POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Dec 16, 2010
I don't mean to send anyone into a panic, but counting today, there are only nine more shopping days until Christmas.
This means that if you haven't thought of something to get that special anime or manga fan in your life, it's time to get cracking.
You could go with merchandise from the usual popular series, with "Naruto," "Bleach," "Death Note," "One Piece," "Hetalia: Axis Powers" and "Vampire Knight" among the most dominant this year.
But I'd like to think that "Cel Shaded" readers are a bit more sophisticated than that. To that end, here are some ideas off the beaten path for a wide range of budgets that are sure to please.
» Crunchyroll or Anime Network membership: Anime DVDs are, sad to say, becoming a rarer commodity in local stores. Funimation releases and those aforementioned popular series aside, it's become difficult to find the latest releases without having to resort to Internet retailers.
So perhaps it's for the best that more anime is being streamed online. Crunchyroll (www.crunchyroll.com) and the Anime Network (www.theanimenetwork.com) have become two of the largest subscription-based sites offering the biggest selection and highest quality of commercial-free new series. Crunchyroll also has a large library of live-action Korean dramas.
Anime Network subscriptions start at $6.95 for a month, with quarterly subscriptions available for $18.98 and annual subscriptions for $69.98. Over at Crunchyroll, anime-only and Korean-drama-only subscriptions are $6.95 monthly, $19.95 quarterly and $59.95 annually; for access to both, rates are $11.95, $34.95 and $99.95.
» Any manga published by Vertical: Readers of our anime/manga-related blog on staradvertiser.com, "Otaku Ohana" (blogs.starbulletin.com/otakuohana), know that this is a repeat item from my "Great Manga Gift Guide 2010," posted earlier this week. But everything the publisher has introduced this year has been a delight, from the cute kitten antics of "Chi's Sweet Home" and sci-fi thrillers "Twin Spica" and "7 Billion Needles," to the urban grit and sensibility that fills "Peepo Choo."
Vertical also remains the industry leader in publishing manga by iconic Osamu Tezuka, with "Ayako" joining a library that already includes "Black Jack" and "Buddha," among many others.
» IOU for the "Garden of Sinners" complete Blu-ray box: This eight-disc set, announced earlier this week by Aniplex of America and available in February, contains the complete seven-movie cycle about a teen girl with the power to see the invisible lines of mortality. Plus, there's a disc with extras and a bonus epilogue, the "Deluxe Visual Chronicle Book" with artwork and staff interviews in Japanese. There's even a book translating that book into English.
The box set is selling for $398.98 on rightstuf.com. So you'd better really like whoever you're giving this to.
» A wad of cash and a promise of an outing to Kaimuki: Sounds too simple? Perhaps. But the benefits of this idea are twofold. First, the recipient can pick whatever he or she wants from a number of good stores in the business district between 11th and Koko Head avenues, including Collector Maniacs, Toys 'N' Joys, Gecko Books and Sean's Shop (formerly Mechahawaii). And second, they'll be supporting local businesses ... always a noble cause.
» Aiea Library Anime Club: 3 p.m. Saturday at the library, 99-143 Moanalua Road. This month, Librarian Diane Masaki will be screening the movie "Tokyo Godfathers." E-mail Masaki at email@example.com.