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Manga Gifts Guide

Gift-worthy art books, one-shots, omnibus editions and DVDs for manga fans


Magic Knight Rayearth Omnibus Edition

Magic Knight Rayearth Omnibus by CLAMP, published by Dark Horse Manga

Author: CLAMP
Publisher: Dark Horse
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Great for: Shojo manga fans, young and old alike who love a good magical girl adventure.

Originally published by TokyoPop back in the day, Magic Knight Rayearth is back and better than ever in this newly-translated, deluxe omnibus edition from Dark Horse. Whether you're thinking of someone who remembers the adventures of school girls Umi, Hikaru and Fuu in the magical land of Cephiro from reading it the first time back in the 1999 or you're thinking of introducing a younger shojo fans to this CLAMP classic, this magical adventure will sweep them away with its gorgeous artwork and epic twists.

Another fun option for younger shojo fans is Kodansha USA's omnibus edition of Tokyo Mew Mew, or for older CLAMP fans, VIZ Media's new 3-volumes-in-1 omnibus reissue of their supernatural action series, X (a.k.a. X 1999).

Noche: D.Gray Man Illustrations

D.Gray-Man Illustrations: Noche by Katsura Hoshino from Art of Shonen Jump / VIZ Media

Author: Katsura Hoshino
Publisher: Shonen Jump / VIZ Media
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Great for: Fans of this supernatural/action/drama series and aspiring manga artists

With its mix of action, horror and drama (and let's admit it, some characters that are pretty easy on the eyes), D.Gray-Man is also known for Katsura Hoshino's detailed, beautifully-rendered artwork. This full-color artbook includes a tons of full-color illustrations, a double-sided poster, lots of behind-the-scenes commentary by Hoshino, plus exclusive conversations between Hoshino and fellow Shonen Jump manga-ka Takeshi Obata (Death Note) and Osamu Akimoto (Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Koen-mae Hashutsujo, a.k.a. "Kochikame.")

Pokemon Diamond and Pearl Adventures! Box Set

Pokemon Diamond and Pearl Adventures! Box Set
© 2008 Pokémon. © 2007 Shigekatsu IHARA/Shogakukan

Author: Shigekatsu Ihara
Publisher: VIZ Kids / VIZ Media
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Great for: Your younger brother or sister, niece, nephew, or cousin who can't put down their Nintendo DS because they're always playing Pokemon.

Introduce young video gamers to the stories behind their favorite games with this 8-volume box set of the complete Pokemon Diamond and Pearl Adventures series. Kids will love it because it gives them a new reason to love "pocket monsters," their parents will love it because it'll give young ones a reason to read instead of just pushing buttons and staring at a tiny screen.

For even more Pokemon fun, there's also the Pokemon Travel Activity Kit, which gives young travelers puzzles, stickers and crayons, all packed in a handy 'suitcase' box -- perfect for that trip to Grandma's house. There's also the Pokemon Magnet Play Book, with 8 Pokemon magnets that can be used for imaginative storytelling fun. A great stocking stuffer!

Bleach The Movie: Fade to Black DVD

Bleach: Fade to Black
© Tite Kubo/Shueisha, TV TOKYO, Dentsu, Pierrot © BMP 2008

Publisher: VIZ Media
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Great for: Fans of this shonen manga fave who want more than just the TV episodes

The latest feature-length Bleach film is out, so why not give a fan the opportunity to watch it in all of its Blu-Ray glory with their own copy of Bleach: Fade to Black? See Ichigo and Kon return to the Soul Society to discover that Rukia is missing and the Seireitei is in disarray. Not only that, the Soul Reapers don't remember Ichigo and think he's responsible for the destruction.

Other recently released feature-length anime flicks that'll brighten a manga fan's day include Naruto Shippuden: Bonds, Hetalia Axis Powers: Paint It White and Trigun: Badlands Rumble.

Wandering Son Volumes 1 & 2

Wandering Son Book 2 by Takako Shimura, from Fantagraphics
© Takako Shimura / ENTERBRAIN

Author: Takako Shimura
Publisher: Fantagraphics
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Great for: Anyone who appreciates slice-of-life storytelling, and especially readers who have GLTB friends, relatives, or are themselves gay, lesbian, transgendered or bisexual.

This critically acclaimed series is available as over-sized hardcovers, which makes them especially gift-worthy, but the story is also charming and sensitive in a way that doesn't bash the reader over the head with a preachy agenda. Volume 2 is due out soon, so get that too if you can.

11-year old Shuichi Nitori is a sweet and shy boy. His classmate Yoshino Takatsuki is a girl who dislikes girly things. The two meet, and find that they have something in common: they're transgendered tweens on the cusp of puberty, and things are about to get complicated for the two of them.

Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths

Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths
© Shigeru Mizuki

Author: Shigeru Mizuki
Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly
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Great for: Your father, uncle or friend the history buff, war veteran or political activist, or any fan of classic manga with a message.

While it's not exactly a feel-good read, Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths is a compelling one-shot graphic novel loosely based on Shigeru Mizuki's experiences as an infantryman in New Guinea during World War II. Mizuki shows readers a side of the war that isn't often seen in North America: through the eyes of soldiers who are asked to fight meaningless battles based on their commanding officers' goals of 'death before dishonor.' It's a bit of a dense read, but Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths is well worth checking out for both its story and its anti-war message.

Other recently-released gift-worthy graphic novel one-shots for grown-ups include The Book of Human Insects by Osamu Tezuka, La Quinta Camera by Natsume Ono, and A Zoo in Winter by Jiro Taniguchi.

Tank Tankuro: Pre-War Works 1934-1935

Tank Tankuro: Prewar Works 1934-1935 by Gajo Sakamoto from Presspop / Last Gasp
© 2011 Gajo Sakamoto / Tankuro Publication

Author: Gajo Sakamoto
Publisher: PressPop / Last Gasp
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Great for: Manga/comics readers/scholars and history buffs who will be fascinated by this unique example of Japanese pre-war comics for kids.

Where Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths offers a look at World War II from the eyes of a battle-scarred soldier, Tank Tankuro provides a glimpse at the kind of comics/propaganda fed to Japanese children before the war. Years before Astro Boy ever flew across the sky, Tank Tankuro was the hero of Japanese comics. This cheerful, roly-poly robot with a samurai's top-knot has a can-do attitude that puts him in the middle of the action and often on the battlefield.

Filled with naive, surreal storytelling and a disturbingly gleeful attitude about going to war, Tank Tankuro is a strange, but fascinating read that gives readers a rare look at some of manga's earliest roots. Indie comics fans will also appreciate the Chris Ware-designed slipcover of this classy hardbound edition.

Naruto, Bleach or One Piece Anime Cels

One Piece anime cel art
One Piece © E.O./S.,T.A.

Available from: Anime Cel Art
Great for: Shonen Jump manga fans who would love a special memento of their favorite anime shows

Give a fan a classy collectible that's just a step above your average poster or wall scroll. These hand-painted anime cels are just like the ones used to create your favorite shows, and come matted and ready to frame. Choose from scenes from Bleach, Naruto or One Piece for a gift that'll impress and delight fans of these series.

eManga Gift Card

eManga Gift Card
© Digital Manga Publishing

Publisher: Digital Manga Publishing
Available from: Akadot Retail
Great for: Readers who enjoy boys' love manga or Harlequin romances, especially if they enjoy reading manga online.

Can't decide what they like to read, or what they have/don't have in their collection? Let your favorite boys' love manga fan pick what they want to read next with an eManga gift card. With this gift card, they'll be able to pick any number of titles to read, either online via eManga's website or on their eReaders or tablet computers.

80's Fashion 'Sailor Moon' Tees

Fashion La Lune Tee
© Mighty Fine

Available from: Mighty Fine
Great for: Sailor Moon fangirls from 13 to 35 who want to show their love for this shojo manga fave with a stylish 80's twist.

Okay, so they're not official Sailor Moon tee-shirts! But when its done with this much fun and sass, why quibble? Choose from two designs: a regal Sailor Moon or a Sailor Uranus/Sailor Neptune tête-à-tête in femme tee sizes from S to XL -- just right for Sailor Scouts from tweens to teens and beyond.

Also, if they haven't yet replaced their tattered and dog-eared copies of Sailor Moon from way back when, treat them to the new editions of Sailor Moon and Codename Sailor V from Kodansha. The first two volumes of both series are out now and are well worth getting (and giving!)

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