It’s holiday time. The weather outside is chilly, but hopefully not scary. Decorations adorn homes and festive music fills the air. As families gather around the fireplace, roasting marshmallows and drinking hot chocolate, someone is likely to turn one on Christmas movie for all to see.
Instead of watching A Christmas carol for the 50th time, watching the nasty old Grinch steal presents from the boys and girls of Whoville, or even witness the magic of the holidays through the eyes of George Bailey in It’s a wonderful life, try shaking things up this year. Instead of the traditional favorites, see some special ones holiday-inspired anime episodes or movies.
There are so many different interpretations of what makes a great holiday movie: fun, adventurous, hopeful, light-hearted, romantic, and so many other adjectives. Some of the anime listed may follow the traditional holiday classics to a tee, while others may leave viewers feeling a little wistful.
It’s heartwarming Tokyo Godfathers by the late Japanese anime and manga artist Satoshi Kon is about three homeless people, all of whom have lost faith in humanity. They find a baby in the trash and set off on an adventure across Tokyo to find the baby girl’s parents. A series of inexplicable miracles take place throughout the film and will make viewers feel that life will get better.
Tokyo Godfathers can be viewed Amazon Prime Video.
The cute romantic anime Toradora!, about two high school students who fall in love after trying to set each other up with their friends, has three episodes dedicated to the holiday season. Episodes 17-19 are built around the most magical time of the year when the students at the school prepare for a Christmas Eve festival and begin to realize their feelings for each other.
Toradora! can be viewed Netflix.
Sword art online
The futuristic anime Sword art online focuses on a group of players who all log into a massively multiplayer role-playing game, but are unable to leave the game. If they die in the game, they die in real life. If they leave the game early, they die. In episode 3’s “The Red-Nosed Reindeer”, lone wolf Kirito agrees to team up with some other players for a special Christmas-themed part of the game, but blames himself when people die. This episode is heartbreaking and definitely won’t put you in the Christmas spirit.
Sword art online can be viewed Netflix.
There are several episodes with a Christmas theme in it Pokémon anime, such as “Holiday Hi-Jynx”, “Christmas Night”, “Stantler’s Little Helpers” and “Delibird’s Dilemma”. Each episode is focused on helping to save Christmas in one way or another.
Ash and the gang meet the big man in red in the episode “Holiday Hi-Jynx”. In this cute episode, Pokémon Jynx is shown to be Santa’s helper, kind of like an elf.
“Christmas Night” is a short from Pikachu’s Winter Vacationabout Pikachu and his Pokémon friends basically throwing a Christmas party, destroying the house, and then rushing to clean up the mess before Ash, Misty, and Brock return.
In another card from Pikachu’s Winter Vacation, the Pokémon spots a flash of red light across the sky and goes to investigate only to find Santa trying to help one of his Stantlers, who is not doing well. To save Christmas so Stantler can pull Santa’s sleigh, Pikachu and friends help search for a special berry to heal the sick Pokémon.
In “Delibird’s Dilemma”, while Pikachu and his Pokémon friends are playing in the snow, they accidentally knock a Delibird out of the sky, spilling all the presents that were in his sack for Santa. To save Christmas, all Pokémon help look for the missing presents so that Santa can deliver them for Christmas.
Pokémon can be viewed Netflix.
Kimi ni Todoke
The romantic anime Kimi ni Todoke is about Sawako, an outcast girl’s name made fun of because of her resemblance to the creepy girl from The ring, who falls for the most popular boy in school, Shōta. In the episode simply titled “A Christmas”, Shōta throws a Christmas party, and Sawako is torn between spending the holiday with her family or spending it with her crush.
Kimi ni Todoke can be viewed Crunchyroll.
Umaru is already one of the cutest and smallest girls in anime, so throwing in a little Christmas is sure to be magical. Episode eight of Himouto! Umaru-chan is centered around Christmas and New Year, and really highlights the close bond between Umaru and his brother Taihei.
Himouto! Umaru-chan can be viewed Amazon Prime Video.
Itsudatte My Santa
Itsudatte My Santa is about a boy named Santa who hates everything about his name, including Christmas. He meets a mysterious girl named Mae who loves the holidays and makes it her mission in life to show Santa the joy of the Christmas season. This two-part film is about as heartwarming as they come.
Itsudatte My Santa can be seen on Anime Planet.
Card Catcher Sakura
The anime Card Catcher Sakura somehow mixes romance with magic to up the whimsy factor during its own Christmas episode “Sakura’s Wonderful Christmas”. After Sakura works up the courage to ask Yukito on a date to the theme park, things go wrong. The episode is funny and cute, with an ending that makes you feel hopeful.
Card Catcher Sakura can be viewed Crunchyroll.
My Senpai is annoying
The funny romantic anime My Senpai is annoying, about a small woman who falls for a large man she works with, has a wonderful Christmas episode called “And Then, It’s Christmas”. The episode centers around the office Christmas party and gifts exchanged between Igarashi and Takeda.
My Senpai is annoying can be viewed Funimation.
Hetalia: Axis Powers
Hetalia: Axis Powers is a fun, educational anime that teaches historical events through comedy. The funny Christmas episode “Christmas Around the World” is about how differently Christmas is celebrated around the world.
Hetalia: Axis Powers can be viewed Funimation.