic Lolita, Visual Kei, and Ganguro. The Harajuku girls from the Gwen Stefani world wear bright colors, mix and match with lots of accessories – the crazier and more individual the look the better.

If you’d like to dress like a Harajuku girl then there are lots of websites selling outfits from Japan which can provide good base pieces for your collection. EBay is another great place to look for outfits and accessories. The easiest way to get this look however is just to be creative – Harajuku fashion is all about being individual and experimenting.

Get brave with your clothes – wear lots of layers that mix and match, the brighter the better. Experiment with your hair and makeup too, trying crazy new styles that you wouldn’t normally consider. Accessories should be large and bold and you should wear lots of them! Wear your whole look with confidence and try out new ideas every time you put together a new outfit.

Top 10 Greatest Cartoonists in the History

Have you ever watched a Japanese anime? Have you ever dressed cosplay costumes at cosplay shows? Yes, I suppose all you guys answer yes. So, I can go on my article and you can get what I say. This an interesting article about Japanese anime.

As a country full of anime, Japan has exported lots of anime works to the whole world steadily for a long time. Many of them have been recognized as the classic ones, loved by tens of anime fans around the world. From May 5th, the most authoritative Japanese website Oricon Style launched a three-day poll, named Whom do you think has changed the history of Japanese anime. The final answer came out on July 17th.

Now, who is the best in your opinion? I guess there will be no argue if I say Osamu Tezuka is the number one. Every anime enthusiast knows him. He established a new narrative technique for writing the manga, build the basis of the contemporary Japanese animation performance. And he is the first cartoonist who imports the assistant system and enterprise management. Also, he is the first guy to separate boy anime and girl anime. What a great success he has achieved. He is honored as the God of manga. You could understand the importance of the giant.

Astro Boy is Osamu Tezuka’s classical piece. Though, he passed away in 1989, he has become the shining example to all the following Japanese cartoonists.

Then, the second person in this list is Toriyama Akira, the writer of Dragon Ball. Dragon Ball is a household name for all the anime fans around the world, meanwhile, the father of Dragon Ball is also well known. You know, this manga has made a sales record of 193 million. I guess no one out there could sell better than it. Not long ago, a live action film Dragon Ball Evolution has been on the movie market which made the Dragon Ball fans crazy.

Fujiko Fujio, the father of Doraemon, takes the third place in this list. Since the first manga released in 1969, there are anime, theater version on show. Even there will be new theater version movies released in future.

Then, the next is Eiichiro Oda, the author of the classic One Piece. One Piece is still the winner of the first edition version’s sales. And One Piece, in my opinion, is the most popular anime in the world nowadays. Then, it is Takehiko Inoue who writes Slam Dunk. Slam Dunk is greatly praised in China. All the Chinese born in 1980s have watched this lovely anime. So, he deserves the title. It seems that the two active cartoonists have a good reputation as the deceased master, and maybe we could respect as masters now.

Mizuki Shigeru, Fujio Akazuka, Machiko Hasegawa are the following masters in the list. They are all wonderful cartoonists. Miyazaki Hayao is also on the list as a modern animation master. The last one is Akimoto Osamu and Naoki Urasawa. This is a wonderful list for you, anime fans. Enjoy it and figure out the list of your own opinion.