For anime fans, the instinct to want to embrace the thing you love most around the holidays is only natural. Given the Asian roots of anime, it’s understandable that there aren’t many “Christmas” themed anime or manga out there. However, you’re in luck because we’ve been able to find a handful of your favorite animated characters and shows with a classic Christmas twist, just in time for the big day.
And luckily for you, many of these episodes and movies are available on streaming websites (in fact, Hulu has its own anime channel featuring tons of your favorite shows) so you don’t even have to get off the couch this holiday to enjoy some Christmas merriment with your favorite characters! Here are just a few of the episodes we recommend.
Love Hina Christmas Special: Silent Eve
This television special, originally released in 2000, shows the gang struggling to keep up with their studies while also taking part in all the Christmas festivities. The Christmas Eve superstition of declaring your love for someone and having it come true has swept up the characters and emotions are running high. Yet the film primarily focuses on Naru and Keitaro – two students who are just trying to study. While most of the group is lost in the romantic aspect of the holiday, Naru and Keitaro are annoyed, but the true nature of their love for one another is eventually revealed.
Itsudatte My Santa
A young man named Santa (his parent’s sense of humor given the fact that he was born on Christmas Eve), has a large disdain for his namesake holiday thanks to years of relentless teasing from his peers. But meanwhile, a young girl named Mai is in training at the Santa Claus Academy where she was given the task of cheering up Santa. After appearing to him and promising to make his Christmas bright, the two begin to fall for each other and Santa learns to love both Mai and the holiday.
Azumanga Daioh: Episode 17
This episode of the series focuses on Christmas and the illusory reality of Santa Claus. Once children reach a certain age, it becomes more difficult to believe in his existence. But when Tomo and Kagura get into an argument with Chiyo, confronting her belief in Santa, the group reaches yet another conundrum: what they want for presents! Luckily all is resolved in the end when the gang gathers on Christmas Eve at (where else) a karaoke bar.
K-On!: Episode 7
This episode follows the group of schoolgirls as they plan and put together a Christmas party. Of course, as plans often do, the logistics of the party go slightly haywire. It’s location bounces from place to place before settling on Yui’s home, since her and Ui’s parents are out of town. But that doesn’t mean the stress is over, as the rest of the girls scramble to find the perfect gifts for each other for their gift exchange. Then, when Ui begins preparing the Christmas dinner for the girls at her house, Sawako stops by and then her plans go off the rails! All comes together in the end though; as the group, and more specifically Ui and Yui, exchange gifts and revel in the spirit of the season.
DiGi Charat Christmas Special
During their Christmas vacation the whole group is invited on a free luxury cruise! But just as soon as they’re on board, they realize it was a trap set up by Princess Dejiko’s arch-nemesis Piyoko (Princess Pyocola Analogue III), her henchmen Coo, Rik, and Ky in an effort to capture Dejiko. This leads to pandemonium as the two girls scuffle and chase each other around the boat while the others are simply trying to enjoy themselves. At the end of the episode their fight teaches viewers an important lesson, but you’ll have to watch to find out just what it is.