Gift ideas with little buzz
Last week, I looked at well-known series that fans of anime and manga, as well as newcomers to the party, would enjoy as Christmas gifts. This week, lesser-known but equally gift-worthy series take the spotlight:
» "High School Girls" (DrMaster): For those people tired of the idealized spin on school life, Towa Oshima presents tales of life at an all-girls school, based on her experiences -- warts and all.
» "Planetes" (Bandai): Any series can focus on a motley crew of space-faring voyagers. This one focuses on the underpaid people who have to clean up the debris these voyagers leave behind.
» "Genshiken" (anime from Media Blasters, manga from Del Rey): Just how dedicated can anime and manga fans be? The fictional Society for the Study of Modern Visual Culture offers some clues ... and the results are either fun or eerily realistic, depending on your perspective.
» "Crossroad" (Go! Comi): Three young siblings are forced to fend for themselves after their flighty mom runs off to Venezuela with some guy and leaves behind a 6-year-old girl for them to take care of. It's touching at turns, with a sweet sense of humor.
» "Dramacon" (Tokyopop): "But it's not real manga," the purists might cry. "It's not from Japan." Let them whine, then pick up this title anyway. Svetlana Chmakova's romantic comedy/drama captures the wackiness of an anime convention perfectly and makes a good love story, to boot.
» "Ghost Stories" (ADV Films): The ghost-busting adventures of a group of students are fun in Japanese but absolutely hilarious with the rewritten English dub script.
In 'D&Q' Sunday
"Kiddy Grade" is another gift-worthy series, but it's also one of those series that are very difficult to talk about. Find out why in Sunday's Today section as you open your presents. Merry Christmas!
, a look at the world of Japanese anime and manga, appears every Monday. E-mail Jason S. Yadao at firstname.lastname@example.org