I have this weird thing. Just the one! I love Christmas. Celebrating capitalism is a big thing for us commi refugees. But I rarely if ever like Christmas specials (or New Years when it comes to anime). As far as I’m concerned, it’s all about those Halloween specials. I really wish there were more in fact.

However, once in a blue moon, I do come across a Christmas episode or movie that really makes me appreciate the season. As these are few and far apart, I figured you would all appreciate me sharing them with you.

Of course, you can share your favorites as well. I bet Clannad is going to be mentioned by someone!

In loose order:


5. Tokyo Godfathers

This is possibly my least favourite of Satoshi Kon’s movies, which means I like it a lot. A heartwarming Christmas tale about learning to appreciate what you have through the eyes of those that have so little. This beautiful story will remind you about the true spirit of the season.

Once you strip away the fancy decorations and expensive gifts, Christmas is about finding a warm spot in the world with people you love. Kon’s precise and understated style, which always respects the audience allowing them to draw their own conclusions, will leave you full of hope. What better gift can there be?

taiga toradora christmas

4. Toradora Christmas Arc

With time, I’ve come to realize that my disappointments with ToraDora were mostly on me. I simply expected it to be something different. It will never be the type of story that speaks to me but it is a very well made anime that I would recommend without hesitation to fans of romantic dramas.

And the Christmas episodes really do shine. Slowing down the action and stripping away all the extra noise and commotion, these episodes really allow the simple story of young love with all the frustration and confusion it entails, take center stage. Those emotionally devastating scenes taking place against an eerily quiet background, as the white snow slowly falls covering the world in pristine coldness, will remain us all of the painful ache of first love.

These episodes are all tinged with a beautifully delicate pain on a very silent night. Put the shopping away and enjoy the stillness.

Gabriel dropout

3. Gabriel DropOut

The few CGDCT connoisseurs I know have told me this show was a disappointment. I respectfully disagree. I Love Gabriel DropOut. It made me giggle and had me smiling the entire time. In fact, it even has one of my favourite anime Christmas episodes.

The great thing about this particular Christmas special is that it doesn’t dwell on hallmark card platitudes. Just because it’s the Holidays doesn’t mean you have to be all solemn and reverent. One of the rare Christmas specials that keeps the lighthearted tone of the series. This special had me in stitches and remains a super fun episode to watch this time of year.


2. The Disappearance of Haruhi Shizuma.

Man, this show has grown on me. I was a bit bored through the first season and disappointed with the lack of narrative focus that didn’t take full advantage of the seemingly complex backstory. However, Endless Eight was a masterpiece and The Disappearance is very close behind in my mind.

The subtle melancholy and stress that permeates the events leads a wistful feeling to the movie that will have you in an introspective mood. Christmas is a great time to take a moment and look within ourselves at what is really important to us. It’s a beautiful thing when an anime can remind us of such an important lesson.


1. Gugure! Kokkuri-san

I’m just going to say. On the record! Gugure Kokkuri-San does not get the recognition it deserves. I don’t care what you think. Fight me! You won’t cause you haven’t seen it or don’t remember. My point exactly! This show had occasional flashes of brilliance and there was much more under the surface than the zany antics led on. Unfortunately we will probably never get to know all the details as another season is about as likely as…another season of any of your favourite shows that have been off the air for years…

The first season ended on a beautiful Christmas episode that mixed the usual surreal humour with a surprisingly earnest look at simple family dynamics with an absolutely heartbreaking twist. This episode managed to fill me with equal amounts of joy and sadness and remind me of the fragile nature of happiness.

Let me say it again, Gugure Kokkuri-san does not get the recognition it deserves…

Well there you have it. Five beautiful anime options for the holiday season to share an anime with friends and loved ones.  Or with me! So let me have YOUR recommendations and I will do exactly what the holidays are for (judge you silently…)

found it here

41 thoughts

  1. Gugure! Kokkuri-san was one of my first simulcasts. I won’t forget it, even if everyone else does.

    My favourite, outside of that, is Hetalia episode 31…at least, I think it was episode 31. All I remember was that I watched Gugure! and Hetalia Christmas specials one year, so…those ones it is.

  2. Tokyo Godfathers is probably fav Christmas anime movie and from Satoshi Kon too. It’s just so amazing that I’m a huge fan of Kon works. Gabriel DropOut is pretty good too. I love the comedy and the characters in this anime. Same as The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya. Just put into my watchlist for the rest.

  3. Watched The Disappearance of Haruhi Shizuma, but for me, the Christmas episodes of Cardcaptor Sakura are where it at for capturing that wonderful Christmas feeling for me. Something about seeing a cast of character I like sharing a wonderful time together on Christmas brings a smile my face easily. The others on your list I haven’t seen.

    Poor Santa also. Having to deliver presents to all the good kids in Japan while getting attacked by giant monsters. Santa can’t catch a break!

  4. “Shizuma” — Is this a whole new continuity or in-joke I need to learn about? Or did you mean Suzumiya? It is Haruhi after all, so I could be missing something…
    Anyway, I feel the Christmas spirit!

  5. Tokyo Godfathers SHOULD be on any anime list that involves Christmas. Interesting that it’s your least favorite film from Satoshi Kon. At the risk of sounding like a hardcore Kon fan, but that director at his worst is still better than most animators (RIP, Kon-Sensei). That is still a great film nonetheless.

  6. Wow, I’m such a huge fan of both Gabriel Dropout and Gugure Kokkuri-san! Good to see them mentioned!

  7. I need to get around to watching Tokyou Godfathers one day; everyone loves it.

    Toradora is pretty much what immediately comes to mind when I think of Christmas episodes. I once got someone to watch the show on the strength of the bear santa scene.

    Gabriel Dropout was great fun and no disappointment at all, and I heartily endorse Gugure Kokkuri san (which didn’t even get much press when it aired, though it did have a small cadre of devoted watchers).

    I’ll never forget the opening scene to Hayate no Gotoku, where Hayate meets Santa:

    Hayate: Santa, why do you never bring me presents?
    Santa: Because your family’s poor.

    The entire scene makes odd sense:

    And then there’s the Santa boss fight from Kyouran Kazoku Nikki:

    (With the oddly touching backstory of Santa and his grand-daughter…)

    Anime Christmas can get weird.

  8. You are the only person I know who likes Endless Eight haha. Maybe this holiday season will be the time when I finally watch Tokyo Godfathers. I have heard many positive things about that film.

  9. One anime I tend to watch at this time of year is a boys love classic called Zetsuai and its second episode Bronze which has the story climax right on christmas. A classic of the genre with comimg to terms with who you are and what you want in life and sticking by those choices no matter what life puts in front of you… its a message I must confess really hits closer to home for me this year. An awesome post!

  10. I don’t tend to associate anime with Christmas too much, but this is a good list. Toradora, Tokyo Godfathers, and Disappearance would also all be on my shortlist. Chrono Crusade also had a surprisingly heartfelt Christmas episode, especially for what was generally more of an action series.

  11. Yay!! I was in the mood for xmassy anime and I will try your top recommendation, Gugure! Kokkuri-san. I have only watched Tokyo Godfathers from that list and I loved it to pieces. So, if that is your least favorite from Satoshi Kon, then I know what I will be watching in the future :3 thank you for the recommendations! I’m too lazy to search myself for options and end up rewatching same stuff or whatever Netflix suggests me 😛

          1. pfffft!! Bad WP didn’t notify me of this message, hahaha you made me have a good laugh! I mostly get anime, food and asian drama suggestions 😛 btw, Samurai Gourmet is gooood, I had serious japanese food cravings after that one 😛

  12. What kind of monster found Gabriel Dropout disappointing?! That was one of the most enjoyable CGDCT shows in years. Wonderful, memorable characters that people still regard fondly and meme with today. When your characters show up in memes long after the show last aired, you know you had a winner on your hands.

    That whole season of anime was fantastic, between Gabriel Dropout, Dragon Maid and Interviews with Monster Girls.

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