Friday, September 10, 2010
Maybe you have a friend who is a manga fan and would like a manga series as a gift or you are a manga fan and want to get your friends into manga by gifting them mangas.
Manga, though are a little sugary and light hearted with big eyes, are appreciated by everyone. There are all categories and genres in manga and can be skillfully gifted to people with similar interests. Mangas make a wonderful gift for many occassions.
Generally, I have seen that foreigners appreciate anime more than manga and hence, I will recommend manga and anime by genre for gifting. I will not recommend anything with heavy subject matter or containing taboo elements because these do not make very good gifts. Manga classics are a very good option but some might find it outdated and so, I will recommend old and new manga.
Shoujo- If the person to whom you're gifting is a girl who falls in the age category 10-18, shoujo mangas are good. Girls are usually romantic with some inclination towards comedy (not all girls are like I described. You need to know the person to whom you're gifting.)I will also recommend mangas with darker themes.
Young girls (10-13)
Shugo chara!- This one is very popular with classic kawaii illustrations. The story is interesting with fantasy elements. It is short and doesn't need a lot of devotion and time to read.
Ultra maniac/ Mint na Bokura/Marmalade boy- Wataru Yoshizumi writes romantic comedies for young girls with more focus on friendship and school life than romance. The romance is not serious and shallow suitable for girls of this age. Anime of Ultra maniac is also recommended for young girls. I remember watching it when I was young.
Kodomo no omocha or kodocha- It is also aimed at younger audience although romance takes focus in this manga. More for romantically inclined people.
Sailor moon- This is a shoujo classic for kids. The classic good versus evil fight is prevelant in this manga. It also focuses on fighting and not on romance.
Chibi Maruko chan- Though I have seen older girls reading it, it is suitable for young kids. It is a slice of life story of a quirky young girl named Maruko set in post war Japan.
Tokyo mew mew- Is inclined towards love but includes a lot of science fiction and fantasy elements. A good anime to watch at a young age. Many people remember this anime even after they are old.
Sailor moon, Shugo chara, Ultra maniac- All these are great options as manga for kids who like watching television more than reading.
Cardcaptor Sakura- Another popular shoujo by CLAMP which tells the story of Sakura Kinimoto, an average girl who finds magical cards in her closet. I tend to prefer the anime over the manga even though the manga is great. The theme songs are nice.
Daa! Daa! Daa!- This can be shifted into the next category (age). It focuses on romance. It is a high school romantic comedy with science fiction elements. A very interesting anime.
Alice academy- A high school manga with fantasy elements. There is little romance. A light hearted anime.
Hana Yori Dango- You definitely don't want to miss this. The story has a strong female lead and is realistic and interesting. It is the highest selling shoujo manga in japanese history. This requires a little dedication (and a lot of money) since it is thirty six volumes long.
Hana Kimi- Another great gender bending shoujo manga. Again, a romantic comedy. A good manga for anyone looking for light entertainment. (23 volumes)
Itazura na kiss- Another manga classic. Might be good for your idealistic friends. The romance between a complete klutz and a perfect boy heavily pushed by fate. It follows their life after marriage too. It is incomplete. Digital Manga publishing has launched a omnibus of this manga which might be a good buy for gifting. (23 volumes)
Red river- This is by Chie Shinohara who also wrote Yami no Purple eye. It has heavier historical and fantasy content than any of the mangas listed above. It is also considerably long (28 volumes). Might be good for fans of romance as well as science fiction and history.
Glass mask- Has been running for over thirty years. Might be good for ambitious people who want to follow their dreams. It is a little outdated though. It is the journey of a girl wanting to become a great stage actress. (42 volumes. Still running.)
Kare kano- Another romantic comedy with a strong female lead. Two perfect characters. (23 volumes)
Fruits basket- Is very popular among american fans. Inclines towards mystery and fantasy more than romance. Omnibus editions are available for this manga. (23 volumes)
Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge/ Kaicho wa maid sama/ Skip beat/ Vampire Knight/ Ouran High school Host club/ Kimi ni Todoke- Personally, I don't like all of these but they are very popular these days among girls. Any person who likes to keep up with current trends might like this.
Yukan Club/ Spiral suiri no Kizuna/ Case closed- For any girl who loves mystery.
Nodame Cantabile is good for music loving girls.
As for anime, I don't think girls of this age would like cartoons over manga. Still, Mermaid Melody Pitchi Pitchi Pitch and any of the anime versions of the mangas mentioned above might be good.
I doubt very much if women like manga since josei sells poorly even in Japan. Anyway, I am recommending these mangas.
Tramps like us- It is popular among ladies.
Hataraki man- Good for work oriented people with clear goals. Working women might enjoy this.
Nodame Cantabile- For classical music lovers. Technically, this is classified as josei.
NANA- This is a smash hit in Japan. I don't find it suitable for younger audience even though it is classified shoujo. Older women might enjoy this as it describes friendship and complex relationships combined with great illustrations.
Oshinbo- Though this is classified as seinen, I consider it general. Anyone can like food. It is a manga about food.
Maison Ikkoku- This is also categorised as seinen but females might like it more since it is romance. Honey and Clover is another manga that is realistic but not as romantic as Maison Ikkoku.
For women who prefer science fiction, mystery, thriller and crime, look at the seinen section below to find something suitable.
Shonen/ Kodomo (6-12)
Kids of this age are genrally open to reading comics and comics are associated with kids. Manga are a good gift for kids.
Doraemon- This is a japanese classic. Who doesn't wish they had the wish granting miracle, Doraemon? Young children, male and female enjoy this manga very much. You might also want to check out other titles from Fujiko F Fujio.
Astroboy- Another classic by Osamu Tezuka. It garned fame overseas. Astro boy is a robot like Doraemon but doesn't grant wishes. It is more serious and contains some heavy science fiction elements.
Mirmo de pon!- Another good children's but has a focus on romance.
Shin Chan- Warning- Please don't buy this for children you don't want to corrupt. It is very popular among children but is categorised as seinen. It has mostly has a negetive effect on children which has led to banning in many countries.
I will list the classics first which don't need an introduction. These have captured the action loving man's heart and taken the manga universe by storm. These action packed, adrenaline pumping titles are a dream come true for boys.
I must warn you that some of these mangas are unfinished but the first arc is finished for most of them. It is sold in a box set.
Slam Dunk- A popular basketball, sports manga which has sold around 120 milion. It follows the life of a beginner, Sakuragi as he ahieves his dream and becomes a skilled basketball player.
Bleach- This is reviewed on this site.
Naruto- I would recommend this anime for boys too. The anime contains a lot of filler episodes though. The manga is great and recently surpassed the 100 million mark. Another action packed, ninja title.
Dragon Ball- Hats off to the grounbreaking shonen masterpiece. It achived a lot of fame overseas. Anime is highly recommended.
One Piece- For more serious fans. It is much more than just action.
Death Note- Older teens. A dark shonen manga which involves mind war rather than fist fighting. This is recommended for boys who are inclined towards mystery and thriller genres. Review posted on this site.
Case Closed- A mysetry oriented shonen. Much like Sherlock Holmes and Poirot, but much more interesting. For mystery lovers.
Kochikame- This is not available in english. A hillarious shonen about a work shirking middle aged cop.
Fullmetal Alchemist/ Fairy Tail- I haven't read both but they seem to be popular among shonen fans.
Yu Yu Hakusho- Legendary shinigami manga. This is THE thing for shonen fans.
Rurouni Kehsin- A samurai action manga that has earned a great male fan following.
Pokemon- This one needs no introduction. It has been going on forever with new seasons coming oput every year. Has produced a string of record breaking video games and merchandise.
Digimon- A little technical but great shonen anime.
Beyblade- After seeing this, kids will start pestering you for beyblades. It is a runaway crazy among boys. Teaches the essential lessons of teamwork and fair competition.
Inuyasha- A popular historical shonen with lots of action.
Lone Hina- A romantic comedy that might sound interesting to romantic boys.
Mahou sensei Negima
Older males (17+)
I am very doubtful if older males read comics. In Japan, seinen manga sell very well and college going and some working men tend to read these but I doubt if it is the same in other countries. Mostly in foreign countries, it is assumed that cartoons and comics are for kids.
I am recommending serious manga as well as light ones.
xxxHolic- A CLAMP manga about a witch who owns a wish granting shop where the protagonist is forced to work. Most chapters are episodic in nature. Seems to be popular in Japan. Much like Petshop of horrors but better.
Honey and Clover/ Chobits/ Maison Ikkoku- These are considered seinen bu are romance oriented.
Monster- Considered one of Naoki Urasawa's best works. Falls in the genre 'Thriller'. Other works by him are also great.
Black Jack/Hidamari no ki by Osamu Tezuka. Both contain medical elements and it predominates in Black Jack.
Golgo 13 is popular but heavy in terms of content as strictly adult rated. I wouldn't recommend it as a gift.
Akira- I haven't read it but seems to be popular and revolutionary. Detroit metal city is another seinenmanga that is gaining fame.
Dragon Zakura or GTO (Great teacher Onizuka) is for men as well as women with interest in teaching.
Fist of the northern star is a popular action seinen.
For old people (50+), well, I doubt if they read manga. But they say old age is a seond childhood so they might get some interest in manga if they read the right ones. Oishinbo, Sazae san, Sayonara Zetsubou sensei, Chibi maruko chan, shin chan are mangas that my interest them.
That's all for gifting ideas. Mangas and animes are becoming universal and are appreaciated by young people. It might be a good idea to gift people anime an manga just be sure to give them the right ones that match their interests and age. For additional ideas, check out the highest selling manga post filed under manga or news
For great bargains and places to buy, check out the best bargains post.