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Notes from the coffee mill...

December 2001

Cafe Christmas Trimmings

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! It's December and it's time and past to get started on the Christmas shopping! But what do you get that special otaku in your life? Especially when you're not completely sure what they have in their video collection? Incorporating parts of last year's Christmas suggestions (I wonder if I ever posted this thing last year?), here are some Christmas gift and stocking stuffer ideas for the anime lovers in your life:

2002 Calendars

What Christmas list isn't complete without a calendar of your favourite anime? Places such as CD Japan, AnimeNation, TokyoPop and others bring in calendars (and other goodies) for people to choose from. And while it may be possible to get common titles like Sailormoon or Gundam Wing locally, there are a number of titles which can only be had through importers.

Video / DVD Suggestions

Ah! My Goddess The Movie
A very new release, this movie is really something special. And while it's not Christmas related, the gentle romance story that it tells makes it a worthwhile investment. Very much a standalone video, prior exposure to the OAV series is not necessary.

The Dog of Flanders
This beautiful movie is so rarely heard of or mentioned in North America that I thought I'd give it a mention. The only thing is you should be sure to have a box of kleenexes on hand when watching it. Also, the dubbed and DVD versions of the North American release have been cut so for the full feature, the only way to go is with the sub.

Rurouni Kenshin
This is a tough one to suggest since the release date is so close to Christmas: Dec 19! But for RK fans who can handle raw Japanese video, this will be something else.

Character Goods

This is something which is a little easier and more difficult to suggest. You have a wider variety of things to look at getting with less likelihood of the person having it. Unfortunately, you also need to know the person a little more to be able to decide if they'll like it or not...

In anycase, here are some suggestions:

Plush Ryo-ohki
For kids who have seen Tenchi Muyo this is absolutely adorable. These have been available from Nikaku in the past and is also available from AnimeNation

Phone Straps
For people with cellular phones in a carry case or which have a place to attach things, a phone strap is a very popular thing to attach especially in Japan. Be careful however since some straps are gaudy looking things, while others are really nice. Personally, I also like the flashing Hello Kitty antenna which is available for PHS and keitai's in Japan, but have no idea if they'll flash for North American mobiles. They're frequency dependent though so you need to know a little about the person's mobile.

Plush Totoro or Gigi
For the Miyazaki lovers, there is of course the stuffed Gigi and Totoros and the Cat bus.

Music soundtracks:

Often anime programs will have some good background music which helps augment the overall atmosphere of a given program. For the more difficult to buy for, this might be an area where they don't have much in their collection and will make for some good background music.

While there are a number of links on the Cafe for on-line shops, a more complete listing can be found on the Anime Turnpike.

ja ne,

Jane Nagatomi, 2001.11.30

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Page last modified 2001.11.30