I was the day late with Halloween so I decided I’d do Christmas episode a little bit earlier. 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.
Please Note – Probably nothing too spoiler worthy this week.
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
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
Definitely not capturing the spirit of Christmas, I liked this episode because it tapped in to a few different ideas. Firstly it 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 Christmas 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
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 anime episodes.