Holiday Gift Guide – Best New and Classic Anime

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Tis the season for new anime and finding that perfect gift for a friend or family member. Each year we ask our staff what their favorite anime was from the year and what their favorite classic anime was. Christmas is right around the corner. So if you have a family member or friend who loves anime, check out our list of recommendations both new and classic.

Whether they enjoy slice of life, sci-fi or fantasy, anime offers a wide range of options. Our list of recommendations feature our favorites from 2018 and classics that never get old.

Three If By Space Staff Recommendations

My Hero Academia – Season 2

My Hero Academia – Our young heroes start their first internships with real pros! Put on blast by some serious training, Deku will see how far he can push his new skills when a classmate gets cornered by Hero Killer: Stain. The fight leaves a lasting impression before Class 1-A goes back to the grind for final exams. Setting aside rivalries, the students face their toughest opponents yet—their teachers.

We cannot recommend My Hero Academia enough. The robust world building and character building makes this series a lot of fun to watch. You can’t help but root for Deku and Bakugo to keep squaring off. Season 2 builds on season 1 so well, you must check it out.

Bungo Stray Dogs

A darker chapter of Dazai’s past reveals his ties to the Port Mafia. Now, four years later, a gifted group of Americans known as the Guild have challenged the mafia’s power. Atsushi has his work cut out for him while Akutagawa grows more resentful by the day. But when the Guild becomes a threat to all of Yokohama, a united front between bitter enemies may be the only way to save the city.

The armed detective agency finds itself in a bind when a new group from overseas comes to cause trouble. The Guild is more powerful than either the port mafia or the armed detective agency can handle on their own.

Star Blazers: Space Battleship Yamato 2199

Earth is on the verge of complete annihilation. Threatened by an intergalactic superpower known as Gamilas, humankind’s last hope for survival depends upon the generous assistance of another alien civilization – Iscandar. The Space Battleship Yamato – manned by a skilled, motivated crew and with advanced tech at its core – has only one year to seek out this planet and recover a device that could revitalize Earth. But Gamilan interference, dangerous cosmic phenomena, and conflict among the officers will test the whole of humanity’s resolve.

Space Opera: What more can we say? It’s a beloved classic, redone with stunning visuals.

Three If By Space Staff Picks – Classic Anime


Alchemy: The science of understanding, decomposing, and reconstructing matter. However, it is not an omnipotent art. It is impossible to create something out of nothing. If one wishes to obtain something, something of equal value must be paid. This law of equivalent exchange is the basis of alchemy. There is a taboo among Alchemists: human transmutation. It is that which no one must commit.

However… Edward and Alphonse Elric break this taboo hoping they can revive their beloved mother. As a result, Edward loses his right arm and left leg and Alphonse has his whole body taken away. The Elric brothers embark their journey to find the “Philosopher’s Stone” to regain their bodies…

Code Geass

The year is 2017 of the Imperial calendar and parts of the world are uner the control of the Holy Britannian Empire. Lelouch Lamperouge, an exiled Britannian prince, encounters a strange girl known as C.C., who gifts him with a great and terrible power. The Geass. With this powerful ability, Lelouch can get anyone to do as he wills. But the power of Geass: is it a blessing…or a curse?

Part Mecha, part political thriller, this series has never been more interesting than now to watch.

Black Butler- Season 3 Book Of Circus

In Black Butler, Book of Circus, Ciel and the demon butler Sebastian are summoned by the Queen to investigate multiple reports of missing children. When their underworld contacts reveal the disappearances increase when the mysterious Noah’s Ark Circus comes to town the demonic duo must impress an enigmatic ringmaster in order to go undercover as performers-to Sebastian’s delight and Ciel’s disgust. At the core of the circus is a troupe of unique performers from Dagger the knife thrower to Beast, the beautiful tiger tamer. All are connected by someone who changed their lives, someone who raised them from the gutters of London to the heights of the big top – but at a price.

Say what you will about season 2, but Book Of Circus is by far the best of Black Butler.

Crunchyroll Curated List – Most Popular Crunchyroll Store Titles

We also asked the team at Crunchyroll what their team would recommend and they curated the following list of most popular anime from their Crunchyroll store this holiday season.

The Ancient Magus Bride – The Complete Series – Part One – BD/DVD+Fun Digital – Limited Edition

Suffering a tragic childhood, Chise Hatori has lost all hope for happiness until a mysterious mage named Elias takes interest in her aptitude for magic. Chise’s incredible power draws dangerous fae creatures, and worse yet, it drains her life. If she wants to survive, she must learn to wield magic, while Elias must learn what it means to be human. Unaware of what lies ahead, he decides to make her his apprentice—and his bride.

Black Clover – Season One Part Three Plus Collector’s Box – BD/DVD+Fun Digital

After a close call against Mars and the Diamond Kingdom knights, Asta and his friends are honored by the Wizard King. But the celebratory event is more jeers than cheers as the other Magic Knights show their true colors. Before things get too heated inside, they learn there’s a more serious problem happening outside. The rising dead, an energy-sapping witch, and other horrors plague the capitol!

Cowboy Bebop – The Movie – Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door – Steelbook – Blu-ray

Mars. Days before Halloween 2071. Villains blow up a tanker truck on Highway One, releasing a deadly virus that kills hundreds. Fearing a bigger, even more devastating biochemical attack, an astronomical reward is offered for the arrest and capture of the person behind the destruction. On the spaceship “Bebop,” Spike Spiegel and his crew of bounty hunters (Jet Black, Faye Valentine, Ed, and Ein) are bored and short of cash. But with the news of the reward everything changes.

Robert Prentice