When I was in seventh grade, I spent a weekend carefully printing out pictures of the four main characters of The Slayers, cutting them out, and pasting them onto my school binder. I wish I could show my 13-year-old self how it is today, now that you can buy merchandise from T-shirts to school supplies for every possible anime.
I love that convenience, but what I don’t like is how so much anime merchandise is the same wherever I go online. So I set a precedent with last year’s Otaku Holiday Shopping Guide to showcase something other than endless Zazzle shirts featuring Pocky.
Here are twelve gift ideas fit for that special anime fan or Japanophile on your holiday shopping list. As usual, Amazon links are affiliate; all other links are not.
1. Olympus Poster. Boomslank’s indie designs that are evocative of anime, but not fan art. Their latest poster is inspired by Gundam Unicorn. $20, boomslank.com.
2. Snack Subscription. A monthly box stuffed full of Japanese treats to supplement even the most ravenous otaku diet. $10+, skoshbox.com.
3. Geek Travel Guide. Because reading A Geek in Japan is sure as heck a lot cheaper than actually making the trip. $10, amazon.com.
4. Party Game. Channel A: The Anime Pitch Party Game was invented by my friend Ewen Cluney and is crazy fun. $19, amazon.com.
5. Personalized Stamp. In Hiragana, my name is ろうれん. What’s yours? Get it on a hand-carved custom stamp. $20, StampsbySachi on Etsy.
6. Bento Book. I bought it because of anime, but I actually find myself eating healthier when I cook recipes from this book. $12, amazon.com.
7. Tentacle Nails. None will be the wiser when you wear the appendages of anime’s most infamous sea creature on your fingers. $10, espionagecosmetics.com.
8. Fullmetal Makeup. Wear your love for Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood to the office without getting in trouble with the dress code. $1 – $6, shirocosmetics.com.
10. Pixel Pad. Support an independent artist and write the most kawaii grocery lists ever with this “Dreamy Tokyo” notepaper. $8.50, heychickadee.com.
11. Doki Doki Print. A minimalist typographic print that any shoujo manga fan will understand. $13, vbtypography on Etsy.
12. Snowy Figure. Some Nendoroids are simply works of art, like this winter special edition of Hatsune Miku. $110, amazon.com.