Your best anime bet this Christmas

Do you know how I know that I’m out of the loop where soccer is concerned? I thought the World Cup ended that week when we spoke about the best soccer anime and manga.

I don’t know why, but I thought it was a two or three-week event. But here I am, listening to excited chatter about the Argentina Vs France final.

It doesn’t matter. Christmas is here. So, we might as well discuss Christmas-themed anime. The list is shorter than you think, which is why I decided to include shows with one or two Christmas episodes.

Interestingly, every anime has at least one beach episode. But they rarely touch Christmas. Anyway, if you love anime, you already know my first pick.

Tokyo Godfathers is one of the most heartwarming animated movies you will ever watch. The story follows a trio of homeless friends that discover a baby in the trash. Gin and Miyuki would rather leave the girl in the hands of the police. But Hana thinks the baby is a divine gift.

The trio navigates many adventures while searching for the girl’s mother. The 2003 comedy has everything you expect from a holiday-themed tale.

Wolf Children from 2012 initially repelled me because I kept confusing it for Wolf’s Rain, and at the time, I had little interest in sad and depressing content. Wolf Children is hardly the most cheerful anime you will ever watch, but it tags at the heartstrings like every decent piece of Christmas content.

Hana, the protagonist, falls for a wolf boy at 19. When the wolf boy dies, Hana struggles to keep her wolf children away from the prying eyes of her neighbours. This is a Ghibli classic. They never disappoint.

Speaking of classics, at least in my eyes, Usagi Drop was the first slice-of-life anime I ever watched. I had no interest in the genre until 30-year-old Daikichi walked across my screen, and I watched as he tried and somewhat succeeded in raising his grandfather’s illegitimate 6-year-old daughter.

Usagi Drop is not a Christmas anime, but episode 3.5 finds the makeshift family preparing for Christmas. So it counts. Allow me to cheat even further by adding Your Lie In April to this list. The romantic drama is not exactly Christmas-oriented. But like every great Christmas film, this show will move you.

Arima Kosei, the protagonist, is a prodigious young pianist who loses his ability to hear the music he plays when his mother (and piano teacher) dies. Kosei is not deaf. His senses work. But he can’t hear his piano. It takes the intervention of Kaori Miyazono to reach him. If you have friends or family that don’t like anime, probably because they have never watched a single frame of the genre, show them Your Lie In April this Christmas.

This show has it all, from the beautiful animation to the superb soundtrack and emotionally engaging story. And if you are still buzzing with the excitement of the World Cup and would prefer to continue your journey through the world of soccer anime and manga, Naoshi Arakawa (the author of the Your Lie In April manga) wrote Sayonara, Football.

Linden Films (Terra Formars, Berserk, Tokyo Revengers) turned the manga into an anime film. We can end with Santa Company, a Japanese anime short film in which a girl joins a group that delivers Christmas gifts. You can watch the 2014 short film (30 minutes) or the hour-long remake from 2019.

I suppose we should mention Itsudatte My Santa, because it uses all the tropes of a Christmas movie. The protagonist is a boy that hates Christmas. He encounters a girl that teaches him to appreciate life’s many gifts. And that should do it. You have one or two weeks (depending on where you work) to watch these gems. Merry Christmas.

Source: The Observer

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