Like every year, I’m surprised to find it’s December again! We all know what that means, vacuuming up all the needles from the tree, trying to remember which digital service you bought Home Alone on 3 years ago and racking your brains for that thoughtful holiday gift! Well if you’re in need of some inspiration, we’ve gathered a crack team of experts to help us create the ultimate manga gift guide!
I’d like to thank all of the contributors below for taking the time to share their thoughts. Be sure to check out out their Twitter, YouTube and websites!
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Book of Bee
What manga would you like to be given as a holiday gift? One manga I would love to receive as a gift is the Princess Jellyfish boxset. Someone would have to love me a heck of a lot to get it for me (ha) but I have had my eye on it for so long after quickly falling in love with Akiko Higashimura’s works. I find them so relatable and humorous so Princess Jellyfish is at the top of my wish list! Perhaps I’ll gift it to myself by the end of the month.
Which manga would you gift to someone this holiday? A manga I would give as a gift I think would be Witch Hat Atelier. It is a newer series and one I think would appeal to lots of people. It gives me such Studio Ghibli vibes (and who doesn’t love Studio Ghibli) and I quickly loved it just in the first volume! The artwork is also some of the best I’ve seen all year so I’d love to put it in the hands of others to enjoy!
What manga would you like to be given as a holiday gift? I’d love any older manga that hasn’t been relicensed yet. Things like Kare Kano/His or Her Circumstances, Silent Mobius, and so on. Just anything that’s harder to get my hands on now, really. Either that or anything I’m currently reading, like Baccano!, Log Horizon or any of its spinoff series, and Sailor Moon.
Which manga would you gift to someone this holiday? That depends on the person. If they’ve shown some interest in anime or manga before, I would base it around their likes. If they haven’t, I would give something like Monster, Full Metal Alchemist, and Berserk. Something that shows how complex and exciting manga can be.
What manga would you like to be given as a holiday gift? One book I would love as a gift is Satoshi Kon’s Opus. The single omnibus volume from Dark Horse collects the late director and mangaka’s final manga series before his directorial debut and is one I’ve wanted to get my hands on for years. Unfortunately, thanks to the curious nature of Dark Horse printing cycles, it has always been out of my price range and/or out of print whenever I previously wanted to hunt down my own copy.
Kon’s manga, like his films, are a masterpiece of surrealist realism, which capture the attention of any audience. The story of Opus—of which a mangaka is drawn into his own work, and the potentially deadly consequences of that—is both intriguing and mirrors many of the themes he would later explore in animation. As a Kon fan, and as a manga fan, its absence in my collection has been something I’ve wanted to rectify for longer than I can remember.
Which manga would you gift to someone this holiday? When gifting manga to other people, I always try to take into account their personal tastes and interests—this means that my gifted manga can range anywhere from the relaxed historical romance of A Bride’s Story, to the blood-and-guts-and-magic zaniness of Dorohedoro.
Outside of a more tailored choice, my recent go-to manga to gift would be Again!! by Mitsurou Kubo, a manga about second chances and saving a high school ouendan (cheer squad). Since the release of the first volume, I have found the series to be a rollercoaster of relatability and unpredictability. Kubo manages to capture the multifaceted potential of ‘if you could do things over, would you?’ with ease and humour; her characters trying their best, even when making bad decisions. It’s a series I think has the potential to be looked over by a lot of people thanks to the ouendan element, but deserves to be recognised—if only for the humourous expressions of the protagonist.
What manga would you like to be given as a holiday gift? The manga I’d love to receive as a gift is the full metal editions of Full Metal Alchemist, stunning hardcover releases by Viz. It’s one of my favourite shōnen of all time, an amazing blend of science, religion, action and comedy! I already own the singles so I’d never think to buy them for myself so they would be an absolute treat!
Which manga would you gift to someone this holiday? The manga I’d give as a gift is Assassination Classroom as this was the first-ever manga I ever read and it got me hooked on this hobby! In my opinion, it’s an underrated series. In which a classroom is tasked with killing their teacher, who is determined to destroy the world! There’s a fresh twist to the story, and it’s just a super relaxing and funny read with a very satisfying ending. This series changed my life and made me fall in love with the fantastic hobby of manga reading and collecting.
What manga would you like to be given as a holiday gift? 2019 has been quite the year for Shonen Jump, with big series like One Piece,Haikyu!!and My Hero Academia maintaining a high standard and more recent hits like Dr. Stoneand Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba getting big anime debuts to propel their popularity even further. With that in mind, my recommendation here is another relative newcomer to the pages of Jump, but nonetheless, a series that continues to rise in popularity, so much so that it’s very own anime adaptation was just recently announced. It’s the kick-ass supernatural action-adventure with lots of heart and fantastic art, Jujutsu Kaisen!
If you’re as much of a Shonen nut as I am (and let’s face it, if you’re reading this, there’s a high probability that’s the case) this series is probably already on your radar. It’s gotten a good buzz in a lot of manga reading circles, with fans comparing it’s tone and style to the likes of grittier series like Tokyo Ghoul, Bleach and Blue Exorcist. Back when Viz Media first released the first three chapters of this series under the Jump Start Initiative, I was immediately intrigued with the exciting concept (Sorcerer’s versus Demons), likeable protagonist and fast, punchy action. Without giving too much away, the series follows easygoing highschooler (and athletic GOD) Yuji Itadori. After a painful loss, Itadori finds himself thrust into a supernatural world of Demons and Sorcery through VERY unconventional means. If the last page cliffhanger to chapter one doesn’t grab your attention, I don’t know what will!
Volume 1 is released in both print and digital formats on December 4th (just in time for the holidays), making it the ideal stocking stuffer treat for any manga fan looking for the next big hit! I know I’m looking forward to it!
Which manga would you gift to someone this holiday? Everybody loves an emotional drama/romance during the Holiday Season, right? All this cold weather must make us long for something to warm our hearts. Well, rather than stick on Love Actually for the 127th time, I offer you instead this charming and moving tale of finding forgiveness, redemption and learning to love yourself.
A Silent Voice, a seven-volume series tells the story of class clown Shoya Ishida, who got his kicks bullying a hearing-impaired classmate, Shoko Nishimiya, to such an extent that she moves schools. This event has a profound impact on both of their lives, and years later in High School, a remorseful Shoya aims to reunite with Shoko in order to amends. What follows is a story that is at times cruel, hilarious and heartbreaking, but always stunningly realistic and human. I can by no means do it the justice it so rightfully deserves without hijacking this entire article, but suffice to say A Silent Voice is the type of series that will have a profound effect on anyone who reads it, be they a manga fanatic or a total newcomer. It’s not just a good manga story, it’s a good story full stop, and also one that would make for an excellent gift under anyone’s tree this year!
What manga would you like to be given as a holiday gift? I’ll be honest: you don’t want to buy me manga for Christmas. My taste is particular. My reading habits are unpredictable. And my shelves are groaning under the weight of the manga I already own. But if I were to pass along a helpful suggestion, I’d steer you towards the snazzy Princess Jellyfish box set that Kodansha Comics just released. The set doesn’t include a lot of extras, but it does collect the entire series in a single, nicely priced package that’s perfect for someone who never got around the finishing it. (Ahem!)
Which manga would you gift to someone this holiday? As for giving, I recommend books about manga rather than manga. That way, you sidestep the thorny issue of taste while giving someone a book that will deepen their appreciation of manga, and make you, the gift-giver, look smart. Two titles I highly recommend are Paul Gravett’s Mangasia: The Definitive Guide to Asian Comics and Nicole Coolidge Rousmaniere and Matsuba Ryoko’s Manga: The Citi Exhibition Technically speaking, both are catalogues for recent exhibits, but they both feature thoughtful essays about the history of Japanese comics. They also reproduce images from rare, obscure, and unlicensed titles that would otherwise be invisible to the average English-speaking reader.
What manga would you like to be given as a holiday gift? Anyone who gifts me manga automatically gets 1000 cool points, but if someone drops in my hands a set of Perfect Editions of any Urasawa manga, I will Naruto-run around my parking lot. Inoue’s Vagabond may produce a similar effect. Basically anything physical that’s too expensive for me to justify purchasing myself.
Which manga would you gift to someone this holiday? As for what manga I’d gift, Asano’s Solanin. It’s beautiful, relatable and spans multiple genres. It’s an accessible gateway into one of my favourite mangaka’s work and the manga medium, in general. It also helps that it’s a single 2-in-1 omnibus, so it’s not a huge commitment and it won’t kill my wallet!
What manga would you like to be given as a holiday gift? I would love to receive a collector’s edition of a favourite series or of a series by a favourite mangaka I’ve yet to read. The Magic Knight Rayearth and Cardcaptor Sakura collector’s editions come to mind!
Which manga would you gift to someone this holiday? I would gift a title that has universal appeal… something like Hakumei & Mikochi. The art is incredible! The story is whimsical and endearing. It feels cosy and would be a perfect holiday read.
What manga would you like to be given as a holiday gift? I’d love to receive Vagabond as a gift. I started reading it way back when I first got into manga but never finished it. Vagabond is about the legendary swordsman Miyamoto Musashi and his journey to master the art of sword fighting. The battle scenes are great, the art is some of the best I’ve ever seen, and I want to finish what I started so long ago.
Which manga would you gift to someone this holiday? I’d give as a gift the first volume of the following four manga: Plunderer, Beastars, Blank Canvas, and Uzaki-Chan. They’re my four favourite new manga this year, and I want more people to know about them.
What manga would you like to be given as a holiday gift? Honestly, when it comes to getting gifts, I often get Light Novels rather than Manga. I tend to cherish gifts and often feel bad if I get through them too quickly and don’t look back at them. I’m eternally behind on Light Novels I tend to always ask for them, to keep me up to date without feeling too bad. On the other hand, there’s always Gundam The Origin. It’s probably the main thing I’m so far behind on and am reluctant to keep sinking money into as I’ve not caught up. Getting as a gift eliminates that.
Which manga would you gift to someone this holiday? It’s difficult. It comes down to what people are wanting. The obvious choice would be a Shonen Jump subscription. If someone was going in blind then must have titles such as Yotsuba, Cells At Work, TheNight Is Short Walk On Girl and Komi Can’t Communicate. Titles that people may have missed out on all make great gifts for those wanting something different or new.
What manga would you like to be given as a holiday gift? I’d love to get some out of print series, namely Go Go Monster by Taiyo Matsumoto. Or I’d like someone to help me catch up on Shonen Jump titles (mostly Black Clover).
Which manga would you gift to someone this holiday? If I knew the person, I’d probably custom tailor it to their tastes, but for someone who I either don’t know or isn’t familiar with manga, either DeathNote or Noragami.
And there you have it! I hope this manga gift guide has helped inspire your gift purchasing and maybe even tempted you to do a little self-gifting too! Don’t forget to check out these lovely content creators and leave them a comment to say thanks for any suggestions you may have followed up on!
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