Culture

8 Awesome Anime Christmas Gift Ideas

Four new and four classic goodies from Japan for the animaniac in your life.

By 6 min read

With the Christmas holidays quickly approaching, the clock is ticking to find the perfect gifts for your loved ones this holiday season. If you’re in a rush to find a good fix for an anime addict, look no further — GaijinPot has got you covered. Here are four films recently released on DVD and Blu-ray along with four classic bargain films available for the anime lover in your life.

Perfect for children or adults, hopeless romantics or action/adventure junkies, the following titles span various genres, heartwarming and exciting yet light enough for you to sit back, relax and savor over the holiday season.

As of this writing, the four classic bargain titles are available on Amazon for ¥2,000 or less (excluding shipping). All the films on this list are available with English audio or English subtitles.

New Releases

Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale (2017)

Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale

Taking place three to four years after the events of Sword Art Online: Aincrad — an anime currently streaming on Netflix Japan — main characters Kirito, Asuna and their party of friends log on to a new game known as “Ordinal Scale.”

They quickly realize things are amiss, however, when boss enemies from the original Aincrad game — who imprisoned 10,000 players in a hellish virtual nightmare — start popping up. After an encounter with a boss enemy, Asuna is knocked out and starts losing her memories of the original “Sword Art Online” game where she and Kirito met. Kirito vows to get to the bottom of the mystery behind Ordinal Scale and retrieve Asuna’s lost memories.

  • Genre: Action, romance, sci-fi
  • Age Range: 12 +
  • Good For: people who love anime about video games, and people who enjoy action anime like Naruto, One Piece or Full Metal Alchemist.
  • Available on Amazon Japan and Amazon.com (with shipping to Japan).

Napping Princess: The Story of the Unknown Me (2017)

Napping Princess: The Story of the Unknown Me

With a well-paced plot, beautiful animation and an enticing, mysterious story, Napping Princess follows Kokone, a girl who has recurring dreams of a magical fantasy land. Kokone finds her father’s tablet computer, which somehow brings the magic from her dreams into the real world.

In that world, her father is imprisoned for suspected intellectual property theft. Kokone must race to find her grandfather who she’s never met and uncover the secrets of her deceased mother to set her father free.

  • Genre: Adventure, fantasy, mystery, sci-fi
  • Age Range: 10 +
  • Good For: People who love magical realism and those who liked Anthem of the Heart (2015) or Summer Wars (2009).
  • Napping Princess is currently available on Amazon Prime Video as well as Amazon Japan and Amazon.com stores (with shipping to Japan).

Mary and the Witch’s Flower (2017)

Mary and the Witch’s Flower

From director Hiromasa Yonebayashi (key animator on the renowned Spirited Away) comes Mary and the Witch’s Flower, an adventure-filled story about one lonely girl and her run-in with a plant blossom that grants her magic powers. Her chance encounter with that mystical flower and an old broomstick take her to a school of magic that turns her mundane life into something extraordinary.

  • Genre: Adventure, fantasy
  • Age Range: 7 +
  • Good For: People who love Harry Potter or magical fantasy anime.
  • Mary and the Witch’s Flower is currently available on Amazon Prime Video as well as Amazon Japan and Amazon.com stores.

Fireworks (2017)

Fireworks

Produced by Genki Kawamura (Your Name), Fireworks features the same elements that made Your Name (2016) an international success: stunning visuals, a contemporary soundtrack and a heartwarming romance mixed in with a little bit of time travel.

Fireworks is about a small Japanese town, its fireworks festival and one junior high school student named Nazuna who runs away from home to protest her family’s upcoming move to another city. Norimichi, a boy in her class who fancies her, helps her escape.

  • Genre: Coming-of-age, fantasy, romance, school life
  • Age Range: 13 +
  • Good For: People who love end-of-summer stories, romance and stories about time travel like Your Name.
  • Fireworks is currently available on Amazon Prime Video. as well as Amazon.com (with shipping to Japan).

Classics

Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children (2005)

Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children

For fans of the Final Fantasy Japanese role playing video game series by Square Enix, Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children was a godsend. Based on Final Fantasy 7, the most critically acclaimed game in the series, the film picks up where the game leaves off.

Featuring some of the most beautiful CGI in anime history, it’s jam-packed with intense and riveting battle scenes, a great soundtrack and superb voice acting — in either the Japanese or English version.

  • Genre: Action, fantasy, sci-fi
  • Price: ¥1,130 yen (before shipping)
  • Genre: Action, fantasy, sci-fi
  • Age Range: 7+
  • Good For: People who love action or JRPG video games and fans of CGI anime.
  • Final Fantasy 7: Advent Children is currently available on Amazon Prime Video as well as Amazon Japan and Amazon.com stores (with shipping to Japan).

Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)

Kiki’s Delivery Service

A light and heartwarming story to snuggle up next to this Christmas, Kiki’s Delivery Service is about a young witch and her journey into adulthood.

In a world where witches are treated as celebrities, Kiki must forge her path in life and learn how to depend on herself and make it on her own. Traveling to a nearby town, she starts a courier service, delivering goods by flying on her broom.

  • Price: ¥1,764 yen (before shipping)
  • Genre: Coming-of-age, fantasy
  • Age Range: 5 +
  • Good For: People who love Harry Potter or those just looking for a light, heartwarming film.
  • Kiki’s Delivery Service is available on Amazon Japan and Amazon.com.

Pokémon: The First Movie (1998)

Pokémon: The First Movie

For children who grew up with the first Pokémon series, which featured Charmander, Bulbasaur and Squirtle as the three main Pokémon, Pokémon: The First Movie was everything we wanted in a film.

The plot follows Mewtwo, an ultra-powerful Pokémon cloned from Mew, the legendary, most powerful Pokémon in the world. Enraged at its existence as a mere experiment, Mewtwo tries to end humanity. With his friends and Pokémon at his side, the main protagonist, Ash, tries his best to stop Mewtwo and bring peace to the world, but getting caught in the crossfire could spell the end for the brave-hearted trainer from Pallet Town.

  • Price: ¥1,349 yen (before shipping)
  • Genre: Action, coming-of-age, fantasy, sci-fi
  • Age Range: 5 +
  • Good For: Pokémon gamers everywhere and fans of any Pokémon generation or series.
  • Pokemon: The First Movie is currently available on Amazon Prime Video as well as Amazon.com (with shipping to Japan).

Summer Wars (2009)

Summer Wars

Part romance, part sci-fi/adventure, Summer Wars is about two high school students, Kenji and Natsuki, and their summer holiday gone wrong. What started as a peaceful holiday retreat to the quiet, rural area of Nagano Prefecture quickly becomes a virtual fight against an all-powerful artificial intelligence program. This A.I. — known as Love Machine — runs rampage, causing destruction in the virtual game world of Oz and intends to blow up a nuclear power plant in the real world.

  • Price: ¥2,000 yen (before shipping)
  • Genre: Action, adventure, romance, sci-fi
  • Age Range: 12+
  • Good For: Sci-fi fans and people who like Sword Art Online.
  • Available on Amazon Japan and Amazon.com (with shipping to Japan).

Hopefully, this will help you cross some names off of your shopping list this Christmas. Please remember: if you’re purchasing items online, be sure to allow for a few weeks delivery. If the item is being imported, please be sure to check if the region of the disc is playable in your country. Even Amazon can get swamped during the holiday season, so buy as soon as possible to avoid late delivery.

Have some anime titles on your wish list this year? Let us know in the comments below.

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