It’s that time of year. Gift shopping has (probably) begun for all of us. With Cyber Monday offering the chance to sit home and shop online, it’s a little less stressful. And, if you’re anything like us, most of the people on your list will be in the market for anime gifts. Which makes choosing presents even more fun.
But when we started making our anime-inspired list, we realized some of our dream gets are a bit high-end. A couple of them are probably outright impossible. But we dream big — and cautiously, in some cases — and we’d still love some of these under our tree. Or behind it, in the case of the first entry.
Our Own Giant Robot
Go Nagai dads and granddads are the kings of anime gifts. At the beginning of each season, they give their kids something super cool. (Granted, this present is usually in the wake of said dad or granddad’s death and an encroaching disaster but whatever.) Given Nagai’s propensities, that present was often our hero’s very own giant robot.
Again, this was never exactly a Sweet Sixteen car reveal. In Mazinger Z, for example, Koji gets the eponymous robot as his grandfather is dying, in order to fight the megalomaniacal Dr. Hell. And also to protect a science lab sitting on top of a vein of world-changing rare metal. But still. I wish my dad would get me a robot.
A Magical Girl Transformation Item*
Just as some episode 1 anime gifts are cool robots, others are cool henshin items. Some come down the family line, others drop out of the sky onto our heroines’ faces. And some, like Usagi’s compact in Sailor Moon, have been waiting for her for a very long time. I don’t know about you, but I’d love to finally get my magical girl game on.
* Conditions apply. I would like to keep my soul. I would like to not become alien food. Also I’d like to know all the nasty little secrets my mascot is keeping before I join up.
A Bento Made with Love
Anime gifts aren’t just for the holidays. They can come at you any time. At home, at work… at lunchtime on the roof from the student you have a crush on who pretends to hate you. And the greatest sign of affection, at least in anime, is a pretty bento box. That either totally was or totally wasn’t made for you.
In KAGUYA-SAMA: LOVE IS WAR, for example, the bento is even more key than usual. The series leans heavily into romance anime tropes, turning them into tactical warfare. But that gets tricky when Kaguya actually likes her crush’s “simple” homemade lunch and wants to figure out how to try it. Fortunately, she at least gets to taste an octo-dog.
How’s your wish list looking this year?