Happy holidays, everyone! The Yuletide is upon us, and whether you’re a bit of a Grinch or make Buddy the Elf look like a Christmas casual, we can all agree that anime makes the season even better. While many shows will dip into the festivities with a Christmas episode or two, what anime should you watch if you really want to set that holly, jolly mood? Keep reading to find out!
One Christmas, a young boy named Haruma Kawagoe wishes for Santa to bring him a little sister. His mother recently suffered a miscarriage and was forced to undergo an emergency hysterectomy, and so, Haruma prays to Santa as his last hope for a sister.
Years later, when Haruma is at college, Santa finally delivers on that wish. Now Haruma must learn to care for Choko, his new sister while balancing his studies and his love life.
Adapted from the visual novel game (make sure you watch the 2006 anime rather than the 2002 one), Kanon centres on Yuichi Aizawa, a high school student who returns to the city with no memory of the events that transpired there seven years earlier. With the help of five girls, Yuichi is gradually able to piece his past back together. Surprisingly tragic and with a festive, winter atmosphere, Kanon is one to try even if you don’t normally go for harem anime.
Rin Shima loves camping alone during the winter when the world is peaceful. But after a chance encounter with the boisterous Nadeshiko Kagamihara, Rin gradually learns that friends can make the good things in life even better. This sweet-hearted show celebrates friendship, fun, and the beauty of winter before culminating in an adorable Christmas episode.
Named Santa in honour of his December birthday, the main character of Itsudatte My Santa! hates everything to do with Christmas. But when he meets Mai, a student at the Santa Claus Academy who has been tasked with helping Santa to find the Christmas spirit, his humbug ways are put to the test.
Beautiful, tragic, and hopeful, this is the king of holiday anime. On a cold Christmas Eve, three homeless friends find an abandoned baby in the garbage and embark on a mission to locate her parents. This film celebrates family in whatever form it takes, as well as the everyday miracles that bring us all together.
We’ll be back with more essential anime lists in the new year. But before then, why not fill our festive stockings with your own favourite anime picks that get you feeling all Christmassy?