Good gifts for 11-year-old into cosplay and manga art?
November 13, 2019 6:39 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for good gift ideas for an 11-year-old interested in art and Japanese media. They like drawing (particularly cutesy manga-style work) and just got interested in cosplay. (They dressed up as a video game character for Halloween.) Other interests: cats, Studio Ghibli, Zelda, and Squishmallows (we got some Squishmallows already). Any gift suggestions?

Kid has knock-off Copic markers (Ohuhu brand), drawing books, and a Wacom drawing tablet already. They have Zelda games and posters. We're stumped. Help us be the cool grown-ups?
posted by marfa, texas to Shopping (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Sewing machine! Glorious for cosplay, useful for practical life, and its good to balance pursuits between the digital and material worlds.

If you have patience and a local sewing machine repair/sales shop you can get a reliable machine pretty cheap. Straight and zigzag stitch will suffice to start.
posted by clew at 6:56 PM on November 13, 2019 [2 favorites]

Are there any Anime/Manga conventions nearby? Maybe promise to take them or if they have friends who are interested then offer to buy them tickets and drop them off and pick them up from it.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 7:13 PM on November 13, 2019

I agree with all of the art supply suggestions, and with the sewing machine. To make a suggestion that is a little less practical, what about squishy bread?
posted by past unusual at 7:27 PM on November 13, 2019

How about a graphics program? Affinity Photo is cheap, and there are others that may have features aimed at manga.
posted by Sophont at 7:33 PM on November 13, 2019

My daughter is interested in manga/anime (although she is now 15). The art program I got her was Clip Studio Paint EX, which also has a feature-limited cheaper version. It's a pretty capable program that will work well with a Wacom tablet, and is specifically designed for creating manga (tools for lettering, page and panel layout, etc.). I've used it myself with a Wacom tablet and Blambot comic fonts. (They offer some free fonts for indies--check the licenses.)

Right now the standard ("pro") version of Clip Studio is $49.99 and the full-featured version ("EX") is $219; there's also an upgrade path from one to the other if she later needs more features.
posted by yhlee at 7:59 PM on November 13, 2019

Definitely see if there are any cons nearby to take them to. I bet said kid would love a weekend (or day) full of fan art, merch halls, and screenings.

A maneki neko? Cats /and/ Japan. Bonus, they come in all colors and sizes.

And there is a nearly infinite supply of Ghibli merch to choose from.
posted by bowtiesarecool at 3:37 AM on November 14, 2019

Jetpens is indeed great for pens. Microns are great or my fave are Uni Pin Pens. Maybe a oouple excellent white Signo gel pens for highlighting and a Totoro pen case? Maybe some colorful metallic pens?
posted by Glinn at 6:36 AM on November 14, 2019

What's the budget anyway?
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 1:31 PM on November 14, 2019

A fifth grader at my school came in with one of these Kidrobot "YumYumables plush bundle" All the kids went nuts for it.
posted by momochan at 4:12 PM on November 14, 2019

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