Shiina Mashiro Santa Christmas

It’s that time of year again. As Snow begins to fall and presents are exchanged, we come together and do what everyone does during the holidays. Binge watching Christmas anime of course.

Christmas-themed episodes are a staple of media be it cartoons, sitcoms, or even the occasional drama. Anime is no stranger to the Christmas episode either but anime likes to take things up a notch.

Not only are the usual merry festivities on display but a cavalcade of Christmas attire, new opening remixes, and bountiful chestnuts roasting on an open fire.

What a truly wonderful time of the year. Should you find yourself with some free time this holiday season – why not treat yourself to this advent calendar of a list. Countdown the days until Christmas with a brand new Christmas anime episode each and every day!

So, without further ado, let’s kick this sleigh into overdrive!

1. Cardcaptor Sakura Sakura’s Wonderful Christmas

MAL: 8.16

Episode: 35

Let’s start things off with Cardcaptor Sakura. In such a long-running series spanning 70 episodes, there had to be at least one festively themed Christmas episode! This episode in particular is one of note. A recurring dream, a puzzling dilemma, and an incredibly powerful spirit – how will Sakura make her way out of this one?

Sakura and Yukito standing next to each other from Cardcaptor Sakura Episode 35 Christmas anime episode
Sakura and Yukito standing next to each other in festive attire

Sakura, having been tasked with collecting every last Clow Card, leads her to an amusement park. She has been struggling with what to buy Yukito for his birthday and, after a short consultation with Meiling, the gang enjoys the holiday rides.

However, Sakura’s precognitive night visions were not one’s of fallacy, as their fun is cut short by the Firey Clow Card. The Firey in particular is very high ranking and extremely powerful. Nevertheless, Sakura and Syaoran don their magical girl robes and head off into a Christmas battle.

This episode has a great mixture of both intimate Christmas moments (such as the top of a Ferris wheel surrounded by dazzling lights), as well as fast-paced action when Sakura does battle with the Firey. The greater portion of this show focuses heavily on Sakura’s indecision regarding gift-giving. We’ve all been in the situation where we want to give that special someone the perfect gift for Christmas but can’t decide on what it should be.

All in all, a great Christmas episode and one that does not disappoint with the ongoing plot threads developed thus far. It’s rare to see an adventure anime such as this focus so much on its relationships but that is what makes both Cardcaptor Sakura and this Christmas anime episode so unique.

2. Digimon Adventure 02 A Very Digi-Christmas

MAL: 7.25

Episode: 38

‘Twas the night before Digi-mas, we gave Agumon a clap.

For we’d not heard such lyricism, since the famed Digi-Rap

The best Digimon lyricism next to the Digi-Rap

Season two of Digimon has arrived, bringing with it a new host of Digi-Destined to take the metaphorical reins from Tai and the gang. The original Digi-Destined, having conquered their nemesis and escaped entrapment from the digital world, have matured slightly and are unable to devote as much time as necessary to the upkeep of the digital world.

Set on Christmas Eve, the younger Digi-Destined are hosting a party while the older group attend Matt’s concert. However, the festivities are soon interrupted as Digimon begin pouring into the real world. Forced to cut the merriment short and send them back where they came from, the Digi-Destined take up their Digi-vices and their Digimon and proceed to send the invading Digimon back into the digital world.

Take a shot of eggnog for every time you read ‘Digi’.

Digimon and Christmas Traditions

Before the invasion, this episode starts out very quaintly. We get a cute introduction as to what all the Digi-Destined do over the holidays in the form of a Christmas song parody which always puts a smile on my face. Everyone has their own Christmas traditions whether it be spending time with family, eating yourself into a coma, or sleeping away the time until the new year; this episode encapsulates all of the differing traditions that one might have at this time of the year.

The Christmas saga, if it can be called that, spans until episode 42 so be prepared to invest some time if you want to see the thrilling conclusion. Do the Digimon get home safely? Can Matt for once focus on his music career for longer than five minutes? Will you indulge in a drinking game for every time you hear the word ‘Digi’!?

All of this and more can be answered by getting started from episode 38 of this great adventure anime.

3. Sakura-sou no Pet na Kanojo (The Pet Girl of Sakurasou) Windows and Lights on Christmas Eve

MAL: 8.21

Episode: 14

Christmas is a time for change. With presents changing our everyday lives and New Year on the horizon, what better way is there to express to your audience the wonderful possibilities of the future; than with a brand new and tailored opening for your Christmas episode.

You could also put in said episode, one of the most heart-wrenching, gut-punching scenes in all of slice of life anime.

Heed these words before watching this Christmas anime. You have been warned.

Sakura-sou Christmas opening theme

Episode 14 of Sakura-so is a turning point in the series. Up until now, nothing too serious or too detrimental has occurred. Likewise, the start of this episode proceeds like any other. Sorata and Nanami enjoy Christmas Eve together, but discover Mashiro has left the party early. They race off to find her until they eventually reunite. Sorata comes to learn that he has passed the preliminary exams for his next school.

And then the episode ends. Yep, just like that. I know – I was surprised as well. A Christmas episode that will go down in history as one of the greats no doubt. A warm sentimental story that tugs on the heartstrings of any who watch it and…

Why is Misaki lying naked on the floor?

Sakura-sou and the Reality of Christmas

Upon returning home, the group comes to realize that Misaki had poured her heart out to Jin but had been rejected. Absolutely devastated, she struggles to find the reason as to what could possibly be wrong with her.

We all remember the moment it happened to us. Perhaps you were younger or maybe even slightly older. Still, at whatever age it occurred, none can escape the memory of the triple suplex our brains suffered when told that Santa Claus was not real (sorry to those just finding out now).

Shattering the illusion of this mystical holiday, this realization acted as the first step on the road to adulthood. Sakura-sou emulates this perfectly. The entire anime focuses on change, graduation and moving forward in life. Every moment of happiness is undercut with the knowledge that it will soon come to an end.

Similarly, this episode begins fairly light-hearted. Much like our youthful belief in Santa, nothing can seemingly go wrong. Yet, upon returning home, much like our ascent to maturity, our cast come to find that perhaps Christmas isn’t so magical after all.

4. Clannad: After Story Graduation

MAL: 8.96

Episode: 13

It isn’t too uncommon to partake in some more adult refreshments during Christmas. Perhaps even two or three glasses – the more the merrier! However, it is always important to know one’s limits, lest you end up accusing your boyfriend of being in love with well-endowed mother.

Nagisa drinking alcohol for the first time

Following the lives of high school every man Tomoya and his partner Nagisa, this episode goes a mile a minute with regards to Clannad’s plot. Tomoya is in love and has decided that he wants to marry Nagisa. Wanting the father’s permission, he trains tirelessly to win Akio’s approval. Upon finally reaching a certain baseball-related milestone, Akio consents.

As Christmas rolls around and Nagisa turns 20, she is treated to her first sip of sake resulting in this hilarious scene. Later, after several complications with regards to Nagisa’s health, the two finally make the vows and get marries.

What does Christmas mean to you? Presents, carols, Christmas anime? All of those things relate to Christmas but what is the common denominator in all of them?


Clannad: After Story, Christmas, and Family

Whether it be close friends or blood relations, Christmas is a time to come together as a collective and celebrate how much you mean to each other. Nagisa’s drinking scene perfectly emulates a traditional family during the Christmas season. Teasing, joking, laughing and much more are found in this episode and it is simply heart-warming to watch. Clannad as a slice of life anime excels in these intimate moments and this episode is no exception.

This episode also acts as a great mid-way break before the eventual turmoil that befalls the latter half of Clannad: After Story. Much in the way that Boxing Day has you longing for the sweet release of death after eating and drinking too much turkey and alcohol, upon finishing the series, you’ll want to return to this episode as soon as possible.

5. Ore Monogatari!! (My Love Story!!) My Christmas

MAL: 7.98

Episode: 17

Forget what you think you know about Christmas. In Japan, those preconceived notions will result in nothing but funny looks. Tell your family you won’t be making it to Christmas dinner this year. Instead, we’re on the lookout for love.

Takeo isn’t so conventionally attractive and receives a large amount of preconceived hatred due to his intimidating demeanor. It isn’t until he rescues Rinko from a pervert on a train ride that people start to uncover the gentle caramel center inside of him.

During this holiday episode, Takeo learns that his friend plans to confess to one of Rinko’s friends. Doing all they can to make the confession run smoothly, they arrange a party in hopes that the two can finally get together.

Unfortunately, Takeo’s friend’s overbearing personality rebuffs his potential lover at first. Moreover, his cowardice when facing a group of delinquents only lowers his chances with Rinko’s friend. However, after some tough love from Takeo, telling Kurihara to man up – he obtains a star from the top of a giant Christmas tree, confesses his feelings, and the two start their new relationship.

While Christmas is reserved for the family in the West, in Japan; Christmas is actually a holiday reserved for couples. Not being a national holiday, many people simply get up and go to work as usual. However, for the youth, this is a very important time of the year to spend with that special someone.

Supposing you don’t have that special someone yet. Well, don’t fret. Christmas is a time for new beginnings. Take the advice from this Christmas anime. With New Year only several days away, use the spurt of energy that comes from making a New Year’s resolution in order to push yourself into making your own confession.

Continue reading Ore Monogatari!! from where the anime stopped by purchasing the manga. This is the best way to support your mangaka.

6. Wotaku ni Koi wa Muzukashii (Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku) Bleak Christmas

MAL: 7.97

Episode: 6

Otaku care about Christmas as well! Just because we hold up in our basements 99% of the year, doesn’t mean we can’t adorn it with several Christmas lights during the holidays!

Tis the season after all.

Naoya giving out free coffee samples dressed as Santa Claus
Naoya giving out free coffee samples dressed as Santa Claus

Nothing really happens in this episode of particular dramatic progression. Our main couple discusses manga and games as usual, before returning home and ringing in the season together. Kabakura and Koyanagi enjoy a nice romantic dinner at a fancy restaurant. All in all, this episode is just incredibly wholesome and perfectly suited for a slice of life anime.

Naoya offers a speech while dressed as Santa Claus. He states that he enjoys bringing to joy to those around him while being dressed as Santa Claus.

Similarly to Sakura-sou, our characters here are adults, long since under the knowledge that Santa is not real. Sakura-sou pays respect to the bitter sting this sudden realization leaves in your mouth. However, Wotakoi embraces it – encouraging its audience that anyone can be Santa as long as they are willing to make an effort for their fellow man.

I think that is a message we can all stand to pay heed to.

7. Sword Art Online The Red-Nosed Reindeer

MAL: 7.29

Episode: 3

Ooh, this one hurts. This one really, really hurts. Fans of SAO already know where this episode leads so let’s get started with one of the most surprising episodes in adventure anime history.

Kirito listening to Sachi's message during the Christmas anime episode of Sword Art Online
Kirito listening to Sachi’s message

After being trapped in a virtual reality game, with no means of escape aside from beating the final boss, you would think Kirito would have more of a sense of urgency. However, due to his beta tester status, he breezes through the early game to reach ridiculously overpowered levels when compared to the other players.

His status however sees him labelled as a cheater and thus has him segregated from the rest of the player base. Deciding that the lone wolf lifestyle has gone on long enough, he decides to join a guild known as the Moonlit Black Cats.

Kirito bonds with his clan members, especially so with a young girl named Sachi. Sachi confides in Kirito her fear of dying but Kirito reassures her, content in the knowledge that his level of strength should be enough to combat any adversary.

After reaching the 27th floor, the group are ambushed upon springing a trap. Kirito, having overestimated his strength and being unable to combat so many foes at once, fails to protect his guild – resulting in all of them being wiped out. For those unaware, death in the land of SAO, results in death in the real world as well.

Later, upon learning of Kirito’s hidden ability and his clan’s demise, a fellow guild member not present at the massacre commits suicide. Alone, cold and depressed, Kirito spends the holiday season listening to a pre-recorded message that Sachi had made for him, encouraging him to do his best in the future.

Sword Art Online’s Miserable Christmas

This episode was a real kick in the teeth, especially being featured as early as episode three. We are given hope that Sachi could be revived through a special item. Kirito travels and defeats a Santa-like enemy but in the end, his efforts are rendered futile.

As much as Christmas is a time for joy and wonder, it is still just a normal calendar day of the year where anything could happen. Christmas does not bring with it the promise of joy and wonder. Nor does New Year bring with it the promise of resolution. These are all abstract constructs we as humans have created to make sense of the world around us. To give us hope in times of despair.

In some cases, Christmas is something to look forward to; be it a break from work, a Christmas dinner, or a Christmas present. These are enough to fuel our bodies through the final stretch of the year. Yet, in those cases where your world seems to be tumbling down around you; I suppose the least you can hope for are some kind words from a loved one.

Sachi’s death

8. K-On! Christmas!

MAL: 7.84

Episode: 7

Let’s leave the bleak reality of Christmas behind for a moment with our next Christmas anime entry, and remember the true reason this holiday is celebrated.

The birth of who? I’m talking about the presents of course!

K-On! Santa outfit for the Christmas anime episode
K-On! Santa outift

After remembering a long lost Christmas where her sister, Yui, attempted to simulate snowfall using pillow stuffing, younger sister Ui wants to recreate that magical time with her friends. Similar to Wotakoi, nothing too monumental happens during this episode. The central plot revolves around the girls going Christmas shopping before returning home to their party and exchanging gifts.

Buying gifts can be both exceedingly troublesome but incredibly satisfying and K-On! does a great job at showcasing the gift buying experience. Toiling for hours on what to buy that special someone to knock their Christmas socks off. Then, upon giving said gift and witnessing the recipient’s smile makes all the indecision worth it.

K-On! uses its Christmas episode to create very wholesome moments between its cast who are arguably the most integral part of the show. if you love interesting and funny character interactions over the backdrop of Christmas, I cannot recommend this one enough.

9. Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu (The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya)

MAL: 8.66

Continuing from the hit series The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, here comes a feature-length story set over Christmas.

The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya Trailer

The SOS brigade led by Haruhi are in full motion as they plan a nabe Christmas party. However, when said Christmas day arrives and Kyon heads to school, he comes to find that nobody remembers Haruhi nor the SOS brigade. How will Kyon handle being thrust into such a supernatural situation?

This movie is wonderful in its own right but I also love the mystery around Haruhi’s disappearance. When we were younger, Christmas was a time of wonder and magic. How does Santa fit down a chimney if he is so fat? Why can Santa’s reindeer fly but normal reindeer can’t? What are the criteria for getting put onto the naughty list, not getting a Nintendo Wii on release day and being forced to play GameCube games all Winter until the consoles came back in stock? So many unanswered questions.

Similarly with Kyon, he struggles to come to terms with the situation around him. The relationships between him and his peers have shifted due to the lack of Haruhi and the SOS Brigade’s influence. He must follow several clues to uncover what exactly happened to him and Haruhi. This movie is a very interesting, non-traditional approach to the typical Christmas anime storyline and one that is definitely worth a watch.

10. Toradora! Mercury Retrogrades at Christmas/Under the Fir Tree/Christmas Eve Festival

MAL: 8.27

Episode: 17-19

Yes, this isn’t exactly fair including this trilogy of Christmas anime episodes when other Christmas anime featured only received one. Yet, Christmas is a time for giving and what better present is there than a slightly extended featurette on one of the most exclusive and well-received anime websites of all time? Besides, this trio of episodes earns their inclusion and then some. Strap in, there hasn’t been this much drama in a trilogy since the Disney Star Wars releases.

Ryuji dressed as a bear for Taiga during the Christmas anime episodes of Toradora!
Ryuji dressed as a bear for Taiga

The plot of these three episodes focuses on decorating for a Christmas party. We have the usual Christmas tropes. Christmas shopping, a big tree, gift exchange, a party. Nothing too out of the ordinary. For those unaware, the premise of Toradora! follows Ryuji and Taiga. Both in love with the other’s friend, they work together to play matchmaker for the other’s benefit.

Upon receiving several rejections from his love interest, Ryuji comes to learn that perhaps, the person he had been looking for all along had been right there beside him. One of the first instances of Ryuji’s feelings for Taiga, and in turn Taiga’s feelings for Ryuji spill to the surface over these Christmas episodes. Toradora! is a beloved slice of life anime and the complicated relationships between cast members are a joy to watch.

Toradora! and Getting What You Want For Christmas

As mentioned before, Christmas is a time for giving. However, screw that! While giving is important and peacefulness and goodwill to all men and everything; sometimes it is important to focus on yourself and get what you deserve.

Just because it is the holidays does not mean you are obligated to spend the entire day preparing dinner by yourself. Nor are you obligated to use your entire life savings on a diamond necklace. Much like Taiga who was willing to give away Ryuji, she now realizes that for her to be happy, it is OK to be selfish every once in a while.

And if a holiday about getting presents and gluttonous eating doesn’t allow for such selfishness, then I don’t know when does!

Taiga crying in Episode 19

11. Love Hina Christmas Special: Silent Eve

MAL: 7.35

As another round of preliminary tests approach, our cast are well underway with their studying. However, a rumor surfaces that should one confess their love at this time, it is guaranteed to be reciprocated. Met with such a notion, what exactly should Keitaro do?

Keitaro concluding that his confession would be bothersome for Naru

This special hit me in places I did not even know existed. On the surface, the plot fluctuates from happy merriment to depressive anxiety. However, all of this is running in tandem with the looming exams coming up. Keitaro being a re-taker, he really cannot afford to be spending so much time worrying about this confession.

Similarly, Winter vacation is a nice break but where you spend a lot of the time enjoying the rest, in reality you should be studying for the new semester or catching up on a backlog of work. Then, when January rolls around, you wonder where all the time went. This special blends its romance with a ticking clock subplot to deliver a very interesting Christmas anime.

12. Azumanga Daioh Osaka’s Scary Story / Feeling Different / December / Incredible Santa / Christmas Meeting

MAL: 7.98

Episode: 17

Azumanga Daioh is a fragmented anime series in the sense that instead of a full twenty-minute episode, several featurettes are played at a significantly shorter length each usually with their own independent storylines. The first half of this episode does not relate to Christmas. However, the second half more than makes up for this with its hilarious discussions on Santa Claus.

Starting to question the logicality of Santa Claus, this episode delves into the many explanations that a child’s imagination could concoct in order to prove his legitimacy. It’s very amusing as we dart from how Santa can deliver so many presents due to government funding, before continuing to a debate about the existence of reindeer. We also see a very interesting take on the common reveal that one’s father is Santa Claus, taken a bit to literally.

After a very amusing several minutes, the gang eventually make their way to a karaoke bar to ring in the holidays. One of the greatest joys in Christmas is everyone having the same break from either school or work. Coming together as a family does not have to be reserved for one’s blood relatives. Spending time with friends, laughing and joking is just as important and Azumanga Daioh highlights this excellently.

13. Pokémon Pikachu’s Winter Vacation

MAL: 6.53

This one tickles my nostalgia bone in all the right places. You see, back in my day; we didn’t have your fancy telephone devices or animatronic video disc dispensers. We used good ol’ fashioned VHS tapes and we were happy to do it!

Before the ‘OK Boomer’ comments run rampant, I’m sure many of you harbor some favoritism for things from your childhood. This collection of Pokémon Christmas shorts just warms my withered mid-twenties bones.

Stantler’s Little Helpers Final Scene

For these mini-episodes, we join the Pokémon of Brock, Ash, and Misty as they go through several wintery adventures. Whether it be Stantler’s Little Helpers seeing the gang having to aid an ailing Stantler to pull Santa’s sleigh or Winter Games whether Pokémon all go ice skating – you won’t be short of adorable Pokémon goodness with these episodes.

As we grow up and Christmas becomes just another day, and snow becomes nothing but a hindrance when trying to travel – unearthing that centuries-old Gameboy you received for Christmas during your childhood can open the door to feelings lost since past. Nostalgia is a powerful tool and Christmas always seems to bring out the child in us. Pikachu’s Winter Vacation taps into that childlike wonder you experienced opening your first game console all those years ago. Who could forget that first-ever console – the Nintendo 64.

I mean Nintendo GameCube? NINTENDO WII!? Just how old am I?

If you are in the mood for reliving some of the glory days this year, check out Pikachu’s Winter Vacation for some quality old-school Pokémon content.

P.S: Yes, I know Holiday Hi-Jynx is a thing – just let a man gush about an old VHS tape for a while, would you?

14. Angel Beats! Alive

MAL: 8.17

Episode: 7

Angel Beats! is a show about unfinished business. Without delving too deep into the premise of the show as to avoid spoilers, episode 7 titled ‘Alive’ is not inherently a Christmas episode. However, such a story set around the holiday season deserves a placing on this list.

Otonashi carrying his sister Hatsune through Christmas lights in the Christmas anime episode of Angel Beats!
Otonashi carrying his sister Hatsune

After waking in a strange school and being attacked by a young girl, Otonashi joins a group known as SSS who attempt to combat this world.

OK, I think that’s about as much as can be said without exploring Angel Beats! further so this is the official spoiler warning.

Angel Beats! is set in limbo, where those who had experienced trauma or hardships in life must overcome them before being reincarnated. Otonashi upon arriving has no recollection of his previous life. However, during this episode; we are given an insight into his past.

We see Otonashi caring for his bedridden sister by taking her to see some Christmas lights. He works tirelessly at multiple jobs to raise enough money to pay the expenses, however as her condition worsens, all hope of her leaving the hospital seems lost.

In a last-ditch effort to make her wish come true – he ignores the advice of the doctors and takes her to see the lights. She thanks him for all he had done for her and as Otonashi continued to walk and talk under the light of the trees, he was blissfully unaware that Hatsune had already passed away on his back.

Angel Beats! and Christmas Wishes

Angel Beats! is already a grueling slog in the latter half of the series as you will start to go through tissue boxes faster than when you found your first Playboy. Nevertheless, Christmas is all about making wishes come true. While in Otonashi’s case, it could be said that he was wildly irresponsible for ignoring the advice of trained professionals and I can agree with that.

However, for those of us who have the ability to do something for a loved one and make their wish come true – let’s follow Otonashi’s sentiment and determination in this Christmas anime episode. Make this Christmas one that can never be forgotten.

15. Himouto! Umaru-chan Umaru and Christmas and New Year’s

MAL: 7.19

Episode: 8

We all have different personalities at home, at work or at school. Different ways we act around different people. However, what if your sibling’s personalities differed so drastically that they regressed to that of a child every time you came home.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you; Umaru Doma.

Umaru-chan Christmas moments

Umaru Doma is the image of perfection at school with top grades, top looks, and many talents. However, when she returns home with her older brother Taihei, she transforms into a child-sized layabout who is addicted to her hobbies.

Umaru-chan teaches us to enjoy the little things in life. While going out to a crowded Christmas party seems like what is expected nowadays; in reality, all that is needed to be happy is a bargain bucket from KFC, a two-liter bottle of coke, and someone to spend the day with.

Sometimes, it is OK to be lazy. Winter is a time for hibernation so follow Umaru’s advice and cozy away in your Christmas bunker watching Christmas anime until Spring!

16. Kimi ni Todoke Christmas

MAL: 8.03

Episode: 22

Kimi ni Todoke is one of the most popular love stories of all time. We join this episode in the latter half of the first season. With emotions running high – who knows what could happen.

Kazehaya waiting for Sawako in the snow - Christmas anime episode of Kimi ni Todoke
Kazehaya waiting for Sawako in the snow

This episode focuses primarily on Sawako as she struggles to decide how to spend her Christmas. Traditionally, Sawako spends Christmas with her family. However, this year a party is being held and Sawako wrestles with the decision to attend.

Ultimately, she stays with her parents until they realize that perhaps she is too old to be treated like a child anymore. Sawako rushes off to join the party but is too late as everyone has already left. Yet, under the cascading snowfall – a lone figure can be seen who had waited for her the entire time.

The transition from childhood to adulthood is one we have all experienced. Whether it be Christmas, Halloween or New Year – the difference in desired activity can be jarring. To go from trick-or-treating, counting down with sparklers and eating Christmas dinner; to spending time with friends partying is one that comes with age.

Kimi ni Todoke does a good job of showcasing this limbo that Sawako and we all experience at such a time in our lives.

Continue reading Kimi ni Todoke from where the anime stopped by purchasing the manga. This is the best way to support your mangaka.

17. Usagi Drop (Bunny Drop) OVA Dear Santa

MAL: 8.44

Usagi Drop’s plot follows thirty-year-old Daikichi, as he becomes the guardian to the illegitimate six-year-old daughter of his grandfather. In this special OVA – the two prepare for Christmas together.

Usagi Drop's Rin putting a star on top of a Christmas tree during Christmas anime episode of Usagi Drop
Usagi Drop’s Rin putting a star on top of a Christmas tree

Up until now, this list has focused primarily on the personal approach to Christmas. Spending time with people in your own age group and even though I touched on selflessness at this time of year; it was mainly targeted towards friends your own age. Ensuring a wonderful Christmas for a child is an entirely different ball game.

Usagi Drop is already such a touching anime but this OVA goes above and beyond in showing viewing Christmas, as an adult, through the lens of a child. Should you ever plan to have children in the future, or perhaps you have nieces and nephews still under the magical spell of Santa and his reindeer, Usagi Drop can offer some good advice for how to be prepared.

Continue reading Usagi Drop from where the anime stopped by purchasing the manga. This is the best way to support your mangaka.

18. Tokyo Godfathers

MAL: 8.29

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A runaway teenager, a drag queen, and a belligerent drunk walk into a bar. The bartender says “find this baby’s mother for me”. And the trio says “OK!”

That one always cracks me up.

The trio search for Kiyoko

One of the most unique concepts I have seen here people for any Christmas anime. As three homeless people rummage through garbage in an attempt to Christmas presents; they happen upon an abandoned baby. Only knowing the name of the baby as Kiyoko; they embark on a Christmas journey to find her mother.

As the search for the mother progresses, the trio come to learn about their own future and how they are wasting their lives. By the end of the movie; they come to understand that perhaps they have a place in this world after all.

The term ‘Christmas miracle’ gets thrown around a lot these days. However, if you were truly looking for the Christmas miracle of anime movies – Tokyo Godfathers is it.

19. Gintama Santa Claus Red Is Blood Red/Everybody’s A Santa

MAL: 8.97

Episode: 200-201

Gintama is a samurai anime like no other. Mentioned on our best samurai anime list; Gintama is set in an alternate history where aliens have invaded Feudal Japan and samurai are abolished. Gintoki fights for the rights of Samurai and alongside his crew of rag-tag stragglers – the three complete any jobs asked of them in exchange for payment.

Parodying Japanese government, anime, and just about anything else you could imagine – A Gintama Christmas episode has already got our expectations through the roof.


Let’s talk about Santa for a minute. What makes Santa, Santa?

White Fluffy Beard
Big Round Belly
Kind-hearted (non-violent)
Deadly Samurai
Criteria for being Santa

After Kagura laments her never being visited by Santa – her father decides to dress up and surprise her. However, he is confronted by Gintoki – who has also decided to do the same. Each believing the other to be the real deal, they engage in combat until a plethora of other Santa look-alikes come crashing in to add to the hilarity.

It’s very amusing to see each character express what they believe Santa Claus (and in turn – unconditional generosity) to be like. They each engage in combat at the request of Kagura to prove who is fit to be crowned King of the Santas.

It’s physically impossible to hate Santa Claus. Having been spoofed to no end in horror movies, action movies, and comedy movies – Santa joins the ranks of anime parodies with Gintama’s rendition. If you ever wondered what Santa would be like should he be a Samurai – look no further than these two episodes.

20. Nichijou A Certain Christmas Short/Helvetica Standard

MAL: 8.48

Episode: 22

Another slice of life entry onto the Christmas anime wishlist. Nichijou is not your grandfather’s slice of life anime, however. It mixes a unique blend of everyday reality with absolute chaos!

This episode of Nichijou is incredibly short and one section can be watched in its entirety in thirty seconds! Christmas is a busy time for all of us. Whether your a preparing for a large meal, studying for next year’s exams or finally trying to beat that video game you had been procrastinating recently – sometimes anime needs to hit the bench for a while.

Be thankful for whatever present you receive this year please!

In cases such as these, Nichijou provides just the right amount of anime you need to get your fix, without resulting in an entire day of nothing being accomplished.

21. Yuru Yuri Christmasery

MAL: 7.61

Episode: 7

Yuru Yuri is an eccentric comedy where people drink tea and fawn over each other.

If that doesn’t sound like a good time, then I don’t know what does.

Yuru Yuri Christmas dating - the girls standing around Kyoko dressed as Santa.
Yuru Yuri Christmas dating

This amusing episode sees the childhood friends and students of an all girls middle school arranged into fake couples and sent on mock dates. We get some very funny character interactions at the movie theater, the arcade and a café as well. Just an incredibly wholesome episode this time.

Should you be in the mood for a Christmas anime that does away with dramatic romances, abstract comedy or painful heartbreak – Yuru Yuri is a very good watch. Settle in and rest assured that nothing bad will happen from beginning to end.

Continue reading Yuru Yuri from where the anime stopped by purchasing the manga. This is the best way to support your mangaka.

22. Chrono Crusade Holy Night

MAL: 7.66

Episode: 12

This year, why not think of those less fortunate. Thanksgiving is a time for giving back to those who need help but for those of us who do not celebrate such a holiday – Christmas is the next best time to do something that will make a difference in your community.

Chrono Crusade Rosette dressed as Santa with Chrono as a reindeer
Chrono Crusade Rosette dressed as Santa with Chrono as a reindeer

Rosette Christopher, alongside her demon partner Chrono, travels around the country eliminating demonic threats. This episode sees the pair carrying out charity work for those less fortunate and orphaned children.

As much as Christmas is a time for celebration – it is also a time to think of those less fortunate than ourselves. Several people work at soup kitchens at this time of year, to ensure that even homeless people can have a warm belly over the holidays.

If you are interested in charity work or enjoy seeing wholesome anime moments where smiles are painted onto underprivileged faces – this episode of Chrono Crusade will have you signing up to help out at your local homeless shelter in no time.

23. Lucky☆Star Various Ways to Spend Christmas Eve

MAL: 7.77

Episode: 11

Following the lives of several Highschool girls, Lucky Star is another slice of life anime that brings with it a host of interesting characters and hilarious jokes.

Lucky Star Christmas

Christmas Eve is seldom talked about in relation to its more popular sibling Christmas Day. As the anticipation builds to near boiling point – you do everything you can to distract yourself for the next 24 hours and get to open your presents.

Time seems to drag on for eons in these final hours as nothing you do seems to pass the day any quicker.

This episode offers a variety of different solutions to solving this boredom. Whether this be playing a game, shopping for Christmas cake, or talking with your friends – if you are in the need of something to make Christmas Eve progress just that little bit faster, why not kill twenty minutes and have some laughs with this episode of Lucky Star.

Continue reading Lucky Star from where the anime stopped by purchasing the manga. This is the best way to support your mangaka.

24. Zombieland Saga Good Morning Again SAGA

MAL: 7.54

Episode: 12

While not inherently a Christmas episode and more so a Winter episode, this zombie anime plays fast and loose with what a traditional zombie apocalypse should look like.

Zombieland Saga girls sat on chairs
Zombieland Saga girls sat on chairs

After truck-kun ends the life of a poor girl – she is reanimated as a zombie and forced into an all zombie-girl idol group. This episode sees the group preparing for a concert soon to be performed. Unfortunately, heavy snowfall causes the stage to be destroyed and seemingly, end the groups’ chances of success.

Not people to give in so easily, the girls continue to practice regardless until the day of the concert and give an incredibly successful performance. This being the final episode of the season, the ending is left on a cliffhanger that you’ll have to go and see for yourself to discover.

This is a very nice message in this episode about never giving up. Even death could not stop our protagonist from achieving her dream of becoming an idol. Christmas is a magical time of the year and should you be procrastinating whatever it is you need to be doing during the holidays, after this episode, you will be more motivated than ever!

25. Yuri!!! on Ice Gotta Super-Supercharge it! Grand Prix Final Short Program

MAL: 7.93

Episode: 11

Finally, here we have the last Christmas entry onto the list. Let’s leave here feeling warm inside with a story about love.

Hot smacking BL anime love that is! Merry Christmas everybody.

Yuuri giving his ring to Victor

Focusing on the divine art of ice figure skating, the previous episode saw Yuuri buying a pair of golden rings as a Christmas present for Victor. Here, we have the culmination of this plot thread. After spending the day wandering around Christmas markets, Yuuri offers the rings to Victor, proclaiming that he wants to end their teacher-student relationship and progress to something more.

This relationship had been teased since before I can even remember and it finally comes to fruition in this episode. As previously mentioned, Christmas is all about love in Japan; so why not cozy up with someone special and watch two boys confess their love to one another.

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas!

Well, that does it for our list of best Christmas anime. Christmas is a wonderful time of the year and Christmas anime deliver on all fronts with their dedication to the holiday.

Whether you are in the mood for some laughs or some tears; hopefully these Christmas anime recommendations will keep you busy this December.

Feel free to let us know what you will be doing this holiday season and what Christmas anime you will be watching.

And of course, Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight!