The Tenth Day of Christmas Anime: To Heart

To Heart
Episode 12: “The Season of Emotions”

With Christmas around the corner, Shiho, suddenly struck by nostalgia involving parties past and old friends, decides that she wants to hold a Christmas party.  She gets the others to help organize the event.  But as the day approaches, instead of joy, Shiho is struck by feelings of confusing and depression as she contemplates her feelings for Hiroyuki.

In this “Christmas” show, the holiday is used to help create a tone of nostalgia and romance, as the episode focuses more on teenage angst than on what Christmas is all about.  That being said, it’s a really good episode (at least for this series).  Shiho’s takes center stage, and I think really takes us back to those silly high school days when crushes consumed us and it seemed the end of the world when those we loved didn’t love us back.  The tone of an episode like this really fits the series (or first season? I haven’t seen beyond that), which is almost strangely bland and nostalgic; adding to that is the 1980’s vibe of the show, reflected in the music and quality of animation.

The episode reflects the great strength of this mediocre show – the characters.  Though they’re generally poorly developed (Hiroyuki is an animated version of a K-drama lead – annoyingly selfish and unrealistically clueless, while Hikari has zero personality), they feel as if they could (and should) be our friends.  Maybe the boring, regular talk between the main characters is realistic.  Or maybe it’s that the show feels like 1990’s Saturday morning syndication, which featured groups like the Bayside High gang, whose even basic conversation and events weren’t the least bit realistic, but who still felt like they were our television friends.

Regardless, it’s a nice episode (even with little to do with Christmas) and one that a viewer can watch without having tuned in to any previous ones.  At the very least, you can wonder where all this money for renting a club and buying decorations inexplicably comes from, while enjoying the characters’ invitations to their maid android, millionaire heiress, psychic, and cute martial artist friends.  Yeah.

Christmas Spirit Score

1 Santa Kero out of 4

If This Episode Was  a Christmas Song, It Would Be…

“Brick” – It’s not technically a Christmas song and this episode has nothing to do with the song’s focus (abortion).  But the events of “Brick” take place at Christmas and the song is a fixture for me in December – and it captures the depressing and heartbreaking tone of this episode:

Then I walk down to buy her flowers
And sell some gifts that I got
Can’t you see
It’s not me you’re dying for
Now she’s feeling more alone
Than she ever has before

She’s a brick and I’m drowning slowly
Off the coast and I’m headed nowhere
She’s a brick and I’m drowning slowly

Tomorrow’s Forecast

Perfect weather for the 1000th day in a row for those in their geodesic domes!  But if you can’t afford to live in one, well…

On the tenth day of Christmas, anime gave to menostalgic Christmas parties,
Ami and Taiga singing
love changing a boy into a man,
three homeless heroes,
a widow knitting scarves,
Rin’s charming grins,
Naru looking pretty,
knitting for a crush,
a Paper Sisters birthday,
and friends for a former emperor.

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