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ANN Holiday Gift Guide 2021
Blu-ray and Boxsets

by Lynzee Loveridge,

Anime itself is a highly personal gift, and it's tough to know exactly what a fan might actually want. Some tips up front if you're buying anime for someone:

  1. Ask them what shows they like first and narrow it down. Don't ask what they're watching right this moment – for otaku that's going to be of-the-moment fall season shows, and you need to know what's already out on disc that they might want. For gift-giving purposes, if you can find out what they already have, do that.
  2. Make sure they collect physical media, or that having a physical copy of the show they love would mean something to them. Things have changed a lot with the way people interact with and enshrine their favorite shows.
  3. Make sure you know their preferred format (DVD or Blu-ray).
  4. You can't go wrong with gift certificates, but anime is a very personal gift, and paying attention to your friend or relative's anime preferences and selecting the exact right box set is going to make you a Christmas hero in their eyes.

With that in mind, below is a swath of collectible editions and box sets for a variety of genres, containing a mix of both some of the best new releases and others that would hopefully appeal to the nostalgia factor. Prices on all of this will fluctuate a lot (especially during Black Friday week) so expect some jumps and decreases here and there. The listed retail price is always MSRP, but please shop around – a lot of this stuff can be found for 40% or more off that price.


This article graciously sponsored by Viz Media. We have included a selection of Viz Media offering at the top of this article, but other than the placement, our sponsor had no say in the items we chose for this guide.

Tis' the season! Shopping has never been easier - Here is a quick gift guide from VIZ Media to help with your holiday shopping. These anime products are perfect gifts for friends, family, and of course, yourself. Think of the joy and mirth as all of your friends and family nestle around the fire in comfy clothes and watch the anime you bought them!

Boruto: Naruto Next Generations - Boruto Back in Time

Boruto comes face to face with some very familiar heroes in this time-travelling arc! He thought he knew his dad, but that dynamic gets upended as he trains with young Naruto under Jiraiya in hopes of gaining new abilities to defeat Urashiki. Oh, Sasuke's there too, of course!

Retail Price: US$49.99
Publisher: Viz Media
Shopping Link: Viz Media

In/Spectre, Season 1

The second season of In/Spectre is set to premiere next year, so now's the perfect time to get caught up on the supernatural mystery series. The show stars Kotoko, a girl once kidnapped by yokai and has gone through an Odin-like transformation. She teams up with a healer (and put upon crush) Kuro in order to keep dangerous spirits in line.

Retail Price: US$49.99
Publisher: Viz Media
Shopping Link: Viz Media

Vampire Knight: The Complete Collection

If you haven't watched Vampire Knight, you're missing out on one of the goth girl classics. The series has everything: an elite boarding school, high profile (and handsome) vampire types, a love triangle, intrigue, and plenty of "will they, won't they" to fuel the shipping wars!

Retail Price: US$39.99
Publisher: Viz Media
Shopping Link: Viz Media

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Golden Wind Pt. 2

Everyone's gearing up for Jolyne's debut, but let's not forget about the boys of Golden Wind. These mafiosi with hearts of gold are about to face their biggest challenge yet as they make their way to a showdown in Rome that JoJo fans won't want to miss! Diavolo makes his terrifying debut in the series' conclusion and will test the bonds of Giorno, Bruno, and the rest of the crew.

Retail Price: US$49.99
Publisher: Viz Media
Shopping Link: Viz Media

Pokémon Double Feature - The First Movie and I Choose You!

This double feature will please nostalgic Pokemon fans and help introduce a whole new generation to Ash's adventures. The newbie trainer faces a Legendary and a Mythical Pokemon in this set of films: the powerful psychic Pokemon Mewtwo and the golden Ho-Oh. If you have your own fledgling trainer at home or just want to revisit your own adventures of yesteryear, this is the set for you.

Retail Price: US$24.98
Publisher: Viz Media
Shopping Link: Viz Media

Demon Slayer Kimetsu no Yaiba The Movie Mugen Train Limited Edition Blu-ray

It's the movie that captured the box office, Demon Slayer Kimetsu no Yaiba The Movie Mugen Train! Relive this self-contained arc as Tanjiro, Inosuke, Rengoku, and Zenitsu find themselves pulled into a nightmare. The limited-edition version includes the original soundtrack, a deluxe booklet with interviews with the cast and staff, and audio commentary from the Japanese cast all in a rigid box with new art by the anime's character designer, Akira Matsushima.

Retail Price: US$79.98
Publisher: Aniplex of America
Shopping Link: RightStuf

Project A-ko Perfect Edition Blu-ray

I got the chance to see Discotek's amazing restoration of this film at Otakon this year and if you're a fan of the classics, it's a must-have. Project A-ko is like a time capsule for a particular anime comedic era where bombastic explosions and ridiculous hijinks were the norm. There are many reasons to consider picking this disc up, whether it's to put a piece of anime history on your shelf or simply sit down and have a good time.

Retail Price: US$29.95
Publisher: Discotek
Shopping Link: RightStuf

Neon Genesis Evangelion Complete Series Limited Collector's Edition Blu-ray

How much copy do you need for me to convince you to purchase one of the seminal pieces of anime media? The Neon Genesis Evangelion television anime has been out of print since ADV's "Platinum Edition" was released in 2005. Since then, there was the streaming release on Netflix, but it was GKIDS that finally snapped up the license and prepared three different home video versions. This is the Collector's Edition, the 'mid-range' option just under the "Ultimate Edition" that was limited to only 5,000 copies. Those sold out in a matter of hours, so for anyone who didn't snatch that version up, the Collector's Edition should do the trick. It contains two different dubs (the 'classic' ADV dub and the 'official' dub, both with the original dub cast. The Ultimate Edition also includes Netflix's dub because why not?), seven hours of bonus video features, and of course the 26 episode anime series, and the Evangelion:Death (True)2 and The End of Evangelion films. There's also a 40-page booklet and eight character art cards.

Retail Price: US$219.99
Publisher: GKIDS
Shopping Link: RightStuf

Flowers of Evil Blu-ray

A divisive pick, perhaps, but The Flowers of Evil is a great recommendation for folks into "arty" anime. The entire series is rotoscoped, so it certainly doesn't look like what folks may expect. The plot itself is also very cerebral, focusing on teenage angst and rebellion that all starts when an anti-social girl named Sawa Nakamura discovers that Takao Kasuga has stolen their classmate's Nanako Saeki gym clothes. Sawa then starts a twisted friendship with Takao built on blackmailing him for his indiscretion. Definitely a dark series for fans of shows like Scum's Wish, and it was directed by Hiroshi Nagahama, who is set to helm the upcoming anime adaptation of Junji Ito's Uzumaki.

Retail Price: US$49.98
Publisher: Sentai Filmworks
Shopping Link: RightStuf

Akudama Drive Limited Edition Blu-Ray/DVD

One of the most stylish releases of 2020 is finally available on home video. The cyberpunk series focuses on a group of criminals (and a talking cat) who take on a job to rescue a fellow 'akudama' before he's executed. What starts as a smaller job with an enticing payout spirals into a much bigger task than any of the criminals signed up for. If your recipient is a fan of Danganronpa, this is sure to be a hit.

Retail Price: US$84.98
Publisher: Funimation
Shopping Link: RightStuf

Mobile Suit Gundam Hathaway Volume 1 Limited Edition Blu-ray

The first part of a planned film trilogy, this imported Blu-ray includes the highly-reviewed film, the original soundtrack by Hiroyuki Sawano, and two bonus discs. The bonus discs include a recording of a fan gathering at Zepp DiverCity (TOKYO) with the main cast members as well as other live events. The Zepp DiverCity footage feels especially poignant now that most of the Gundam Cafes are closing.

Retail Price: US$94.99
Publisher: Bandai Namco Arts
Shopping Link: RightStuf

Future Boy Conan Blu-ray

In 1978, Hayao Miyazaki was just warming up. The anime giant had just come off directing 14 episodes of Lupin the 3rd and hadn't yet tackled his own feature-length film. A year before the release of Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro and about half a decade before Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, Miyazaki directed the highly influential Future Boy Conan television anime at Nippon Animation. (The series even had a prominent cameo in Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken!). Many of the industry's biggest names worked on the series with Miyazaki, including future Ghibli co-director Isao Takahata, Gundam creator Yoshiyuki Tomino, and Megazone 23 creator Noboru Ishiguro. Despite the lasting legacy of the series, it has never before been available stateside, until now.

Retail Price: US$44.98
Publisher: GKIDS
Shopping Link: RightStuf

Shaman King Original Series (English Dub) Blu-ray

If you or your friend is an anime fan of a certain age, this release should be packed with nostalgia. This release is English dub only and contains all 64 episodes on a single SD Blu-ray disc. If the Netflix remake has left you cold or you just want to revisit the anime of your childhood, this should whet your appetite.

Retail Price: US$59.95
Publisher: Discotek
Shopping Link: RightStuf

The Transformers The Movie 35th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray/DVD

Many a child cried their eyes out watching this film in theaters, and if the gift of childhood tears isn't the whole point of Christmas, then what is? It also features the last performance of Hollywood icon Orson Welles as the planet-devouring Unicron, proving that we exist in the weirdest timeline. What's this movie about? Well let me quote Welles himself:

"You know what I did this morning? I played the voice of a toy. Some terrible robot toys from Japan that changed from one thing to another. The Japanese have funded a full-length animated cartoon about the doings of these toys, which is all bad outer-space stuff. I play a planet. I menace somebody called Something-or-other. Then I'm destroyed. My plan to destroy Whoever-it-is is thwarted and I tear myself apart on the screen."

Retail Price: US$16.98
Publisher: Shout Factory
Shopping Link: RightStuf

Vinland Saga Blu-ray

Fans have waited a long time for this series' home video release, and now is the perfect time to snatch it up before that second season comes out. For the uninitiated, think of Vinland Saga as an epic sure to please anyone interested in historical settings and tales of vengeance. If your gift receipt enjoyed say, Berserk or history-centric podcasts, this should go right on their shelf.

Retail Price: US$89.98
Publisher: Sentai Filmworks
Shopping Link: RightStuf

The Irresponsible Captain Tylor Collector's Ultra Edition + Artbook Blu-ray (Autographed Edition)

This 90s sci-fi comedy has its own dedicated fanbase and they're finally getting their prayers answered with this bells and whistles boxset. This is the cream of the crop, but if the price tag made your eyeballs jump out of your head, have no fear, there are pared-down versions that may be easier on your wallet. This version includes the rather stylish black box, an artbook that also collects interviews and original stories from the series, and an "autographed item" by series creator Hitoshi Yoshioka. On the video side of things, the boxset brings together the TV series, OAV, 13 music videos, live-action specials, and more.

Retail Price: US$399.99
Publisher: Nozomi Entertainment
Shopping Link: RightStuf

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