Nabari episode 18 is not a cheery anime episode. The Christmas season is considered to be a joyous time, but that isn’t the case for many of us. Nabari shows a side of Christmas in this episode that we tend to look over, as well as some very Japanese elements of the Christmas celebration.
This episode is mainly about a character named Yoite finding out he has very little time to live. All around people are going on with their lives, but he is dying. He can’t be saved. He want his existence to be as though he had never been born. He is a professional killer and part of a ninja clan. The only person who cares about him is a young kid, named Miharu, who he is threatening, in order that he can be erased from the world by the most powerful ninja weapon. Miharu can’t control this weapon, but it lives inside of him. The entire ninja world wants the power, but if he can manage to use it to save Yoite then Yoite won’t kill his friends. If he fails, all his friends will die when Yoite dies. Needless to say, time is running out. Yoite is almost dead.
When Yoite finds out how little time he has to live, he lashes out on another ninja who is unconscious in the hospital and then flees. He then wanders through downtown streets covered in snow as happy couples walk by. The world is completely oblivious to him. They don’t notice him coughing up blood or hiding on a walkway above the road. All the couples continue happily on. Then someone finds him. The only “friend” he has, Miharu. Yoite cries out for Miharu to save him, which conflicts Miahru more. He can relate to Yoite and wants to help him not erase him, but that would mean three of his friends would be killed.
I like this episode because it highlights something important. What is the worth of Christmas? Is it about gifts? Is it about happiness? I believe it must be worth so much more. If Christmas is about presents, happiness, and the American dream, then it will not stand the test of time. It will leave us broken and bitter about what we think we want, need, and deserve. If Christmas is about God coming from heaven, giving up everything, so that he could save us, show his love for us, and spend an eternity with us, than it will have an unprecedented importance. Honestly, I don’t care about a Christmas tree, or ornaments, or birthday cake and Kentucky Fried Chicken (Japanese traditions for Christmas). Spending time with family is nice, but ultimately, it must be about Christ. That is the only way it will bring joy, peace, and hope.