Thanksgiving has past and Christmastime is now upon us. For me, that traditionally means watching Christmas shows and movies. In recent years, I’ve added Christmas anime, which have become as ubiquitous as anime beach episodes, to my regular holiday viewing list. I’ve now watched dozens and dozens of Christmas anime episodes – many are certainly terrible, but there are a plethora of good ones as well. I’ll be giving you what I believe are the ten best, starting with numbers 6-10 today, and concluding with the top five tomorrow.
Toradora has three episodes set around Christmastime (17, 18, and 19). Although there’s nothing particularly special about how Christmas is presented in them – parties, trees, presents, love – the episodes are notable for pushing forward the romantic plot of the story and developing the characters of Taiga, Minori, and Ami, sometimes through unexpected events, like Minori’s baseball/tree mishap.
I’m not a huge K-On! fan, but even I can’t deny that episode seven of the show is possibly the most popular Christmas episode of any anime. Shown largely from Ui’s perspective, the episode follows the gang as they have a mini-talent show as part of a friend-centered Christmas celebration. One of our writers, Goldy, particularly connected to sisterly connections in this episode.
Matching the sweet tone of the series, Kimi ni Todoke’s Christmas episode (22) focuses on Sawako’s pure heart. She’s been invited to a Christmas party and wants to attend to celebrate with Kazehaya and all her friends, but is conflicted because the day is very important to her family, particularly her dad. It’s a very nice episode, both heart-warming and romantic.
7. Big O
An example of a series that actually uses Christmas to further it’s plot, episode eleven of Big O hits a surprisingly cheery note for a post-apocalyptic series, and it does it in a way only Big O can: Santa is there, though he’s a bit crazed; Roger plays the role of Scrooge; there’s gift shopping, though it’s done by an android instead of a human; and the “reason for the season” is revealed in a dialogue that reminds viewers of the characters’ lost memories.
6. Read or Die
Even if you haven’t watched the series of OVAs, like me, you’ll find episode 10 of Read or Die to be an absolute treat. Focusing on the Paper Sisters, the episode subtly emphasizes the importance of the holiday through imagery and mention of Christ and Santa, while also impressing the nicely emotion story of how the sisters came together.
Come back tomorrow as we run down the rest of the list!