Anime News Network's Holiday 2015 Gift Guide
Art & Books

by Lynzee Loveridge,
ANN's Holiday Gift Guide Sponsored By:


Yen Press

Tokyo Otaku Mode


blanc et noir: Takeshi Obata Illustrations

Fans of Takeshi Obata's distinctive art from fan-favorite series like Death Note and Hikaru no Go won't want to pass up pre-ordering blanc et noir. The 132-page artbook will be released in May in a sturdy, hardcover edition with a silver-gilded slipcase and is limited to only 10,000 copies. The tome collections Obata's art from 2001-2006 and also bundles fold-out posters, the artist's own commentary, and a "how to draw" section. blanc et noir has the distinction of being the only Death Note artbook by Obata. It was originally released in Japan in 2005, but this marks the first time it's available stateside outside of a direct import. Besides Hikaru no Go and Death Note, the book also includes original art created for the release and pieces from the Ayatsuri Sakon manga and artwork from the Yoshitsuneki video game. Three separate, double-sided laminate posters and a postcard are included with purchase.

Retail Price: US$99.99 (Seller Price: US$74.99)
Publisher: Viz Books
Shopping Link:

Osamu Tezuka: Anime & Manga Character Sketchbook Artbook & Osamu Tezuka: Anime Character Illustrations Artbook

If you were recently disappointed about the failed Osamu Tezuka manga Kickstarters, fear not! Udon Books recently released two material books by the "God of Manga" collecting his character designs and sketches from his 40+ year career. The collections include art from Black Jack, Astro Boy, and Jungle Emperor Leo to name a few. Both books are hardcover.

Retail Price: US$44.99 each (Seller Price: US$33.74)
Publisher:Udon Books
Shopping Link: and

Shirobako Material Collection

If you want some production materials in your anime about production materials, then look no further than the Shirobako Material Collection. The book contains production designs, character artwork, and one-of-a-kind images of the anime about making anime. Each book also ships with an manila envelope emblazoned with the "Masutani Animation" logo, as well as all the paperwork you need to run your own tight ship and make that episode production deadline.

Retail Price: US$69.99 each (Seller Price: US$49.99)
Publisher: Media Pal
Shopping Link: Animate USA

Splatoon Ikasu Artbook

Nintendo's hit video game about ink squirtgun-toting squid kids got an impressive, 300-page art book. The book includes images from Shinryaku! Ika Musume (Squid Girl) manga creator Masahiro Anbe's crossover as well as 3D artwork, official reference artwork, sketches, background images, and other behind-the-scenes materials that went into making the popular game.

Seller Price: US$36.50
Publisher: Kadokawa Dwango
Shopping Link: JList

Uzumaki Naruto: Illustrations

The third Naruto artbook marks the long-running, fan-favorite series' finale and the final movie, Boruto -Naruto the Movie- starring the Naruto's son. The artbook is 100 pages of color illustrations by Masashi Kishimoto with supplemental commentary by the creator, a two-sided poster, and stickers. The collection is a must-have for any fans that followed the ninja's journey over the last 15 years.

Retail Price: US$19.99 (Seller Price:$14.99)
Publisher: Viz Books
Shopping Link: RightStuf

Dragon Girl and Monkey King: The Art of Katsuya Terada

Katsuya Terada is perhaps best known to Western audiences as the character designer behind the Blood: The Last Vampire film, but his resume spans several franchises. "The Monkey King" in the title refers to his original 1998 manga, but the artbook also collects his designs used for Hellboy figures and original art highlighting his work's unique, dark beauty. Also included is a translated interview with the artist and a foreword by director and anime fan Guillermo del Toro.

Retail Price: US$39.99
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Shopping Link: Dark Horse


Generation 64

British Publisher Bitmap Books has a lot of art-centric video game collections in the works. Super Famicom: The Box Art Collection is currently in the works while others include visual compendiums of Commodore 64 and Commodore Amiga. A collection centered around the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, arcade marquee art, and Gremlin Graphics are also planned. Their next upcoming release, scheduled for February, is Generation 64. Unlike the previously mentioned art collections, this book looks to introduce readers to the Commodore 64 console and its profound effect on Swedish gamers in the 1980s.

The book itself was original released in Sweden last year, but Bitmap Books is bringing this hardcover edition to English speakers courtesy of a successful Kickstarter campaign. The console was extremely successful when it debuted in Sweden in 1983 and the book chronicles its lasting impressions on Fredrik “Watcher” Liljegren (Star Wars: Battlefront), Kim “Creeper” Nordström (head of King, makers of Candy Crush Saga), game composer TO-MAS Danko (Mirror's Edge, Battlefield) and many more.

Retail Price: £24.99/US$38
Publisher: Bitmap Books
Shopping Link: Funstock

Anime: A Critical Introduction

Author Rayna Denison is a lecturer on media studies with a particular focus on Japanese and Asian film and television culture. She's previously published an academic book looking at superheroes in film. Anime: A Critical Introduction takes a deep look at the basics on the genre audiences around the world enjoy. The book covers family-loved fare from Studio Ghibli, the popular giant robots that inspired Pacific Rim, and slice-of-life shows that pad out every season. Denison also turns away from merely explaining the the basics of anime to discuss the medium's ongoing place in Japanese and worldwide culture.

Retail Price:$94.95 (hardback), US$29.95 (paperback)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academics
Shopping Link: Amazon

Manga and Anime Go to Hollywood

Northrop Davis has been in the very specific line of work of pitching Japanese properties to Hollywood for adaptations for the better part of a decade. He was once pushing properties like Berserk, Baki The Grappler, and Barefoot Gen. In his new book, Davis discusses how two entertainment cultures, anime/manga and Hollywood, are closing in on one another in a timeline that began in the Meiji era.

Retail Price:US$94.95 (hardback), US$29.95 (paperback), US$25.99 (Kindle)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academics
Shopping Link: Amazon


Everyday Bento: 50 Cute and Yummy Lunches To Go

Everyday Bento is one of several how-TO Books on the market if you want to spruce up your school lunch of next picnic. This particular book focuses on the "cute" side with themed lunches like superhero, ballerina, romance, sea creatures, and garden. If you've ever been envious of the delicious and cute lunches the characters pack in anime series, this book will help you get started.

Retail Price: US$14.95
Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
Shopping Link: JList


Street Fighter World Warrior Encyclopedia Convention Exclusive VS Edition

Street Fighter fans looking to own the ultimate compendium of everything about the fighting franchise's characters can look no further than this encyclopedia. Udon Books boasts that it contains "every detail" from Ken to Blanka to Cammy. Inside is summaries of their personalities and relationships with other characters flanked with artwork by Udon veteran artists like Genzoman, Jo Chen, Arnold Tsang, Jeffrey Cruz, Joe Ng, and Omar Dogan.

Retail Price: US$14.95
Publisher: Udon Books
Shopping Link: Udon Books

The Anime Encyclopedia 3rd Revised Edition: A Century of Japanese Animation

The ever-growing Anime Encyclopedia by Jonathan Clements and Helen McCarthy has reached its third edition at a whopping 1,200 pages spanning a centry, from the industry's early beginnings through 2014. The tome features both academic entries and personal opinions with series cross-referenced to similar shows to help readers find a show they like and pertinent industry-related subjects like fandom and censorship.

Retail Price: US$120.00 (Seller Price: US$73.09)
Publisher:Stonebridge Press
Shopping Link: Amazon


Wall Art & Decor

Street Fighter Generations Lithograph by Ikeno S&N

These lithographs are signed by CAPCOM character designer DAIGO Ikeno. Limited to only 250 numbered copies, these hand-signed images were originally available only at San Diego Comic-Con 2005, but Udon found some leftovers hidden in the back. A great gift for Street Fighter fans or followers of Ikeno's work.

Retail Price: US$99.99
Publisher: Udon Books
Shopping Link: Udon Books

Puella Magi Madoka Magica Holy Quintet Canvas Art Set

Chief animation director and Madoka film series' character designer Junichirō Taniguchi drew a new images of the series' magical girls for this canvas art set. Madoka, Mami, Homura, Sayaka, and Kyōko pose dramatically against Gekidan Inu Curry's distinctive labyrinth designs. When the art is displayed in the correct order it creates a continuous background! Customers who order this set also get an exclusive metallic postcard set with purchase.

Retail Price: US$161.98 (Seller Price: US$128.98)
Publisher: Aniplex of America
Shopping Link: RightStuf

Sword Art Online II Premium Crystal Displays (Sinon, Yūki, Group)

If you're looking for something display other than flat art, LEXACT has created crystal glass-engraved, light-up art of Sword Art Online's top sniper Sinon and "Absolute Sword" duelist Yūki Konno. The crystal glass sits in a battery-powered LED stand that lights up in several colors, like purple and green. Yūki is shown armed in her outfit from within ALfheim Online. Sinon is depicted in the same pose as the series' key art.

Manufacturer CTI has created its own take featuring all the characters; Kirito, Asuna, Suguha Kirigaya, Silica, and Lisbeth in their real world clothes.

Retail Price: US$75.00-US$85.00
Shopping Link: JList, Tokyo Otaku Mode

Puella Magi Madoka Magica Acrylic Art: Ultimate Madoka on Piano

The ethereal Madoka lays atop a lavender piano in her final form while looking upward for this acrylic art piece. The art was originally created to celebrate the Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie: Rebellion orchestra concert in Japan and measures 17in x 12in and comes with a wooden pedestal for display purposes. Buyers should note that the artwork is printed on a transparent, acrylic sheet.

Retail Price: US$99.98 (Seller Price:US$74.98)
Publisher:Aniplex of America
Shopping Link: RightStuf

Free! Eternal Summer Fabric Posters

If you're missing the Iwatobi Swim Team until the new High Speed! -Free! Starting Days- prequel film premieres on December 5, you could consider bringing the guys to you. Right Stuf currently has two fabric posters, one depicting the team in naval uniforms and another in their swim trunks amid cherry blossoms. Both make a welcome bishonen addition to any room.

Retail Price: US$16.99 each (Seller Price:US$13.59 each)
Publisher: Great Eastern
Shopping Link: RightStuf & RightStuf


Kyoto Animation Poster Calendars

Kyoto Animation and Animation DO revealed the gorgeous artwork contained in these calendars back in September. Each is dedicated to one of the studio's most popular and recent series, including Sound! Euphonium, Free! Eternal Summer, the Beyond the Boundary film, Tamako Love Story, and Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions! -Heart Throb-.

The undeniably attractive artwork doubles as posters in some cases. Fans could easily (and carefully) tear out the month's artwork and reformat it as wall art very easily.

Retail Price: US$16.50-US$34.00 each
Publisher: Kyoto Animation/Animation DO
Shopping Link: JList (check through their section to find all the the Kyoto Animation calendars)

Totoro Calendar

This 2016 My Neighbor Totoro calendar combines cuteness with rustic charm. Unlike paper wall calendars or flip desk calendars, this 3D creation doubles as a statue of sorts with Totori, Mei, and Satsuki sitting in a treetop. The actual calendar month pages are suspended below them on hooks. After you run out for the year, you can reuse the hand-painted stand to hold a pen, display photos, stab post-it notes, or hold paperclips.

Retail Price: US$35.00
Shopping Link: JList

School-Live! Calendar

Here's a calendar for all the ANN readers that voted School-Live! as a favorite last season. The anime follows a group of girls going about school-life as usual despite an ongoing zombie apocalypse. The calendar includes seven pages of artwork from the show perfect for fans of "cute girls doing cute things" with a horror twist.

Retail Price: US$22.00
Shopping Link: JList

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