Discussion: Do you want manga as a gift?

Tomorrow is my birthday, which is why I have asked the question above. The answer might be obvious for some, but I feel that it cannot be answered easily.

For years, I’ve found it difficult to ask for anime and manga-related gifts from friends and family. For one, asking them for a specific volume is hard. What if they can’t find it in stores? What if they get the wrong volume? What if they flip through it and find something they disapprove of? It’s also difficult to ask people to pick something for you. What if they get something you find really awful? What if they get you something you already have?

I’ve gotten a few surprise hits from unknowing givers, like a how-to-draw book from my cousin when I was still drawing up a storm, but many well-intended gifts are somewhat awkward. Most of the time I just ask for a bookstore giftcard or a gadget (which usually has nothing to do with manga) to avoid getting something I dislike and alleviate the gift-giver’s anxiety.

Luckily, technology is now a legitimate way to give someone manga indirectly. I, for one, want an iPad pretty badly. Not just for reading manga, but for all the other stuff it can do. (In theory, I could use it to do work on a trip, saving me the hassle of dragging a heavy laptop with.) I’ll admit that I don’t want someone to just go out and buy me one because it’s so expensive, but I’d accept money to be put toward the purchase of one since an e-reader is still somewhat out of my wallet’s range.

But since I’m just one person, I thought I’d ask my readers: Do you even want manga as a birthday or holiday gift, or would something else be much more preferable? I’d also like to know why you prefer it that way and how you go about ensuring that you get what you want.


About Daniella Orihuela-Gruber

Daniella is a freelance manga editor and blogger. She likes collecting out of print manga and playing with her puppy. Yes, someone got her a puppy already.
This entry was posted in Discussion, manga, opinion and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Discussion: Do you want manga as a gift?

  1. Sarah Hayes says:

    I usually prefer something like a gift card to a book store so I can pick out my own books, because there’s always a good chance I’ll ask for something and in between then and my birthday/holiday, I’ll buy it myself on accident or become uninterested in it all together. Unless I want a manga that’s more than twelve bucks, then some hapless family member can buy it for me :3

    I ensure I get what I want by one method: nagging. “So, did you get me that new Tezuka manga yet? Because you should. Just saying. It might sell out before my birthday! BUY IT.”

    • Yeah, gift cards are always a good way to go, but some people really don’t like giving them. I’ve had friends demand that I give them a more specific gift than that. D:

      If it’s a gadget I want, I’ll casually mention it to my dad. He hasn’t ever tried to get me something manga-related, I don’t think. (Not that I mind, but he’s the guy who is comfortable giving gadgets instead of artsy things.) Otherwise I try to subtly drop hints by pointing out something I want in a newspaper or something.

  2. Justin says:

    I think I’d agree with Sarah. I mean, I’d probably be pleased if someone had brought me a manga for my birthday, but it’s not a guarantee that I’d like it, so I’d prefer the gift card. Unless I get to tell this person what I would want. I’d rather it be a surprise though 😀

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  4. DeBT says:

    Sometimes it can help if you’ve mentioned having difficulty finding a particular volume of a series. In my case, I was extremely lucky to get the first volume of Name of the Flower as a birthday present. Given its extreme price hike and rarity after CMX went out of business, it was an exceptional find.

    Too bad I wasn’t that crazy about the actual story in the Manga.

  5. insaneben says:

    The stories I could tell…
    The one (and only) time someone gave me manga for my birthday was way back in 2003 (it was Rurouni Kenshin volume 1- thanks Dirk, wherever you are nowadays). Since there are a metric ton of titles I’ve wanted over the years (many with multiple volumes), I generally ask for something simple (like an anime DVD set, or, failing that, gift cards to FYE). I’ve had varying degrees of success when asking for anime-related merchandise, to the spot-on (Last Exile DVD set in 2005), to the way-off-the-mark (Dragonball Z walkie-talkies in 2001; seriously?), to the “what the hell is this?” (Hannah Montana doll in 2009; it was meant to be a joke- let’s just say this person hasn’t been invited to any parties since then).

    Of course, cash also works (note to potential gift-givers: I also accept Euros and Yen).

  6. Davia says:

    No, with rare exception. If there’s a manga I want, I generally just buy it. A gift certificate or such with which I can buy manga, sure, and maybe something manga-related if it’s more expensive (like an art book), but manga itself is cheap enough that I can get the ones I really want pretty fast already.

  7. If the person knows what exact manga I want, then sure I’d take manga as a gift, haha. This normally isn’t the case though, so the go to gift for me was ALWAYS a Borders giftcard (for manga). Lately I’ve been joking with people that no one has to buy me gifts anymore with the store being gone.

    But nah, I wouldn’t want a random manga as a gift just because the person knows I like manga. I mean, it’s thoughtful, but with as many manga I have (and the space that I don’t), I wouldn’t really want a manga I might not wind up being interested in eating up space in my room.

  8. wandering lapoon says:

    Due to most of the reasons mentioned above, I usually don’t like manga as a present and prefer to get other anime\manga related stuff (like figurines and wall-scrolls). It’s also easier for the gift-givers to get you stuff you’d like because they’ll know to look for an item related to the series’ you are most attached to. (unlike manga where they actually have to go shooting in the dark and guess what kind of manga might be good enough to intrest you and uh… “rare” enough for you to not have it yet.)

    These I can only get from my friends though… I can’t even imagine trying to explain to my rather-ignorant-about-my-hobby (but not in a bad way or anything. No one’s against it, it’s just that it all seems like werid non-sense to them I guess~) family members to get me an anime\manga related item I want…

  9. bowlich says:

    I’m a voracious reader, so I go through quite a few books and manga in any given month. Despite how much I read the list of books I want to read grows far faster then I can possible read or purchase them. I keep the list on Amazon, and it’s grown rather into a rather massive wishlist (it’s around 200+ volumes right now). I keep it up-to-date and remove books when I buy them or receive them as gifts. If anyone ever asks for an idea of what to buy me, I just send them the link — problem solved.

    And if anyone ever gets me a duplicate of something already in my library, it’s not much of a concern to me. It gives me the opportunity to gift the volume on to someone else who might enjoy it.

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  11. Ade says:

    The only person I will ask to get me manga as a gift is my mom. I just give her an amazon link to the books I want and if I get them I get them, if not,then I end up with a gift card or something. Any other relative I just tell them either a gift card or cash.

  12. themooninautumn says:

    Online wishlists can be pretty handy, too . . . 🙂

  13. animemiz says:

    For the most part.. I actually give and prefer to receive gift certificates for Bookstores or sites. ^_^ I always end up purchasing manga on my own.. so I rather friends give me more money to buy more. I also do know that some of my friends also purchases lots of books, so I end up purchasing a gift certificate.. or footing their bill for their onsite book purchases.

  14. lovelyduckie says:

    No, I own a lot of manga. So in order to buy me manga you’ll need to ask me what I want first in order not to buy my duplicates…and then it’s not a surprise.

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