Valentine’s Day offers the perfect excuse for cuddling up with your honey. While plenty of money exchanges hands on this gushiest of days—the National Retail Federation reports some $18 billion in Valentine’s Day-related sales in 2013—getting a thoughtful gift for your sweetie involves more than the swipe of your credit card and a peck on the cheek. The true challenge is scoring a gift with a unique anime twist.
Got a crush on an anime fanatic? These gift ideas will spice up you Valentine’s Day.
Let’s face it, just about every anime fan developed an appreciation for Japanese animation after waking up early to watch Pokemon as a kid. The adventures of brave-if-not-bright Ash, rapidly-irritable Misty and love-struck Brock (to say nothing of Team Rocket) hold such a special place in our hearts that the Independent reports the video game series represents the second-highest grossing game franchise of all time. Give your sweetheart a color-specific bouquet of yellow Valentine’s Day flowers in the hands of a plush Pikachu, and you’ll get a heart-melting reaction. Get fire-red roses for Charmander, blue orchids for Squirtle, and green hydrangeas for Bulbasaur.
Photo by Rodolfo Vargas via Flickr
If you and your sweetie have ever attended a convention, anime-related or otherwise, you know plenty about the highs and lows of cosplaying as your favorite characters. For some it’s a chance to show off creativity; while for others like Russian cosplayer Anna Moleva, as reported by Forbes, it’s a full-blown career. Perhaps you’d dress up like Atomsk, pirate captain of FLCL, or as suave samurai swordsman Jin from Samurai Champloo. Whatever your inspiration or character, go out on the town as your favorite characters, or even replicate a scene from your favorite anime in your own home. You don’t need to spend a lot to look like the real deal, since the best of cosplay is done on a budget.
Photo by richcz3 via flickr
If you think a video game is a gift only suitable for a guy, think again. The Entertainment Software Association reports that 45 percent of gamers are female, and there are more female gamers over the age of 18 than there are male gamers under 18. With so many video games that anime have inspired, a Valentine’s Day gaming marathon may be just what you and your sweetheart need. Solve an exotic crime together in the hit Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney series, or take a trip back in time to the release of Final Fantasy 7 and take turns taking down Sephiroth.
Photo by William Hook via Wikimedia Commons
Some fans prefer to replicate their favorite characters and scenes in order to give their own creative twist to the animation. Whether you’re a sketch whiz or vaguely remember art classes back in school, take to the drawing board and create a Valentine’s Day card with your own image and message. You can create a digital card and upload it onto sites like DeviantArt, where the anime community can critique it before you give the card to that special someone.
Photo by sinbad9 via Flickr
This guest piece is by Joyce Martin. Joyce runs an independent social media strategy business.