With Christmas only a few days away, it just seemed right to make a few comments on those potential last-minute gifts. After all, anime fans usually appreciate the gift of great anime, and are happy to spread that gift with their friends, their family, and those that surround them. However, giving a the gift of a bad show is never a great option. Thankfully, with FUNimation’s SAVEs, Bandai’s Anime Legends, and other discount product lines, there are tons of excellent titles to choose from, at prices as low at $10. So, in the spirit of last-minute gift giving, I’ve prepared a short list of sets that any fan would love to receive, but won’t break the bank.


Welcome to the NHK!: Welcome to the NHK is one of the sharpest and darkest shows I’ve seen in a while. I mean this in the best way, though. The series touches on the absolute worst of mankind, and makes an entertaining, touching, and even funny show out of it. NHK focuses on Sato, an agorophobic shut-in who lives off of cheap food and internet porn. After what seems like an eternity, he has a moment of realization. In his twisted mind, the broadcast network NHK is trying (and succeeding) to convert their viewers into shut-ins like himself through some Machiavellian plot involving cute anime and easy access to porn. Shortly after this realization sinks in, Seto has a meeting with fate, as a gorgeous girl claiming to have the cure for his ways enters his life. For fans of slice-of-life shows, or just darker fare in general, this is a must-watch. -Retail price: $29.98

Crest of the Stars: One of the greatest political and dramatic experiences to grace anime. It’s the first chapter of a grand, sweeping epic that spans planets, and covers numerous topics, from racism, to hate and imperialism. As the show’s twelve episodes progress, viewers are taken from deep space to Earth, and explore the lives of Abh princess Lafiel and human Jinto, as they try to survive in a desperate situation that seems destined to end in death. With a detailed, intricately-written plot, amazing characters, and slick animation, this one deserves a spot in every fan’s collection. -Retail price: $39.98

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time: Mamoru Hosoda’s film about a girl who discovers the ability to leap back in time is one that was passed over by a large number of fans. The film is visually stunning, and exhibits a subtle brilliance through its entirety, as it touches on the probing question of “What would you do if you could travel back in time?” -Retail price: $29.98

You’re Under Arrest!: A slice-of-life comedy that focuses on Tokyo’s finest… er… traffic officers. Life isn’t all writing tickets, though. Miyuki and Natsumi are a duo that are always on the beat, as they deal with costumed vigilantes, badass scooter-riding mamas, and even a twisted Saint Nick! Still, no matter what happens, a few laughs are sure to be had along the way. -Retail Price: $34.99 per set

Genshiken: Genshiken is a slice-of-life series that focuses on Sasahara, the newest entry to the Society for the Study of Visual Culture. If the name sounds cryptic, it’s just a fancy way of saying “they talk about anime and play video games.” As one can figure, this group comprises the biggest misfits in college, but that doesn’t matter. The friendship shared among the group, which is made up of anime geeks, cosplay fiends, and everything in-between, is the strongest bond around, despite repeated tests to such. As a bonus, this contains all three episodes of Kujibiki Unbalance – the TV series within the TV series. Suggested Price: $39.95