Editorial: Christmas and Anime

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of Christmas. The word, for me, recalls a stressful month of late nights, crowded stores, and angry shoppers. Outside of the former job, it recalls a period filled with obnoxious toy ads, rampant consumerism, and tons of absolutely horrible Christmas specials that just take from another special, which takes from another special, to the point that you’re watching the same special, sometimes three times in a row! And don’t get me started on “all day marathons” of A Christmas Story and Christmas Vacation. Seriously – once is enough! But I digress.

While this time of year leaves me a bit salty, I can’t help but love anime Christmas specials. The fact that Japan sees Christmas completely differently and shows it through their specials usually puts a smile on my face. Yeah, there’s often Santa and some other related imagery, but that’s about where it ends. The fact that not every episode ends with some talking animal saving Christmas, or Santa’s son/daughter/mistress returning to the North Pole, or whatever’s popular nowadays is a huge turn-off.

In particular, I like how many specials dwell on the quieter, more important aspects of the holiday. In particular, I like the idea of spending time with those you care for, or enjoying the holiday together with family. While the approach is different, I can’t help but feel that they really embody the holiday spirit in a lot of ways. And, of course, there’s the shows that just go off into left field and deliver an experience that even peyote couldn’t match.

There are dozens of great anime Christmas specials in the wild, with more being made with each passing year. And, so long as they keep making it, I’ll probably keep lapping it up. After all – a guy can only watch Rudolph or Frosty so many times before he says “no more!”
About the author

Samantha Ferreira

Samantha Ferreira is Anime Herald’s founder and editor-in-chief. A Rhode Island native, Samantha has been an anime fan since 1992, and an active member of the anime press since 2002, when she began working as a reviewer for Anime Dream. She launched Anime Herald in 2010, and continues to oversee its operations to this day. Outside of journalism, Samantha actively studies the history of the North American anime fandom and industry, with a particular focus on the 2000s anime boom and bust. She’s a huge fan of all things Sakura Wars, and maintains series fansite Combat Revue Review when she has free time available. When not in the Anime Herald Discord, Samantha can typically be found on Bluesky.

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