Although I am certain that there are several different holiday themed episodes one that always seems to always show is a Christmas themed episode. To me, well, I am Christian, so for starts I do not take offence to the fact that shows touch upon this holiday. I also believe that people are allowed to believe in whatever they wish and are allowed to celebrate it as such. When it comes to Anime and Christmas Themed episodes, well, from what I noticed is that they can be a bit random. Not random in what they are about, just when they air.
In America, although I have no idea what it is like in other parts of the world. One that is obviously on every year is Charlie Brown. So, you have an idea on what a Christmas themed episode is. Then in terms of anime, they air at random times. You could have a show in July that has a Christmas episode. Now more than likely it was in the source material and they are doing it just to do it. It could also be a case that I do not know why. I do not know why. It is rare though that it had any significance to the plot.
When it comes to the significance to the plot there is one that really sticks out, at least to me when thinking of this topic is Toradora. Now, this was one of the first series I watched, and probably like the fourth one that was subbed. Although A Certain Magical Index and more importantly Fairy Tail were the ones that really got me watching more subs over dubs that and I tend to watch shows as they air instead of all at once. Anyway enough about that. Now this may go into a little spoiler territory. I also do not want to give a lot away at the same time. What sends Toradora to the finally, is what happens on Christmas. That is all I will really say. Now writing this I may want to go back at some point and rewatch the show since it was recently dubbed.
Toradora is that rare case where Christmas plays a major role. Sure it could work in other cases and it did not need to be Christmas, but that does not change the fact that it worked. Although I would probably be on the side that would argue that it works better on Christmas rather than some other holiday. I am glad I started to write this and go off my head what shows have a Christmas themed episode. Two more that come to mind, one of my favorite comedy manga Hayate The Combat Butler and one that probably everyone knows about Oreimo.
Hayate, the series starts on Christmas. Again the now three cases, it could have been set in some other time and still would or could work. At the same time this is less so for Hayate. Now, I have only seen about the first ten or so episodes of the anime. The manga I enjoy a lot more and is one of the few cases were I only want to read the manga, the other being Rosario + Vampire. Anyway hopefully that was the last of the tangents. The reason why I think it would need to stay starting on Christmas is very simple. For those people that have read the manga or have seen the anime, then you know Santa Clause is a running joke and what he says to Hayate in his dreams. It is a running joke in the manga for some time, and one of the recent chapters brought that up with its ten year anniversary recently. It would seem weird if Santa was in his dreams and the series started in the summer. It would have been odd, at least at first, but it worked better with the series starting on Christmas Eve.
Well, then there is Oreimo. The episodes that happen on Christmas is what leads to the finally. The finally that none of us wanted even though the title implies it, but it was the ending we got whether we liked it or not. For people that have seen the series, they know I literally could have just spoiled it with that remark. Regardless, it shares a similarity with Toradora. Although it could be on a different holiday, I would argue otherwise simply for what was set up in those episodes.
Now at this point of writing this, I have come back after about a day or so trying to think of some other anime that I have seen where the holidays have at least made some importance. There are not many that I can think of where it did not make an importance despite being in the episode line up. Only now I am back and finding one more, Oh My Goddess. Before going into this discussion I have to question why are all the ones that pop into my head all happen to be romance or romantic comedies. Oh My Goddess is a series that I would put into my top ten. I really like the story and everything. Of course, like Toradora I have not seen it in almost two years. I had a feeling there was at least one episode in this series, so after doing a bit of research, I was right. The episode that takes place on Christmas, although more than likely it follows the source material; it has no major effect on the plot. The thing about this series was that there was no set way of how the relationship works. It is clear that they both care and will doing anything. Really this episode, (season 2 episode 3), is really just like any other episode, yet it is based off the fact that it is Christmas. It is about trying to find a meaningful gift for someone you really care about, which really can say a lot about the relationship, which is the focus of the series.
Once looking on my list of shows, and closing that screen so this does not go on for too long, Amagami SS. Again this is yet another romance series. However for once this does not involve confession, the road that leads to confession or anything like that. It is all about how the main character was originally ditched by his date on Christmas Eve, which is why he hates that time of year. So, like any romance series, he happens to meet (insert heroine here) and fall in love with whoever it is of several different characters. It is based off of a visual novel. So, it again has a major factor.
To be honest, I really thought this was going to turn out differently. I thought at least one show that takes place around this time of year would have something that deals with nothing in this time of year. One could easily argue with Amagami SS, and some of the others if the situation was change completely, yes they could. Yet, at the same time, this time of year is different. There is just something about giving happiness to others that can bring your own happiness. That is something that can be year round. So, maybe it is not random. Maybe it was all done on purpose to try to remind us that it is the season for giving and caring. Sometimes we can forget about that and only focus on the receiving. So, who cares if they show up at random times of year, it is good to remember that. Sure, it might work better if it does come out around that time, but remembering to share happiness, is something that should not come out just once a year. So, with that said, Happy Holidays.