Gifts for anime lovers change depending on how much of a fan or otaku they consider themself. Some people just like to watch while others represent.
An otaku is originally a derogatory term used to describe someone who is infatuated with something, usually online, so much that they sacrifice social engagement. Today, anime lovers have embraced the term to signify their unyielding love for the art. Now, the new derogatory term for those obsessed with Japanese culture, including anime, is weeaboo/weeb.
The best gift for an anime fan changes a lot depending on if they are just a casual watcher, a fan of a particular series, or a self-proclaimed otaku.
A casual anime lover watches anime just like they do other forms of media. They see it no different from regular movies and TV shows. If the anime appeals to their interests, they will watch it. If not, then they won’t give it the time of day. These types of viewers usually stick to specific genres.
An anime series fan is someone that just likes particular shows, usually the most popular ones or nostalgic series. These type of anime watchers may not watch anime at all beyond the few that they like. The new releases each season and current airing anime, may not be of any concern. You need to be careful when picking gifts for this type of anime lover because they might not care too deeply about the form of media as a whole.
An otaku is my favorite type of anime lover because they often like all things “anime”. Otaku appreciate anime as art and keep up with even some of the more obscure series. Otaku not only like anime-themed gifts but generally enjoy most fantasy themes and games, as well.
Best Anime Gifts For Casual Watchers
So you have a casual watcher who likes a series here and there. Maybe it’s the animation or the story, either way, they’re down for some anime occasionally. Casual watchers are where a lot of people make a mistake when it comes to finding the right gift. A lot of people treat a casual watcher as if they are die-hard anime fans. That’s certainly not the case.
For casual anime fans, you want to focus on broad gifts. Some might not have anything to do with anime at all but can assist with the media aspect. Take a look at these recommendations.
1. Surround Sound Headphones
There’s something about watching anime and Japanese voices that feels somewhat embarrassing. Particularly the female Japanese voice. As someone that watches anime myself, I remember always feeling the need to either watch it in private or with headphones on. Even innocent anime moments felt awkward, mainly because if someone isn’t actually watching the scene the sounds can be misleading.
That’s why a good pair of headphones is one of the best anime gifts. It also goes without saying that headphones can also be used for other activities besides anime viewing, making them more functional. If you want a gift that is highly likely to get used, you can’t go wrong with this.
2. Crunchy Roll Premium Subscription
Finding a place to watch anime and new episodes can be daunting. Sites that stream shows without permission not only hurts the creators but also puts users at risk of computer viruses and such. A casual watcher probably won’t stay up to date on the safest sources. That’s why gifting them a membership to an approved site like Crunchyroll is a perfect anime gift idea.
Crunchyroll has a huge selection of anime and also features Simulcast for premium members. This allows them to watch newly released episodes just hours after they air in Japan. It’s a great way to stay caught up with popular anime of the season.
3. High-Speed Internet
I can’t think of anything worse when it comes to entertainment than having to keep letting your videos buffer. If your giftee is using shared internet that is constantly split between several people, it would be a good idea to discuss getting them their own internet connection.
This is one of the more costly and complex gift ideas for anime lovers, but it’s well worth it. I remember the days when I woke up, eager to watch the latest weekend episodes, but couldn’t because the internet was shared between four people. When you are young, not being able to watch as soon as possible feels excruciating.
4. Multimedia Computer
This anime gift is similar to the high-speed internet. If their computer can’t handle HD graphics they are missing out on the real magic of anime. Being able to see beautiful effects as they were intended can actually change a person’s perspective of a particular series or scene.
There are literally people who will not watch an anime until it is available in HD. It makes that much of a difference to so many anime lovers.
For lasting value, I recommend getting a computer that displays 1080p HD. If budget is not an issue, I would even say go as far as 4K, but that’s very expensive and will only be useful for future anime production. A lot of anime fans also enjoy video games, which gives a top-performing multimedia computer extra value.
Unique Anime Gift Ideas For Fans Of A Series
Fans of a series are special in that they could like anime or they could just like the particular series. For this reason, when choosing a gift for them you want it to be more unique and have reference to the show they are a fan of. Certain products accomplish this better than others but not every anime will be available on merchandise. These anime gift ideas are most relevant for popular series.
5. Novelty Anime Mug Gifts
Mugs are timeless gifts. With new technology, they have become easy to customize in unique ways. You can find nearly every popular show available as a mug. Currently, there are heat changing anime mugs that have added more uniqueness to this gift idea. You can give your anime lover an exciting gift that interacts with their choice of drink.
The only downside to novelty mugs is that their quality can be questionable. For safety and to ensure you get a good product, it’s important to buy from reputable sources and only from sellers with several reviews. This is especially important for heat changing anime mugs. They are notorious for not being durable.
6. Clothing Anime Gifts
Clothing as gifts for anime lovers is nothing new but few people go into a certain aspect of clothing that is important. You typically have three types of people willing to wear anime-themed clothing: those who love graphic designs, those who like simplistic designs, and those who like either.
Typically, children and young adults like graphic designs the most and older adults typically stick to simplistic designs. Simple designs often just feature a well-known symbol or popular reference but not a lot of artwork. This mainly stems from the transition in fashion choices people make when growing up. It is seen to be more adult-like to wear simpler clothing with little to no graphics.
I think a person should wear whatever they want, but if your gift is going to be a surprise, you should keep this in mind.
7. Anime Series Blu-ray Set
Buying the official blu-ray set of an anime is the ultimate act of support for that series. These sets are not cheap in the slightest but they make for a good collection and gives the fan something to hold on to as they get older. It may seem ridiculous now, but you never know how hard it will be to find some of the shows we love today.
Anime is one of those things that continues to push back older series as new ones get released. I can think of several big titles that were all the rage when growing up and if I try to find them now, I’ll be extremely lucky to find them in good quality.
With a blue-ray, they won’t have to worry about that as long as they keep the discs in good condition and stored properly. Just make sure you do some research on the anime before buying. Many anime sell individual seasons as blue-rays meaning you might have to create your own bundle if the complete set isn’t available as a single purchase.
Best Anime Gifts For Otaku
This is where we get into the real substance of anime gifts. Otaku really appreciates anime as a whole and are often open to the most extreme gifts. If you’ve seen anything related to anime there’s a high chance your otaku friend will love it. The only real defining difference I’ve noticed with otaku is that some like fan service and others despise it.
This not only determines what series they watch but also what gifts they will enjoy. For those who don’t know, fan service is when animators or artists show viewers a risque view of characters for no reason other than to please fans who like that kind of stuff.
Some people hate it, some like it, and some don’t care. However, for a gift, it’s better to assume your giftee doesn’t like it.
8. Anime Subscription Box
An anime subscription box takes the guesswork out of deciding what to get and lets experts do the searching. Each monthly box contains unique anime gifts that range from collectibles to apparel.
While you can’t decide what your giftee will receive, most of these subscription box services spend a lot of time finding perfect items. This business model is very fragile and relies on buyers trusting that they will receive quality products each month.
All of the services I’ve looked at also allow you to signup for only one month to test it out, so there’s little risk for the buyer. Besides Loot Crate (linked above), you can also find anime subscription boxes on Crate Joy and several other sites.
9. Anime Fanart Gift
The reason I like fanart is that it is designed by someone who is translating their feelings into the art. Those feeling are likely to be felt by other fans of the show. Fanart is usually made for the love of the series rather than profit.
You can also find some crazy, high-quality designs that are actually better than what the professional market has to offer. The only problem is that it’s not easy to find specific fan art for sell. To avoid legal issues, creators often avoid labeling their work in ways that tie them to the series. It’s sort of a treasure hunt, to be honest. You have to browse, browse, and browse some more to find the hidden gems.
10. Anime-themed Home Decor
Speaking of home decor, if you haven’t thought about it as an anime gift, it’s time to start. Otaku’s generally have a high appreciation for Japanese culture, which is part of the reason they love anime so much. That means Japanese fantasy themes can also make great gifts even if they aren’t tied to a specific anime. This important info makes it easy to find numerous decor gifts for an otaku.
Tapestries, throw pillows, and wall art are the three best decor options for a gift. None of them take up a lot of space and they provide a nice material to display rich designs. While wall art and tapestries can stand on their own as a single unit, if you plan to gift anime-themed throw pillows it is best to buy sets.
11. Kawaii Plush Pillow Anime Gifts
Lastly, we have kawaii plush pillows. Kawaii themes are hugely popular, especially with female anime fans. The adorableness of cute anime characters is something a lot of people look for in specific shows. It’s no surprise that products centered around this cuteness would also be highly desired. Though I don’t buy kawaii products for myself, I do like kawaii characters. There is a charm to them when done right.
If your giftee is female there is a high chance they will like a kawaii gift, especially a plush pillow. You can get them in various sizes, including full body size. I’ve seen them as specific anime characters but also as cute animals, like cats and puppies.
The Best Anime Gifts Start With Research
In the end, finding the best anime gift for your recipient boils down to how much they really like anime. You need to find out if they watch anime regularly or if they just like a show here and there. For the more functional gifts, it doesn’t hurt to know your giftee’s current situation. You don’t want to go out of your way to buy a computer if they already have a good one. Let this article guide you in the right direction, but don’t neglect to do your own research.
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