Hello, relative of an anime fan desperately seeking out something anime-related to give to your ungrateful cousin! We understand that this time of year can be stressful and that you have no idea what weird stuff otaku are currently into, but this helpful guide can tell you exactly what gift to get that will serve as an olive branch that says, “Hey, we don’t really share any interests, but we’re family, so I’m trying.”
Anime DVDs, Blu-rays, and Manga Volumes
No, don’t go there. For one thing, chances are good that the anime/manga fan in your life is just a filthy pirate who illegally downloads or streams their anime anyway, but even if they aren’t, come on, do you even still use physical media? Yes, there’s some weird otaku out there who still buy Blu-rays, but they’ve already bought the limited edition box sets of the series they like, and chances are you’d inadvertently get them something they hate. If you must buy something in this category, get them a single volume of 20th Century Boys, since chances are they’ve been meaning to pirate it but have never gotten around to it.
Subscription to Crunchyroll or Funimation
Look man, either they’ve got this already or you’re not bringing them around to legal streaming. It’s not worth the arguments, we already went through this on Thanksgiving.
Oh, trying to be tasteful, eh? Come on man, these books exist solely to be bought as Christmas presents, looked at once, then put underneath a coffee table, and basically no otaku have coffee tables in their apartments/parent’s basements. Who are you trying to fool?
Okay, here we go, most anime fans like figures, but which one you buy depends largely on how willing you are to admit to your cousin how low your opinion of them is. If you have some sort of respect for them, consider buying a Nendoroid, they’re cutesy and they even make figures of characters you’ve heard of like Darth Vader and Batman; they’re basically like anime Funko Pops, only not ugly as sin. If you want to make it clear you know just how much they’ve debased themselves, look up figures for franchises like To-Love-Ru and Super Sonico, and pick the one that you think most exemplifies your relationship with them.
You may think that since the anime fan in your life is likely into video games that this is something you can share common ground on, but the video games you’re into and the video games they’re into are completely different. You like Mortal Kombat, they like Arcana Heart. You like Guitar Hero, they like The iDOLM@STER. You like Wii Sports, they like Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball. Much like the rest of anime, otaku video games are mostly just thinly veiled porn, and do you really want to give your relatives porn?
Hey man, it’s up to you I guess.
Okay, if you really want to get them what they want, just straight up give them money. You don’t really want to brave the depths of sites like TokyoOtakuMode or AmiAmi looking for that weird thing they asked for, just give them money and let them but whatever shit they’re into for themselves, it’ll be less awkward for both parties. Or get them an Amazon gift card, that’s basically just cash anyway.