Top 5: Christmas Episodes in Anime

sawako christmas

I will admit, I am not the biggest fan of Christmas episodes whether they be in anime or anything else. They all kind of feel the same after awhile.

When narrowing down the list I decided to stick with shows where I just enjoyed the Christmas episode rather than found it a bit of a tag on annoyance. That said, Christmas isn’t as pervasive in anime as Valentines or New Years so trying to remember which shows actually focussed on Christmas proved a bit of a challenge.

As always, I’d love to know your favourite episodes below.

Favourite Christmas Episodes in Anime

Honourable mentions to Haruhi Suzumiya (not an episode but the movie focussed on Christmas), Clannad After Story, and the Sailor Moon second movie (again not an episode).

Number 5: Karin Chibi Vampire

Episode 19 gives us a Christmas Eve episode where both Karin and her friend Maki are trying to make gifts for the objects of their affections. It isn’t all happy news for the pair but there’s enough sweetness in this episode to make it an uplifting experience for the most part. That and it seems like another logical step in Karin and Usui’s relationship rather than an added in episode for the sake of having a Christmas episode.

Number 4: Hayate Combat Butler

Hayate.jpg

Alright, this one probably isn’t really capturing the spirit of Christmas given his parents leave him their debt and run away and then Hayate tries to kidnap someone (fairly unsuccessfully) but Santa’s dream response to Hayate asking why he didn’t get a present is pretty amusing.

Again, the Christmas element doesn’t feel like an add in because it is used to make you feel genuinely sorry for Hayate and the end result is reasonably positive (unless you truly feel that Hayate got a bad deal having to work for Nagisa) so go Christmas.



Number 3: Sword Art Online

SAO - Nicholas.png

Definitely not capturing the spirit of Christmas, I liked this episode because it tapped in to a few different ideas.

Firstly this Christmas episode consolidates the fact that death is going to be final in the game world. Sachi is dead and all of Kirito’s actions won’t bring her back. Secondly, it presents Santa in a way you never wanted to see him and visually this is one of the more interesting boss’ that show up in the series. And finally, I like this episode because there are events in games and they do tie in to holidays so this just worked.

Plus it kind of broke my heart as they gave us a promise  of resurrection, we watched Kirito fight to even get to the location of the event, Klein first trying to stop Kirito and then assisting him to get to where he needed to be, watched Kirito succeed at defeating the boss, and then the realisation that it won’t help him anyway because of the time limit. Everything about this episode was perfect (though perhaps not really within the spirit of Christmas).

Number 2: Kobato

A near love triangle resolved when one of the suitors bows out realising the girl he likes only has eyes for one guy. Using the Christmas episode as a chance to get the two together is just the great kind of excuse everyone needs. Except that the guy in question (Fujimoto) has genuine issues about being abandoned on Christmas Eve so his surly tone for the earlier parts of this episode are completely understandable even if he is misdirecting some of that angst at Kobato.

And Kobato doesn’t really get Christmas anyway and is just fluttering along as always. Still, this episode marks a change in the tone of the show and the central relationship being built and so is pretty important from a plot point of view.

Number 1: Kimi ni Todoke

Christmas episode - Kimi ni todoke

The class Christmas party that Sawako couldn’t go to because… she never got up the nerve to ask her parents? This episode was a really important one as we saw Sawako actually want something more than just Kazahaya to speak with her and we saw her genuinely struggle as she didn’t want to let her parents down. More importantly, she finally comes to the realisation that perhaps she’s been too considerate and it is okay to want things.

Good thing her parents are both alive (a novelty in anime) and actually pretty supportive and understanding. She might not get to see much of the class party but it’s enough that she did actually develop another step as a character.

So that’s my top 5 but I’ve probably missed a bunch so feel free to tell us about your favourite Christmas episodes in anime.


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James


Friday’s Feature: Anime Characters in Summer

summer

Two days from Christmas and those of us in the land of Aus are dying from excessive waves of heat and humidity when we aren’t having our roofs blown off by summer storms. Seems odd that I’m still reviewing the Autumn 2016 anime season while summer is in full swing but even odder that we’re about to move to Winter 2017. But enough of that and let’s get to today’s feature (though admittedly this is more of a lazy discussion than an actual feature).

It seemed to me that it was a good opportunity to look at the common events that anime characters get up to over Summer Holidays. Not my favourite or the most annoying (this isn’t a top 5 list) but rather just a nice and laid back discussion about these common occurences. Anyone who watches a lot of anime should already know the seasons are really important in Japan and that is reflected in their anime.

First of all we have the obligatory beach or pool trip. This kind of screams summer because it’s hot and the characters want to cool off and generally the animators want to put the various characters into swimwear. We also then get the beach volleyball, the throwing various people into the water, the guy/girl who is lazing under the umbrella, sandcastle building, shell collecting, part time job serving refreshments and all the other clichés that go with being at the beach.

Of course most of you already know how I feel about water and the beach so needless to say these episodes don’t exactly appeal to me or my ideas around summer.

But that’s okay. Anime has plenty of other summer activities in store for us.

Festival.jpg

For instance we can go to a festival. This usually involves laying out or buying the appropriate clothes, everyone blushing and looking shy, eating some fantastic looking food, goldfish scooping (though what happens to all those goldfish is a question I’d rather never have answered), and probably a fireworks display. It’s fun, it’s energetic, it’s not entirely exclusive to summer as there are festivals in other seasons in anime, but it comes up a lot over the summer holidays and is kind of entertaining to watch.

Not to mention, I really want to eat all of that food. Looks so good.

One cliché that I actually don’t understand at all is the ghost hunt or test of courage. I’m not really sure why this seems to come in around summer time or what the obsession with walking through the woods/abandoned school building at night is but it’s another time honoured cliche that we’re going to run into.

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If the characters are younger we’ll almost always be treated to a bug catching session (or if your characters involve Haruhi Suzumiya in which case you’ll definitely get sick of bug catching by the end of the endless eight). This is usually light and harmless fun and kind of reminds you of just how easy it is to find entertainment when you find joy in little things.

Last one I want to mention is the going to a relative in the country and then proceeding to bash around in semi-wilderness areas or mountains and usually making a random friend that at the end of summer you need to say farewell to.

summer

All and all, summers in anime always look fun and full of things to do (as well as hot and there are a number of characters who would prefer to sleep at home). So for our discussion today I’ll ask you how you spend your summers or which anime summer would you most want to be in?


Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.
Karandi James