Great Christmas Anime Episodes Worth Watching
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Great Christmas Anime Episodes Worth Watching

Christmas is just around the corner, so it’s time to watch all kinds of holiday specials to get into the party spirit. Alongside Rankin/Bass classics and a plethora of live-action Christmas movies, there are more than a few anime specials worth checking out. Let’s take a look at some of the most fun Christmas-themed anime episodes.

Hamtaro – “Merry Christmas!”

This one’s great if you just want some light early 2000s nostalgia mixed in with goofy Christmas revelry. As I turn on this episode while getting ready to write this feature, I go back to the early 2000s. This episode has everything you could want from a holiday oriented hamster episodes, from the awkwardly dubbed songs to the odd and hilarious voice-over lines. All the hamsters are getting ready for Christmas and hoping for Santa to visit them, while Laura hopes to get a dollhouse. There’s basically no stakes, making this a goofy, breezy Christmas episode revolving around a goofy hamster.

I also didn’t know that this series was dubbed by Canada-based Ocean Productions, which dubs well-known series such as Death note and Dragon Ball Z, as well as tons of iconic Canadian cartoons. You’ll likely hear some familiar voices throughout the episode, further adding to this nostalgic Christmas romp.

Sword Arts Online –”Rudolf the red-nosed deer”

This one is so melancholic it’s almost back to being funny. Shortly after being trapped in Aincrad, Kirito joins a guild and makes some new friends. They go on various adventures and eventually save enough to buy a house. While the leader goes to buy a place to live, everyone else goes to the dungeon to earn money to buy furniture. They fall into a trap, and everyone but Kirito dies a horrible death — including the kind and nervous Sachi — leading the guild leader to commit suicide. Kirito decides to fight Nicholas the Renegade on Christmas Eve — a Santa-like boss that drops items that can bring players back to life.

Although he wins, Kirito learns that the item can only revive a person within 10 seconds of their death and returns to his apartment. He finds a message from Sachi in which she hums a Christmas carol for him. This has to be the somberest Christmas episode I can remember, but it’s one of the better and more self-contained stories in Sword Art Online and a decent choice if you prefer the bittersweet Christmas special.

My Hero Academy – “Merry Christmas!”

Sure, half of the episode is more about the cute ways the Class 1-A students are doing with homework, but the Christmas half is a happy and hilarious holiday celebration. The students are all dressed up as Santa Claus (except Bakugo, of course,) and are eating, drinking, and generally having a good time. Eri attends the celebration and continues to confuse Christmas for any other holiday, making a nice relaxing holiday extra special.

This episode serves as a nice break from the intense ongoing story that takes place before and after the festive celebrations. Seeing as the series is getting more and more intense, there’s never been a better time for a little Christmas break.

Pokémon – “Hi-Jynx Vacation”

There are many Pokemon A Christmas episode, but as a 90s-born megafan, “Holiday Hi-Jynx” stands out in my mind as a special. This episode revolves around Ash and his friends meeting Santa Claus after Team Rocket causes him trouble. Jessie believes that Jynx Santa stole her toys when she was a child, making her never forgive him. It turns out that Jynx took the toy to fix it, but was unable to return it after Jessie stopped believing in Santa Claus. It ends in a snowy tone that will get any old style Pokemon nostalgic fans.

Interestingly, this episode was pulled from rotation not long after airing due to accusations that the titular Pokémon Jynx was based on racial stereotypes. Since then, Jynx has changed color to purple instead of black, both in the game and in the anime — as you can see in the image above. If that wasn’t enough, this episode comes right after “Electric Soldier Porygon” — the episode that gave many children seizures in Japan. Those must have been some rough episodes for the original series.

Gintama – “Santa Claus Arch”

Despite being called an arc, “The Santa Arc” only lasted two episodes. It follows Kagura and Gintoki’s father, as well as many other unsuccessful people, as they compete to prove themselves to Kagura as the real Santa Claus. It becomes a wild contest filled with crazy hijinks and crude jokes, which get funnier and funnier as the episode goes on.

This arc pokes fun at anime tropes and holiday tropes, with Kagura and friends parodying them all. Little Match Girl for shoujo romance anime. This is by far the cutest special on this list, but it still has a lot of heart to make you feel good afterwards. If you want real laughs and genuine sentiment, Gintama have helped you.

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