Artwork by morikuraen.
The holiday season is upon us! It’s a time of cheery music, delicious treats, and…lots and lots of shopping! Do you know what you’re getting for your family and friends this year?! Maybe you have a friend, sibling, or relative that you know is a super big anime fan, and are looking for that perfect something for under the tree to surprise them with. Heck, maybe you’re even shopping for yourself–no shame in that! Today I’m exploring the many different kinds of otaku (a.k.a. hardcore anime fans! ) and coming up with awesome and cost-effective gift ideas for each one. You’re guaranteed to find a super kawaii gift for someone who love, so read on to get inspired~!
The shoujo schoolgirl
This friend always has a far-off look in their eyes; they’re a dreamer, a hopeless romantic with their head in the clouds…and is that a secret love letter being held behind their back?! While they’re not chasing after the sempai of their dreams, they appreciate the small moments in life and live each day to the fullest–even if they’re only your average highschool student! So what kind of gifts would satisfy this romantic girl…?
The sailor-style school uniform is iconic to Japanese culture! There are countless anime featuring heroines wearing these cute uniforms–to wear one yourself is sure to make your heart flutter and remind you of carefree schoolday memories~ It comes in several different colors, and with short and long sleeves, so you can choose which style suits you best.
The traditional ‘Randoseru’ backpack is a classic design that has been used by Japanese schoolchildren for decades. Made with sturdy leather and clean embroidery, it’s boxy shape is both cute and practical, allowing you to fit all of your school supplies inside. While the traditional color is usually a bright clean red, these modern randoserus come in many colors, from chic black to pastel pink!
“Azumanga Daioh” is a series of short comics following a group of best friends in highschool through their day-to-day adventures. The gang is eccentric at best–there’s the ditzy airhead who can’t help but say random things at inappropriate times, the 10-year-old genius who made it into highschool early, and the silent cool girl who secretly loves anything cute…This complete omnibus manga of the series covers all of the hijinks the gang gets into, and is a relaxing read that’s sure to get a laugh out of any reader!
Your dear friend wants her lips shining and cute for her crush, right?! This adorable and compact lip tint by famed Korean brand Etude House comes in a darling cherry red color inside a popsicle-shaped container. It’s both cute and practical–the perfect something for that last-minute touch up before you confess your love to your senpai afterschool…!
The anime series “Ouran Highschool Host Club” follows the story of the boyish girl Haruhi, who accidentally stumbles into the world of her highschool’s “host club”–a group of school’s most handsome young men seeking to entertain the girls of the wealthy school by flirting over tea. After breaking their meeting room’s expensive vase, Haruhi is forced to work for the host club as one of the male hosts! This ultimately leads to a lot of awkward encounters, hushed secrets, and even heart-breaking love triangles! This exciting story full of twists-and-turns can be enjoyed from start to finish in this complete series DVD set~
The devious ninja
This friend is a bit mysterious–they might have a habit of wearing all black and sneaking up on you when you least expect it. But most importantly–they love high-action ninja anime! Are they dangerous? Not yet, but they’re probably training to be a skilled assassin in their spare time. So what do you get the secretive ninja? Read on to find out!
When anime fans think of ninjas, it’s near impossible not to think of the “Naruto” series! The plot follows the adventures of a young boy named Naruto who has the malicious spirit of a nine-tailed fox sealed inside of his body. Now an outcast in his village because of the beast within him, he begins an epic quest to become the greatest ninja of all time. The story is chock-full of heart-pumping action, tear-jerking drama, and even moments of comic relief, too! This anime is a true classic, and is sure to delight any ninja enthusiast~!
In the Naruto series, each village has a unique symbol represented on the ninja’s headband. This headband in particular sports of the symbol of the “Leaf Village“, where the show’s titular main character is from. Show your ninja pride with this cool cosplay headband~!
Many characters of Naruto wear netted clothing, and these fishnet gloves will be sure to get you the badass ninja look instantly! Both affordable and stylish, your ninja can easily pair these with many different kinds of tops, jackets, etc.
The winter winds can be harsh, and it’s important to protect your skin–so how about this practical-but-cool face mask that can also be used to hide your ninja identity?! It’s a multi-purpose accessory that can be worn as a beanie or full face mask. The fabric is thin and easily adjustable, so you can style it however you like~!
Looking for something to perfect your ninja cosplay, or want to practice your knife-throwing skills without hurting somebody? Then try these cool ‘kunai’ props! This set includes three kunai knives, similar to the ones used by the characters in Naruto. Posing with these could aid in creating a super cool ninja cosplay photoshoot~!
The regal lolita
This friend adorns themselves in petticoats and ribbons–they’re a vision of a fairytale world of a time long past. There’s no doubt about it…they’re head-over-heels for the whimsical style of “lolita” fashion! So what do you get for someone that already looks like a princess? Here are five ideas of perfect gifts for lolita enthusiasts, whether their style is “sweet”, “gothic”, or something in between!
For decades, the “Gothic & Lolita Bible” magazine has been a required read for lolitas around the world…and lucky for overseas fans, the manga publishing company TokyoPop has translated several volumes into English! (there are five English mooks available–if you’re interesting in buying more than one, here is volume two, three, four, and five~) The magazines are bibles for all things related to the whimsical fashion: there are photoshoots of new releases from the latest designers, makeup tips, coverage of lolita-related events around the world, and even old-fashioned etiquette tips so that every lolita can look and act like a true princess! These magazines are a must for anyone looking to truly embrace the world of the lolita subculture~
The popular movie adaptation of the original novel by Novala Takemoto, “Kamikaze Girls“ follows the story of a sweet lolita girl who dreams of being a Rococo princess and her unlikely friendship with a tough yanki biker chick. It’s a campy and fun comedy film with beautiful costumes provided by the real lolita brand “Baby, The Stars Shine Bright”~! It’s full of laughs and frilly eyecandy, and is considered a must-watch film to many lolitas.
Known for creating the beautiful theme songs for anime like Vampire Knight and Shiki, Kanon Wakeshima is a multi-talented musician who plays cello and provides vocals to fairytale-like music with a classical-inspired feeling. She wears lolita fashion herself, as you can see by her Baby The Stars Shine Bright and Alice and the Pirates costumes in her music videos. From upbeat circus-like songs to melancholic broken doll ballads, Wakeshima-sama is the perfect soundtrack for a lolita getting ready for her day~!
This girly blush by famous Korean brand Etude House is just the thing to complete a lolita makeup look. The soft pastel pink color makes for a delicate rosy look, like a porcelain doll. Even the packaging is super kawaii–it comes with a fluffy powder puff with a pink ribbon!
“So Pretty/Very Rotten” is a collection of comics and essays studying lolita fashion and the subculture around it. With something for both beginner lolitas and those deep within the fashion, this book covers the long history of the fashion, interviews and essays by famous lolita author Novala Takemoto (the writer behind Kamikaze Girls, the movie mentioned above), and several short comics that will both tug your heartstrings and make you laugh. It’s the ultimate book for everything lolita!
The Magical Girl
This friend has a pure heart and big dreams–they’re someone that always wants to help spread kindness around the world~! (and maybe wear a girly flashy outfit too… ) They love the anime genre of “mahou shoujo”…which translates to “magical girl”! The genre consists of girls who are gifted magical powers which they use to help fight crime and save the world. Here are some ideas to help your wannabe magical warrior fight bad guys in a cute way~!
When people think of the “magical girl” genre, “Sailor Moon” is the series that always comes to mind first. A timeless anime that’s considered a classic by thousands of fans, the plot follows your everyday, cry-baby middle schooler named Usagi, who is suddenly thrust into the position of the magical “Sailor Moon” by a mysterious talking cat, and is forced upon an epic quest to save the world from an otherworldy darkness! Exciting, right? This DVD set is a reboot of the classic series from the 90s, which features gorgeous updated animation which is sure to delight audiences of all ages!
Every magical girl needs a magical costume, and this light-up LED tutu skirt is just the thing! It’s tiered rainbow ruffles are lit with tiny LED lights–that can be turned on when your warrior spins and transforms into her shining, magical self! Super kawaii~!
And of course, what magical girl would be complete without her trusty wand, which will never fail to aid her in battle? This wand in particular is from “Suite Precure”, a series where the protagonists are themed around music! This wand lights up makes all of the noises from the show, so you can pretend do magical attacks just like your favorite character~
Want to sparkle and shine just like magical girls during their epic transformation sequences~? Then try this gorgeous cheek and body glitter! This multi-purpose iridescent glitter can be used on both skin and hair, making you able to shine and dazzle all over.
If you want the complete “magical” transformation, then check out this pastel rainbow cosplay wig! It comes with a wig cap, a base wig, and two clip on ponytails to create a kawaii twintails hairstyle~ With long shining hair like this, it would be hard not to feel magical!
So did you find something that you were looking for in this list? Do you fit any of these otaku stereotypes listed above? If not, what sort of things would you like to see in a gift guide in the future? Let me know all of your thoughts and suggestions in a comment below~! Until next time~~