This post will be updated each day, so check back often!
Hey, it’s that time of year! So I changed this site to give you some strictly non-denominational winter/holiday/Festivus/Commercialism Day cheer.
And what better way to get in the mood than to watch some Christmas anime? So I decided to share some of my favorite Christmas specials with you.
Day 12: Toradora Episodes 18 & 19
Ep 18: Under the Fir Tree
Ep 19: Christmas Eve Festival
No Christmas anime episode list could be complete without these two Toradora episodes. If you don’t know about Toradora, you SHOULD. It’s the greatest love story of all time, and I ain’t kidding. Romeo & Juliet has nothing on this. I remember it airing just like it was yesterday. I cannot BELIEVE it aired on 2009 – that’s two years ago now!
I highly recommend the series as a whole, so don’t just watch these two episodes if you haven’t seen the whole anime yet. You should start from the beginning. If, however, you have seen the whole anime then you should just watch these two for nostalgia and to get that Christmas feel. It’s definitely a turning point in the series.
In ep 18, all the gang is getting ready for the Christmas party and setting up the huge tree. But Minorin accidentally breaks Taiga’s Christmas star when her ball breaks through the window and smashes it. She feels really damn bad and rejects Ryuuji’s invitation to the party itself. In ep 19, Taiga leaves the party early on purpose to attempt to get Minorin to attend for Ryuuji’s sake. But at the end of the ep, Taiga just breaks down and can’t stand the idea that Ryuuji will get together with Minorin instead of her. Minori secretly sees this and therefore rejects Ryuuji’s implicit offer of a date/relationship. WOW! What a dramafest.
But plenty of Xmas moments in this ep for sure. It’s one of my favorite Christmas-centered arcs of all time. There’s a nice insert song with Taiga and Ami too, if you like Ami (and I don’t). But yes, go download and watch it right now.
And MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
I hope you enjoyed this 12 Days of Christmas post, it was pretty tough to keep writing day after day but I think it was worth it. Happiest of holidays to you all.
Personally I think Aniyoshi is best for Toradora, but there will be bluray rips soon so watch out for those.
Toradora Episode 18: DDL
Toradora Episode 19: DDL
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Day 11: Rental Magica Episode 12
As requested by one of the commenters on this post, I am reviewing Rental Magica episode 12. Keep in mind that I have never seen Rental Magica and have no idea what it’s about. Luckily the episode was able to stand by itself mostly.
So it seems there’s a whole bunch of magic organizations and this Astral is one of them, and it’s headed by this young boy named Itsuki. That’s pretty much the premise and I figured that out within the first five minutes. Everything else seems standard- Itsuki’s got a harem, all these magic-using girls like him, and they are all very intensely interested in rumors that he’s searching for a Christmas present for a special girl.
Of course, it being Christmas Eve, all these girls want to be on a date with the guy they like or at least find out who HE likes. So two of them decide to tail him. He discovers them and they pretend to quiz him on the origins of Christmas beacuse they are too embarrassed to ask him who he’s buying a Christmas present for.
Nice to see that the writers have done their research here. After that, Itsuki runs off and meets the girl he’s giving a present to….a ghost. What is this, Bleach? Another protagonist who can see and talk to ghosts and tries to be nice to them. Meh. So Itsuki follows the ghost girl back to her ghostly orphanage-church home which burned down on Christmas eve. She and her fellow ghost-orphans have been haunting the place, bitterly disappointed that they never got to celebrate Christmas (jeez what a reason to linger). Having finally extricated the whole sob story, Itsuki and the girls decide to SING a stupid pseudo-Christmas song as a way of cheering up the ghosts and making them feel like they enjoyed Christmas enough to pass on. Which eventually happens.
Well, this was some pretty standard harem fare dressed up in magic. I really enjoyed the first insert song which apparently is an a capella version of the ending theme. The second “Santa” song sung by the cast? Not so much. The sob story was pretty well done but I had to roll my eyes in a few places. The most interesting thing about this episode was clearly the depth of understanding that the characters seemed to have about Christmas, both of its origins and how it’s celebrated now. For uneducated Japs they even flashed this at the end of the episode:
I’m impressed. It gets a “Very Christmasy” rating out of me. Sure to put you in the Christmas mood.
Best subs are from Eclipse. No real issues there, i just dislike the dialog font they chose.
Download Rental Magica Episode 12 DDL:[/expand]
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Day 10: K-ON!
This Christmas episode is another rather obvious choice, since K-ON! is quite well-known and this episode is called “Christmas”, after all. It’s a given that this type of SoL series would have an episode about Christmas. Luckily it’s more about the relationshp between Yui and Ui rather than a Christmas date.
The long and short of it is that the gang are going to have a Christmas party and they decided to have it at Yui’s house since her parents are apparenty never home. I’d love to be able to take that many trips and abandon my kids for days at a time. Sounds like fun.
Anyways Yui is her usual airhead self while Yui’s the competent homemaker. Yui does all the cooking and preparing for the party while Yui messes around doing nothing. But somehow this is all just A-OK and while the girls do rag on Yui a bit it never goes anywhere. They have a nice little party but GUESS WHO SHOWS UP.
Jesus if suddenly my TEACHER showed up at a party of my friends I’d sure as hell start freakig out. Plus there’s no explanation of how she got in there in the first place. It’s really weird.
The girl do a Secret Santa gift exchange and most of the presents are duds except for, of course, Yui’s and Ui’s who magically happened to get each other’s gifts that they had bought for each other.
This episode is lighthearted like most episodes and focuses on the unbelievably saccharine relationship that Ui and Yui share. I just have a hard time swallowing that a perfect little sister like Ui wouldn’t resent having to do everything for her big sister and make excuses on her behalf. Real sisters aren’t like that, folks. Just so you know.
For me, K-ON had its moments but was generally too fluffly and didn’t have enough content. This is another one of those fluffy episodes. It certainly would serve as some nice light Christmas watching, though.
The best subs for K-ON! are Frostii’s BD rip, which you can download here:
K-ON! episode 7: DDL[/expand]
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Day 9: Cardcaptor Sakura: Episode 35
Sakura’s Wonderful Christmas
Well this pretty much was a given, since it’s a fairly famous Christmas episode and I love Cardcaptor Sakura. With the blurays being out, it’s a good time to rewatch the show.
This episode centers around the relationship/dating aspect of Christmas. Sakura is wondering what to get her crush, Yukito, for Christmas, which is also his birthday. She talks to Tomoyo and Meiling about it, and finally decides to make something homemade. She also calls Yukito and gets a “date” with him at the amusement park on Christmas Day (his birthday). But while there, the Firey card attack and Sakura manages to capture it by using Windy and Watery together. Shaoran does nothing, even though for some reason he showed up.
This ep actually is not very Christmas-y.
They walk by a house with Christmas decorations and are like “Oh yeah, it’s almost Christmas, right!” Decorating your house for Christmas is rather rare in Japan so that’s why they were gawking like they had never seen anything like it before. Though the “date” with Yukito was technically a Christmas date, it wasn’t really because they brought in the whole “It’s Yukito’s birthday” thing. Also Yukito obviously doesn’t consider it a date, unless he’s a pedo…but we know that he’s not, due to later canon stuff. Poor Sakura’s just under a delusion that he likes her as a romantic interest, whereas he’s actually treating her like a little sister.
Tomoyo on the other hand…
…is being her usual stalker-y lesbian self. This is the closest she’ll ever get to a “date” with Sakura, unfortunately. But Kero-chan does sprinkle some Christmas glitter over everything at the end, so there’s some Christmas cheer. I just hesitate to say it’s an all-out Christmas episode, mostly because of the “Yukito’s birthday” thing. Sakura’s outfit is nicely themed red and green, though.
Anyways it’s worth it for the nostalgia factor alone.
Subs: Coalgirls. Certainly not the best but they are the only group who actually ripped the blurays. And the blurays are worth it – the picture quality is a million times better over the original DVD release many years ago. Just watch out for the awful karaoke and a unfortunate “Li-kun-kun”.
Also filesize is 1.5 gb, just so you know. This is the 1080p version.
Download Cardcaptor Sakura Episode 35: DDL[/expand]
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Day 8: Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket, ep 5
This site being named sagesubs.com and us subbing Gundam AGE should give you a hint that we really like Gundam. Or at least, I really like Gundam. So I can’t let a listing of Christmas episodes go by without mentioning the Christmas episode of Gundam 0080: war in the Pocket.
War in the Pocket happens to be one of my favorite Gundam series of all time. For the uneducated, it is a 6-ep OVA series produced in 1989. Because it was an OVA it has ridiculously high production values. The animation is very detailed, and makes me feel so nostalgic for the old 80s anime boom.
But the unique thing about 0080 is that it’s focused on civilians rather than the military. It does take place during the One Year War, so we know somewhere out there Amuro’s fighting on the front lines. But this is the story of a backwater neutral colony named Side 6 that’s seemingly far from the war, yet the events of this series show that it cannot escape it’s consequences.
Another unique thing is that the OVA portrays the Zeon Principality sympathetically. Our main hero, Bernie, is a Zeek rookie pilot who is part of a reconnaissance team sent to seek and destroy the Gundam that the Federation is secretly developing at the supposedly neutral colony. There, Bernie meets Al, an 11 yr-old boy, and forms a type of brotherly relationship with him. Al thinks it’s great fun to help Bernie on his secret missions to find and destroy the Gundam prototype – until things take a serious turn.
Unlike most of the other episodes I’ve reviewed, this Christmas episode is really a turning point for the plot. Don’t just watch it by itself if you haven’t watched the preceding four episodes, that’ll just ruin it for you. That’s why I’ll just comment on the Christmasy-aspects of it.
There are a few shots of Christmas trees and a Christmas parade, but instead of being a happy and joyful event the upcoming day of Christmas is assigned a rather ominous significance. There’s no dates/gifts/santa here. It feels very solemn and dire. Probably not the best thing to put you in the Christmas mood.
However I recommend watching the entire War in the Pocket OVA for its other qualities, such as excellent story, appealing characters, fluid animation, and adding another aspect to the UC universe. When I compare this to Gundam AGE….sigh. They just don’t make em like they used to.
After experiencing how difficult it was to review this by itself, I’ll be sticking to comedy or episodes from series that easily stand alone with little prior knowledge of the show for the remaining 12 Days of Xmas.
The group to get for most all Gundam is [EG] Encodergasm. They rip the R2 dvds/blurays and slap R1 subs on them.
Download Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket Ep 5: DDL[/expand]
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Day 7: Digimon Adventure 02, Ep 38
Holy Night: The Digimon Big Reunion
Back to doing Christmas specials that are often overlooked. If you didn’t know, I am a big huge digimon fan so I am delighted to have an excuse to rewatch any part of it. That being said, the second season of Digimon is widely regarded as the worst. I leave you to form your own opinion on that.
But in terms of nostalgia, this is unrivaled. Those songs, man! Not only the op and ed, but two separate evolution themes were used – Brave Heart for normal evolutions, and Break up! for Jogress evolutions. And then, TWO Christmas-related insert songs sung by Wada Kouji (op singer) and AiM (ed singer), respectively. Finally, there was a performance by Yamato’s band so we got to hear HIS character song for the second season, which is called Negai Kanaeru Kagi (and it’s kickass). So, for half the ep it seemed like there was always a song playing. One of the very great things about Digimon is the music in the Japanese version, I suggest you all give it a try.
Anyways, this ep was barely about Christmas, unfortunately. Ken, formerly the Digimon Kaiser, works up the courage to be friendly and invite the rest of the bunch over to his house for a Christmas party. However the party is ruined when the villain Archnemon transports some nasty digimon over from the Digital World to Odaiba to wreak some havoc. All the gang, new and old, evolves and gets into the fight, which interrupts Yamato’s concert. The plot is quite simple, really.
This is also the very famous episode where Taichi gets NTR’d by Yamato. Heh heh… I can feel /a/’s rage from here.
Anyways, while this episode focuses heavily on the plot rather than Christmas, the Christmas mood is still there in the beginning and nicely wrapped up at the end with that insert song by AiM. It should still put you in the holiday mood. I recommend watching this to anyone with fond nostalgia for Digimon.
Links to PositronCannon’s release of 02 with nice raw and modified Hulu subs. He credits me for the styling but i didn’t do anything. I just helped him with some Digimon Tamers eps and he may have used some of that styling for his 02 releases.
Digimon Adventure 02 Ep 38 : DDL[/expand]
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Day 6: Itsudatte My Santa, Ep 1-2
Well, after doing some unusual Christmas eps, I wanted to do a complete 180 and make sure I touch on some of the most cliched, hackneyed and over-referenced Christmas specials I could think of. Itsudatte My Santa! fits the bill perfectly. It’s a 2 ep OVA releaesed in 2005 and on DVD in 2007. It’s based on a one-shot manga from Shounen Magazine.
I’ve actually never seen it before, only heard about it and seen it listed when someone asks for Christmas anime. With that title, it’s one of the more obvious anime Christmas specials. But is it worth watching?
My answer is no…and yes. It’s completely ridiculous, full of every anime trope imaginable. In that way it’s kind of like “So bad it’s good” and this could be something to watch just to laugh at.
The story centers around a boy unfortunately named “Santa” because he was born on Christmas Eve. His parents are always working and he’s always alone on Christmas, so he hates it.
I can sort of empathize with this – my dad was born on Christmas Day, and he’s jewish. Imagine that, for a second. You can never have a birthday party on your birthday, since all your friends would be with their families. There’s no place fun to go to, since everything is closed on Christmas. And since you’re not Christian, you don’t even get to celebrate the fun parts of Christmas. The only thing you can do is what all Jewish people do on Christmas Day – go to a movie and eat a Chinese restaurant.
I digress. Anyways I can see why this guy hates Christmas. So suddnenly this girl shows up claiming to be some sort of Santa apprentice, and she’s going to make Santa-kun enjoy his birthday/Christmas by hanging out with him so he doesn’t feel lonely. Fanservice and cliche comedy hijinks ensue while he tries to run away from this crazy girl (when was the last time I saw a girl slapping a guy wtih a paper fan? It must be… Inuyasha.) Eventually he gives up, brings her home, and she makes him dinner in an attempt to cheer him up. Of course it’s horribly bad, leading to this scene:
More tropes, more obvious plot developments follow. He suddenly gets a call from the girl he likes, inviting him to her Christmas party. The santa girl, whose name is Mai, claims that this good luck is the power of BELIEF IN SANTA CLAUS but of course he doesn’t believe her, and he starts to dash off to the party. Then, she suddenly blurts out that she’s IN LOVE with Santa-kun (whom she just met) but he just shrugs her off to head to the party. Once there, though, he realized that HE WAS WRONG and he really does believe in Santa Claus or some shit (but he really just wants to hook up with Mai) and runs back to her.
Then (get this) with the power of BELIEF IN SANTA CLAUS she suddenly transforms a la Sailor Moon into a bustier, blonder version of herself in a Santa suit. Yep.
…I was pretty speechless. Even I wasn’t expecting THAT. (Strangely enough, in her new bustier form she starts using the masculine pronoun “Ore” which girls NEVER use. What’s up with that?) Following that, she whips out a sleigh and reindeer and takes Santa-kun on a whirlwind tour of the world, delivering presents to little kids. Of course at the end, she says she has to leave but she’ll come back next Christmas to see Santa-kun, who now “loves” Santa Claus but is actually just burying his face in her boobs. And to all a good night.
……WHAT THE FUCK DID I JUST WATCH. Ok, scratch what I said before. DO NOT WATCH THIS unless you really want to torture yourself. I did go on to watch ep 2 for completeness’ sake, but since it was EVEN WORSE than ep 1, I won’t even attempt to summarize it here. Just suffice it to say that majority of it is a beach episode….in an anime about Santa Claus….a beach episode….I’ll just let that sink in for a minute.
The only good part about ep 2 was the fake preview which is a Gundam parody.
Hey it’s the Reindeer Gundam! That ain’t no Zaku, boy, no Zaku! It actually looks pretty badass, I wish it were real….
Well, I think I’ve said enough and much more than this OVA deserves. If you still want to give it a try, here’s the download links:
Episode 1: DDL
Episode 2: DDL[/expand]
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Day 5: Lupin III TV 2, Ep 64
While I was thinking of episodes to review, I thought I should try and stray from the beaten path of anime Christmas specials once in a while. There are defintely “classic” Christmas episodes of certain anime, ones that everyone knows. I’ve already covered some and I’ll do more later, but a few times in these next 8 days I’ll try to find Christmas episodes that you’ve never heard of.
I was looking around for something unusual, and I saw THIS. A Lupin III Christmas episode! Wow, what great timing, since we JUST subbed the Lupin III special last week.
I must confess that I’ve only seen some of the Lupin III movies, but not the shows. I like what I’ve seen so far though, so I’ve been wanting to try out the old TV series and this is a perfect opportunity.
The episode reviewed here is episode 64 from the second Lupin III TV series that ran from 1977-1980 and was 155 episodes long. The very first Lupin III series ran in 1971 and was 23 episodes. So actually the bulk of the TV episodes were from the second series.
So be warned and brace yourself for late 1970s animation and style. But to my surprise, it has aged surprisingly well. The only thing I didn’t like was the overt silliness in the style of an anime supposedly aimed at adults (full naked breasts in the preview! How many anime do that nowadays?). Otherwise, the seiyuu and the music were great.
The episode itself is called “Christmas is in the Hands of the Goddess” but for some reason the ep title reads “Christmas at Tiffany’s” which i suppose may be the dub ep title (these are R1 DVD rips). As for the plot, well, it’s pretty hilarious for several reasons. The story goes like this – Lupin and the gang are in NYC for a heist of, you guessed it, Tiffany’s.
The famous Tiffany’s in NYC. It’s a blatant reference, I’m surprised they could get away with that much. But in this episode, the jewelry store is run by a woman named Margritte Tiffany. For some reason she welcomes Lupin’s planned robbery of the store and encourages him with a nice place to stay and a blank check. She wants to make tons of money by broadcasting the first-ever jewel heist on public TV. (for some reason she’s also a TV personality?? This isn’t explained.)
Lupin at first refuses to participate in a media show, and for good reason, because not only is there heavy security, but there’s a good chance he’ll be arrested if the cops know ahead of time that he’s coming. Zenigata even shows up and proclaims he’ll arrest Lupin on national television. Btw I think Zenigata is far too silly. I don’t like the character at all.
But then Fujiko goes on a ridiculous spending spree that could rival those in Sex and the City, and Lupin is forced to steal the jewels to recover her debt. He performs some ~epic~ hijinks in order to bypass security, steal the jewels, leave a card, and get the hell outta there.
But wait, what does this have to do with Christmas? Well, the whole episode takes place on Christmas. There’s Christmas decorations everywhere, and the heist takes place at midnight on Christmas Eve. And there’s some stellar Christianity references such as:
And a few other “God” references which show that at least some Japs remember that Christmas isn’t Santa Claus’s birthday! In fact this might be the ONLY anime Christmas special I’ve seen which makes NO mention of Santa Claus ANYWHERE. Wow!
Oh, and because we’re in AMERICA, FUCK YEAH!
Lupin just HAS to drape the fuckin Statue of Liberty in the stolen jewels, and for some reason they shine like Christmas lights. But who cares cause this is AMERICA and it’s CHRISTMAS, YEAH!
There’s a bunch of other nice things I could say about this episode but the review would drag on, so I’ll just say that I enjoyed watching this and it made me want to watch more original Lupin III TV series episodes. And it made me say FUCK YEAH ! MERRY CHRISTMAS! at the end.
Download: This is a R1 DVD rip, the usual warnings apply about ugly srt sub styling but the video quality is pretty good for something this old.
Download Lupin III TV Series 2 Episode 64: DDL
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Day 4: Keroro Gunsou ep 90
“Unable to say “Merry Christmas” de arimasu~”
So I watched this again to properly review it…. wow. How nostalgic. This aired in 2007, right when I was a junior in college and studying abroad in Japan. The OP and ED song bring back memories, because I really liked them and I sung them in the Japanese karaoke bars. Uwaa~
For those of you who haven’t seen Keroro Gunsou, suffice it to say that it’s a “kids show” in name but has many parodies/references that only adults will get. Plus even adults can enjoy the crazy hijinks that these frog space-invaders get into while trying to live among us Earthlings. The show is made by Sunrise and it’s RIFE with Gundam parodies (kind of it’s raison d’etre) such as below:
A red tree covered in Zakus and named "Char's Custom Christmas Tree". I wonder if it is three times as large as a normal tree?
Hilarious. The episode takes place at Christmas, but the main plot is to get all the main characters’ help in pretending that Keroro’s invasion of Pekopon is going well (hint: it isn’t) so that the investigative force from his home planet won’t deem their mission a failure and make them go back home.
But Christmas themes begin and end the episode, nicely tying up the story with glowing lights, snow, and Christmas cheer (of the non-romantic variety!) There’s even an insert song, an orginal Christmas character song sung by the five main frog cast (it’s pretty funny.)
There’s even a whole Keroro Christmas album:
Keroro Christmas Album Track Listing
All in all, a great Christmas special for a great show.
The only sub for this show is [Keroro], and they’re decent enough. But the video quality is horrible (2007, but still…) and it’s in xvid/mp3. Sigh.
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Day 3: Sailor Moon Movie S
Bet you didn’t expect this one. It’s not something that most people think of as a Christmas special, but actually it is (if only a little bit).
The best Sailor Moon movie will always be the R movie, at least to me, for it’s spectacular finale. But the S movie here was the only one actually based on manga content, so it has a Naoko Takeuchi-approved story. .I remember reading it – it’s only a few chapters worth of manga material, but they stretched it into an hour-long movie so there’s some filler.
In brief, this story is about Luna falling in love with a scientist/astronaut guy who’s obsessed with going to the moon and meeting the “moon princess” that lives there. It builds off the old Japanese myth of Princess Kaguya, a princess who was taken to the moon. Anyways, there’s another evil lady from outside the solar system who wants to destroy the earth (where do these alien women keep coming from?) so the main plot is defeating this woman as she and her minions cover the world in ice.
The romantic subplot gets resolved through Luna briefly becoming a human (!) and confessing her feelings, and then realizing that she still likes Artemis the most (yeah, it’s inevitable that she and Artemis get together at some point, so this whole infatuation with another guy thing was never going to go anywhere.)
If you like Luna the cat, then this is a good story for you. Otherwise you just need to watch this scene, which is what makes it a Christmas movie:
The best subs for this movie are [SMC], since they ripped the R2 DVD. I say “best” with a grimace, since the subs are styled awfully according to character (pink for Usagi) and a sucky font. But due to the great video quality (best you’ll get for something made in 1994) they are the way to go. Here’s the torrent.
I’ll put up DDL when I get home.[/expand]
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Day 2: Kimi ni Todoke – 22
Every other anime special I can think of incorporates the Japanese conception of Christmas as romantic holiday. Why the Japs associate Christmas with romance, I haven’t the faintest. Somehow the holiday got corrupted during the influx of Western culture and customs during the early part of the century. Only the Santa and gift-giving caught on, and also somehow morphed into “the day for a date”. If you don’t have a date on Christmas Eve, you’re a LOSER. It’s basically the equivalent of the Valentine’s Day holiday in the U – on V-day in Japan, you just give chocos, you don’t really go out on dates.
Therefore Xmas time is the perfect holiday to spur some plot development in romance-focused anime. That’s why you’ll usually have a “Christmas episode” just like you’ll have a “Beach episode” or a “Hot-springs episode”. It’s just a staple of the genre.
This Kimi ni Todoke Christmas ep does reveal a bit more about how Christmas is perceived in Japan, and that’s why I like it. Sadako giving and receiving presents from her parents? At HER age? If we had Japanese sensibilities, our eyebrows would rise up. In Japan gift-giving is reserved for small children. The fact that she still receives presents and gives them to her parents (her father, especially) show us that she’s still very mentally immature or naive. And the fact that her father gladly receives them is an indicator that he wants her to stay this way, a little girl forever, and not let her grow up. At her age, she should be having Christmas dates with a guy! Or at least out with friends!
Therefore this is a very important turning point for Sadako, and is showing us how much she’s grown. She’s no longer a little girl who spends Christmas with her parents and getting spoiled by her father. She’s starting to incorporate friends and a romantic interest into her life.
And it’s a good ep of a show I like….if you haven’t watched this show yet, you should!
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Day 1: Tokyo Godfathers (2003)
Might as well start out with one of my favorite holiday movies OF ALL TIME.
Tokyo Godfathers is an absolute masterpiece by the late, great Satoshi Kon (one of my favorite anime directors). When I learned he died last year I was pretty upset. Any man who can make this kind of movie is something really special.
Also it’s produced by MADHOUSE, and as far as I’m concerned, they can do no wrong.
The movie is about three homeless people in Tokyo who discover an abandoned baby and their quest to return the child to her parents. The movie covers the space of time between Christmas and New Years, which makes it the perfect holiday film. We get recurring themes of angels, saviors and the concept of a “higher plan at work”. But you can gloss over these things if you’re not especially religious. At the center is just a heartwarming story.
It’s based on the “a series of fortunate coincidences” model of plot, where one encounter after another leads the characters on a journey of self-discovery and resolving their painful pasts. It may be unrealistic at times, but it’s funny and touching so that makes up for it.
The animation is TOP NOTCH. They really blew the budget on this one. The characters come alive with real and varied expression and gestures. They’re not “pretty” characters but that adds all the more to the realism.
Hana. He's not pretty, but he's certainly dynamic.
This is the only Christmas anime I know of which sticks to the more Western ideals about Christmas (aka hope, happiness, spending time with family) and not the Japanese ideal of Christmas ( aka “Valentine’s Day Mark II”). For that reason alone it’s special and unique. I have not known a single person who didn’t like it. If you haven’t seen it, go watch it NOW. I’m sure it’ll become a holiday classic for you, just like it is for me.
I have the KAA version, which is probably the best one out there. Wish there was a BD for this!
DDL of [KAA] DVD rip:
Part 1: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=A4B489SX
Part 1: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=NR8U4JS2